01 Mar, 2010, Darva wrote in the 1st comment:
Votes: 0
Has anyone got any good resources to point me to that would help in designing a combat system from the ground up? I haven't the background in math to design any sort of reasonably smooth progression, or handle the various interactions, sadly.
01 Mar, 2010, Zadious wrote in the 2nd comment:
Votes: 0
I am not sure about any "Resources" such as a help guide or tutorials. However, you could find a codebase with an existing combat system and modify it. I would start with a codebase similar to what you like or similar to the codebase you plan to use.

Read the comments and toy with that code and you should have a good idea on how the combat system works. Basically reverse engineer and modify an existing combat system.

Do you want turn based combat? How much time between turns? Can you perform other commands durring combat such as extra attacks or defensive actions? Giving the readers here a more specific idea on what kind of combat system you plan to use might help them in pointing you in a better direction.

Good luck!
01 Mar, 2010, Orrin wrote in the 3rd comment:
Votes: 0
I'd recommend taking a look at some existing RPG systems for inspiration.
01 Mar, 2010, Darva wrote in the 4th comment:
Votes: 0
Well, the the parts the player interacts with I know how to do fairly well, so I'm not real concerned with that (so turn based,other commands, etc are irrelevant at this stage). I'm wanting to learn about how to come up with meaningful and useful numbers to determine if you hit, miss, dodge, etc.

I'm probably going to start with something vaguely similar to rom's automated combat, just getting that working and feeling sane and reasonable would be a good first step i could tinker with from there.

Orrin: Good point, thanks. :)
01 Mar, 2010, KaVir wrote in the 5th comment:
Votes: 0
There have been many discussions about combat systems on various mud forums. Combat plays a major role in many muds, and if the same is true in yours then I'd strongly recommend spending some time researching into different systems - Orrin's link is a good start, but you should also try downloading a few different codebases, look at the approaches they use, and then have a play with them. Get a feel for what works, and what you like.

You might also want to do some brainstorming, and write down a huge list of everything your combat system should include (personally I find this really helps me get my thoughts together). You mentioned "turn-based" as being irrelevant at this stage, but I would argue that it's one of the earliest decisions you should make - turn-based, round-based, balance-based, action point-based, etc. If players have more time to think then you can get away with giving them more complex decisions.
01 Mar, 2010, Runter wrote in the 6th comment:
Votes: 0
Quote
I'm wanting to learn about how to come up with meaningful and useful numbers to determine if you hit, miss, dodge, etc.


Okay. At the risk of talking past other people I'll throw a few ideas out about this subject. Some people use complex systems to determine these. I normally go with really simple ways of determining such things. Currently the core of my hit/miss system is based on an avoidance rating and an accuracy rating. In specific, the chance to hit is determined by meshing the two into a meaningful percent chance to hit. That is to say, your chance to avoid an attack is determined by your avoidance rating as well as how designed your enemy is to not miss. With an avoidance rating and accuracy rating the same the chance to hit is 50%. The number changes only based on the relationship of the two. Currently the chance for a critical strike is a base 10% for any attack. However, if the accuracy rating is higher than the avoidance rating an additional percent chance to critical strike is applied. It's used in a limit function to calculate the top possible gain to critical from accuracy rating, but technically every amount of accuracy you have above your targets avoidance will help.

Aside from that I have a number of skills or effects which do various things. I find it somewhat boring to use base percent chances for dodge/parry/shield block/counter attack/whatever else. For dodge I currently have it set up to modify potential hits into glancing blows which are far less damaging in various aspects than a normal hit. It uses a formula similar to to the limit function for critical strike calculation.
01 Mar, 2010, donky wrote in the 7th comment:
Votes: 0
KaVir said:
There have been many discussions about combat systems on various mud forums.

Personally, I would prefer that people pretend other forums or previous topics not exist, unless they link to specific ones that are relevant. There is so much previous discussion, that the general allusion that it should be referred to, is unfortunately just a potential distraction.

KaVir said:
Orrin's link is a good start, but you should also try downloading a few different codebases, look at the approaches they use, and then have a play with them. Get a feel for what works, and what you like.

While the general idea is one I agree with, I think a better and less tedious approach would be to just play some MUDs that use them enough to get a feel for how well the combat is put to use, and how it works in practice. If you're curious about nuances past that point, then you have focus when you try and interpret a codebase of arbitrarily subjective style and quality.

KaVir said:
You might also want to do some brainstorming, and write down a huge list of everything your combat system should include (personally I find this really helps me get my thoughts together). You mentioned "turn-based" as being irrelevant at this stage, but I would argue that it's one of the earliest decisions you should make - turn-based, round-based, balance-based, action point-based, etc. If players have more time to think then you can get away with giving them more complex decisions.

I think that brainstorming is an under recommended concept, and it would be immensely valuable. But when I read you talking about "turn-based, round-based, balance-based, action point-based, etc" this is the sort of concrete advice that would help me if I were approaching this from the ground up. So there are common alternatives for how the combat is staged, what other aspects comprise a combat system and what common approaches are taken to those? If I knew of a thread that went into that, that is a link to a previous discussion which I would be happy to give in later discussions like these.
02 Mar, 2010, David Haley wrote in the 8th comment:
Votes: 0
One note about looking at existing codebases is that there's not necessarily any guarantee that you will be looking at a sane, coherent whole anyhow. If you take codebases that have been around for a while, like the FUSS ones for example, a lot of work has been done in removing bugs but not necessarily in applying any analysis to the combat logic or general game balance: those are generally considered a separate question from that of fixing bugs. These bases' combat systems grow by accretion over many years, and – IMHO, at least – a coherent vision that might have once existed is often lost.
02 Mar, 2010, Runter wrote in the 9th comment:
Votes: 0
David Haley said:
One note about looking at existing codebases is that there's not necessarily any guarantee that you will be looking at a sane, coherent whole anyhow. If you take codebases that have been around for a while, like the FUSS ones for example, a lot of work has been done in removing bugs but not necessarily in applying any analysis to the combat logic or general game balance: those are generally considered a separate question from that of fixing bugs. These bases' combat systems grow by accretion over many years, and – IMHO, at least – a coherent vision that might have once existed is often lost.


Yes. If the OP is looking to experience combat systems I would suggest actually playing popular muds. The stock codebases that are popular as starting points, as you said, are either very boring, not balanced, or not coherent.
02 Mar, 2010, KaVir wrote in the 10th comment:
Votes: 0
donky said:
Personally, I would prefer that people pretend other forums or previous topics not exist, unless they link to specific ones that are relevant.

Darva's question was pretty vague, but fair enough - I've included a list of combat-related links at the bottom of this post.

donky said:
While the general idea is one I agree with, I think a better and less tedious approach would be to just play some MUDs that use them enough to get a feel for how well the combat is put to use, and how it works in practice.

That can definitely be a useful way of getting some ideas, however Darva mentioned that "the parts the player interacts with I know how to do fairly well … I'm wanting to learn about how to come up with meaningful and useful numbers to determine if you hit, miss, dodge, etc."

While some muds document their mechanics fairly well, it's not the same as being able to look through the source code for yourself and see exactly how things work, tweaking here and there to get a feel for what sort of impact your changes have.

donky said:
But when I read you talking about "turn-based, round-based, balance-based, action point-based, etc" this is the sort of concrete advice that would help me if I were approaching this from the ground up. So there are common alternatives for how the combat is staged, what other aspects comprise a combat system and what common approaches are taken to those? If I knew of a thread that went into that, that is a link to a previous discussion which I would be happy to give in later discussions like these.

Taken from my post in the TMC "Spicing up combat?" thread:
Quote
The variations of combat system I can think of off-hand are as follows:

  • Automated round-based: The character fights on its own, but you can also type in other combat commands (most Diku and LP muds).


  • Automated speed-based: As above, except people fight out-of-sync with each other (eg God Wars Deluxe).


  • Pure automated: The character does all the fighting, you just watch the show (eg Gladiator Pits 1).


  • Pure roleplay: No game mechanics - you describe your combat with emotes (eg most TinyMUD derivatives).


  • Manual balance-based: You type your commands then wait to recover your balance (eg Avalon and many of the other commercial muds).


  • Manual action-based: You spend action points to perform commands (eg God Wars II).


  • Manual turn-based: Each turn lasts a specific period of time, and you can perform one or more commands each turn (only example I can think of would be my War minigame, but I'm sure there must be some muds that use it for their primary combat system).

  • I should also have mentioned:

  • Manual emote-based: You emote your actions, and certain keywords determine your attacks (eg the original Inquisition mud).



  • Here are some other threads related to combat that may be of interest:


    MudBytes:

  • Damage mitigation: Melee Weapon vs. Armo...

  • Skill of the player vs Skill of the Char...

  • mud without automated attacks.

  • pain and injury

  • fighting scripts

  • threat/hate/aggro

  • Manual Combat/Manual Defenses

  • Permdeath - Tangent, levels of difficult...

  • Permadeath design issues

  • Beyond soloing and grouping

  • Making Armor Worthwhile

  • Arrows

  • Turn based combat systems

  • Ranged Systems

  • Combat Systems, Which do you believe is ...



  • Top Mud Sites:

  • Advanced Reffed Combat Systems

  • PvP: Leveraging other, established, PvP ...

  • New player success and combat systems

  • MUD Combat systems

  • Speaking of great combat...

  • Combat deadlock and mob responses

  • Ranged Combat, Ranged Magic

  • New Combat Systems

  • Can MUDs implement range/distance?

  • Mass Wars

  • A tactical PvP game system



  • The Mudconnector:

  • Ranged combat

  • More interesting swings in fights

  • Balancing player levels in cooperative P...

  • Melee vs Ranged

  • Design of Mage Combat

  • Turn based combat

  • Non-Lethal Combat

  • Spicing up combat?

  • Distributing Hitpoints on different body...

  • Accuracy, Armor, and Dodging, Oh my!

  • NPC AI (or: "You won't kill me with that...

  • Layering armour

  • Reflex vs. Reaction

  • Combat Systems

  • d20 Game Systems & combat

  • Guns! - What is the best method?

  • Hitpoints, movement, and mana

  • Non-diku combat

  • Automated Combat System Gone

  • Non-Automated Combat

  • Attacking buildings



  • MudLab:

  • Manual combat lag sensitivity

  • A variant on turn-based combat

  • Active combat system?

  • Wound system

  • MOB Combat AI

  • Hit points

  • effective hit rate

  • PVP: Ranged & Melee solutions.

  • Hit Locations, Armor versus Weapon Types



  • Articles:

  • Beyond Player Killing

  • Player Killers Exposed

  • Instant Combat: Just Add Fudge

  • How To Make A Game With PvP Done Right
  • 02 Mar, 2010, Tyche wrote in the 11th comment:
    Votes: 0
    KaVir said:
    Pure roleplay: No game mechanics - you describe your combat with emotes (eg most TinyMUD derivatives).


    I've gotten the impression, that most Mushes/Muxen today do have combat mechanics, usually based on frpgs. There's often much dice rolling and consulting of rules. Manually adjudicated game mechanics might better describe it than no game mechanics.

    I'd also encourage the poster to do what Orrin suggested. Read up on several some homebrew games rules and attempt to implement ones that sound interesting.
    02 Mar, 2010, Darva wrote in the 12th comment:
    Votes: 0
    KaVir… Holy heck on the list of links… Thank you. I was quite vague, you're right, sorry. But I'm pretty sure somewhere in all that info I'll at least find some ideas to point me in the right direction. :)
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