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Vision's combat mechanics

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Vision's combat mechanics

Game News - posted by Vault Dweller on Thu 6 January 2005, 14:00:02

Tags: ALTAR Interactive; Vision

Remember Vision, the self-proclaimed evolutionary RPG? Well, Vlaada - I assume that's Vlada Chvatil, the lead designer of the game, posted some explanations of combat mechanics on the UFO Aftermath forums.

We are aware of this possible problem – I have experienced the same frustration playing NWN, or (even worse) the Summoner. We have done lots of work to avoid it in Vision, and although I had some doubts from start, now I am positive we can handle it.

There are several reasons why I think the combat will be not so boring like the mentioned ones.

1) Combat style tuning. There are lots of options you (and your fellows) have in the combat, and most of them really do matter. You can adjust not only how much you are moving during the combat and how much you concentrate on attack or defense, but even the preferred style of defense (parry with weapon, block with shield, dodge) and attacks (stab or swing, fast or strong etc.). There is a combat log that shows you immediately the effect of your settings, if you are interested. I didn't mention the equipment (well, it is definitely not a good idea to change armor during combat in Vision :o) and spells and special skills.

I said these settings really do matter, and this is definitely true. We have a simple testing scene – your fully equipped character is standing in an arena, and the enemies are approaching. After you kill them, another group (a stronger one) appears. Your character remains wounded, and you have the limited amount of potions and mana for all the combats. Each group is different, but their order is the same ever time you will play this minigame.

Usually, the third or fourth group of enemy kills you if you know nothing about the combat system. There are several things you should know to play more effectively (like when the ogre is attacking you, you should switch defense to dodge only; trying to parry his club is not a good idea). Then, you will score much better results. However, as we were playing it, we revealed more and more tactics in our own combat system :o). Like: if there are two skeletons attacking you, it is better to order your character to attack both of them. Although it would be better to finish one of them faster (in order to reduce their number advantage), in fact it is more effective to attack the nearest skeleton (they are still moving in combat) instead of maneuvering to attack the selected one if the other is blocking your way to him. However, when fighting two soldiers it is effective to attack only one first, as soldiers used to have healing potions with them and the switching between the targets might allow them to use these potions... The same applies to the equipment – even now I am not sure if to use heavy armor against the weak and agile enemy. He is doing almost no damage then, but I am not agile enough to kill him fast in this armor, so maybe it would be better to kill him quickly by some fast and light weapon and without armor.

I have played this combat arena several times and I have improved my tactics so well that I was able to play twice as long than we supposed it is possible and to defeat even the enemy groups considered undefeatable when we tried it first time...

We are speaking just about the testing version and about one character now. I am sure the game will have tactical depth enough for anyone who cares about these things.

2) The thrill. Although the game is far from finished, even now it is not boring even to watch the combat. We don't have the usual approach "the boss has 5000 HP, and you need to hit him 50x in order to kill him". The strong enemy is blocking and dodging your attacks better, and this is more important than his HPs. In the result, you are watching each of your actions, as you really want to know if it will hit or miss – you need two or three good hits to finish the strong enemy, so every hit is a great success. And, of course, every time you are hit by the stronger enemy it is an event that needs your attention (not only to hit the healing potion hotkey - I have seen may characters dying with the flask in their hand, as they were trying to use potion while being attacked :o) In addition to it, it is visually very interesting, and no two fights are the same… but I don't want to talk about it, as it would be just a hype until we can release some videos.

As the result - when fighting a strong enemy, you are watching well every action (and maybe even reading the combat log, if the enemy is really strong), when fighting a group of the weak enemies, it is fast and it looks great (especially if you select some dynamic combat style). There is no time for the boredom, and I believe it would be only better in final game :o)​
Many interesting ideas here. Never liked those 5000 HPs bosses anyway. Opinions?

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