Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

So... Mechanics?

Discussion in 'Expeditions' started by vivec, May 2, 2016.

  1. vivec Savant

    vivec
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Parrots:
    560
    Click here and disable ads!
    Having played Expeditions: Conquistador. I must ask: How similar are the combat mechanics of the two games? I really enjoyed E:C early on, but half way through the game, on the mainland, I had almost all the skills distributed along the party and had them pretty much well explored. This made combat a bit repetitive for me. Maybe, this was a little subjective, but still I would like to know how deep the mechanics are in the new game. Can the developers share some thoughts? Are abilities based on the character backgrounds or are they free for all? How many abilities are there? How are they distributed along the ranged/melee axis? Do different tiers of the abilities make them stronger or add additional functionality?


    Any discussion will be very appreciated!
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  2. Atomical Logic Artists Developer

    Atomical
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2015
    Parrots:
    39
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    Glad to have a discussion about it! There are a few things that are different in Expeditions: Viking worth looking at:
    1. No combat classes exist: We've done away with the character class system. Meaning that all skills and abilities are available to all characters.
    2. Experience and leveling characters has changed: When your party gets xp, everyone gets xp, this means you can experiement with different skill builds. This will hopefully allow players to draw from their entire character pool instead of drafting an "A-team" of combat fighters that we saw prevalent in Expeditions: Conquistador.
    3. wide range of skills: There are a great many more skills available to choose from, there are your basic Weapon Skills-- proficiencies which will unlock special combat actions for the specific weapon, Offensive Skills which are combat actions that don't rely on a particular weapon (like duel weilding, charge, or interrupt). Support Skills (such as Healing, Leadership, Spot traps) can also be chosen. Utility Skills are essentially skills that boost your characters actions during camping (not relevant for this discussion, but worth noting that if you don't spend some of those skill points in utility you're gonna have a bad time). And finally there will be a very wide range of Passive Skills (similar to Expeditions: Conquistador) that will allow characters to perform better in a wide range of conditions and situations.
    When characters join your party, they have already been given a particular set of skills which we feel fit their background, but there is nothing stopping players from focusing those characters in any direction they wish. It should be noted that the characters basic stats have a direct effect on the different types of damage as well as block %, crit chance, and HP. So attempting to transform a character like Ketil, a Hunter-type ranged character with high Perception but low Strength and Endurance into a damage soaking tank may be a mismanagement of your resources. The same way that trying to make a character with low Perception a ranged character would also be foolish.

    So essentially in Expeditions: Viking we've given players access to all of the various skills and abilities so you can mix and match to try and strike what you think is the best balance for your style of combat. And players are able to unlock and draw from a much wider variety of activated combat skills than in Expediitions: Conquistador.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 8
    ^ Top  
  3. vivec Savant

    vivec
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Parrots:
    560
    That really sounds amazing! I love that you are allowed to mismanage resources because I like that kind of a game where character building is a challenge!

    Now I have several questions :).

    Are the stats permanent like in E:C?

    How are attack toHIT and Damage calculated?

    Are there character levels? Or just skill points?

    Does HP depend on the level?

    I really like the class-free concept. That is a goodish step towards more flexible builds and Role Playing. But I am now very curious as to how you are handling the potential overlap between characters. Can one specialize into a role and create a stronger character? Or the jack of all trades is viable? I have always felt that making the latter as strong as the specialized character in every action takes away any strong motivation to specialize. This is especially so if the skill branches come front-loaded. This often happens in D&D where players would just DIP into a class to get its best ability or at least one of it's best features while completely ignoring its weaknesses. Are you doing anything specific to avoid that? Like keeping the important rewards of the skill branch at the middle or the end?

    In that respect, I must ask; although it sounds to me you already took care of it, how are you economizing the experience? This question is intimately related to the previous one. If there is too much experience nothing would stop the players from fully exploring a branch of the skill tree and going towards the next. Being a bit restrictive with it can really help with the replayability of the game.

    Also, I would love to have some more details of one of the skill trees. Any example you like to present would be appreciated!
     
    ^ Top  
  4. Atomical Logic Artists Developer

    Atomical
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2015
    Parrots:
    39
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    I'll try to answer all of them for you:

    1. Primary stats in Expeditions: Viking include: Strength, Endurance, Finesse, Perception, Sense and are permanent in that you set them at the start of the game and then cannot rearrange them later. There will be some special events that can reward you with an additional stat point, but are very rare as an incriment of +1 can have significant effect.
    2. Melee Attacks always hit, but characters have a Block chance (based on their Finesse stat) - blocking reduces the damage, but doesn't eliminate it completely. Ranged Accuracy is based on your Perception stat and the relevant Weapon Skill and gets lower as you get further away from the target. Melee Damage is based on the Strength stat and the relevant Weapon Skill.
    3. There are not character levels, but we plan to use total skill points earned to restrict speeding down one particular skill progression. That way folks can't unlock the end-game types of abilities until later on.
    4. HP depend purely on endurance, but can be boosted a bit with the Hardened passive skill.
    5. Specialization is good, we like specialization and specializing in certain stats (like strength and endurance for someone you want to be a tank) and unlocking higher tiers of skill progressions that play into that character's ability scores will be worthwhile. The skills system will reward those who focus on a path, but there are many ways to do that with various combinations from the different categories of active and passive skills.
    6. We have a plan for "experience progression" or in our case skill point allocation, but are still working on it. We definitely want players to feel the benefits of different skills and abilities so it's a matter of balance and upgrade restrictions based on progression (for now our method will be keeping certain tiers of a skill locked by total skill points earned as mentioned in answer #3).

    Examples of Skill progression

    Progression for skills is linear so it doesn't branch in various directions, it follows a path. Variation is found in other skill progressions or one-off skills.

    Let's look at the Weapon Skill progression for Axe as an example.

    Rank 1 = +1 to damage multiplier (unlock ability Shield Hook)
    Rank 2 = +2 to damage multiplier (no ability unlock)
    Rank 3 = +3 to damage multiplier (unlock ability Cleave)
    Rank 4 = +4 to damage multiplier (no ability unlock)
    Rank 5 = +5 to damage multiplier (unlock ability Sunder)

    Shield Hook: Uses the axe to the pull the opponent's shield away, giving the target the Exposed status effect (no block chance until next round).
    Cleave: Ignores the target's Damage Reduction, and gives the Bleed status effect, but only does 25% Damage.
    Sunder: Destroys the target's shield but does no damage.

    And to show you a different progression let's also look at the Offensive Skill: Dual Wielding

    Rank 1 = no penalty to dual weild (unlock ability Hook and Slash)
    Rank 2 = +5% damage (unlock ability Parry)
    Rank 3 = +10% damage (unlock ability One-Two)

    Hook and Slash: Use the axe to pull away the opponent's shield and immediately make an unblockable attack with the main hand weapon.
    Parry: Applies the Parrying status effect to the user: User gains +50% Base Damage Reduction, as well as one free counter attack at half damage.
    One-Two: Attack with both weapons at full Damage.


    NOTE: It may go without saying, but I want to say it anyways, this is how things are being developed today as I write this, but are subject to change as we progress in development of the final version.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    ^ Top  
  5. vivec Savant

    vivec
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Parrots:
    560
    The more I hear of this game, the more it sounds appealing. This is indeed a good news. I am unable to access the link contents, though. I am also happy to see that the weapons are actually treated with care towards their function.

    More questions:

    Are there more status effects?
    How many weapon types are there? Melee and ranged?
    Is there crafting in the game? Is it tied to a skill?
    Are there special weapons available as loot? Are they better than crafted weapons? This has always been a key point for special weapons. If they are better than any crafted weapon, generally they are only good situationally. This can be a good thing depending on the placement and pacing of the game.

    Finally, have you played Age of Decadence and what do you think of it ;).
     
    ^ Top  
  6. Avonaeon Logic Artists Developer

    Avonaeon
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Parrots:
    244
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Some more answers.

    1. At the moment, there are 57 status effects planned. This number is very likely to change.
    2. Axe, Sword, Spear, Knife, Sling, Bow, Dane-Axe, a bit more if you count Shield, Unarmed & Throwing
    3. There is indeed crafting, and it's directly tied to your crafting skill. Weapons and armour are divided into tiers which is 1:1 with your skill rank. Aside from the skill, it also costs resources to craft items.
    4. There will be unique items, and they can have various special properties that modify their stats (or some of the characters' for superstitious folk). They won't necessarily be better that items you can craft though.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  7. vivec Savant

    vivec
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Parrots:
    560
    57????

    Whoa. I like more effects but this number is just not realistic. Anyway, good to know that this is subject to change.

    So from the description of the skills provided by Atomical it is clear that weapons can be distinguished from each other. This is really nice and a thing that I really missed throughout my gaming memory. I would like to know how weapons and armour interact. Do certain kinds of weapons work better against certain kinds of armours? Like knifes being more effective against plate mail by bypassing the chinks?
     
    ^ Top  
  8. Avonaeon Logic Artists Developer

    Avonaeon
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Parrots:
    244
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    I suppose, in a very broad sense, they could. Beside damage, weapons also have an AP (armour piercing) value, which is how many points of armour the weapon ignores when dealing damage. Different types of weapons have different maximum values each for damage, AP and crit modifier (If you crit, this is the number the damage is multiplied with). We don't have 4 types of damage and defence, which Pillars had for example.

    As an example of a unique weapon, you might find a knife that has the highest amount of AP a knife can have, say. Being unique though, it might then also have a special property that boosts its AP by a few points more.
    I'm not entirely sure this answers your question, but hopefully it gives you a bit of an idea.

    As for 57, we don't have that many implemented at the moment, so like I said, very likely to chance :P
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  9. vivec Savant

    vivec
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Parrots:
    560
    Good to know :).

    Also, another question for weapons and armour interaction: Are there active abilities that can help bypass armours? Like the real ones such as Half-Swording. You have a lot of abilities listed that seem to have inspirations from the real world, such as Hook and Slash and Shield Hook. All these seem to deal with the shields.

    BTW, how are you handling the ability cooldowns? Are all abilities always available? Of course, there is the context of what weapon you are holding. Are there ranged weapon associated ability skills as well?
     
    ^ Top  
  10. Avonaeon Logic Artists Developer

    Avonaeon
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Parrots:
    244
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    We don't have cooldowns, but rather charges, so there are some abilities you can only use a certain amount of times during a combat. Some abilities only work under certain conditions (Such as rebuke, requiring an empty hex behind your target), but otherwise you're free to use your abilities (And blow all your charges in the beginning).

    There are also ranged weapon abilities, yes.

    Yes, there are some that ignore damage reduction (Armour & Shields), such as the cleave ability Atomical mentioned above.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    ^ Top  
  11. vivec Savant

    vivec
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Parrots:
    560
    So the charges simulate Stamina and draw from a common pool or are these more 'gamist'?
     
    ^ Top  
  12. Atomical Logic Artists Developer

    Atomical
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2015
    Parrots:
    39
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    Charges belong to the ability, so if you had an ability with 2 charges, and two of your characters had this ability, they could each use the charges 2 times in a single combat.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  13. vivec Savant

    vivec
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Parrots:
    560
    Hmm.

    Fair enough. So this is one way to curtail a repetative use of the ability. Have you thought of having some central resource that ties to all the abilities? Like Vitality or Stamina?
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  14. Avonaeon Logic Artists Developer

    Avonaeon
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Parrots:
    244
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    It wouldn't really make sense to have a global resource like stamina or vitality, since the game is very focused around individual characters. And having the characters use up stamina, is essentially the same thing as using charges (I get that it would make characters more different, if they had different amount of uses for abilities, but as atomical also mentioned, stats already factor into the skills and abilities, so tying charges back into a stat like stamina would introduce balancing-issues). We did think about a global resource use, and the charges are what came out of it, as it was made the most sense in relation to all the other systems.

    Generally, we try to make the abilities quite varied in terms of what situations they work the best in.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  15. vivec Savant

    vivec
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Parrots:
    560
    I am not complaining. I understand that at some level the game aspect has to compromise with the simulation aspect. That is a natural part of making a game. As I have said it earlier, I like what I see :).
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  16. Avonaeon Logic Artists Developer

    Avonaeon
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Parrots:
    244
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    It might be something we'd consider for another Expeditions game, for sure.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  17. vivec Savant

    vivec
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Parrots:
    560
    Hey, maybe you guys can answer some questions on your decision to avoid 'dodge' as an attribute. Care to elaborate why it was not included?
     
    ^ Top  
  18. Avonaeon Logic Artists Developer

    Avonaeon
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Parrots:
    244
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    It's something that carried over from Conquistador initially, where melee attacks don't miss, but there's a chance to lower the damage taken by blocking. We like this, as it doesn't feel as frustrating as missing, something which a lot of people didn't like the ranged combat in Conquistador for.

    While to us it still makes a lot of sense to have a to-hit chance on ranged attacks, we are doing some things differently to hopefully help mitigate some of the frustration. First off, we have the distracted status effect (Name subject to change) applied to your targets, even if you miss, so that your ranged attacks are not complete losses and some tactical advantage always comes from it. Second, ranged weapons have more abilties, partly because there are fewer ranged weapon types, but also again to increase ranged usefulness. Third, we might make a semantic adjustment and call missed shots "dodges" instead, partially to sell the fact that it's not because your archer sucks, but the opponent is maybe a bit better.

    Generally though I just prefer the fact that melee attacks and abilities always hit. It makes tactical decisions less of a crapshoot, because you don't have to cross your fingers whether an ability will succeed or not.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  19. vivec Savant

    vivec
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Parrots:
    560
    I would like to say that sometimes having to cross your fingers can be quite tense like in XCOM. Playing games like AoD or XCOM where every move can be your last does have an atmosphere which builds tension. I think I enjoy that. But I see your point as well. I wonder what demarcates frustration from tension in these cases. I think it could be the tone of the game and the deadliness of each action. If individual actions just scrape away HP then you don't worry so much about getting hit. In such situations missing can be frustrating. But if each action hangs your life in a balance between winning and death, the frustration turns into tension.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  20. Avonaeon Logic Artists Developer

    Avonaeon
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Parrots:
    244
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    I think you hit the nail on the head there, regarding deadliness vs. chipping away. Obviously we went for one over the other, but the XCOM way is something we've talked in the office about doing as well (Maybe on a future game).
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  21. vivec Savant

    vivec
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Parrots:
    560
    You are convincing me to buy your future game too. Anyway, I am going to open another thread in a while on encounter design. Care to share your thoughts there as well?

    BTW. How do you regain HP? Is there a healing skill? Does that cost resources?
     
    ^ Top  
  22. Avonaeon Logic Artists Developer

    Avonaeon
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Parrots:
    244
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Sure, I'll chime in when I see the thread :)

    As for HP, we're still working on a few more ways, but the main way is for a character to have the healing skill, which will grant the restore ability that'll restore some of the target's HP (Amount based on the user's stats). HP also get restored after ending an encounter, though injuries persist and incur penalties on stats that trickle down (So an injury that affects Endurance, will lower the amount of HP a character has, until that injury gets healed during camping). Injuries cost medicine to heal, just like in Conquistador. Largely the HP/Injury system from Conquistador has been retained, although expanded so injuries now also have locations (with adverse effects to different stats).

    We're planning on implementing some consumables, that can restore a bit of a character's HP over time during combat, while not feeling like a healing potion.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  23. Make America Great Again Infinitron Trade Master Patron

    Infinitron
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Parrots:
    59,894
    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Submitting this thread for Roguey analysis
     
    ^ Top  
  24. vivec Savant

    vivec
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Parrots:
    560
    Is character death permanent? Can permanent injuries be sustained?

    Also, is there a reputation mechanics? Are there factions in the game that you can align with with? Do they help you or hinder you based on the alignment?
     
    ^ Top  
  25. Avonaeon Logic Artists Developer

    Avonaeon
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Parrots:
    244
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Character death is permanent yes. Like in Conquistador you'll have the option for sudden death which, if enabled, will mean characters can die directly in combat. If it isn't enabled you'll have to neglect their injuries to the point where they'll die from them. We don't have permanent injuries per se, as the injuries more or less all lead to death over long enough time. Healing them will always get rid of them. However, we do have some permanent status effects that function much like permanent injuries. These aren't systemic though and you'll probably only end up getting them through events.

    We don't have a systemic reputation system, but we do keep track of how much you've helped the different factions. If you keep helping one faction, you'll eventually do enough harm to the others that you're locked out from their quests.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  

(buying stuff via the above buttons helps us pay the hosting bills, thanks!)