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Will we ever see an cRPG with semi-realistic combat?


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Secondly, I find this discussion about realistic combat moot since I doubt of us has any actual medieval combat experience.

 

I may not have medieval combat experience, but I have had experience casting magic missles, fireballs and horrid wilting.

 

Totally legit.

 

Was it Tacos night?

 

Curry.

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Interesting concept - but I have one question:

How do you imagine realistic combat given a typical fantasy setting?

Most RPG games will have you fighting different monsters all the way from common rats to dragons.

Combat systems tend to be designed to ignore the most obvious combat factors like enemy numbers or relative body mass.

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I don't know how this can work without the game having a very action-y type of combat. If you're going to get killed in one or two hits, the player is likely going to want that to be mostly within their hands, not in hands of the dice a la BG. I like that kind of combat in shooters like Metro 2033 (on the hardest difficulty) or Stalker, where you die in one or two hits - but so do enemies - but it works because I have actual strategies I can use to make sure I *won't* get hit. With a CRPG like Baldur's Gate...what exactly do I do? Use stealth and hope the gods smile upon me for the first strike and there's never more than one enemy I have to fight at a time? Obviously, there'd be some things you *could* do, but it'd still boil down to mostly luck, and I don't think that'd be much fun.

 

But hey, if a developer wants to make some great combat system where it does work, be my guest!

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I don't know how this can work without the game having a very action-y type of combat. If you're going to get killed in one or two hits, the player is likely going to want that to be mostly within their hands, not in hands of the dice a la BG. I like that kind of combat in shooters like Metro 2033 (on the hardest difficulty) or Stalker, where you die in one or two hits - but so do enemies - but it works because I have actual strategies I can use to make sure I *won't* get hit. With a CRPG like Baldur's Gate...what exactly do I do? Use stealth and hope the gods smile upon me for the first strike and there's never more than one enemy I have to fight at a time? Obviously, there'd be some things you *could* do, but it'd still boil down to mostly luck, and I don't think that'd be much fun.

 

But hey, if a developer wants to make some great combat system where it does work, be my guest!

In a medieval setting you wouldn't die from just one blow,unless its a lethal blow to vital areas that cause instant death. In a CRPG setting a realistic medieval combat wouldn't work simply because CRPGs have a bad habit of always putting you in encounters where you're are outnumbered and limiting the amount of companions you can travel with. So unless you're a band of mounted knights fighting hordes of peasants I'm pretty sure that numbers will eventually win out. Particularly if the developers forget to program panic into the AI.

I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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For the last few years, I've been thinking about how much I dislike some of the bog-standard rules of cRPG combat - rules which mostly spring from D&D originally.  These include:

 

1.  You can get hit dozens of times by something pointy (or even shot by a gun) without any real effect.  Your "hit points" may go down whatever that means.  In real life, if you stabbed someone they would almost invariably either be dead, dying, or so maimed as to be nearly useless in combat.  Perhaps if they were hopped up on adrenaline, and highly trained, they'd maintain focus even with a major wound.  But for the most part, you get hit and you're down for the count.  

 

2.  PCs can take on "trash mobs" which outnumber them significantly in hand-to-hand combat.  Again, this always struck me as just plain wrong, because generally speaking a three guys with no combat training at all will win a fight against one guy who knows what he is doing.  It's why peasant mobs were potentially so dangerous to knights in the middle ages.  Unless you have some serious method of crowd control (being mounted, using terrain to your advantage, etc) you simply shouldn't be able to beat bigger mobs easily, even if they are low level.

 

3.  Although not all games are like this, the kamikaze mechanic of many RPGs bothers me.  I suppose if you're talking about supernatural enemies, or trained soldiers, a frontal charge and a fight to the death is perhaps understandable.  But, for example, if you're facing down a pack of wolves, once you kill half of them the other half should attempt to cut their losses and disperse.  The same goes double for self-aware (and self-interested) enemies like bandits - they're out for easy gold, not to get slaughtered.  

 

Basically, I'd love to see an cRPG someday where traditional combat is inherently risky, tactical, and most importantly, rare.  For whatever reason, body counts have always been way too high (sometimes an order of magnitude too high) in cRPGs compared to paper and pen.  Unless you're on an active campaign taking place during a war, you shouldn't be fighting to the death with enemies every friggin day.  Hunting in the forest with ranged weapons or a spear?  Sure.  Ambushing, and even outright murdering people frequently?  If that's how you roll.  Getting into fistfights at the local tavern?  Fine.  But you shouldn't be running into random groups of mooks just waiting to charge and get bled out.  Spending less time on trash encounters would give developers more time to focus on the elements which make an RPG truly shine, such as offering a variety of roleplaying options.  

 

Anyway, that's just my two cents.  I wonder if anyone agrees with me.

#1 Hit points have always been an abstraction that represent physical durability, skill, luck, and grace extended to the level-up capable PCs and NPCs by the Powers of the multiverse. It's silly to take them as merely representing physical durability and I'm perfectly alright with the concept.

 

#2 Mobs are dangerous in RPGs if the DM knows his business, but they're not terribly dangerous in cRPGs as the former allow for overbearing/wrestling and the latter do not. One could theoretically implement a cumulative "to hit" bonus for every attacker going after a single target (e.g. 1 on 1, no bonus; 2 on 1, +2 to hit for each of the attackers going after the same target). Alternately, some chance of knockdown or prone status could be applied to the single defending character being mobbed if a certain ratio of attacking levels versus defending levels is achieved by the mob.

 

#3 I agree, but forcing the PC party to track fleeing bandits that fail their morale check in order to eliminate the "engaged in combat" status seems to be something of a sticking point, especially if the bandits can go to a different map. If you can't disengage from combat, you often can't have a conversation or do other "non-combat" things until the status lapses.

http://cbrrescue.org/

 

Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forests and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoors experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person.----Fred Bear

 

http://michigansaf.org/

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Reminds one of Ivanhoe, more than half the novel our young hero spends in his sickbed, recovering from his wounds. Or Betrayal at Krondor, though with herbal kits and restoratives one could increase ones healing rate. 

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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