April 16th, 2016
First we covered the basics of combat, then we covered how to protect your character using defensive abilities. Today we’re going to explore several advanced combat techniques that players can use after mastering the rest. Please keep in mind that these concepts are still under development and will likely change before being implemented down the road. We are currently trying to find ways to reduce the “twitchy-ness” of these actions, since their proper timing would suffer badly from lag or hiccups in network connections.
Though classically parrying refers to stopping the swing of one weapon with another, we are using it to refer to the first few moments of a block action. So when a player goes to trigger left block or right block with “Q” or “E”, they are considered to be parrying at the very beginning. If a character successfully parries an incoming attack, the attacker is staggered and is unable to move or act for a second or two. This provides an opening for a counter-attack from the defender.
Properly timing a parry to collide with an incoming attack will be key to reaping the benefit of the stagger. All weapons capable of blocking, including strikers, claws, and shields, can execute a parry.
Feinting involves starting an attack with one action to provoke a response from your opponent before switching to a different attack to take advantage of a potential opening. Our current thought is that if the player clicks a different attack within the first third of the initial attack’s swing, it will instead become a feint and the second attack will execute immediately after. Players would not be able to follow-up a feint with the same attack, since double-clicking will execute a secondary attack for the right and left limbs.
Feinting will likely only be possible with the right and left limb attacks, though the follow-up attack could be any combat ability the character has access to based on their species. Feinting an attack will cost the player less balance and stamina than a fully executed attack.
Basic attacks execute a swing or jab with a weapon/limb before returning the character to a combat-ready position. The idea of chaining attacks would remove the brief period of time the character spends returning to “combat ready” and instead immediately launch a second attack as soon as the first has been executed.
Chaining is only possible for offensive abilities, so blocking, parrying, dodging, and feinting cannot be used to initiate or continue a chain. Chains can be extended across several attacks, with each attack in the chain benefiting from faster-than-normal speed and a smaller balance cost. This benefit is flat across the length of the chain, it does not accumulate.
We hope that these additional abilities will offer a greater depth and engagement to combat that will provide a variety of options for both new and skilled players. Share your thoughts with us over at http://www.trialsofascension.com/forum/threads/design-discussion-advanced-combat-tactics.5640/.