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Proactive+reactive Offense/defense/movement options baked in at various ranges

Ace1234Ace1234 Member
edited January 27 in General Discussion
I have been brainstorming a way to simplify and articulate what made certain combat systems and experiences so fun to me, in order to give the most clear feedback possible while combat is still in its early design phase.


I think the main aspect that was fun to me was when there were multiple proactive and reactive offensive/defensive/movement related options baked in at various ranges between combatants, in order to provide a plethora of varied situational tools to strategize around and engage with. Since combat revolves so much around the combat options available at different distances in order to
1. defend and/or attack at various ranges
2. the ability to move toward an advantageous distance between combatants/manipulate distance between combatants
3. the ability to be unpredictable with the timings of when options will be used at a given distance

It is very important to have the combat options/tools to do these things. This approach would ensure that players have counterplay available at various different distances which will provide a more engaging experience and the ability to strategize around those distances.




How this fits into current design:

This would be more of a combat design approach rather than a class design/visual aesthetic kind of thing. Some of these examples would suit some classes better than others, and not fit at all aesthetically, but with some creativity there could be variants made that fit conceptually for each class while adapting it to fit within the intended aesthetic of the game.

This also wouldn't have to hinder any existing class design approach, as each class would still be able to augment these abilities and specialize in them as desired.



List of example abilities:

This approach could manifest in different ways, either through the effect of the skills directly, through direct buffs/debuff effects, or through ancillery effects attached to the skills themselves, that possibly activate when using a completely different kind of skill (such as a defensive skill that has a movement based ancillery effect). This is basically taking one of the core aspects of combat (attack/defense/sustainability/movement) and mixing/matching their effects at various ranges to provide interesting options.


Offensive (deals damage):
1. skill- this could be

A) a short/mid/long-ranged casted skill that deals direct damage, such as a rapid-firing icicle barrage that can mow enemies down in direct line of sight- or a flamethrower with a controllable stream of fire

https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/crosscode_gamepedia/images/2/2d/Gatling_Arctillery.gif/revision/latest?cb=20190505232711

https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/crosscode_gamepedia/images/7/78/Burn!.gif/revision/latest?cb=20170621161033


B- a mid ranged dash that deals damage upon contact
%D0%98%D0%B3%D1%80%D1%8B-Warframe-be-like-rhino-%D0%BF%D0%B5%D1%81%D0%BE%D1%87%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%86%D0%B0-509071.gif

C) a damaging ki-blast/electric shockwave that has a short range but wide cone-effect.
https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/crosscode_gamepedia/images/9/9b/Ki_Thrust.gif/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/284?cb=20170625114422

D) a mid/long range skill that deals direct damage but can indirectly target behind cover, such as a slower firing meteor barrage/laser
https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/crosscode_gamepedia/images/2/2f/Flare_Burn!.gif/revision/latest?cb=20170621161604


2. debuff/buff- this could be

A) a damaging debuff effect applied by a long-range skill that deals more damage over time the further the enemy is away from you

B- a mid-range skill that applies a damaging status effect

C) a damage over time status affect that can be applied through a weapon enchantment/passive weapon procc at close-range

D) a damage over time status effect that can be applied to a dodge skill, which has a small area of effect applied to anyone who enters in that vicinity during the dodge


3. ancillery effect- this could be

A) a trail of fire/lightning/icicles/sharp stones/etc. left by a mid-ranged dash that deals damage when stepped on
https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/crosscode_gamepedia/images/6/64/Thunder_Dart.gif/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/284?cb=20170624104334

B- a long-ranged skill that upon successfully landing it, it causes a cluster of nearby patches of land to react and damage an enemy within its area of effect

C) a close-ranged dodge/weapon skill that summons aggressive minions/bombs around the player at close-range that react to enemies witihin a small vicinity.
450px-Samus_Down_B_SSBU.gif

D) a short ranged shield skill that adds spikes to the shield, in order to block damage while also simultaneously dealing damage
https://64.media.tumblr.com/4a9204c2ea929a6fae4da68382e03b2c/tumblr_mul1nrS26i1qau6z9o1_500.gif


Defensive (provides protection):

1. skill- this could be

A) a univeral active block that just mitigates damage, available at any range

B- a timed parry that negates all damage if successfully performed, available at any range
HarmfulSickAxisdeer-max-1mb.gif

C) a magic spherical barrier that encases the user, being a skill that nullifies all damage for a short period of time, available at any range
https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/crosscode_gamepedia/images/4/47/Guard_Sphere.gif/revision/latest?cb=20170622093730

D) a skill that allows the user to position a protective barrier
tumblr_mqf63tNMdR1rcv38bo1_500.gifv

E) a skill that directly summons distraction decoys that could potentially be manually placed within an area at varying distances
d1qvvwf-283ea7d0-45c1-41b6-a843-b6d328d90c9c.gif?token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJzdWIiOiJ1cm46YXBwOjdlMGQxODg5ODIyNjQzNzNhNWYwZDQxNWVhMGQyNmUwIiwiaXNzIjoidXJuOmFwcDo3ZTBkMTg4OTgyMjY0MzczYTVmMGQ0MTVlYTBkMjZlMCIsIm9iaiI6W1t7InBhdGgiOiJcL2ZcLzIxOGU1ODdjLTYyODEtNDc0OS05OGMyLWQ1Yzc2MzFjMGEyNFwvZDFxdnZ3Zi0yODNlYTdkMC00NWMxLTQxYjYtYTg0My1iNmQzMjhkOTBjOWMuZ2lmIn1dXSwiYXVkIjpbInVybjpzZXJ2aWNlOmZpbGUuZG93bmxvYWQiXX0.CK-B6_bn8yQ5x8s8QXl1skrj_0jb7_V7Kg_4zcZ0btE

F) a short ranged defensive "ki-deflect" that can deflect/nullify certain attacks within a short area
755

G) A life-steal ability that drains health upon succesful contact with a cluster of projectiles/block/melee strike
https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/crosscode_gamepedia/images/d/d8/Essence_Drain.gif/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/284?cb=20170627135622




2. debuff/buff- this could be

A) an Increased damage mitigation buff at any range it is used, that you can apply either independently or through successfully landing a skill

B- a weather effect that increases damage mitigation if the player is in that particular weather condition at any distance away from the opponent

C) a terrain effect that increases damage mitigation if the player is positioned in a specific location, at any distance away from the opponent (similar to how an RTS game would do "cover bonuses"
CoH.0.jpg

D) a type debuff you can apply to cause the enemy to not be able to attack periodically. this could take many forms such as electrified, petrified, frozen, sleep, silence, staggered, etc., that you can apply either independently or through successfully landing a skill
https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/crosscode_gamepedia/images/d/dc/Freeze_Frame.gif/revision/latest?cb=20170625102902



3. ancillery effect- this could be

A) a skill that upon landing on the enemy creates a close range ring of damage mitigation/invulnerability within the vicinity of contact, or maybe spawns random rings at other ranges that offer invulnerability when you are within their vicinity

B- a block skill at any range, that also forms ice/rocks in front of the user that break after blocking incoming projectiles, either by creating a trail of ice/rocks that follows the path of a movement skill used, or through manifesting them upon a successful block, etc.
https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/crosscode_gamepedia/images/5/58/Brisk_Barrier.gif/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/284?cb=20170625103018

C) a close-ranged shield/dodge skill that upon successfully blocking/dodging the attack, distraction decoys are spawned within the players vicinity
https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/crosscode_gamepedia/images/a/aa/Toxic_Revenant.gif/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/284?cb=20170630091829

D) a long-ranged attack that upon successful contact, surrounds the enemy with projectile blocking obstacles, until broken
https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/crosscode_gamepedia/images/0/02/Snow_Flawke.gif/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/340?cb=20221127143101



Movement (manipulates distance between combatants):

1. skill- this could be

A) a basic short-ranged dodge that can be used at any range to reposition

B- a mid/long-ranged dash/teleport that is mainly used for repositioning
Fox_Side_B_SSBU.gif

C) mid-ranged tether that pulls the enemy to close range

D) a long-ranged chain that tightens to hold both combatants together at a mid-range distance but has slack to allow them to move closer
kurapika-chains-uvogin-6msvotwrh92iw3b9.webp

E) an aqua/rock wave summoned up close then used to push enemy to mid-range, but then turns into a barrier to prevent passage toward each other, but allows movement in the opposite direction
Kearthbending.gif

F) a short-ranged wind/ki blast that pushes enemy to long-range
aang-avatar.gif


2. debuff/buff- this could be

A) a "cold" status condition you can apply either independently or through successfully landing a skill on the enemy that slows/snares them, allowing you to better manage distance

B- a "haste" buff you can apply to yourself either independently or through successfully landing a skill, to better manage distance

C) maybe an effect that causes you to "glitch" where you sporadically teleport periodically, to help or hurt positioning/distance control- this could be applied either independently or through successfully landing a skill
Vanellope-wreck-it-ralph-34615540-500-208.gif



3. Ancillery effect- this could be

A) a long-ranged attack skill that creates a "wind current" after-effect along its path, that can quickly relocate a player that gets caught inside of it (something similar to the mechanic from sonic riders on gamecube)
704676-929719_20051219_001.jpg

B- a long-ranged attack that upon successfully landing the hit, the player is teleported/propelled forward very close/very far from the enemy (similar to the tank tether except the the user is the one that relocates, rather than pulling to the enemy to themselves). This could be either pull you closer to the enemy, or a teleport you there. This could potentially be somewhat similar to how certain long-ranged attacks can be canceled into air-dashes or instant transimission follow ups, from the game dragonball fighterz
ak9l61txgqs610m3h3xh.gif?quality=80&resize=1280,720

C) a short-ranged dodge or an active block that upon successful usage, it freezes the ground along its path/within its vicinity to create a "slippery path" after-effect, that can boost the speed of players that slide on it.
frozone-slide.gif

D) a short-ranged block skill that upon successfully blocking the attack, allows the player to be teleported/knocked away to a different position

E) a retreating mid-ranged dash that can create debris/walls/elemental effects that can impede movement until broken
https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/crosscode_gamepedia/images/7/70/Indigo_Rush.gif/revision/latest?cb=20170622171244

F) a long-ranged attack that upon successful contact, surrounds the enemy with movement impeding obstacles, until broken
https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/crosscode_gamepedia/images/2/24/Frigid_Flawke.gif/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/340?cb=20220723162450

G) melee attack that can cover a mid/long ranged distance and is maneuverable while being used
https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/crosscode_gamepedia/images/f/f7/Tesla_Waltz.gif/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/284?cb=20170627095812

E) a block skill that can cover a mid/long ranged distance and is maneuverable while being used
https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/crosscode_gamepedia/images/c/c2/Azure-strike.gif/revision/latest?cb=20220628192337



Possible methods for implementation:

Obviously, these are just examples following the original premise, and these could be combined, added too, adjusted, etc. as needed.

There are various ways this could be implemented, some examples are:

A- simply adding the options as skills into the skill pool

B- having existing skills be adaptable- such as having these various effects being tied to a particular "character state" that is managed, such as through "stances"

As I believe I read somewhere, stances are likely to be included in the game- this could potentially be a good system to tie this idea to.

This would involve having these various effects be pre-organized into different stances, so when a skill is used, its effect would vary based on the stance that is active at the time. This would require players to strategically manage which stance they are in, in order to get the desired effect when a particular skill is used.

This would require being able to change stances very quickly on the fly in order to gain access to the desired situational tool associated with that stance, otherwise it would be impractical to tie it to this kind of system.

Comments

  • Ace1234Ace1234 Member
    edited January 20
    Not sure why the gifs arent working, for some reason certain ones are requiring you to click and hold, then open in another tab- hopefully I can get that fixed asap
  • Ace1234Ace1234 Member
    edited January 20
    Thats the best I can do for the gif examples.

    @Vaknar kind of a dead thread so far probably due to the wall of text and technical issues I had, but would be a shame for it to get buried without at least getting some eyes on it first lol. Anyway, I spent some time puting this together- so I hope that it could be useful inspiration in some way, thanks!
  • maouwmaouw Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I love high mobility too, but please remember they thrive best when you have:
    • complex terrain (walls, hills, cover, etc.) - gives mobility contextual meaning: moving behind a wall vs moving out of a choke point
    • positional threat (traps, AoE zones, projectile trajectories) - obstacles that turn certain areas of the field into bad places to be: think twice about where you want to dash to, AND when.

    high mobility fights in an open field are less interesting if the aim is to just confuse an opponent's targetting system - we need skills that provide foundational reasons to move to some places and not others.
    I wish I were deep and tragic
  • SolvrynSolvryn Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Interesting ways to interface with the terrain and space around us.
  • NeurathNeurath Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    How many toons do you expect to see these on? There are enough to wipe out the current skills on a Mage for example.
  • Ace1234Ace1234 Member
    edited January 21
    @maouw
    I love high mobility too, but please remember they thrive best when you have:
    complex terrain (walls, hills, cover, etc.) - gives mobility contextual meaning: moving behind a wall vs moving out of a choke point
    positional threat (traps, AoE zones, projectile trajectories) - obstacles that turn certain areas of the field into bad places to be: think twice about where you want to dash to, AND when.


    high mobility fights in an open field are less interesting if the aim is to just confuse an opponent's targetting system - we need skills that provide foundational reasons to move to some places and not others.

    Yep I agree, there should be stategic positions, i've made some threads and commented on others in the past about utilizing of terrain and cover to keep it a relevant part of combat positioning, and also about recommending systems that would encourage players to engage in combat with each other, even if mobility is very strong, in situations where both players are on an even field positioning wise- in order to discourage aimless/overly passive mobility strategies.

    So, too your point, it should be important to think about where and when you want to reposition, but this could happen within both a dense area of cover and an open field. I think its important to have a mixture of both kinds of areas, because they make each other relevant.- Based on this, in order to accomplish your goal, I think its more important to ensure that movement has meaning at all times regardless of the type of area both players are in, and when they are on equal footing positioning wise.


    Unless I misunderstand your following statement- I do think its a good thing to be able to "confuse targeting systems", as that is part of good defensive play, and risk/reward- just as long as the offensive tools are balanced to give a skilled player the chance to make contact with a mobile enemy.
  • @Neurath

    Yeah I agree, these are merely examples following the premise, so the specific ones relevant to the mage could be exclusive to the mage, but that doesn't mean there couldn't be the same types of situational tools available for other classes that fit their style, and are unique to them. And maybe each class can spec deeper into the skills that are more relevant to their particular class- so that each class can be versatile in their situational tools- so that the overall combat variety and depth can remain across the board- but they can still stand out from each other through specializations.
  • @Solvryn
    Interesting ways to interface with the terrain and space around us.

    Thanks I thought so too! Any ideas you could think of to add to this, or adjustments you would make?

  • SolvrynSolvryn Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Ace1234 wrote: »
    @Solvryn
    Interesting ways to interface with the terrain and space around us.

    Thanks I thought so too! Any ideas you could think of to add to this, or adjustments you would make?

    The only suggestion I have is to structure your thoughts a little more. It took a couple of read throughs to understand what you were talking about.

    Otherwise interesting topic.
  • @Solvryn

    Good to know- thanks for the feedback
  • Gui10Gui10 Member
    Ace1234 wrote: »
    How this fits into current design:

    This would be more of a combat design approach rather than a class design/visual aesthetic kind of thing

    I went through your whole post btw. Interesting ideas. The way I see it, you are basically suggesting skill dieas, and I like most of them!

    I do have to add that these ideas have to be class dependant though, and that in fact, many of them are already being considered to be a part of class kits =).

    Many if not all classes will have more than one movement skills in their arsenal, but it also makes sense that each class has their own ways to move around, their own pros and cons. Usualy, heavy casters are less mobile, for example. You would have to trade damage or something for survivability. Melee classes are very short range, so it also makes sense for them to have their own "get-in-there" skills.

    Then you have agility classes like ranger and rogue, also makes sense for them to jump around to hit angles and evade incoming attacks. and they have also spoken of "skill upgrades" through skill leveling, which may add movement upon lv 2 or 3 of that skill, for example. Also, augments will have something to do with this.

    If the dodge is actually implemented into the game, I would love to see it affected by the class, with every class having 1 or 2 different and unique dodge augments to choose from.


  • Ace1234Ace1234 Member
    edited January 21
    @Gui10
    I went through your whole post btw. Interesting ideas. The way I see it, you are basically suggesting skill dieas, and I like most of them!

    I do have to add that these ideas have to be class dependant though, and that in fact, many of them are already being considered to be a part of class kits =).

    Many if not all classes will have more than one movement skills in their arsenal, but it also makes sense that each class has their own ways to move around, their own pros and cons. Usualy, heavy casters are less mobile, for example. You would have to trade damage or something for survivability. Melee classes are very short range, so it also makes sense for them to have their own "get-in-there" skills.

    Then you have agility classes like ranger and rogue, also makes sense for them to jump around to hit angles and evade incoming attacks. and they have also spoken of "skill upgrades" through skill leveling, which may add movement upon lv 2 or 3 of that skill, for example. Also, augments will have something to do with this.

    If the dodge is actually implemented into the game, I would love to see it affected by the class, with every class having 1 or 2 different and unique dodge augments to choose from.


    Thanks for reading! Yeah I totally can understand that perspective- my thought process is to kind of prioritize engaging combat first and foremost, and then worry about class distinctions after that. This is just in order to make sure it is as fun and engaging as possible, rather than adhering to the traditional tropes too much and allowing it to restrict how fun your combat design could potentially be.

    Thats not to say that the classes shouldn't be as distinct as possible- its just that rather than me starting with "big guys are strong so they should be slow" or "rangers should only have long range tools", I start with "what is fun too play" skills wise, and then "how can we make these tools unique to each class"- so at that point a ranger and a warrior might have similar short ranged tools, but the warrior might be more efficient/effective with them. Thats also where the stats and spec choices come into play as well, because different classes may have access to similar tools with their own flavor, but you could allow specific classes to further specialize in skills that make sense for their class, without detracting from the combat and the rest of the class kits. Thats just my thought process anyways, if that makes sense- thanks for allowing me to clarify that!
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Just a reminder to bear in mind that Ashes explicitly moved away from their 'Root Motion' style attacks to allow players maximum 'drift' and control.

    I'd say about half of these suggestions (the interactive ones where both the actor and target receive a meaningful flow/positional effect) would either 'be out of place', or, if we consider that Ashes intends to allow freedom of movement EXCEPT when these skill types are encountered, interact oddly with the game's targeting system.

    Basically I'm saying that those ones are better suited to a different game with 'recovery' and semi-static animations, because GROUP combat will cause such skills to be less effective (any given pair of opponents can be attacking while drifting their hurtboxes out of the realm of an interactive flow, but if such a skill hits, they gain control of the target's position in a way that removes the target's ability to positionally react).

    Maybe you enjoy that fact, maybe you don't, but as of now, Ashes doesn't seem to want to go that way, meaning that even knockback will fall under 'CC', hence the heavy traditional themes we've seen in their older (and honestly some of their newer) design.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • Ace1234Ace1234 Member
    edited January 22
    @Azherae

    Thanks for the feedback and for bringing up some interesting points, ill give my response to a few of them if you are interested.
    Just a reminder to bear in mind that Ashes explicitly moved away from their 'Root Motion' style attacks to allow players maximum 'drift' and control.

    I'd say about half of these suggestions (the interactive ones where both the actor and target receive a meaningful flow/positional effect) would either 'be out of place', or, if we consider that Ashes intends to allow freedom of movement EXCEPT when these skill types are encountered, interact oddly with the game's targeting system.


    Yep I agree 100% and was also thinking about these aspects myself. I was going more for the "if we consider that Ashes intends to allow freedom of movement EXCEPT when these skill types are encountered" route. But even so, some of these could be modified to allow for the recipient to still have control but just "less". Such as with the ring of ice around the opponent example- they would still have some space to move around and the option to break the ice and get past it, it just limits their options and makes it more difficult to move, but they still have control to an extent.

    Aside from that, yes it "could" be odd with the auto targeting, but that is assuming the skill in question is intended to be capable of being hit from auto target attacks, rather than action target ones. In the case that they are meant to be hit by an auto-target attack, another game handled this by quickly freezing time while the projectile traveled, to simultaneously avoid "bending" projectiles while also avoiding "impossible to hit" targets. You could also have skills that are "homing" to where its okay if they "bend".

    Im not saying that particular solution of freezing time is the way to go in the context of this game, just saying there are ways to avoid that particular issue.
    meaning that even knockback will fall under 'CC'

    Potentially, but this falls under my above response, in that regardless, some CC is okay, even according to current design direction, as long as its doesn't infringe too much on that freedom within the overall combat design. Like I also pointed out, you could make modifications to still allow control, such as allowing the player to manipulate their character while being pushed back, allowing them to influence their direction. Similar to "DI" in platform fighting games, but much more exaggerated to give that feeling of control.

    Basically I'm saying that those ones are better suited to a different game with 'recovery' and semi-static animations, because GROUP combat will cause such skills to be less effective (any given pair of opponents can be attacking while drifting their hurtboxes out of the realm of an interactive flow, but if such a skill hits, they gain control of the target's position in a way that removes the target's ability to positionally react).


    I am interpreting your main point within this, in 2 different ways.

    either you are saying that:

    A- the positional skills would be less relevant when at a numbers disadvantage

    B- There would be too much of an emphasis on positional skills, causing it to be too difficult to deal with all the enemy's positional options available to them, even when on an even playing field, in terms of quantity of opponents


    Ill respond to both, and in case I misinterpreted feel free to correct me.

    A- I would say yes, but would say that it's okay if that's the case, and to my understanding it would be okay with Steven as well, based on past comments about balancing, and that numbers should "give an advantage" as long as tactics and strategy are a priority. The positional skills would still give you room to outplay multiple enemies if you have more skill than them, but you would be defeated if against equally skilled opponents, as it should be based on the referenced comments.

    B- I would say that this just depends on the tuning of the abilities. The balance is through having teammates to make it a fair fight, so at that point they would need to take into account your teammates' ability to support you and allow teammates to make plays in order to counter an enemy group's options and setups. Its more of a "group combat balance" specific discussion at that point, rather than a general combat design discussion imo.




    I appreciate the engagement in the discussion.
  • Ace1234Ace1234 Member
    edited January 24
    I dont think I mentioned this in the original post, so if anyone is curious of what game some of those gifs are from, its called "crosscode"

    Here is an overview of that game's "combat arts" system that I pulled from for the gifs, which are pretty much abilities that use mana in order to modify your basic combat functions, such as melee, ranged attack, dodge roll, and shield.

    https://crosscode.fandom.com/wiki/Combat_Arts
  • VaknarVaknar Moderator, Member, Staff
    Very fun and interesting thread to read through. I can tell you put a lot of time and thought into your post, @Ace1234 :)

    I loved the visual examples you provided!
    community_management.gif
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