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A Quick MMORPG Combat System.
August 3rd 2004, 14:29 CEST by Charles

So, I was challenged in this thread to provide an example of a combat system I alluded to over the course of posts in that thread, starting somewhat around this one and culminating in a challenge by Matt Perkins.

Well, here's my reply.  Please, take the time to read it.  Then, we can come back to this thread and have a discussion about what I've proposed, and then it can devolve in to a general bitchfest about MMORPGs, and finally trail off in to the ether which is greater than four hundred posts.
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Home » Topic: A Quick MMORPG Combat System.

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#1 by Dethstryk
2004-08-03 14:33:39
jemartin@tcainternet.com
MMORPGs will never be fun to me unless they get over that hurdle of requiring 3+ hours a day to have fun.

"The Square who is not Cool with the double dipping pecker!"
#2 by Charles
2004-08-03 14:41:34
www.bluh.org
I think a combat system that is rewarding in and of itself will inherently move towards that goal.

"I'm not asking for much; just a job that meets the minimum legal requirements set forth by my country."
#3 by m0nty
2004-08-03 14:42:47
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
I have to read a PDF to participate? PC is hitting a new low. Or high, if you will.
#4 by m0nty
2004-08-03 14:44:48
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
This is what the GDC plebs must feel like when some big important cockmonger they're never heard of gets up to speak. "I wish I'd read the briefing material... oh well, I'll just listen to what he says and hope to follow it... mmmm Hegre pron..."
#5 by Charles
2004-08-03 14:45:41
www.bluh.org
Heh.  Maybe I should submit it to GDC for approval.

"I'm not asking for much; just a job that meets the minimum legal requirements set forth by my country."
#6 by Dethstryk
2004-08-03 14:49:15
jemartin@tcainternet.com
Charles -

I agree. The combat systems available in all MMORPGs now are completely unappealing to me. That, and the rest of the game.

"The Square who is not Cool with the double dipping pecker!"
#7 by Eyegore
2004-08-03 15:10:29
http://home.cfl.rr.com/eyegore/gallery.htm
PDF WTF???
#8 by BobJustBob
2004-08-03 15:18:57
MMORPGs will never be fun to me until the subscription fees go away. And until the other people go away.

Dood.
#9 by Charles
2004-08-03 15:26:51
www.bluh.org
Fuck your subscription fees argument.

"I'm not asking for much; just a job that meets the minimum legal requirements set forth by my country."
#10 by Chunkstyle
2004-08-03 15:30:43
I have no problem paying subscription fees for fun.  If I'm enjoying the game I'll happily pay $12 a month instead of buying another $50 game I might not like each month.

Anyway, I think Charles system looks like it could be fun, but it also looks like I would suck at it.  If I always lose, I wouldn't have fun, and I wouldn't pay.  Somehow you need to keep the worst players playing.

Game Developers: Don't forget the zombie monkeys.
#11 by McBain
2004-08-03 15:49:31
There is a large player base in MMO's that does not wish to have the twitch skills necessary to counter and re-counter with the combat group system Charles describes.  They quite literally enjoy Progress Quest with graphics.

Fighting the war on weapons of mass destruction-related program activity.
#12 by Charles
2004-08-03 16:02:31
www.bluh.org
Thank you, captain obvious.  You will also note, if you compare the total amount of MMO subscribers to the total amount of gamers, that MMOs aren't appealing to a vast majority of gamers.

"I'm not asking for much; just a job that meets the minimum legal requirements set forth by my country."
#13 by Charles
2004-08-03 16:02:54
www.bluh.org
Why does everyone always have to assume that when you try and do something different, you expect it to replace every single thing that's out there?

"I'm not asking for much; just a job that meets the minimum legal requirements set forth by my country."
#14 by BobJustBob
2004-08-03 16:05:44
Subscription-based games have to be substantially more fun than flat-fee games, or the model doesn't work. Sure the fee is small, but if I'm not getting my money's worth then what does it matter? It's like saying "sure these pockets have holes, but I only lose about $15 a month, and I can live with that."

Dood.
#15 by Hugin
2004-08-03 16:25:23
lmccain@nber.org
#1 by Dethstryk

MMORPGs will never be fun to me unless they get over that hurdle of requiring 3+ hours a day to have fun.


I'm enjoying CoH tremendously, and I pretty much never play for more than two hours in a sitting.  I can easily enjoy playing for about half an hour (I can do a mission, maybe two, in that amount of time. Or run to one of the big pickup areas, find a group, and get a level or half level up)

#14 by BobJustBob

  
 Subscription-based games have to be substantially more fun than flat-fee games, or the model doesn't work. Sure the fee is small, but if I'm not getting my money's worth then what does it matter? It's like saying "sure these pockets have holes, but I only lose about $15 a month, and I can live with that."


I don't believe they have to be more fun.  They just have to remain fun.

If the amount of fun and gameplay I'm getting over a three month period for 30-45 (plus the initial cost, so say 85-100 overall) dollars is equal to or greater than 3 standalone games I play for a week apiece for 150-180 dollars altogether, how is the MMOG  a poor value?

(I'm assuming here that all the games in question are new, mainstream titles selling at more or less normal prices, not weird little 29.95 one-off games and six month old bargain bin specials.)
#16 by Charles
2004-08-03 16:40:43
www.bluh.org
I do believe that MMOs shouldn't cost an initial price.  You should be able to download and play, by paying up front for your first month.  This could benefit developers by the fact that the barrier to entry is immediately far lower, guaranteeing more initial sign ups.  However, if the game is junk, they they aren't going to recoup costs if people only play for one month then drop it.

"I'm not asking for much; just a job that meets the minimum legal requirements set forth by my country."
#17 by Jibble
2004-08-03 16:41:46
In other words, the reason most current MMOs are so expensive is because they suck.

убийство!
#18 by Jibble
2004-08-03 16:42:12
There's probably some economics of supply and demand involved too, but that's all just window dressing for the suck.

убийство!
#19 by UncleJeet
2004-08-03 17:19:05
All MMORPG's need to be fun starting the moment when you first play the game.  Too many of them require, as Deth said, far too much of a time investment before any sort of "fun" can be had.  This is why I like CoH so much.  The combat and gameplay is fun from day one because they've made an effort to both make the combat itself enjoyable as well as make players feel powerful from the moment they enter the world.  The trick is to make the game fun at the start and have the fun grow as you level and gain new abilities, not to make the early game suck until you gain levels, only to have things peter out at the higher levels.

Pick me!  Pick me!
#20 by UncleJeet
2004-08-03 17:20:45
In other words, the reason most current MMOs are so expensive is because they suck.

True words, my friend.  For a certain type of player, it seems that the more the game sucks, the more they love it and are willing to pay for it.  A friend of mine playing Lineage II is a perfect example of this type of player.

Pick me!  Pick me!
#21 by Morn
2004-08-03 17:26:33
morn@planetcrap.com http://hmans.net
That is entirely possible. Moo.

Play more Guild Wars!

Who runs this place?!
#22 by Matt Perkins
2004-08-03 17:31:15
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
I'd like to comment on the topic at hand, but I just joined DAOC again, so I don't think I should be allowed to talk...


Oh well, that's never stopped me before...


As I told Charles earlier, I like the system, it would interesting, but it might be as others mentioned, hard for the normal MMORPG "catass".  Now, if you aren't going for that crowd, great...  but then you need to attract CS, FPS type players.  Will this game style bring that group in?  I don't know...


Maybe this coupled with a more action based game overall...

"...developer should just make shit and then tell the whiners like yourself to shut the fuck up." - Charles
#23 by Charles
2004-08-03 17:46:37
www.bluh.org
For the record, this combat system wouldn't need any more reflexes than current MMOs.  It just requires more thought.  I'm not sure you could really call it a twitch system.

"I'm not asking for much; just a job that meets the minimum legal requirements set forth by my country."
#24 by UncleJeet
2004-08-03 17:48:41
It just requires more thought.

More thought?  In a game?  For the masses?  Are you fucking crazy?

I'd play it, though.

Pick me!  Pick me!
#25 by jjohnsen
2004-08-03 17:56:34
http://www.johnsenclan.com
I like the ideas Charles, it would get me to try more mmopg's.  The longest I've played one is a month, and that was City of Heroes.  Even the differences in that game compared to others wasn't enough to keep me interested.

Owner of the Planetcrap FFL team, the Utah Teen Brides.
#26 by CheesyPoof
2004-08-03 18:14:05
I read the PDF.  I'll agree that it does not sound like a twitch system.  I wonder if whoever starts first has the advantage.  The biggest problem with this example is addressed in the document, to add more classes and it get quite difficult real fast to maintain the RPS system.  Won't it break at some point?
#27 by Matt Perkins
2004-08-03 18:22:05
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
I wouldn't say break, but maybe get overly complicated, depending upon how many different styles and such there were.

"...developer should just make shit and then tell the whiners like yourself to shut the fuck up." - Charles
#28 by UncleJeet
2004-08-03 18:23:36
I bet ya that Dolph Lundgren could break it.

I MUST BREAK YOU!

Pick me!  Pick me!
#29 by Max
2004-08-03 18:42:21
http://massivebraincase.org/
I've never played a MMORPG, so I can authoritatively say that they all suck - Res Ipsa Loquitur.
#30 by UncleJeet
2004-08-03 18:43:22
Life is an mmorpg, just without superhuman powers and with more fucktards.

Pick me!  Pick me!
#31 by Jibble
2004-08-03 19:02:10
I just read the PDF, and I think it's a good idea.  Allowing the player a little more range beyond simple math (Axe+10 beats Armor+7) is the only way to stretch MMORPG combat into a reasonably fun realm.  It would alleviate a lot of the grind that takes place in the fighter class and would force you to consider your options and plan an attack accordingly.

I like it.

убийство!
#32 by ProStyle
2004-08-03 20:00:19
http://prostyle.deviantart.com
From looking at the PDF all I see is that the 'classes' have been subdivided. 'Pick your character class - now pick it again!'. Obviously, as with all of my MMO experiences, I'm missing something fundamental. I think I'll just leave it that way.

I read an article on SA about 'goons of the internet' (of course a satirical piece) that basically revolved around companies bullying their shitty standards around (realplayer, wmv, etc etc). Adobe systems was listed as one of them for the PDF format. I suppose I can understand how it's seemingly annoying and pointless to an internet user, but from the printing, repurposing and distribution standpoint PDF is the shit.

Cold hearted orb that rules the night
Removes the color from our sight
#33 by CheesyPoof
2004-08-03 20:05:15
From looking at the PDF all I see is that the 'classes' have been subdivided. 'Pick your character class - now pick it again!'. Obviously, as with all of my MMO experiences, I'm missing something fundamental. I think I'll just leave it that way.

No, it doesn't work that way at all.  If you read the fight example you would see that a class can change from any of the combat groups to another.  This way if you see what your opponet is doing, you can change to a tatic that will defeat them (i.e. a fighter can go All-Out, but switch to Defensive as necessary).  Of course, they could see that and change themself.  Hence, more varied and interesting combat.
#34 by Charles
2004-08-03 20:13:14
www.bluh.org
From looking at the PDF all I see is that the 'classes' have been subdivided. 'Pick your character class - now pick it again!'. Obviously, as with all of my MMO experiences, I'm missing something fundamental. I think I'll just leave it that way.


I think what you are missing is skill in the reading category.

"I'm not asking for much; just a job that meets the minimum legal requirements set forth by my country."
#35 by Charles
2004-08-03 20:17:00
www.bluh.org
And just to address the PDF issue... a lot of people don't like PDF because it takes so long to load.  But there are some tweaks you can do which will make it load in about a second:

cutnpasted:

-Go to C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 6.0\Reader.
-Make a new directory called "plug_ins.old"
-Move everything from plug_ins into that new directory, except for EWH32.api and search.api

"I'm not asking for much; just a job that meets the minimum legal requirements set forth by my country."
#36 by ProStyle
2004-08-03 20:23:43
http://prostyle.deviantart.com
I think what you are missing is skill in the reading category.

Too much work, not enough pretty pictures. If this reading thing is involved with playing MMO's you can count me out.

Cold hearted orb that rules the night
Removes the color from our sight
#37 by BobJustBob
2004-08-03 20:35:48
-Go to C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 6.0\Reader.
-Make a new directory called "plug_ins.old"
-Move everything from plug_ins into that new directory, except for EWH32.api and search.api


Holy crap - that's a huge difference.

Dood.
#38 by Penguinx
2004-08-03 21:18:04
As a printer, I get a lot of PDFs. Thanks for the speed-up, Charles, it will cut a few minutes off every day, I'm sure.

"No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair." -General George S. Patton
#39 by Jibble
2004-08-03 21:19:30
Penguinx is way more awesome than that shirt-hoarding bastard yotsuya.

убийство!
#40 by Shadarr
2004-08-03 21:46:37
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
In Yotsuya's defense, he is fat and lazy.  And Mexican.  That's a lot to overcome.
#41 by yotsuya
2004-08-03 22:19:15
I'm sorry, guys. I spent the money you sent me for the shirts on tacos and panocha.

That's a beautiful way to go. Shot by Yot. In more ways than one. -mgns
I wear my sunglasses at night.
#42 by Penguinx
2004-08-03 22:23:58
Hey, Yotsuya, what is in the red chile-pepper that your people put on sweet corn? I grew up in the Chicago 'hood and used to love the corn that was being hocked by the street vendors.

I've tried chile powder but it isn't right.

"No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair." -General George S. Patton
#43 by yotsuya
2004-08-03 22:26:40
Hey, Yotsuya, what is in the red chile-pepper that your people put on sweet corn?

It's blood we take from white female virgins that we distill and ferment.

That's a beautiful way to go. Shot by Yot. In more ways than one. -mgns
I wear my sunglasses at night.
#44 by Jibble
2004-08-03 22:28:07
It's delicious!

убийство!
#45 by yotsuya
2004-08-03 22:29:15
Actualky, Px, it's probably this:

http://www.mexgrocer.com/1254.html

That's a beautiful way to go. Shot by Yot. In more ways than one. -mgns
I wear my sunglasses at night.
#46 by Penguinx
2004-08-03 22:31:48
You have no idea how helpful you were to whitey today. Knock 15 dollars off your printing quote. I have been searching for years for this shit.

"No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair." -General George S. Patton
#47 by yotsuya
2004-08-03 22:33:04
W00t! Between the "Way to Go, Jesus" discount and the new "Viva la raza!" discount, you'll be paying ME for my business!

That's a beautiful way to go. Shot by Yot. In more ways than one. -mgns
I wear my sunglasses at night.
#48 by Jibble
2004-08-03 22:33:58
#45 yotsuya
Actualky, Px, it's probably this:

http://www.mexgrocer.com/1254.html

I see that stuff everywhere down here but I never put it on my food.  I'll have to try it next time I see it.

убийство!
#49 by yotsuya
2004-08-03 22:36:33
It's great on roasted corn. It's probably good on shaved vagina as well.

That's a beautiful way to go. Shot by Yot. In more ways than one. -mgns
I wear my sunglasses at night.
#50 by Jibble
2004-08-03 22:37:12
Very well, an unsubscribe here too, then.

убийство!
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