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Claw
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« Reply #750 on: March 11, 2008, 06:30:58 pm »

Invisible skill checks are good to improve player interaction in dialogs, lift them to the point where combat stands, and its player interaction.
You want to bring dialogue to "the point where combat stands" by masking skill checks? Are you sure you don't see the glaringly obvious error? Heck, in combat I'm even told my chances. Why don't we get rid of that?
Besides that apparent contradiction, I don't even begin to see where you're coming from or how invisible skill checks are supposed to accomplish this.

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When people have a successful skill check, they tend to choose that option and not the other ones.
The smart thing would be to have the skill checks afterwards. That's how I understood it works in AoD. You only get to see a line if your skill is above a certain value, but it's no guaranteed success.
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Morbus
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« Reply #751 on: March 12, 2008, 02:33:16 am »

You want to bring dialogue to "the point where combat stands" by masking skill checks? Are you sure you don't see the glaringly obvious error? Heck, in combat I'm even told my chances. Why don't we get rid of that?
Besides that apparent contradiction, I don't even begin to see where you're coming from or how invisible skill checks are supposed to accomplish this.
Lol, did you really expect me to think things through in a two line forum post? That's what budeehs are for: to point out our mistakes Wink I don't know, I'd have to think more about it, which I don't have time for.

The smart thing would be to have the skill checks afterwards. That's how I understood it works in AoD. You only get to see a line if your skill is above a certain value, but it's no guaranteed success.
I said what I said mainly based on the preassumption that skillchecks were made before.
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Priapist
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« Reply #752 on: March 13, 2008, 09:58:22 am »

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Heck, in combat I'm even told my chances. Why don't we get rid of that?

Since this thread is all about derailment, a quick question - Am I the only one who gets really irritated when I miss at 95% accuracy? Or miss 3 or 4 times at 50% accuracy? Sure, it's gambler's fallacy and logically, I know better... but do we really need accuracy to be so transparent? I'd prefer a more abstract expression of the same chance-to-hit. Or even an expression of affecting factors (darkness, occlusion, etc.) without a final result.

Would anyone really miss (pun intended) explicit to-hit values?
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Scott
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« Reply #753 on: March 13, 2008, 10:22:44 am »

I like them.  I don't think a text-based system would be any more satisfying.  I'd still call 95% a "sure shot", and I'd still be disappointed to miss.
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Vince
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« Reply #754 on: March 13, 2008, 10:37:26 am »

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Heck, in combat I'm even told my chances. Why don't we get rid of that?

Since this thread is all about derailment, a quick question - Am I the only one who gets really irritated when I miss at 95% accuracy? Or miss 3 or 4 times at 50% accuracy? Sure, it's gambler's fallacy and logically, I know better... but do we really need accuracy to be so transparent? I'd prefer a more abstract expression of the same chance-to-hit. Or even an expression of affecting factors (darkness, occlusion, etc.) without a final result.

Would anyone really miss (pun intended) explicit to-hit values?
Good point. I've never really thought about it before. On one hand, the difference between 42% and 47% is meaningless, on the other hand, the slowly increasing to-hit number is an instant reward for raising a skill.

So, what would you replace the numbers with?
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cardtrick
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« Reply #755 on: March 13, 2008, 10:56:24 am »

So, what would you replace the numbers with?

Colors. Or changing music tonality. Oh no wait, that's another game. Smile

Anyway, personally I wouldn't miss them if they were gone. (More accurately, I don't miss them in the games that don't have them, like Wizardry 8.) On the other hand, I don't see any real need to eliminate them. I am ambivalent, and this has been a pretty useless post.
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« Reply #756 on: March 13, 2008, 12:02:16 pm »

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Good point. I've never really thought about it before. On one hand, the difference between 42% and 47% is meaningless, on the other hand, the slowly increasing to-hit number is an instant reward for raising a skill.

So, what would you replace the numbers with?

There's not too many games I can think of where the to-hit number actually increases slowly. Fallout had me dumping (Int x 4) worth of points into skills at level up. Arcanum had 25% jumps with a single skill point. D&D strikes me as an example of slow advancement, though most games don't really telegraph Base Attack Bonus during combat. Would it be more gratifying if they did?

I think colours would work pretty well as an alternative:

Varied spread:
Kobold
Monkey
Dwarf
Multiheaded Dick
MC Hammer

Slow progression:
Kobold
Monkey
Dwarf
Multiheaded Dick
MC Hammer

I think it conveys the information fairly effectively, without getting hung up on trivial discrepancies. Of course, you're fucked if you're colour blind.
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Oscar
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« Reply #757 on: March 13, 2008, 12:09:05 pm »

Well, in AoD you have variations inside combat, when choosing a fast or a power attack. Would a numberless system show those variations?
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« Reply #758 on: March 13, 2008, 12:42:34 pm »

I was thinking about text descriptions actually:

Broad side of a barn
The other side of a barn
Old grandpa
Old grandpa on a rocking chair
Average human
Pirate
Ninja
Ninja-pirate
Fast and furious
2Fast, 2Furious
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Vince
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« Reply #759 on: March 13, 2008, 01:01:05 pm »

Bringing up a life-and-death matter as if it's of little consequence could be an oratorical strategy.  If you're about to negotiate a price for an assassination, the last thing you want to do is start weeping about how your life would be ruined by the competition and how you'll do absolutely anything to off this guy.
Exactly. It's a sales thing. You can never show how important something is to you when you negotiate. If someone smells a strong interest, you'll pay through the nose (which is what the trading line is for - it shows that you understand what is at stake, and it gets you the most money).

That oratorical strategy would be naive and counter-productive. The effort of the employee is more often than not proportional to expectations of the employer.
It's not an employee-employer relationship. It's a buyer-seller relationship, which has very different rules.

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Trivializing an important issue leads to inadequate solutions. Anyway, Feng's dissimulation is not credible as what is in stake for him is obvious to the PC by the nature and object of the task assigned. He should be smarter.
In what way?

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galsiah
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« Reply #760 on: March 13, 2008, 02:19:29 pm »

Well, in AoD you have variations inside combat, when choosing a fast or a power attack. Would a numberless system show those variations?
So long as you still have discretely numbered AP, we're not going to be talking about an entirely numberless system - fast/power/... attacks would still show their AP cost clearly.

[[[If you had a continuous AP bar with decimal values allowed you could start to think about more vaguely represented action timings. You'd probably have to allow each action to be performed with a range of timings though (e.g. sword attack takes anywhere from 3 to 6 AP, with the player picking the desired duration and getting appropriate consequences). This would avoid the issue of the player ending with 3.95AP when he thought he'd have 4 for one more attack.
Of course you'd also need to have each action's effectiveness tail off dramatically at the low end - so that e.g. there'd be no way a player would want to try a sword attack with 3AP in the above example, since its effectiveness would be minimal. This way no player is aiming to leave 3AP remaining, so no player is annoyed at having 2.95 when he imagined he'd have 3. The worst case is that he gets to perform the action he wanted at significantly reduced effectiveness.]]]

Anyway, there's no need to go into this just because there's consideration of representing to-hit via another means - it's not necessary to take an everywhere-or-nowhere approach to numbers. Personally I'd like to get away from the precise to-hit values - so long as a good alternative can be found. Colours and text descriptions could both work, perhaps even in conjunction.

A connected idea I've advocated before would be to spread the randomness around a bit more, where possible, rather than having most of it concentrated in the final to-hit roll. For a start I think this is more interesting, since it tends to give more variety. I also think it'd reduce the annoyance of repeated misses a little, since it often wouldn't be the same thing happening again and again.

Mainly I think this would be a good idea whenever there's currently an entirely non-random decision-point, e.g. something of the following form will provide no variety with static inputs:
If ( X > Y ) { do something }
Else { do something else}


Whereas the following would mix things up a bit more:
If ( [X+RandomValue()] > [Y+RandomValue()] ) { do something }
Else { do something else }


E.g. where there's a decision of whether to block or dodge based on a comparison of the two skills (perhaps adjusted by an attack modifier). Adding a random factor to the blockability/dodgeability of each attack would give things more variety.
Of course you could also randomize elements that are simply fixed at the moment (e.g. DR), but I think that's less important since you aren't losing much there. For non-randomized decision-points with generally static inputs (for a given combat), you have an interesting feature you've spent time to develop down each path (e.g. blocking/dodging animations/sounds/consequences), but only one path that'll get used.

I think you're already on to a good thing in having some attacks which are harder to block (/dodge) than to dodge (/block) - since this sort of thing allows the player to influence the entire process. So long as there is significant variety and player agency throughout, knowing a precise final to-hit roll is either much less important (if it doesn't factor everything in - since it's only one of many significant factors), or an undesirable simplification (if it does factor everything in - since it removes the gameplay in weighing things up).

Ideally I'd like a lot of vagueness/variety within the mechanics themselves, rather than just a precise final to-hit-roll hidden behind a vague representation.


How open to changes are you on the combat system at this stage? Are you happy with it already? Any chance of a combat-only-demo/beta at some point?
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Vince
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« Reply #761 on: March 13, 2008, 02:33:13 pm »

How open to changes are you on the combat system at this stage?
Very open. Not because we don't like what we have - it's quite the opposite actually - but there is always room for improvement.

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Are you happy with it already?
Happier.

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Any chance of a combat-only-demo/beta at some point?
Very likely, but no promises.
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aVENGER
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« Reply #762 on: March 14, 2008, 02:39:15 am »

How open to changes are you on the combat system at this stage?
Very open. Not because we don't like what we have - it's quite the opposite actually - but there is always room for improvement.

Any chance of replacing squares with hexes, or would that qualify as a major gameplay change?
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Morbus
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« Reply #763 on: March 14, 2008, 02:55:09 am »

I don't think hexes are the right solution. Maybe they could do something like Silent Storm? Silent Storm has squares, but the AP usage is doubled so that there's enough room to make this: walking in a straight line costs 2 per square, walking in a diagonal line costs 3 per square. It's much better and realistic, the only trade-off is the high AP values everyewhere. But that should be a problem in AoD, and it's a relatively easy change to make.

Right know AFAIK we have 1 AP per straight square, 2 AP per diagonal square, which is better that 1 AP per straight AND diagonal square but is not as realistic.

:EDIT:
And one more thing. I can't remember for sure but I don't think that happens: can we see the walking range of the enemy when in our turn? Like in HoMM. I like that in strategy games, but not in RPGs...
« Last Edit: March 14, 2008, 03:26:43 pm by Morbus » Logged

Scott
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« Reply #764 on: March 14, 2008, 08:20:00 am »

How open to changes are you on the combat system at this stage?
Very open. Not because we don't like what we have - it's quite the opposite actually - but there is always room for improvement.

Have you drawn a line yet under what you intend to implement for the engine?  What I mean is: do you know yet what the total scope of core development, like rules and interface changes, is, or is development still completely open-ended?
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