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TB combat that can be quicker than real time! #481718
08/02/14 09:55 PM
08/02/14 09:55 PM
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AirBreather Offline OP
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A few concepts on how to minimally modify the existing turn based combat structure to better suit different play preferences. (*CAVEAT: I've only watched the videos & read the updates, I do not have access to the playable alpha)

Think of the current turn-based system as "100% speed". The player, allies and enemies all do their thing at normal speed, with whatever time that takes.

Here are a few approaches that make combat a lot faster:

Auto-resolve combat: AI takes on role of player, allies and enemies. Entire combat is done in an instant. May optionally choose (at prompting of auto-resolve combat button or in options) to use potions/expendable items, be cautious/aggressive, etc. Could be likely used with mid to lower level enemies in relation to the player, as higher middle level or epic monsters could potentially destroy the AI auto-fast-controlled players. Might be combined with auto-looting. Might be combined with a possible configurable player AI routine/reaction sequence (for smarter or preferred play-styles).

Auto-loot: a white-list and/or blacklist simple interface for what is wanted and/or not wanted when looting. Would only pop up with a message when something new/important comes up, such as burden issues, a new/undefined object, some scripted dialog sequence in relation to an item being taken, etc. (I really hope looting is in the what-you-see-is-what-you-get variety! Please so much!)

Fast-forward turn: this is a one-button press that advances the animation/movement sequence of whatever character/actor/npc's turn it is to the end, with the actions taken by it done in the background. This would work best if there is some sort of text-based combat log which can be viewed as combat goes on (floating damage markers at the end of this turn would also be informative). Easiest if used as keyboard (or hotkey-able) shortcut, and a different one than 'advance/next dialogue'.

Skip animation: check list of the game's animations (either fully populated at the beginning or only spawning options after encountered in-game) that a player can choose to leave as is, have a brief version (maybe some quick stutter-like action? Unsure), or be fully fast-forwarded through/skipped. This can be useful if the main character often uses certain buffing and combat spells, long combat abilities, etc.


Auto Fast-forward turn: this is where it gets complex (or easy - just set auto fast-forward to 'always' for player or enemies or...). Essentially, it is the configuring of fast-forwarded turns under certain circumstances. In order for this to be possible, at the instant of a combat turns beginning (AI) or at the click/finalization of the player's choice, it would have to compare the animation/action sequences with the preferred list of wanted-to-be-skipped sequences. It would also have to log the animation properties of each turn and append them to the 'watched' list. Here are some examples of how it could work:

a) Show only first sequence per combat: this option only shows the first iteration of an animation sequence during combat. Any of the same actions (e.g. movement, same melee attack, etc) in the current battle, are fast-forwarded through instead of played. Useful against high-health, 'tank-like' characters, or any time a large number of the same attacks & strategies would be used, such as a large-scale battle against many of the same opponents.

b) Show only first sequence universally: as combat (above), but it only shows the sequence once in the entire game (perhaps even player profile or installation). Most useful in speed runs and after having completed the game multiple times, restarting/playing the early game the beginning with different builds, etc.

What is defined as an 'unique animation sequence' can be both vague and general, allowing for more or less to be skipped and viewed. In general terms, "male main character movement" would cover a lot - make it unique for every armour type and some more gets seen. Same thing with (melee) attacks - any melee attack, attack with each weapon, attack per every monster target/type, etc.

The auto-fast-forward configuration is about customizing what the player wants to experience in combat, instead of having the same thing again and again.




Questions/my answers/topics of consideration:
Q1) How will auto-resolve/fast-forward/etc work with co-op, multi-play and so on?
A) No idea. Maybe some of these can be single player only features, or some sort of proximity check/agree to same fast combat methods. (Or only for the player's turn that wants it enabled) Even if it is only implemented in single-player I'd be happy!

Q2) Do you hate turn based games?
A) No. Just repeating the *same* turn based/full animation sequences, and especially again and again.

Q3) Do you hate combat in (turn-based) rpgs?
A) More like get fed up with very quickly. I tend to always "roleplay" (/cheat) uber-powered types to steamroll through enemies in order to get to the "good stuff": filling containers with things I found on the ground. Organizing skulls by size and shape. Exploring. Putting all the candles in one house. Quests, stories and so on. Complex, interesting magic rituals. smile The only combat I tend to 'like' is when I select 'Easy' difficulty and it actually IS easy - so many games 'easy' difficulty is not easy enough. :P

Q4) Tracking and logging unique animation sequences would be so much work! How could it possibly be done?!
A) Something like... LOG: Male MC Ver. 6 *with* Plate Armour LV2 *wielding* 2H Sword Ver. 5 *attacking, non-critical* Small Spider Type 2. LOG: Female MC Ver. 2 *with* Chain Armour LV4 *wielding* Magic Staff Ver. 2 *casting* Lightning LV4 *against* Gremlins (multiple) *influenced by* Water Effects.
In the first example, 'new' sequences (even in the same fight) would be criticals and attacking other targets. Changing armour would also result in totally new sequences.
In the second, different spells, targets and spell combos would be new sequences.

Q5) Do you actually expect all of these to be implemented?!
A) No, not really! Ideally, auto-resolve & a fast-forward button could be put in at the minimum. Other ones are just gravy. laugh


- All fast-forward methods should, of course, resume back to normal speed with impending dialogue, cut-scenes, etc. (Which could then be read as normal or hopefully skipped/fast forward-ed through as per clicks, ESC button, etc.)

- Apart from auto-resolve, all these options are centered around making (and seeing the results of) turn-based decisions faster. Think master chess players! Not slow at all. smile

- It is QUITE possible that the combat is SO amazing and varied that none of these options are needed and wanted. It is not impossible... So I'm not stressed in any case. smile

- If the above suggestions were implemented, my preferences would be something like this:
-- Show only first sequence universally: show only first instance of every animation sequence, with player dependent armour & weapons and environmental effects & monsters defined as new sequences. I would use 'per combat' initially (or maybe just leave it vanilla), especially if the fights are interesting.
-- Auto-resolve combat: moderately use it for dealing with weaker enemies, mopping up, etc.

Re: TB combat that can be quicker than real time! [Re: AirBreather] #481720
08/02/14 11:00 PM
08/02/14 11:00 PM
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Stabbey Offline
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Are you really sure that you've watched the videos?


There will be no AI control for your side of the battles. If battles are so easy that they can be fought without user input, there isn't really any point in having them in the first place! Battles in this game are supposed to be challenging and require attention. Auto-piloting your way through them is impossible.

What are you talking about "auto-loot"? There are things on the ground. You click on them to pick them up. If you do not want to pick them up, you do not pick them up. There are things in crates. If you want to leave items in crates behind, you right-click only on the items you want to take, and leave the rest.

Options to skip animations and fast-forward turns are also a problem because of the co-op feature. If someone drops in, and one has the skip settings on and one has them off, that's desynchronizing, which you can't have in multiplayer.

As someone who's played, the combat is exciting enough and commands your attention enough that I'm much more concerned with the actual fight instead of the animations.

Last edited by Stabbey; 09/02/14 12:42 PM. Reason: fxnhfghjgh
Re: TB combat that can be quicker than real time! [Re: Stabbey] #481729
09/02/14 01:29 AM
09/02/14 01:29 AM
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Raze Offline

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On the other hand, in one of the fights past the north gate leaving Cyseal, if your party is spread out (or if 3 are spread out, and one goes up the wrong path to join them and triggers the fight... hypothetically) it can take a while for the mage and a couple boars to head around the long way, so I could certainly see using a 'skip movement' function.

If the game is balanced well there should not be a lot of very easy fights, but with the freedom to explore wherever you wish, you are probably going to fight a few higher level opponents early, and get to lower level opponents later, so a 'skip to my next turn' function could be useful. I'm not sure that would be needed enough to justify the effort to implement, though, and if used too much could cause problems (you could miss seeing behaviour and tactics used by opponents in non-easy fights, etc).

Re: TB combat that can be quicker than real time! [Re: Raze] #481735
09/02/14 07:04 AM
09/02/14 07:04 AM
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Cromcrom Offline
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I am concerned that once you become powerfull, the open world game might be bogged down by some to easy fights.

Auto loot is a great idea IMHO. You could be looking for specific things, that could improve your chance to find these things, for example.
However I think it would be quite difficult to code.

Last edited by Cromcrom; 11/02/14 06:12 AM.

Un chemin de 1000 lieues commence par un premier pas.

Project:
Steam workshop Frontiere
Re: TB combat that can be quicker than real time! [Re: Cromcrom] #481763
10/02/14 04:30 AM
10/02/14 04:30 AM
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AirBreather Offline OP
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AirBreather  Offline OP
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Thanks for all the replies.

Potentially the easiest and most desired would be a quick 'skip to end-of-turn' button. And it could be implemented via an options popup when other players join, something like:

"One one more players wants to use the quick-end turn button on the game you are joining. Please select from the below options:"
"Enable shared use of quick end-turn button for your turn for others?" [X]
"Enable shared use of quick end-turn button for NPCs?" [X]
etc.

I've played large amounts of turn-based combat rpgs. Probably the most notable ones would be Spiderweb Software's Geneforge and other series.

What I LIKE about turn-based combat is the time to make tactical and strategic choices. What I *don't* like is watching the whole bloody process 20, 100, 500 times... Imagine playing chess where every piece 'walked', exchanged 'blows' and did a 'victory dance' after a battle. Ehhh. Sure, it'd be cute the first few times, but then...

Watching the videos were great, actually. Combat was not too slow or anything. This is all about a preventive measure - making the game more manageable after the Xth run through it (and also actually as a response to that guy who said he played it for 1 minute and hated it! Ahhh! Sad! ;( .

I also plan to get awesome and mop up the weenie trash mobs at some point. :P

Re: TB combat that can be quicker than real time! [Re: AirBreather] #481789
10/02/14 02:44 PM
10/02/14 02:44 PM
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Ithiloneth Offline
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Just straight up NO. I don't want any of these things taking time from development. If I wanted World of Warcraft style mechanics I'd go play that instead. The game has little benefit from any of these things and if you can't be bothered to stop for thirty seconds because you run into an enemy in an RPG then I don't think you and I have the same idea about how an RPG should work. The charming thing about this game is the fact that there are no shortcuts, no lazy way out. All actions and choices have consequences and need consideration.

What I *could* imagine being implemented is a roleplay method for avoiding combat, convincing the enemy that you are much stronger than them for example. But it is important that hidden things, such as level are not allowed to influence this. Rather, stats like Intimidation, Strength and any other statistic that is detectable simply by looking at the PCs could be used.

I'm not saying that your idea is bad by default, just that I don't think it fits with this kind of game, not in my opinion.

Last edited by Ithiloneth; 10/02/14 02:45 PM.
Re: TB combat that can be quicker than real time! [Re: Ithiloneth] #481853
10/02/14 08:59 PM
10/02/14 08:59 PM
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What I would like to see instead is a wait option for one of my characters. I can only perform an action or not. If all my heros have higher speed then the enemies - I would like to wait with A and attack with B first, instead of being forced to attack in ABCD order.

Re: TB combat that can be quicker than real time! [Re: Ithiloneth] #482235
11/02/14 03:29 AM
11/02/14 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted By: Ithiloneth
Just straight up NO. I don't want any of these things taking time from development. If I wanted World of Warcraft style mechanics I'd go play that instead. The game has little benefit from any of these things and if you can't be bothered to stop for thirty seconds because you run into an enemy in an RPG then I don't think you and I have the same idea about how an RPG should work. The charming thing about this game is the fact that there are no shortcuts, no lazy way out. All actions and choices have consequences and need consideration.

...


Even a simple skip-to-end-of-turn button? WoW like? Seriously? SERIOUSLY? think The only thing that I can imagine even being slightly WoW-like would be any kind of auto-loot.

I do not get how any of the suggestions that were put forward change the gameplay mechanics. Players get to make the exact same choices - the only difference is the time it takes to see the RESULTS of those choices.



Just think. Way portals are cheesy, right? Wouldn't it be more 'hardcore' to walk everywhere, manually? Its rather a cop-out to have portals... Kinda like WoW maybe? :p Just imagine you needed a map. That you bought. And a compass, to show your spot (Ultima 7 anyone?!). And there was no auto-map, either, because that is cheesy as well... Kind of a cop out. Lazy way out. A shortcut.

What if the dialog was presented in a "slow read" style, each letter showing up one by one? And you COULD not change it. Who cares that you can read faster, think faster? Can't skip or advance text either. Just sit there. And wait. Skipping text? Nope. Definately a cop out. A lazy way out. A shortcut. (And cinematics! Cut scenes! Bloody game logo movies!!!!)

And magic? One button click? Cooldowns?! DAMNNNN, thats SOOO CHEEESY! IN fact, it is REALLY WoW like! Definately a cop out. A lazy way out. A shortcut. Remember Ultima 7? Spellbook? Collecting reagrants? Ultima 8 (pre-patch!) - making that summoning pentagram for the demon talisman *just right*? A few pixels off and it did not work? Heh.

And TRAINING? Yep. Skill books. VERY VERY WoW-like! Ultima 7... Going to an actual trainer, getting an in game experience. Probably others, if I looked deep. Skill books... ? Definately a cop out. A lazy way out. A shortcut.

Hitpoint displays? So cheesy. Such a cop out. What a shortcut...

Hotbars? ...

I could go on and on... Meh.

Those examples are rather obvious.

And you know? I don't REALLY CARE at ALL about those 'cop outs'. I GREATLY enjoy being able to fast travel, to skip dialog I can read in under a second, to see the players spot on a mini-map, to get an idea of a target's health and ability, to have hot-button access to abilities... (Magic & training is for another post, heh!) They all give me and other players the ability to CHOOSE when, where and HOW they want to spend and focus their attention and time. What I'm wanting is MORE of that choice (*especially* in single player IMHO!).

I'm applying the same PLAYER-DRIVEN ideas to combat: to make *decisions* and see them carried out as fast as the player wants. This should apply to ANY activity the player wants: dialog, movement, combat. Its just become commonplace and accepted for movement and fast travel. (The Eschalon Book rpg series even has an in-game achievement for not using fast travel stones! Also a turn-based worldwide movement/action system which is rather elegant, rogue-like I think)

I don't care about 30 seconds. The first time. Do enough, and the time adds up. This is about giving the player the choice where to spend their visual attention time.

Re: TB combat that can be quicker than real time! [Re: AirBreather] #482242
11/02/14 06:10 AM
11/02/14 06:10 AM
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Cromcrom Offline
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@Airbreather
although I agree with you on some ideas, that could really speed up the game, I think you should consider that DoS might not be the game for you.

Quote:
What I would like to see instead is a wait option for one of my characters. I can only perform an action or not. If all my heros have higher speed then the enemies - I would like to wait with A and attack with B first, instead of being forced to attack in ABCD order.

+1


Un chemin de 1000 lieues commence par un premier pas.

Project:
Steam workshop Frontiere
Re: TB combat that can be quicker than real time! [Re: Cromcrom] #482247
11/02/14 07:15 AM
11/02/14 07:15 AM
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AirBreather Offline OP
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Eh, I'll see. Already a must buy regardless of any factors - too little decent rpgs around. laugh

Peace.

Re: TB combat that can be quicker than real time! [Re: AirBreather] #482251
11/02/14 08:27 AM
11/02/14 08:27 AM
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A toggle/slider for faster animation speeds would be helpful, and it shouldn't cause any desync issues since the game can simply use the host's settings in multiplayer sessions.

I do actually feel that some kind of auto-pickup would be helpful, although the only distinction I really feel it would need to make is that it shouldn't take anything that would constitute stealing.

Re: TB combat that can be quicker than real time! [Re: AirBreather] #482756
20/02/14 08:40 AM
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Ithiloneth Offline
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I actually would prefer many of the things you mention to be more oldschool. Like say making the automap rely on a cartography skill and requiring certain gear like a compass. But I don't pretend to be able to change the devs vision of what the game should be like, nor do I think it is my place to *try* to do so. I will however voice my opinion on the matter; I don't like easy way outs when it comes to the way the game is designed. The important part is that the game is fair. What I have seen of the game so far it seems to me that each road you travel goes in just the one direction; forcing you to go backwards inorder to go back home. You can't circle around through the woods on your way back home - thus the portals remove an annoying and contrived aspect of the game. Would I have prefered having to walk but being able to do so in a more "free" manner? Probably. Do I think that is neccessarily right for D:OS? Nope.

TL;DR I do prefer the suggested alternatives but I don't pretend that everyone would. I simply want to voice my opinion against *further* detachment from oldschool.


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