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Old 04-20-2010, 09:51 PM   #1
Fevenis
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Turn based combat ideas?

So the idea of turn based combat really sounded like a great idea to me. However, I am having trouble solving a few issues I am having with it. When I say turn based combat, I am thinking pokemon or final fantasy style. Turn based, where during your turn you have a list of menus to pick from: Attack, Defend, Speical moves, items, etc.

This idea would work great agaisn't monsters and in an player vs player arena enviroment, but what about in the real world? A thief lifts a coin from me, I engage him in 1-1 turn based combat.. How would running away work? Or a chase? How do I sneak attack someone? Gang up on someone with my friends?

If you guys have any suggestions or soltuions to my problems, I'd be very thankful =). Mainly I'm just trying to get feed back and see if this is even a good idea or not.
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:29 PM   #2
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Re: Turn based combat ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fevenis View Post
So the idea of turn based combat really sounded like a great idea to me. However, I am having trouble solving a few issues I am having with it. When I say turn based combat, I am thinking pokemon or final fantasy style. Turn based, where during your turn you have a list of menus to pick from: Attack, Defend, Speical moves, items, etc.

This idea would work great agaisn't monsters and in an player vs player arena enviroment, but what about in the real world? A thief lifts a coin from me, I engage him in 1-1 turn based combat.. How would running away work? Or a chase? How do I sneak attack someone? Gang up on someone with my friends?

If you guys have any suggestions or soltuions to my problems, I'd be very thankful =). Mainly I'm just trying to get feed back and see if this is even a good idea or not.
We have something similar to this over in ICO.

Basically, what happens is that the combat is aware of the participants. It then picks a *random* participant, and makes their skill rolls, and gives them their options.
It only gives them successful options. For example, say I have a 1 in 20 chance of successfully tripping my oponent, on average 1 in 20 times it will give me the "trip" option. The rest of the time I just wouldn't see that option. (That stops fights being stupid like constant failed trip attempts that aren't fun to roleplay.)

The player then chooses from amongst the options presented. After they have chosen, it picks another random fighter (and could pick the same person again.)

On average, everyone gets approximately the same number of turns, but the randomness means players have to make choices. Say both fighters are almost dead, and they get to "do damage" option or the "flee" option - which do they choose? Do they do damage, hoping that it will either win the fight or that they'll get the next turn. Or do they flee while they have the chance?

So in the case of the thief, you would engage them in combat.
Then it would either randomly choose you or choose the thief. If it chooses you, it might give you the chance to hit the thief, or the chance to run away, or the chance to trip the thief. You don't want to run, but could choose to hit the thief.
Then it randomly picks someone. It might pick the thief, and give them the chance to hit you, stun you, or run away. The thief can choose to run.
...And different actions may effect the future actions. For example, in your game, if you trip your opponent they may be unable to run away for a while. That gives you the chance to use strategy in your roleplay, if you want to keep the thief around to give them a thrashing.

Ganging up happens quite organically. Since it picks a random fighter, if there are three of you and one opponent, three out of four turns will be given to someone on your "side"

Sneak attacks - trickier. Depends on your game. Your game may have stealth abilities that let you get the first hit in using sneak attack. Or it may be more D&D like and let you get extra damage on sneak attacks if the opponent is fighting someone else, etc.

I'm not sure how a chase would work. You'd have to balance the ability for players to separate against the benefit from keeping players together for RP. (Is it fun if your opponents just "flee" before you can have a RPed fight? Maybe. Maybe not.)
In my above example of the thief, maybe when the thief flees, you get a skill roll to see if you can successfully chase them. If you fail that roll, it may stop you from engaging the thief in combat for the next 15 minutes. If you pass, it may make your character chase the thief (and then have a chance to do more hits. And have more chances to follow if the thief flees again.)

Hope those thoughts helped.

Cheers!
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Old 04-26-2010, 04:56 PM   #3
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Re: Turn based combat ideas?

Thanks for your input, thats an interesting idea for a battle system! I found a video on youtube that pretty accuratly shows the type of system I am wanting to mirror, YouTube - RPG Maker VX-ATB Test Battle (Improve) .

Let me mock up what it'd look like on the pretend client end:
[Cave enterance (Exits: N, S)]
> N

[Cave 1 (Exits: E, S, W)]
> E

[Cave 2 (Exits: N, W)]
> N

[Cave 5 (Exits: N, S)]
You notice a Cave troll and bats in the cave.
> Engage Cave troll

==========================
From here, you enter combat, putting you in a new room instance seperate from Cave 5. The cave troll only has about have your speed, so you are able to attack twice a often.
==========================

[Cave Battle field]
HP: 100
Mana: 50


Cave troll HP: 200

Options:
Attack
Defend
Special
> A

Attack options:
Jab
Slash
Heavy swing
> Jab

You hit the Cave troll for 50HP.

Options:
Attack
Defend
Special
> A

Attack options:
Jab
Slash
Heavy swing
> Heavy swing

Your miss the Cave troll.
The Cave troll hits you for 150 HP.

Options:
Attack
Defend
Special
> S

Special options:
Magic arrow
Inferno
Blizzard
> Inf

You hit the Cave troll for 300HP.
The Cave troll dies.

Awarded:
25 EXP
5000 gold

==========================
At this point, you exit combat, and are returned to Cave 5.
==========================

[Cave 5 (Exits: N, S)]
You notice bats in the cave.
>
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:14 PM   #4
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Re: Turn based combat ideas?

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Originally Posted by Fevenis View Post
Let me mock up what it'd look like on the pretend client end:
That shouldn't be very hard to code.
Especially if the only real "effects" is to do damage. (i.e. every action will lead to a message to the player, and 0 or more points of damage. Rather than actions that lead to changed stances, armor damage, status effects etc.)

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Originally Posted by Fevenis View Post
> Engage Cave troll

==========================
From here, you enter combat, putting you in a new room instance seperate from Cave 5. The cave troll only has about half your speed, so you are able to attack twice a often.
==========================
Why do you put them into a new room instance?
Isn't it just as easy to leave them in the same existing room? And that way other players could potentially stumble into the fight and join in too?
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:01 AM   #5
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Re: Turn based combat ideas?

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Originally Posted by silvarilon View Post
Why do you put them into a new room instance?
Isn't it just as easy to leave them in the same existing room? And that way other players could potentially stumble into the fight and join in too?
The idea was so that people could not interfear with the fight to cut down on PKing people during the middle of a battle or to stop other monsters from intiating another fight.
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Old 04-28-2010, 02:27 AM   #6
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Re: Turn based combat ideas?

That makes sense. But I'd still consider allowing interference in the fight.

That will open up the tactical options for the players without you having to put in any extra work.
If you can PK someone while they're fighting a monster, then I'd need to consider if I trust the other PCs with me before fighting the monster. Or if I want to PK someone I might try to catch them while they're distracted or weak from another fight.

Similarly, more monsters joining the fight - that can also be part of the tactics. I might be able to beat one Yeti with ease, but midway through the fight another yeti arrives. Do I flee now, or try to win?

I think "interferences" like that help add to the game. Makes it feel more like "there is a fight happening in that cave which I can join in on" rather than feeling like a sporting match where everyone waits their turn. "I can't fight the yeti until it kills the other fighter first" etc. - and it also creates more tactics for the players.

You'd need to write your combat system to be able to handle multiple fighters. But you'd save by not having to worry about instancing the rooms.

Of course, if you don't want interference, there's still no need to instance the rooms. Just have code that if someone tries to join the fight it says "You can't attack Bob while he is fighting a yeti"
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Old 04-28-2010, 11:55 AM   #7
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Re: Turn based combat ideas?

Turn-based combat is all well and good against NPCs, but what if the person you are trying to PK drops link? Are you stuck in the battle screen waiting for him to come back?
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:19 PM   #8
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Re: Turn based combat ideas?

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Turn-based combat is all well and good against NPCs, but what if the person you are trying to PK drops link? Are you stuck in the battle screen waiting for him to come back?
It's a tricky problem (especially because players might intentionally drop link to avoid loosing a fight.)

The easiest solution is that each "turn" it checks if the opponent is available, and if not, it ends the fight. You can start a new fight if they return. There may be problems where you need to wait for the opponent to time out and drop from the game if they are ghosting (and depending on your coding skills you may be able to avoid that problem.)

The problem of players intentionally dropping link is more problematic. There are plenty of things that you can do, such as allowing there opponents a few "free" hits before they vanish, or making them automatically die. That would remove any reason to intentionally drop out, but leaves a problem for the players that didn't mean to drop out, and just have a bad link.

If you want to get complex, you could do some automated statistical analysis. Do they tend to drop out when they are near to loosing the fight? More than would be expected with random variation? (Say, 75% of the time they drop out while they have less than 25% life...) Then maybe when they start dropping out when they're about to loose you could just automatically kill them. If they tend to drop out randomly at any given point of the fight, it's probably a genuine bad connection, and you can avoid giving any additional penalties to them.

(Man, I wish we were all on the same game engine, and we could give examples of actual code...)
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Old 04-29-2010, 04:16 AM   #9
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Re: Turn based combat ideas?

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Originally Posted by silvarilon View Post
It's a tricky problem (especially because players might intentionally drop link to avoid loosing a fight.)

The easiest solution is that each "turn" it checks if the opponent is available, and if not, it ends the fight.
That's not going to work very well, because (as you pointed out) some players will intentionally drop link to avoid losing. Making it an automatic death is also pretty unfair, as the player may only lose their connection for a few seconds.

I would propose using timed turns that are simultaneously-executed. If the character doesn't act within their allocated turn time then they either do nothing, attempt to use a defensive or escape option, or they use some default option/s that the player has configured in advance - whichever approach you prefer.
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Old 04-29-2010, 04:34 PM   #10
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Re: Turn based combat ideas?

I'm curious as to why you want turn based combat in a multiplayer continually moving scenario? I mean it would be akin to a turn based emote mush, where no one can emote until you have given your twenty line descriptive emotion.

I believe the only viable turn based games are those that are online "posting" style games, like chess. If you look at the example given, where you choose your actions. All of this could be done in an ongoing combat sequence without turns, you simply have defaults and modify those defaults during combat by actions. Example:

Enter room
Troll in room.
(combat begins and your default is defense)
You defend against a slash by troll.
Troll misses.
You defend against a slash by troll.
Troll hits you and blood spurts (or whatever your spam is)
(Enter: combat attack jab)
Troll misses
You jab troll in the gut. Ouch!
(Enter: combat special inferno)
Troll hits you and blood sprays
You send a magical inferno into Troll. WHAM!

etc. etc.

All of this occurs while combat rounds transpire without turns and the rounds of combat can be as slow as you like (10 seconds per round if you wanted or even 30 seconds, speeding up if someone hits a special key like Xdone or something then it skips to the next round). Of course if your goal is for chess style play then you have the entire beast of dealing with logouts, interference, exploits, etc.

The other option is to have a timer on your rounds that end the players round after x number of seconds. This is done in chess as well. If the player fails to choose a sequence, your system chooses a default for them. NWA actually has several functioning locations that use this style and one is a game in one of the city taverns.
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Old 04-29-2010, 06:05 PM   #11
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Re: Turn based combat ideas?

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That's not going to work very well, because (as you pointed out) some players will intentionally drop link to avoid losing. Making it an automatic death is also pretty unfair, as the player may only lose their connection for a few seconds.
Well, yes.
Which is why I suggested looking at their history of dropping link during combat, and when they dropped link to figure out if they are intentionally dropping link. And only punishing the ones that seem to be doing it intentionally. But yeah, that's only one option.

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I would propose using timed turns that are simultaneously-executed. If the character doesn't act within their allocated turn time then they either do nothing, attempt to use a defensive or escape option, or they use some default option/s that the player has configured in advance - whichever approach you prefer.
How does that help against intentional dropping, though?
If your opponent drops out, either the fight stops at the next turn - in which case they still escape unless this turn kills them - or the combat continues with the other player not at the keyboard. Which (if the default is to just defend) essentially means they'll die sooner or later anyway. It'll just take longer.

Of course, there could be a "set number of turns" after they've dropped out. Say, you've got three turns to kill them, and then it logs them out. Or their default could also include offensive actions, so there's still a chance for them to win, and then you can play out the rest of the fight.

Presumably, though, the player will be able to use better tactics than the default AI. Otherwise, why am I playing instead of allowing defaults to handle it? And if that is true, I still have a disadvantage from the accidental dropped link. Less of a disadvantage than "instant kill" of course, but still a disadvantage. Essentially this reduces the incentive to intentionally drop link, but it only reduces the problem, it doesn't negate the problem.

That said, it's still a perfectly valid solution. (hey, no system will be 100% perfect! Everyone will pick their pros and cons based on personal taste.)

I'm quite a fan for timed turns for a tactical mud combat, so please don't think I'm trying to rubbish your suggestions. From everything I can tell, you are by far my superior when it comes to designing MUD combat systems
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Old 04-29-2010, 07:17 PM   #12
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Re: Turn based combat ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by silvarilon View Post
Which is why I suggested looking at their history of dropping link during combat, and when they dropped link to figure out if they are intentionally dropping link. And only punishing the ones that seem to be doing it intentionally. But yeah, that's only one option.
Actively monitoring the players and punishing those who seem to be taking advantage of what basically amounts to a design flaw? That sounds like a big can of worms to me...not a place I'd care to tread.

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How does that help against intentional dropping, though?
There's no longer any incentive to drop link, because the fight will carry on with or without you.

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Originally Posted by silvarilon View Post
If your opponent drops out, either the fight stops at the next turn - in which case they still escape unless this turn kills them - or the combat continues with the other player not at the keyboard. Which (if the default is to just defend) essentially means they'll die sooner or later anyway. It'll just take longer.
But it removes the incentive to drop link, and it gives the player a chance to reconnect before they die (particularly in a turn-based game, where they're likely to have missed less than they would in a real-time combat). And as I mentioned, you could also allow players to select an escape option if you wish (in fact some muds already do this sort of thing, with link-dead characters automatically attempting to flee).

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Originally Posted by silvarilon View Post
Of course, there could be a "set number of turns" after they've dropped out. Say, you've got three turns to kill them, and then it logs them out. Or their default could also include offensive actions, so there's still a chance for them to win, and then you can play out the rest of the fight.
I would favour allowing the link-dead player to escape and/or fight back. Logging the player off, even after three turns, could still give them an incentive to drop link.

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Originally Posted by silvarilon View Post
Presumably, though, the player will be able to use better tactics than the default AI. Otherwise, why am I playing instead of allowing defaults to handle it?
The turn-based combat would already allow you to choose different options - this would just let you choose default options that would kick in while you were link dead. You'd no longer be able to react to your opponent by adjusting your tactics though.

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And if that is true, I still have a disadvantage from the accidental dropped link. Less of a disadvantage than "instant kill" of course, but still a disadvantage. Essentially this reduces the incentive to intentionally drop link, but it only reduces the problem, it doesn't negate the problem.
Well it negates the main problem - there's no longer an incentive to drop link, because it'll put you at a disadvantage. It's just not quite as severe as instant death.

For the record, I don't allow link-dead people to hit back at all, only defend themselves - and it works out okay. Players who are used to automated combat may find it difficult to adapt, but then they're probably not going to be happy playing turn-based combat anyway.
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:47 PM   #13
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Re: Turn based combat ideas?

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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
There's no longer any incentive to drop link, because the fight will carry on with or without you.
True. If nothing happens to a link-dead PC that couldn't happen to a "live" PC then there's no incentive to drop link. If your PC will just try to flee, you can already achieve that by using the "flee" option. So it does solve that problem.

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For the record, I don't allow link-dead people to hit back at all, only defend themselves - and it works out okay. Players who are used to automated combat may find it difficult to adapt, but then they're probably not going to be happy playing turn-based combat anyway.
Exactly. Players will already self-select for the games with the right amount of tactical choices for their preferences.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:50 PM   #14
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Re: Turn based combat ideas?

I planned on doing active time combat =). So based on your agilitiy it'll determine how often your turn comes up. Faster characters will obviously get more turns, and you don't have to wait for your opponent to stike back if your time is up again.

When it comes to dropped links.. Unless they are quick to come back, it's pretty much an automatic loss. They will sit there idle, taking no turns, while I am able to attack over and over when my timed turn is up until they are dead.
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