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Alternative Combat System


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#21 Mythos_Ruler

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 09:46 PM

In Total War games I believe Fatigue plays a role in the Attack calculation as well. But our game does not have Fatigue, so is not a consideration.
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#22 feneur

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 06:01 PM

What role do you envision healing/healers to play if we use Lifepoints rather than Hitpoints?

Also, in general one unit is meant to represent more than one unit, which makes hitpoints more realistic, I guess most people don't see them as anything but one unit though, so that's just a pretty minor point in favour of the old system in that respect.

One case where I think something like the lifepoints would be really nice would be for rams attacking gates as that's something that could potentially take just a few hits, but where slowly tearing through hitpoints doesn't seem all that realistic.

Speaking of being realistic, a problem I see with this kind of system is that as far as I know "one shot kills" were extremely rare, but that could be averted by giving all units at least a few Lifepoints and by the maths, so that's probably not a problem :)
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#23 Mythos_Ruler

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 07:18 AM

Well, in real life if you wound a man deep enough, even if he survives, he is out of the battle permanently. Just a two or three inch deep stab or slice into your bicep muscle would essentially take the whole arm out of commission for a long time. That's why in first-person shooters even a leg shot can count as a "kill."

As for "priests" or "Healers" perhaps the minimum number of LPs is 2, and they can slowly give a soldier his LP back if he's missing one. Also, we can add a few other things like a training boost within their aura or something like that because they were essential to culture (just pulling it out of my ear).
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#24 marsha

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 08:34 AM

American Conquest has a good moral system. Also most units die from one bullet or two depending on the armor/hp. Arrows do a bit less damage but can take down a unit with one arrow.
But the problem is in AC you could have up to 16000 units but mostly 2000 for each player. In 0AD 100 units are more common so taking out one unit with one arrow isn't really good.

Off topic: I really wish a new game like AC would come out.
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#25 feneur

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 07:30 PM

As for "priests" or "Healers" perhaps the minimum number of LPs is 2, and they can slowly give a soldier his LP back if he's missing one. Also, we can add a few other things like a training boost within their aura or something like that because they were essential to culture (just pulling it out of my ear).


That sounds like a start at convincing me something like this might be a good idea =) I think it can use some more discussion before we decide anything though :)
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#26 WhiteTreePaladin

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 10:12 PM

A training bonus is a interesting idea, especially since they cannot convert and relics may not even be used.
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#27 satchitb

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 11:44 AM

No conversion? Shucks.

I'm really interested by this. I like the idea of one-shot luck-based kills, but honestly, in a raiding party of 20 (which is pretty sizeable given a pop of 200), a little bit of luck can take the meat out of the attack very fast.
I would also warn against the idea of attack speed becoming more important than the simple attack/defense paradigm we're currently in. Changes in attack speed are always less subtle than in attack (you might have five or six states for attack speed, but attack can range from 1-50). In such a situation, squads of cheap, quick attacking units will be able to wipe out a legion of hoplites.

As a non-coder, I can't speak with much authority, but it strikes me that a morale/injury system would be distinctly difficult to do. Imagine if you win a Pyrrhic victory, and your troops are victorious but running ragged. For your next offensive, you mix them with fresh reinforcements. In your next battle, it isn't hard to envision the new troops fighting hard and the old ones bolting.

I've played Age of Empires II and III since their release, and I've almost never used formations. There simply isn't enough time to focus on that. Balancing infantry and archers, FFing, using terrain and choke points (and, of course the handy Patrol trick ;) ), all the while keeping an eye on your economy took all your time. While I like advanced tactics playing a role, I just don't see more than a handful of formations being used (when going through a narrow pass, infantry and cavalry MUST go before archers ^_^ ).
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#28 Mythos_Ruler

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 04:11 AM

In your next battle, it isn't hard to envision the new troops fighting hard and the old ones bolting.


If this is part of the game, then it is to be expected of the player to keep tabs on his troop morale/strength. Anyway, morale and fatigue do not factor into my proposal. :)

I've played Age of Empires II and III since their release, and I've almost never used formations.


This is because there is no large benefit to using formations in those games. Plus their implementation is clumsy. :)
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#29 JuliusColtranePille

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 03:20 PM

i like a lot of the ideas listed above. it would so much improve the gameplay and really make the difference. i guess the implementation is a lot of work though.
possibly the first step is the implementation of the front/rear/left flank/right flank-differenciation concerning attack and defense and the "total-kill-possibility".

i would recommend to get another pledgie for this ;)
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#30 Pedro Falc„o

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 02:55 PM

I agree with almost everything said.
Yes, randomness like mythos proposed is a bit frustrating, BUT randomness isn't that "random" as you people are imagining.
My thoughts may seem a bit confusing, but try to read all, and only then, judge.
Some things may seems a bit overpower, but they can be balanced when implemented, at least in my imagination they are very well balanced.

Unit stats:
Attack power: the basic damage value of the unit.
Attack speed: slow-attack units should be protected or they can overwhelmed by masses, but against single units they can be extremerly effective.
Attack skill: the "expertise" of that unit, the mastering the unit have. Experienced units should have this value substantially higher and well-trained units too (legionnaires are well-trained soldiers, while slingers are only farmers).
Attack type: The type of attack grants bonuses against some unit types. There must be 6 attack types: Melee blunt (hammers), Melee piercing (spears), Melee sharp (swords), Ranged blunt (throwing axes/hammers and catapults, these may ignore some armor), Ranged piercing (arrows and javelins. Javelins have higher base values, but less speed, less range and more accuracy), Ranged sharp (throwing knives, shurikens, etc. These should be very uneffective against heavy armored units, but very effective against light armored).

Defense base: Just a scale of how armored the unit is. Should be a percentage, as defense types are the ones granting bonuses.
Defense Skill: Same as attack skill, but for defense.
Defense type: Defines the lgihtness of the unit armor (light, medium, heavy, building). Grants bonuses for attacks, but these bonuses must be low (javelins can kill some light cavalry, but are overwhelmed by heavy ones).


Unit type: If the unit is mounted (granting bonus for spearmen) or not.
Unit Speed: How fast the unit moves.
Unit Stamina: How tired the unit is. The more tired the unit is, the slower it attacks. Can be base damage instead of attack speed.
Unit Morale: Less morale, high chance to break formation and/or flee. Low morale units can't charge.
Unit Focus: Only four states: In Combat, Alert, Out of Combat, Distracted. "In Combat" is self-explained. "Alert" is when there are military units within line of sight, no "Ambushes" can take effect in this state, but once the Ambush ability is used, it is too late to become alert, they'll take some extra damage. "Out of Combat" is the normal state, when the unit isn't fighting, nor there are any military enemy units in line of sight. And "Distracted" is when the unit has been out of combat for some time. Some units may have the ability to force enemy units from Out of Combat into distracted (why not?).

Unit Abilities (examples):
- Camouflage: Celts may be invisible next to trees, but they become visible as the enemy draws near or if they attack.
- Charge: Melee units-only. Once enters combat, runs faster towards the enemy and delivers a stronger blow, but needs some range to take effect.
- Shield: Passively adds a blocking chance and may be activated to dramatically increase protection against ranged and giving a small area aura that increases protection against ranged. Can be raised against charging units, but are uneffective against mounted units. Each type and material of shield must have different specs for this ability.
- Trampling: Mounted units have increased charge bonus, can eventually charge into more targets.
- Long Spears: They can be positioned against charging units, having an average chance to break their charge and when charge-breaking works, has a very small chance of critically hitting the charging unit (higher against mounted). In this state, they are very vulnerable against ranged attacks (can be solved by placing shielded units behind them with their aura.
- Sun Resistance: Carthaginians and persians (who are used to the desert) have more stamina.
- Morale Aura: A general or hero may increase morale of surrounding friendly units.
- Inspiration: Heroes may shout inspiring words to their soldiers, temporaly increasing some stats, like morale, stamina or attack base, depending on the hero.
- Weapon-Duo: Units that carry a weapon in each hand can deliver 2 independent attacks at once, doubling the base damage and critical strike chance, but since they don't have a shield, they also take more damage and are very vulnerable against rangeds, especially javelins.
- Crushing Attack: Units with heavy weapons (like two-handed swords/mauls/axes) have a bonus against well-armored units, but just like Weapon-Duo, they don't have shield, so take even more damage. These units should have very slow attacks, high morale (like the celtic fanatics, a buch of naked celts almost naked going to war totally "high", so to have less fear). Ideal for ambushes, as they have a high damged first attack exactly when the enemy is distracted.
- Military Training: Passive ability that grants the unit higher morale, higher stamina and increases the time before they go distracted. Military training is a researched tech. Units trained in Civ Centre don't have military training, but those trained in Barracks or Forts already have (when it is researched) and with the same resource cost, but a bit higher training time. A unit can receive military training with some metal cost and a quick training time (about 10 seconds). Units can't go into formation without military training.
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#31 Pedro Falc„o

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 03:34 PM

I forgot to add that i asked the opinion of a friend of mine who never played 0 A.D. about what he likes in strategy games and he told me that graphics aren't essencial, but the strategy and the dynamics of the game are. RTSs in wich units don't have special abilities usually have less strategy dynamics, so aren't that fun no more. He said RTSs with flying units are funnier because flying units add a lot more of dynamics to the game. And units with special abilities add even more dynamics and planning. Planning strategies is fun, so the more dynamics, the funnier the game becomes... And also harder to balance!

Edited by Pedro Falc„o, 29 November 2011 - 03:36 PM.

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Pedro Falc„o
Latin: Petrus Falco; Literally means 'Stone Hawk'.
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#32 wraitii

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 04:48 PM

I think, even if you keep a fairly basic combat system, that doing different damage depending on where the shot comes from is an -absolute- necessity. This is something I've never actually seen done... Perhaps it was, perhaps it was not. Anyway, this should be in the game, and it should be documented.
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#33 JustinOperable

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 11:26 PM

Is anything being done with this idea? I hope I'm not being a thread necromancer, but I think this or something along these lines would be excellent. I know formations and other features will change the game dynamics a great deal, but I think something like this could go a long way to allowing us to set up interesting scenarios, campaigns and historical simulations. For instance, how would you have a battle like the one between Vercingetorix and the Romans at Alesia with the current system? It might be possible once walls and formations are figured out, but I think something like Mythos proposed would allow greater realism and fun in this regard. And as was pointed out, it takes me out of the game personally when attacking individual units all at once is such a better strategy than using formations and facing the enemy all together. Additionally, when one unit meets an identical unit, the one who strikes first always wins, this takes me out of the game and reminds me I'm looking at a computer screen. Anyways, not criticising whats been done so far too hard, but I look forward to seeing this line of thinking continue to influence the mechanics even if this particular system isn't adopted. i.e. Formations, Facing and Environmental factors and perhaps a small bit of chance to mix the game up a bit.
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#34 Guest_afeder_*

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 12:51 AM

I also dislike "dice roll combat", for the reasons cited by others. If I am more skilled than my opponent, I want to win. If I suck, I want to loose.

However, I agree an element of chaos (which is something distinctly different from randomness) would add a nice dimension of realism to the game. Perhaps, instead of "dice rolling" in combat, the game could randomize the stats of each unit when they are created. If the stats of each unit are visible to the player, that would still allow him to strategize with them - for instance, for an ambush on your opponent's workers, you may want to send a small platoon of your strongest soldiers, so they can finish the workers off quickly while minimizing risk of detection (due to their small numbers). But in all-out battles there will still be a large degree of chaos (as there would be in such a battle) because neither player gets to micromanage which soldiers (strong or weak) will be facing each other in combat.


A cute side-effect of this would be that the strongest units would be promoted faster, and thus rank above, weaker units, as they would in real-life.
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#35 Sonarpulse

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 03:25 AM

Not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but I would like to see an projectile range done with real physics, so that units on a hill can fire farther. After that, maybe even go a step farther from basic quadratics, and add wind and air resistance to the range computation.
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#36 Mythos_Ruler

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 04:26 AM

I also dislike "dice roll combat", for the reasons cited by others. If I am more skilled than my opponent, I want to win. If I suck, I want to loose.




The effects of the dice roll outcome are not random, even if the dice roll is. Stats are still the major component of the combat calculations.
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#37 Pedro Falc„o

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 09:07 PM

Perhaps, instead of "dice rolling" in combat, the game could randomize the stats of each unit when they are created. If the stats of each unit are visible to the player, that would still allow him to strategize with them


Think this way: do you really want to spend time hand-picking your elite guards and your raiders? This can be funny once or maybe twice, but as time passes it becomes boring. To solve the attack speed issue, a global cooldown on all abilities, or increasing its effect based on the units' strenght could ease, if not solve the problem. I.E.: The unit X has a "critical strike" ability. while speed increases its chance of proccing per second, the attack of the unit could increase its damage. This way, the player can equally choose between high amount of low damage procs or a low amount of high damage procs.
Or, the other way: the ability Y has N% chance of proccing each every 2 seconds. If it procs now, the unit can only do it again two seconds from now, even if the dices say to proc.
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Latin: Petrus Falco; Literally means 'Stone Hawk'.
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#38 Gen.Kenobi

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 09:14 PM

I don't know you guys, but I would really love a way for units to actually engage in men to men combat (one in one), like in the Total War series... the animations were cool...and it was quite ramdom the way the units were killed - at least it looked prety ramdom.

Just my dream :P
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#39 Brightgalrs

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 04:34 AM

Allow me to explain Michael's proposal better.

Consider this equation here where Y-axis is the chance for the attacker to hit the defender and the X-axis is the attacker's attack minus the defender's defense. You can see that when the attacker's attack is equal to the defender's defense the chance for a hit is 50%. As we give more of an advantage to the attacker the chance to hit approaches 100% and as we give more of an advantage to the defender the chance to hit approaches 0%.

This system is nice because it allows crap units to occasionally hit well uber units and for uber units to miss sometimes.
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#40 gameboy

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:14 PM

Very good,

Edited by gameboy, 24 February 2012 - 12:15 PM.

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