Hello again everyone! So I know that you’re all dying to learn more about how the game will actually play, so this week’s blog post is all about how combat is going to work in Project Resurgence!
First off, we’ve been proudly touting the fact that the game will feature two combat systems rolled into one: turn-based AND real-time combat! Turn-based combat will let you play at your own pace, with each character taking individual turns and allowing you to maximize your tactics with chessmaster precision—ala X-COM, Shadowrun Returns, or Divinity: Original Sin. Meanwhile, real-time combat will be much more frantic, forcing you to make split-second decisions as all the action happens—ala Dragon Age, Baldur’s Gate, or Pillars of Eternity. Because we love you guys, we want you to have the best of both worlds!
The first RPG that usually comes to mind when people talk about having two modes of combat is Arcanum. Though the balance between these two modes is arguably the game’s biggest issue, Arcanum is still a great (though flawed) game. Little known fact, it was actually not even designed to have real-time combat. The additional combat mode was an afterthought demanded by the publisher late in the production cycle. To avoid a similar fate, we started out with the dual forms of combat in mind and have tailored our design paradigms to match. As such, each combat ability your characters can learn will be equally useful, regardless of the current combat mode. Really, the only difference is the pace and level of control you prefer for tactical combat.
Some of the basic differences between our implementation of turn-based and real-time combat:
|Actions cost time based on your total AP||Actions cost are taken out of your total AP|
|Non-controlled characters have player set AI||Control all characters in sequence|
|Time runs constantly but is can be paused||Time only advances by turn|
|Surprised opponents are stunned for 5 seconds||Surprised opponents cannot act for one round|
|Reaction abilities trigger instantly||Reaction abilities trigger on opponent’s turn|
Our turn-based combat features an Action Point (AP) system that should be reminiscent of games like Fallout, Arcanum, and Divinity: Original Sin. Combat is then divided into rounds (representing 5 seconds of real time), where each character gets an individual turn. All characters act in order of their initiative stat, and can spend up to their max AP to move, attack, and perform other actions. Any unspent AP can be saved for the following round (up to half the character’s max), or used to trigger “reaction” attacks on enemy turns such as Overwatch (counterattack) and Unravel (counterspell). Once everyone has acted, the round is over and the next one begins.
Now what about real-time combat? I’m glad you asked, because we’re trying to capture the essence of the organized chaos that is battle in a way that does not overwhelm the player. We do this by applying all the same basic rules of turn-based combat, but with every character’s turn happening simultaneously. Though AP will not be displayed in real-time, a character’s max AP is still the factor that will scale the animation time for all their actions. So a character with 10AP will move and attack twice as fast as a character with only 5AP. Action Points are really nothing more than a unit to represent how long actions take to accomplish, and characters with high Dexterity and Intellect always act quickest.
For you real-time fans, I’m sure you’re already wondering about companion character AI. This of course won’t be necessary in turn-based combat, but we’ve got you covered for real-time mode. Hence, we are implementing the revolutionary ability to be able to pause and issue commands for your companions (just like you could back in 1998)! In addition, you can also switch control to any of your companions at any time, and each has a unique Quickbar of items/talents that you can customize.
We also plan on giving you detailed customization options for your companion AIs, so that you have less micromanagement issues during combat. We don’t want you having to worry about your companions not healing themselves, not prioritizing the right enemies, hitting you with friendly fire, and other stupid antics. To this end, we plan on having an approach both simple and complex. First, you’ll be able to choose a combat role for each character, with basic inherent tactics. Then, for those who want to go even deeper, you can specify a prioritized list of triggers and responses so your characters do exactly what you need, when you need it (similar to the systems in Dragon Age: Origins and Final Fantasy 12).
In keeping with our main design goal of player freedom we want to give you the ability to chose how to handle (or even avoid) combat with the pace and style that you prefer. We know that what’s most fun for us may not be the most fun for you, and your enjoyment is what matters most. Like everything else in the world of Lumen, there is a choice to be made that can lead you to greatness or ruin. Will you make your mark or become a forgotten footnote in the annals of history? So tell us, which mode will you favor and why?
Please remember that everything laid out here is still in its development/testing stages and may be subject to change. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this week’s blog post! Please leave us a comment below, or hop on our forums and join the discussion!
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