Outline / ToC -Objective and Goals of a New Combat System –Biggest flaws in current system -Vocab -Hex Grid, Zones, and Reach -Controls (keyboard and Controller) -Combos / Move-chains -Sub Systems -General Weapon Type Roles
-Objective of a New Combat System: To create/allow Skill based, tactical fights that are savage, cinematic, and fun for both parties. Ideally, between two equally skilled opponents it becomes a contest of who makes the first mistake, rather than who lands the first hammer-blow. The system should naturally lead to tense stand offs followed with a flurry of exchanges and blows. There should always be an option for a player. No stun-lock with no escape. There should almost always be more than one option, to allow potential surprise against an opponent.
— Biggest Flaws in Current System : -Powerful and risk-free crowd control through hammer strikes <– Clear 'best' option. Has best numbers against armor, armor is best defense against knockdown. So much more powerful than other choices at it's own tier that the others may as well not even exist. Hammer stunlocks with no counterplay -High speed movement. Pretty chaotic but manageable in a 1vs1 situation, but total mayhem in larger fights. Drawn-weapon move speed needs to come down drastically, and open-handed speed should too.
First note, animation locking is important. Being able to predict what your opponent CAN do is important, even needed. The lock would control aim/swing, and movement. So no strange dragging mid swing.
-Vocabulary: Wind-up – The anitipation animation before an attack. Depending on there in a combo and the weapon being used, this can be reduced/skipped. Recovery – The animation after an attack. This is the time to set the next attack. Generally unskippable, but can chain into follow-up attacks, blocks, or dodges Light attack – Each weapon has a light and full attack. Light attacks are about 1/2 the time as a full swing, and 1/3 the damage. Meant for mostly interupts and testing defense than a really damaging blow. Almost no wind-up and a very short recovery. Full Attack – The dedicated swing. Longer wind-up and recovery unless it follows a Light Attack, but does full damage (weapon+str modifier-armor reduction) Generally wider swings, so easier to hit and harder to control. Hit – Weapon connects with meaty bits, damage is done. Block – Weapon connects with shield or blocking weapon. No damage done to player, small bit or durability on the shield, more on a weapon. Stagger – Kind of a 'half stun.' The Staggered player cannot attack, but they can block or dodge. Stun – Full knocked on your ass stunned. Cannot attack, cannot block. Can do a roll dodge for significant stamina. Dodge – Quick movement to avoid an attack. No wind-up, short recovery and opens up counter-attacks. Moves one hex, far enough to avoid a swing if you went the right direction, but close enough to counter or be countered. Roll-dodge – A longer range dodge, done either by crouching or while on your back. Moves about as far as the current leap. More for getting out than feinting or countering. Drawn – Weapon in hand and ready to attack. Walking speed is slower, and Sprinting is instead a Rush. Not nearly as fast as sprinting, but faster than Open-hand jogging. Open-hand – No weapon drawn. Regular jog/sprint speed. Sheath – Putting the weapon away. Short enough of an animation to not be trouble during a peaceful moment, but critically long during a fight. Drop – Dropping whatever is in your hands instantly. Might lose the weapon, but it frees up your hands to grab a different one. Makes fast weapon swapping possible, but risky.
Hexgrid! Visualize a grid of hexagons surrounding the player. At their feet is the Player Hex(P). Directly in front is Forward(F), and behind is Back(B). Forward Right(FR) and Forward Left(FL) are in their respective spots, as are Back Right(BR) and Back Left(BL). These are for describing swing sequences. Controls: Light Attack: Left Click / Right Button Full Attack: Right Click / Right Trigger Off-hand Use: Q / Left Trigger note Offhand would be Dagger, Shield and Whip. While in off hand, they are a bit limited, but critical to the moveset. When using a two-handed weapon (Sword, Axe, Hammer, or Spear) this raises to block/parry Draw/sheath Main Hand: 1 / D-pad down note Holding this opens a wheel menu for all applicable weapons readied in a sheath. Draw/sheath Off Hand: 2 / D-pad right or left Draw/sheath Tool: 3 / D-pad whatever Build Wheel: 4 / D-pad Up Movement: WASD / Left Stick Camera: Mouselook / Right Stick *Character face will move to follow camera direction, but there will be delay for animation. No turning on a dime. Dodge: Shift / X Sprint: Tap and Hold W / Press Left Stick and Hold Forward
Combo and Swing Chains: Making a combo is simply inputing the next action before the recovery animation of the previous one is complete. If the input is valid, the action will be taken at the earliest possible frame. If invalid, it is simply dropped. spamming inputs only lead to ignored actions and a worn out mouse button. Players control the direction of a swing with their movement direction. So if moving to the right, the weapon will swing left to right. If standing still, the swings will alternate; right ot left, left to right. Moving forward performs an overhead swing with limited area, but quicker. Moving backwards may be an underhand 'golf-swing.' Each weapon type can have a different set of swing animations, giving them advantages and disadvantages.
Sub Systems: Drawn vs Open Hands – Replacing part of the Action bar would be a set of 'Sheath.' From your inventory, you assign a weapon to a sheath. Once sheathed, you Draw and ready the weapon by pressing and holding 1 / D-pad down. If there is only one weapon Sheathed, no holding is required. A non-cancel-able Draw animation will play in about the same time as the 'equip-flip' takes. Carrying multiple weapons gives options, but takes more time. With multiple weapons sheathed, a tap will Draw the last equipped weapon. Same idea for off-hand and Tools. Sheathing a weapon takes longer, starting an animation you can walk with, but not sprint. You cannot fully cancel the animation. This is to stop janky weapon swapping. Scabbards in Armor – Each tier of armor provides 1 additional Sheath. Coarse gives 1 weapon and tool. Hide gives 1 One-hand and 1 Tool on the legs, and 1 two-hand on the chest. Leather gives two, ad steel gives 3. Each weapon is sheathed at one point on the either hip for one-handers and tools, or on the back for two handers. Carrying lots of weapons and tools can potentially make one a target, as you're showing off what you've got. It also gives a more clear indication of level and production ability. Combo tools like the pickaxe become that much more valuable. Control scheme – The wheel function makes selecting multiple weapons more streamlined than opening the inventory and double clicking, or clicking and dragging.
Weapon Type Roles and General notes. Sword – Quick, close, choppy and stabby. Good for general murdering and deadly up close. Parry/block with a nasty counter strike. Axe – Good for light-low armor enemies. Quick controlling and immobilizing strikes followed up by heavier blows. Apply the 'crippled' effect from hyena mobs with a specific attack. Being an active effect the cripple should not apply after every hit. Hammer/Mace – Anti armor. Good armor pen, with a risky knockdown that heavy armor has trouble recovering from. Note on Hammers and Knockdown. Knockdown should be the Special Move for hammers, not a passive effect. Raise it up, leave yourself vulnerable, and maybe land a stunning blow. As of this writing, the hammer counters armor, and the best way to counter it is armor. That's silly. Getting knocked down is an active effect, and should be triggered by an action. Armor penetration is a passive effect, and should be added on to a different action. Spear – Reach and jabs. Quick harassing strikes and strong thrusting dives. Bow/crossbow – Range, for the FPS players that bought the wrong game. Dagger – Quick light attacks to find an opening. Major damage on critical attacks. Shield – Blocking, bashing, and stunning. Combos with the 1-hand version of each type. While Drawn but not held up, the Shield will passively protect from the Forward Left hex. While actively held, it defends two adjacent hexes Whip – Terrible defense, but wide sweeping swings that do little damage + stagger.