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Visual feedbacks on some skills have been added, animations have been fixed, a chat implemented and some thoughts about mechanics around energy and life.

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The goal of this week was to switch to another focus / attack system and while i've started switching some of the skills it was hard to dive back in this part of the code. I made some changes but i kinda failed at concentrating a bit too much so i decided to buy myself some conscience by working on some useless features.

I don't feel really comfortable with my skill system at the moment which explains why it's hard for me to work with it but i started refactoring some things and make it more elegant.

For the visual stuff, I fixed the animation code for the new map engine :

Here is the arrow showing up when you are going to make a charge :

I think i'll make most attacks based on aiming at the ground like this, the circle on the ground changing size depending on your skill and modifiers.

Here for the most important feature of the game, the chat :

and finally the characters walking when chosing a role :

Energy mechanics in games
I've been starting to think more about how to handle energy and life in the game.As it is at the moment, skills cost energy and have a cooldown but i was thinking that the player could slow down when the energy reaches 0 (or a specific value) and how it would change a lot the way players are engaging attacks, how close they'll be from their team mates, how you occupy the map... with such a little change.

I then started to mix stuff in my head and wondering what would imply a system where everything comes from one single energy source, "mana" & life; moving around could also costs energy, that would make sense realistically-wise (even if that's not my goal).

You take damage meaning less energy, you flee, but walking also sucks your energy. You're stucked and It's not a really enjoyable scenario.

I rebalance how much walking costs energy to something really low, you take damage, you flee because you now can, then what's the point of having this feature, maybe just a way to reach 0 at some point and prevent a player from running indefinitely back through the whole map to save his life !?

You take damage, you give some back to your attacker... It makes the game really nervous, maybe too much, but i can still balance the amount of damage it makes and smooth the things out a bit.

But then the healer, while having an inherently important role, will have an even more important role if he has to be around each attacking team mates.

People could also feel frustrated about depending too much on someone...

I see a lot of interesting stuff which can come out of a change around how to handle the energy; as many pros as cons. I like the fact that it solidifies the team aspect that i want to give in the game and stay away from polyvalent-oriented classes.

It's also interesting to see how such a little change make the whole dynamic of a game morph into something else. I guess most games are using a basic health bar mechanic because it's simple and probably more because it has already been gauged, you'll know what to expect when designing a lot of aspects in your game, you save time but you also lose a bit of gameplay originality.

The big trap in there is thinking that it's a really cool idea but end up being hard to implement or just awful to balance. Kripparian (a gamer) pointed out in one of its video that you can stack buffs a lot in neverwinter online, while it seems a nice idea (and that's something i'm kinda doing with the "rune" modifiers in my game) it's clearly dangerous when you reach total immunity in some cases and really hard to fix until you just change the mechanic itself.

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