Stamina system changes

  • Hey guys,

    Stamina feels bad right now. When you run out of it you’re typically dead, so it’s in your best interest to either back off to regain or try to go for the kill if it’s feasible. When you’re low on stam, it’s often better to do nothing to regain it, or even take a hit/trade instead of blocking/parrying. That moment when you see an attack coming but know it will daze you if you block/parry just feels awful.

    Daze feels terrible right now. When I get dazed I take a hit. When I daze someone else I feel like I get a cheap shot almost. I have very little control over when I get dazed in some situations, especially in 1v2+ encounters, it’s only a matter of time before I get dazed.

    So, aside from just tweaking stamina usage values for different actions, what can be done? Here’s an idea:
    1.) Remove all dazes (except perhaps the daze on raised shields being kicked/bashed). Being unable to move is not really fun for anyone.
    2.) Change attack damage based on how much stamina is left in your stamina pool. Ex. At 50% stamina attack damage is reduced by X%.

    Without daze, 0 stamina situations will still allow a player to have options. If you see an attack coming you can still parry/block it if you choose. Also, before hitting 0 stamina, you are still punished for being overly defensive because every loss to your stamina negatively impacts your attack power.

    This way, people won’t feel powerless when low on stamina. This also helps combat feinting because, when feinting you would essentially be trading stamina to increase the likelihood of landing a hit for lower damage on that hit.

    Obviously, this change would require quite a bit of testing. But I hope it is given some careful thought, because currently, the stamina system doesn’t encourage thoughtful play.

  • Here’s a figure showing this change:

    This would directly link stamina to weapon damage, which would provide a punishment for low stamina without the need for a daze state.

    Currently, the daze state acts both as a punishment for low stamina and an opportunity for the attacker to bypass his enemy’s defense. The latter I feel is already addressed with mouse-dragging, feinting, and body movements to force mistimed parries. And kicks can be used in the case of shield-users. So, the daze state as a way to bypass parries/blocks is unnecessary and overly punishing in my opinion.

    With a direct correlation between stamina and weapon damage, stamina becomes much more interesting instead of just the “If I run completely out of stamina I will be dazed and dead” mentality.

  • With this system I picture fights being excruciatingly long and boring affairs where two players with no stamina are constantly trading parries and occasionally getting in a 5 damage attack until archers kill them both.

  • True that.

    On the pro side dynamic weapon dmg of any kind would get rid of this stupid ‘this weapon x-shots class y’ kind of arguments which are valid to some degree atm.

  • @SlyGoat:

    With this system I picture fights being excruciatingly long and boring affairs where two players with no stamina are constantly trading parries and occasionally getting in a 5 damage attack…

    Chris and I have talked about this quite a bit. His diagram illustrates the idea, but I was more suggesting scaling towards a minimum rather than scaling to nothing. Since I know TB wants combat to feel visceral and doing 5 damage is certainly not visceral or even remotely exciting. The minimum damage would need testing to see what feels right of course. So perhaps scale down to around 75% weapon damage at 0 stamina. It doesn’t necessarily have to be enough to require an extra hit to kill. I’ll take a look at the damage spreadsheets later and give it some thought.

    Also Sly, a smart player under my proposed system would regenerate stamina in order to regain the ability to combo as well as higher damage output after his rest. Stamina regeneration isn’t exactly slow and regen breaks already occur under the current system in 1v1 duels.

    It’s also important to consider that the idea is intuitive. There are a lot of recent changes that don’t quite make sense entirely, like panic parry’s extra stamina drain for instance. It is quite confusing and I’ve seen a lot of new players quickly deplete their stamina without even realizing why. Speaking of which…new tip screens between matches…those would be nice! They don’t even need new artwork. :D


    …until archers kill them both

    I wasn’t considering ranged combat in this suggestion, as the main issue I have with combat revolves around daze and how it forces the player to stop playing.

    The intent of the idea is to still punish the player for mismanaging stamina, but at the same time, to never limit the player’s options. Because having options adds depth. Currently, zero stamina situations eliminate a player’s defensive options. I say eliminate, because defending without stamina is always a bad idea because of daze. On the offensive side, zero stamina removes the ability to combo, but offensive play is still possible and viable. This is because trying to combo at zero stamina doesn’t daze the player. Zero stamina makes offense less effective, but makes defense completely useless. That’s quite a disparity….anyways, here’s a hypothetical on live to show what I mean.

    1v1 MaA v Vanguard. The Vanguard attacks. So the MaA’s normal, 100% stamina options are:

    1. Parry or block
    2. Trade
    3. Footwork to make the attack miss
    4. Dodge
    5. Get hit

    Now the same scenario, but now the MaA has 0 stamina.

    1. Parry or block. Get dazed. Get hit.
    2. Trade. Get hit.
    3. Footwork
    4. Get hit.

    So essentially, the MaA’s best options would become 2, 3, or 4, because option 1 would allow the vanguard to get a near guaranteed headshot off of daze. Two of those options result in the MaA taking a hit. And if the vanguard’s spacing is good, he can eliminate the MaA’s ability to avoid his strike, essentially narrowing the MaA’s viable options down to two, both of which result in taking damage. And depending on weapon speeds and how far the vanguard is in his windup, trading might not even be an option either. So 0 stamina can limit your viable, available actions from four to one or two. This, I feel, makes the game shallower and less fun.

    Stuns as a whole should be carefully reexamined. Nothing in game design frustrates me more than wrenching control of the game away from the player. I can’t think of any other game that has a stun mechanic as punishing as Chivalry’s, as any hit is at least 25% of your health. The only other game I can think of with a stun mechanic is street fighter. And in SF, you were stunned after making at least 2-3 incorrect guesses as opposed to Chivalry’s 1-3, and the damage sustained during stun is typically much less than 25%.

    If 0 stamina defense absolutely has to be punished, then please consider implementing partial blocks and parries as an alternative, where the player sustains a percentage of the attack damage in place of stuns. Partial blocks or partial attack damage, or both could lead to a much more engaging game, where your options might be less effective, but they’re still available to you.

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