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Update #44: The Rules of (Melee) Engagement

project eternity josh sawyer combat engagement

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#161
Macs

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Nice tidbits about grimoires. I interpret it like that: to cast a spell, you need some sort of spell focus. So, maybe you could use totems and hang your whole body full of items, or you can draw some kind of symbol on a sheet of paper and put it into your enchanted war-book, so you have a selection of spells ready to use without taking up a whole lot of space and weight. Extra bonus: the hide of the grimoire itself is enchanted with some kind of shockwave spell to get rid of pesky little melee fighters.



#162
Monte Carlo

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Beating up people with reinforced combat books is deeply cool and anybody who can't see that needs their head examining.


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#163
Monte Carlo

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Sawyer, was the keening, haunting croak from Hawk The Slayer?

 

Hawktheslayer-voltan.jpg

 

 

OH NOES!!!



#164
TheSadDragon

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Hello All,

 

I got a related question on the topic of Melee Characters, even it not exactly related to the Melee Engagement Mechanic.

 

In most, if not all, CRPGs you end up with a strange power divide between the Melee Classes and the Mage Classes where the power starts in favour of the Melee Classes and then gradually shifts to the Mage Classes. Some of this might have to do with the fact that a lot of CRPGs are influenced by the DnD and other d20 games. Another part might simply be that most CRPGs try to keep it somewhat realistic and that in turn makes it easier to come up with jaw-dropping spells that would be cool to have but to compensate the mages need to be "hard to master" -- or simply hard pressed to survive long enough to learn the spells.

 

I was wondering what's Obsidian's oppinion on this for Project Eternity.

Are we going to see the classic power evolution where a mage starts out as relativly weak and then becomes powerfull were as the fighter goes the other way around?

Or are we going to see some mechanics put in place so that both classes evolve throughout the game without much, if any, power gap between them?

 

Sorry if this has been asked before -- but it hasn't been adressed in the QnA's and at least not in this thread so I figured I should go ahead and post it.

 

 

Thanks for the updates, always fun to check out how the game is progressing!

 

-TSD


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#165
Somna

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Nice tidbits about grimoires. I interpret it like that: to cast a spell, you need some sort of spell focus. So, maybe you could use totems and hang your whole body full of items, or you can draw some kind of symbol on a sheet of paper and put it into your enchanted war-book, so you have a selection of spells ready to use without taking up a whole lot of space and weight. Extra bonus: the hide of the grimoire itself is enchanted with some kind of shockwave spell to get rid of pesky little melee fighters.

Not necessarily. It could easily be that this style of magic uses a focus to, well, focus the soul's power a specific way, while another style (like possibly Cipher magic) doesn't care about foci.

#166
rjshae

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Beating up people with reinforced combat books is deeply cool and anybody who can't see that needs their head examining.

 

Especially when wielding the great two-handed grimoire...

 

43ae6ca5-76ef-667b.jpg


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#167
mars84

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Thanks for the update.

 

I was wondering how the disengagement attacks would work with mind-control/crowd control abilities? Could I mind control an enemy and constantly have the disengage my melee fighter to score free attacks?

 

If my melee fighter was surrounded by smaller enemies, could I cast a fear spell on them to score free disengagement attacks on them as they run away? Would this be equal to the number engaged or can this be upped? It would be cool to have a combo where you could send weaker enemies running and then clean them up with disengagement attacks.

 

Finally, how would the animation system work for all of this? If a fighter was mid-swing and and an opponent disengages, would they escape freely if they could do so before the attack animation ends? I would hope because it would be jarring for the disengagement system to trigger a disengagement attack if they cannot physically complete the swing in time.


Edited by mars84, 03 March 2013 - 06:05 AM.


#168
TheSadDragon

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Finally, how would the animation system work for all of this? If a fighter was mid-swing and and an opponent disengages, would they escape freely if they could do so before the attack animation ends? I would hope because it would be jarring for the disengagement system to trigger a disengagement attack if they cannot physically complete the swing in time.

 

 

They could do this by animation switching where they continue the swing to hit both the targets in some way. It also depends a bit on how real-time, real-time is. I'm guessing it's all turnbased in the background in which case both actions will be resolved after one another and thus makes it easier for the engine to have a solution in place for times like the one in your example. If its supposed to happen at the exact same time I'm guessing we will see some priority queue in the background that determin which attack should take priority -- or if we are lucky, we might be able to influence the priority queue.

 

-TSD



#169
Tamerlane

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At present, they do not plan to animate disengagement attacks, just as opportunity attacks were not animated in NWN and NWN2 and extra attacks per round were not animated in the IE games. They've said that if they hope to find a more elegant solution, but don't hold your breath. It is this way specifically to avoid the problem of "what happens if someone disengages mid-swing?"

 

And there are no hidden turns/rounds. It's entirely real-time.


Edited by Tamerlane, 03 March 2013 - 09:48 AM.


#170
ddillon

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^ These "problems" are indicators that attacks of opportunity and engagement mechanics aren't suited to this genre (real time with pause) and that these systems don't make sense in a real-time context (being able to attack a fleeing a opponent while currently attacking another). This is why I suggested that engagement be an active mode that causes fighters to lose all or at least half of their normal attacks per round while using it, because this would instill at least some sense of sanity and balance. Fighters already quickly butcher virtually all other classes (excepting fighter variants of course) in close quarters combat, and this mechanic seems designed to make things even worse, to make it damn near impossible to flee. At this point, I'm hoping that (as mentioned) the engagement area is *very* small and *not* enlarged by gaining levels, taking feats/talents, etc. Maybe then it won't be the nightmare that it seems... here's hoping for the best.

Edited by ddillon, 03 March 2013 - 05:13 PM.


#171
Tamerlane

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Fighters already quickly butcher virtually all other classes (excepting fighter variants of course) in close quarters combat, and this mechanic seems designed to make things even worse, to make it damn near impossible to flee.

It must be nice having such hands-on experience with games that don't yet exist. Hey, have you played the new Torment game yet? Debating whether or not I want to throw money at its Kickstarter campaign.



#172
ddillon

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^ Obviously I was making a comment on fighters in general in the IE and Aurora games... you know, the inspiration for PE? And of course in the video Sawyer is talking about fighters in the IE and expanding and 'fixing' those mechanics... So, yeah... You a bit slow?

Edit: On a diplomatic note, I don't know you, so perhaps you meant that as good-natured humor to make the point (that this is a different game, that fighters might not insta-kill most other classes in PE, etc)... If so, take no offense from my return jab. Internet communication and all that. ;)

Edited by ddillon, 03 March 2013 - 09:05 PM.


#173
Tamerlane

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A little from column A and a little from column B. It was a joke, but yeah, you are assuming too much about What Fighters Are Like in PE. Hell, when people talk about fighters in the IE games, "underpowered" is usually the word that gets thrown around, so I don't really get where this fear about fighters being too good at fighting comes from.

 

Besides that, engagement is not a thing only fighters can do. Fighters have at least one feat that makes them better at engaging. They might have more and they might not. Other classes might have feats that improve how they engage or they might not. But as it stands - and if I'm mistaken, someone please tell me to shut the **** up - as it stands, anyone holding a melee weapon can engage another enemy.



#174
Elerond

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In my opinion control areas, in this case engagement area, work fine in tactic or strategy based real time games, especially those with pause. Because they add consideration and variation to tactics what one should use.

 

And I think this update's rule system would work fine if it is tuned correctly. As normally character can only engage one character at time, so if you don't want your character to be engaged you only need to move another character to same engagement. And rules give additions like fighters can engage three characters at the time, but with cost of their offensive abilities, so fighter can block three enemies at the time, but this also means that fighter can't him/her self get rid off those enemies and s/he must hope that his or her allies come help or do their rangerd mojo before s/he is overrunned. And roques have abilities to unengage them at their own will with out any consequences. Barbarians can run through enemy lines. And other classes probably will have some abilities also. So engagement system brings new challenges but also ways to solve those challenges.

 

Engagements will also give more important role for formations, as front men can stop enemy at least for short time before they can pursue your class cannon's etc. long range characters. So it is not any more necessary to try confuse enemy's pathfinding as gameplay mechanics now give legit way to block enemys path.

 

Because we don't even know basic rule set how combat goes in PE (except that there will not be combat rounds), so I would not start yet yelling how one mechanic will cause fighters or any other class to be dominant in combat as it all depends how rules work and how balance between classes is made.


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#175
ScytheKnight

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Was really interesting to note how it was mentioned that an ability like a defensive stance, will make it easier for a fighter type to control an area for things like attacks of oppertunity.

 

A very small but really great little thing, it makes a fighter as much about battlefield control as damage dealing. As mentioned in the older Infinity engine games fighters could often wind up a pinata with a pointy stick... they just walked accross the battlefield and wacked the other guys over the head until they cried... every step getting pounded by spells and ranged attacks.

 

But with a system like this it's a different story, now a fighter can place themselves strategicly to control a choke point or 'back to back' with a more vulerable party member to protect them. The biggest thing is they now have a role on the battlefield beyond being able to hit the other guy more then they get hit.



#176
ddillon

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Somehow I missed this before:

We're not making a single-character MMO.  We're making a party-based RPG.  We're making it to appeal to the general tastes of audiences that have played D&D-based tactical party RPGs in the past.  Yes, when you play a single character, having that single character be locked down is annoying because your only character is prevented from moving.  You have a whole party to use.

Mind-boggling post...

Haven't played Dragon Age: Origins? Not even aware of it?

Go play DA:O now.

If it's not your cup of tea, fine, but playing on dislike of MMOs does *not* work as a dismissal of threat-based mechanics for a party-based game.

Edited by ddillon, 04 March 2013 - 03:52 AM.


#177
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Great update, great video. Loving the Engagement mechanic :)

Thoughts on AI: IF the encounter is intelligent enough would they place themselves in the Engagement circle (which seems to be an unfavorable position for them) or is there another way to gain favor above the Player? Can the AI Rogue throw a "snare" (or something to stun or impair the Fighter) at the Fighter, making it easier for the Rogue to simply skip past him/her and engage the Wizard?

If you were the AI Rogue, would you jump straight into the engagement, hoping to get past the Player Fighter & then score a critical hit on the Wizard, or would you wait up by the doorway and try to sneak past the Fighter as he engages? Don't know if my point is coming across entirely, but would it be a wise choice for the AI Rogue to engage the Fighter in the doorway?

If intelligent enough of course, a mindless zombie or a dumb Fighter might not take positioning into account and just charge head on, but the more sophisticated classes. Perhaps the AI Cipher would Charm/Control the Fighter to fight for him, putting the Player Wizard in a very bad position.

How can the AI play against the Player and not into the Player's hand?

Player: "Yes! I got him now in my positioning! If he engages I'll win"
AI: "I think not" *ZAP*
Player: "Oh sh...!"



#178
Tamerlane

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Somehow I missed this before:

We're not making a single-character MMO.  We're making a party-based RPG.  We're making it to appeal to the general tastes of audiences that have played D&D-based tactical party RPGs in the past.  Yes, when you play a single character, having that single character be locked down is annoying because your only character is prevented from moving.  You have a whole party to use.

Mind-boggling post...

Haven't played Dragon Age: Origins? Not even aware of it?

Go play DA:O now.

If it's not your cup of tea, fine, but playing on dislike of MMOs does *not* work as a dismissal of threat-based mechanics for a party-based game.

But... that quote has nothing to do with threat mechanics?



#179
Monte Carlo

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The DA:O 'Threat' / Aggro mechanics kinda sucked... and I'm not an instinctive DA:O hater and kind of enjoyed the combat.



#180
rjshae

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The DA:O 'Threat' / Aggro mechanics kinda sucked... and I'm not an instinctive DA:O hater and kind of enjoyed the combat.

 

I didn't mind the Threat mechanics; it was the 'run around and skirmish' nature of combat that didn't work for me. There just wasn't much of a meaningful tactical flavor to it.







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