Game Development: Approaches to Combat

Announcements about major changes in Haven & Hearth.

Game Development: Approaches to Combat

Postby jorb » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:17 pm

We've been developing, and here's what's new.

So, we've been whittling away at combat over the course of three weeks, and while we aren't quite done with it yet, and thus not in a position to push what we have to the real server, we nevertheless do feel that we may have enough of a something to at least warrant taking some feedback. Thus we have decided to run a combat test server through to at least the next week.

New Combat Rules
  • Characters have Offense and Defense meters, much as in Legacy. These load up over time, or through the use of moves.
  • All offense in your offense meter is (usually) spent when you attack, and the amount spent determines how many points of defense are needed to prevent the attack from dealing damage.
  • The defense meter soaks attacks in all attack-dimensions, usually at a rate of two points of offense removed for each point of defense spent.
  • Localized blocks/buffs, and attack-dimensions, are still things, and they work much as they already do on the presently running server. Localized blocks block attacks at a rate of one point of their health meter spent for each point of offense removed from the attack. Do note that localized blocks only block attacks which match their own attack-dimensions.
  • Attacks, blocks, and maneuvers all have various, variously timed, ad-hoc effects, which give IP, increase defense or offense, or convert one of those into something else. Each of these effects is described in the descriptive text for that particular move.
  • A combat school may now hold up to ten different attacks, blocks, or maneuvers -- one full combat hotbelt -- and you always have access to all of the moves in the belt while in combat.
  • Increasing the amount of a move in your combat school increases the efficiency of that move, usually by reducing its cooldown, or increasing its gain. There is, again, no longer any random selection of attacks. Moves generally increase from 100 to 150% effciency with one point of the move in the school, as compared to five.
  • You have 30 points to assign to moves per school, with a maximum of five per move. We plan to make this a value you level up.
  • A combat school can thus have, for example, 5 Flex, 5 Punch, 5 Take Aim, 4 Haymaker, 2 Paid in Blood, 2 Left Hook, 1 Dash, 5 Hunker Down and 1 Chop, with the more heavily weighted ones, again, being precisely more efficent. All of the moves in your School will always be available to you, regardless of weighting.
  • The character "μ", as it appears in formulas in the descriptive texts for moves, means 1.0 if you have one copy of the move in your combat school to 1.5 if you have five copies in your school. The weight of the move in your school, thus.

Related Fixes
  • You can now switch targets in combat using Ctrl+Tab
  • You will no longer attack your own party members if you happen to click on them with the attack cursor. Leave the party or kick them out if you really want to fight them.
  • While in combat in Valhalla, you can no longer heal by eating from the giant pig. Not sure if it makes it any more meaningful to fight there, but it's something.
  • New client code has been pushed to its own branch in the git repository if you wish to use your own clients.

We're hoping that this can be an inroad to a happy marriage between the old and the new combat systems, rather than a Frankenstein. What we want to keep from the more recent system is primarly a) A limited selection of moves, rather than several full hotbelts as in Legacy, b) Combat discoveries as a mechanic, and c) Localized blocks. We've reimplemented at least a few of the old moves that were present in Legacy, so hopefully there can be some nostalgic recognition in that for those who miss them.

We have not implemented neither combat advantage, nor combat intensity, primarily because we want to shy away from having too many fixed, global states in the fight. If those effects turn out to be important then they could perhaps be brought back, but we also feel that similar effects could, in that case, probably be recreated using various localized blocks instead.

We have had a good amount of fun while fighting during testing, so we present what we have in good faith. That being said there is no way in a lifetime that we can really meaningfully test all of this in any exhaustive way, as there are, quite simply, far, far too many possible deck-builds and other variations and combinations to actual combat for us to do that. Notably we have not tested much in terms of moo-moo cambertz ("movement combat") or mounted combat. We realize fully that real combat is determined by both of those to a very large extent, but we nevertheless also feel that any combat system first has to perform in a 1-v-1 scenario, as that is the first and most minimal fight possible, hence that has been our testing focus. Basically we have no idea what we are doing, or what we have implemented, and that is, for better and worse, also the intention. Any system with any sort of real depth is bound to look like that.

Critical things left to do before we could theoretically deploy the system to the real server is primarily bringing animal fighting up to speed, i.e. implementing combat discoveries for them, along with AI and some attack adjustments and whatnot.

We are going to look at archery as well.
We are not entirely sure what to do about horses. We realize that some of you want to have them removed, at least from combat, but we're not too keen on that, as it seems like a cop out.

If you don't hate it too much we're hoping to have the system go live next week, but that's not set in stone either, as we'd like to take feedback into account first.

All characters on the test server will start with 100 in all stats, and a potential five of each move available. The test server will be Valhalla only.

The .jnlp for the test server is here:

Let us know how you feel about it all, and...

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Re: Game Development: Approaches to Combat

Postby Oswald3 » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:20 pm

Finally! Thank you.
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Re: Game Development: Approaches to Combat

Postby boshaw » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:20 pm

A fucking combat update
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Re: Game Development: Approaches to Combat

Postby jordancoles » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:21 pm

As usual the devs focus on combat and not on the social experience smh
Last edited by jordancoles on Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Game Development: Approaches to Combat

Postby Hasta » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:21 pm

Yay. Let's feedback the crap out of this now! :lol:
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Re: Game Development: Approaches to Combat

Postby Potjeh » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:26 pm

Wow, sounds really good in theory, hopefully it's as good in practice.
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Re: Game Development: Approaches to Combat

Postby MadNomad » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:27 pm

jorb wrote:We are going to look at archery as well.

so this part is not done yet...
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Re: Game Development: Approaches to Combat

Postby DDDsDD999 » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:29 pm

Image It's a fukken combat system that isn't dog-shit.
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Re: Game Development: Approaches to Combat

Postby dafels » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:31 pm


just crashed the server
PvP is toxic

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Re: Game Development: Approaches to Combat

Postby Scruffy » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:31 pm

How about those bows
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