Will Combat be Action Point based?

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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Brother None » December 21st, 2012, 11:52 am

under_dog wrote:That's the kind of system i expected from day one, of course the game has yet to find its definitive identity, and i'm sure they'll refine the combat as iteration goes. Fallout tactics was a great game in its combat mechanics at least ! I played the hell out of JA, i don't know if JA2 is so different from the first one ?
Not very different, but arguably, at least in my opinion, better. You should definitely try it out if you haven't.

Tactics was alright but not well-balanced because of the way you could switch between TB/CTB/RT. Luckily Wasteland 2 doesn't suffer from that, and shouldn't recognize Tactics' specific mistakes.
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by under_dog » December 21st, 2012, 11:59 am

Brother None wrote:
under_dog wrote:That's the kind of system i expected from day one, of course the game has yet to find its definitive identity, and i'm sure they'll refine the combat as iteration goes. Fallout tactics was a great game in its combat mechanics at least ! I played the hell out of JA, i don't know if JA2 is so different from the first one ?
Not very different, but arguably, at least in my opinion, better. You should definitely try it out if you haven't.

Tactics was alright but not well-balanced because of the way you could switch between TB/CTB/RT. Luckily Wasteland 2 doesn't suffer from that, and shouldn't recognize Tactics' specific mistakes.
That's true, it took me 3 or 4 missions to feel at ese with the system and even then, there were indeed some balance issue. I guees i was a lot easier on the game as i should have, considering the hell i went through to get my hand on a copy ( oh the days without broadband, steam, gog and co.. :lol: )

Thanks for the heads up on JA2, i'll try to get some time in the schedule to dive in it !

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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Zeful » December 21st, 2012, 12:38 pm

under_dog wrote:from what we know, the combat system could be anything.
We know it will be AP based and that the speed skill allows for more turn.
Now it could be all actions tied to one AP gauge, or AP per phase, or even cumulative AP - guard cost if a turn is skipped...

So what's been confirmed so far is that it's AP based and at the same time skill based, so i quite not understand what all the fuss is about. But i might be missing something :|
Tedium. AP systems very easily trend towards tedious micromanagement, due to the poorly thought out attempts at "realism". This creates a very shallow but complex system that has no real reward for being really good at it, unlike a lot of limited action systems like in Final Fantasy Tactics which are much simpler systems that also possess much more depth.

My measurement how effective the system on the whole is isn't how long I spend on a turn-- I've obsessed over turns in turn-based games for up to a half-hour, trying to decide just how much I want to commit to a certain gambit-- but how long I spend outside the game to plan my turn. This is a sign of a game that is actively trying to make me not play and then trumping it up as strategy or tactics when in fact it is neither. Costs should make sense against the pool, and be as transparent as possible, otherwise you force players to turn to things outside the game to figure out just what they're capable of. This is why X-com's percentage based weapon costs make no bleeding sense in terms of game design, costs that scale upwards against pool size are essentially punishing high AP characters more than low AP characters as well as obsfucates something that needs to be clear. Equipping your guys with these weapons becomes tedious as each party member is going to have different levels of efficiency due to the size of their AP pools rather than as a result of their skill.

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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by reiniat » December 21st, 2012, 3:19 pm

Drool wrote:
reiniat wrote:people are becoming too lazy to play a demanding game and this is becoming really anoying.
So are the self-proclaimed hard core gamers who consider anyone with a slightly different view to be inferior troglodytes who don't deserve to play games.
The "hardcore gamers" is just a stupid thing that normal gamers imagined when they started to notice that the next generation of games wasnt that hard, i "proclaim" myself a normal gamer who is concerned by the fact that games are becoming ridiculously easier and simpler.
Drool wrote: The Kalashnikov is rated to 800 rounds per minute and can easily exceed that. Saying that a 3 round burst (0.225 seconds) takes 6 "action points" while a single trigger pull of a 9mm somehow only takes 4 action points is just as ridiculous and no more realistic than "one action per turn", and it's ludicrous to imply otherwise.
that system is balanced, but youre right; its utterly unrealistic.
BUT i dont think it would be counterintuitive for most gamers (the discussion about wether apply more real life common sense to the system or balance it trough the RPG paradigm standards is obviously unsolvable and its up to the InXile devs to make the final choose)
Brother None wrote: Their main inspirations in combat include the likes of Jagged Alliance 2 and even Fallout: Tactics. Not saying it'll be identical to those, and that description is still vague and gives a lot of leeway, but we've known about that since during the Kickstarter drive, so it's no surprise to hear it'll use a similar action point-based system.
Fallout Tactics could have had a great system but it had too many obvious flaws and it was totally unbalanced, and JA2 has one of the best systems i've ever played so im really happy with that
undecaf wrote: Rather focus on doing it well instead, since that's what they've been designing so far. It's a waste of time and money to flipflop around on such large elements.
THIS
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by dorkboy » December 21st, 2012, 7:24 pm

@Mandemon
yeah, "scripted spawns" wasn't really a good choice of words, and didn't convey what i was trying to get at.. it's a map design/enemy placement issue. original x-com had you more randomly parked in the middle of a big square with single enemies seemingly randomly placed around the map, which felt a bit more unpredictable (and thus suspenseful.. also, eerie midi music :lol: ). the moment you start to think "yeah, that's where i would have placed a group of enemies, too", something is lost. i got that feeling in FOT, as well - a feeling of slightly too linear design. but hey, when it works it works! :)

@Lucius
you know, your FO kiting example makes perfect sense. i always played FO aggressively, trying to deal as much damage per turn as possible (and still survive) - but when i tried to do that in FOT/JA2 i got killed quite badly due to how (much) damage is dealt in those systems, so i assumed a more defensive playing style (aka. range advantage). man, does proning with snipers or scoped/range-extended ARs get old fast, especially when it effectively beats the house [rinse, repeat].
the times when i found both those games really enjoyable were when a) the map design either made sniping/camping impossible or otherwise encouraged CQ engagements, and b) when more of the weapons/etc. actually became relevant.
FOT did a shitty job of balancing weapons(range/damage/armour piercing etc..), and JA2 had range advantage as a too obviously important factor (for most of the engagements), imo.

there was, supposedly, some kind of close range accuracy drawback to having überscopes on your rifles in JA2, but i can't say i really noticed it. then again, i'm not very good at noticing "5-15% variances" in turnbased combat. a solid point of referance, like % chance to hit, would have been nice, i guess ("+40% accuracy counterforce handling modifier.. right... is that a lot? 40% of WHAT, exactly??" :? ).

thing is, i don't see APs, per se, as the definite root of the problem(s) here..
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Drool » December 21st, 2012, 9:12 pm

dorkboy wrote:-if- you think there is any reason whatsoever to balance the game towards making the "less obvious" weapon skills at least marginally useful for more than just a quick fraction of the early game, then, barring AP-based and/or melee sillyness etc.., you'll probably end up with ammo scarcity as one of your mechanisms of choice.
As mentioned by another poster, there's nothing wrong with weapon obsolescence, and frankly, I don't understand the resistance to it. I don't like getting The Ultimate Weapon of Ultimate Destruction in a closet outside the final battle, but I also don't think that my starting weapon should be useful in the end-game. It's not like you play D&D and complain that your 20th level fighter can't kill demons using the longsword he bought back at level 1.
at least AP-differentiation can easily be maintained throughout the game.
APs tend to lead to drawn out fights, excessive micromanagement, and minmaxing (because something controls how many APs you get). Honestly, they seem like little more than an attempt to inject "realism". A horribly, tragically failed attempt. Making the battle rifle's burst fire cost 50% more is just stupid; I'd rather have it balanced against the pistol (since, apparently starting weapons need to be carried for the whole game) by fiddling with range. Make it less effective at short range. Or even make it cost more at short range (because it's unwieldy), but if you're shooting at a target 15 meters away, there's no way it's going to take more time to fire a burst then a single pistol shot.

I don't like using immersion as an argument, but that kind of thing just shatters it for me.
i personally don't play turn-/AP-based games for the sheer speed thrills
Nobody does; they aren't fast-paced games. If I want speed thrills, I'll play Splatterhouse or something. But just because I'm not planning to break the land speed record doesn't mean I want to crawl, either. Again, just look at the Adytum fight in Fallout. It's excruciating. It takes forever, and not because it requires detailed planning or strategy. It takes forever because there's two dozen combatants all plodding along, one at a time. Compare to Wasteland, where there's a fight with close to 100 foes. Or, hell, just try doing the Bard's Tale 1 barbarian fight. With the max scroll speed and not thinking about your actions, that fight take over an hour. Now just try to imagine it with a one-at-a-time AP system.
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by TΛPETRVE » December 21st, 2012, 9:30 pm

Drool wrote:...but I also don't think that my starting weapon should be useful in the end-game.
Well... How about a weapon that seems like a throwaway in the beginning, but, under certain conditions, turns out to be awesome later on in the game? Or maybe an "old faithful" gun type that has somewhat middling stats but is reliable and stays with its user over the course of the whole game?
Drool wrote:If I want speed thrills, I'll play Splatterhouse or something.
Seriously, Splatterhouse? That's, like, the most snail-paced beat'em up ever conceived by a human being :lol: !
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Drool » December 21st, 2012, 9:35 pm

TΛPETRVE wrote:Well... How about a weapon that seems like a throwaway in the beginning, but, under certain conditions, turns out to be awesome later on in the game?
That's more a fantasy thing, though.
Or maybe an "old faithful" gun type that has somewhat middling stats but is reliable and stays with its user over the course of the whole game?
If you want to keep Old Blue, that's your choice, but you shouldn't expect your trusty 9mm to do squat against an armor-plated death machine armed with energy weapons and guided rockets. But I'm sure it'll work for shootin' lizards on your way to the death machine.
Seriously, Splatterhouse? That's, like, the most snail-paced beat'em up ever conceived by a human being :lol: !
Okay, Yar's Revenge, then.
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by TΛPETRVE » December 21st, 2012, 9:50 pm

Drool wrote:That's more a fantasy thing, though.
Not necessarily. Imagine a makeshift gun that shoots semingly useless darts that do little to no damage against organic enemies but turn out to be absolutely disruptive against the aiming mechanisms of robotic adversaries later on? It comes with no manual and no description of any use, but you get it early in the game. It's your own decision if you classify it as vendor trash or keep it around in case it might be useful at one point in your career as a Desert Ranger.
If you want to keep Old Blue, that's your choice, but you shouldn't expect your trusty 9mm to do squat against an armor-plated death machine armed with energy weapons and guided rockets. But I'm sure it'll work for shootin' lizards on your way to the death machine.
Only that said 9mm might be the one weapon that pierces the death machine's semi-concealed cyber-ganglion from one hex field away :mrgreen: .
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Priest4hire » December 21st, 2012, 10:55 pm

Transformers 2 has provided all the dangling robotic bits I shall ever desire. That is one film I don't need flashbacks to.

While wandering the web I came across this thread which contains some interesting results in the pistol vs. rifle (or carbine) speed and close range accuracy question. Basically, in testing the fellow discovered he was not only more accurate with the rifle, even at close range, but faster as well. Another fellow mentioned it was the same for him, and that the speed difference grew as the range or number of targets increased.

A couple reasons are posited for this. For one, rifles tend to be more forgiving than pistols since the solid 2 handed grip and weight of the weapon can compensate for flaws in things like trigger control. The other is that the carbine is just quicker to sight in and stabilize onto a target thanks again to the grip. There is a reason why assault rifles and carbines are the standard military weapons. In a tussle between a Glock 17 and an M4, the odds do not favour the handgun.

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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by dorkboy » December 21st, 2012, 11:39 pm

Drool wrote:
dorkboy wrote:weapon skills marginally useful
weapon obsolescence
:|
Drool wrote:APs [...] seem like little more than an attempt to inject "realism". A horribly, tragically failed attempt. Making the battle rifle's burst fire cost 50% more is just stupid; I'd rather have it balanced against the pistol (since, apparently starting weapons need to be carried for the whole game) by fiddling with range. Make it less effective at short range. Or even make it cost more at short range (because it's unwieldy), but if you're shooting at a target 15 meters away, there's no way it's going to take more time to fire a burst then a single pistol shot.

I don't like using immersion as an argument, but that kind of thing just shatters it for me.
right... :? so anything short of 1 AP actions are attempts at "realism"? and multiple APs can't be used as a gameplay balancing mechanism because that would be unrealistic? except when it's realistic, then it's ok.. :lol:
i don't fucking care as long as it helps make combat fun and varied. anyways, the range thingie isn't a bad idea.
Drool wrote:Compare to Wasteland, where there's a fight with close to 100 foes. Or, hell, just try doing the Bard's Tale 1 barbarian fight. With the max scroll speed and not thinking about your actions, that fight take over an hour. Now just try to imagine it with a one-at-a-time AP system.
or try imagining it with.. less foes?
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Lucius » December 22nd, 2012, 5:46 am

dorkboy wrote:
Drool wrote:Compare to Wasteland, where there's a fight with close to 100 foes. Or, hell, just try doing the Bard's Tale 1 barbarian fight. With the max scroll speed and not thinking about your actions, that fight take over an hour. Now just try to imagine it with a one-at-a-time AP system.
or try imagining it with.. less foes?
Wouldn't that be dumbed down? We can't simplify things and still be old school for the love of God! :roll:

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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by dorkboy » December 22nd, 2012, 6:33 am

Lucius wrote:
dorkboy wrote:
Drool wrote:Compare to Wasteland, where there's a fight with close to 100 foes. Or, hell, just try doing the Bard's Tale 1 barbarian fight. With the max scroll speed and not thinking about your actions, that fight take over an hour. Now just try to imagine it with a one-at-a-time AP system.
or try imagining it with.. less foes?
Wouldn't that be dumbed down? We can't simplify things and still be old school for the love of God! :roll:
or how about a turn-based Formula 1 racing game?
no.because.that.would.just.be... absurd. ;)
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by The_Scorpion » December 22nd, 2012, 6:54 am

DarkTwinkie wrote:Hi Lucius,

Combat will be action point based. There are no defined rounds for "rangers turn" and "enemies turn". Instead it is based on the speed attribute of each party member. Characters with higher speed attributes will get more turns than those with lower speed attributes. Put more points into speed if you'd like to attack more in any given combat encounter.
is that the only Dev answer this thread got? Sounds like individual turns for each character? :?

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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by TΛPETRVE » December 22nd, 2012, 8:12 am

dorkboy wrote:or how about a turn-based Formula 1 racing game?
no.because.that.would.just.be... absurd. ;)
I raise you a Math Gran Prix (sic!) on the Atari 2600 8-) .
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by dorkboy » December 22nd, 2012, 8:46 am

TΛPETRVE wrote:
dorkboy wrote:or how about a turn-based Formula 1 racing game?
no.because.that.would.just.be... absurd. ;)
I raise you a Math Gran Prix (sic!) on the Atari 2600 8-) .
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Drool » December 22nd, 2012, 9:17 pm

dorkboy wrote:so anything short of 1 AP actions are attempts at "realism"? and multiple APs can't be used as a gameplay balancing mechanism because that would be unrealistic? except when it's realistic, then it's ok.. :lol:
You seem to be having real difficulty understanding what I'm writing. I'll try again:

ALL combat systems will be unrealistic to some degree or another. Multiple AP systems try to give the appearance of being more realistic, but are generally less realistic, because their "realism" is "more power takes more time". Shooting a burst from a Mac-10 and shooting a burst from an M-16 take roughly the same amount of time, so why does the M-16 take more action points? Because APs are a hamfisted attempt at balance trying to disguise itself as realism.

Single action systems are also unrealistic, but the difference is: they aren't trying to fake it. I would rather have weapon balance addressed through other venues (like range issues or reliability issues) than through painfully arbitrary AP systems.
or try imagining it with.. less foes?
Sigh. Yes, because having tiny battles with 3 actors are always so memorable. Man, that fight with the single cur and the one imp was so memorable and totally different than that one fight with the imp and the one cur. Those big fights are deeply memorable; everybody who's played Bard's Tale remembers "the barbarian fight". Everyone who's fought the temple guardians in Wasteland remembers it. They all also remember the first time those fights started. Eyes widening as the numbers appear and the slowly dawning realization that you may have just bit off more than you can chew, generally followed by, "oh shit..." And then, the thrill of victory at the end (and the eyes popping out again as you see the mountain of XP you just earned).

And in a game where there's actual tactics involved, such a fight could easily be the highlight of the game.

If your combat system breaks down when more than 6 people are involved, it's a pretty shitty system, especially when the player can have up to seven. It has nothing to do with whining about games being "dumbed down" (thanks for the condescension, Lucius). It's wanting to be sure the combat system is robust enough to handle big fights, and having those fights be memorable for something besides soul-crushing tedium.
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Kyuu » December 22nd, 2012, 10:31 pm

Drool wrote:Because APs are a hamfisted attempt at balance trying to disguise itself as realism.

Single action systems are also unrealistic, but the difference is: they aren't trying to fake it. I would rather have weapon balance addressed through other venues (like range issues or reliability issues) than through painfully arbitrary AP systems.
What is the difference between balance with an AP system and balance with "range issues or reliability issues"? They're both equally arbitrary. Weapons' range and reliability will be completely arbitrary according to the devs' desire for balance between them.

Although you also seem to be missing the point that this sort of AP system also allows to assign different values for accessing inventory, using an item, reloading, etc. It's not just about arbitrarily deciding that one weapon takes longer to shoot than another. I don't even see what's wrong with that, though; like a lot of things in RPGs, it's an abstraction. It's not about simply how long it takes to pull a trigger, but the amount of effort needed to hold it steady and compensate for recoil, how long it takes to bring it to bear and aim down the sights, etc. and so on.

Now, as far as all those posts about needing to plot out your turns in another program and having to do all these hard maths... lol? If you're obsessing about it that much, that's something of a personal problem rather than something the devs should have to worry about. I've played and replayed the Fallouts (which I use as an example due to the AP system), and never once did I do something as silly as excruciatingly plan out my turns in advance. It's just not that hard to figure: I've got 10 APs. My gun takes 4 APs to shoot. I can shoot my guns once and go hide around the corner of this building 5 hexes away, or shoot it twice and either go in my inventory to pop a stim or just stand still and use the spare APs for a little armor value boost. Rinse and repeat for each turn. Where's the hard maths that are going to require excruciating planning for anyone except the most anal retentive... who are going to do excruciating planning regardless because that's what they do?

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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Mandemon » December 23rd, 2012, 1:46 am

Fallout had limited, around 10 AP. Each step took one. It had simple AP system, so you didn't need to count.

Compare X-COM or Jagged Alliance, where numbers are above 50 AP per turn. X-COM was particularly bad, since you needed external sheet to see how much each action would cost and how much you had left.

If using AP system, it needs to be clear and simple. Bloating it with needless stuff, ALA X-COM, only makes it clunky, slow and annoying.

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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by dorkboy » December 23rd, 2012, 3:33 am

Mandemon wrote:Fallout had limited, around 10 AP. Each step took one. It had simple AP system, so you didn't need to count.

Compare X-COM or Jagged Alliance, where numbers are above 50 AP per turn. X-COM was particularly bad, since you needed external sheet to see how much each action would cost and how much you had left.

If using AP system, it needs to be clear and simple. Bloating it with needless stuff, ALA X-COM, only makes it clunky, slow and annoying.
yeah, i agree. it needs to be somewhat robust, and also upfront about AP costs.
i think it could also benefit from showing movement range a la XCOM (though without the same limitations), and as part of that movement range also show how far you can move and still be able to fire your selected weapon/weapon mode.

@Drool
i think i understood you the first time, it's just that i'm blessed with the inability to consider APs/AP costs either particularily realistic or unrealistic. as an example, i would primarily regard a reloading cost of 6 AP as opposed to 2 AP from a gameplay mechanics/balance rammifications point of view.
i do, however, experience similar immersion issues when i compare lockpicking in oblivion/skyrim (lockpicks snap like twigs) to that of morrowind (abstracted "wrench-waving" with item durability).
my main concern when it comes to "realism" vis-a-vis turnbased is whether or not it gets in the way of what i, personally, consider to be an interesting game balance. "realistic" weapon range/damage/accuracy/etc have, imo, been .. less than stellar.. in that regard.

as to the exact number of foes, my point was that since combat will have some kind of AP system (possibly inspired by the games the devs were looking at) it will also be necessary to scale battle sizes accordingly.
coming up with absurd examples of what would not work/be interesting is fine as a method of elimination (what to avoid) - but as you so aptly put it: [picture of a strange guy with a funny hat].
that being said, i very much agree that avoiding gameplay collapse due to party size/AP granularity/repetative combat/etc is important (and will probably require quite a lot of fine tuning).
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