Improve fighting system brainstorming

Not about OpenMW? Just about Morrowind in general? Have some random babble? Kindly direct it here.
ezze
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Re: Improve fighting system brainstorming

Post by ezze » 30 May 2016, 10:03

This last one sounds a very interesting concept. I don't remember how it worked in Daggerfall, but I guess it would be nice that Fatigue recovers much faster but its maximum (in percent) it's capped and lowered by strenuous activities like combat or casting. To reset this cap you need to sleep or wait.

Continue guys, interleaved to chit-chat there are quite a few of nice ideas.

AshSlave
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Re: Improve fighting system brainstorming

Post by AshSlave » 30 May 2016, 11:26

It's probably a bit off topic, but I made something similar to what johndh and Greywander was talking about regarding attributes instead of health in Daggerfall Tools for Unity. It didn't get much attention because I got absorbed by other things without properly showcasing the idea, but now I am in the mood to continue, so if anyone is interested in trying out this idea, we might test it together.

ezze
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Re: Improve fighting system brainstorming

Post by ezze » 30 May 2016, 14:29

It's indeed a bit offtopic, but it makes me wonder. All this workforce wasted in Skyfall or Modblivion will move to this open engine? It would be great.

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AnyOldName3
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Re: Improve fighting system brainstorming

Post by AnyOldName3 » 30 May 2016, 21:48

Well at the least it shouldn't be too hard to port their assets to OpenMW's OSG model format, so their better meshes and textures could be used.
AnyOldName3, Master of Shadows

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johndh
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Re: Improve fighting system brainstorming

Post by johndh » 31 May 2016, 00:16

In my experience doing a lot of tiring things, it seems to me that there is a short-term kind of fatigue (winded) and a long-term kind of fatigue (exhausted). This represents the same sort of thing ezze was talking about with Daggerfall's system, but done in a slightly different way.

This is more for a realism simulation kind of idea than an enhanced gameplay idea, as I'm not sure the average player would find it enjoyable but a hardcore simulationist might.

If you're doing an intense activity, you can only go for so long before you get winded, and then you take a breather and a drink of water until you're ready to go again... but every time you repeat this cycle, your overall reserves get depleted as your body runs low on calories, your muscles get worn out, etc., and you can barely carry that sledgehammer back to the truck at the end of the day. I think it would make sense to have two different fatigue bars: a low-capacity one that regenerates quickly (like the stamina bar in Dark Souls), and a high-capacity one that regenerates slowly. Any activity that depletes short-term would also deplete the long-term, but low-intensity activities like jogging might be regenerated fast enough to not have much appreciable effect on the short-term, so the gameplay advantage is that you can jog around Vvardenfell and be tired at the end of the day, but you won't be badly winded when that blasted cliff racer sneaks up behind you. This allows for situations where you're sore and tired but you feel energized after a short break (low long-term, high short-term), you're well-rested but just need to sit down for a few seconds (high long-term, low short-term), you're bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (both high), or you're well and truly pooped (both low). A survival mod would probably want to factor heat, cold, food, and water into this.

To avoid having too many bars, I think Magicka could easily be conflated with fatigue. It's always made sense to me that channeling fire from the pits of Hell to incinerate your enemies would be physically taxing, and higher magical skills could reduce the fatigue effects of spellcasting.
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ezze
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Re: Improve fighting system brainstorming

Post by ezze » 31 May 2016, 09:05

I am always a fan of "less is more" and merging Fatigue and Magika is indeed promising. I sense a problem though, in the imagination wizards are often old and fragile guys that yet are very dangerous thanks to their magic; in this setting it would happen that wizards are athletic to be able to cast more power spells. It's fantasy so everything is "fine" however, it would be quite different from the usual ideas.
I guess one can work around it making the spell-cost-on-fatigue a percent instead of of an absolute value. So, with the same intelligence/willpower/magic skill value two wizards would cast the same amount of spells even if one is an hyper athletic hulk and the other is a fragile senior.


I am missing why two Fatigue bars? Why having one with a capped maximum is not enough?

Maybe an example helps (numbers are just dummies, of course we need fine tune):
Our character has 100 Fatigue maximum and the action of swinging a sledgehammer cost 10 points of fatigue, but it also lowers the maximum of 1 point. This means that after 5 swings, our hero will have 50 remaining fatigue, but even if he stops taking a breath the Fatigue will recover only up to 95 and it won't increase more until he slept enough (10% per hour of sleep sounds reasonable).

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johndh
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Re: Improve fighting system brainstorming

Post by johndh » 31 May 2016, 21:31

ezze wrote:I sense a problem though, in the imagination wizards are often old and fragile guys that yet are very dangerous thanks to their magic; in this setting it would happen that wizards are athletic to be able to cast more power spells.
This is what I was thinking about when I said "higher magical skills could reduce the fatigue effects of spellcasting", since that old experienced archmage probably has close to 100 in his main skills, so his magic would be nearly effortless. It's just an idea, and I'm not married to it. It just depends on how magic works in a particular lore. In some settings, magic is effortless, in some it's a physical strain, and in some it's strictly mental.
I am missing why two Fatigue bars? Why having one with a capped maximum is not enough?
I think having two bars is a bit more intuitive. Some people would likely disagree. I guess it's a matter of personal preference, or whichever is easier to implement, because either way works out to basically the same effect.
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Greywander
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Re: Improve fighting system brainstorming

Post by Greywander » 01 Jun 2016, 05:39

From an action economy perspective, I like the idea of having "burst stamina" (think Dark Souls stamina), which drains quickly but regenerates quickly, however the more you use it, it will also drain your maximum stamina. Your maximum stamina would regenerate much more slowly, enough so that it would be more of a between fights thing rather than during combat. The result of this is that at the start of a fight you would be able to bust out a lot of attacks (or other actions), but toward the end of a fight you would have to rest for a second or so between each swing. This also gives you the option to try and outlast an opponent and hope they exhaust themselves before you do.

(I'm not sure the terminology you would use, but it might be worth making a distinction between your "natural max stamina", which is your max stamina when fully rested, and your "current, drained max stamina". In fact, rather than reducing your max stamina, what might work better would be to set a cap that it can't regenerate past, and to fill in the bar with a different color to indicate where that cap is in relation to your current stamina and your true, rested maximum.)

A separate "sleep" meter could also be interesting, but maybe more so for simulation/survival type players. This meter, I'd imagine, would only regenerate while you sleep, and as it drains it would reduce your maximum stamina, which would not regenerate until you refilled your sleep meter. Food and drink meters could work in similar ways as well.

If fatigue is made more critical to combat in this way, I might suggest reworking the way movement is handled. IIRC, Morrowind only has two speeds: walking and running. I would divide it into walking (which does not drain stamina), jogging (which more or less balances stamina drain and regeneration), and dashing (which drains stamina quickly). Jogging would be fast enough to be useful for travel, but you'd have to slow to a walk if you needed to rest after a fight.

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On the subject of athletic wizards, I'd say it comes down to how magic works. And, in fact, I'd like to see multiple magic systems that allow you to play a magic user in multiple ways. We already see this to a degree with Alchemy and Enchanting, each of which can substitute for straight up spellcasting but with limitations of their own. A non-athletic type of magic would be one that focused on scribing scrolls or drawing magic circles; it requires preparation but not a lot of physical effort.

How I might handle Morrowind spellcasting would be to give spells a flat stamina/fatigue cost plus a percentage cost, with higher skill reducing that cost. This way, a wizard isn't required to be athletic (as the percent cost scales with maximum fatigue), but still gains a benefit from being athletic (because the flat cost does not scale). I do like the idea of giving players the option to play as a muscle wizard while not requiring it to be a viable magic user.

Alternatively, you could have a secondary bar that represents mental energy; as it drains, it reduces your Intelligence, Willpower, and Personality, basically making your spellcasting less effective (alternatively, it would simply make spells less powerful or less likely to cast successfully, while also giving you "Weakness to Magicka" effects). It would work on a similar principle to stamina, in that it drains quickly and recharges quickly, but as you use it more it will lower a cap on how much you can regenerate until you've had a chance to rest.

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Here's another thought I had: it would be nice to see more options for nonlethal combat. Or really, any options at all that worked well. I'd like to have the option to knock someone out and/or tie them up so I can sneak past them or loot their house without having to kill them. The way the current Hand to Hand system works doesn't keep them down for long enough to be useful (which is actually more realistic, but maybe if we had the option to tie them up?). The only thing that really works right now is some kind of a powerful Drain Fatigue spell.

I'd also like to see the possibility of getting into bar brawls without everyone pulling out weapons and trying to murder you. I think that might have more to do with the crime system than the combat system, though, which is also in need of a major overhaul.

ezze
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Re: Improve fighting system brainstorming

Post by ezze » 01 Jun 2016, 08:48

As being the author of Travel Mode shows I don't like too much the Fatigue consumption outside combat. I feel it's just a bother, on the other hand in fights it's an important resource (overall if you use mods like Realistic Health and Fatigue (those are for oblivion, but show the point well).

So borrowing the "dash" idea I'd implement like this: Walking -Stamina always regenerates-; Running -Stamina stays stable unless you really running uphill-; Dashing -Consumes Stamina-. Actually the Running/Dashing speed is the same, but you are Dashing when if run in combat, Running outside.
johndh wrote:I think having two bars is a bit more intuitive. Some people would likely disagree. I guess it's a matter of personal preference, or whichever is easier to implement, because either way works out to basically the same effect.
Fair point, some players might wonder why the depleted Fatigue does not come back fully. I'd go with some colors or symbols. E.g.: [ LIGHT GREEN | DARK GREEN | RED ] or [LIGHT GREEN | DARK GREEN | BIG X ].

silentthief
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Re: Improve fighting system brainstorming

Post by silentthief » 01 Jun 2016, 19:19

Greywander wrote:Here's another thought I had: it would be nice to see more options for nonlethal combat. Or really, any options at all that worked well. I'd like to have the option to knock someone out and/or tie them up so I can sneak past them or loot their house without having to kill them. The way the current Hand to Hand system works doesn't keep them down for long enough to be useful (which is actually more realistic, but maybe if we had the option to tie them up?). The only thing that really works right now is some kind of a powerful Drain Fatigue spell.
Yes. I never liked the implementation of hand-to-hand in morrowind. Just dance around punching with one hand? There should be off hand attacks/blocks or even the ability to throw a kick now and then. And how about those who sit and punch on your shield? This is not going to be good for the bones in your hand. If I were to punch on a shield held by any old joe who doesn't know how to handle one -- I'd probably be done after possibly 1-3 hits. With the concept of bashing or active defense, and someone who knows how to handle a shield, most likely one (*would most likely break my wrist in the first punch -- of someone was bashing out with the shield*).

This would result in having to have the animations done for this -- like pretty much all else discussed, but these seemed to me to be very glaringly wrong.

ST the shield punching guy
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