Skills and Spells suggestion thread

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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by meganothing » July 26th, 2015, 11:34 am

Since this is a dungeon crawler, there should be many skills and spells that help you navigate the dungeons:

* A spell that works a bit like the sonar of bats. On a cross roads you might cast it and it sends small lights ind all directions, after a time dependand on distance them come back with a color that signify the first thing they have found, monster, door, dead end or item. Similar to the light or fire spell in the in-engine video.

* A damage spell that works around corners, but with only small damage, maybe even splitting up on forks and crossroads.

* A damage spell that creates a cylindrical stone that rolls (like in the iconic Indiana Jones scene) in direction of the enemy (just for the visual coolness)

* if you are able to camp in the dungeon but might be surprised by monsters, you might have a skill or spell that uses plants, wood and simple weapons you find in the dungeon ot create barriers that buy you time to wake up and prepare (which would translate to a higher chance of not being surprised by the monsters) or damage the monsters. This would be a nice way to have a use for cheap stuff that isn't worth enough to bring back to a merchant.

* Traps. Like in the previous idea there might be a skill to construct traps from low-level weapons, armour and stuff. In all the isometric games that had traps I never used them really, because more than half of all attempts prematurely alerted the monsters or they just didn't step into them. A dungeon crawler with narrow corridors would make that skill finally useful and fun. And again, would provide a use for the junk/low level items you find.

* A spell to create a magical trap should also be in the game.

* A storm/wind spell that pushes monsters back, but it should only work well in narrow corridors, in wider areas or rooms it should expend its energy much faster in all directions, like you would expect from physics

* A discovery spell with a high mana cost that just puts a small point on the map where an unfound item is located. The sort of hint spell for when you just can't find that last secret door.

* Above discovery spell could instead turn you into the direction of that item instead of putting something onto your map. Or you provide both spells and this one has a much lower mana cost.

* A spell that activates traps near you (unconditionally or depending on trap level and your spell power). For the cases where you look at a scene and just know there must be a trap somewhere. Should be somewhat complementary to the thiefs skills (for example usable against traps the thief would fail with a high chance but expensive, or it doesn't disable the traps but gives the thief a higher chance to see and disarm them ...)

PS: Forgot that this thread was about the positioning system and skills based upon it. Oh well, maybe one of these ideas is still good enough for the game

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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by Tuoweit » August 3rd, 2015, 5:49 pm

Another possibility for grid-based combat: effects that target a grid space rather than an opponent, like placing a trap/triggered spell, or a wall of ice/fire/whatever, and so on.

Perhaps also effects that manipulate the shape/size of the grid itself - reducing the width of the grid available to opponents or increasing one's own. IIRC it was Might & Magic that had combat with variable "combat width" (anywhere from 2 to 5 of your 6 party members - or all 6 if you were ambushed while resting - might be in melee range), and had a spell to open up melee to the full 5 slots.

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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by thebruce » August 3rd, 2015, 9:09 pm

The concern I have with the grid/meatspace combat mechanic is that combat encounters will become much larger beasts than the classic. Already ideas are presented that add complexity to battles. Whether or not you like the AAAADDD-waaaatch structure (that's about the simplest/fastest command phase you'd get btw), the combat mechanic in the classic was definitely much simpler and quicker than what we may end up getting in BT4.

I think when ideas are described about how to best incorporate the tactical grid (since it's pretty much guaranteed that's what we're getting), let's try not to lose sight of the streamlined combat we had in the classics. I think it would be prudent to keep combat round setup (party commands) simple enough to execute in under a minute, tops. And that's being generous; I'd guess that the average party command 'phase' length was probably close to 10-15 seconds, once you really knew your characters and what items and abilities each had, especially after the first round when you'd mentally strategized. Can we get that speedy with the input with the way inXile's setting up combat mechanics for BT4?
(and that's another tip that keyboard entry was very important to the UI ;) )
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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by thebruce » August 3rd, 2015, 9:13 pm

Maybe for example if the commands had optional focus abilities... Say, if you said (A)ttack for the your warrior, the default would be the 'classic' - standard swing at the melee enemies. Alternatively, you could optionally focus the attack to a closer/adjacent enemy, so the UI would then prompt for which square or specific enemy you'd like him/her to attack.
Same with (D)efend - default would be classic standard self defense; alternatively, you could focus your defense on an adjacent party member.
Same with (C)ast a(n offense) spell - default would be classic targeting of an enemy group; alternatively, the spell could focus on a specific location for a bonus to splash damage across nearby enemy groups.
Thinking out loud here - how to provide a 'classic' feel with an improved and tactical grid mechanic...
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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by meganothing » August 4th, 2015, 2:16 am

thebruce wrote:Maybe for example if the commands had optional focus abilities... Say, if you said (A)ttack for the your warrior, the default would be the 'classic' - standard swing at the melee enemies.
Why should that be optional? A keykoard command that just orders "do the same thing as last round" is rather trivial to do. Or if you want to make it more detailed, a command to do the same attack or defense action as last round. And a simple attack should know who I targeted last time and just attack the next enemy in line if the last one was killed (old games like wl1 needed me to specify the group to attack at least once, even this could be scrapped if a "do as last round" command is already in the pipeline)

I have the suspicion that a lot of flak for new position dependant actions from BT-traditionalists might come from the misunderstanding that every action would have to be targeted exactly at the relevant enemy or you would have to change positions all the time. There is no reason for the normal attack to be anything else as either "attack first in reach" or "attack as last round". And even in the unlikely case that InXile forgets that, it can be added in the beta.

I want the combat to be more tactical and varied than in the old classics, but I don't want to waste my time with meaningless micromanagement, too. Mopping up low level enemies should not make me swapping out front line fighters. Even things like spell interruption can be streamlined by various means: One of his "do as last round" commands might imply to try spell interrupt whenever possible, the UI might have interrupts (where all commands not yet executed are flushed out) for specific events,

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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by thebruce » August 4th, 2015, 6:20 am

meganothing wrote:
thebruce wrote:Maybe for example if the commands had optional focus abilities... Say, if you said (A)ttack for the your warrior, the default would be the 'classic' - standard swing at the melee enemies.
Why should that be optional? A keykoard command that just orders "do the same thing as last round" is rather trivial to do.
Oh what I was talking about has nothing to do with what you did last round. Not sure how you read that in. Unless you're referring to the fact that a combat encounter might end up merely as 5 rounds of AAAADDD. But, each round you have the choice to do the same thing or mix things up. Of course it'd be easy to just have the game allow you to just perform the same actions as last round. But that's not the thing I'm getting at here.
I have the suspicion that a lot of flak for new position dependant actions from BT-traditionalists might come from the misunderstanding that every action would have to be targeted exactly at the relevant enemy or you would have to change positions all the time. There is no reason for the normal attack to be anything else as either "attack first in reach" or "attack as last round". And even in the unlikely case that InXile forgets that, it can be added in the beta.
I agree. And that's what I was saying - the default actions could occur just like the classic. Grid agnostic, just carry out the command as requested. the optional method I was referring to is actually a concept that does exist in other games; like a regular attack versus a focused attack. The latter would take advantage of the grid and locative properties, if available, of the attack/defend/cast/etc. If they want, it could even provide a slight bonus to the action (because it's focused). But it's about balance. What you get extra in the focus attack should be balanced in some way so that it's not always more beneficial; that's why the idea of the focus being a limited range to the target. For an attack it's sort of like a wild swing vs a concentrated strike. Wild swing could hit more but be weaker, concentrated strike would hit the target and be much stronger.

In the case of BT4, the standard actions would be carried out just like the classics. But with the tactical grid feature of BT4, the focused options provide more control, more targeting, better strategizing. The loss would be it takes a little more time to get through the command round, and range of effectiveness is limited to the character/ability/relative location. Moving a character's position (advance/retreat from melee, eg) makes sense to be an option in the command phase then, if you're strategizing with focused actions on the grid. But you could still fight merely with the classic AAAADDD style phase.
Get what I'm getting at? :mrgreen:
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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by Themadcow » August 4th, 2015, 7:11 am

Playing a bit of Persona 4 Golden at the moment and while it's veeeery different, there are some mechanics that are relevant. Their version of focusing involves spending one round going into 'focus' (at a spellpoint cost) in return for the next damage dealing spell to be roughly 3 times as powerful - it's fairly classic risk vs. reward.

Equally, a crit on a player can knock them down or dizzy them - making them lose a turn or prone to taking more damage, which is a different take on the classic crit=dead mechanic in BT or the common crit=damage modifier mechanic seen in most RPG's. I think a knockdown could work well in this format.

Overall, I'd hate to see combat take too long. I loved the huge battles in Gold Box games, but everything has it's place and in blobbers it's a bit of a sin to have 'random encounter' combat take any more than about 3 minutes per encounter.
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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by meganothing » August 4th, 2015, 7:20 am

thebruce wrote: Oh what I was talking about has nothing to do with what you did last round. Not sure how you read that in. Unless you're referring to the fact that a combat encounter might end up merely as 5 rounds of AAAADDD.
Yes, I was refering to what you said in your first post (and didn't quite catch what you meant with the focus attack). Naturally we all want a "fast mode" for combat phases where the enemy is dead but doesn't accept that fact yet.

And I very much agree that combat with keyboard should be as streamlined as possible. You should be able to input a full round from memory. And because we have 2015, it shouldn't be a variable number code like in WL1
I agree. And that's what I was saying - the default actions could occur just like the classic. Grid agnostic, just carry out the command as requested. the optional method I was referring to is actually a concept that does exist in other games; like a regular attack versus a focused attack. The latter would take advantage of the grid and locative properties, if available, of the attack/defend/cast/etc. If they want, it could even provide a slight bonus to the action (because it's focused). But it's about balance. What you get extra in the focus attack should be balanced in some way so that it's not always more beneficial; that's why the idea of the focus being a limited range to the target. For an attack it's sort of like a wild swing vs a concentrated strike. Wild swing could hit more but be weaker, concentrated strike would hit the target and be much stronger.

In the case of BT4, the standard actions would be carried out just like the classics. But with the tactical grid feature of BT4, the focused options provide more control, more targeting, better strategizing. The loss would be it takes a little more time to get through the command round, and range of effectiveness is limited to the character/ability/relative location. Moving a character's position (advance/retreat from melee, eg) makes sense to be an option in the command phase then, if you're strategizing with focused actions on the grid. But you could still fight merely with the classic AAAADDD style phase.
Get what I'm getting at? :mrgreen:
Not sure. Lets talk about a specific example. Say, you have to fight 2 goblins and 3 dogs. Depending on whether stacking of enemies is in or not they occupy 2 front slots or 4 front slots and 1 rear slot. Lets assume the first case, with stacking:

Lets assume the best tactic would be to kil the dogs first because they are high damage/low defense. In the traditional case (wizardry, BT1-3) you would be asked which group to attack for each PC. In some games the game remembers your group selection for the next round, otherwise you would have to input group number in each round. Low level PCs would just attack one enemy each round, high level fighters would get additional attacks, so that they might damage multiple dogs in one attack. Is that correct so far?

One method of focused attack might be that if the goblins are directly in front of your best fighter Achilleus, then he might make more damage than if he attacks the group of dogs. He might decide to attack the goblins for higher damage, change his place with the priest who is in front of the dogs or just hit the dogs with normal damage output. Now expect for the place changing that you could optionally do in the first round there is no additional work for you to do, it is all automatic even though there is a dependancy on position involved. Command input is as fast as in the traditional case.

But you talk about wild swing instead of concentrated strike. This is not clear to me. Naturally your fighter could have an additional attack variant that doesn't attack just one of the dogs with one attack but all dogs, or maybe attacks also the goblins. And that could be selected by pressing "W" instead of "A" (for wide attack). But I don't see that it adds any time after you make the decision to use the wide attack. It is just WWWWDDD instead of AAAADDD, or in the case that 'A' means "attack like last round" it would still be AAAADDD after the first round.

So where does you idea fit into this fight?

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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by thebruce » August 4th, 2015, 8:22 am

meganothing wrote:Not sure. Lets talk about a specific example. Say, you have to fight 2 goblins and 3 dogs. Depending on whether stacking of enemies is in or not they occupy 2 front slots or 4 front slots and 1 rear slot. Lets assume the first case, with stacking:

Lets assume the best tactic would be to kil the dogs first because they are high damage/low defense. In the traditional case (wizardry, BT1-3) you would be asked which group to attack for each PC. In some games the game remembers your group selection for the next round, otherwise you would have to input group number in each round. Low level PCs would just attack one enemy each round, high level fighters would get additional attacks, so that they might damage multiple dogs in one attack. Is that correct so far?
Hm. In BT, there would be two groups at 10', both available for melee. In your example, I'd likely hit group 2 (A2A2A2A2DDD) to clear them out, then target group 1 goblins.

Assuming a grid-based layout in BT4, they might arrive with 2 goblins on the front line, and maybe 2 dogs frontline and 2 in back. Consider:

Code: Select all

_ _ D D  (Dogs & Goblins)
G G D D
-------
 P W M (melee, Paladin/Warrior/Monk)
So, in a regular attack, with both groups having a close enough enemy, group 1 and 2 would be available. So once again for eg, I'd be able to A2A2A2A2DDD. Presuming an attack kills a dog and a rear dog moves up to take its spot, the commands could also clear out the group after the first round. If a rear dog decides not to move up, then my melees might not work once the two close dogs are killed (as if the 2 dog melee group is now a 20' ranged group). Next round I'd have group 1 goblins at 10' (two frontline spots) and group 2 dogs at 20' (two rear spots).

Roll it back- now let's say my paladin has a mace that has a special magic area/splash attack.
If I were to standard attack, the game could apply that splash damage to the dog group, or a limited additional number of enemies in the group (like the target +3 enemies).
If I were to focus attack, I could attack the dog that's next to a goblin (perhaps the other 10' dog is too far, he'd have to cross the 'field' just to make the attack, whereas the dog I want is within reach), and the target would be hit, plus a splash effect to the adjacent goblin and dogs. So the focus attack would allow me control exactly where the splash damage takes effect (instead of the game distributing it as it sees fit).
Let's say my paladin had multiple attacks - a standard attack would happen like the classics, multiple hits for excess damage on a creature in the group being attacked. A focused attack might allow me to target multiple individual enemies, allowing me to either kill multiple enemies, or hit one for extra damage.
One method of focused attack might be that if the goblins are directly in front of your best fighter Achilleus, then he might make more damage than if he attacks the group of dogs. He might decide to attack the goblins for higher damage, change his place with the priest who is in front of the dogs or just hit the dogs with normal damage output. Now expect for the place changing that you could optionally do in the first round there is no additional work for you to do, it is all automatic even though there is a dependancy on position involved. Command input is as fast as in the traditional case.
Sure, if the Warrior wanted an effective attack on the dogs, a standard attack could transparently switch positions for the attack horizontally to have a direct attack on the frontline dogs. I wouldn't worry so much about seeing that happen, I'd just expect that that's the case for the standard attack; since it's an attack against any 10' group, we can presume the character does what's needed for the attack.
To the previous example, you might then say why in the focus attack couldn't the paladin move to the far right to attack the most distant 10' dog? Well in a focus attack, a position move would require the full command. Sort of like, a focus attack requires a full command, where a standard attack, having less 'control', as it were, includes the needed move to carry out the attack. That's all behind the scenes of course, btu the logic of it at least can apply within the tactical setup to provide a 'classic' combat experience.
But you talk about wild swing instead of concentrated strike. This is not clear to me. Naturally your fighter could have an additional attack variant that doesn't attack just one of the dogs with one attack but all dogs, or maybe attacks also the goblins. And that could be selected by pressing "W" instead of "A" (for wide attack). But I don't see that it adds any time after you make the decision to use the wide attack. It is just WWWWDDD instead of AAAADDD, or in the case that 'A' means "attack like last round" it would still be AAAADDD after the first round.

So where does you idea fit into this fight?
The 'wild' swing was just an example to visualize a regular attack vs a focused attack. I wasn't actually implying there should be a 'wild' attack :P (though perhaps there could be). The intent was to connect 'wild' (unfocused) attack to the standard/classic attack, and the focused attack to the longer-to-plan attack (because of interacting with the grid).

But if you want to consider an actual "Wild" attack skill (picture warrior going into a frenzy :P), then I'd say that could be a special ability in a standard attack, or carried out as an area attack when focused (see the example of the paladin attack above with the mace, attacking multiple enemies in a group, or multiple enemies adjacent to the focused target).
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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by meganothing » August 4th, 2015, 9:52 am

Okay, so you have implied moves where I have explicit moves.

In your case the UI needs two methods of addressing attack targets, either group or specific position, for example group would be 1,2,3... and position H,J,K,L, with back row Z,U,I O. Or group adressing is ditched and you always use position 1-8. That variant would be the better choice if BT4 still stacks enemies in one square.

In my case attacks could work without specifying exact location, but any attack would have a default target with maximum damage, most often the square in front of the PC. In that case some attack combinations, especially all PCs targeting the same orc in a single group of 4 orcs, is not possible. And you can use the arrow keys to move your PCs explicitly around to arrive at the best position (in most cases it won't make a difference, same as with implied moves). The interesting thing is, if you want to optimize, you could even strategize which of your PCs is doing the switching, because the one he switches with still has his full action.

Advantage of this method would be that arrow keys are easy to use and get used to, and there is no mixup possible between position K and command K (if there are lots of skills the keyboard could be limiting), i.e. a litlle fault tolerance.

--------

In both cases (implied versus explicit) position can be ignored if you don't want to optimize down to the last hit point. The additional work for optimzing position is small. Sounds good to me.

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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by thebruce » August 4th, 2015, 11:06 am

Out of curiosity, have you played he classics?
meganothing wrote:Okay, so you have implied moves where I have explicit moves.

In your case the UI needs two methods of addressing attack targets, either group or specific position, for example group would be 1,2,3... and position H,J,K,L, with back row Z,U,I O. Or group adressing is ditched and you always use position 1-8. That variant would be the better choice if BT4 still stacks enemies in one square.
First, I'm presuming the understanding that enemies aren't stacking on a square (sadly), and it's one enemy per square.
Second, the classic (which I'm referring to here as standard) combat does indeed refer to groups by number, displaying their distance where 10' is melee and 20'+ is ranged. I'm also presuming one grid square is equivalent to the 10' idea (even if it's not a 10' grid square) so that only the closest grid squares are melee and the rest are ranged.

So yes, on the standard attack, you would choose an available group which has a foe in melee range. In my example above, both groups have a 10' grid occupied, so a standard attack on the dogs would be A-2. If I were to instead choose the focused attack, I would be prompted to select a grid square on which to carry out the action (whether it's attack, cast a spell, or defend, which may instead prompt for a party grid square).

The 'implied' moves are for the standard attack (all I care about is the attack and which group), and the explicit moves are the focused attack (I spend more time specifically determining what my character does and to where based on the grid). The latter has never been seen in BT, the former is the 'classic' method.
In my case attacks could work without specifying exact location, but any attack would have a default target with maximum damage, most often the square in front of the PC. In that case some attack combinations, especially all PCs targeting the same orc in a single group of 4 orcs, is not possible. And you can use the arrow keys to move your PCs explicitly around to arrive at the best position (in most cases it won't make a difference, same as with implied moves). The interesting thing is, if you want to optimize, you could even strategize which of your PCs is doing the switching, because the one he switches with still has his full action.
In my mind, this is mixing the standard and the focused attack. A standard attack would work with the default target (which would be the group, and behind the scenes the game chooses an enemy to attack; I don't think the programming in the classics chooses one randomly, I'm guessing the enemies are attacked in an array sequentially so as not to have to store the health of each individual enemy in a group, only the current one at the forefront).

So, working with your group of 4 orcs, if I were to only attack with my characters using the standard attack, then I'd be swiping and knocking them down one by one. If I were to choose a focused attack, I could have my front line characters in theory attack each orc separately, were they on different grid squares, and if they were in reach (within 2D melee range by the grid). Alternatively I could have them move, or swap positions, with another character as an action.

And so you can see how the standard attack would be the optimized input, but with little strategic control (no grid interfacing), and the focused attack would take longer but give greater tactical control by making use of the grid.
Advantage of this method would be that arrow keys are easy to use and get used to, and there is no mixup possible between position K and command K (if there are lots of skills the keyboard could be limiting), i.e. a litlle fault tolerance.
Right, the arrow keys would be used, in my context, in the focused attack, since that's the one that makes use of the grid. (or any other command requiring grid reference, like if the command were to move to another position)
In both cases (implied versus explicit) position can be ignored if you don't want to optimize down to the last hit point. The additional work for optimzing position is small. Sounds good to me.
Right. I think we're pretty much on the same page :ugeek:
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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by meganothing » August 4th, 2015, 12:51 pm

thebruce wrote:Out of curiosity, have you played he classics?
I played Wizardry 1 (shortly) and 8, Stonekeep (shortly, until my hard disk crashed), Arx Fatalis and MM from 6 upwards
The 'implied' moves are for the standard attack (all I care about is the attack and which group), and the explicit moves are the focused attack (I spend more time specifically determining what my character does and to where based on the grid). The latter has never been seen in BT, the former is the 'classic' method.
Whether the move of your focused attack is explicit depends on how you input your selection. If you just specify the enemy aka square you want to attack, then the move is still implied by your position and the position of the square you wish to attack.

Explicit would be if you use the arrow keys to move your PC and then use either focused attack (A) on a square you specify or (B) on the square directly in front of your PC. (A) is suboptimal because you have to do double work, you have to input the move and then also input a specific square (i.e. "-> F 3") , in case of (B) you just need to enter the move and the attack automatically hits the right enemy (i.e. "-> F"). B is practically what I was proposing (I further optimized so that any attack would be focused if the enemy in front of you is in the group you wish to attack, i.e. it would be "-> A").
I don't think the programming in the classics chooses one randomly, I'm guessing the enemies are attacked in an array sequentially so as not to have to store the health of each individual enemy in a group, only the current one at the forefront).
Yes, probably. This won't be true anymore with position having some influence.
Right, the arrow keys would be used, in my context, in the focused attack, since that's the one that makes use of the grid. (or any other command requiring grid reference, like if the command were to move to another position)
Ok, the arrow keys are used to move your toon then. But you also need to specify which square you attack or is that the implied part in your scheme (i.e. you attack who is in front of you) ? If yes, we are proposing practically the same thing, in too many words already.

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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by thebruce » August 4th, 2015, 6:45 pm

meganothing wrote:
thebruce wrote:Out of curiosity, have you played he classics?
I played Wizardry 1 (shortly) and 8, Stonekeep (shortly, until my hard disk crashed), Arx Fatalis and MM from 6 upwards
You should play the classics ;)
meganothing wrote:
The 'implied' moves are for the standard attack (all I care about is the attack and which group), and the explicit moves are the focused attack (I spend more time specifically determining what my character does and to where based on the grid). The latter has never been seen in BT, the former is the 'classic' method.
Whether the move of your focused attack is explicit depends on how you input your selection. If you just specify the enemy aka square you want to attack, then the move is still implied by your position and the position of the square you wish to attack.
I think this is just semantics. Implicit vs explicit is a relative thing. In my context, it's the difference between not defining a target, and explicitly defining one (and in my case, you can only attack what is already within reach, without requiring a movement). You're taking it to another level by allowing attacking something that does require a movement, so making the command an explicit movement + attack target.

My only point was that the standard attack can be defined by only the (A)ttack and a Group #. The focused attack allows entry of much more information (with or without movement, but at least a reference to the tactical grid)
meganothing wrote:
Right, the arrow keys would be used, in my context, in the focused attack, since that's the one that makes use of the grid. (or any other command requiring grid reference, like if the command were to move to another position)
Ok, the arrow keys are used to move your toon then. But you also need to specify which square you attack or is that the implied part in your scheme (i.e. you attack who is in front of you) ? If yes, we are proposing practically the same thing, in too many words already.
In the standard attack, grid positioning is irrelevant, beyond which group has an enemy in the front row. You don't refer to the grid at all, you only attack a group that is attackable having at least one front row grid occupied by an enemy. Special attacks would work just like the classics.
In the focused attack, that's where you do the directed attack to a square that's within attack range (left/right included), or define a movement and an attack, or multiple attacks, or whatever can explicitly be commanded of the character's skillset & abilities. As well as defensive commands or spells that can make use of the foe/party grids.
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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by meganothing » August 5th, 2015, 11:45 am

thebruce wrote: I think this is just semantics. Implicit vs explicit is a relative thing. In my context, it's the difference between not defining a target, and explicitly defining one ...
Naturally it is only semantics, but semantics are there to understand each other. What you have been talking about is implicit vs. explicit attack while I have been talking about implicit vs. explicit move.
My only point was that the standard attack can be defined by only the (A)ttack and a Group #. The focused attack allows entry of much more information (with or without movement, but at least a reference to the tactical grid)
My thoughts were more about what works well with keyboard input. What use is a focused attack if that attack needs overly complicated command input?

That's why I prefer the move to be implicit and the attack target to be implicit. A move is easier to input than an attack target (with the keyboard), on the other hand input of the attack target is more variable. What I don't really like would be explicit move PLUS explicit target, because that makes the "focused" attacks a chore in the long run.

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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by thebruce » August 5th, 2015, 12:23 pm

meganothing wrote:
thebruce wrote: I think this is just semantics. Implicit vs explicit is a relative thing. In my context, it's the difference between not defining a target, and explicitly defining one ...
Naturally it is only semantics, but semantics are there to understand each other. What you have been talking about is implicit vs. explicit attack while I have been talking about implicit vs. explicit move.
Right, which is why we're...not really talking about the same thing here.
My thoughts were more about what works well with keyboard input. What use is a focused attack if that attack needs overly complicated command input?
Initially I wasn't even referring to the complexity of command input for the focused attack, merely that it would require more than the standard AAAADDD.
That's why I prefer the move to be implicit and the attack target to be implicit. A move is easier to input than an attack target (with the keyboard), on the other hand input of the attack target is more variable. What I don't really like would be explicit move PLUS explicit target, because that makes the "focused" attacks a chore in the long run.
Sure, I don't disagree regarding the complexity of movement in an attack command phase. I mentioned that an option in the focused idea would be that you may simply choose something like (F)ocus attack (#)Grid square [of which only those in melee reach would be available]. Simple input. I didn't even initially consider the option to move as part of the focus attack, and actually suggested that movement not be an option in that command. I think we have some crossed lines somewhere in this conversation... that or I'm just confused about what you're disagreeing with me on :?
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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by Tuoweit » August 5th, 2015, 9:04 pm

I'm not liking the suggestion that the focused attack should be better at the "cost" of more user input: "position can be ignored if you don't want to optimize down to the last hit point. The additional work for optimzing position is small." User interface is never a valid element of balance.

I'm ok with the idea of focused vs unfocused attacks, but they should both have gameplay advantages, otherwise one is strictly better from a mechanical standpoint (and thus always used). For example, the unfocused attack could do more overall damage but spread that damage out across more opponents, while the focused attack does what its name suggests - less overall damage/fewer attacks, but focused on a single specified target. They would both have their legitimate tactical uses.

--

I do overall agree that I'm not very keen on seeing the speed of combats slowed down dramatically for the sake of adding a more-detailed tactical layer. I'm not against more tactical options, but I don't want to be spending 10 minutes analyzing each battle, either (assuming battles will happen with the same frequency as in the original series). The combats should be pretty straightforward to analyze and decide how to proceed, leave the deep thinking for the puzzles.

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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » August 5th, 2015, 10:09 pm

Tuoweit wrote: I do overall agree that I'm not very keen on seeing the speed of combats slowed down dramatically for the sake of adding a more-detailed tactical layer. I'm not against more tactical options, but I don't want to be spending 10 minutes analyzing each battle, either (assuming battles will happen with the same frequency as in the original series). The combats should be pretty straightforward to analyze and decide how to proceed, leave the deep thinking for the puzzles.
I mostly agree with this. I do like having some tactical thought in encounters rather than just mindless AAAADDD though, but I think that can be mostly had through thinking about which stack of monsters to attack and which spells to use. I really don't want to see it become too painstakingly involved.

Rather than having to choose between unfocused and focused attacks, I would rather just have characters with multiple attacks automatically carry those attacks over to the next opponent in the same stack, if an opponent is killed and there are still attacks left. (This, of course, assumes that there will be stacks of opponents.) So, if a Level 9 Warrior has 3 attacks and the player has chosen to have him attack a stack of 3 Kobolds, then if his first attack kills the first Kobold, his next attack would be redirected to the next Kobold, and so on. This scheme grants focus on tough monsters and allows quicker clearing of weaker monsters, which would have the effect of speeding up combats some over the original games and would probably make melees a little funner.
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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by thebruce » August 6th, 2015, 6:57 am

Tuoweit wrote:I'm not liking the suggestion that the focused attack should be better at the "cost" of more user input: "position can be ignored if you don't want to optimize down to the last hit point. The additional work for optimzing position is small." User interface is never a valid element of balance.

I'm ok with the idea of focused vs unfocused attacks, but they should both have gameplay advantages, otherwise one is strictly better from a mechanical standpoint (and thus always used). For example, the unfocused attack could do more overall damage but spread that damage out across more opponents, while the focused attack does what its name suggests - less overall damage/fewer attacks, but focused on a single specified target. They would both have their legitimate tactical uses.
heh, that's exactly what I was trying to describe :)
But in the UI there necessarily means that the 2nd step to defining a focused attack is where you want to focus the attack.
I'm not for complexity in the command process either.

So after the standard attack (Attack / Group#) there'd be a few options from an input standopint (irrelevant of character abilities):
* Focus attack / Select Target [grid square]
* Focus attack / Move position / Select Target
* Move position / Select Target
etc. There'd need to be a logic to which options are available. My suggestions was that for a standard melee character with no additional abilities or skills, they could either Standard Attack, or Focus Attack on a Target square. No movement. Input is simple.
For characters with say a higher dex, or a quick movement skill, perhaps they have the ability to dodge a space over for added melee range, so they could Focus Attack a square farther from their location. Maybe a character has a form of teleprojection spell so they could attack in one round from a rear location, so they'd Cast a spell / Select Target square anywhere on the field (and maybe the downside is it's a weaker offensive strike, but it afford the ability to hit ranged enemies).

As for arrow keys, I suppose they could include arrow key maneuvering to select a grid square, but there's so few, why not just hotkey the squares? No need for lots of up/down/left/right to find the square you want, if the grid is already visualized in combat then A-Z could select a square.

Say our combat looks something (roughly) like:

Code: Select all

Combat field:
| . 3 . . |  Group 3 (30')  Grid labels: I J K L
| . 3 2 2 |  Group 2 (10')               E F G H
| 1 1 2 2 |  Group 1 (10')               A B C D
|         |
|  P W M  |  [Pa Wa Mo]     Grid labels:  X Y Z
|  B S N  |  [Ba So NPC]                  U V W
  
I could accept keyboard combat input options something like:

Paladin, on X:
(A)ttack / Group (2) (1 or 2 at 10' are valid, group 3 is not)
(F)ocus attack / Target square (B) (if only A and B are within focus range)
(F)ocus attack / (J)ump to square (Z) / Target square (D) (making use of a special combat jump skill, eg)
(C)ast / (TEAT)telekinetattack / From square (K) target square (J) (because, you know, he's trained in mental magic stuffs)
Warrior, on Y, wielding Smash Hammer (splash damage):
(A)ttack / Group (2) (auto-targets best enemy, distributes splash damage within group) *
(F)ocus attack / target square (C) (hit C, plus adjacent enemies at B, G, and D)
Sorcerer, on V:
(C)ast / (HEAT)heal touch / Character #, or at (Y) (area effect healing which helps Y most but also boosts X, V and Z)

(of course this is just a basic depiction of the concept; not even taking into consideration the smaller spots and 'pet' aspect being introduced in BT4)
In this concept, a classic-style combat with only A(ttack)s and D(efend)s (and group #'s) is entirely valid, completely ignoring the grid visuals.

* in this case, the trade off is that since you didn't define a grid target, it doesn't know how to distribute adjacency outside the group, so like a group attack or perhaps multiple attack skill in the classics, the game distributes the damage as it sees fit among the group's members
I do overall agree that I'm not very keen on seeing the speed of combats slowed down dramatically for the sake of adding a more-detailed tactical layer. I'm not against more tactical options, but I don't want to be spending 10 minutes analyzing each battle, either (assuming battles will happen with the same frequency as in the original series). The combats should be pretty straightforward to analyze and decide how to proceed, leave the deep thinking for the puzzles.
Most definitely!
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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by Drool » August 7th, 2015, 12:22 pm

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:I mostly agree with this. I do like having some tactical thought in encounters rather than just mindless AAAADDD though
Heh. I keep seeing this. I keep thinking, "these people never tried to kill Brilhasti at level 12..."

I mean, yeah, fights with trash mobs were going to be AAAADDD (or AAAAHDD followed by AAAAADD in BT3), but boss fights actually required you pay attention. It wasn't just spam attack and damage spells. You had to balance healing, damage, buffs, debuffs, and SpPt management. I used to have a video of a severely underleveled party fighting Brilhasti tooth-and-nail. You could hear the surprise in my voice when I actually won. Sadly, I don't think I have it any more.

Then again, once you got NUKE and DIVA, you could largely ignore strategy again :|
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Re: Skills and Spells suggestion thread

Post by thebruce » August 7th, 2015, 2:14 pm

Yeah, all this talk of AAAADDD most certinaly doesn't mean that the potential for lengthier, difficult, strategic and tactical encounters didn't exist in the classics :) But I think that speaks to the games' flexibility, that combat could be as quick as 5 seconds or as long as 10+ minutes (or however long your longest battle may have taken :P )
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