Tactinomicon: The Flow of Battle

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Icepick
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Tactinomicon: The Flow of Battle

Postby Icepick » Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:30 pm

Work on Tactinomicon has crawled to a stop over the last 2 months as all of my coding juice has been poured into Darwinia+, but given that I had the entire bank holiday weekend free, I decided to do some work on it and thought I would share a couple of developments with the handful of people who might be interested.

Be warned, if you don't like Tactical RPG's, or don't care about the theoretical specifics of games which might never see the light of day, you won't be interested by anything you read here.

The first change is to do with classes, which I discussed in my previous post. While I said before that there would be no real classes in Tactinomicon, it ended up limiting a number of pretty cool ideas I was having, so I have decided to tweak the concept. The basic idea behind the new system is basically the exact opposite of traditional RPG's - in most games, you pick your class and everything your character can equip, and all of his abilities, are determined by that choice.
My new idea is that, while a character still has no class by default, and is free to equip whatever gear and abilities they want, certain combinations of gear will unlock certain classes that the player can choose to make use of. For example, a character equipped with a heavy chestplate and a sword or an axe will be able to use the Warrior class, which will give them a massive boost to their Strength stat, while limiting the range of abilities they can use and weakening their Magic. These classes are always optional, and any character may choose to have no class, in which case they will be given a small boost to all their attributes, instead of the focused bonuses that classes offer (for example, the Warrior's boost might be 20% extra strength, where as characters with no class might get a 5% boost to all of their stats).
The basics of my original idea are pretty much unchanged, but there is a lot more scope now for some cool class-specific stuff to go on.

The second development made is to do with the specifics of combat. One of the biggest peeves I have with most games of this type is that, for all that they are supposed to be tactical RPG's, there is really very little in the way of real tactics; you just equip the biggest weapon you can find and constantly use the strongest attack you have over and over. Repetitive and dull. On the rare occasions where you do use your standard attack, it's basically just you and your target standing there trading blows one at a time until someone falls over. Or, even worse, you hit someone in the face, and then they just walk off and attack someone else!

In Tactinomicon, when a character attacks another in melee combat, I want it to actually feel like they are in combat, and not just taking turns hitting each other with clubs until someone’s skull collapses.
So, when your character attacks another, they now become 'locked in combat'. Don't worry, it isn't as limiting as it sounds. Instead of just making a single blow, both of the characters involved get a number of attacks based on what weapons they are using and their personal attributes, as well as a chance to block or deflect a number of attacks. So a character using a big heavy war hammer might get only 2 attacks, while someone using a small, fast dagger might get 6. The number of 'blocks' a character gets is based around their skill with the weapon they are using. The combat is played out in some procedural manner, allow all of the hits to be calculated, and then any deaths are calculated - it's possible for both characters to die at the same time. If both survive, they remain locked in combat and the attacker's turn ends.

Now, when the other character's turn comes around, they will still be locked in combat with their attacker. This means that they cannot simply walk off without suffering a penalty; if a character locked in combat tries to move out of range, they will automatically take a single attack from anyone they are in combat with (an Attack of Opportunity, for those familiar with D&D), to represent the fact that they have basically let their guard down, turned around and ran away. Alternatively, they can remain in combat with their attacker, in which case they may take a move, as long as they remain in a tile adjacent to their attacker, and then make their attack, which will play out as before. The idea is to represent a dynamic battle, with fighters circling around each other and moving across the battlefield.

When there is a combat involving more than 2 people (e.g., a 2v1 fight), the group of 2 people will obviously have an advantage. As well as having to contend with attacks from 2 people, the number of attacks that the solo character can block is also reduced by 1 (by 2 for 3v1, 3 for 4v1 and so on) as they split their defence. The trick is that all 3 characters are considered a single combat – the lone character can move out of range of one of his attackers, as long as he remains in range of at least one of them, without being subjected to a free attack. And if he did move out of range of both of them, both would get a free attack against him.

Instead of simply dealing more damage, special attacks would have effects such as increasing the number of attacks you deal by 1, or lowering the number of attacks the defender can block, or even giving you a free, penalty-free move away from your opponent and out of combat after the damage has been dealt.

Seems like I’ve gone on for quite a bit, so I’ll leave it at that, but I’ve got lots of plans made for all sorts of things, like firing arrows into a group of people in combat, character death, and even robbing the corpses of your fallen enemies.
Hopefully it will all turn out as cool as it seems on paper.
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Postby xyzyxx » Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:29 pm

Icepick wrote:My new idea is that, while a character still has no class by default, and is free to equip whatever gear and abilities they want, certain combinations of gear will unlock certain classes that the player can choose to make use of. For example, a character equipped with a heavy chestplate and a sword or an axe will be able to use the Warrior class...
Reminds me of the Djinn system from Golden Sun a bit, although there are obvious differences. Are you familiar with it?
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Postby Shwart!! » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:14 am

That is cool.
It's good to see that you're still working on it, off and on. It sounds like it could be rather fun, assuming it gets finished.

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Postby cheesemoo0 » Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:46 am

Looks interesting. I hope you get around to somewhat finishing it.
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Re: Tactinomicon: The Flow of Battle

Postby jelco » Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:21 pm

Icepick wrote:Hopefully it will all turn out as cool as it seems on paper.

I second that. There's some pretty cool ideas in there, and I'm sure there's more you haven't yet told us about. :)

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Very cool

Postby dudecon » Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:10 am

I love the idea that equipment unlocks class, and not the other way around. It is annoying when a character cant pick up "cross-class" equipment when circumstances favored a certain tactic (everyone is an archer for a battle, everyone puts on stealth gear, etc). Switching it around makes a lot more sense. The "mage" with high int and low dex may not do very well as a rouge, but at least you won't be sneaking into the castle in bright red robes.

Also, very cool about the "locked in combat" idea. Perhaps expert fighters of some kind could avoid becoming locked in somehow? From sparing with swords in mock battle (SCA, foam swords in the back yard, etc) It is really easy to get tunnel vision when combatting one-on-one, and get stabbed in the back unless you have a battle line, or a buddy guarding your flank. I'm not sure how the mechanics would show that kind of behaviour, but flanking and rear attacks are just as (or even more) effective when fighting individuals or a small group as when fighting a whole regiment.

Overall, I'd love to see this game flesh out. Sounds like some top notch game mechanics!
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Postby red rouge » Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:34 pm

i second what xyzyxx said the djinjs in golden sun where split into 4 elements and depending the combination of djinjs you equiped and the status of the djinj changed your class stat points and magic attacks

maby an idea like that but with the wepons would fit in with what your doing
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Postby bert_the_turtle » Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:20 pm

bump, v: to reopen an old discussion without adding significant value.

That's what you're doing. Please stop. I know you're reading through old threads because you're new here and feel the urge to give your view on them. Please suppress those feelings, especially when your views are neither new nor interesting.

There, I'm done playing annoying prick forum police for today. Is it the police against pricks or the police consisting of pricks, you ask? Clearly both.
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hello every one

Postby clark40 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:32 am

Also, very cool about the "locked in combat" idea. Perhaps expert fighters of some kind could avoid becoming locked in somehow? From sparing with swords in mock battle (SCA, foam swords in the back yard, etc)


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Postby Phelanpt » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:57 pm

Le Spam.
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Postby GreenRock » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:00 am

This is why you need to learn how to make human character models!!!
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Postby lehua768 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:04 am

very cool about the "locked in combat" idea. Perhaps expert fighters of some kind could avoid becoming locked in somehow? From sparing with swords in mock battle (SCA, foam swords in the back yard, etc) It is really easy to get tunnel vision when combatting one-on-one, and get stabbed in the back unless you have a battle line, or a buddy guarding your flank. I'm not sure how the mechanics would show that kind of behaviour, but flanking and rear attacks are just as (or even more) effective when fighting individuals or a small group as when fighting a whole regiment.


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Postby lehua011 » Sat May 08, 2010 10:52 am

That's what you're doing. Please stop. I know you're reading through old threads because you're new here and feel the urge to give your view on them. Please suppress those feelings, especially when your views are neither new nor interesting.

There, I'm done playing annoying prick forum police for today. Is it the police against pricks or the police consisting of pricks, you ask? Clearly both.


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Postby xander » Sat May 08, 2010 2:44 pm

This is a really interesting spammer.

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