Heroes, activities, combat

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Heroes, activities, combat

Post  Kestrel on Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:48 pm

1. How does staff hope to meld (on the one hand) a relatively realistic combat system (perhaps moreso than any other MUD out there) and (on the other hand) a setting where PCs are very overtly going to be potential heroes? Will NPCs be majorly nerfed? Will there be hero-ish things for PCs to do during the inevitable times when staff are slim/unavailable for a few months here or there?

2. Adding to this, what sort of activities can we expect PCs to be able to generally do without admin assitance, and with, perhaps, only slight to moderate PC support? Will those activities have a potentially meaningful impact on the gameworld or storyworld?

3. It seems as though most of the PCs are going to be combat-capable. How will/can those PCs be differentiated from one another in terms of skills, in-game tactics, etc.?

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Re: Heroes, activities, combat

Post  Bard on Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:59 am

Kith is the best one to answer this.

I know there are some big differences already in combat styles for each weapon (melee and ranged). And that PCs will be more empowered generally than they have been in SoI, for example.

I'll let Kith elaborate more. Smile
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Re: Heroes, activities, combat

Post  Kithrater on Thu Jul 10, 2008 2:26 am

1. How does staff hope to meld (on the one hand) a relatively realistic combat system (perhaps moreso than any other MUD out there) and (on the other hand) a setting where PCs are very overtly going to be potential heroes? Will NPCs be majorly nerfed? Will there be hero-ish things for PCs to do during the inevitable times when staff are slim/unavailable for a few months here or there?

The primary answer to that is: it's not going to be fair for one side. Orcs are going to have inferior weaponry, inferior morale, inferior training, inferior more or less everything -- except for overwhelming numbers. If/when there is enough player interest to open Angband for orkish PCs, things aren't going to change: it's going to be hard work being an orc. So, the majority of combat will be conducted between well-trained men, or excellent-trained elves, and vastly inferior orcs.

On the strict mechanics of superiority, there will be a wide range of combat ability. In SoI, combat scores ranged from 30 to 60 from most people, 30 being a brand new player, and 60 being more or less all you could expect to reach with a normal character. Here, they will range from 20 to 90, and there's not just two skills important in combat (your weapon skill vs their defensive skill), but respective weapon styles influences to result, as well as your knowledge of your opponent's weapon. Furthermore, long-lived PCs will have the opportunity to increase their attributes and abilities. Then there's the accumulation of superior weaponry and armour.

3. It seems as though most of the PCs are going to be combat-capable. How will/can those PCs be differentiated from one another in terms of skills, in-game tactics, etc.?

Attributes play an important role of this - they all do something quite different in combat. They're obvious: strength makes you hit harder, agility makes you hit faster, constitution makes you take more hits, willpower allows you to ignore those hits better, dexterity makes it easer for you to hit, and intelligence increases the amount of skills you can learn, which means you can diversify against more weapon types and become a better fighter.

Then, there what armour a character decides to aim for. Leathers or lighter armours will be very good at moving distances, at sneaking and hiding, and fighting from afar. On the flipside, metal armours will be excellent at taking damage, and fighting up close. Leather-clad opponents will rarely be able to meet metal-clad foes toe-to-toe, but then they might not necessarily have to -- terrain and aim now come in to play. Likewise, there are clear "archer" roles, as the possibility of anyone being an archer because they have a bow on their back is negated by the requirement to string your bow, and the detriments helm and arm armour has on archery power. So, the leather-clads can't merely be snipers, but might aim to soften up their metal-clad foes with throwing weapons or slings before closing to finish. Or you might be a dedicated archer, and then require protection from your melee friends to avoid dying horribly in close combat.

Again, a cap on skill totals comes in to play - the archer might not have as high weaponskills, because he spent more of his limited points on ranged skills. Then, the guy who does nothing but practice sword and shield charges him in combat, and it's all over.

And so on. A lot of this needs to be tested in game, but I hope there's at least a solid groundwork for player diversity there.

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Re: Heroes, activities, combat

Post  Poe on Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:49 pm

What type of weapons are we going to see? I know in SOI not to long ago they took way all rapiers, estocs, and the like because they were not of the correct time period. Are we going to see such here as well?

Will there be brawling tactics involved? Tripping opponents, entangling shields and weapons, head butts, shield bashing and such? I'd love to see this as part of a crit - you not only give a good swing with your blade, but an additional random brawling attack is added with its own chance of succeeding or failin. Hell, the ability to set which brawling tactic you'd like to try when you crit would rock. Perhaps masters then could string two or three together. Thoughts?
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Re: Heroes, activities, combat

Post  Kithrater on Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:10 pm

What type of weapons are we going to see? I know in SOI not to long ago they took way all rapiers, estocs, and the like because they were not of the correct time period. Are we going to see such here as well?

As Bard will happily tell you, I'm being very strict on what sort of weaponry and armour make it in to the game. Each race and culture has their own distinctive styles of weaponry and armour that is also appropriate for the historical period we're looking to emulate (around 400-800 AD Europe). There has also been an attempt to avoid introducing cultural weapons that are out of place, and to explain exactly what is it each culture is producing the type of arms it does.

For instance, the weaponry Bard has built for the Sinda has a distinctly eastern theme of them. You could call their swords "scimitars", or even probably "katanas". But, that makes no sense within the context of the game. So, we've used the base "sword" a lot. I think it has made the items more exotic this way: rather than "a slender, etched scimitar", we have "a slender, recurved, etched sword". Likewise, there aren't any "longswords", "broadswords", "shortswords", "bastardswords", "greatswords": there are swords, and you read the short description and full description to figure out what exactly they're meant to do.

So, as far as diversity goes in weaponry, it won't be high. Each race/culture has 4 to 6 weapons it uses, and they stick to those weapons -- much like happened in history. Cultures found four to six weapons that served 95% of purposes required, and stuck to those weapons, and hired mercenaries on the odd chance they needed to do something different.

Will there be brawling tactics involved? Tripping opponents, entangling shields and weapons, head butts, shield bashing and such? I'd love to see this as part of a crit - you not only give a good swing with your blade, but an additional random brawling attack is added with its own chance of succeeding or failin. Hell, the ability to set which brawling tactic you'd like to try when you crit would rock. Perhaps masters then could string two or three together. Thoughts?

The four "styles" of fighting I want to implement are fighting with a weapon and shield, two weapons, a double-handed weapon, and a sole weapon. Most of what you're describing will fall in to the special abilities of the sole weapon style, to compensate for the disadvantage of not having a shield, second weapon, or bigger weapon, but having a free hand and less to worry about. Likewise, there are similar special abilities shield-users can do at higher levels of the style.

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Re: Heroes, activities, combat

Post  Bard on Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:50 am

To second what Kith has already put above, (and add my own two bobs worth heh):

We really won't be going into exotic weaponry or anything that is "out of character" for each culture - notwithstanding, there are quite a few different weapons etc available in-game across all the different cultures.

We deliberately planned things so that players would see quite a bit of diversity there, but each difference within its own proper context. And much of the many differences are somewhat subtle in nature (think of the Elven cloaks - grey at first glance, then made up of myriad other colours, all blended together beautifully, the closer one looks). We're aiming for a similar feel, in all things.
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