Friday, June 28, 2013

MMO combat my way

I've been designing what I thought was a unique and innovate combat system for my game if I got my dream and set it as an MMO.  Its been rattling around in my head for a while and since I cant sleep I thought I'd inflict it upon you.

The game would work on EXP earned for tasks done.  You heal you get healing exp.  You use nature (druidic) magic you get that kind of exp over divine (clerical).  You can equip all but exotic weapons and at least try to give them a go though more advanced ones your better off trying lower skill ones first.

As you quest you get relevant skills and exp to make you more specialized.  If you want to be a cleric following up on their quest lines you learn little clerical spells and abilities others wont.

But that's just the start.  I'll have a system for player designed abilities allowing the player to have flexibility and personality.

Each ability starts with an animation 2 attributes.  As you 'level up' in the related skill it gets more attributes until you get 4 and then you can assign 2 more at penalties.

For example the 'Uppercut' (improved punch) is learned after following a brawling/boxing quest chain.  It would look like this;

Animation: Uppercut
Attribute 1: Slow attack (heavy damage)
Attribute 2: Root till complete (additional heavy damage)

The player might not like being stuck in one place until the ability completes so he could swap out that attribute for one he learned earlier from another upgraded punch and since he liked the other animation swap it back to the other attack.

Animation: Jab
Attribute 1: Slow attack (heavy damage)
Attribute 2: Solid hit (additional medium damage)

Or even set the animation to random if it amuses them to occasionally have their character Uppercut, Jab, and generically punch things.  The player will be able to design how their character plays in combat in an intuitive way.

Eventually after the skill has been upgraded you will have the ability to use thing that tade off something for the extra effects.  For example;

Animation: Uppercut
Attribute 1: Slow attack (heavy damage)
Attribute 2: Root till complete (additional heavy damage)
Attribute 3: Chance to Stun (2 Attributes)
Attribute 4: "                                         "
Attribute A: Chance to Knockdown (2 Attributes)
Negative: All out attack (damage done to you +5% this round)
Attribute B: "                                                     "
Negative: Unsteady Footing (Resistance to knockback/down -5%)

Numbers are spitballed of course.  The idea being at at that level of skill (player and character) you can select a risk your willing to take in return for some reward.  Instead of a knockdown the player could slot an additional stun or 2 more damage increases to really slam their opponent.

The aim is to have the player have 5 buttons - standard being 3 attack and 2 defense for soloing.  Tanks might swap in more defense or healers healing spells and DPS less but its all players choice.

I want to have the system mix and match within itself almost limitless.  if you as a healer learn to put a ward on someone that triggers someone attacking it to heal them perhaps you can learn to combine that with your own attacks so as you hammer someone with your mace your faith puts some life into you automatically.  

Or more wildly someone who studied healing and arcane magic might weave a spell that tossed a fireball, lit someone on fire, and radiated healing while they burned.

I don't want to overwhelm players too much so the system will slowly kick in as you level up with clear explanations.  And should you not be interested in any of this in addition to your custom button page in your skill book would be a generic skill set that has the skill you learned.

One idea I like is to have characters who learn to be literate be able to write their experiences down and create training manuals they can then sell.  But I have doubts it is entirely a good idea.

It might be better to have these not quite as strong as if you did the quests to earn the skill yourself but being a nice shortcut if you don't have the time right now.  another way to do it is to require characters to meet and do a little training interaction which appeals more to my gamer geek side but could make earning a profit harder.

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