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The problem with binary Melee Engagement in a real-time game - it's not just about the visual feedback


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I just checked the v278 beta and it's the same there.

There is no safe zone, you get hit immediately.

 

But like i mentioned before, i don't think having a safe zone will actually allow you to move at all most of the time.

Because 80% of the battle one of your characters will be engaged by a minimum of 2 people. So that means even if all enemies have a safe zone, you will only be able to move where they overlapping, or you will get hit by at least 1 disengagement attack.

 

 

The ONLY way i think this mechanic would be of use, is if they do the following:

When you try to move away from your opponent they will stand still for a short time, so that if you go too far, they will hit you with a disengagement attack.

However if you move only to the edge of the disengagement zone and wait a second there, then the enemy will move close to you again.

Then you can move to the edge of the zone again, and after a second the enemy will move toward you again, to close the gap.

This way you can keep moving bit by bit across the battlefield.

 

However for this to work the disengagement zone would have to be unreasonably large, and if you count in game lag, you would probably end up with characters hitting disengagement attacks 5 meters away, so that might cause problems for the "sticky" mechanic. Also it falls apart when you are engaged by 3 enemies, as you can only move to the edge of maximum 2 at a time, the way geometry works.

Edited by Cubiq
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Hmmm... well, if multiple people are engaging you simultaneously, it kinda makes sense that you'd pretty much be unable to move. However, if you're fighting a single target, there's plenty of footwork and movement that can go on, without every milli-instant incurring an attack of opportunity.

 

In general, that's just one of those things that's always been quite rigid in cRPGs. Either that, or the absolute opposite. "You can jog around this guy all day long, and he can't do anything to you! 8D!" But... being completely locked in-place in such otherwise-fluid combat seems a bit counter-productive, if you ask me.

 

I don't know how to "fix" this off the top of my head, and I understand that it's tricky, but I believe it warrants further evaluation and attempts.

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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Footwork is a big part of melee duels. That's why it looks odd to have opponents nailed to the ground. The inability to move around an enemy even a tiny bit might be a current bug, but I have an idea I'd like to share.

 

What if...

- a critical hit made the attacker gain ground

- a critical miss made the attacker lose ground

?

 

I guess it wouldn't matter much in the grand scheme of things, but it would make melee combat look less static. And add a little bit of unpredictability. In similar vein, several abilities could have an additional effect of pushing both engaged duelists around a few steps. Things like shield bash, trampling attacks, unarmed grapple(this one would pull). An unarmed brawler could grab the opponent and drag him out of sight of ranged allies, so that they can't support him.

Edited by b0rsuk
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  • 2 weeks later...

Ideas on how to tweak engagement mechanic to work better (as intented?):

 

-when character-critters both move, consider noone is engaging anyone

 

-disengagement hits replace normal atks, but have them happen on the spot & refresh the wait time between atks (this not limiting fighters ability to engage multiple targets, he will strike each & every one of them

 

-for the love of jesus add animation to those atks

Matilda is a Natlan woman born and raised in Old Vailia. She managed to earn status as a mercenary for being a professional who gets the job done, more so when the job involves putting her excellent fighting abilities to good use.

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Footwork is a big part of melee duels. That's why it looks odd to have opponents nailed to the ground. The inability to move around an enemy even a tiny bit might be a current bug, but I have an idea I'd like to share.

 

What if...

- a critical hit made the attacker gain ground

- a critical miss made the attacker lose ground

?

 

I guess it wouldn't matter much in the grand scheme of things, but it would make melee combat look less static. And add a little bit of unpredictability. In similar vein, several abilities could have an additional effect of pushing both engaged duelists around a few steps. Things like shield bash, trampling attacks, unarmed grapple(this one would pull). An unarmed brawler could grab the opponent and drag him out of sight of ranged allies, so that they can't support him.

 

It would be a mess. Positioning in the RTWP is hard enough to control as it is, without the characters moving around of their own accord.

Edited by centurionofprix
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They wouldn't move of their own accord. They could have essentially waypoints. But, instead of targets of a simple move command -- "Move to here" -- it would be more like a target for combat movement -- "If you move while fighting, move toward here."

 

Think of combat movement, functionally, as a simple move command being executed amid a gauntlet of crowd-control spellcasters. If you tell someone to move over to a signpost, from where they are, they're going to take off running toward that signpost. Every time they get hit with a slow, or knocked down, etc, their movement will be impeded. But, the whole time, they resume moving toward that whenever they get the chance.

 

And enemy ground gained (pushing you "back," or whichever way the enemy's movement goal is, I guess) is similar to the effect of the Fear spell in a lot of RPGs now. It sort of hijacks control of your character, and makes them run not-where-you-want-them-to. Until it's over, at which point your character is free to resume their previous movement.

 

*shrug*. Would it be a simple thing to just code in real quick? Probably not. But, the design itself is not that complex. You'd probably just want to have incorporated it into your game prior to this late in development, is all.

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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@Hormalakh

Any thoughts on solving the problem cubiq? I see a lot of disagreements, valid as they might be, but no real solutions.

My solution is to scrap the whole engagement mechanic, since it's clearly going to be massively buggy. But i'm sure no one wants to talk about that. :p

The NWN series had the same thing, with exactly the same problems. Sometimes when you try to run around your opponent, you would get hit instantly by 2-4 attacks of opportunity, because the position checking was buggy, and your pathing AI would screw it up.

I was against the idea the first time Josh mentioned, however no one really listened, so i'm not even going to bother with that argument anymore.

It's fine if you post your suggestions, i'm just telling you what i think would cause problems, based on my personal experience with the beta.

 

 

Sorry for the extremely late reply. As time continues to pass, this is becoming more and more likely to be the right answer - getting rid of the mechanic altogether. I was skeptical at first when AoO was mentioned (not having played other games like NWN which had a mechanic similar to this)  and said that if it was to be implemented it had to be done right with edge cases considered and solutions implemented.

 

It just seems that they don't even have the mechanic working correctly in the first place with all the bugs, let alone making sure edge cases are considered. If the mechanic is too difficult to get right, I'd rather they get rid of it and come up with more intuitive solutions to their problems (kiting and ranged weapons). Other solutions have been mentioned and should get tried as well. Non-creative approaches to difficult problems will continue to give the same old problems as before.

Edited by Hormalakh

My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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