Will Combat be Action Point based?

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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Arcanix » December 19th, 2012, 7:28 am

How about splitting up the action point pool in two?

One action and one movement phase in every turn. Speed and expertise acounts for both but movement would also be affected by encumbrance level.
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Lucius » December 19th, 2012, 8:26 am

Brother None wrote:
dorkboy wrote:the problem with lowering action points is that you'll be able to move less per turn, making any kind of maneuvering a long term project (unless, of course, movement/AP is increased so that melee at some point becomes possible).
waiting in line to just fire 1 shot/perform 1 action (over and over again) is what makes turn-based boring, imo.
Another problem, a rather big one, is that one action = one point thinking basically equates the importance of every action even though they're fundamentally different. Reloading should not cost as much "effort" as moving one square, nor does firing equate those two. Hell, even better, you can help balance out gun use by using action points in a detailed manner. Sure, it asks a little more off the player, but it also delivers a more balanced, more satisfying experience.
I would argue that is a necessary sacrifice in the name of fun. With a limited action point system movement wouldn't be one square, it would be a movement range per action point. Yes if you only want to move one square, you would lose the full force of the movement turn, but again I think it would be more fun to not have to deal with multiple actions taking multiple different action points. I don't want to have to mathematically figure out each turn what I can fit in. I want it to be simple. I would rather have strategic combat be the depth to combat and not mathematical equations. Fallout's AP system was bad imo. I couldn't even finish the game because of it, and that was with just one character. Wasteland will have 7 characters.

Asking a little more of the player is not true. We are talking 7 turns every round to every combat. This adds up to thousands of turns throughout a game of having to calculate what can be squeezed into the turn. This is asking A LOT of the player, not a "little more". I think you are right it would be more balanced, but I wholeheartedly disagree that it would be more satisfying. I feel things such as positioning, flanking, cover, stealth are the mechanics that should add depth to combat, not breaking down each action into micro time units.

I'll reserve final judgement until I play, but a tedious AP system would have a huge effect on my opinion of this game.

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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Mandemon » December 19th, 2012, 9:36 am

XCOM: Enemy Unknown did it pretty well IMHO, with it's two point system. Combat is fast, yet tactical and interesting.

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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Lucius » December 19th, 2012, 10:06 am

Mandemon wrote:XCOM: Enemy Unknown did it pretty well IMHO, with it's two point system. Combat is fast, yet tactical and interesting.
Exactly it's simpler than Fallout but yet combat is much deeper at the same time. I don't think a copy and paste of that system exactly is best for an RPG but it's the right direction, imo. Hence my earlier idea of 3-5 AP system. Not as simplified as XCOM but not as detailed and thorough is a Fallout AP system.

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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Mandemon » December 19th, 2012, 12:05 pm

Lucius wrote:
Mandemon wrote:XCOM: Enemy Unknown did it pretty well IMHO, with it's two point system. Combat is fast, yet tactical and interesting.
Exactly it's simpler than Fallout but yet combat is much deeper at the same time. I don't think a copy and paste of that system exactly is best for an RPG but it's the right direction, imo. Hence my earlier idea of 3-5 AP system. Not as simplified as XCOM but not as detailed and thorough is a Fallout AP system.
True, although system works well, there is some room to expand. Also, depending how cover is handled, there might be need for more than 1 move. Number of actions depends how other actions are abstracted. XCOM abstracted them to two most important points (single major action and movement) and handled everything else automatically (looking around, taking cover, peeking around corners, stepping out of cover to shoot etc.), so any more would unbalance the system.

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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by dorkboy » December 19th, 2012, 2:23 pm

i'm not entirely sure if APs or Invisible APs/2-Action Turns is necessarily what determines the speed of combat.
it seems to me that a significant component of combat speed is enemy hitpoints.
a high rate of movement/small maps, too, seems to increase overall combat speed as it makes it easier to flank etc. in one turn.
i guess an additional aspect of XCOM combat is that it rounds APs down, in a manner of speaking.
you could, for instance, define shooting/field medic skill use/etc. as major actions, and say that once a character has performed a major action if there is not enough APs left for -one more- major (or minor*) action then that characters turn is automatically completed. this would increase turnover. [*taking cover, overwatch, reloading etc..]
heck, you could do this and still keep the APs visible (and, hopefully, without losing too much of the flexibilty and player control of a standard AP system..)

also, XCOM seems to have classes with built-in abilities, rather than stats, where these abilities make up a lot of the tactical landscape..

Edit: the above idea probably needs refinement so that you don't "arbitrarily" lose APs at the end of your turn, though. [not saying the idea is good. more of a thought experiment, i guess :| ]
Last edited by dorkboy on December 19th, 2012, 2:39 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Woolfe » December 19th, 2012, 2:30 pm

Lucius wrote:
Mandemon wrote:XCOM: Enemy Unknown did it pretty well IMHO, with it's two point system. Combat is fast, yet tactical and interesting.
Exactly it's simpler than Fallout but yet combat is much deeper at the same time. I don't think a copy and paste of that system exactly is best for an RPG but it's the right direction, imo. Hence my earlier idea of 3-5 AP system. Not as simplified as XCOM but not as detailed and thorough is a Fallout AP system.
The new X-com 2 point system is incredibly frustrating and has been made "dumb". The variation of characters has been "streamlined" out of it and having played it and the original, I much prefer the original's AP type system. (its problems could have been fixed using other methods)
Lucius wrote:I would argue that is a necessary sacrifice in the name of fun
I actually was thinking exactly the opposite, in that having to do the math a bit was a necessary sacrifice. :lol:
I have never had an issue with the math, so much so that I don't normally think of it as math. This is because unless I have a very specific purpose I don't normally take more than a nominal notice of it. Ie when in a fight, I am moving and shooting and doing what is necessary.
But also, one of the reasons I like turn based, is because I don't want a reactionary game. I don't want a twitch style run and gun type game. I want to consider my moves, and select the best based on the situation. The 2 phase system of new X-com is designed to somewhat emulate a run and gun style game in a turn based environment. I would almost have prefered realtime with pause over the turnbased in that game.... Almost.....
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Mandemon » December 19th, 2012, 2:53 pm

Woolfe wrote:
Lucius wrote:
Mandemon wrote:XCOM: Enemy Unknown did it pretty well IMHO, with it's two point system. Combat is fast, yet tactical and interesting.
Exactly it's simpler than Fallout but yet combat is much deeper at the same time. I don't think a copy and paste of that system exactly is best for an RPG but it's the right direction, imo. Hence my earlier idea of 3-5 AP system. Not as simplified as XCOM but not as detailed and thorough is a Fallout AP system.
The new X-com 2 point system is incredibly frustrating and has been made "dumb". The variation of characters has been "streamlined" out of it and having played it and the original, I much prefer the original's AP type system. (its problems could have been fixed using other methods)
"Dumb"? How so? Because you can't access inventory? Nothing to do with 2 AP system. You could have inventory taking 1 AP or entire turn. Your movement is show clearly how far you can go before taking action becomes impossible. It is clear, precise and offers tactical depth beyond "do everything" and "Do math each turn".

And how can you say variation has been taken out in it? Each character has different class and thus different stats. Someone who has better aim has better chance of hitting someone. Perks and equipment decide what one can do.

Can you explain anyway better than calling it "dumb"? No offense, but after seeing way too many arguments devolving into "It's dumb because you can play it on console", any attempt to explain why it's "dumb" needs better explanation or I will automatically dismiss it as "Another who can't think beyond Complexity = Good"

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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by dorkboy » December 19th, 2012, 3:14 pm

Mandemon wrote:Your movement is show clearly how far you can go before taking action becomes impossible. It is clear, precise and offers tactical depth beyond "do everything" and "Do math each turn".
i agree that the original x-com (and JA, as well) were a bit unwieldy with their 100-ish TUs/APs, but unless my memory has failed horribly FO1/2 did show how many APs were left when you moved your cursor to a specific hex? (or rather, how many APs you would have left if you decided to move there). so if it says 5 and it says 6 on your gun, what's there to math about?
am i missing something crucial? :? [other than the fact that you're talking about the new xcom :lol: ]

Edit: horrible memory fail confirmed: it shows how many APs it takes to get there.
Last edited by dorkboy on December 19th, 2012, 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by BubbaBrown » December 19th, 2012, 3:42 pm

Well, until there's a bit more context provided, the number of actions points doesn't really matter.

So, I'd be curious about a few things.

1. How much time does a game round or character turn represent?
2. Where are these action points derived from?
3. Can these action points be increased or decreased permanently?

From there we can then a start trying to speculate out amounts and costs. Until then, it's just arguing about how many cereal box tops a kick in the ass is worth.
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Woolfe » December 19th, 2012, 4:24 pm

Mandemon wrote:
Woolfe wrote: The new X-com 2 point system is incredibly frustrating and has been made "dumb". The variation of characters has been "streamlined" out of it and having played it and the original, I much prefer the original's AP type system. (its problems could have been fixed using other methods)
"Dumb"? How so? Because you can't access inventory? Nothing to do with 2 AP system. You could have inventory taking 1 AP or entire turn. Your movement is show clearly how far you can go before taking action becomes impossible. It is clear, precise and offers tactical depth beyond "do everything" and "Do math each turn".
"Dumb" may have been a poor choice of words. "Simplified too much" may be better.
That is exactly the point, any complexity that may have been there, is now gone. You either Shoot, move then Shoot, or if you have the right abilities, Shoot and Shoot, Shoot and Move.
Whereas before you could, move shoot move, shoot move shoot, shoot shoot shoot, move move move. And now that you point it out, you could also perform other actions as well, beyond just moving or shooting. Tho that is a different issue.
Thus it is simplified. Now the problem I see with the simplification, is that you have lost fine control. Oh you want to move 1 step and fire. Sorry thats 2 whole moves. That is what I am talking about. In all fairness they removed a lot of the "additional functions" like inventory etc, so it was easier to do that sort of reduction, but for me it has lost a lot of its tactical appeal. Which in a tactical combat game, is significant.
Mandemon wrote:And how can you say variation has been taken out in it? Each character has different class and thus different stats. Someone who has better aim has better chance of hitting someone. Perks and equipment decide what one can do.
From what I recall and what I am reading, movement, which is core to what we are discussing is the same for each "class type" with only armour offering variation. I could be wrong, but I haven't been able to find anythign to confirm or deny it.
Stats are there, but they mean less as you can't choose the Class for your soldiers.
Mandemon wrote:Can you explain anyway better than calling it "dumb"? No offense, but after seeing way too many arguments devolving into "It's dumb because you can play it on console", any attempt to explain why it's "dumb" needs better explanation or I will automatically dismiss it as "Another who can't think beyond Complexity = Good"
Nope nothing to do with console, and as I said poor choice of words, altho that is how I feel. It is "simplified" so much it is "dumb". Thats not a console thing, its a mass market appeal thing.
I apologise but my dissapointment in the whole game is due to many elements. Because everything in this game has been "Simplified". Each individual element by itself is not THAT bad, but when you add them all together, and start looking at the level of detail that was removed, the game becomes, well "Dumbed down" is the best term for it in this case. The most pertinent example is the use of satelites. That is outright DUMB. Not the concept, the concept is fine, but the implementation is terrible, and makes absolutely no sense. The Base design also is pointless. Why even bother having the base if you aren't going to make use of it, the only reason it is there at all is because people would have bagged them out if there wasn't base building. The abduction missions, oh you can choose 1 of 3, why can't I ty and get to them all? Squad numbers, reduced to 4 + 2, why because managing so many soldiers is hard. Grey Market, can't sell stuff you build, oh wait no you can, but only when we choose it. Science and Engineering, don't worry about facilities, the base building has all the facilities, oh sure you can build extra buildings for a bonues, but you don't need to because we will give you free scientists and Engineers if you do well enough.

I could go on, but i won't as I need to go do some work...

Sorry for the rant, i am just so dissapointed in a game that had so much potential. But it is so much less than it should be.
The original was a game I played a lot. I would finish it then play again, because each time gave me a somewhat unique experience, and I enjoyed it. I couldn't even be stuffed playing past the second mission on my second play through of the new one.
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Mandemon » December 19th, 2012, 8:45 pm

I could write a long rant how XCOM combat is not "over simplified", but I don't this is the time or place for it. :roll:

But I am just going to say that most of that "fine control" is not really that good. You end up wasting lot of time on doing simple things, such as looking around. Two Point system also forces you to actually consider your actions, as simple "move 1 step" tactic is not going to work that easily. Each action is permanent and when you choose an action, you are committing to that action.

I think this guy got it best:

http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/xcom-enemy-unk ... 388p1.html

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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by BubbaBrown » December 19th, 2012, 9:45 pm

Mandemon wrote:I think this guy got it best:

http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/xcom-enemy-unk ... 388p1.html
Friendly advice: If you want to back up your argument, GameSpy is not a good source. Or in fact, most gaming "journalists". Their paychecks come from the advertising revenue and marketing deals of the games they write about.

If the end flow and design of the system is significantly altered due to simplification, you have over-simplified it. That happened in the latest X-Com game. It took away many useful options, flexibility, and depth for the sake of simplicity. It wasn't refactoring, which means the same results were effectively produced by simplified processes. The end results were different in comparison to the original. Hence, Occam's Razor cannot apply.

The new X-Com is to the original X-Com as Civilization Revolution is to Civilization 4; a game with merit in it's own right, but gross over-simplification render's it a neutered rendition of the original.
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Drool » December 19th, 2012, 10:22 pm

Considering the original Wasteland was "you can do one thing and one thing only", a two point system wouldn't be a simplification.

Thinking back to TOEE, a two point system can work just fine. Sure, you lose some realism (swapping a mag doesn't take nearly as long as changing body armor), but I don't mind a system simpler than Fallout or the original XCOM. Juggling multiple actions across multiple characters runs the risk of being very tedious very quickly. Make the move/action points usable in any order, and allow for action to be sacrificed for movement, and it'll be fine.

And just how often did anyone really do move one step, shoot, move another step, shoot, move a third step?
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by dorkboy » December 19th, 2012, 11:16 pm

Drool wrote:Considering the original Wasteland was "you can do one thing and one thing only", a two point system wouldn't be a simplification.

Thinking back to TOEE, a two point system can work just fine. Sure, you lose some realism (swapping a mag doesn't take nearly as long as changing body armor), but I don't mind a system simpler than Fallout or the original XCOM. Juggling multiple actions across multiple characters runs the risk of being very tedious very quickly. Make the move/action points usable in any order, and allow for action to be sacrificed for movement, and it'll be fine.

And just how often did anyone really do move one step, shoot, move another step, shoot, move a third step?
i never moved 1/shot/moved 1/etc.. in fallout, but the variations of AP cost/weapon did help to make a lot more builds than just sniper/minigun feasible.
i think a game that has so many different weapon skills could possibly benefit from not squeezing all actions into a single mold.
turning movement into a more wholesale deal, however, could indeed be worth looking into.
i suppose one crude way of dealing with the whole "micromove" situation is simply saying: you can only move once per turn - it can be 1 AP or it can be 10 AP, but only once/turn. once you've moved, you still have your remaining AP to juggle with until you get mathematical blisters all over.
similarily, you could say that you're only allowed to either take cover or move out of cover once/turn (to avoid boring, now-you-see-me-now-you-don't standoffs a la FOT..)
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by BubbaBrown » December 19th, 2012, 11:40 pm

Drool wrote:And just how often did anyone really do move one step, shoot, move another step, shoot, move a third step?
All the time in Fallout and the original X-Com. Dammit, I wasn't going to let those raiders, critters, and aliens get a free shot on me. The third step was a bit hard to do in Fallout until you got the right weapons and perks. But I remember a number of times limiting my exposure to enemies by shooting through windows and around corners, and ducking back into cover. Quite useful.
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Woolfe » December 20th, 2012, 12:32 am

Mandemon wrote:I could write a long rant how XCOM combat is not "over simplified", but I don't this is the time or place for it. :roll:
You did ask... So I clarified... BN could spin this off if we asked I am sure. :D
Mandemon wrote:But I am just going to say that most of that "fine control" is not really that good. You end up wasting lot of time on doing simple things, such as looking around.
In your opinion. In my opinion, fine control is what I want. Why ruin my game because you want over-simplified.

Such as looking around? Oh are you refering to needing to pay points to turn etc. Thats not necessarily needed. I think X-com was going in the right direction, but they just went too far. Auto cover, looking around etc, these are things you do somewhat automatically. But wasting an entire move on one step?
Mandemon wrote:Two Point system also forces you to actually consider your actions, as simple "move 1 step" tactic is not going to work that easily. Each action is permanent and when you choose an action, you are committing to that action.
So do you want to actually consider your actions, or do you want simplification, cause you know, Maths = considering. I am being fecitious there. I know what you mean, but I personally disagree.
The consideration applied to one or the other is not more or less, simply different. If I have a swag of APs, or just 2, I have to consider the different tactics involved. With 2 I can only do certain things, so what I do with each becomes more important, which makes small things that need to be done feel like a waste. Whereas with numerous APs, I now have to consider more elements each move but, small things are no longer a burden because I can do them without losing half a move.

Also something I noticed you kept doing. You kept mocking the inventory elements. I actually like having inventory elements within the game. Whether it is swapping weapons, picking up a weapon from the ground, dropping everything to carry an injured ally, (or a downed alien in the original xcom). These things were not a detraction, they added to the gameplay. You however seem to be against them. In which case I can see how your 2 point system would work. But if you want to include this other stuff, how do you manage it?
Mandemon wrote:I think this guy got it best:

http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/xcom-enemy-unk ... 388p1.html
As Bubba said below. Take it with a grain of salt, and anyway what makes his opinion better than mine.

There are plenty of streamlined games out there that do the things you want. Hell you have X-com already, why can't you let there be some differences out there?
Drool wrote:Considering the original Wasteland was "you can do one thing and one thing only", a two point system wouldn't be a simplification.
Heh good point...
Drool wrote:And just how often did anyone really do move one step, shoot, move another step, shoot, move a third step?
In the original xcom quite often. "Step, Step, Shoot kill, step, oh shit a Crysalid, Shoot, Oh shit I missed, do I step 1 forward to get a better shot, or do I just leg it... oh crap oh crap, step, shoot, oh goddamn."
But more importantly 1 step, then 1 bursts then change ammo, as opposed to 1 step, 1 shot. etc
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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Arcanix » December 20th, 2012, 6:50 am

BubbaBrown wrote:Well, until there's a bit more context provided, the number of actions points doesn't really matter.
I agree with this. No need to second guess the devs. This is a "ask a dev" forum after all.
March 24th, 2014, 4:13 am
Drool wrote:WL2 being turn-based is bad enough.

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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Lucius » December 20th, 2012, 7:09 am

Arcanix wrote:
BubbaBrown wrote:Well, until there's a bit more context provided, the number of actions points doesn't really matter.
I agree with this. No need to second guess the devs. This is a "ask a dev" forum after all.
If they didn't want discussion the threads would stay locked after the devs have answered.

Regarding the discussion, again XCOM is a bit too simplified for an RPG but its the right direction. I just would like a system with as little AP inflation as possible. Aiming and firing a pistol should take 1 point, reloading 1 point. There is no reason to have the base weapons requiring multiple points leading to gross inflation.

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Re: Will Combat be Action Point based?

Post by Arcanix » December 20th, 2012, 7:36 am

Lucius wrote:If they didn't want discussion the threads would stay locked after the devs have answered.
Obviously the devs benefit from forum discussions. Point is, discussion is one thing, selfrighteous pointless second guessing devs due to pride is something else.

Just ask them. Now is your chance.
March 24th, 2014, 4:13 am
Drool wrote:WL2 being turn-based is bad enough.

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