Author Topic: Roguelikes with infrequent, dangerous and interesting combat  (Read 18739 times)

miki151

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Re: Roguelikes with infrequent, dangerous and interesting combat
« Reply #30 on: March 23, 2014, 01:21:14 PM »
I've been thinking about implementing fine-grained combat, i.e. something more than bumping into enemies. Some examples off the top of my head, so you get the idea:
- 2-step attack: first turn - take a swing, the second turn - hit if the enemy is still there; would be much stronger than normal attack; if he dodges then you're in trouble
- parry: if you have a shield and the enemy attacks from that direction in the next turn, then the attack is harmless
- dodge: you step back or sideways; if the enemy attacks in the next turn, then he is thrown off balance, otherwise you are

Of course you'd get limited information on what the enemy is up to next turn, depending a reflex skill or something.

Pros: more interesting combat, and more realistic - some real life scenarios could come naturally instead of being explicitly added
Cons: slows down the player, hard to learn, and possibly hard to implement good AI, could turn into a rock-paper-scissors game if not implemented well

The question is, are there any roguelikes that have this kind of thing, so I can see if it's worth trying, and possibly shamelessly copy from  ;)
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Rickton

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Re: Roguelikes with infrequent, dangerous and interesting combat
« Reply #31 on: March 24, 2014, 02:27:01 PM »
A 7DRL from last year, Fisticuffmanship, features combat where your positioning makes a big difference, increasing or decreasing your attack and defense. Not quite the same, but still an interesting and more tactical twist on combat.
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mushroom patch

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Re: Roguelikes with infrequent, dangerous and interesting combat
« Reply #32 on: March 24, 2014, 06:41:16 PM »
Everyone seems to have a different game I've never heard of in mind, but I would suggest that Angband is not too far from what is being described here: Yes, it's highly combat oriented, but the key to playing well is not fighting dangerous monsters that may kill you or consume your resources unnecessarily -- this makes "real" fights kind of uncommon. The fights that aren't optional (Morgoth, Sauron, some of the uniques you really don't want to fight at the same time as Morgoth or Sauron) are actually reasonably dangerous with normal play and mildly interesting (although I'm definitely sympathetic to the position that Angband is kind of boring in general).

Maybe if you took Angband and got rid of all the small fry, you'd have what you're describing. I kind of remember Sil being almost like that, but then I was too terrible at Sil to really judge -- every fight seemed pretty hard after a few dungeon levels.

jere

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Re: Roguelikes with infrequent, dangerous and interesting combat
« Reply #33 on: March 25, 2014, 03:41:26 PM »
Quote
Would a roguelike without any combat be possible? I mean a game that's still interesting and belongs to the genre.
I'll throw out another game you've probably never heard of, my 7drl from last year: A False Saint, An Honest Rogue.

It has no combat. I think it's pretty roguelike, though some people will disqualify it precisely because it lacks combat. Essentially, your body temperature replaces your health, the cold/wind replaces monsters, and layerable clothing replaces armor. The combat gap is filled with exploration and finding items. There's a little bit of hunting too which, if expanded, could fill up a lot of time.

Quote
Yeah but how do you recreate those intense moments when you have to get yourself out of trouble?
Ah, yes. It definitely has those moments. You get some bad luck and crack through some ice. All your clothes get soaking wet and you take a huge temperature hit. Your low body temperature causes hallucinations, which makes falling through ice again more likely and you start having trouble identifying items; now you're on a death spiral. The best part of the game is getting out of that situation successfully.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2014, 03:53:29 PM by jere »
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Endorya

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Re: Roguelikes with infrequent, dangerous and interesting combat
« Reply #34 on: April 02, 2014, 03:31:55 PM »
I'm just responding directly to the opening post, so I apologize if someone already mentioned any of what I'm about to write.

Having an infrequent and deadly combat system is actually my preferable skirmishing setting, however it tends to fail miserably if the interesting factor is low, if it is somewhat unfair due to its unexplained deadliness or if it is too infrequent.  An infrequent and deadly combat system should not be too fast paced because it may not give the player a chance to learn how its combat mechanics should be conducted as well as having its deadliness giving no proper room for the player to exercise a sort of escape plan when facing a foe too powerful to overcome. Being not able to escape from a potent foe because you had the bad luck of crossing your path with it will feel very frustrating, at least I would feel this way.

When I refer to a combat as being deadly I'm actually referring to its unforgiving nature in terms of  the player not being ready for it, like lacking the right gear, set of skills and by trying pushing victory too hard towards a stronger opponent. The combat's deadliness should be more about wrong choices than bad luck. Another thing to consider is not to make combat too infrequent as the game might become very boring, especially when we are talking about games with large worlds containing tons of areas to explore. Combats should be way less frequent than the ones found on common hack&slash games but don't make them too rare.

Though it is nice to have a combat system where the playable character's head can be chopped off with a single strike, such unfortunate act should still be justified. "How did this happened?" - the player might ask. Well, maybe the foe was simply too powerful; maybe the player didn't have any neck protection; maybe the character was simply too tired to effectively dodge the attack or maybe the character's reflexes were simply poor due to an active disease. Whatever the cause, there should always be a valid explanation preventing the player from cursing unfair misfortunes which he has no control about whatsoever.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2014, 09:30:25 PM by Endorya »
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Vanguard

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Re: Roguelikes with infrequent, dangerous and interesting combat
« Reply #35 on: April 02, 2014, 09:34:08 PM »
Maybe if you took Angband and got rid of all the small fry, you'd have what you're describing. I kind of remember Sil being almost like that, but then I was too terrible at Sil to really judge -- every fight seemed pretty hard after a few dungeon levels.

Sil isn't Angband-like at all despite being built on its code.  In Angband you have a huge number of options for detection, offense, escape, and everything else, and to make up for that, all of the really dangerous enemies can kill you in just a few turns.

In Sil your choices are way more limited, which makes the options you do have more meaningful.  You can't just cast teleport away from a dangerous situation.  You need to have an escape plan ready before things turn bad.

One of the cool things about Sil is that it works as both a kill-everything-hack-&-slash and as a game of infrequent, dangerous and interesting combat.

mushroom patch

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Re: Roguelikes with infrequent, dangerous and interesting combat
« Reply #36 on: April 03, 2014, 10:36:40 PM »
Sil isn't Angband-like at all despite being built on its code.  In Angband you have a huge number of options for detection, offense, escape, and everything else, and to make up for that, all of the really dangerous enemies can kill you in just a few turns.

In Sil your choices are way more limited, which makes the options you do have more meaningful.  You can't just cast teleport away from a dangerous situation.  You need to have an escape plan ready before things turn bad.

One of the cool things about Sil is that it works as both a kill-everything-hack-&-slash and as a game of infrequent, dangerous and interesting combat.

Right, of course things like scrolls of teleport level (or more hilariously spellbooks with teleport level spells, word of *destruction*, genocide, etc.) short circuit tons of tactical depth that comes out when you remove them as in Sil. The capacity to escape in Angband is so absolute once you've gotten past the mid 20s in character level, it's pretty nuts. (Some variants take half-measures to mitigate this, e.g. no-tele vaults, no *destruction* or genocide levels, etc. as soon as you have the ability to unconditionally remove monsters or instantly teleport out of line of sight, it's really all the same.)

But yeah, I agree about the versatility of Sil and the that difference is primarily down to lack of canned/automatic escapes and to a lesser extent lack of easy detection (as well as mechanics that allow the player to gain experience without killing anything).

LazyCat

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Re: Roguelikes with infrequent, dangerous and interesting combat
« Reply #37 on: April 04, 2014, 12:10:06 AM »
I thought this was about games like PrincessRL and Fragile Wraith, which have multiple attack options instead of simple bumping.

The title also sounds like a description of RPG games in general. Although classic RPG battles are really no different than fights in roguelikes, people would probably say RPG battles are more interesting, and perhaps that's what you are really after.

CaptainKraft

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Re: Roguelikes with infrequent, dangerous and interesting combat
« Reply #38 on: April 05, 2014, 03:16:04 PM »
You could have a look into Dwarf Fortress in Fortress Mode (already mentioned) because it has exactly what you are asking for. Maybe it's not the type of game you are looking for but it can still give you some insight into how it fills the gaps and makes those ultra dangerous bouts of combat interesting.

I would also recommend UnReal World. Combat is one of the most interesting parts of the game even though it can be very rare.
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