Author Topic: Complex Limb Combat System in virtual gaming  (Read 2874 times)

Offline Holyavenger

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Complex Limb Combat System in virtual gaming
« on: November 27, 2012, 06:36:15 PM »
Combat Theory - Most of us Know Warcraft, armor is armor, hps are hps. Some positioning matters in combat in terms of range, but there really isnt sectional limb combat. Bear form has more hps, cat does more dps but neither have tender areas. This is something that can be done in a mud.

Consider limb based combat with with wound features.
Given that players or mobs could alter their forms ( Shapeshifting, Changeling, Werebeasts, Dragonfoms, Druids, Spells etc)

Limb Based Combat with Wounds Features
Givens:
A)   Traditional Total HPs are used to determine Life or Death

B)   Armor Class Different areas different AC potential (Natural AC + armor +situational (dex bonus, spell, or other) . In addition  AC that can be used on the player or mob as a whole, such as a spell (shield, magic armor, ring of protection)


What wounds are practical in a Mud Setting? Has anyone seen done well on any mud? Ive seen some Nightmare library lose limbs, legs arms, etc, but not done well. 

I see in Lima mudlib, some can be marked vital. What should vital mean? Any suggestions on how you would see this done welcome

Offline quixadhal

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Re: Complex Limb Combat System in virtual gaming
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2012, 05:10:31 AM »
Well, in the case of lima's system, vital means you die if you lose it.  The head, for example, is typically marked as vital, as it the torso.

It really depends how much stuff you want to track in your combat system, and if you think players will enjoy it.

You can have things like a limb becomes unusable after it takes X damage OR it gets a stunning blow OR (list of other conditions here)... and if it was your sword-wielding hand, now you only get your offhand attack.  If you used a 2-handed weapon, now you're unarmed.

The main thing is, how much do you want to fiddle.  Paper RPG's handle this well, because you're not on a clock.  The DM can remind you that you CAN'T shoot your bow because your left arm is still healing.  MUD combat is either real-time, or turn-based with a time limit per turn.

As for shape changing, you have to translate the damage appropriately.  If you were a 4-armed, 6-legged critter and got 2 arms and a leg chopped off, how does that remain when you shift back to humanoid form?  You now have one arm and you lost a foot?  You have an arm and your leg is crippled?

Offline Camlorn

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Re: Complex Limb Combat System in virtual gaming
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2012, 11:28:06 AM »
Godwars2 handles this somewhat.  It's kind of nice, but I can't remember it being much of an issue, given that you could insta-heal as soon as you get to your home plane.  You can attack with your severed arm, by wielding it, if you want, or steal the faces off mobs, and wear them as masks.

    In my opinion, Lost Souls does this well, possibly too well.  I don't know about wounds transferring across shapeshifting, mostly because Lost Souls is a mud I couldn't get the hang of and because it is just about as not-casual as I've seen in a mud (read: I need more time in the day).  Limbs are a tree, in terms of the player (don't know what it is under the hood), each limb having a parent.  If you lose your wings, you stop flying, and eq doesn't drop on corpses; instead, it drops with limbs if it makes sense for it to do so.  So you actually have to check all the remains, not just the body (sidenote: the parser is advanced.  You can get all from all remains, and it won't complain at you, so this isn't really annoying.).  Some limbs get special attacks: fire breath, for example, or martial arts with the hands and feet, weapons can be wielded in them, etc.  You die if you lose your head or chest or equivalent, iirc, or in some other cases (it's been a while, and it's more complicated than the magical hp counter of doom in most muds).

    But here's why I mention this example.  Their system is capable of representing completely nonhumanoid races.  I mean, up to the point of beholders with 10 eyes, no hands or feet, and no "head".  It's not so much that this is unique, but that it's meaningful.  Perhaps a better example is the shoggoth (which you can't just play, unfortunately; I've never played one because they're hard to get), which can shapeshift limbs.

    Typically, I believe limbs are represented by a tree, though more complex systems would perhaps have benefits: I've toyed around with the idea of giving limbs coordinates in a two-dimensional cube, completely transparent to the player, to give directional attacks meaning, or perhaps simply giving each limb a parent limb and a height: the hands can only protect the torso and head, for example, because the feet are lower.  I've never really done anything with it, mostly because I always tend to end up working on someone else's project.

Offline Nulvect

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Re: Complex Limb Combat System in virtual gaming
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2012, 10:22:32 PM »
Nightmare keeps track of individual limbs, their parent and child limbs (not in a very code-friendly way), their max and current damage (hp done backwards, if you will), their natural ac, and currently worn eq. A limb with its parent set to FATAL means you die if it falls off. Losing other limbs results in extra hp loss. By default I think it requires every race has a limb named "torso". Any bonus AC for a limb is tracked in a separate variable which is also used to track overall bonus AC. Losing a limb results in the equipment wielded/worn on it going into your inventory and the loss of child limbs.

It's a powerful system but it's really not coder friendly.

I've cleaned this up a lot on Primal Darkness, so that every limb has its one parent and potentially multiple children tracked much better, and FATAL is simply a flag. There are no limb name requirements. I've also marked limbs that allow you to do certain things, such as walking, wielding, flying, biting, etc, with more flags. Some of these are positive, such as any limb marked as wielding can wield, and some are negative requirements, so if you're missing some percentage of your feet/legs you can't walk. I think I went with 40%. Separately implemented is a status effect called "crippled" that, yes, makes limbs unusable. I suppose "bleeding" could also be applied to individual limbs but I haven't done it.

As for a tree layout, it seems good at first glance because it works for a humanoid body, but once you get into fantastical creatures it kind of breaks down. If a monster has two torsos that are equal in size, how do you even start?? Certainly limbs should be connected but it can't be quite so rigid in some cases.

Offline Camlorn

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Re: Complex Limb Combat System in virtual gaming
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2012, 02:52:35 PM »
Well, you make both torsos part of an invisible parent limb.  Problem solved: they can still get arms, etc off them, and there's nothing that stops you from making the head the parent limb, for example, or just defining an invisible limb, let's call it the soul, and making all limbs children of that, if you really need that functionality.

    Come to think of it, that might be interesting.  If you could have invisible limbs, such that they are intangible, and you were a really good programmer, you could change a character's perception to make it appear to be multiple mobs, perhaps, or something.

    Let's take that a step further.  If you were a really, really good programmer, perhaps you could even have a soulstealer or something, that makes the player into a limb by adding it to the limb tree.

    The problem is, in neither of those cases will players care.  Some might notice, but...meh.  A tree may not be the "best", but for any diku-style combat system or anything that doesn't make players always enter their attacks (godwars does this, dark legacy does/did this but their dev is missing), there's no point of going beyond it.  I mean, unless I'm able to attack "from the left", or something, it doesn't matter.  The only reason it might become interesting is if you do some crazy stuff with dynamic descriptions and the comparison between the player and the monster, i.e. making "high above you" truely dynamic, in which case you'd want some sort of cube structure or perhaps a spacial tree (I can't remember the name for this, but you split a cube into 4 cubes, and those cubes...etc but it's probably not the best idea for this), or if you add some sort of directional attack.  For 95% of all cases, a tree works well enough, and is a data structure most people are familiar with.

Offline detah

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Re: Complex Limb Combat System in virtual gaming
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2012, 08:18:18 PM »
I see where this is going.
> kill soul

Offline Camlorn

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Re: Complex Limb Combat System in virtual gaming
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2012, 10:12:47 AM »
Well, it would make a good idea for a class: soulseer, able to see and damage the soul directly.

Offline quixadhal

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Re: Complex Limb Combat System in virtual gaming
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2012, 11:30:03 AM »
So, how will you counter-balance this class so the vulnerabilities it must have outweigh the uber ability to bypass armor and limbs and kill the player more directly?

Offline Camlorn

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Re: Complex Limb Combat System in virtual gaming
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2012, 01:52:04 PM »
Well, it was a half-joking but not entirely bad idea, but here goes...

    You are a Soulseer, one with the ability to perceive and interact with the souls of beings both in harmful and helpful capacities.  Among your capabilities are the enhancement, weakening, and unraveling of the soul.  Unfortunately, due to the metaphysical capabilities of your unique abilities, they are lacking in day-to-day utility; fortunately, due to the metaphysical nature of your abilities, you are able to attack and harm eldrich and incorporeal beings.

    You gained your abilities through rigorous meditation and training of the mind, foregoing the body; though you harm the soul primarily by enhancing your fists such that they can make contact with it, your actual physical strength is paltry.  Because you lack muscular capabilities, wearing armor will cause your attacks to slow down, and will generally make you move slower.  The most you can wear is light clothing, coupled with bracelets and rings.

    To manifest your abilities, you learned to expand your soul.  This may be activated by typing the syntax 'expand soul', and deactivated with the syntax 'contract soul'.  Under normal day-to-day conditions, your soul is no more vulnerable than anyone else's.  Beware, however, for expanding your soul links it to the flesh, and your soul will suffer and rejuvenate with your body while expanded.

In I am a mud designer terms:
-think mage.  No armors, no weapons, only fists.  Sort of mage/monk, only weak because of focusing on exorcism and spiritual enlightenment, in order to bring forth the power in the first place.  Thematically, being able to manipulate one's soul requires knowing oneself and deep meditation, and being able to do so at a moment's notice requires years of mental training.  No time for exercise and physical combat.
-for advancement:  There's some unique opportunities here.  It could be linked to quests and alignment and experience, not just one thing, with each new ability manifesting because of self-enlightenment and a deeper connection with one's own soul.
-if this is to be balanced, sure there is some armor ignoring going on, but notice that the Soulseer also has no armor.  Furthermore, damage through the flesh reflects on the soul, but souls are fragile.  Maybe not a 1:1 relation, but the soul shouldn't have as much hp as all other limbs put together, not even close.

So, what can be done with it.  Maybe, at higher levels, it splits into necromancer, wherein the Soulseer can physically manipulate souls; pulling them out of opponents and making them fight for you maybe, or other things.  Or some sort of Soulhealer, which allows him/her to strengthen the souls of others, giving them minor magical capabilities. (solo/party, basically, good/evil a bit, but is it evil to force an evil soul to fight for good would be an interesting thematic question here, and maybe the Soulhealer can turn around and wither the souls of others).

    As for powers, well, the aforementioned attacks the soul directly.  Beyond that, minor psionic abilities, the ability to link the soul to one's flesh and use it for faster healing, perhaps.  Or perhaps there are spells, but they are cast from the hp on your soul limb, so you can leave your soul contracted and use it as mana--beware, for the only way to easily heal it is to expand it.  I leave this as an exercise for the reader.

    One last fun thing.  If you kill something via the soul and if you have a system wherein eq stays with associated limbs instead of going to a central 'corpse' object, it'd be quite possible to make it such that killing via the soul causes the mob to drop dead as a pile of limbs that need to be sorted through.

    And one really last fun thing.  Who is to say that killing the soul causes death?  A mud that wanted to incorporate this would need to give a lot of thought to what the soul is ingame, and answer questions like that--what does it mean for one to lose one's soul?

    Beware, for I came up with this as I typed it.  I meant the original comment as a half-joke, really, and wasn't thinking anything about balance.  Now that I look at it though...well, I'm currently coding for a mud, I may use my idea here (We don't have limbs.  I bet I could add it.  I wonder how hard that is in diku derivatives.  Might have to use a variation on this, but).  Seriously though, I thought this up as I typed it, but it does make a good argument for having souls as ingame objects.

    Beware, though, as having limbs gets defeated if you make the soul the parent of all limbs; if I cut off your arm, your hand better go with it, etc.  Then again, all limbs could have the soul as a parent and a second parent representing physical structure.  Or something.