Skill system revamp.

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Skill system revamp.

Postby misanq » Tue May 07, 2013 3:49 am

The style skills are pretty messy at the moment and with pickups making a comeback I feel that they could really use an overhaul to make them more interesting and consistent.

I think the basic idea of the style system should be that each skill has at least one special 'active' move or ability that the player can use straight out of the box and passive buffs are gained on filling the meter. The reasons for this are:
A) It makes each skill novel and exciting for new players.
B) 'Always on' special abilities means that they can be integrated into a player's playstyle instinctively, instead of forcing them to watch their bar or worse, suffer from phantom ability syndrome.
C) It differentiates the skills a lot better and makes them more meaningful to gameplay.

As an example I'm using a pretty simple system of Tier 1: one active skill, one passive skill, Tier 2: two passive skills, but obviously you could do it differently. Though, I would suggest trying to avoid a text wall of buffs, if possible.

ProTip: show
Athletic

Style bar empty:

Active skill: A special acrobatic move activated by double tapping jump, a la the flips in TS.
Lithe mentioned wanting to put a butterfly twist into the game, so that's one option. Side flips could be covered by TS style side flips or the old matrix style aerial cartwheels. This move could give an extra style bonus as well for added incentive.
NSFW: show
This site has a decent video and some reference pictures of a butterfly kick and you can see right away how much harder it would be to hit a player in the head compared to the forward dive.
(Also, wushu style butterfly kicks.)


Passive skill: Extra run speed.

Style bar full:

Passive skill 1: Extra air time.
Passive skill 2: Double run speed bonus.

ProTip: show
Bouncer:

Style bar empty

Active skill: Special melee attack that replaces all secondary attacks.
One of the big things with bouncer at the moment is that it's really not very useful unless you melee all the time. Giving the skill a special attack that can be used with or without guns would encourage players to combine melee and guns and view the skill as something other than a 'fu-only' option. The attack itself could be something along the lines of a quick aerial kick or leaping attack that would offer gap closing utility regardless of weapon type. A shoutout to Jean Claude's helicopter kick or brue lee/jackie chan/jet li/everyone's flying side kick wouldn't hurt the game in terms of atmosphere, either (also, here's a montage of Van Damme kicking people, because why not?) (he kicked a cigar out of some guy's mouth, amazing).

Passive skill: Improved brawl speed.

Style bar full

Passive skill 1: Extra run speed.
Passive skill 2: Extra brawl damage.

ProTip: show
Marksman:

Style bar empty:

Active skill:
Option A) Aim in for all weapons. Personally, I don't particularly like having aim in for all weapons, since I don't think that DAB is the sort of game that people should be standing still a lot in, but if that's the way you go, it's very important to make it always on, as the current iteration is awkward and difficult to remember to use.
Option B) Faster reloading by double tapping reload. Making the fast reload an activated ability is a lot more engaging than the passive version in the game right now, giving players who chose the skill something to do, rather than just getting a bunch of passive buff that make the weapons easier to use. It's also more inclusive than the aim in option, since every weapon benefits from faster reloads (especially the shotgun) whereas aim in only really benefits the pistols and smgs.
The actual ability could be done one of two ways: either by speeding up the reload animation significantly or by skipping it entirely in favour of a spinning reload, a la Max payne 2. The first method is good because it obviously keeps things simple from a content perspective, while the max payne spin is a nice homage, if that's your sort of bag.

Max Payne doing his thing.



Passive skill: Improved accuracy and spread.

Style bar full:
Passive skill 1: Reduced recoil.
Passive skill 2: Free reloads.

ProTip: show
Nitro:

Style bar empty:
Active skill: A grenade.
There are a quite a few ways you could go with this skill, but the one I'm going to float is to remove grenades as a purchasable weapon and have the grenade replace attack 2 for nitro players, as well as being a selectable weapon. This would make grenade throwing a lot more fluid and be more familiar for players who are more used to contemporary shooters.
With this system, hitting someone with a grenade throw could do impact damage and give them a screen punch, then cause the grenade to drop at the other player's feet, rewarding good throws over spaming. Hitting someone with a grenade point blank could do damage and attach the grenade to the player (antagonist). Furthermore, grenades could be handled similarly to the sandman in TF2, in that grenade ammo recharges on a timer and once the player dumps their ammo the, selectable grenade weapon reverts to brawl and attack 2 reverts to stock attacks until the grenade recharges. Doing it this way would allow a lot more control over how many grenades were in play than using ammo pickups or style meter pointers.

Passive skill: Player explodes on death.
Obviously this sort of thing is pretty controversial, but I figure that a loud beeping sound before detonation, combined with the greater speed of DAB would make this a lot easier to avoid than the COD iterations. A bomb vest model somewhere down the track could give other players a heads up, also.

Style bar full:
Passive skill 1: Extra grenades/faster grenade recharge.
Passive skill 2: Impact fuses or larger blast radii. Also, on-the-horizon options could be some sort of special weapon like triggered explosives or a grenade launcher.

ProTip: show
Reflexes:

Style bar empty:
Active skill: 1 second of slow mo.
Passive skill: Super slow mo.

Style bar full:
Passive skill 1: 3 seconds of super slow mo.
Passive skill 2: Reflexes is already pretty well fine, but for the sake of consistency for this thing, you could give players a ~30% (or whatever) chance to “dodge” a bullet or two on a 2 second cooldown (again, or whatever). Having two semi-transparent player models appear or flicker on either side of the player (or split out of the model's waist) with a bit of motion blur would clue players in on what was happening as well as being a nice matrix homage. Again, I'm just throwing it out there for the hell of it, but it's really just the a way to put the matrix bullet dodge in the game without being a disaster like the TS version was.



ProTip: show
Where's resilience?
Honestly, resilience could probably be removed at this point since firstly it's a bit boring and secondly it's unbalanced one way or another. Between health pick ups, passive regen and kill bonuses, health regeneration should be pretty well covered without needing a skill dedicated to it.


That's an example anyway, I'm sure you all can think of plenty of other options for specific abilities and passives; but you can see that the underlying system is pretty straight forward and obvious. Or at least I hope.
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Re: Skill system revamp.

Postby Antagonist » Tue May 07, 2013 4:10 am

I like these suggestions a lot. However, I'm still not sure I'm liking nitro, but the way you put it in your post is intriguing. So it's like, you trade all the other possible skills for the ability to cause explosions that nobody else can? That's really interesting if I understand you correctly. I really think that "grenade as attack 2" is compelling. Switching to grenades is so 1998.

Resilient is a fun skill, but I agree that it's op. I think that elements of it could be distributed to all players intstead to make firefights longer. This would work a little like Obamacare and increase all players' health a little. Maybe it could even be a vote option during the test phase, just to see if more health is even desirable in the game. Voting for league rules (low health and no regen) or friendly match (slightly higher health and regen). I think that'd make for easier testing than trying out one version at a time, constantly revamping resilient.
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Re: Skill system revamp.

Postby misanq » Tue May 07, 2013 7:46 am

The nitro suggestion is really just a means to the ends of limiting the grenade spam problem people were having and making the skill feel special and unique. I mean, if you wanted to, you could keep grenades as purchasable items and have nitro throw pipe bombs or c4 that could be prematurely detonated if you pulled out the grenade 'weapon' and pressed the detonator.

The details of the specfic abilities aren't really that important and could be worked out later, the important part is giving all the style skills a special ability to make them more interesting and fun.
That said, I came up with those abilities with the intention of trying to include as many of the features people want as possible. This way people who want lightspeed, flippy gameplay can do that with the athletic mode, but the default gameplay won't be lightspeed and flippy. People who want a bit more melee action can pick up bouncer and kick people in the face, but that won't mean that everyone will be kick jousting. Most importantly though, people who want to flip can't joust and people who want to joust can't run at lightspeed or have super slowmo etc.
In short, it'll allow you to include the exotic features people want, but also segregate problematic features from the core gameplay.
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Re: Skill system revamp.

Postby Vino » Tue May 07, 2013 10:43 am

Time allowing I've been meaning to implement a bunch of changes like this, and I like yours for the most part. I'm usually wary of features that change what buttons do in different situations, and I'm also not sure that having full bar should matter anymore since doing just about anything consumes your style skill once it's active.

But I really like the explode on death idea. I think at this point nitro is about as balanced as it's going to be. I'm still not seeing so much grenade spam to be honest, but everyone else says it's there so I believe them. I think I'm going to try a system identical to yours, except that in one last-ditch attempt to keep the sort of fun I originally intended for nitrophiliac, I'm going to try to make sure that if and only if you get a kill with your one bonus grenade, you get another shot. That should keep the spam down while still giving a shot at the "nades out the ass" idea.

And if we're doing all that stuff I may as well also keep nades in the buy menu, since the bomb-strapped-to-chest idea is largely orthogonal to nades in the buy menu.
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Re: Skill system revamp.

Postby ThinRedPaste » Tue May 07, 2013 11:23 am

Vino wrote:
And if we're doing all that stuff I may as well also keep nades in the buy menu, since the bomb-strapped-to-chest idea is largely orthogonal to nades in the buy menu.


no, god damn it! grenades in TS were a gameplay positive due in large part to their rarity. they would show up on occasion, make everybody react, and break up a gunfight. Something that makes everyone change their strategy suddenly is fun. having shit exploding around you all the time is not fun. its fucking annoying by its nature, no matter how you set it up.

Also I still have fucking ptsd flashbacks to martyrdom so I'm vehemently opposed to that idea. that's one of those ideas that could singlehandedly ruin the whole game, imo.
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Re: Skill system revamp.

Postby shmopaloppa » Tue May 07, 2013 12:13 pm

sry wall of text incoming

I really think nitro's 'design' (or I guess i should say nades in general) as it exists is fairly sound! There are still some issues that are currently making it a problem, the foremost one being that grenades penetrate walls too liberally. This is a big part of what makes them so hellish on small maps. Another issue is that currently there's nothing in place that makes sure you don't spawn on top of a grenade (which again is compounded on the smaller maps)

Working my way through the OP, those are some awesome ideas misan, particularly the brawl one. A gap closing side kick as an ever present secondary attack pretty much must be done right away and will immediately make brawl one of the coolest styles. Implementation is an interesting problem though.. My first instinct is to have the side kick be on a 3-5 second cooldown or something and make it so if you hit the brawl button when it's up it does the kick and when you hit the brawl button when it's in cooldown you do a regular brawl attack (we could just have a little visual timer that counts down under the style icon on the HUD).

I think Athletic is pretty much fine the way it is tbh, it makes it very difficult for people to hit you. A couple possibilities for slightly buffing it could be: slightly reduced damage while stunting? (like, very slight, 5%/10%activated or 7.5%/15%activated) Or no footstep sounds on account of how your.. athleticism.. makes you able to step more gracefully? The more I think about it the more I'm against any sort of 'full flip' in this game. They look kind of silly and they're functionally redundant.

One idea for marksman might be in addition to giving aim-in on all weapons, have aiming in only reduce your move speed by half as much, and with an active style bar be able to aim in at full run speed. Another idea is to let marksmen use aim-in during stunts and stuff.

I'm mostly against the nitro changes (for reasons stated above). I really think the nades in this game are beautiful and do so much to help set it apart from other shooters. I for one frequently buy them w/o nitro just to fill remaining slots and have a couple to throw around when I need them. I expect a lot of people do that (or will at some point start to do that because why not??) and I would much prefer to go in a direction that keeps the nades an 'every day' part of the game which have intuitive methods for defending against them. That said I do like the explode-on-death idea a lot.

Edit: Actually nitro should totally just give a different type of grenade (pipe bombs) with a higher damage and much lower blast radius, with the death explosion being the same type of blast. Think that will make it more fun/rewarding and fit much better in the game.

The reflexes bullet dodge idea is awesome and can fairly easily be done exactly how you're describing it (semi-transparent bullet dodge animation coming out of the opaque character). Faceless void basically has this exact same visual effect in dota 2

I think Resilient can stay, it just needs to be tweaked. One possibility to make the skill more fun and kind of intense would be to move away from passive regen bonuses and instead amplify the health bonuses for killing other players (basically always give a set amount of health for a kill or even successful attack? and then double it when style bar is active) and keep the other advantage of higher max hp
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Re: Skill system revamp.

Postby shmopaloppa » Tue May 07, 2013 12:27 pm

this is getting kind of off topic but there's no pickups thread. It occurs to me that (and I think this was mentioned) powerups and the style system are almost entirely redundant and I think any attempt at differentiating them will just cause a messy design. Would it be so bad to instead of having 'power ups' just have traditional health and ammo pickups? They should still be floaty spinny shiny things like the TS powerups and they would be extremely desirable (at least the health ones, so maybe just have health). This would add the desired map control elements of powerups in a very straightforward way without stepping on the style skills' toes.

Edit: I've got it, pickups should just be health, ammo????, m60, rocket launcher, and .50 cal sniper rifle
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Re: Skill system revamp.

Postby ThinRedPaste » Tue May 07, 2013 1:35 pm

the flying kick to close the gap was the main thing i wanted to avoid with brawl. that shit is fu in a nutshell. We're getting dangerously near to balancing brawl against guns, and we've got a whole thread about how we don't want that. I would actually argue for rolling bouncer back into athletic; having a melee specialization skill means you have to make melee a viable primary. it SHOULD be damn near impossible to get in for melee and it SHOULDN'T be a viable primary weapon.

also, re: pickups. I was thinking ammo, health, slowmo, m60, magnum revolver (mateba?) rather than sniper rifle. if we do a launcher I'd rather it be an m79 than a rocket on the grounds that the m79 is kind of stylish and rockets kind of aren't.
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Re: Skill system revamp.

Postby Dementei » Wed May 08, 2013 4:01 am

For real though, I like misans system entirely, and I feel it's worth the revamp work. I'm also up for 'g' being grenade key, players to have more health (fights seem to last way too short), and I'd like to see a helicopter kick for bouncer (bouncer is pretty worthless atm, die way too quickly when being close, and most people run backward so it needs something juicy like that kick and more run speed for sure.) Resilient is also basically cheating, leave it to the powerups for hp, I'd say. Overall each skill needs to have more apparent features from each other, closer to a TF2 or any other class based shooter.
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Re: Skill system revamp.

Postby Antagonist » Wed May 08, 2013 6:00 am

If everyone was semi-resilient by default, I think that it would be a lot more fun to be honest. Seems to me that sometimes I just run around the corner while shooting a guy and it's often surprising and almost a let-down how fast he dies. Other times it feels like I don't even notice when I'm getting shot at before my guy just ragdolls. I don't know if more health/weaker guns can fix it sure beats having a skill that's basically our version of Juggernaut from COD4.
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Re: Skill system revamp.

Postby ThinRedPaste » Wed May 08, 2013 11:11 am

well, its all over. this thread is systematically undoing everything i like about the game and replacing it with a game i have no interest in playing. the worst parts of fu, weak guns, matrix dodge, armor for everyone. ugh. are you guys not seeing that this is the same shit that ruined ts3?

its even the same reasoning. "Our fights can be cool but they're over so fast. lets weaken the guns and give people armor so they last longer!" "Let's also let people close impossible gaps so they can use unarmed fighting. Lets make unarmed fighting do more damage, too, so it can stand against guns."

sounds mighty fucking familiar to me. This stuff has been tried. it sounds good but it plays awful. We already know this, why are we talking about doing it again?
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Re: Skill system revamp.

Postby misanq » Wed May 08, 2013 2:50 pm

I think you're going a bit overboard there; none of these ideas are anything more than that and honestly I thought that the bullet dodge one wasn't very good anyway. If you don't like those ones, try to think of some that keep the game going in a direction you prefer.

As far as flying kicks go, I don't think that they are fu, honestly. TS fu was getting disarmed and then one hit before you could react, it was having to do convoluted movements and button combos to pull off moves and jousting matches where one hit or dodge decided the fight.
A straight forward, one-button flying attack that did 30 damage on a cool down would be too easy and slow to joust with, taking away the reasons why fu only servers existed in TS.
Whatever the case, I'd have to agree that bouncer and probably all melee bonuses should be removed from the style skills if brawl is intended to be a humiliation weapon, you can't do half measures with it, because you're just encouraging people assume that it's a legitimate weapon. In that case, I'd even go as far as to say that you should consider replacing brawl with a knife, since it'd be a bit awkward if the number one suggestions end up being "Buff brawl" and "Gimmie more moves" and you have to tell the players that brawl is supposed to be crap, deal w/ it.
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Re: Skill system revamp.

Postby shmopaloppa » Wed May 08, 2013 3:47 pm

isn't it cool how this is in development and things can just be tried and then rolled back if they suck

did matrix bullet dodge really ruin TS? Are you sure it wasn't just a completely worthless feature in that game??? I'd still kind of like to try it, even if it's something where you 'half-dodge' and get grazed by the bullet for half-damage (though that probably wouldn't do much to communicate what's going on) it just gives reflexes some panache
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Re: Skill system revamp.

Postby Wish » Wed May 08, 2013 6:44 pm

Stop this sissy talk. Remember why we're here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u97hcomFVl8

It's not about long fights.

It's not about making melee viable against guns.

It's not about matrix stunts, which were a novelty at best in TS, and a frequent annoyance.

It's about giving players the tools they need to be action heroes, and that includes guns that deliver.

What do action heroes do?

They kill lots of people.

And look cool doing it.

Don't go nerfing guns and handing out Kevlar like a hurt schoolgirl.

If you want long fights, they'll happen - but they'll happen on the strength of players' evasion and aim. Not because of 'action heroes' with airsoft guns, and that will make those occasional epic duels all the more memorable.

You don't want every fight to be long.

Chow Yun Fat doesn't have time to spend all day shooting up every scrub that tries to get between him and enlightenment. And neither does anybody else. He only takes all day with the ones he doesn't like. He has a choice, and so should the player.
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Re: Skill system revamp.

Postby Vino » Wed May 08, 2013 11:16 pm

Guys, guys. Obviously there's a best way to make the game. And I know what it is. And let me tell you. And you better listen, because it's the best way, and I'm always right about this, guys.
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