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Old 05-06-2002, 05:59 AM   #1
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I've been toying around with game concepts which I won't be able to implement, so I thought I'd start a discussion on it instead

The overall idea is based on SquareSoft's Vagrant Story. Also, it expands on an elemental balance system which I first saw featured on the defunt and greatly missed GameCommandos (yeah, I'm a groupie. Deal )

In this concept, combat focusses on tactical play instead of fast-paced action.

Combat is played out in timed turns (which may end early once every player has input commands). Turns are composed by at least two (optionally three) sequences:
- Base sequence: players, based upon their DEX, select either an attack or a counter.
A generic message indicates the overall nature of the action taken (player A advances his shield, player B raises his sword etc)
- Complementary sequence: in addition to an additional attack or counter, players may also use special attacks or counters, magic, items, or wield commands, or move.

The Combat results are applied as a combination of the two sequences at the end of the turn, eg a counter followed by an attack gives a feint etc...

Optionnally, the sequences themselves may not be timed at all, which in this case would allow to develop a skill tree devoted to chaining more attacks during one round.
In Vagrant Story, there was a factor called "Risk" which increased with every action, and could only be reduced by waiting or using specific items. High risk meant more powerfull attacks, but massively decreased the to-hit chance.

As an overlay, Vagrant Story used a strong elemental system. In a MUD, I'd consider introducing a global elemental balance layer:
Each basic element is paired with its natural opposite (light with dark, water with fire, air with earth). Drawing from one element, be it through magic, items or elementally-linked special attacks gradually decreases the available spell power from that element while increasing the opposite.
For game needs, a PC would be restricted to using no more than three elemental trees, and shouldn't be allowed to pick opposing elements.

Most benefits of such a model could be achieved in a game completely devoid of XP levels, and with a very limited set of stats:
STR, DEX, INT, HP, MP, def, mdef, att, matt could do the trick very fine.
In Vagrant Story, advancement was focussed on the "skill trees".
Finally, if following the VS concept, the game could also be entirely without money. VS had a solid materials concept which allowed forging weapons to combine their elemental strengths and weaknesses (and gain additional power when successfully alloyed into a new material), and the equipment was the main factor for stat enhancement.

As an aside, VS also had a "racial affinity" system on the equipment: all mobs in the game were part of one out of six racial groups: humanoids, beasts, undead, dragons, evil and spectral. The affinity system was based on a sequence of these races.
When attacking humanoids, a weapon would gain more affinity for humanoids (thus increasing to-dam) but losing affinity with the two following racial groups (hence weaker against beasts and undead). Combining two weapons would thus either reinforce or weaken not only elemental affinity, but racial affinity too.

I think the concept is, if certainly not novel, quite interesting. The question, though, is wether it would appeal to the traditional PvPers who enjoy the hunt as much as the fight. Conversely, it could appeal to other Bartle types more than "classical" PvP (Achievers comes to mind).

That's it in a nutshell. Let's hear from you now
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Old 05-08-2002, 01:57 PM   #2
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well,the idea,as for me,sounds interesting..One question : If the battles are turn-based,imagine,how much time they will take ? in a real-time multiplayer game it could be a bit too long,I think..
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Old 05-08-2002, 02:58 PM   #3
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The round based system fires off a round once every 3-5 seconds.  Having the turns go every 5 seconds wouldn't make much of a difference... of course, you'd get laggy people with a huge disadvantage without a long delay, but such is a the price... you have no idea how many times I've died in TeleArena because I lagged with two appy dragons in the room with me.

Also, short ground fights is one thing that I hate about the smaug/SWR combat system... I love space battles, because they can last up to 20-30 minutes, and be much more satisfying. Ground battles that do not start and end with "'murder Polk'; Polk is incapacitated" would be refreshing.

Darrik Vequir


I would say the issues you have stated are an excellent base system. The ability to end the fight quickly with a linked attack that has a low(er) probability of hitting but high damage is a great counter to the problem of people running whenever they start to lose a fight.

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