COMMUNITY - FORUMS - GENERAL DISCUSSION
Combat is a foundation
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I've just seen the combat videos from Pax East and I'm somehwat disappointed. I can see the good ideas, like dodging and attacking in the direction you face (no tab-target), but it just seems bad. And you can see in the reaction of the players that they're not satisfied as well.

Let me explain the problems I saw from pure observation.

There are no interactions between the combatans except for dealing damage. The attacks are extremely fast with no telegraphing. This eliminates the possibility for reaction based countermeasures, which is one of the most important thing for a healthy skill-based combat flow. In real-life combat your reaction is alot faster than anything you can accomplish with mouse and keyboard. That's why you need a certain degree of telegraphing in games that aim to have skill-based action combat. Take a look at Dark Souls, Chivalry or even Mount and Blade. The other thing is.. it looks bad. The animation when hit is way over the top, especially because during that animation the character is still able to move, attack and do everything he wants to do. The animations overlap, resulting in them playing in fast forward. This makes the animation unbelievable. You really need to rework those animations..

The ideas are good, but I reckon you will have to rework ALOT of it if you want to create a good game. Especially if PvP is meant to be a thing. Combat is a foundation in this kind of game. You can't build a good house on a bad foundation.

Edit: I can't stress that enough. With the combats current state, the game WILL fail very quickly. That's not just a prediction, it's pretty much common sense. PvP with a bad combat system is a bullet-proof concept for failure. If you want to compete you don't need "ok", you need "great!", and what you currently have is "meh".


3/16/2017 3:54:53 AM #16
+3

Posted By Malitias at 8:01 PM - Wed Mar 15 2017

Posted By AshyLarry at 03:56 AM - Thu Mar 16 2017

The problem is 90% of the people that give feedback and criticism don't say anything constructive and mainly point out the obvious. It's like some of you don't think the devs have ever played a video game before. Comments like "its too floaty". If you look at other alpha games it's the same thing. There's always a loud group of people saying "this game looks like shit" even though it's pre alpha.

And like I've said before, this is the PRECISE reason devs don't like showing early gameplay footage, and to be honest I probably would avoid it entirely if I were SbS till the game was close to alpha. It's bad PR for no reason other than other people's loud ignorance.

Well, I did say what I'd like to see. Timeframes to have interactions between the combatans with some degree of telegraphing, to make those just-in-time reactions possible. Edit: And no animation canceling. I hate that kind of mechanic where you can have "invisible hits".

I know you mean well. And you should feel fine with expressing concerns. But Caspian already said that the combat is going to be overhauled. Which the thread was closed so don't feel bad for not knowing this. But that's the whole point. If we criticize things like combat before there's anything close to a complete product then it just moves on to more and more people. It legitimizes the concern. When in reality it's not even worth talking about yet, because they've already said they plan on dedicating months to the combat system, but it hasn't been a priority yet.

I think you went about it in a respectful way, so don't take it as me pointing the finger at you. And your concern about not being able to telegraph is legitimate. Debatable, but a worthy complaint worth discussing.

But I just want people to be aware. That's all.


Merchants Beware of Ashy Sails..

3/16/2017 4:38:16 AM #17
-1

Posted By Rovert at 04:30 AM - Thu Mar 16 2017

Kinda hard to be critical of some thing that is a place holder, its one thing to have a constructive discussion about potential combat mechanics but to point out the faults in a place holder animation seems redundant.

Most games generally update their animations throughout beta anyhow so what you see now is irrelevant.

It was nowhere stated that it's a placeholder when I watched the presentation. I understand it's going to be changed and that's fine. Don't assume everyone researches IF there is going to be a change. They obviously need to be more vocal about the combat shown being just some messing around.


3/16/2017 5:35:06 AM #18
+2

Posted By Malitias at 9:38 PM - Wed Mar 15 2017

They obviously need to be more vocal about the combat shown being just some messing around.

I'm not sure that they do. In game development, you program in stages and each of those stages go through dozens of iterations. Them releasing pre-alpha footage pretty explicitly puts it in the category of "this is a rough draft and it is going to be improved."

It's like being critical of a landscape painting when only thing the painter has done so far is brushed in some brown for the land and blue for the sky. Give them time to add detail before providing your critique.

3/16/2017 5:47:54 AM #19
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This is what I meant. He made his account in February and still didn't get that it's a place holder or how much they are going to change it (not a shot on you they don't talk about their system expectation/order a lot). Like I said, slapping It with an alpha title won't protect it from everyone. While I have NO doubt that they will fix it and it will be good by launch, it's always good to keep these thoughts from swirling around when you can.

let me clarify. I DO have faith in SBS, however I don't have faith in most viewers of pre-alpha content. It was also unfair to compare CoE to WoW in the way u can't compare CoE to DS3.

WoW was made like 13 years ago and they also were going with a lower rez cartoon base graphic style anyway because the average PC 13 years ago according to them wouldn't have ran what they wanted to do originally.

Try not to misunderstand, I am not discrediting CoE with this next comment but Unreal Engine 4 is naturally gorgeous on it's own.

https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/htiwfw5na9ueraxxfqnh.gif

I forget how to auto link it so it showed the picture but in the link above you can see the Lion's Pride Inn from WoW in UE4 made by a fan 1 year ago. It bares a lot of resemblance if you ask me. So does it look better than alpha wow? without a doubt but the engine itself also looks way better than alpha WoW'S.

But before I get yelled at for trying to discredit them or something I'm gonna restate that I'm sure everything will work out by launch. For a positive for their combat I heard that they have an optional soft target system planned and an option to disable it for free-directional attacks when you get better at the game. That sounds great.


Don't mistake passion and tenacity for toxicity and anger. If I want to hurt you, I will.

3/16/2017 6:17:14 AM #20
+1

I think if you compare CoE with WoW you must be fucked in the head

WoW is a fucking terrible game


You may have erased my signature, but you can't corner the dorner

3/16/2017 6:17:55 AM #21
-1

To be honest, I don't see the point of showing the combat off the way they did if they're going to be pretty much do it again from scratch anyway.

Edit: Usually you don't create something as complex as a combat system if you're just doing to delete it anyway. I get the concept of prototyping, but it's usually with the general concept of the product in mind so you can actually build upon what you've created so far and use your code and assets again, which, at least from what you guys tell me, is not the case here.


3/16/2017 7:00:57 AM #22
+1

Posted By Malitias at 4:17 PM - Thu Mar 16 2017

To be honest, I don't see the point of showing the combat off the way they did if they're going to be pretty much do it again from scratch anyway.

Good point, but I think it was mainly to just throw us a bone. They know that they have thousands of people twiddling their thumbs waiting for this game, so they are just trying to show us something to let us know they are working on stuff.

As people have said in previous threads, damned if they do, damned if they don't. Show nothing and people ask why there has been no evidence of progress. Show a video with some parkour and placeholder combat and everyone freaks out that the game is gonna be crap.


If you are new to the community, the Design Journals will answer a lot of your questions.

3/16/2017 7:19:04 AM #23
+1

Just a comment on the title of the post. Combat will exist in CoE but it will be only one aspect of the game. To say it is the foundation is like looking at a bowl of stew and claiming that it is just carrots.


3/16/2017 6:02:31 PM #24
+2

I feel like this will get taken the wrong way, but I want to reiterate a point made earlier.

"Combat is not the turning point of CoE".

Is it still really important? Absolutely. But if you're hoping it's as good or better than some of the best combat sims ever made, then that's just not going to happen in the open world MMORPG environment. Resign yourself to dissapointment now.

But I don't disagree with you about it needing improvement(even lots of it), but that's a given at this point in development.

If PvP is your only focus then this may evolve into a can't see the forest for the trees scenario. Meaning, your focus is very singular while the game's focus is very broad. An unlikely scenario to meet your very focused expectations.

However, I still think your opinions are valid, or even correct. But your expectations may be misplaced given the genre.


Friend Code: B88A39

3/16/2017 6:15:12 PM #25
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The combat system is basically a placeholder and the head dev himself has stated that by the time the game is released the entire combat system will have been completely overhauled.


3/16/2017 6:22:05 PM #26
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I can't stress that enough. With the combats current state, the game WILL fail very quickly.

->

Combat is featured in the demo, a little more streamlined than last year's PAX, however combat is likely getting an overhaul after PAX East 2017 and will remain our focus for several months. No doubt you'll have more detailed videos of combat later in the summer.

3/16/2017 6:33:07 PM #27
-3

Posted By Adam_Kent at 7:02 PM - Thu Mar 16 2017

However, I still think your opinions are valid, or even correct. But your expectations may be misplaced given the genre.

My expectations were of course within the genre. There are some pretty neat combat systems out there for open world online rpgs. (anyone else feel like "MMORPG" is way too vague term by now?) Blade and Soul, Tera and Black Desert are all very action oriented games, that are still very much open world. Their systems work within the genre, with the latency, etc. They are those over-the-top action games, yet still have some degree of reaction based attacks in both PvE and PvP, so I don't see any reason it wouldn't work for this game with a more realistic, slower approach to combat. I still stand by my expectation that, in order to properly compete, this game won't need "ok", it will need "great!". There are alot of online games that are "ok", and they are all dying right now.


3/16/2017 6:40:09 PM #28
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Posted By Malitias at 2:33 PM - Thu Mar 16 2017

Posted By Adam_Kent at 7:02 PM - Thu Mar 16 2017

However, I still think your opinions are valid, or even correct. But your expectations may be misplaced given the genre.

My expectations were of course within the genre. There are some pretty neat combat systems out there for open world online rpgs. (anyone else feel like "MMORPG" is way too vague term by now?) Blade and Soul, Tera and Black Desert are all very action oriented games, that are still very much open world. Their systems work within the genre, with the latency, etc. They are those over-the-top action games, yet still have some degree of reaction based attacks in both PvE and PvP, so I don't see any reason it wouldn't work for this game with a more realistic, slower approach to combat. I still stand by my expectation that, in order to properly compete, this game won't need "ok", it will need "great!". There are alot of online games that are "ok", and they are all dying right now.

Out of curiosity, how do you view Old School Runescape's combat? Would that fall into "meh", "okay", or "great"?


3/16/2017 6:44:32 PM #29
+12

Hail, Malitias, and a belated welcome to the community!

Thank you for sharing with us your concerns regarding combat. Rest assured, what you see in videos to date are far, far from their final iteration.

Soulbound Studios is working with what we call the Rope Bridge philosophy, where we essentially 'build the smallest, easiest, most straight-forward version of the software first, and then once I've created a rope bridge, go back and flesh out the systems further. [. . .] By creating a 'thin vertical slice,' and working your way through the systems quickly, it lets you come to terms with all the challenging problems you'll face in the first third of the project, rather than the last third.'

I'll slip you the relevant passage below, if you're curious enough to want more than the TL;DR!

'A project is broken up into systems, systems are broken up into classes, and classes are broken up into methods and properties. Any time you are given a task, you are being asked to implement either a system, class, or some sub-component within a class. Understandably, your first instinct is to figure out where you are now, and where you need to be in order to call your task ‘complete.’ Now, there are two ways to do this. One is to begin coding from where you are, adding new functionality, building out your classes and systems, etc., until you eventually end up at your destination. This is, metaphorically speaking, the equivalent to standing on one side of a large chasm and beginning to build a large concrete bridge as you walk across.

As most civil engineers will tell you, this is a very daunting task, and requires hair-line precision. An inch off in either direction can send your bridge off to one side or another or drive it into the side of the cliff. At the same time, concrete bridges are known for being sturdy and inflexible. With programming it’s no different. Trying to get completely from point A to point B requires a good deal of foresight, which is made even more difficult when attempting to develop a system which is flexible. This leads us to the alternative: The Rope Bridge.

Imagine you are standing on the same chasm, and have been given the task of getting to the other side. Instead of working from beginning to end, developing a cement bridge, instead, build a rope bridge. A rope bridge is the smallest, most fragile form of passage from one side to the other. It doesn’t hold a lot of weight, doesn’t allow many paths from one side to the other, tends to be a bit low hanging, but damn it’s flexible.

From a programming standpoint, this means taking the easiest route from point A to point B, with the least amount of code necessary to accomplish the minimum specification required. In other words, ”Just barely get it working.” Once you’ve accomplished this, you’ve successfully built your rope bridge. This makes testing possible, allows for immediate user feedback, and gives you an idea of what you may be able to expect from your bridge (and the chasm) in the near future...'

We are still very much in pre-alpha development, and when working with such a philosophy, making our animations look beautiful is not very high on our list of priorities. We can always iterate on the animations later, once we've gotten what we need developed, developed.

Think to the philosophy of the Jar of Life. Right now, we are working on filling our 'jar' with the biggest pieces -- the golf balls, in this case -- the very important things. We'll work on developing the pebbles and sand later, when we get there :)


3/16/2017 7:55:27 PM #30
+0

Posted By Reggie at 7:40 PM - Thu Mar 16 2017

Out of curiosity, how do you view Old School Runescape's combat? Would that fall into "meh", "okay", or "great"?

haven't played that enough to make a qualified answer to it. I disliked the camera controls and UI. I'd lean towards "ok" though, because of the time it was created and the genre. I've heard it gets more interesting once you get magic though.


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