Cleave & Duel Wield

Artix Krieger | Wednesday, June 27, 2018

"Make the Combat Better-er!"

I posted a video on AdventureQuest 3D's Facebook where I am dual wielding my axe the Blinding Light of Destiny. It was crazy fun. The improved rogue class we have in testing allows you to do this. Just like the new warrior lets you cleave through monsters around you. We are working on a lot of things... but today, I would like to talk about improving COMBAT!

Combat Philosophy

Philosophy = Keep making the game more fun with each release

  • Combat should be fun!
  • You should be able to play the way you want...axe wielding ninja? Go for it.
  • Every class should be fun to play and be a bit unique
  • Weapons and Armor should support all classes so you do not have to choose
  • You should never be punished for switching classes
  • Animations / Loaded Items / Particles & Effects must work on supported phone devices
  • Modern PCs should effortlessly handle 100 players and a ton of monsters at the same time
  • You should be rewarded for collecting and ranking up classes

The Current System

We are addressing a lot of things that were brought up a while ago

Originally, we had designed the game around one on one combat with a targeted enemy.  There were a lot of technical reasons for this. We built this, our first 3D MMORPG, from scratch using Unity. We have learned SO MUCH! But we do not have time to rewrite the entire game engine from the ground up. So we will modify the existing code the best we can to support features to make everything from questing to battling through dungeons more fun.

Combat Timing

There are a lot of tiny mis-timings in the hit/damage/particle/feedback of our current combat. It is possible the 2018 update broke some things. Rabblefroth and Korin carefully reviewed our existing classes and are currently tweeking it to feel perfectly responsive. This is one of those small changes that will feel really, really good, but most people will never know why.

Combat Sound FX

Paladin & Alpha Pirate have much better Sound FX than our original classes. So we are doing another sound pass on classes & combat to bring them up to the new quality. This includes the sounds for your regular attack-- which, for some reason are not even audible in the current game version. (You can hear the swing though, weird!)

Warrior... testing Cleave

We are experimenting with giving warrior close-combat cleave attacks. This allows the warrior class to excel at fighting many enemies at once. This feels really good... especially when I used it against weaker enemies on the Shadowskull bridge. One thing was still off though...

Monsters need to get "HIT" when you hit them

Currently, monsters only play their HIT animation when they are not in the middle of doing anything else... attacking or walking. Which, means most of the time you hit a monster and see nothing but floating damage numbers. Korin is experimenting with adding an animation blended jerk to monsters upon hit so you can feel when you hit them.

Rogue... testing Dual Wield

In DragonFable, Rogue's always dual wielded their daggers and scythes. So we are at long last  experimenting with letting Rogues dual wield. It looks and feels really fun. The Rogue animations need updated-- but we are pretty sure this is something we want to do. Right now the Rogue class simply dual wields whatever item you have equipped. This is the simplest solution to a long set of problems and "what ifs..." that are certain to be talked about in the comments below. We take a pretty heavy performance hit for having another externally loaded weapon in your off hand on mobile. We considered having a separate daggers category of weapon-- but this would limit Rogue to only one type of weapon. We considered only duplicating the weapons if they were daggers... which is technically feasible, but the animations would look weird if there was nothing in your off hand. We also considered just forcing a default dagger into your hand if you were wielding a sword or larger weapon in your main hand but again, we get that same performance hit on mobile. Honestly, dual wielding just feels good... I am all for just letting Rogues duel wield whatever the heck they want and declaring it a dual wield class. "rogue always steals an extra weapon". Beta Berseker would also be a dual wield class.

Mage... experimenting with Fireball splash damage

The Mage's default attack will likely stay single target... but their fireballs should do some splash damage, hitting all enemies around the target for damage.

DEATH... not the guy, you.

Can we make dying more fun? Well, we can definately make the order of events when you die smoother. Right now-- the screen goes gray the moment your HP reaches 0. Then your character plays the death animation, slowly falling forward. Then Death comes out to hang out with you in the afterworld for a bit. The new order is going to start when the monster actually hits you causing your HP hits 0... which will cause your character to abruptly be hit backwards and only when your body hits the floor will the green turn gray and Death will come out to play. We need a good new sound for "respawn/teleport" -- and it needs to be added to 3D audio so you can hear where on the map someone teleported.

New Class Armors

Finally... Dage & Thyton remade the Warrior, Rogue, & Mage base armors. You may have seen screenshots of their work on their Twitter accounts. All of the base class armors have shoes built into the armor-- no more bare feet! Warrior has new geometry including the grill which was textured onto the old warrior armor. Mage now has a pointy hat option and a book. Rogue looks absolutely wicked in leather. I will post some pictures for you once the final art is in. Like DragonSlayer, you will be able to do quests and also daily quests to unlock a collection the Warrior, Rogue, and Mage pieces. This will become available at the Trainer Hall-- where we are going to add tests and challenges for the classes.

Chain Aggro & DUNGEONS

These new skills will ultimately lead us to changing the way dungeons are designed. ... and the most important new feature will be Chain Aggro. Instead of fighting one-on-one battles, you will likely pull groups of monsters which you can use your new skills to overcome. The guys are pretty excited about adding special skills and telegraphs to monsters... Rabblefroth says we can now assign any skill to any monster and need to start doing so. I am going to try to get a wizard skeleton firing fireballs in... something we could not do before. With these things we can create a lot of new, unique, experiences when exploring dungeons.

Notes & Questions

This week, while most of the coding team is fixing the 2018 upgrade bugs, the content team is primarily focused on DEATH'S LAIR. Yes, we are completely redoing the intro to AdventureQuest 3D. For the record, we redid the intro to AQWorlds at least 10 times... so, I guess we only have 7 more times to go after this one :D  Xero already finished 3D Modeling DEATH and Dage is actually on his way home to continue texturing him tonight. Another prominent character got 3D modeled today... O_O SEEECRETSSSS.... going to need a few more days to finishing texturing and animating. So I am not sure if there will be a release this week. Although, I did see something with portals on Yergens screen. Is he secretly making a Dragon's Graveyard Parkour map?

What do you think about the combat changes we talked about above? Want to give it a shot and see how it feels?


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