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  1. #1
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    Sep 2017
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    New implementation of attacks of opportunity

    Dear pathfinders!


    As you know, we are trying to translate the rules of the board game to the digital version as precisely as possible. Everything that happens before the GM says "Roll initiative!" is recreated relatively easily in digital Golarion, but combat is a totally different story. Some combat events involve actions, but in fact last 0 seconds. One of such problematic areas are attacks of opportunity (AOO).


    In the board game an AOO happens instantly without affecting the flow of other actions, but it has the sense of a full-fledged attack. We have animated all attacks with correct timings. If a fighter has to attack 6 times per round, the attacks will be performed once per second. Accordingly, in case of an AOO there is often no time to fit another attack without shifting the whole battle cycle, and that's against the rules.


    Here is what we've done to solve the AOO problem so far: if an AOO is provoked, the character attacks the target very quickly, but if at this time they are in the process of an attack, they just do damage. Because of the way this is implemented, we got some feedback from the beta version of the game saying that AOO is unstable and looks like a bug in general. We've been thinking for a long time about this, and we believe we found a solution but it's controversial.


    What if at the moment an AOO is provoked, we stop or slow down the game time, resolve the attack at normal speed, and then return the flow of time back to its original speed. All attacks started before the AOO will be suspended for the AOO and continue afterwards. Of course, the time stops only if members of the player's party are engaged in combat. The drawback of such implementation is that recurrent changing of combat time might irritate some people. The benefit is the opportunity to show instant attacks fully without breaking the combat cycle and rules of the game.


    For clarity let's break down both situations, using our fighter with six attacks per round as an example. Before the fourth attack the enemy turned around and started to flee. The rules tell us to make an AOO. Let's assume it's a hit. In the first scenario, the fighter attacks the fleeing enemy in less than a second, or, if the fourth attack has already begun, the damage is done without animation. In the second scenario, the world of the game, except for the fighter, almost stops. The fighter turns to the target, attacks and returns to their original position. Time speeds back up and the attack cycle continues normally.


    Please comment which option you like better and why. With your help we'll make the game even better!


    Hail to the kings!


    Owlcats.

  2. #2
    Member
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    Jul 2018
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    8
    I think no animation is better, but you need to show some text or other indicator that an AOO happened.
    I think in NWN2 AoO's don't have any animation, ever, and it has never bothered me.

  3. #3
    Member Sgtdrill's Avatar
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    Jul 2017
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    The slowing down of time sounds like a great solution. Instant visual evidence an AoO took place without interrupting the flow of combat.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Yesterday's Hero's Avatar
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    Jul 2017
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    Castelar - Argentina
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    Although it sounds really cool (and it might look really cool too) I'm against anything that breaks the flow of combat. Imagine fighting against a giant or other foe with large reach with Combat Reflexes and triggering a bunch of AOO. On NWN, I think, AOOs had no animations if you were already attacking really fast.

    A compromise: Only do the slow-mo animation if the attack hits. If it misses just make a popup that says "AOO missed!" or something.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Stratagemini's Avatar
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    Jul 2017
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    So... AoOs get Bullet Time? I'm for that if it looks good and not stutter-y. Otherwise the first solution seems fine as long as the combat log logs it correctly?

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    I'm fine with the slow-time solution. That can actually look cool. Dragon Age Origins would slow time when you pulled off some attacks (like a finishing blow) simply for dramatic effect and it looked really cool.

  7. #7
    Member Akar Dorn's Avatar
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    Dec 2017
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    England or Russia, depends on season
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    I believe it's better to keep things as it is.
    Slowdown will be cool if we play one character, but instead we play a party. So what would happen if two characters will have AOO right after each other? Game's flow will turn chaotic and epileptic in some cases, causing dissonance.
    I better pretend that my foes accidentally die from internal bleeding, than put an effort to catch up with time anomalies =P

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2017
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    Bullettime sounds awesome to me if done right. And you guys have been pretty good so far so I assume this will be done right as well.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Pathfinder's Avatar
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    Jul 2017
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    Stolen Lands
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stratagemini View Post
    So... AoOs get Bullet Time? I'm for that if it looks good and not stutter-y. Otherwise the first solution seems fine as long as the combat log logs it correctly?
    +1.
    Allso I am thinking of new player (in Pathfinder rules and so on). That way (s)he will notise (without looking from combat log) that something happen AND what happen instead of "WTF flat out death" moments and "was that a bug? It must be a bug" thing.
    "Road to the man's heart go through the chest"

  10. #10
    Member Sazac's Avatar
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    Jan 2018
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    53
    I think it would be frustrating to have the game constantly slowing down whenever you try to do something. While it does look weird, there's enough signalling in the game already that people should be able to figure it out.

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