Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Combat: Possible improvements and chances?

Discussion in 'What Remains' started by The Brazilian Slaughter, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. Make America Great Again The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    Hi, SurfSolar, I've been paying attention to this project for some time, and I've noticed you're interested in making combat more of a tactical experience. That's good, but the question is... how to make it so?

    Let's first think about some of the problems of the original Fallout combat system, at least from my perspective:

    Lemme see:

    1. Single-character control.
    You could only control one character, with the sole exception of Killap's RP, where you could use Timeslip's mod to set NPC control. I'm surprised nobody ever tried to do anything wacky with that feature, I played with it and its pretty cool, specially with weapon mods that make certain weapons useful, like grenades. I see you're already fixing this one.
    Query: What kind of companions the main character will have? Dispensable cannon-fodder mercs, X-Com style, or unique characters with unique personalities and stories, like in Jagged Alliance 2?

    More later.
     
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  2. Surf Solar cannot into womynz

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    As shown on the last page of this thread ( http://www.rpgcodex.net/phpBB/viewtopic ... &start=275 ) I'm currently working on doing some UI tweaks and fixes while we try to punch the feauture to control more than one character at once in. ;)

    Ideally it should look like you described, you can recruit up to 5 (MaximumCharisma /2) followers and can directly control their levelling, walking, shooting, inventory etc - just the same like with your main character. Only talking with other npc is main character exclusive.

    These followers won't be random cannonfodder, these are full fledged npc with a bit barter inbetween travels etc (think Torment, just not that much sophisticated and elaborate - I'm ambitious but not insane).

    It would be really cool to roll and create an entire party at the start of the game, but that's something for the next game maybe. :P

    Next combat changes are critical tables reworked but I can't post them now since they're not finished.
    One of your posts in the other thread also inspired me to do some more tactical options (think of some D&D spells like web etc. translated into the "realistic" world of Fallout). Again, I will post examples when I've finished those elements and they're working properly.

    I wouldn't mind more suggestions though. :)
     
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  3. Resch Novice

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    It's not combat per se, but it's close enough.

    One thing that always bugged me in Fallout was how useless certain odd numbered SPECIAL stats were. 5 EN gave you just as many hit points per level as 4 EN. 5 AG gave you the same number of Action Points as 4 AG. Even CH/2 for companions gives you no incentive to make a character with 7 CH, for example.

    Any thoughts on how to improve that?
     
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  4. Surf Solar cannot into womynz

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    Yeah, this is very true. The EN issue can and will be easily solved. Don't forget that taking one more point in AG gives you more starting points in the overall skills, even if one AP is missing (but yeah, can still be improved upon).

    The player is granted with less SPECIAL points to allocate to at the character creation in What Remains (8 points less, so you have 4/4/4/4/4/4 at the start and 4 points to allocate), but there are much more possible ways to raise/add points during the game (think of the implants in Fallout 2, only that you need to do a bit more than just paying some caps and wait a while).

    Making those SPECIAL +/- perks you gain through quests quite numerable, there should be no reason a player feels cheated of one point in the system if he chose an odd number.

    Also, as I'm aware of that problem, quite many Statchecks have uneven (rounded up) numbers in the SPECIAL system..
     
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  5. Make America Great Again The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    Interesting feeback, SurfSolar!

    What kind of number of NPCs are you thinking? Fallout had 4 CNPCs with a optional CNPC. Fallout 2 had 14 companions, 3 of which were loads (the two siblings and Pariah Dog), three of which were dogs (K9, Cyberdog and Dogmeat).

    Are you going to go by Sawyer's maxim that all CNPCs should be found in the early game, because otherwise nobody is gonna be interested in end-game CNPCs whose utility and effectiveness is unknown? I remember I never used Goris (Foolishness, because he would'be been totally fitting with my badass melee party!) and Skynet I only used once in a evil game, and I never used the dogs at all. Myron or Marcus were probrably the last NPCs most people got into their parties.

    Also, how will karma and reputation affect NPCs and their recruiting? I remember playing Fallout 2 with a evil character and being very chaffed in CNPC options. Essentially, the only NPCs you could recruit and keep with a evil character were Vic, Myron, Skynet (hard to get), the useless Modoc siblings, Cyberdog and Dogmeat. The best NPCs (Sulik, Cassidy, Marcus) eventually abandoned you or even turned against you if you went evil, and even attacked you if you did certain things, like fighting their faction.

    Also, another suggestion:

    What is the range of combat in What Remains?
    I'm asking this because I'm, as you know, a ooooooold player of FOnline, and I've noticed that Fallout ranged combat is too short-ranged, especially after you play games like Jagged Alliance 2. Even a sharpshooter with a sniper rifle at maximum range ins't actually very afar. I've seen you saying that you desire to make the combat more tactical, and I think this is a key component.
    Personally, I would double or triple weapon range, except in obvious cases. I never felt "sniped" in a Fallout game. It would be interesting to enter somewhere forbidden and get shot by hidden snipers.
    This would be useful because people hit too easily in Fallout combat. Just pump your weapon skills to 150% and you barely miss unless you got a crippled eye, no matter ilumination and distance. Making it harder to hit might also give melee fighters a advantage.
     
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  6. kaizoku Arcane

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    questions needing answers ;)

    About karma and reputation I would prefer to have an ego and reputations system.
    The ego would just act as a type of trophy/achievement, like "child killer", "grave robber", etc.
    The reputation would be NPC, city, faction dependent and should not react directly to the ego tags you have gained, but instead of what they have seen you do. What I mean is if you robbed some graves in town A, then the people at town D shouldn't magically know that you're a grave robber.


    I like this.

    Good point.
    A way to also ease this problem could be adding restrictions to perks you can choose when you level up.
     
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  7. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    I think one of the problems here is isometric perspective. Long range combat = a lot of scrolling around.

    Fully agreed but under one condition - disconnect critical failure chance from difficulty of the shot. It should be static, depending only on your skill and stats. Just because I'm not terribly likely to hit a guy from 1km distance doesn't mean that I will somehow shoot myself in the ballsack when attempting to do so.

    Also, another proposition - reload cost in AP should be much higher than the cost of shooting. Especially on repeated shots, those should require only about 1-2AP.
     
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  8. Excidium P. banal

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    I second this. That's actually something I never understood in Fallout, how the hell does reloading a gun takes less time than pulling the trigger? Also, unless my memory is failing, all guns had the same 2 AP reload cost which is even more retarded.
     
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  9. kaizoku Arcane

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    You're not just pulling the trigger. You're aiming too, even if not a targeted shot, you still need to aim.

    I also can't say for sure, but I don't think that reloading always costs 2 AP. I have the vague memory that reloading a rocket launcher took almost as many AP as firing it.
    If it isn't the case already, AP cost for shooting and reloading should be weapon based.

    Still, changing the current system could take a lot of time in balancing it. This is a very swampy area.
     
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  10. Major_Blackhart Codexia Lord Sodom Patron

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    I figured that was always a mechanic done for the sake of balance more than anything.

    For me, one thing that could be re-worked I guess is the benefit of a high strength character in hand to hand combat, bare fisted beat em up style and what not.
    With higher strength you have a greater chance to cause some seriously adverse effects to a fella, breaking bones, concussion, knocking unconscious, and simply hitting him so hard you knock him on his ass a few paces back.
    I would like endurance to play a role in close combat as well, maybe with some sort of stamina bar similar to health bar. Takes virtually no stamina to pull a trigger, but beating a man to death and showing him the what for in a no holds barred oiled muscles van damme style brodown can really cause a person to perspire.

    Edit: I also don't think that, in h2h or melee combat, if you have a high enough strength, such effects should be limited to only occurring during critical hits. That negates the point of having a high strength to begin with.
    I think that the higher the strength (and skill), the greater the chance of causing these status effects, while luck and critical strikes should be something else entirely, mostly a crap ton of damage including a few status effects at once (you broke two of his ribs and collapsed a lung. This poor fucker's gonna have a hard time swinging back! So now he takes damage, loses more stamina with each swing, and he even does less damage with each normal blow because he's constantly winded, cant breathe deeply, and is in a fuckton of pain) or maybe a chance to cause a blow that instantly kills the fucker (a devastating shot to the adam's apple, pure luck that he turned his head just right as you threw the punch, exposing his neck to your incoming fist)
    I also think that a fucked character like the one above should still be able to get a lucky shot off that can finish a person off.

    Now, dealing with this will be armors which can reduce the chances of specific status effects. For instance, leather armor will help you stop from getting winded faster and absorb some of the damage because it's got good cushioning, while metal armor will make you winded faster because it's heavy, and you can still get knocked out, but mashing a fuck's rib's in when he's wearing a breastplate is a lot harder than it sounds, i.e. less likely chance of broken bones.
     
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  11. kaizoku Arcane

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    I mostly disagree with what you said above.

    First of all, I think a critical hit can result both in: extra damage or/and adverse effects (knockout, blindness, broken member, losing a turn, etc).

    And IMO you shouldn't get more critical hits because you're using melee attacks. If you use a firearm and a bullet hits the wrong place you can simply collapse: be knocked down, knocked out, or bleed to death.
    What I think the advantage of using melee should be is that it would allow you to recover an intact armor. While someone who has unloaded a machine gun on someone, that armor should be pretty much useless. Another advantage (when the melee opponent is adjacent) would be causing a penalty for attackers with ranged weapons.
     
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  12. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Does it take longer than removing magazine, taking out new magazine, putting it in and chambering a round (if you ran dry)?

    How about manually loading all rounds into pump action?

    Sure aiming should cost some AP, but repeated shots against the same target should take few.
    Ideally, aiming should use more AP the longer and heavier weapon you're using and repeated shots should use AP depending on the recoil, plus a bit of the above.

    In FO reloading was almost non-factor, while it should have been a major one in a firefight.

    Then, instead of fixing it they went full bethesda on reloading in Arcanum.
    Before bethesda was even known for going bethesda.

    Well, true - reloading .44 magnum revolver used 1AP if you upgraded it with speedloader.
    :troll:

    You can look up some videos of professionals firing and reloading to get a gist of time required for either action, then translate the time into APs, because that's what they are meant to represent.

    Of course, if FO was RT, such a massive idiocy would not have been overlooked by the devs, because it would fuck hard both animations and combat dynamics.
    :smug:
     
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  13. kaizoku Arcane

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    This is the part where I roleplay/imagine that everyone involved is running, jumping, taking cover, dodging... kind of a jackie chan movie :)
    There's no other way to see it, because in reality it would be plain stupid (XIX century duel style) for characters to stand still in an open area and seeing who gets to kill the other one first.
    Agreed.
    But balancing all the weapons in the game is a *lot* of work. It's a mod on its own.
    Maybe the best would be to create (less than 10?) classes of weapons and define the AP cost per class.
     
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  14. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Character running and shooting in the same turn = character running and gunning.
    Character running behind cover = character taking cover.
    Character getting missed because of extra AC from leftover APs = character dodging.
    Character standing in the open like a retard = character standing in the open like a retard.

    Simple.
    :smug:

    Again - try gauging how much APs it should take by watching videos of people using similar weapons IRL.
    Snap-firing a pistol certainly takes much less time than reloading it.
     
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  15. Make America Great Again The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    Problem is, Fallout AI can't cope with characters seeking cover. They just march like lemmings toward the covering character, no matter what, then start shooting once they get into range. Since they take the nearest, fastest route, it means they all come from the same diferection, making them super-vulnerable, especially against burst shots and grenades. The player can also find another place to cover and run there, which will force the enemies to follow him again. This can be especially cheesy with two levels of bonus move. Since FO's scenario is not destructible, they can't simply blow the cover away and fire all guns.

    AI needs to learn overwatching and to attack from all directions, and also needs to learn cover.
     
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  16. Major_Blackhart Codexia Lord Sodom Patron

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    Not what I said. I never said Melee and H2H users should cause more criticals, I said that strength should play a greater role in hand to hand and melee combat. One example I gave was that they have a greater chance to cause status effects such as broken bones, concussions, etc. Big difference from what I defined a critical to be, which was a big amount of damage due to a multiplier plus one/several status effects. However, my point was this: what's the point of having all that strength if all you're going to do is a bit more damage (not a ton either) in hand to hand. Carry weight is nice, but one of the big reasons of playing a big bruiser is the fact that you can accidentally kill someone by petting it and loving it too much George. There should be a bonus of some sorts for hitting higher strength and skill levels, and that should be an increased chance to do status.

    Ever been punched in the ribcage by a guy that weighs 250 lbs and is solid muscle standing at 6' vs a guy that's the same height and weighs about a hundred pounds less? Smart money says that the beefier dude has a greater chance to break your ribs than the skinny string bean fella, not counting skill.
     
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  17. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Another problem is lack of stances and destructible/penetrable cover.
     
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  18. Gondolin Arcane

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    X-Com had (back in 1993) on-screen shortcuts that let the player cycle through a character's visible targets. Don't know how hard that would be to implement in Fallout, though.
     
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  19. Make America Great Again Johannes Arcane

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    Main advantages of melee combat should probably be just the stealthiness, in both causing less sound and being able to use in places where guns are prohibited. And the option for nonlethality, intimidation.


    How will the engine be though, will there be those varying stances and partial cover? Though even if there isn't, you can make the combat interesting by having "spell-like" abilities in form of grenades (smoke, stun, mustard, etc.) and other things. And possibly by making different guns more varied, for example making the weapons with best DPS not usable on the same turn as you move or stuff like that, instead of different weapons just having different range and different DPS.
    And for combat to be properly tactical, the character level shouldn't matter too much, in comparison to having the right tactics.

    And how elaborate sneaking system are you planning to implement?
     
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  20. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    It might be interesting to have separate aim and fire actions. It would take care of subsequent shots at the same target using only 1-2AP, and might be part of an interesting semi-combat mechanics allowing persuasion via pointing a gun at someone's face.

    With improved combat mechanics and deflated HP (so shooting someone point blank in the face has good chance of instakilling them) you might have legitimate mechanics for forcing surrender.
     
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  21. Awor Szurkrarz Arcane In My Safe Space

    Awor Szurkrarz
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    GURPS Fallout had an aim action that worked similarly to the JA2 aiming. You would be able to increase accuracy for each second of aiming up to the guns accuracy value. Additionally firing without aiming would give a -4 penalty to hit and the first second of aiming would just remove that penalty.
     
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  22. Surf Solar cannot into womynz

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    Finally I have time to respond. :)


    At the moment there are 4 companions directly integrated into the story, 3 rather loose ones and 2 "easter egg" companions. There'll be more who join you temporarily at small occasions. If I feel fancy, I'll make more, but this will have to wait since it's a nother truckload of work. I wouldn't mind some suggestions for animal followers though, I have none at the moment and feel that some animal sidekick is what people would want (but want to avoid the Dogmeat cliché).

    That is an interesting question.. Did Sawyer post that on Formspring, or where have you got this from? I personally always took Goris, regardless if he appears rather late in the game. What Remains' followers are rather cluttered throughout the gameworld, the latest appears at the later mid-game. Do you think this should be changed? It makes kinda sense, you feel more attached to such followers if they... follow you from the very start. Hm, need to think about that.

    There'll be no Karma function, as I hate some "All seeing deity judging your actions" - it doesn't make sense, especially not in a setting like this where there is questionable moral, not everything you are doing can be judged by "good" or "bad" and so on. There is the reputation however, but even having disastrous reputation doesn't neccesarily mean that NPC XY won't join you, you could intimidate/threaten him to follow you (slavery) and so on. It's kinda hard to describe without showing actual dialogs (spoilers), but there'll be less restrictions in if you can have followers or not, they are rather limited in the number of followers you can have, not the "good/bad/good reputation/bad reputation" way. There'll be NPC reactions to what you do when they are in the party, though.


    The to-hit-chance is overall lowered and it's harder to aquire skillpoints to raise your gun accuracy. If you pump all your points in combat stats exclusively you'll have a hard time during the game. The combat range gets higher the wider you progress through the game, so the start of the game will have low range combat, midgame uses the default fallout range and endgame has very big ranges, enemies using terrain (PE modifiers) and so on. Doubling or tripling the range is a bit too much I think, but overall it's definitely raised.

    Yup, it's exactly like that.

    This can be solved by a button to switch between targets (left arrow on keyboard=next enemy for example) like it was suggested in this thread.

    Agreed, there was some engine limitation (or the devs didn't bother simply?) in FO1/2 for those reloading costs, in the FOnline engine I can set different costs for different weapons. I haven't tweaked the vanilla Fallout items this way (yet), but the new weapons I brought in have varying reload costs.

    I like this! Although I am not sure about the stamina bar though. I admit, I haven't done anything with Close Combat and Sneaking for now (other than nerfing the damage output in the very early game a bit) but these ideas will come in handy!

    I tweaked the AI a bit, also some NPC will never chase the player down and rather hold their positions (snipers), use different stances (stand/prone/crouch), use hotspots to gather and use first aid if neccesary etc. They won't be super duper intelligent, but better than the normal Fallout AI (which isn't very hard in the first place...)

    I would love to have destructible terrain, but I lack the skills in art to do all the rubble/damaged terrain (scripting these things isn't the problem). :<

    It does now (switching hands/item slots). Also using items in the inventory costs AP aswell now (no longer taking infinite stimpaks per turn in inventory)

    I really like the persuasion thing! (same could be done for melee/unarmed with a high strength for intimidation for example as Johannes mentionend).

    What ideas for different aim/fire actions would you have?
     
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  23. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    DraQ
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    Goris was a bro, but it might be my inner scalefag speaking.

    I think it's not that simple, you'd also need some "enemy spotted" notification, or you'd still be compulsively scroll/click around every turn to not get sniped.

    Overhead view is really shit if maximum ranges involved are significantly larger than screen dimensions, because it's essentially like trying to keep an accurate and up-to date view of the entire battlefield looking through high magnification scope all the time, except even worse as scope would still give you a cone, even if narrow, rather than spot.

    It can be fixed by changing perspective or allowing variable zoom, neither of which is viable here.

    Well, simple - you spend some fairly significant amount of AP to acquire the target, then every shot against this target uses only about 1-3AP (+1 if it's aimed shot at specific part) depending on recoil. Shots against other targets are impossible unless another target is acquired or current is deacquired.
    Shots from the hip might be possible, but they should come with massive to-hit penalty, and require AP cost for turning around. Ideally, they should only be practical with automatic and AoE weapons and work more as "spray in general direction" than "shoot someone in particular".

    Might need max AP inflation and corresponding inflation of movement cost.

    Also, don't forget disconnect between critical failure and difficulty of a shot - guns shouldn't magically explode just because target is difficult to hit.
     
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  24. Surf Solar cannot into womynz

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    There's a zoom function that allows zooming in/out up to 6 times. ;)
    Thanks for the explanation on the different shooting stances, that's definitely a thing worth to look at after I'm done with the rest of the to do list. :salute:
     
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