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Ideas: making combat more interesting (and less sluggish)


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In the interests of making combat a bit nicer and less boring, especially at high levels, I think it would be nice to make some significant changes from the old BoE model. Here is what I propose...

 

- First of all: DON'T SWITCH THE VIEW TO VISIBLE MONSTERS WHENEVER THEY MOVE! This is the current default and it slows the game down hugely!

 

(Perhaps a better default would be e.g. to only do this for monsters within 12 spaces, so you can keep track of them more easily. But all visible monsters on the screen is too much.)

 

- Currently having any Luck at all seems to make you about 25% death-resistant. I can see good and bad sides to this; for balance reasons though I'm not sure the probability of cheating death should ever go above 50%.

 

- Outdoor combat encounters are rather boring right now. I propose a means of changing that, just a bit.

 

1. Decide who gets the first move randomly. Monsters 50%, PCs 50%.

 

2. If and only if there is a spellcaster in the encounter, then sometimes invoke an initial malus or detrimental condition. For instance:

 

"Curses and restraining spells bombard you!" -> The party is slowed and cursed. If possible, NPCs should be too.

 

"Clouds of anesthetic gas rise around you." -> Sleep clouds appear amongst the party.

 

"Foul vapors condense around you." -> Party starts in a stinking cloud.

 

Monsters would always get the first move when this happens.

 

... And that's all for now. If you guys have any better ideas, please mention them...

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Originally Posted By: Miramor

- Currently having any Luck at all seems to make you about 25% death-resistant. I can see good and bad sides to this; for balance reasons though I'm not sure the probability of cheating death should ever go above 50%.


Is this going to be a game-mechanics change that only applies to new scenarios? There are high-level legacy scenarios out there that pretty much expect you to max out the party's Luck. (Doom Moon II, I'm lookin' at you.)

Quote:
- Outdoor combat encounters are rather boring right now. I propose a means of changing that, just a bit.

1. Decide who gets the first move randomly. Monsters 50%, PCs 50%.


Hello, savescumming. This is kind of a problem with your other suggestion, too: it encourages players to reload until they get a non-crippling outcome, which doesn't make things less dull.
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Originally Posted By: Miramor
- First of all: DON'T SWITCH THE VIEW TO VISIBLE MONSTERS WHENEVER THEY MOVE! This is the current default and it slows the game down hugely!

(Perhaps a better default would be e.g. to only do this for monsters within 12 spaces, so you can keep track of them more easily. But all visible monsters on the screen is too much.)
I do like being able to see the moves each monster makes, but having the viewport only shift if the active monster is offscreen seems like a good idea.
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Originally Posted By: Miramor


- First of all: DON'T SWITCH THE VIEW TO VISIBLE MONSTERS WHENEVER THEY MOVE! This is the current default and it slows the game down hugely!

...

- Currently having any Luck at all seems to make you about 25% death-resistant. I can see good and bad sides to this; for balance reasons though I'm not sure the probability of cheating death should ever go above 50%.

... And that's all for now. If you guys have any better ideas, please mention them...


How doth it slows teh game hugely dwon? It shouldn't slow it down at all.

Actually, I had lots of fun with the character editor and with 20 luck, you are about 100% death-resistant. I haven't tried with lower amounts of luck, but I could check with the source code.

And what do you mean by it's sluggish and not-interesting-enough? Do you want like real-time full animations for each attack? Why don't we just switch to 3d graphics (not isometric) while we're at it? Or you could go play that one other game that I can't remember what it's called and it has the Shapers in it.

I do have an idea. There should be custom fields. Actually, there should be a scripting language. The scripting language made it sooo much easier (aka ridiculously hard) to do stuff. Then you could have custom fields. And custom status effects. Heck, you could even make like a nuclear missile as a weapon and it would just make a MASSIVE explosion that does like over 9000 damage.
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Originally Posted By: Miramor
Sluggish = takes a large amount of real time. In large battles, each turn can take over a minute because of sounds and view shifts. Even with sound disabled it's a problem.
I've never had that problem.
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I was playing a singleton and I entered combat with six very annoyed spiders. They all webbed my guy at once and proceeded to continue webbing. After ten minutes I forcekilled BoE.

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What I hate is when I'm in a combat with spellcasters, and they summon more monsters that summon more monsters that summon more monsters--and try to summon more every round. And in between summonings, they cast haste on everyone, so all the summoned creatures move around all over the place in search of a route to get to my party. I once had such a combat last nearly a half hour.

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Sylae: I think that's fixed in the latest OBoE, you can't be taken down to less than one AP by webs.

 

Mystic: Making monsters prefer damaging instead of summoning spells would probably get rid of a lot of problems, yeah. I think I might have suggested it at one point. Personally I'm in favor of just removing Weak, Medium, and Strong Summoning (and also Summon Spirit, Sticks to Snakes, Summon Host, and any other kind of weak summoning) from the monster repertoire.

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IMNSHO;

This is "Blades of Exile", not "Tokyo Smash 'n Crash".

Over the years there has been a lot of tremendous work done to create some very good scenarios and now, some tremendous work to alleviate some of the 'flaws' in the original version of the game. Work that is greatly appreciated by someone as 'basic' as I am.

It seems like you'd only create a lot of 'bells and whistles' that would detract from some really great Story-Lines.

Personally, I think the idea of being surprised that the Author has introduced a new SuperBad Monster on the fringe of the group, just when you thought you had them figured out, is great writing.

The Community now has the ability to access the inner workings of the BoE Program which gives us a better understanding of how it works and, if or when needed, to make corrections.

I agree wholeheartedly with CoIS in that re-creating the existing system is not what is needed.

me

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Originally Posted By: Zalatar2
I do have an idea. There should be custom fields. Actually, there should be a scripting language. The scripting language made it sooo much easier (aka ridiculously hard) to do stuff. Then you could have custom fields. And custom status effects. Heck, you could even make like a nuclear missile as a weapon and it would just make a MASSIVE explosion that does like over 9000 damage.
Adding facility for custom fields and status effects would be like making it a generic game engine; I don't particularly want to do that. Scripting may be an option someday.

Originally Posted By: Sylae Corell
I was playing a singleton and I entered combat with six very annoyed spiders. They all webbed my guy at once and proceeded to continue webbing. After ten minutes I forcekilled BoE.
It can happen with Gorgons too. As I recall, there was a plan to add a "pause" feature to deal with both this problem and the node limit problem; I suppose it would bring up a dialog with options "Continue" and "Main Menu" or something like that.

Originally Posted By: CRISIS on INFINITE SLARTIES
There is a very, very, very simple solution. Add an option in the OBoE Preferences called "Don't show distant enemy actions onscreen."
Which is probably not as simple as it seems, at least from the programmers' perspective.
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Originally Posted By: Miramor
Sylae: I think that's fixed in the latest OBoE, you can't be taken down to less than one AP by webs.

Mystic: Making monsters prefer damaging instead of summoning spells would probably get rid of a lot of problems, yeah. I think I might have suggested it at one point. Personally I'm in favor of just removing Weak, Medium, and Strong Summoning (and also Summon Spirit, Sticks to Snakes, Summon Host, and any other kind of weak summoning) from the monster repertoire.


I think monsters do still need to be able to summon, but I suppose the mechanism could be changed so you don't get stupid amounts of monsters summoned.

Summoned monsters themselves shouldn't be able to summon more monsters.
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Originally Posted By: Celtic Minstrel
Which is probably not as simple as it seems, at least from the programmers' perspective.
I've looked at the code (well, the original BoE code) and I don't think it would be very hard at all. All you need is: a simple subtraction routine to check how far an enemy is from a PC, and control flow statements checking that routine, plus a single boolean for the new preference item, stuck in front of any code block involved in displaying an NPC's action.

I know it's spaghetti code so that might mean making a function out of the control flow statements and then calling it in many places, but that's fine -- processing power is not an issue for this kind of thing.

Yes, and you'd have to modify the preferences dialog, but that's not hard either.
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Originally Posted By: Cryolemon
Summoned monsters themselves shouldn't be able to summon more monsters.
Yes, that would be nice. A wizard that summons demons is bad enough, but when you have a wizard that summons demons that summon mages that summon mauve slimes... sickeekmad
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To each their own, I guess.

 

I don't mind a huge mass of monsters in a battle where large numbers are called for (like in X2 in front of Ornotha Ziggurat), but when you're in an ordinary run-of-the-mill combat...

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Originally Posted By: The Mystic
Originally Posted By: Cryolemon
Summoned monsters themselves shouldn't be able to summon more monsters.
Yes, that would be nice. A wizard that summons demons is bad enough, but when you have a wizard that summons demons that summon mages that summon mauve slimes... sickeekmad


The problem is how easy that would be to do. It seems like it should just be a matter of adding a flag to each monster to check whether it's summoned or not, and if it is disallowing it from casting summon spells.

Of course, given the code that could be easier said than done.
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Originally Posted By: Sylae Corell
I personally like the daisychaining summons. It adds a strategic element to the combat...destroy the summoners before they can summon too many summoners.


I do kind of enjoy this element of the game, but I could also see how it could bug some people...lol. I suppose I enjoy endless battles.
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There should be a way to mix daisychaining and non-summoning.

I have an idea. What if when placing monsters there was a

flag "allow summons to summon". Beyond the flag that checks to see if that monster was summoned. Hmm. Then you could have A-B-C instead of A-B-B-C or A-A-B-C or A-B-C-A (which is probably the deadliest). And I thank you for clarifying on what you meant by "sluggish". I still don't get the more interesting part. I do understand the webbing though : I had an uberbuff character (I love messing with the source code) with 50 of each stat (except for hp and sp which were 2500 and 1000 respectively). I ran into like 10 spiders only I got webbed. I literally could not do anything. It was over an hour before I could do anything, only I didn't know what to do. In the mean time, I did other stuff. I actually survived the combat and killed all the monsters. It took a really freaking long time though. Stupid webs...

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Personally, I think the single biggest problem with, all the exile's combat really, is the primacy of Bless/Curse and Haste/Slow.

 

With a few exceptions, and those generally in scenarios that forced you into a non-standard party or fights, (Roots, for an amazing example), pretty much all my fights would be the same thing. Throw hastes, then blesses, then clash in melee. Slow and curse the enemy, if necessary, and if things get bad, toss an antimagic cloud (assuming you can). Heal as necessary.

 

I'd like for an opportunity to use all those spells that fill up the list and never seem to get cast. They're very cranky, being shut up in that closet for so long frown

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Originally Posted By: Ur_Vile_Wedge
Personally, I think the single biggest problem with, all the exile's combat really, is the primacy of Bless/Curse and Haste/Slow.
That's because they're among the most effective at getting you through combat quickly so you can be on your merry way.
Quote:
I'd like for an opportunity to use all those spells that fill up the list and never seem to get cast. They're very cranky, being shut up in that closet for so long frown
The reasons so many combat-usable spells don't get used in combat all that much are: 1) there are similar spells that are more effective, and/or 2) they're relatively useless.
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  • 3 weeks later...

Maybe the monsters could disable you from using bless or haste or something? I wonder how that would work out. Then you could have a reason for casting Avatar (besides that it does all of the above in one spell). Or maybe it would block all such spells and you'd have to cast Ice Bolt a lot or something. Honestly, what do you do with all those other spells? The only spells I ever need are : Avatar, Major Blessing, that one level 7 protection spell, and Quickfire. It's pretty hard to get rid of teh quickfire though. Stays forever. Can block it. I should try Quick Fire in DOOM MOON 2. Yes. That's what I'll do. Beware foolish dragons. Beware!

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