Post news RSS Crimson Keep News: Scoundrel abilities, and combat changes

This week Ian talks about the new scoundrel class and some of its abilities as well as some changes to how movement in combat works.

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Hey everyone, Ian here. In the newest dev log video above I talk about the first couple abilities for the Scoundrel, including the very fun sneak ability.

In Depth - Combat Movement

Later in the video I talk a bit about the changes to movement in combat. It's an element of the design I've been wrestling with for quite awhile now, but I think I've settled on the model that 3rd person action games often use. In older first person slashers like Hexen, or even the more recent Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion the player can attack freely while moving, unrestricted. In Skyrim they hampered movement somewhat during attack animations, but it also depended on the weapon you were using, with one-handed weapons incurring less of a movement penalty. I find that this "Run'N Gun" style of movement, especially in melee combat is problematic. The dominant strategy becomes strafe around the enemy and quickly hit it, and back off again, or move in attack back out. It gets repetitive, and moreover because it can trivialize combat, designers have tended to over-correct by making enemies cheap. Enemies often attack too fast or at a range that feels larger than it should be (and sometimes is even larger than the player's range (without reason)).

In Dark Souls (Talking about 1 and 3 here since that's where most of my playtime has gone) very, very few enemies have attacks without a wind up before hand. If you could attack while moving in dark souls it would be a very easy game, but instead, every attack with every weapon requires you to stop moving and commit at some point. This system makes every attack you do in Dark Souls a risk/reward decision. And on top of that, choosing a weapon is an EXTREMELY important decision because of its move-set. Each weapon has a different range (hit box), animation (which amounts to speed), damage of course, and a whole other host of less important, but still relevant stats. Getting a feel for the weapons and deciding which one suits you the most and your play style is one of the most engaging and awesome elements of Dark Souls, and it all hinges on the player's inability to move while attacking. A dagger does less damage, has a shorter range, but the fastest animation speed, and a high critical damage. A great mace has a fairly large range, and a slow wind up, but massive damage. A halberd has a big range, and a fairly quick attack speed, but if you miss your target you stagger and are left vulnerable. No weapon does it all, and it takes time to learn the strengths and weaknesses of each one. This is the system I'm attempting to bring to Crimson Keep. I won't let weapons in our game amount to just numbers.

Thanks for reading my design rant!

Stop by the Merge Games booth at PAX West if you want to play the game and say hi!

-Ian

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