Will Combat be Action Point based?

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undecaf
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by undecaf » December 28th, 2012, 1:13 am

Lucius wrote:
undecaf wrote: I don't hold Wasteland as a game that needed no improvements or refinements.
Of course not. But the fact pistols became obsolete was in NO way a problem. The player really wasn't affected by that at all. It is not an area that needs improvement, because it works as is. This doesn't need fixed.
Sure it does - not specifically fixed, but refined. Because linear skill to skill progression with skills still being presented as their own separate entities isn't really good design. Because having it that shit skill that is only useful at the first couple of hours only leads to a very linear and varietyfree weapons progression.

Obviously handguns should not be on the same line of heavier weapons as far as DMG goes -- that doesn't work and would make no sense at all. If you made an all handguns party, you should be fucked against more heavily armored opponents (perhaps a lucky critical goes through every now and then -- but then... less damage anyway) or situations where there's more distance between you and the foes who're wielding rifles (much lower to hit chance), but there are various ways to make a gunslinger character helpful in a viable and rewarding way (lower AP cost, more available ammo, nonlinear encounter design that supports this, etc).

And I do not see why you would be against that sort of thing because it only adds more variety of opportunities to the game and doesn't restrict your desired linear (or "logical" which ever way you want to put it) progression in any fucking way. It simply makes no sense at all to desing a fullblown combat skill that is only usefull for a couple of hours and then rendered completely useless for the rest of the game. Unnecessary skillbloat for no real gain.
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Woolfe » December 28th, 2012, 4:34 am

Probably depends on whether the pistol/rifle/smg/etc skills have an effect on Energy weapons as well.

As in, a laser pistol is an energy weapon, but it is also a pistol.

My assumption is that the skills will be seperate and won't mix, but it would be a neat way of having the skill be effective even when it is no longer the primary skill.

I can think of several ways off the top of my head to allow the 2 skills to integrate.
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by undecaf » December 28th, 2012, 5:28 am

Woolfe wrote:Probably depends on whether the pistol/rifle/smg/etc skills have an effect on Energy weapons as well.

As in, a laser pistol is an energy weapon, but it is also a pistol.

My assumption is that the skills will be seperate and won't mix, but it would be a neat way of having the skill be effective even when it is no longer the primary skill.

I can think of several ways off the top of my head to allow the 2 skills to integrate.
That's unlikely to happen (like you said), but I'd play ball with that. Definitely. Higher power requiring higher levels of specialization (provided, of course, that EW would be powerful enough to be worth requiring two skills to govern).

It might get a bit complicated if there are (are there?) strength requirements too to affect weapon efficiency. Although, STR could - as discussed at some point earlier - modify the AP requirements more than other stuff so it wouldn't really be "in the way" there.

For a (very) rough example to illustrate a point:
A hunting rifle takes 5AP to operate as a baseline and requires strength of 5 (on a scale of 1-10). Every second point below 5, starting from 4, adds 1AP to the cost of use. Having strength over 5 would not affect the use in any way, though, so as to say that finding the object heavy, does slow you down, but after being strong enough to lift and hold the weapon with ease, other statistics come into play (coordination, speed, skill).
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by reiniat » December 28th, 2012, 12:12 pm

Drool wrote:
reiniat wrote:YES YOU DO, because everytime youre levelling a soon to be useless skill youre not levelling a future useful skill, and when you start to use it you will suck at it, so in your reality what is better, to be an expert with handguns or to use EW just because they must be better even if you dont know how to use them?
They're useful while you're using them. But you are sinking, literally, hundreds of valuable points in something ultimately useless like you did in Fallout. Fallout gave you the choice of sinking tons of valuable points only to regret it later, or to level something that you couldn't use until the half-way point.
For three points, you could have level 2 Pistol, and you wouldn't need to spend a single point there ever again. Coincidentally, that was the cost of level 1 Energy Weapon, which you couldn't even learn until you were in an area that dropped said energy weapons. But by all means, lets make every gun identical so people don't have any reason to complain about skills not being useful for the entire game. Hell, let's just only have pistols. Wouldn't want the players to make choices, now would we?
Im not saying that the Wasteland system was wrong, or that it needed to be fixed, because it doesnt, as Lucius wrote:
Lucius wrote: But the fact pistols became obsolete was in NO way a problem. The player really wasn't affected by that at all. It is not an area that needs improvement, because it works as is. This doesn't need fixed.
Fallout handled the combat skills progression in a way that you needed to know wich skills would be useful in the long run, and that was really annoying. And yeah Wasteland did it better.
But the true point here is that game systems had changed, the idea now is that the different combat skills should all give you a different experience while going trough the game*, instead of forcing you to stick to them in a certain order, IMO.
*Make weapons essentially interchangeable is wrong.
EDIT: Also i think i should add that the Gauss weaponry (top tier stuff) in Fallout 2 belonged to the Small Guns skill, so you could effectively beat the game only with Small Guns, also the Gauss pistol could be stolen from an Enclave Patrol (those guys have their heads inside their asses) early in the game, but the ammo was scarce at that point anyway.
Last edited by reiniat on December 28th, 2012, 2:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Zeful » December 28th, 2012, 1:23 pm

Lucius wrote:Did this happen to you or anyone you knew? What percent of Wasteland players had an issue with pistols become obsolete and were troubled with mastering that system? It was obvious to everyone I knew...
Wouldn't know, I didn't play Wasteland. I did however play Dungeons and Dragons, which was even more fraught with this issue than Wasteland could possibly be, what with better than half of all printed material being mechanically worthless. Adding elements that are presented as equal but that aren't is dishonest, lazy design.
In real life, an assault rifle is more powerful than a handgun...ANY handgun, in most situations. How is that a bad attempt at realism. Sounds pretty right to me. How does it not to you? Regarding poor design decision? That's very much an opinion. In MY opinion having handguns useful to end game is fucking retarded game mechanics. Who on earth would think that is a good idea??? Especially in a world where there is such superior technology. Of course a .50 caliber handgun should be able to rape someone walking around in a suit of Power Armor - a walking tank. That makes sense. :roll:
It's a bad attempt at realism because in fiction realism is 100% unimportant. Speaking as a writer, I could care less about the laws of physics that say FTL is impossible, if my story is better, if it makes more sense to the audience, if it provides a better narrative, than realism is taken out behind the shed and shot.

In games, the same principle applies: It literally does not matter how a particular weapon, or set of weapons behaves in real life, all that matters to the audience is WHAT MAKES THE BETTER GAME.

Then there's the matter of inconsistent application of realism. Even if other types of guns are "better" in real life, guns are also hilariously non-lethal and random as unless the gun blows open a huge cavity in your body, you will generally survive a gunshot wound if you are treated within an hour of being shot, and that's only accounting for one round, your odds of survival do not noticably drop as more bullets are added, as people have survived with minimal injuries after having entire 30+ round clips emptied into them from barely a foot of range. So guns are already being treated unrealistically in how they deal damage, being even remotely consistent and a death state that didn't involve a long bleeding out period, why is it so important that weapon parity be preserved over how guns actually operate? How does this decision make the game in some way better than if it was just ignored?

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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by b0rsuk » December 28th, 2012, 1:33 pm

Drool wrote:[But by all means, lets make every gun identical so people don't have any reason to complain about skills not being useful for the entire game. Hell, let's just only have pistols. Wouldn't want the players to make choices, now would we?
Yes, the easiest, lazy way to make skills equally valuable is to make them interchangeable. But I won't give this strawman more attention than it deserves. As a matter of fact, if all skills work the same, I'd rather have them combined into a single skill. Let's just have a single skill: Guns. What's wrong with that ? Weapon skills as in most games only artificially divide weapons into a few categories.

Speaking of choices... Handguns become obsolete soon -> skip handguns. What kind of choice is that ? Or if SMGs are made very similar to assault rifles, it doesn't really matter which you pick, does it ? So again, what kind of choice is this ?

A choice would be something different. For example, in Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup short blades (short swords, daggers, sabres...) are just bad weapons unless you use them for backstabbing - against unaware or incapacitated enemy, where they shine. Also, in newer versions of DC:SS polearms reach 2 squares away by default, magical prefix is no longer necessary. That's not perfect, but it's better. A more meaningful choice in the game is: Do I use a 1H weapon without a shield for extra unarmed attacks, or a single 2H weapon for high damage, or a 1H weapon and shield for extra protection but lower damage ?

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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Ronin73 » December 28th, 2012, 2:49 pm

b0rsuk wrote: Speaking of choices... Handguns become obsolete soon -> skip handguns. What kind of choice is that ? Or if SMGs are made very similar to assault rifles, it doesn't really matter which you pick, does it ? So again, what kind of choice is this ?
Looks like an argument based on pure speculation to me . Fact of the matter is nobody knows that handguns will become obsolete. It was possible to complete Fallout 1&2 with nothing but pistols/handguns. Will it be possible in WL2? Who knows, we will have to wait and see. Of course I'm not recommending the entire party use pistols for the entire game, but one Ranger? I think it might be possible, or least I intend to find out :)

Why would SMG's be made similar to assault rifles? They are generally compact, easier to carry, but have a shorter range and are less accurate than an assault rifle (or a rifle for that matter since it's a combined skill) SMG's exist because they are actually a different weapon.

So, as for it not mattering which you pick that's just nonsense IMO. You starting factoring things like ammunition types, and how much of it you have, you better believe it matters.
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Woolfe » December 28th, 2012, 4:13 pm

undecaf wrote:
Woolfe wrote:Probably depends on whether the pistol/rifle/smg/etc skills have an effect on Energy weapons as well.

As in, a laser pistol is an energy weapon, but it is also a pistol.

My assumption is that the skills will be seperate and won't mix, but it would be a neat way of having the skill be effective even when it is no longer the primary skill.

I can think of several ways off the top of my head to allow the 2 skills to integrate.
That's unlikely to happen (like you said), but I'd play ball with that. Definitely. Higher power requiring higher levels of specialization (provided, of course, that EW would be powerful enough to be worth requiring two skills to govern).

It might get a bit complicated if there are (are there?) strength requirements too to affect weapon efficiency. Although, STR could - as discussed at some point earlier - modify the AP requirements more than other stuff so it wouldn't really be "in the way" there.

For a (very) rough example to illustrate a point:
A hunting rifle takes 5AP to operate as a baseline and requires strength of 5 (on a scale of 1-10). Every second point below 5, starting from 4, adds 1AP to the cost of use. Having strength over 5 would not affect the use in any way, though, so as to say that finding the object heavy, does slow you down, but after being strong enough to lift and hold the weapon with ease, other statistics come into play (coordination, speed, skill).
If all the complicated stuff is done by the computer, what does it matter if it is complicated, there is no need for you to work out the maths in your head. You may simply know that all these factors will affect your capability with a weapon. P&P systems reduced complexity on purpose to allow the game to flow. There is no need to do that when you have a computer do all the complex formulas.
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Drool » December 28th, 2012, 8:14 pm

[oh, nevermind; it's not worth it]
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by b0rsuk » December 29th, 2012, 2:15 am

Woolfe wrote: If all the complicated stuff is done by the computer, what does it matter if it is complicated, there is no need for you to work out the maths in your head. You may simply know that all these factors will affect your capability with a weapon. P&P systems reduced complexity on purpose to allow the game to flow. There is no need to do that when you have a computer do all the complex formulas.
It has to be done carefully. It's one thing to have computer shorten tedious actions and calculations for you. Too often computers are used to hide complexity. Then game mechanics become opaque and player can't make a good informed decision.

Examples of the first case are Dominions and Seasons. Both are board games with online versions playable for free. Dominions is fun, but each player builds his own deck over the course of a game, and a lot of shuffling is involved. Also, game setup is fairly tedious, you select 10 unique kindom cards then have to fetch 10(?) copies of each of them. Computer is a blessing for this game, it cuts all the tedious bits while not making rules harder to understand. Seasons (playable on boardgamearena.com ) has very annoying score track, because not only score keeps increasing during a game - it can be damaged by other players or used as a resource. Again, computers make this automatic and an average game takes only 29 minutes.

A counterexample - how not to do it - from Heroes of Might and Magic 3. The Sacrifice spell. Many players who consider themselves good at the game keep saying the spell is bad. Here's the ingame description:
Destroys a friendly creature group in order to resurrect a dead group. Number of resurrected creatures depends on the caster's spell power and the health of the destroyed stack.
Sounds bad at first glance. Why use this and not the Resurrect spell which doesn't have the extra cost ? Sacrificing a unit - who would want to do that ? A smarter player may consider sacrificing a group of Wyverns(level6, quite a lot HP) to resurrect a group of Hydras(level7). That sounds like a good trade, however there's no way to know how effective it will be until you try. But if you know the precise formula:

health_resurrected = (spell_power + sacrificed_base_health + fire_magic_bonus) * num_sacrificed_creatures, fire_magic_bonus worth 0, 3, 6, 10 for no school, Basic, Advanced, Expert

you realize how to use the spell for the biggest effect. There are two factors, and number of sacrificed creatures plays a big role. The bonus from Fire Magic and Spell Power will be biggest when multiplied by a very numerous stack. For example a stack of level 1 creatures. So how many Imps do I have to sacrifice to bring back my Archdevils ? Here's a table I made:

Image

Early in the game, the spell lets you to sacrifice a week of Imps to restore a week of Archdevils, which is an extremely good deal. In big battles where you KNOW you will lose a lot, the spell can easily turn the tide of battle. Resurrect spell doesn't come close. And with some investment in Fire Magic and Spell Power, you can divide 6 weeks of Imps into two groups and bring back all your Archdevils... twice ! No matter how big the stacks are. At the same level of magic skill, Resurrect would restore 2.8 Archdevils. Pfffftt.

Knowing the rules of a game is a must to play well. Merely knowing that health of sacrificed stack and spell power affect the effectiveness of Sacrifice led players to believe it's a crappy spell. Far from that.

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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by reiniat » December 29th, 2012, 2:18 pm

b0rsuk wrote: Knowing the rules of a game is a must to play well.
you could just have it reduced to this. :D .
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Woolfe » December 29th, 2012, 10:02 pm

b0rsuk wrote:It has to be done carefully. It's one thing to have computer shorten tedious actions and calculations for you. Too often computers are used to hide complexity. Then game mechanics become opaque and player can't make a good informed decision.
Yep, but I don't want to see a points game in which Weapon X is 2% more accurate than Weapon Z so I am going to use it.

The Maths is important, but you don't need to know it exactly. Indeed I would prefer it to be obfuscated somehow, until you have a high enough level in a skill to reveal the exact details.

So a high Awareness + High Rifle skill, allows you to work out that shooting Rifle X at target A will be better than Shooting at Target B or using Rifle Z instead.

Meh, if it has to be in there, have it in the text box, so those who want to can determine it, and those of us who are happy to wing it, can just ignore it.
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Grotesque » December 30th, 2012, 5:33 am

action points bitches!
All in.
where do I vote?
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by reiniat » December 31st, 2012, 3:46 pm

Woolfe wrote:
b0rsuk wrote:It has to be done carefully. It's one thing to have computer shorten tedious actions and calculations for you. Too often computers are used to hide complexity. Then game mechanics become opaque and player can't make a good informed decision.
Yep, but I don't want to see a points game in which Weapon X is 2% more accurate than Weapon Z so I am going to use it.

The Maths is important, but you don't need to know it exactly. Indeed I would prefer it to be obfuscated somehow, until you have a high enough level in a skill to reveal the exact details.

So a high Awareness + High Rifle skill, allows you to work out that shooting Rifle X at target A will be better than Shooting at Target B or using Rifle Z instead.

Meh, if it has to be in there, have it in the text box, so those who want to can determine it, and those of us who are happy to wing it, can just ignore it.
If a weapon can be qualified as plain better than another then the system is wrong, thats one of the reasons for me to think that the Call of Duty system is utterly wrong.
But you can make a system be complied enough to never be able to say "this weapon is the best", especially if you take human skill in the equation... but its hard to do, so most of the equations should be done in the background, BUT the stats and equations should be somwhere for anyone who wants to know them.
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Drool » December 31st, 2012, 8:05 pm

reiniat wrote:If a weapon can be qualified as plain better than another then the system is wrong, thats one of the reasons for me to think that the Call of Duty system is utterly wrong.
What?
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Ronin73 » December 31st, 2012, 8:39 pm

Drool wrote:
reiniat wrote:If a weapon can be qualified as plain better than another then the system is wrong, thats one of the reasons for me to think that the Call of Duty system is utterly wrong.
What?
Yeah, seriously I do not understand this comment at all. I'm struggling to think of any RPG that doesn't have weapons that are plain better than another.

Who would have thought that upgrading to a Proton Axe from a Chainsaw indicated that the system was wrong?
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Drool » December 31st, 2012, 8:46 pm

Ronin73 wrote:Who would have thought that upgrading to a Proton Axe from a Chainsaw indicated that the system was wrong?
Screw that comparison. Apparently having a proton axe being categorically better than a pointy stick is unacceptable.
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Ronin73 » December 31st, 2012, 9:05 pm

Drool wrote:
Ronin73 wrote:Who would have thought that upgrading to a Proton Axe from a Chainsaw indicated that the system was wrong?
Screw that comparison. Apparently having a proton axe being categorically better than a pointy stick is unacceptable.
LOL!, yeah I thought about putting a plain old Axe, but I decided to keep my weapon progression somewhat believable.
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by reiniat » January 3rd, 2013, 7:37 pm

Drool wrote:
reiniat wrote:If a weapon can be qualified as plain better than another then the system is wrong, thats one of the reasons for me to think that the Call of Duty system is utterly wrong.
What?
OH SORRY!! I should have say "between the top tier stuff of a given game" say Proton Axes should be as much as effective for a melee char as a Messon Canon is for an energy weapons char... But obiously Messon Cannon > Laser Pistol and Proton Axe > Chainsaw > Crowbar (sorry Gordon).
Reading back my post it looked pretty stupid :oops:
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