We're all incredibly busy with E3 arrangements this week, but It was totally worth every minute of overtime spent. I can't wait until R5 shows you guys the video of the demo. But anyway... I'll be posting the comlink in R5's absence today with some information on the combat prototype we've been discussing on the boards.
Please keep in mind that although we have this prototype working internally it's entirely possible that nothing will be like it is described here or we may end up not adding this to the game at all. You guys wanted to get more of the behind-the-scenes scoop on development and here it is.
Without further ado, here's what we're going to give you guys to play around with on TC sometime late next week:
Motivation & Goals
Overall, the majority feedback we've collected from the boards and elsewhere suggests that combat is currently perceived to resolve too quickly, thus leaving little room for strategic choices or meaningful attacks beyond the standard left-click shot. With the GCW becoming a major factor in our game within the near future, we want to make sure that the core combat system is enjoyable for most players as combat will be a major aspect of the war.
The goal of these rule changes is to
Bring strategy back into combat
Decrease default attack speeds to possibly allow for more natural looking animations while at the same time keeping the overall "laser shooting", action-paced feel that combat currently has.
While not immediately part of this change, these changes lend themselves to bringing back the combat log so players can once more track combat in greater detail.
These changes also directly play into the upcoming Expertise system where players will be able to permanently modify some of their combat "variables" by spending points in some of the Expertise trees. A player might increase her chance to land "critical hits" for instance. Read on to get some details about crits and glancing blows at the end of this comlink.
Base Combat Changes
Weapon damage will be adjusted upward (this is what we've been calling the "weapon retrofit", i.e. we're retrofitting the weapons for more damage) to account for the damage we are removing from combat caused by being a particular level. Currently a player does most of her damage based on what level she is. This will no longer be the case.
Damage against an unarmored opponent (all non-elite, non-boss npc enemies) is expected to be within a couple of points of the listed weapon damage, barring any damage modifiers the player might have gained from various sources (loot perhaps, or an Expertise for instance).
All actions have 2 timers. An execution timer (during which no other action in the game may be executed, because you are "busy doing something else") and a cooldown timer (during which you cannot perforam that particular action again, but you can perform other actions). This is currently the case in the live game and will continue to remain true.
Currently, primary left click attacks (also know as default attack) have an execute time of 0.25 seconds. After this change, default attacks will have an execute timer of zero (0) but will gain a cooldown timer that is determined by the weapon speed (i.e a weapon that has a 0.4 speed will only be able to shoot the default attack every 0.4 seconds). This change shifts the primary combat strategy from "left click until it dies" to making more meaningful special attack decisions, given various variables in any given combat, since default attacks will not always be available.
As mentioned, default attacks have no execute time. In practice, this means that specials can be executed immediately following or during primary attacks. This will fix the issue of attacks firing visually on the server and in the UI (cooldown starts counting down) but not on the server (you don't actually get healed, for instance).
Considering the control scheme in SWG it will be difficult to execute a variety of specials AND run around at the same time ( movement being the primary left hand responsibility while the right hand is busy aiming with the mouse). This means that moving in combat actually becomes an "action" (conceptually speaking) you take to effect the outcome of a fight (much like executing specials). In other words, a player now chooses whether to stand and fight (increased DPS through more criticals and use of specials) or run around to be harder to hit because of the targeting scheme as well as the increased chance of glancing blows (see below). Running around becomes a defensive action that one does instead of offensively using specials.
AI Creatures will once again change weapons if they have a secondary weapon to switch to.
Attacks now have a chance to be "Critical Hits" that do additional damage in addition to a special effect if you are using a weapon with a heat, cold, electricity or acid elemental damage property.
Critical Hits are indicated to the attacker by differently colored fly text and words such as (Critical Hit) displayed next to the damage caused.
The chance to critical hit is influenced by the Agility and Luck stats at X % for every Y points of each. In addition, there is a bonus to score a critical if you are not moving. Additional modifiers due to posture may be added added if posture use in combat makes a comeback. We'd like to hear your feedback on this, especially.
Critical chance may also be modified by buffs and eventually by the Expertise System.
If the player is using a weapon with one of the aforementioned elemental effects the critical will have an additional effect. Heat criticals set the target on fire for a short period of time, cold criticals snare the target, electrical criticals cause the target to have an increased chance to do a glancing blow attack and acid criticals cause the target to become vulnerable to additional criticals for a short period of time.
Cold, electrical and acid critical secondary effects last for about three seconds. After this time the target is immune to those secondary critical effects for about six seconds. Any criticals scored during that time with a cold, electrical or acid weapon are reduced "normal" criticals that just do increased damage.
Attacks now have the chance to be "Glancing Blows" which do trivial damage to the target, currently 1/25th of their normal damage.
Glancing Blows are indicated to the attacker by grey fly text with the words (Trivial Hit) displayed next to the damage.
Glancing Blows are indicated to the defender by green fly text with the words "Glancing Blow".
The chance of scoring a glancing blow is modified by the Agility stat at a rate of about X % for every Y points and the Luck stat at the rate of P% for every N points.
A moving attacker using a ranged weapon has an increased chance to be land a glancing blow attack. Additional modifiers due to posture may be added.
Glancing Blow chance may also be modified by buffs and eventually by the Expertise System.
Looks good so far. If you do decide to make postures count again, (I like that idea very much btw) it would be nice if they not only offered a damage potential increase, but a defense against ranged increase as well due to your character being a smaller target. Should make you take more damage from melee attackers though since you can't dodge as well.
The only problem with that is postures really aren't an option for melee attackers. Maybe you should cook up a stance system for melee attackers to put in at the same time, that pretty much does the same thing. The more offensive stances could limit movement speed as well as decrease defenses to balance better with ranged postures.
So if this is planned for TC late next week, does that mean Publish 29 is hitting TC a few days after E3 or is this going to be brought in on its own?
Message Edited by LgEnder on 05-05-200610:10 PM
Message Edited by LgEnder on 05-05-200610:13 PM
Many Bothans died to bring us this information...Guaranteed! Xenocidal - Elder Medic - Master Privateer Pilot - Elder Politican Keflex - Antibiotic - Bothan Spy - Alliance Pilot Galactic Senator - Beta Junkie
-Smokey- wrote: Would this be implemented in stages, or all at once?
It's mostly all working like this on the infernal test servers.
Message Edited by Helios_SOE on 05-05-200611:16 PM
Good to hear. With the weapon refit will iconic weapons become powerful again, say for example the assault bowcaster, it was great during the CU, but NGE made it second choice for us wooks, and we should be wanting to use our bowcasters as our primary weapons.