Exactly why I have always been scared off on working on a game.
Exactly why I have always been scared off on working on a game.
Thanks for updates on where you are going with the game.
Congratulations on getting a studio! I didn’t realize you guys were scattered doing development, are people all moving out to a location now to be centralized? That is pretty exciting to come from a mod team to a full company with an office and now pulling in new hires. It truly is an achievement, and I hope for your longevity as a studio.
Those are all gambling wiggles which are good and should/will remain in the game. Duck lets you duck swings, torso’s bending with your mouse look (consequently allowing the lookdown overheads instant hits ) let you grab an extra inch here or there.
You make good points how simple little things with enough time can add more to the game. Why would you not want more things?
Further it seems to me that feinting supersedes those mechanics, as if a player positions himself close enough to hit regardless of where you put your torso, and aims center mass, there is no more footwork and no more toros twisting or ducking that is going to get you out of taking a hit. It overwhelms those other mechanics.
Is hit detection colliding volumes in the game, eg a simple bounding box around the weapon? I’ve always wondered does it become pretty intensive to add multiple volumes with multiple effects?
I think the best trade off are the weapon sweet spots, if the instant hit does nothing, people won’t do them or it wont affect the outcome so who would care. No matter how you swing it people will find way to get the animations to hit instantly.
Accelerated attacks are tied to turn rate. You can do a different turn rate while the animation is playing, but ultimatly it seems a moot point, eventually you just preorient your character so the swing hits immediatly rather than wasting time having to accelerate while the swing is in mortion.
I don’t know that there is too much gained by having say weapon shafts not hit a character. It wouldn’t be a bad thing but I don’t know that it would add too much, it might even be confusing since I think player arms/weapon model in 1st person aren’t quite exactly what you see in 1st person.
Once you do sweet spots the next thing is people missing with thrusts then swiveling them to intersect you once they are far enough along in the swing to do damage, but that isn’t terrible.
But basically as long as there is a method to place the weapon animation right against a player, there is always a way to hit them instantly. So either change the animations or add in the dampening as swings release is the ony solution I can think of.
Judging a game is hard, a lot of people see different things, even as you play a game longer you can start to see it differently as you play it over time.
One thing that is consitent across games is that game balance doesn’t start to become clear until you have reached a certain skill level yourself, and are in turn playing equally good/better players. Sometimes you have to master enough things in a game before you can even begin to see the game cleary, else you are just dieing too fast to expose any of the intricacy.
Further it depends on your opponent, if you are playing people that make frequent mistakes and always fall for the same tricks, it is very easy to assume that a game is balanced and the mechanics work fine since they are working for your everyday playing.
Time in also does not equal skill. I’ve seen plenty of people log tons of hours in a game but just hit a plateau and stick there. I’ve seen people pick up a game out of nowhere and become a top tier player, we all aren’t made equal and our approach to how we play the game can be wildly different.
Honestly in organized play you are going to have a higher level of dedicated players, but that doesn’t mean balance should start and stop there as an orgaized match is not at all what most players are encountering, it takes a fine line to create a balanced pub game and a good organized game as well.
Group fighting imho is a separate balance issue, that really has to do with how you handle blocking multiple simultanious attacks, how ranged weapons and movement speeds all factor in, not really having as much to do with the weapon to weapon interactions except the length of an average fight.
I think it is a bit of a trap to assume that knowledge of weapon speeds and length can count as a game mechanic. One thing I’ve noticed over my time playing them is universially any non newbie player has essentially mastered them, you almost have to assume all players will posess this and it will not be something to spend time on distinguishing yourself.
That doesn’t leave much left in chivalry, no systems to explore. You get a certain amount of game from multiplayer and you can spend an eternity phsycologically breaking down the player behind the character, but that is independant of the gameplay, you always get that for free.
Removing feints is a mistake, it is already very limited. Leaving them in as is is also a mistake, they are too binary a decision to be your core mechanic. 50/50’s are great mechanics, they introduce nice rapid guessing games, they allow people, as many have said, to read average/new players and make them less of a 50/50.
But when you take two skilled people who make no mistakes, they go back to their 50/50, which wouldn’t be bad if it was just one lost exchange over about 20-30. That isn’t the case here, a fight in chivalry is done in 1 to 3 hits. That means the entire fight becomes a brutal coin flip rather than a portion of it.
Randomness is important in games, but you have to normalize that randomness over time else your game ends up like candyland. If you have ever played bloodbowl, you can see how that is a great example grasping a ball of random dice rolls and ponderously trying to steer it in one direction, you are always push, push pushing against the numbers, but you are steering it, only because it still takes a string of many bad dice rolls to end you, not 2 only.
That said, removing feint again cuts the mechanics of the games back further. Feint wasn’t some long planned out feature, it was an observation from the devs that fights were two attack, block, attack and there needed to be more mechanics to bipass a block.
I think the idea of feint is good. I think you want to assume the base interaction is that attack, block, attack rhythm, that two players are doing that. Now you add in more mechanics to that interaction, more choices as you are doing that for offence and defense. For attacking you have 3 attacks, but they essentually end up being the same thing as they are defeated the same way.
So you think of your bag of tricks, you want to attack someone, what do you have at your disposal? Three attacks that are essentially the same if you are close to the person. You can do some mouse foo to alter the timing of the attack, but for all intents and purposes, the attacks are the same (minus some damage numbers, but they still will normalize to 1-3 hits ).
As the defender what do you have the option of? Waiting for an attack and right clicking.
I don’t know. I guess it is really that all these things people say are great about the game are just things that are present in melee games. Wrapping around a person, altering timings, predicting common trends etc, they all come for free with a well implemented game, which chiv is. Thing is with some more mechanics added you get those things AND more stuff to think about, more places for people’s personalities to show in their fighting styles.
Eh, I just see a lot of potential here, but I know the fix is not just feinting tweaks, it is flinching, it is the base parry mechanic, weapon lengths, damages, speeds. Not saying anything is wrong by itself, it is just that to get to the heart of the problem people have with feints, it will require shifting a lot of things around.
Game development is interative though, and slow, you have to change the game and get it working, then spend a lot of time to actually get good at the game and have played with ‘unbalanced’ mechancis long enough to determine if there really is no counter.
I don’t mean to rip on this game, I think it’s got a lot of potential and is really awesomly done, I’d love to want to buy a PC that will give me great framerates and play this game every night, really I do, but the feeling of ‘fairness’ isnt there for me. I do appreciate the brutality and high stress of the current feinting mechanic, just it shouldn’t be something to entierly base the outcome of a fight around.
I wondered if that was an AOC hold out thing, but basically you just have to know ahead of time when someone is going to do this. If they see you, turn around and start running away, chances are they are going to spin and attack you, just sprint after them and be ready to block as soon as you see their character model turn or their weapon start moving, you’ll be in their grill in no time to strike back.
I think at least everyone can agree that feinting leaves little to reaction time, is hard to read in animations, and presents a binary situation in the game.
Added stam cost does not fix the mechanic, only delays how often it happens, which is no fix.
Added delay after feinting makes the feint ineffective, hence, why do it? It makes the mechanic as good as gone.
What if there were two stages of parry? Click once in parry, you see they feinted, normally you are now going to eat a hit. Click again while mid parry and you do a ‘weak parry’ at a stamina cost. Weak parry will block the attack like normal, but impacts a larger hit stun such that if you try to immediately attack you will be hit again and interrupted, but you should still be able to do a normal parry.
This way you can react to a feint and still defend yourself, but the attacker has still gained by having losing less stamina and still has the initiative. At this point the attacker can feint attack again. If the defender falls for it he again loses more stamina and quickly will have no way to defend against trying to block the feint, or, the defender can guess feint again and parry like normal to gain initiative.
To remove feint all together removes an already short supply of game mechanics. For me, it is really not enough mechanics for my liking, but I’m an odd case, I’ll spend time learning game mechanics for a while, then start working on tricks for throwing off people.
Those tricks are not game mechanics, but rather products of the game mechanics. Just the inclusion of multiplayer in any game will allow people to come up with things like hit drags and look down overheads etc.
But add more “soft mechanics” to the game, the amount of odd tricks you can discover and invent multiply. That is what makes a game deep, a touch of hard mechanics ( eg kick right now, kick shield == free hit ) and soft mechanics ( XXX hit stun after an attack, only 3 combo swings etc ).
I do think the game is just too much on the light side with feint completely gone. I think the developers saw that too as feint was added later to the party, so I hope that a good solution is worked out rather than its removal or even being ignored.
Still, I’d prioritize getting the server browser to work 100% of the time first ;))
The problem as has been said is the 50 50 mix up that feinting creates. 50/50’s are well and good for small parts of the game that won’t hugely affect the overall fight, but when they are your central mechanic they are problamatic.
That said I also feel a feint mechanic is necessary personally, as I find twisty hitbox breaking fighting not that exciting, hits like that I feel provide no feedback on why you just missed that parry, eg you were facing the weapon, you hit the button on time, but it still went through. Granted it is skill to find those crevacis and to know how to cover them, but I think it isn’t something to base the majority of fighting on.
Timing and weapon range knowledge is very important, and everyone is always going to make mistakes there, but I think that is a skill that most good players will have mastered 95% of the time while playing and just isnt enough to make higher level fights interesting.
Warband has pretty excessive feinting, but one thing about it that works is that after a player commits to a swing, the animation smooths out and you have enough time to react and block it, even with a 100+ ping across the ocean. In addition, since a block is essentialy a choice of 4 directions, the feint is there to make you select the wrong direction, not really to alter the timing windows.
I think the changes to make the system better probably have to come through some alteration to how parry and feinting work. Feinting is there ultimatly because backpedaling + blocking is really effective, especially in first person, the parry just coveres the whole area in front of you.
While all that is a nice evaluation of current frustrations, coming up with a solution is difficult. Again I don’t think the answer is simply taking out feinting, I think really the eye has to be cast towards how attacks are blocked.
Maybe adding in different ways to block. Maybe a blanket “just hold this button down” like a shield block, that perhaps the attacker can continue to combo attack you while using it. Then have a parry like currently except the timing window is smaller or perhaps it has a longer windup before it activates. Eh I don’t know, just all sort of speculation.
Still all in all I think the problem lies in the blocking and attacking mechanics, not really in feint, as that is just a band aid solution to parries which are too easy to perform.
I think it is a few things.
First as martin said about reading a feint…the way to do it back pedal away from the weapon arc and become a late blocker. When the animation comes past the feint threshold only then can you safely trigger your block.
Unfortunately this requires a good ping and frame rate to give yourself enough time (or at least myself, and I consider myself to have a bad reaction time) to block, the feint effectively cuts the reaction time to parry down really low as the only time you can reliably push the block key is once the animation is past that threshold or to predict your opponent. Potentially you could just eliminate flinching and increase swing speeds to achieve the same effect, but that would probably kind of suck a lot.
On the flip side, I find attacking a defensive player that is constantly moving away frustrating, not really possessing any ‘frontal attack’ tools to break their defense. The only solution appears to either feint, or to start facehugging/wrapping around them and trying to hit them at odd angles and/or off screen, which consequently puts you in a vulnerable position for a return swing.
This leads to a sort of spastic mouse twisting gameplay that I don’t particularly enjoy, but seems to be the style of higher level gameplay.
Feints, or at least the concept of them, are needed, a turtle player that is back pedaling and not attacking is hard to attack. The combat system in general favors neutrality and inaction if you are looking for the best results imho. Yes you can go fast at a newer player and overwhelm them, but for a better player you won’t be able to rattle them this way.
Battering a person’s stamina with repeated hits seems to do nothing, and if they block with no stamina they get a advantageous knock back giving them enough time to block again and reorient their character.
I would really like this game to be an excuse for me to get a new pc so I can play a game with more than 10 people, but I think the combat system still needs a bunch of tweaking, but I’m not sure which areas to do so.
Besides reworking flinching to eliminate hit tanking (eg I swing post your swing because I’m a knight and I have more health than you ), another idea might be some form of swing defense, eg, attacking another person’s attack would cause varying rebounds and openings bases on angle, time it hits in the swing animation and weapon damage/weight. This could be really dreadful with network and fps lag though since the weapons are such thin polys, and perhaps might be too variable to be of any use.
The game really is punchy and fun, I just wish that it could be a bit more mechanically deeper.
The mount and blade duel servers work this way. Basically you can’t harm anybody until you agree to a duel, and some modded servers teleport you away after 2 or 3 seconds when you are near a pair that is engaged in a duel.
Still I think the duel set up they have going is fine. I think on some ends its a bit too slow for me, I do like in a ffa style duel you can just line up opponents one after the next, but it is nice to have a best out of 3 series.
They do 100% need to put ping back on the score menu. Also it feels a bit hacky when it is moving you in and out of duel queues or challenging people, like it doesn’t quite work all the way.
I think they could probably do some more wide open maps with the same format, a grassy hill perhaps, it doesn’t have to be all closed in maps.
What I hope comes out of a duel mode the most though is an examination of the combat system and some thought or ideas to add a bit higher skill cap than currently exists.