Please remember this is only a suggested alternative to a MnB style of combat and IMO some ways better than a MnB influenced combat system that many are clamoring for (including myself in a lot of ways). I'm suggesting this so that way there is an alternative system that may prove to help shape the game to become even better in the end. I welcome all different points of view.
I'd like to mention couple other things before I go into my suggestion. First is I apologize for any tangents I go off into, I have a habit of typing like I talk (though I try to structure it better for readability). Second the battle system I'm thinking of is heavily influenced by Demon Souls (a PS3 game) and will likely post many videos trying to show examples of some of the things I'd like to see.
K so for the key points:
-Lock on for close ranged combat*
-Weapons stopped by solid objects and possibly people
-Balanced combat styles
-Balanced stats; all useful for combat
-Weaponry: Sidegrade VS Upgrade
-Backstabs and Ripostes
-Dodging and the effects of burden
-Observation skill and the effects it could have on magic and combat
Lock on for close range combat
A lock on for close combat is beneficial in a few ways. First being is that it provides and equalizer for all those fps nuts out their versus those rpg nuts. It will also help you keep your target in a frenzied battle. A lock on changes the game from being a fps/tps kind of skill-based game to more of a endurance management/dodge/block/parry skill game.
K So far Lock on has been for the most part heavily opposed and some good points were made. I can certainly see why lock-on would be opposed when you have mouse as your camera lol. Alternatives such as a soft lock hybrid-system, similar to Tabula Rasa has been put out their as an idea and I think it's a good one, or at least one worth debating. Of course there are also those who would wish for a full aim system. I'm not opposed to any of these ideas and like always I can change my mind when a good enough point is put forth. Remember Lock on was only one part of my idea ^^.
Not the best quality but I think it gets my point across in few areas. Will likely refer back to it in my other sections.
Weapons stopped by solid objects
If weapons hit a wall or another object they should be stopped and possibly bounced back depending on the type of material hit. So for a stone wall it would kinda bounce off the surface unable to complete a swing and possibly degrade your weapon a bit.
The reason this would be cool is certain terrain and other elements would be better suited for different weaponry. For example thrusting weapons would be better suited for narrow areas like the halls in your fort in case anybody ever broke through. While large slashing weapons would be great if traveling alone and if you are in a wide open area. Bows and smaller weapons better suited for hilly or mountainous areas.
Now I'm not sure if a weapon should bounce off a person or if it should go through them, but it should hurt anybody it touches regardless (friend or foe). Personally I think it should pass through people, I believe it will help diminish zergs if it passes through your target and can hurt your comrades.
Ranged weapons such as bows and handguns should be able to lock on at close range and go into a sight mode to target someone far off if need be. While long barrel guns and crossbows should only have a sight mode for targeting far off enemies.
When someone uses a bow or crossbow I think it should be possible to time dodges just right, so that way an arrow would miss. This can either be done by making sure watching an arrow being knocked is visible enough that most people can take a guess when they are about to release to slowing down and arrow where it's visibly possible to dodge.
Once again not my best quality but it shows off some of what I was talking about in this area.
Balanced combat styles
This should be the main focus regardless of what kind of combat system you plan to use. In Demon Souls, their was always a counter point to whatever combat style yous used. If you were the heavy tanker kind of guy, your strengths typically were that you could outlast most people in a fight and take a whole bunch of damage while possibly giving quite a bit back. The problem being for a tanker guy though is they were typically very slow moving and couldn't dodge (unless they heavily invested in endurance, but then that would weaken their damage output) so they usually went down due to either a really strong person or a quick moving one that utilized ripostes and backstabs.
Of course their were also weapons in the game that nullified most tanker guys. One being the Scraper Spear, it had a nasty habit of breaking weapons and armor (the damage sucked, thank god for secondary weapons). The other being the Shard of moonlight that bypassed defense (but was a faith based weapon and only useful if you focused on faith)
This is just one example, each combat style had a weakness and a strength and every weapon typically got bested by another weapon style. (not always the case, depends on how skilled someone was with their weapon.)
I'm willing to answer any situational question and will likely answer in how I've seen it happen or how it could work for combat style balance. It's a big subject and not something that can be overly delved into in this post. I will likely post more of my thoughts a t a later time...
Another important thing regardless of combat system, is the usefulness of stats in combat and stat balancing. In Demon Souls you had 8 main stats, and regardless of where you put the points into your physical defense would rise so that way to equalize you, regardless of your build. My point in saying this is we should make it so stats, while having specific uses, should also possibly have some sort of equalizer to make all of them useful in combat regardless of your build. Maybe bleed the edges a bit. Though in some ways this already happens in Xsyon.
Weaponry: Sidegrades VS Upgrades
Personally, I believe we should have more sidegrades than upgrades in the game. Possibly giving highly skilled crafters more effect over their work instead of just a better quality weapon. I'm going use some abstract stats to make my point so bear with me. Lets pretend each weapon was based around these few stats: Reach; Speed; Power; Weight; Balance; Effect.
Reach= the range of your weapon and how close you need to be to hit someone.
Speed= The rate your weapon swings at.
Power= The rating of how much relative damage your weapon does.
Weight= How much equip burden and how much a swing takes out of your endurance.
Balance= Affects how well you can combo your weapon and how easy it is to parry.
Effect= Consider this the more moddable stat. Displays the effect your weapon has. Such as possibly being serrated and able to causing bleeding wounds when it tears skin, poison tipped to weaken your opponents, or possibly blessed to take down more magical based opponents.
As well as weapon type:
These stats could be intermingled and possibly bleed the edges a bit on the stats. For example:
Increasing the blunt power of a weapon could increase its weight and affect balance.
Giving a weapon a longer handle or blade could increase its reach but possibly skew its balance and speed.
Such things like that.
Backstabs and Ripostes
In demon souls it was possibly to deflect an attack with either your shield or offhand weapon (if the weapon allowed parrying instead of blocking). When you deflected an attack you could riposte doing a devastating attack. Also if you got the drop on them you could do a devastating attack from behind. I think these would be nice to see in Xsyon.
You can see a few of these in my earlier posted vids.
Dodging and the effects of burden
As you put heavier weapons and armor on your equip burden goes up. This results in more stamina usage when sprinting and when dodging. In fact when dodging if your equip burden was over 50% of your total allowed, your dodging ability would be reduced. Over 75% you would just stagger if you tried to dodge (this also happened in marshy areas in the game...talk about a PITA),
Near the beginning of the fight between the phantoms you'll see the blue try to dodge, not ice his dodge is slower than the others.
Observation skills and the effects
Ok this one wasn't influenced by Demon's Souls alone but by many games and my thoughts on learning.
It's my belief that observing something will typically help you come up with new ideas or even help you learn something you needed to learn. An example of how this could work in game is that a character using their high stat of perception and high skill of observation could be watching how a bear tears into another animal or person and comes up with a new style of fighting, or a new hand to hand weapon pattern.
I think this skill could come in handy for researching future technologies in game or even new magics. I mean how cool would it be for the devs to add new spells and equipment into the game( but not tell us) and the only way to learn these new things is to observe certain effects in game. So most of the time you'd either have to actively research with your character or possibly just stumble upon new techs and magics. You could even use this skill to learn new stuff from others such as watching a person craft a sword could increase your weapon-craft skill.
I will answer any question you have to the best of my abilities and provide counter points to arguments. I understand this system would be different then most might expect but I think it could be quite cool to see in an mmo setting. I'd also like to mention that I'm not above changing my mind when logic dictates to. At times I will draw on outside sources to provide an example of my point. I will also likely edit this post or my reserved posts for amendments or good points provided by other players (both pro's and cons).