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#51 SirGen

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 08:48 AM

@wGarrettw Not every thief is ill trained at combat. The prepared thief would have a shortsword to defend themselves if caught without a good escape route. I think that an 80 cm, 3 pound short sword is the least of a thief's worries when carrying a pack full of 3000 gold!

In my teens, my friends and I played a game called Ninjas and Guards in a gigantic barn in the fields nearby our homes. Our weapons were padded and only weighed maybe 2 pounds (not sure how long they were, but they were definitely sword length), but we were still able to sneak with them(a leather sheathe without metal bindings would be ideal for sneaking). In this game there were plenty of times that I got caught, and my sword saved me when backed into a corner where a dagger would have been useless to me.

I said it before. Different players have different preferences and playstyles. Some of us thieves are decent fighters just in case. Improved animations would be appreciated by those of us who aren't screwed if a guard sees us.

I'm all for the addition of a dagger for those thieves who cannot fight.

Edited by SirGen, 11 November 2013 - 08:59 AM.

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#52 vvGarrettvv

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 09:08 AM

@wGarrettw Not every thief is ill trained at combat. The prepared thief would have a shortsword to defend themselves if caught without a good escape route. I think that an 80 cm, 3 pound short sword is the least of a thief's worries when carrying a pack full of 3000 gold!

In my teens, my friends and I played a game called Ninjas and Guards in a gigantic barn in the fields nearby our homes. Our weapons were padded and only weighed maybe 2 pounds (not sure how long they were, but they were definitely sword length), but we were still able to sneak with them(a leather sheathe without metal bindings would be ideal for sneaking). In this game there were plenty of times that I got caught, and my sword saved me when backed into a corner where a dagger would have been useless to me.

I said it before. Different players have different preferences and playstyles. Some of us thieves are decent fighters just in case. Improved animations would be appreciated by those of us who aren't screwed if a guard sees us.

I'm all for the addition of a dagger for those thieves who cannot fight.


I understand your point of view, yes.
But. mmhh..no:
A dagger isn`t for thieves uncapable of close cambat. It is used by thieves, which are know of the dangers possible, but want to
avoid them at every cost. more as a tool. At least the DM should be one of the last games if not the last game, where fighting is no option.
In my opinion It is a vital part of the game to scout for a possible escape route.

If there are people wanting magic and fighting and stuff, than they should buy Dishonored, a game which shows many options and possibilities
but none of them is 100%. It`s a compromise which rewards more the fighting type of players.

A good game is like a good beer: It`s not everybodys taste.

#53 Springheel

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 09:48 AM

Is there anyone out there who has tried wearing a sword with up to 80 cm in length (approx. weight up to 3 pound)
and crouch,sneak and climb through rooms which are stuffed to the death with furnitures, vases, candelabra?


I guarantee it's easier than sneaking and climbing with a strung bow and quiver full of arrows. Would you like to see those removed as well?

For spiders and other little fellas a dagger is way enough.


Going up against giant spiders, zombies, or other monsters with a dagger would be foolish.

If I´m spotted by any guard I do not attack him I load the last save, because i failed


That's certainly one way of playing, but it robs you of some of the most exciting moments in the game, IMO.
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#54 Sotha

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 10:23 AM

People should get over the silly realism arguments.

1) It is a game. Gameplay trumps realism.
2) Our little thief carries a cross-dimensional loot bag which can devour an infinite amount of golden trophies, scepters, candlesticks and gold bars. Its weight or volume is never affected by the preposterous amount of swag in it.
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#55 vvGarrettvv

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 03:03 PM

@springheel:

1. Nope. But i would if the only purpose of the bow would be killing enemys, instead of shooting moss-,water-,gas- and all the other tricky arrows. The bow is essential for the DM-gameplay. The sword IMHO isn`t.
2. I must admit the monster-thing is different. Those are the only enemies, I fight with the sword, if the game want me to do that. (spiders)
3. It`s not one of the game exciting moments fighting the guards with the sword. Avoiding the conflict, sneaking behind, blackjacking and last option: RUN ( if a escape-route is known ). IMHO :D


@Sotha:
1.& 2. Yep. It`s a game. I only come up with the realism thing, because im worried about, that fighting/killing will be a bigger part inside the DM.
If I want 100% realism i wouldn`t accept a game in which I can sneak 20 cm besides a guard without being spotted or crouch through catacombes stuffed with zombies :D .
Hopefully no one comes up with ideas like " Hey. hows about QTE`s? I really like them . And finishing moves." *sic* .
Every player got it`s own point of view when it gets to realism in games.
The best way to satisfy all the players (pacifists & fighters) is with different difficulty levels:

easy:
1. loot 100
2. no one stands in your way . Feel free to kill guards if nessessary.

medium:
1. loot 500
2. steal the braclet from lady X´s Neck while she sleeps.
3. Feeld free knocking the guards but don`t kill anybody.

hardcore:
1. loot 1500
2. steal the braclet from lady X´s Neck while she sleeps and
deposit it in the drawer of Earl Y to bring him into disrepute.
3. Don`t be seen by any guard
4. Don´t Blackjack anybody
5. Don`t kill anybody
6. Escape thorough the tunnels

...something like that..

#56 Springheel

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 03:46 PM

I'm not quite sure what your overall point is. Most Expert difficulty levels DO have a "no kill" objective (which I actually dislike).

The fact that there is a thread right now full of people saying combat is too difficult suggests that it isn't TDM isn't in danger of becoming a combat-focused game.
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#57 RPGista

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 07:13 PM

Though I think its great to express whatever opinion you have about the game and to create discussion, I cant really understand the mentality that would urge people to argue for the exclusion of a main feature of a game, of all things. Not the tweaking of it, the exclusion. Im not directing this at vvGarrett who is new here - many seem to have the same opinion, that combat should be altogether banned from TDM. Let alone the fact that it took a huge amount of work to design, test and implement the whole thing (from artists, coders and playtesters), and that there are lots of people who find it enjoyable and welcome the mechanics into their playstyle. Why would you want to see a feature that is not actually forced on you in any way, to be simply removed and not be there anymore? I would think people would want to have more and more features added to the core game, as they mean more opportunities for mappers and for gameplay fun. If someone would come around and start working on a side project where the thief character would have, besides combat and archery, magical abilities, I would be all "go for it", should be fun to play a mission designed for such a character, even if I was never really a fan of playing the wizard.

Fighting is never, in my experience playing missions, forced upon the player. You can run all night whenever spotted, looking for your escape routes or your unreachable safe places, and never press the draw sword button, no one is to stop you. Most of the times, if you are up for fighting or not, you MUST flee when guards join forces. From there you might pepper them with arrows, or disappear and come back through another area, while they are distracted looking for you. Nothing is forced and you can play as you desire, the more possibilities supported by the gameplay, the better.
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#58 Springheel

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 07:15 PM

Many missions provide a shop screen where you can actually "drop" your sword, if you feel like it.
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#59 AluminumHaste

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 07:52 PM

Many missions provide a shop screen where you can actually "drop" your sword, if you feel like it.


Not necessary, just don't ever equip it, or remove the binding for it lol.
If you don't like the sword, don't use it.
If you don't like the blackjack, don't use it.
etc etc etc
Having it removed is not a solution.
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#60 eigenface

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 11:28 PM

Combat in TDM feels broken to me, not because it's too easy or too hard, but because it's too simple, and at the same time I don't feel like an active participant in the outcome. My typical fight goes like this: guard attacks, I block, I attack, guard blocks, guard attacks, I block, I attack, guard blocks, guard attacks, I block, I attack and hope the AI decides not to make the guard block this time because I'm getting bored, guard blocks, guard attacks, I block, I attack and start to get exasperated, guard blocks of course, guard attacks, I fuck up the block and get hit (me: "Very good, you got me, I can't do the same repetitive motions over and over again indefinitely - I will inevitably fuck up at some point, and obviously, the AI is more than capable of carrying on as long as it takes"), I attack, guard blocks, guard attacks, I block, I attack, guard finally gets hit ("Wow, what a sense of accomplishment, the AI finally decided to let me win!")

I know you're supposed to vary your attack directions to fake out the AI - I do, and the above is still my experience. Fighting a guard is like getting put on time-out as kid - you have to go sit in the corner and be bored for a while. As you repeat the same slashes and blocks over and over, all you can do is try not fuck up, and hope the guard does - the AI decides when and if that ever happens (when it decides you've served your time.) Combat just doesn't feel fun or interesting or suspenseful. When I get caught by a guard and I can't run, I don't think "I'm in deep trouble now! I'm going to have to use all my skill to survive", I only think "So do I have the patience to wait out this fucker, or do I just reload and get back to the worthwhile part of the game?"

Of course, the game is always going to be mostly about the stealth, so I'm not sure if implementing a more complex, nuanced combat system is worth the dev time. But I do know the combat as is feels boring and broken and would certainly benefit from more depth. Or maybe less depth. I really liked Condemned: Criminal Origins. There's a greater focus on melee combat than in TDM, and the melee system is in some ways less complex than TDM, yet I never got bored. I felt tense and engaged, like my life was in my hands, whereas every fight in TDM feels like a chore. What's worse, I anticipate the chores to come while sneaking - the main sense of threat I get from the enemies is that they can rope me into a tedious game of metal patty-cake.
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#61 AluminumHaste

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 11:37 PM

You're doing it wrong lol. I'll put up a video later on tonight.

EDIT: But you are right, it is basic and does not have a lot of depth, which is fine as that's not the focus. The stealth system is very complex as that had the most focus during development.
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#62 AluminumHaste

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 12:44 AM

Here I went on a murdering spree. I show the settings I used in the beginning of the video.
EDIT: Video is still being re-encoded on YouTube, 720p/1080p won't be available for a bit still.


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#63 Sotha

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 01:30 AM

Looks easy as pie. A shame the AI couldn't get help from each other, I suppose it would have been more of a challenge to fight a pair of melee fighters.

The map AI spacing seems to result in a situation AIs are always alone.
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#64 RJFerret

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 01:32 AM

Well THAT helped. Forget the style suggested in the training mission, don't parry, just move back out of the way. That also explains how to actually get a hit in on them without them invariably parrying your strikes. If you parry them, it takes so long to then strike a blow they are ready for it, if you don't parry them, you can actually get a shots in just after their swings. Thanks! (I just ran through all the guys in the training mission without parrying at all.)
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#65 Sotha

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 01:37 AM

Some time ago, I actually posted a bug report about how overpowered simple leg maneuvering is against the AI:
http://bugs.thedarkm...iew.php?id=3518
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#66 RJFerret

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 02:17 AM

I just tried the "entrance" guard of "Tears of St. Lucia" and found him rather challenging, as he keeps moving forward and has such a longer reach. I don't know what circumstances were different for the patrolling guard inside, but he didn't charge forward as much, although his blow one-shots you if it does touch you.

The other issue is with AIs continually pushing you backward, once you run out of room to maneuver . . . , so map layout really affects it. Of course, the entire theme of the game is that the environment is the opponent, not AIs directly, so that rather fits IMO.
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#67 AluminumHaste

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 03:09 AM

That's not what I showed in the video, I parried a bunch of swings. It's all down to timing, you can parry and counter attack successfully, just have to time it right.

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#68 Springheel

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 08:53 AM

Combat just doesn't feel fun or interesting or suspenseful


Certainly different from my experiences. While some AI are fairly boring to take out (untrained fighters with daggers are pretty easy), I find myself pretty engaged with well-trained, armoured opponents. I can still win if I have lots of room to move around, but it's not guarranteed.

edit:

Here I went on a murdering spree. I show the settings I used in the beginning of the video.


And there's the question. How do you keep combat usable for newcomers but still challenging for experts?
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#69 AluminumHaste

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 12:01 PM

Looks easy as pie. A shame the AI couldn't get help from each other, I suppose it would have been more of a challenge to fight a pair of melee fighters.


That's not entirely true, after killing the first guard, I shot the archer with an arrow then had to defend myself against a guard. I used the guard to shield me from the archers' arrows which he was shooting. I think the archer ended up doing more damage to the guard than my sword did lol.

And it's not really the map's fault I took the guards on one at a time on purpose, didn't want to get killed lol.

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#70 Sotha

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 12:32 PM

Yeah, but I was thinking about open streets and fighting. One might imagine all the shouting bringing nearby everybody to the scene, but instead the nearby AI seemed a bit oblivious.

Then again, it is a large area, so sound propagation had a lot of ground to cover.
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#71 RJFerret

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 01:52 PM

And there's the question. How do you keep combat usable for newcomers but still challenging for experts?


And more importantly, fun. Fun has to have a reward commensurate with the challenge. Elements of that include the player feeling in control, that they can influence the outcome.

I've been thinking about this question since you posted it. At first I felt TDM had good design in that regard, as you can adjust settings to influence combat. However I believe I have realized some issues.

- Control. The threads that have recently been posted complaining combat is impossible reveal that players do not feel able to affect the outcome. "Two hits and I'm dead." The fatalistic result negates pleasure, or time to learn.

- Training. The training mission fights do not resemble game fights in the least. They don't hit back if you don't move, so they teach lack of movement. It's not communicated clearly when to successfully parry, so it appears parry is ineffective.

- Ignorance. Different AI do different amounts of damage. In other games, more hazardous opponents are distinguished differently. I didn't realize opponents were different here until I placed my own AI in a map and wondered why they didn't slaughter the player like others' AIs. (Partly to blame from the training mission, you can't see the more advanced fighters if you never are able to defeat the initial fighter.)

I'm not suggesting combat be softened (one hit and I should be dead frankly). But to get ignorant new people up to speed, knowledge of techniques would gain them control (depending on game playing ability obviously). Seeing the video demonstrated a fighting technique totally the opposite of what the training mission trains.

To have it be more challenging for experienced people, if moving away saves people 100% of the time such that it's too easy for them, change that so a portion of the time the AI moves while attacking. At the very least that would mean players would have to finish off AIs before their luck ran out, IE, require skill. It wouldn't even need to adjust per AI ability, as the less experience AIs would not do as much damage getting a hit in, while they most advanced would win. However were this change made, the ability to switch between parry and strike would need to be refined or players will always be taken out flatfooted.

I will suggest changing the first training mission fighter to a dagger wielding foe, so the player doesn't just die right away, and has time to figure out when/how to parry. It would be OK if the initial opponent doesn't move, as it all resets if you get driven out of the "ring", but a subsequent AI should chase you out, the environment is the core opponent of TDM after all.

For reference, it's easy to shoot someone in the head with absolutely no risk, it's relatively easy to knock someone out with the blackjack with minimal risk, depending on environment it's easy to flashbomb flee with limited risk, it should make sense that there's a lot of risk taking on a trained warrior with no armor.

Note, these observations come from someone who has avoided combat in this game previously. It does seem players fall into the "combat is impossible" and "combat is too easy" extremes without it being balanced for many.
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#72 Oldjim

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 02:18 PM

I am in the category - I am rotten at combat - so I always avoid it

#73 Springheel

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 02:25 PM

The threads that have recently been posted complaining combat is impossible reveal that players do not feel able to affect the outcome. "Two hits and I'm dead."


That two hits thing is unintentional. There's a bugtracker report about it, that players didn't used to get killed in two hits on Normal, and it wasn't made more difficult intentionally.

One other suggestion that was raised a while back was slowing down (or even eliminate) backwards running. That would make it harder for players to leap back out of the way of an attack, which is what AH seems to be doing a lot in his video.

I'll definitely revisit the combat settings for 2.01 and see if there's not a way to make it a bit more forgiving on the lowest settings and more challenging on the highest.
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#74 kyyrma

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 02:51 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the main elements of combat in TDM right now are simply blocking and attacking. Combatants can swing in four directions, and block in four directions. It's sort of like a fast paced game of Rock Paper Scissors.

Then there is the environment and footwork, however in both the AI is terribly disadvantaged.

Now a lot of you have been saying that the combat experience really comes in two extremes. The first bunch of players find it way too hard, and end up avoiding combat altogether for that reason. The other group finds it too easy, which can break the tension of the level.

Now what if there was a third element to it? What I'm proposing is parrying. Parrying, as opposed to blocking, would push the attacker off balance and leave a clear opening for a counter-attack. Parry could simply be a perfectly timed block: block just as the enemy's sword connects and you not only deflect the strike but push the enemy off balance. This should also be shown clearly through animation, with the enemy staggering and dropping guard.

To emphasize the importance of timing, enemies could be made much faster and accurate in deflecting oncoming blows. That would make parrying the best method for finding an opening to attack. The player would also be pushed off balance by striking at an enemy at the wrong time, which would leave him unable to act for a few moments and maybe shift the camera around a bit to visualize how the characer staggers.

This already exists to an extent - enemies that have been succesfully blocked are "flat-footed" which means they will not chase after the player. I feel that this is not communicated well enough through visual ques. I personally only learned about it by reading about combat on the wiki. If not for parrying or other sort of improvements to combat, I'd at least suggest that the flat-footed state should be more clearly animated on the enemy NPCs.

#75 Springheel

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 03:13 PM

I'd at least suggest that the flat-footed state should be more clearly animated on the enemy NPCs.


How would you communicate it? AI still need to be able to attack and parry in this state, so it can't be a full-body animation. Unless you make AI "off balance" as you suggested--but then that makes it really easy for players to hit the AI when they're in that state if the AI can't parry.

Btw, there is also the element of varying your attacks...if you use the same one over and over, AI learn to anticipate it and block faster.
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