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Nathaniel, in what way is the game more strategic and tactical with "auto-aim"?

 

If our characters are auto-attacking an enemy can we make them focus on another enemy instead? Will they only initiate combat when we tell them to? Can we turn auto-attack off?

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Nathaniel, in what way is the game more strategic and tactical with "auto-aim"?

 

If our characters are auto-attacking an enemy can we make them focus on another enemy instead? Will they only initiate combat when we tell them to? Can we turn auto-attack off?

 

There's no auto-attack, maybe I need to be a bit clearer.

 

Functionally, if you've played Ninja Gaiden or Devil May Cry, this system works exactly like those games.

 

Say you are playing the game on a console. If you point your stick in the direction of an enemy and press attack, the game will steer you so you line up with the target perfectly rather than letting you miss by 5-10 degrees. It will always select the target closest to where you pointed the stick, so it's not going to point you at an enemy you didn't intend to attack (unless you're giving bad input, heh). The game will not autoattack for you, you must press the button every time you want to attack the target.

 

The reason why this is important is that players are actually quite bad at giving precise stick input, particularly when they are mapping the 2D analog stick coordinates into 3D space in their head. There was a really interesting talk at the last GDC by one of the developers at I believe Sucker Punch (the guys that made inFAMOUS) in which the developer set up a very simple test where a character was rendered in a very simple Grey Box 3D environment from a standard 3/4 view. A red ball would appear at a random point about 3 meters out from the character. The player had to try to align his stick with the ball (without onscreen feedback), and the game secretly recorded how much their stick input diverged from the actual ball in degrees.

 

The test revealed that actually stick input diverged quite a lot - up to about 10 or 15 degrees, with a median of around -3 degrees (which is really bizarre, I have no explanation for that). Those numbers might not be exact, I don't have the talk on hand, but the point is that players are a lot less accurate than they think (and than developers think) when it comes to pointing out directions in 3D space using analog sticks.

 

Rather than force you to struggle with the fact that it's actually a really hard math puzzle to map your 2D stick coordinates in 3D space, we fudge it a little, because the point of most of these games is not to force you to point your analog stick literally perfectly in order to even hit a target. In a platformer, it might be more acceptable to forego automatic course correction because the core challenge in those games *is* to perfectly line up the target (and they usually give the player a decent amount of wiggle room - you don't have to hit an exact spot when you jump). But in DS3, like in NG2 and DMC, the challenge comes from how/when/how often/who you attack and choosing what attacks you use. We don't intend for the challenge to be in actually being able to physically connect with attacks.

 

If you think of this in PC game terms, actually, you get this auto-targetting automatically from the pathfinding system. When I click a monster in Diablo/Torchlight/NWN2, the pathfinding system takes over and not only aligns me to my target but actually navigates me there automatically!

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If you think of this in PC game terms, actually, you get this auto-targetting automatically from the pathfinding system. When I click a monster in Diablo/Torchlight/NWN2, the pathfinding system takes over and not only aligns me to my target but actually navigates me there automatically!

So it's the good old business. Click on enemy, my char runs and hits him!?

Like in DS1 and DS2 and all other PC-ARPGs!?

 

Thanks for the explaination Nathaniel o:)

Edited by KO771
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By the way, if you find this discussion at all intriguing I strongly recommend you pick up Devil May Cry 4 or Bayonetta and play them all the way through. They're actually really rewarding, enjoyable games once you figure out how they work and get good at them. Plus you'll understand better what I'm talking about o:)

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I have played DMC4 before and to me that's more like a single player, 3rd person shooter view, action hack and slash game.

I saw that DMC4 has been mentioned couple of times. So is the developer basically changing DS3 to be like the gameplay of DMC4?

 

Maybe i have the wrong expectations that DS3 would be played like Diablo, Titan Quest, Sacred 2 top down isometric 3rd person view that you can see your player character and your party characters (since previous Dungeon Siege has been always a party based hack n slash game).

 

You basically just left click to move or attack and right click for a special skill/talent/power. Hotkeys 1-9 can be mapped for skills/power and you can basically target(be it AOE or single target).

 

My concern is that if i press/click/use a skill/power and it randomly (auto target nearest enemy).. then it's a dump down gameplay for me.

 

As i said, if the gameplay of Dungeon Siege 3 is like Devil May Cry 4 then i have mistaken it for a different genre of action hack n slash rpg like Diablo/TQ/Sacred/etc.

 

Thanks for your time.

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I have played DMC4 before and to me that's more like a single player, 3rd person shooter view, action hack and slash game.

I saw that DMC4 has been mentioned couple of times. So is the developer basically changing DS3 to be like the gameplay of DMC4?

 

Maybe i have the wrong expectations that DS3 would be played like Diablo, Titan Quest, Sacred 2 top down isometric 3rd person view that you can see your player character and your party characters (since previous Dungeon Siege has been always a party based hack n slash game).

 

You basically just left click to move or attack and right click for a special skill/talent/power. Hotkeys 1-9 can be mapped for skills/power and you can basically target(be it AOE or single target).

 

My concern is that if i press/click/use a skill/power and it randomly (auto target nearest enemy).. then it's a dump down gameplay for me.

 

As i said, if the gameplay of Dungeon Siege 3 is like Devil May Cry 4 then i have mistaken it for a different genre of action hack n slash rpg like Diablo/TQ/Sacred/etc.

 

Thanks for your time.

 

I hope I've been clear that I'm talking about the console controls for the game, not the PC controls. We will probably not use the same auto-targetting on PC and console.

 

I also think, if you look at how this kind auto-targetting functions in other games, it's not "random" at all. You press the stick in the direction of the guy you want to attack, press the attack button, and you attack them.

 

I don't think there's much else I can say to elucidate the subject:

 

- We want our PC version to play like a PC game, and our console version to play like a console game.

- We don't want to cram inappropriate controls from one platform onto the other.

- We don't ever want it to be hard to physically connect your attacks with enemies. That's not at all intended to be a challenge in our game. Therefore, we have some auto-targetting logic on the Console version that makes sure your attacks line up properly and you don't miss by a couple of degrees.

- We don't want it to feel like the game is playing itself, we want you to feel "in control". That's actually what the auto-targetting is designed to help.

- Our auto-targetting on console versions will not dumb the game down any more than click-to-move pathfinding dumbs down a PC game. If anything, pathfinding dumbs the game down more.

- We want to allow you to ground target AoEs in both the Console and PC versions of the game, and we currently have a method of doing this on the console that we're pretty happy with. Obviously on the PC it's pretty standard to allow you to ground target AoEs, so we'll probably do that the way you are familiar with from other games like, say, NWN2 o:)

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If you think of this in PC game terms, actually, you get this auto-targetting automatically from the pathfinding system. When I click a monster in Diablo/Torchlight/NWN2, the pathfinding system takes over and not only aligns me to my target but actually navigates me there automatically!

 

So this is irrelevant for PC gamers, who use mice instead? Phew. Thanks Nathaniel.

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Thanks Nat for clearing things up. I'm still having some mixed feelings where the game was some sort of cross over between Fable and Diablo. I'm not judging further until i have a look on the gameplay videos. Overall i'm pretty impressed with the latest screenshots.

 

Dragon Age was nothing close to that and they did well. I'm sure DS3 may do well too if quality and effort were the main focus. Thanks again.

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I'd just like to say that a full blown RPG with DMC4 like gameplay is a sort of game I've been waiting for, for years. So hell yeah.

 

 

 

The only thing that worries me is that Nathaniel seems to be saying that you can play the game with a console interface or a PC interface, thus having a radically different gameplay experience. I mean when I was playing DMC4 (on the PC) I was using a gamepad, which enabled the best control of the characters. On the other hand, when I play a PC action RPG, really, the only way to have a smooth experience is with a mouse and keyboard.

 

So my point is that if you're going to accommodate two radically different gameplay experiences in the same game one of them is very likely to suffer. Assuage my concerns quickly, Nathaniel. Please.

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I am Dan Quayle of the Romans.
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Played both DMC4 and NG2, and yeah, both were button mashers that mostly didn't require any skills. Just press buttons wildly and you will win the battle.

 

Come on, Obsidian.

 

But I'm not such a picky bastard. Will the game have at least a story or something?

 

 

You could try learning how to play them. If you button mash, unless you're playing on very easy, you won't get very far.

"My hovercraft is full of eels!" - Hungarian tourist
I am Dan Quayle of the Romans.
I want to tattoo a map of the Netherlands on my nether lands.
Heja Sverige!!
Everyone should cuffawkle more.
The wrench is your friend. :bat:

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It still feels like I'm not controlling the game entirely.

 

I know DS series is a hack&slasher but Obsidian could still do something a bit more tactical.

 

Just play the game on pc. After what Nathaniel said the different interface should be great for you, no?

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I hope I've been clear that I'm talking about the console controls for the game, not the PC controls. We will probably not use the same auto-targetting on PC and console.

 

I also think, if you look at how this kind auto-targetting functions in other games, it's not "random" at all. You press the stick in the direction of the guy you want to attack, press the attack button, and you attack them.

 

I don't think there's much else I can say to elucidate the subject:

 

- We want our PC version to play like a PC game, and our console version to play like a console game.

- We don't want to cram inappropriate controls from one platform onto the other.

- We don't ever want it to be hard to physically connect your attacks with enemies. That's not at all intended to be a challenge in our game. Therefore, we have some auto-targetting logic on the Console version that makes sure your attacks line up properly and you don't miss by a couple of degrees.

- We don't want it to feel like the game is playing itself, we want you to feel "in control". That's actually what the auto-targetting is designed to help.

- Our auto-targetting on console versions will not dumb the game down any more than click-to-move pathfinding dumbs down a PC game. If anything, pathfinding dumbs the game down more.

- We want to allow you to ground target AoEs in both the Console and PC versions of the game, and we currently have a method of doing this on the console that we're pretty happy with. Obviously on the PC it's pretty standard to allow you to ground target AoEs, so we'll probably do that the way you are familiar with from other games like, say, NWN2 :p

I don't get something though. Why is it that Alpha Protocol didn't have any of this? The controls/UI/mini games felt really porty and the same as the console version. The minigames felt broken if you tried to use a KB+M with them. Why does it seems like for PC lead games you can make those logical design changes to rebalance the console version so it plays well, but for the console lead games like AP, if it works ok on the PC, it's good enough to ship.
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Mr. Chapman, you gave us enough info to fill in for a gamescom preview. You're so awesome, you just peeked Matt Rorie in my appreciation! :p

 

So, from what I gather, the "auto-aim" feature works more like a "pathfinding" option, for those that want to play the game in the isometric view on consoles, like correcting our course towards the nearest target, but it will also work as a sort of targeting mode for using the "vanity"/over the shoulder, viewpoint, am I correct? However, will a gamepad shoulder button be mapped for targeting the next nearest enemy? Like, what happens if we are surrounded by enemies and the auto-target system keeps us focused on a certain mob? Or does simply tilting the analog stick towards a different direction automatically change our target? How hard or easy will it be to target a specific mob out of the bunch? If I recall, games like Bayoneta and DMC both had that feature. All in all, sounds like the standard adaptation of KB&M controls for the gamepad capabilities. Honestly, it doesn't sound all that bad to me.

 

Are you aiming for a more arcade-y action feel for DSIII? At least for the console counterparts? And if you do, would you say it's more complicated, like the aforementioned games, or something more akin to Dynasty Warriors? If not, how would you describe it? Most importantly, are you even allowed to discuss the battle system this in depth?

 

For the PC, as I understand, we will have the LMB for moving, targeting and the standard attack, RMB probably for rotating the camera, unless you've mapped a different function to it that we've not established yet, the mouse wheel for circling through the combat styles (one handed, two handed etc.) and the 1-0 hotkeys for special abilities. So pretty much what someone would expect from a hack'n'slash RPG on the PC. Am I correct?

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