NPCs. Shields, attributes, combat feel.

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Exacute, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. Exacute

    Exacute Captain

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    I've been having a bit of a messaround with Andromeda lately. And it reminded me, what I think, is the best approach for NPCs combat-wise:

    Having them have these base-modifiers
    -Health
    -Shield
    -Armor

    None of them is obligatory. If all of them reaches 0, the mob is dead.
    Shield will always be the first to fall. Then armor. Then health.
    Only real mechanic, is shields recharge if npc is left undamaged for a bit (a few seconds.. testing will be needed)

    There's really nothing fancy to it, but it's a great way to differentiate mobs.
    Some weapons might be better to deal with armor, while others with shields. This would also help to make the weapons better overall, instead of just being "reskins with different damage outputs, and different splash-radius and range).

    Visually, it shouldn't be too big of a deal. I'd recommend an approach, where you can see the bars over the mobs (it's really not that invasive, when done right). Otherwise, it could be accomplished by some particles for the shield atleast.
    I don't have any "cheap" way to indicate armor, except for some visuals: Either actual armor (which seems like a ton of work), or armor-icons sorta hovering (tho I'm not sure how that would look. Might be able to pull it off).

    --

    Weakpoints:
    The classic weakpoint is the head. But that is far from always the case. Having one or more weakpoints on a hostile, makess combat considerably more enjoyable. Having a bit of a meta-game, figuring the weakpoints is also nice. Some creatures might be brain-heavy. Others might be quite dependent on their legs, etc. The weakpoints should be fixed to each type of NPC.
    Weakpoints are essentially just a damage multiplier, possibly combined with temporary stuns, or the like. It can also be combat-wide effect, such as slower movement speed, or loss of attack-type. Personally I'd be more than happy with just a plain damage multiplier for the start.

    --

    Common 'weakpoints'
    Quite similar to weakpoints, where more damage is taken, it is instead static modifiers that applies to any NPC. Some 'harder' than others (can be scaled for instance). If you hit the 'arm', it will have a harder time aiming/performing tasks/handling recoil/.., if you hit the 'leg', it will have a harder time moving, might make more noise, might be slower, might stumble occasionally/..

    --

    NPCs should be able to have weapons. This would define their attack-type. Zirax is a great start, but also limited. They don't *need* to be holding it, but can default to some pre-made attack. (For instance, if it's a melee unit-only (spiders for instance), and it got a plasmarifle, it could be spitting plasma, or acid, or w/e. It gets based on the type. Explosion-type might make melee-suiciders). It would essentially just define its attack-type (ranged/melee/statuseffects). Using
    http://empyriononline.com/threads/poi-rework-ai.11259/
    Would do the rest, as far as logic goes.

    --
    NPC spawners with more options, for stats, despawn-ability, etc, would most likely be the best approach to this;
    http://empyriononline.com/threads/6-0-feedback-spawners.10825/
    --

    I think, for the amount of labor it would require, that the content resulted would be multiplied by a lot. (hence really being a good investment of time).
    The npc-aspect of the game seems to be a huge part of it, but with very little variaty or love currently.

    I think shields, weakpoints, and common weakpoints should apply to players aswell.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
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  2. Exacute

    Exacute Captain

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    Updated with weakpoints. Forgot to add those when I wrote this.
     
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  3. Ballard

    Ballard Captain

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    I like it. We shall see if such an over haul is in our future. Of course those same attributes might be applied to players as well.

    This could lead to a 'rock/paper/scissors' model. A laser might do well on shields, but only half damage to armor, for example. That would force us to consider just who we are about to deal with, and it would make each weapon have its' own uses. I like the idea.
     
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  4. Exacute

    Exacute Captain

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    Basically my thought, yeah
    A note: added shield recharge (forgot that in initial)

    As for players: Yeah, it'd be cool if we got this aspect aswell. But little worth untill we got cover ;)
     
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  5. Exacute

    Exacute Captain

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  6. michaelhartman89

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    I've been wanting to play Andromeda, I'll probably pick a used copy from Gamestop when I get home for my xbox. Is it worth playing? I played the other Mass Effects the entire way through and loved all of them. How does this one rate compared to the others?
     
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  7. michaelhartman89

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    I've been thinking how great shields would be. Something along the lines of Halo or Mass Effect would be a cool addition.

    I would love to see special abilities and biotics/bionics become a thing. That would revolutionize gameplay.

    The current system doesnt offer much against melee attacks, it would be nice to have an attribute system instead of the current level system, so we can gear our player in a way that benefits our play style.

    Are you the stealthy type, recon, run and gun, smuggler, spy, gadget guy?

    Skill points could be added in a way that KOTOR or Mass Effect did. Bioware really had a good model when it came to balancing these features.

    We'll just have to see if this is implemented some time in a future combat update.
     
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  8. Exacute

    Exacute Captain

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    It's.. different. It def. doesn't have the nostalgic feel that you are used to. It have a few references to old ME galaxy, but for the most part, it's new.
    Which have its hardship.. ofcourse it's hard building someone you care about, in a single game. I think it manages pretty well tho.
    Instead of being mission-oriented in a linear fashion, you have few worlds, that are fairly open-worldey.. Not everything is accessible before you get the quest for it, so entirely, it is not..
    There are some quite annoying places, loading-wise, that should've been better planned on their part.
    But after the patches most of the 'release' bad-stuff is gone..
    There's still myriads of room for improvement on their part. It's not a *great* game, but it's a okay->you should play it-game, if you've liked previous ME.
    It does 'kinda' leave you on a cliffhanger.. The game itself is tied up okay, but the main story isn't finished. And it kinda feels like there's coming more.. Which seems to be a longshot, given how poorly the title did on release.

    --

    As for biotics and skillpoints:
    Yes, I like the way ME handles that. Bioware def. have a good model. For biotics, I'm worried there might be a lot of 'red tape' copyright wise, but otherwise, it is def. something that would fit Empyrions feel!
     
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  9. Frankyln

    Frankyln Rear Admiral

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    I'm against attributes there not needed.
    strength, speed can unbalance combat unless a proper combat inventory Weight system was implemented.
    Stamina, We already have.
    Agility, Accuracy are physical mouse movements , just give us a dash or roll option (bond to stamina)
    Intellect and charisma are unused

    Skills/perks/ on the other hand I like but don't make them grindy. A skill point purchase system is fine. I also would limit the point as to not be able to get every thing. Skill are also not to be used as locks. None of this you can't shoot a shot gun because you don't have the skill. Skill should only be limited enhancements. I could see anyone being able to shoot a shotgun but without training they would be slow at reloading and unjam. There weapons would also degrade faster as they don't know how to properly maintain them. Skill could also be like Anatomy(insert type) which could unlock non common weak points.
    see Skills, Professions, and Flaws

    As for biotics, psionic, magic, bionics, cybernetic, etc these all can be emulated by having a proper space suit customization system. This fits better with a crafting system.
    see Space Suit Equipment

    As for the OP
    Much of what you described is what Warframe has.
    Each Alien Race relies heavily on one of the three type (Shields,Armor,Flesh)
    You are able to customize your weapon to better combat each type. So if this type of system was implemented i would also recommend a Customization weapon system
     
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  10. michaelhartman89

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    I was thinking of a balanced syatem like Destiny has and giving the character 2 equipable slots for perks like battlefield has in the player setup.
     
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  11. Frankyln

    Frankyln Rear Admiral

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    I never played those games but it sound feasible.
     
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  12. michaelhartman89

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    I'm against attributes there not needed.
    strength, speed can unbalance combat unless a proper combat inventory Weight system was implemented.

    Fair enough, I was thinking the way mass effect 2 or Destiny uses them, not really like mmorpg's like wow and runescape where its based off player lvl. At least for the PvP system

    Aa for the game itself, t
    he advantages would just allow for certain things like run speed, persuasion (with npc's), guile ( for selling to npc's) or hacking ability. Attributes in a RPG sense for the base game which wouldn't affect PvP or really combat in a significant way.

    Think more along the lines of Fable
     
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  13. Frankyln

    Frankyln Rear Admiral

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    Persuasion and Guile seem fine so long as you don;t end up with a money exploit.
    Hacking is fine so long as its not required, if you don't have the skill a breach charge can do a similar job (but may destroy some contents and is noisy)

    Now Run speed i have an issue with. Run speed is a combat factor.
    If your talking sprint speed that is bound to stamina sure.
    If your talking base speed then no if the boost is large.
     
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  14. michaelhartman89

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    Yah I can see that. Really as far as the skill based stuff goes, leave it to the rpg part of the game.

    Halo had cool combat perks with invisibility, and the bubble shield.

    Stamina, We already have.
    Agility, Accuracy are physical mouse movements , just give us a dash or roll option (bond to stamina)
    Intellect and charisma are unused.

    I like these ideas

    Skills/perks/ on the other hand I like but don't make them grindy. A skill point purchase system is fine. I also would limit the point as to not be able to get every thing. Skill are also not to be used as locks. None of this you can't shoot a shot gun because you don't have the skill. Skill should only be limited enhancements. I could see anyone being able to shoot a shotgun but without training they would be slow at reloading and unjam. There weapons would also degrade faster as they don't know how to properly maintain them. Skill could also be like Anatomy(insert type) which could unlock non common weak points.
    see Skills, Professions, and Flaws

    Good ideas, have it like battlefield where you can upgrade optics get silencers, flashlights, lasers, bipod, etc.

    This would improve accuracy to steady your aim.
     
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  15. michaelhartman89

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    As for biotics, psionic, magic, bionics, cybernetic, etc these all can be emulated by having a proper space suit customization system. This fits better with a crafting system.
    see Space Suit Equipment

    This is where I ask for a grappling hook or grappling gun. This would really come in handy getting up into your cv or sv.

    While I'm talking about this topic, why dont we have ladders to get into our cockpits. I find it irritating trying to jump just right to land on top of your sv to enter the cockpit.



    As for the OP
    Much of what you described is what Warframe has.
    Each Alien Race relies heavily on one of the three type (Shields,Armor,Flesh)
    You are able to customize your weapon to better combat each type. So if this type of system was implemented i would also recommend a Customization weapon system

    This is why I love the system overwatch uses with counters for each type of character in the game offering multiple classes allowing players to play differently
     
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  16. Gawain

    Gawain Commander

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    Really I see a typical progression that always leads down this road. Honestly I would like to see something unique but doubt it.

    Problem / Mentality

    You have hero and you want them to be able to take a few hits so that combat is not just "bam your dead." Then shields/armor/magic/etc are integrated to justify why a squishy Terran can be shot in the face with a 50 cal. It is a sterio typical outcome to nearly ever SyFy first person shooter I have seen.

    Yes you can very effects on various mods based on weapon damage and there is versatility, but do we really want Empyrion to be a carbon copy of every other game? I have seen some good suggestions on this forum. I believe we can do better than "Make Empyrion like some other game."

    Being Rational
    Honestly I like that we are squishy to a point. It feels more realistic and it does not follow the cookie cutter Shields, Armor, than HP which is all just extension of HP anyway. Also we are only talking POI here. For those of us that dont Bombard down to the core, we are talking the sub game of PVE first person shooter at POIs. Honest, players rarely participate in PVP using small arms as the current focus of this game is ship to ship combat. If we start over emphasizing the use and application of Small Arms, then we will also be fighting balance mechanics that are put in place that take away from ship to ship battles.

    For example I can list a number of games where Infantry is on par with Ship combat. Lock on surface to ground missals, making it significantly easier to track target and kill someone before they can spawn a ship, fuel and ammo it, and rejoin the fight.

    Lets not forget what Empyrion is and is striving to be.

    IMHO
    1) I dont think we need more than the character and armor. Shields, bionics, and other noise is best utilized on ships/structures combat.

    2) Our Squishy nature should amount to shot equals deaths or a disable status. Any and all HP should be applied to our armor only, and you helmet should only count if it is on. We are not all Rambo. Getting injured is normally traumatic and it should stay that way.

    3) If we are to add anything to small arms combat lets be more creatively and focus only on the combat.
    ___ a) Give characters the ability to crouch and crawl.
    ___ b) Allow us to shoot around corners to minimize our exposed combat silhouette.
    ___ c) Give us portable barriers in place of personal shields. (an expendable item that you throw on the ground)
    ___ d) Make NPCs Combat AIs intuitive enough so that they dont simply rush you every time. They hold back find cover and fire back.

    Basically please DO NOT make our characters more SyFy unrealistic to accommodate or promote small arms combat. Instead improve the combat to promote a better Player to NPC engagement and interaction with a hostile environment.
     
    #16
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  17. Exacute

    Exacute Captain

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    I think you misunderstand. This isn't a "buff the player" kinda deal.
    It's mainly focused around hurting the player, and making combat more dynamic, rather than "pewpew, you're dead".
    It's also about having different sources of 'health', to make some weapons more effective vs. others.

    Close-combat is a big part of this game. Fact. POI-explorations is a huge drive behind exploration.

    I'm far from saying this is the only thing we need. But it's a compact little thing, that can benefit hugely, and is easy to implement.
     
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  18. Gawain

    Gawain Commander

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    I get that but you got to expect anything that will be applied to NPCs will also be granted to the Character. I can read the Treads now. Why do Aliens get shield while we are limited to armor?

    I would simply like to see smarter - more interactive combat, than generically more difficult enemies. Shields, Armor, High HP creatures.... that is not what I think of when I use the word "dynamic." Tactical combat is dynamic. Having to change your tactic mid battle because the play field changes or the opposition changes it's attack patterns is dynamic. Pulse Rifle until their shield pops then grande launcher till they fall over is not that complicated. Based on the price of ammo it would be foolish to use splash weapons all the time.

    I am all for making Small Arms Combat more challenging, and actually dynamic but I maintain that we can do better than Alternate HP pools.
     
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  19. michaelhartman89

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    I disagree with this, seeing how this is sci fi fantasy and is based on future technologies that we don't currently have.

    This isn't squad, Arma or Rainbow Six and I'm not saying those games don't deserve credit, bc they are all great games. I would love to see more balancing go in to the whole combat system.

    What we are discussing here is adding new technologies that would exist in the future, and utilizing them in combat.

    Let's face it, If the US Military could develop any of these technologies, they would do so in a heartbeat, and if they were affordable, you would see every soldier outfitted with them.

    I would be the first to know about useless items the army issues you, believe me I have a lot of gear that I will never use, but am required to have, but thats off subject.

    We are talking about advanced military and civilizations that are space faring, and you are saying that we can't use cookie cutter examples of perks, accessories and other items skills etc.

    You say we should brainstorm new ways and come up with new ideas, when there are so many ideas that can be used that are already out there.

    Every game copies another game in some way, and its not a sin to add features from older games.

    You can't copyright ideas! Sure names and designs can be copyrighted, but rename something and use it again.

    Thats what Sci Fi is and always has been, so unless you are willing to put forth an effort to get to brainstorming these new original ideas, why don't you just ignore the fact that other people would like Empyrion to add this content to the game.

    I really dislike how you are always going around harping on people's ideas, but now is not the time to be controversial.

    Either way, you had good points @Gawain, yes the damage needs to be there and the sponginess of enemies needs to go.

    For God's sake the pistol is a .50 cal and it seems like a pea shooter. Has anyone ever fired a desert eagle, that is not a pea shooter!

    I get it that they said hmm, we can base our ammunition off current specs and we'll just double the size and effectiveness.

    The problem arises when Sci Fi has unwritten rules like the alien and other creatures being naturally resistant to small arms weapons.

    Yea, nobody would like to see the alien movie where it takes 3 rounds to the chest and dies, that would be short and unentertaining.

    However, it is hard to believe that the .50 cal or the 8.3mm which is larger than the 7.62 Nato, has the effectiveness of a pellet rifle against the enemies in the game.

    So yes, weapons > Biomass.

    Biomass should not be inpenetrable.

    Unless we are getting to the scale of the Triceratops(still funny that these are in the game).

    We need weapons that deal in real damage as Gawain says.

    The alternative to make more effictive enemies is to give npc's shields like the OP said which is a brilliant point, although yes it is cookie cutter, run of the mill, same old same old, etc, you get the point.

    As for everything else, RPGs are entertaining and unless you can figure out some new content and a new way to structure the game, I'm perfectly fine with picking and choosing from the thousands of games out there to see what fits.

    The reason I bothered giving examples of games like Halo, Mass Effect and Destiny wasn't to say: "Hey, this game was successful so lets make Empyrion exactly like this game."

    We can take bits and pieces from several different games out there, and like I said if you can't come up with new and original content that hasn't been thought of by the thousands of Sci Fi Authors, game developers and concept artists out there you should refrain from replying till you can.
     
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  20. Gawain

    Gawain Commander

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    Challenging a concept is not that same as disregarding it. Just because I purpose looking at it from a different angle in regards to the OP does not mean that the idea is not functional. I like the pretext but I am not a fan of the stereotypical application.

    I am all for picking the best parts of other games, but that does not mean we should pursue the weaker parts of those game.

    You mentioned Mass Effect. Excellent example of small arms combat. With the exception of when Shepard got stuck to cover on the wrong side of combat, the AI, cover and enemy interaction was excellent, however the bionics barriers and helmet-less head protection was broken. If you are not wearing a helmet and your shot in the face with a "Sniper Rifle" it should be death.

    Halo has drop shield and portable barriers. These items are exactly the suggestions I posted in my first response.

    Now to address @michaelhartman89 commit of the military. We are not far from Infantry drones. I know several work shops and brain trusts working on military programs to remove soldiers from combat. Drones are advancing faster than tanks did in WW2 and they are almost to the point where they cost less than the training and life of a soldier. The point is we would not be doing combat at the point of Empyrion, even modern subs are currently equipped with drones. Just like SVs and CVs do space battles we would have safer tools to do tight quarters combat.

    As to the concept of attributes! It has a lot of potential especially if you factor in skill points. I would not go with the basic STR, DEX, CON, INT, etc..... however a well fleshed out attribute list the requires a player to choose from key skill sets have potential. For example reaction time could have effects on targeting, Education could effect skill points for crafting, Control would be good to maintain pattern on rapid firing weapons.
     
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