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I'd like to ask what you think about terrain features in OE and how much detail their effects should have on the game mechanics?

 

It is certainly possible to implement a number of interesting effects from different terrain types. The terrain effects in DnD v3.5 included movement costs, skill modifiers, concealment, melee combat modifiers, difficulty of footing, and terrain hazards. Slopes had a significant impact, with movement being reduced when going uphill and eased going down, plus a combat bonus was received when fighting uphill from your opponent.

 

I don't recall seeing much impact from terrain in the IE games. But I would definitely like to see terrain effects in PE, primarily because they can add a lot of detail and variety to the combat tactics. Of course, that would mean that the enemy AI will need enhancement so as to compensate for terrain and exploit it for tactical advantages.

 

Thoughts? :)

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Infinity engine games had no concept of height, but PE will definitely be modelling areas as 3D spaces (albeit prerendered). As such I would like to see holding higher ground as a meaingful choice in outdoor areas : also shooting down into enemy groups should be easier than trying to hit enemies standing up on battlements.

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Infinity engine games had no concept of height, but PE will definitely be modelling areas as 3D spaces (albeit prerendered). As such I would like to see holding higher ground as a meaingful choice in outdoor areas : also shooting down into enemy groups should be easier than trying to hit enemies standing up on battlements.

Yes, I agree, although coding the effects of height and slope would likely be a little more challenging.

 

Another aspect that occurs to me is that terrain effects from vegetation features like brush and swamp growths would make Rangers and Druids more valuable during combat in the wilds. A sniping enemy ranger using hit and run tactics through thick brush could be a real headache for the party.

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Personaly something like this is dead drop to last in what i want their time spend.

 

But i dont say its cool or i would not like it to be added. But im still not sure if the game will be 3D with a 2D view or full 2D or what.

Well if the outdoor combat all takes place in grassy fields with level roads then it wouldn't add much value, true. But terrain effects are a big part of what makes wilderness adventures different. Adding them in would give the game more of a table-top feel, assuming that the party will be adventuring in areas with actual terrain features.

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Yeah, just saying i was next to imposible for me to know if i was hier that anyone else in the old IE games, becasue of how the perspective worked of those games.

 

And if the game is going to be Full 2D like those i dont realy see the point, its cool and it could be awesome! but still i dont see beeing that defenitive in gameplay so they actualy spend resourses in the math to do it.

 

If its a 3D game Where i can maybe notice clearly when i have a height advantage or disadvantage and i can capitalize on it adding a new part of the strategy to the gamplay then Awesome! lets go for it!

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Enlighten me,

 

what would be the gameplay value of having to micro-manage your wizards to hide behind trees/ on hilltops, and in realtime no less?

It depends on how you feel about tactics as a gaming art. If you just want to line up and whack at your enemy until they drop, then exploiting terrain advantages probably isn't for you.

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Enlighten me,

 

what would be the gameplay value of having to micro-manage your wizards to hide behind trees/ on hilltops, and in realtime no less?

It depends on how you feel about tactics as a gaming art. If you just want to line up and whack at your enemy until they drop, then exploiting terrain advantages probably isn't for you.

 

It has been said it makes for a tabletop feel,

 

but that's not exactly true because there's the transition to realtime. It's more of an RTS feature, but this game won't have the strategic depth of an RTS, while on the tactical level RTS is mostly about twitch skills. Face it, this idea is bad and you should feel bad

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It used to always frustrate me that on the rare occassion that you did find what would typically be a terrain advantage, you select your mages spells and unpause and immediately he advances toward level ground regardless of horizontal distance. I'm not sure how much effort should be put into it but the ocassional highground would be nice to run accross with the capability of being taken advantage of.

Do not criticize a fish for being a turtle when it is, in fact, a fish.

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Certainly I'd love to see terrain modifiers, both for combat and stealth gameplay. Dodging missile attacks would be much easier in a dense forest than knee deep in a river. Elevation should certainly augment combat prowess. A rogue should be largely more effective sneaking within city walls than sneaking on a prairie (that always bugged me).

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A slight deviation from the traditional use of tactical terrain, I'd actually like to see some sort of effect on Druids and Rangers particularly as the "wild" classes. With Druids particularly it would be fun if their spells to be enhanced by their surroundings - plant based spells become more potent in a forest, water based ones more powerful when on a riverbank etc. If you were to integrate some "difficult" terrain, where characters might say, take longer moving across deep snow or marshy ground, rangers and druids could get bonuses in that situation where an intellectual indoorsy wizard or a knight used to the parade grounds might get bogged down and slowed to a crawl.

 

Very tenuously related side note, if there is an animal companion mechanic I'd like to see the player befriend a wild animal who levels up with you rather than just picking one at a certain level up which appears out of nowhere. This is turn might have bonuses when in and for the habitat you found it in.

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I wouldn't mind things like slower movement through, say, ankled deep water or thick snow.

 

Height might also be a bit neat. An advantage to ranged abilities against enemies that are lower? Maybe a larger effective range and chance to hit. Also movement up being slower and down being faster.

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Some abstracted terrain bonuses/penalties would be cool. I'm on board for that. More damage for archers on hills, better defense for being in a bush, slower movement for certain terrains. Adds an extra dimension to combat without adding control complexity.

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It would definitely add tactical depth to the game for the landscape (or built environments) to be a factor in combat. Even simple line of sight blockage by trees, boulders and pillars seems logical enough. Whomever has the high ground has an undeniable advantage unless some kind of massive explosion that will pass harmlessly over ravines is approaching. Or unless gravity goes away. In which case both sides are, how do the french say it? ****ed?

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As this would be an 2D background I don't see the means by which it could be done. For example a bush or tree has to be 3D object to code it as blocking line of sight. And higher/lower ground would also be a trouble some feature.

Regardless that could end two ways either terrain effects are simple and very intuitive to use to the point they don't play any significant role in game or they could be so complex as to being completely unbalanced and frustrating to use making the game no fun to play.

I think perhaps you're not looking at this correctly. Terrain effects can be implemented by applying area effects to the maps: regions are designated as a particular terrain type (say, heavy vegetation or light marsh), and anybody inside a region is subject to those programmatic effects. Once a particular terrain area effect has been scripted, it can be used over and over again.

 

I've done the same thing in the NWN2 Toolset using the DnD effects and it works quite transparently. It took just a few hours to script all the different terrain types and thereafter I just apply it where needed.

 

To anyone thinking it would be hard... they could just place an invisible overlay, much like what was done with traps until detected, that grant certain effects. Line of sight could likely be dealt with in the same way.

Yep, exactly.

Edited by rjshae

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I think my ideas are a little off topic as they are addressing more of a "Interaction" with the terrain rather than "Cutting down a tree" (works well in Strategy games). I think that many of the trees in Baldur's Gate are props (I might be wrong, but I remember scouring around DLTCEP, NearInfinity and others and I'm pretty sure that there are trees).

 

The rocks erupting from the Earth as the Golem picks it up doesn't have to be a tangible object on screen but something like the Ogre does in Dragon Age: Origins when throwing a boulder (but to be honest, my first impression of it was "Oh come on please, when is a game going to give me that immersion too?").

 

If P:E is similar to Baldur's Gate in this sense, then I believe that encounters will be more static based. Baldur's Gate as an example, there is an Ogre in the Northeastern part of "Crossroads" (Two areas East of Candlekeep). Could not rocks be placed around it that it could use? It all depends on the situation, what is the advantage of the area as well as the disadvantage?

 

Likewise, could my Druid make trees into Ents like the Druid does it in Warcraft 3/Dota?

 

I think that the Druid specifically could benefit a lot as a Class if it could interact more with Nature.

Edited by Osvir
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Why not have things that affect stealth? Stealth has always been, rather ugly in the IE games. But with modern tech having stealth be affected by the amount of lighting falling on the character is easy. As is line of sight (2d Line of Sight is VERY easy). Adding to that you could just have things like undergrowth or etc that help characters stealth through.

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Why not have things that affect stealth? Stealth has always been, rather ugly in the IE games. But with modern tech having stealth be affected by the amount of lighting falling on the character is easy. As is line of sight (2d Line of Sight is VERY easy). Adding to that you could just have things like undergrowth or etc that help characters stealth through.

 

This. I keep pushing this I know, but I really really hate that my rogue can sneak through a darn prairie like it's nothing. Forest? Sure, don't even have to calculate LOS, just imply (modifier) that rogue can hide more effectively in a forest. Flat barren wasteland? Better be one heck of a good rogue.

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