Combat Brainstorming

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Combat Brainstorming

Post by Jaize_ on Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:02 am

Combat
Of all the areas where Drakor has so much promise but falls so short, combat takes the cake.  The rewards are immense compared with everything else so people do it, but it is repetitive, boring, and time-intensive, with broken skills, useless strategy cards, and a lack of features.  I’m going to point out things already in Drakor that I would fix and then throw in some ideas to develop things like racial abilities and class skills that are ‘coming someday’ features that were never implemented:
1. Combat should not have to be active.  I would go with a tier system:
a. Active – Can be similar to Drakor now, high gold drop, good chance of 1 item, some chance of 2 items, some chance of no items.
b. Semi-Active – Modestly longer timer than active, medium gold drop, maybe 10-25% less xp (but longer timer already does that thus ‘maybe), lesser chance of 1 item, when inventory fills up combat stops and the player has to manage their inventory.  Auto-repair strategies with gold / scrolls (or whatever your game uses)
c. Afk combat – Longer timer, no item drops, low gold drop, 33-50% less xp than active.  Combat goes on either indefinitely (not sure about that) or maybe until you lose a certain amount of combat rounds or until you need to repair and don’t have the scrolls to do so (presumably gold wouldn’t be a problem, depending on how you want to do things).  
2. Cards are too weak compared with equipment, because there are 8 pieces of equipment adding stats, along with 8 augments and 8 enchants, compared with just 10 cards.  I would try to balance them out, maybe allow for a new type of skill to improve cards (inscription?) that give boosts to cards (but that might be complicated to work out considering cards do so many different things).  If cards are too good, then alchemy could be too powerful (assuming you’re having alchemy make cards).  So maybe what’s needed is enough boost to cards so that they should always be used in combat against hard / epic / legendary monsters (unless you want to lose a lot).  
3. Higher level combat is broken in Drakor because the longer you fight at a level, the more you get good equipment / augments / cards / enchants and then you far outlevel even hard monsters so you’re just facerolling them.  What should happen is each difficulty level should scale as you level, so for example hard at level 10 is 8.0 8.0, level 20 is 11.0 11.0, L30 14.0 14.0, something like that where it scales up the higher you go.  
4. I strongly dislike the ‘you outlevel a node, now you fight a random monster in that node range’ rather than ‘you outlevel a node, fight the highest level monster in that range.’  Your level < node level = fight minimum level at that node (like Drakor), your level within node level = fight monster at your level (like Drakor).
5. I personally would do more overlapping combat nodes compared with Drakor.  A lot of times in Drakor you wipe out a node and then you have to slum it fighting down because there are no other easy / medium / hard nodes in that range (especially at high level, when 60-67 is wiped out, we’re fighting 53-62 while we’re level 70).  
6. Have monsters mix up card usage.  Don’t have them always go curse/buff – direct damage – heal – cleanse.  Or maybe have easy nodes do that, but have normal / hard mix things up to make it more difficult.
7. I don’t know if we should get too much into the weeds, but in general, cards dealing damage in Drakor are so much better it wipes out all alternatives (other than ‘remove buff’ curse).  Make heal cards heal more, have crit boosts boost crits more, introduce new cards (maybe increase all stats by x for 5 rounds, a ‘let defense block strategy cards too’ card, a curse that can cause opponents to have a chance to lose turns, I don’t know, I’m not ultra-creative but you get what I’m saying).
8. Regen itemization should be much lower than Drakor so it’s actually a choice whether or not to use it, like 1 regen = 6 hps (but degrading over time).  
9. Defense needs to actually be useful.  Drakor defense is ‘amount of damage by combat and magic must be below 20% of total defense for an amount to get blocked.  For example, enemy has 250 defense, if either combat or magic damage does not go over 50 for the round, a random amount of damage is blocked (20-50% each).  Have to be a little careful to not make it too overpowering, but I would try to make it so small amounts of defense are not totally useless like they are currently and have its abilities ramp up the more you have to some maximum level of efficiency.  
10. Heal – 1:1 hp to heal stat is clearly bad unless you run a ton of heal cards (which is not efficient).  1 heal = 2-3 hp boost to heals is much more interesting, now if you run 2-3+ heal cards it’s worthwhile, but obviously tricky to time using them properly and maybe an enemy uses a curse to lower your heal values (new card I randomly thought up).
11. I like the way combat and magic work in Drakor in general, but to differentiate between them, you could make it so high values make specific cards work better or make it more effective to have all combat or all magic and a lesser effect with having them balanced.  Basically trying to think of something to force people to make more of a choice.
12. New skills?  Do you want something like Initiative which gives you more of a chance to go first in a round? (this might not be too useful though)  Speed – a chance to get extra free attacks based on the enemy speed (maybe a chance for high defense to totally block the free attacks to make defense more useful).  Luck – better chance for critical hits or getting a dodge?  Dodge – chance to fully dodge an attack (based on speed / higher of combat / magic?)
13. Racial abilities: Easiest way to go here would be passive boosts.  Humans – no benefit / negaties, Elves – +5% xp to enchanting, 10% boost to magic and heal, -10% combat + defense effectiveness, -5%xp to smithing, Dwarves - +5%xp smithing, -5%xp enchanting, +10% combat + defense, -10% magic / heal.  That’s a very rough idea obviously, numbers / skills can be tweaked.  More complicated – could make like a racial skill tree and give people different options of how to develop them, maybe with learning certain tradeskills allow them to gain ‘racial xp’ or completing certain achievements, quests, or whatever, and when they get enough xp they get a racial skill point to put towards a passive buff or active buff (maybe something that works with food / pet type buff).
14. Class abilities – Similar to racial abilities, you could go easy with passive boosts, but I think it’d be a lot more interesting to make class trees and let people have a chance to specialize in different ways.
15. Dungeons: Drakor dungeons are a pretty big letdown.  A couple hard monsters and a guaranteed rare or epic reward, then come back tomorrow.  There’s a lot of different ways you could go with this.  A WoW-like version could have tougher than normal monsters – loot that drops in dungeons is better than loot that normally drops from monsters (like an epic dungeon shield > epic normal drop shield) – have a chance to win special rare drops (win a pet / mount or special currency) – have a super ‘legendary’ boss at the end.  You could have monsters use special cards that they don’t use elsewhere.  You could make it so you can only lose so many times before you’re locked out for the day.  
16. By far, the most interesting thing you could do but most complicated would be group combat.  Allowing people to have a specialized role in combat in a group setting with multiple players (3-5 or whatever) along with their regular ‘gaining combat xp’ outfit.  I don’t know how possible that would be though, seems like maybe a ‘post-game launch’ feature to add someday.
17.   I don't think I would have the level cap / restart thing for the other skills apply for combat unless you think of something creative, because it would be really annoying to be forced to ditch what you're wearing because you outlevel it and start from scratch at level 11 with no equipment (or save level 11 equipment as you level beyond it).

Jaize_

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Re: Combat Brainstorming

Post by Jaize_ on Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:26 pm

So here was my brainstorm recently about how you could work out an interesting system for racial / class skill trees.  The overall goal would be to have a system where people can see some additional progression to tradeskill / combat levels, differentiate between races / classes, and give people some choices how they want to develop their character.  

Sort of similar to how Drakor has 'guild experience', characters would have 'racial' and 'class' experience.  You can gain some capped amount of racial / class experience per day by doing various activities that are basically like daily quests.  Just as an example:

---1hr at a tradeskill
---20 mins at 3 different tradeskills
---kill 50 monsters
---use 200 spells
---buy items from 5 different people
---sell 5 items (these last two just to get your market some activity, even though they could be exploited by friends / guildmates)
---2 mini-adventures
---1 mega-adventure (will explain my thoughts on those another time)
---30 mins working on guild projects / quests

My thought was completing each of these would give (x) amount of class/race xp per day.  There are variations on this you could use if you want, like force certain races to do things that are more racially oriented (make dwarves choose between mining / smithing / other dwarven-type skills, etc) but that would be more complicated to work out and kind of pigeonhole races to certain skills.  Or force classes to do things that are class-oriented (healer has to use 100 heal spells / day, warrior has to kill 50 w/combat skill, etc...).  Or have it uncapped and have it like guild xp where you gain it at a fraction of your total xp.  

I hadn't really worked out if you have two separate xps for those or just one, that could be worked out later.  But basically, when you gain a racial/class level, you get a skill point.  There are various tiers you can put points into, the more points you gain the more tiers you unlock with higher level skills.  Here is where there would be variation between the races and classes.  So let me see if I can whip something up as an example:

Dwarf skill table (this is obviously super rough)
Tier 1 (1 skill point each): Resilience (1% boost to hp+def), keen eyes (1% boost to finding gems while mining), knee-biter (1% boost to strength), expert miner (-1 timer to mining), master armorer (+1% rarity boost when making armor), master weaponsmith (+1% rarity boost when making weapons)

Tier 2 (2 skill points each, need 4 invested total skill points to unlock): Resilience 2 (2% boost to hp+def, stacks w/tier 1 skill, requires tier 1 Resilience to unlock), Clan closeness (-2 timer to guild projects (no prereq)), Gold lover (2% boost to gold drops in combat, no prereq), other tier 2 versions of tier 1 skills.

Tier 3 (3 skill points each, need total 12 invested total skill points to unlock T3 skills): Deep Cave (+5 inventory storage), other T3 versions of some other skills  etc... (can come back and try to fill this in later, you get the gist though)  

You could throw in another two tiers or tie them to future game development.  

For classes, you could have things that focus more on what they do well in combat or give them certain unique advantages (chance to cast a critical DoT for a wizard, and so on).  I personally think it'd be interesting to have one pooled amount of xp for class and race and have people choose which tree to put their points in, but you could also do them separately.

Jaize_

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