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Sword defense - Engaging multiple enemies - Backpedaling

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Sword Defense 


Assuming you are just going to hit someone with a sword. You will have a harder time trying to hit someone who has a sword in his hand than a person with empty hands. That's because he will force you to keep your distance and has a chance to parry your attacks!


What was missing in so many RPG systems so far is the ability of a weapon to parry and have some defense rating. I think it shouldn't be so hard to implement such a thing in a game. And its usefulness will surely shine in the cases mentioned below...



Engaging Multiple Enemies


Imagine you are back in the Baldur's Gate series, hacking away at multiple enemies. What do you usually do with your fighters? You order all your fighters to focus on one guy to bring him down quickly.



But thinking realistically this doesn't make sense. You should be facing someone who is trying to hit you!


Therefore, I propose that there should be some kind of a penalty when you don't attack an enemy who is attacking you but you prefer to hit someone else. This can be implemented as letting go of the sword defense bonuses which I have explained above and perhaps resulting in some additional defense penalties (due to combatant trying to fight multiple enemies) because you are not facing your enemies.



The extent how high these penalties might be is subjective, but it makes sense to make them cumulative.  This would surely make it a real challange even for a single level 16 fighter to face 10 goblins at the same time.


This will also be an incentive for the players to use disabling spells, use summons, trying to lead the numerously superior enemy to choke points etc.




When you are trying to separate from your enemy and try to withdraw, it is highly risky that you turn your back and start running. Your enemy might score a hit of opportunity at the moment your back is turned to him. Therefore, it makes sense to implement a withdrawal mechanic in the game.


Basically, if your character is fighting an enemy and you order your character to fall back by the walk command, he does so by slowly falling back as he continues fighting. If you order him to run back, he turns his back to his enemy and starts running away. As soon as he turns his back to the enemy, his defense is lowered and his chance of getting stabbed is higher.

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Great post & visualization. Keep it up  :thumbsup:

Some thoughts:
Defense Mode (Fighter ability) would, by this concept, allow the Fighter to get 3 enemies with no penalties, the 4th one would still cause penalties. Additionally, perhaps activating "Defense Mode" by itself could be "Walk Mode". Having it inactivated = Run Mode.

@Insights/Question-to-ask: Defense Mode: Could you target enemies that you'd get "No Penalties" from (Active), or is it completely passive?

Edited by Osvir
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This is rather nice, one assumes some sort of shield (or Main Gauche, buckler, folded up cloak etcetera) would add to the defensive capability?

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.


Tea for the teapot!

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To be honest the aim here is to provide IE-style combat, which means just some attack animations and an 'attack roll' vs some static numbers.


If anything some kind of parry would be associated with defense mode I guess.

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I think beyond the parrying is the benefit of a defensive option somewhere between "use a cool ability to disengage flawlessly from the enemy" and "turn your back and attempt to run while getting your spine sliced open quite easily."


Even just some abstraction of footwork in your melee-fightery would be nice. You know, "I'm gonna fight you off, but I'm not actually trying to go on the offensive and take you down... I'm really just trying to get over here to the window, so that someone outside has a clear shot at your head with a crossbow."


A "controlled retreat," if you will. You're not trying to disengage, but you ARE trying to relocate, albeit much more slowly.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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If you're not 'engaged' then you can run away. I'm sure Fighters will have a break engagement tool (Rogues have an ability, Wizards have that book slap talent :p).


It will be interesting to see whether ALL classes have a break engagement tool ... I might feel disappointed? if they all do.

Edited by Sensuki
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Yes, but if you ARE engaged, and you don't want to run away, but you don't want to stand in the same spot until one of you is dead...


There's room for support for that. In other games, relocation involved running away, then luring that enemy back to you at the location of your choosing. But, in an actual fight, you can maneuver in such a way that you can successfully relocate WHILE still engaging your foe.


You know, "backpedaling," as the OP pointed out, and/or pushing your foe to the edge of a cliff, or into a corner, or a trap switch, etc.


You shouldn't have to completely disengage, then run about like an idiot, playing "PREDICT THAT ENEMY PATH!" just to get someone where you want them.


Of course, nor should it always be ultra-easy to maneuver your foes where you want them.


Hell, maybe there could even be a ground-targeted ability that relocates your foe (engaged in melee combat) to the designated spot (range would be limited to your engagement circle). I don't think Wizards and Priests and such would necessarily have this ability as they would a simple disengagement "Get the Hell Away From Me" ability.


Also of note on this topic is the Rogue's "Reversal" ability, which puts the Rogue on the opposite side of the foe. More like that would be nice.


*Gets backed up to a precipice... uses Reversal... Leonidas-kicks opponent off of terrain edge*.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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What was missing in so many RPG systems so far is the ability of a weapon to parry and have some defense rating.


Actually, the Infinity Engine games did implement this idea implicitly - by giving the attacker a Thac0 bonus, if the target did not have a melee weapon equipped at the time of the attack.


"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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That would really be a good mechanic. Fighting one-on-one is much more exciting than always everyone-on-one. It's also tactically more versatile. 


But I wonder if working only with numerical penalties isn't too abstract. P:E is'nt going to be a PnP-game, nor is it derived from such a system, so we don't need to keep things that easy. 


In NWN, you could only parry as many attacks as you had attacks yourself (even though it never worked). So if you have 4 attacks per round, you could hold yourself against two other fighers with 2 attacks per round. In a defensive mode, you could perhaps raise your number of parries while lowering your number of attacks, chance to counter-attack etc.. I don't know how such a system would work out, but I think it goes into the right direction. Away from only numerical bonuses and penalties. 


Also, keep in mind that a warrior with a greataxe will probably try to keep enemies armed with a daggers at distance, rather than trying to parry their attacks. Taking such things into account, allows for a greater range of fighting styles. 

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