Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Design Topic #1: Assuming Control

Discussion in 'Iron Tower Studio' started by Vault Dweller, Mar 15, 2018.

?

Do you want to control allies in combat?

  1. Party & Allies only

    55.2%
  2. Any allies, even without your party

    19.8%
  3. Absolutely not!

    25.0%
  1. Jrpgfan Savant

    Jrpgfan
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    Tie the abillity to control allies to a stat/skill and/or rank/trait. As long as it makes sense for your allies to obey you within the given context it's fine, otherwise as already stated it breaks the immershun.

    Also, a "fast forward" option would do wonders.
     
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  2. mustawd. Scholar

    mustawd.
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    Fir me this comes down to how good the AI is for the allies.

    If it’s decent enough, then I’d rather control just my party.

    If it’s shit then I’d rather control both sets.

    Alternatively, you could find a way to make controlling both your party and allies that doesn’t feel weird. Something like mentioning that your party is in command or that the allies should follow your lead. That way controlling them makes some kind of sense. Showing up randomly and controlling them would feel logically inconsistent IMO.
     
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  3. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Serpent in the Staglands Torment: Tides of Numenera
    I mean, the ideal implementation from a control saturation / immersion / difficulty perspective is to be able to make 'calls' - i.e. call out for your allies to help x guy or attack y side, with latitude for the allies to contradict your calls or give you commands - but I don't think that ever is implemented in a very good way. Usually ends up being shitty full control where your allies are idiotic chickens.

    In an ideal world, you could even run AOD style dialogues with skill checks during battle: e.g. you spend a turn to examine a suspicious door, using relevant skills, and then you use your talking skills to persuade your allied commander, who you really don't have a good existing relationship with, that he should trust you and not use the door. You don't succeed the check, and so, combat resumes and the allies use their turn to go through the door and get blown up.
     
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  4. Norfleet Moderator

    Norfleet
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    I remember in several games, the best way to pass the "keep uncontrolled ally alive" was to immediately wall in, paralyze, hold, or otherwise shoot them in the leg at the start of the battle to cripple their ability to Leeroy, because if they were allowed to run off on their own, the battle would become impossible, but if you immobilized them at the very start of the battle so they could not leave the spawn, it became relatively trivial.

    The AI will always be bad. If the AI was any good, the game would have become unwinnable long ago, because the enemy AI is the same AI and will always outnumber and outgun the player. Therefore, there is no way the AI will ever compete favorably against the player unless the AI is better than you are, and therefore, always beats you.

    In most cases, the smartest thing the allied AI can do is simply cower in a corner out of the way.
     
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  5. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    Not necessarily. First, turn-based RPGs aren't chess and the number of viable options is limited. Anything an above average player does an AI can be programmed to do quite easily. Second, in RPGs the AI is limited by the stats, skills, and gear, so the AI can't do what the characters it controls can't. Bad AI will make a fight too easy because the enemies just shoot at you without any coherent thought. Good AI will make the same fight challenging because the enemies will act like a team but not impossible because there are limits to what the enemies can do.
     
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  6. Kit Walker Totally Not Captain Shrek

    Kit Walker
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    This is a great point that most people miss, in my opinion. However, is writing a Good AI really that easy? Did you play with this for AOD? How did the good AI perform against testers? Can you introduce a difficulty slider that controls AI behaviour instead of its resources?
     
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  7. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    I think AoD's AI was well received, although it was fairly basic and focused on enemies vs you, not group vs group like the CSG AI. We hope to do better, of course. Let's take target acquisition, for example. It's easier to make the AI target the closest enemies, but it won't take much work to make it recognize the biggest biggest threats (like targeting mages in fantasy games) as well as the biggest opportunities (to finish off a wounded enemy quickly) and work together. The AI should check all relevant enemy's stats: damage, DR, hit points, resistances, as well the AI's THC and resources and then make a decision (i.e. if the enemy isn't wearing a gas mask, throw a gas grenade; if the enemy's DR is too high, either switch to a gun with high penetration or use aimed attacks that reduce DR, etc.) Basically, find the biggest weakness and attack it, if can't, use your greatest advantage.
     
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  8. Kit Walker Totally Not Captain Shrek

    Kit Walker
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    I see. How about the slider idea for the CSG? I can see if you indeed manage to code AI behaviour from normal to start, this slider idea is revolutionary. In AoD, the real issue, I guess, was that the difficulty of a fight was mostly based on enemy skill *and* its resources. I generally had the toughest time when enemies had poison, nets and other consumables.
     
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  9. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    It's definitely doable (we started with different AI roles for AoD: thug, guard, soldier, officer) but there are different ways to control difficulty. For example, in DR the attack selection is tied to THC, so if it's low, the enemies will use faster, less damaging attacks, if it's high, they'll use power and aimed attacks. The difficulty modes reduced enemies' THC via penalty, thus reducing their options in combat. Turning off resources like skipping bombs and such is fairly easy but it's not something we want to explore at the moment.
     
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  10. Kit Walker Totally Not Captain Shrek

    Kit Walker
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    One day I wish to see a game that has difficulty based on what the AI can do and not its HP/THC/enemy numers. That day I would declare to be the new dawn of gaming.
     
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  11. lukaszek Arcane

    lukaszek
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    Linking difficulty to computational power will be awesome.
    People would be lowering difficulty to have stable 60fps.
    Console would be choice of weak gamers... Same as now but with proper evidence.
    People would laugh at codex as hive of casuals due to their meh rigs.
     
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