In Depth: Combat System 2 + Prototype Combat Build
On this weekend's In Depth, we're continuing the previous update's discussion about combat system. This time the main topic is customization -- how far are we really designing a 'play with your own style' customization options?
Aaand, after numerous tests of polishing and destroying bugs, we thought it's time to show a playable prototype build to you all. It might look like the game, but it's basically still bare as it is. Read more about it down there or jump straight to the web player!
Combat System: Customizations
As many of you might know through our updates, each playable character in Celestian Tales: Old North are special. We wanted combat to not just be a must-have addition to an RPG -- we want it to empower each character's personalities and story.
The massive amount of customizations in the game is basically made possible by the modular elements you can mix-and-match yourself. The list is as follows:
- There are six playable characters
- You can bring up to three characters into combat
- Each character has three equipment slots: a Weapon, an Armor, and an Accessory.
- Each character possesses dozens of combat skills, but you may only bring a limited amount of them into combat.
- Each character also has a number of passive skills, and you also may only bring a limited amount into combat.
Sounds difficult? We'll get to them one by one.
Team Members: You will have one main character who can't be put out of combat -- but you can pick another two to fight with you. This means that in a normal condition where all six characters are available, you'll have 10 possible team combinations you can choose. Because each character has different combat roles, swapping one character with another drastically changes the dynamics of your encounters.
Equipment: With only three slots available compared to many more we commonly see in traditional RPGs, how can this add customizations? Do you remember games where you start out with a Wooden Sword and then swap it for an Iron Sword, then a Bronze Sword, and in the end an ultimate powerful weapon with a cool name like Rainbow? That doesn't happen here.
We wanted to make items more horizontal than vertical. For example, at one time you might ponder between choosing Serrated Daggers which has an innate probability to inflict Bleed, Misericorde which deals additional damage against humanoids,or just go with the trusty Plainsman's Knife, with genuine good damage and no additional stuffs.
Of course there's also the vertical advancement. The weapons and armors you used to love in the first decade will be outdated as you mature into a full-fledged knight, which calls for better and stronger equipment. You will search for hidden ones, receive some as rewards for your deeds, or maybe even craft your own -- but it won't just always be switching to a stronger one. You will have choices; and choices have consequences.
Skills: Each character will have more than a dozen skills available for combat. The catch is that you can only bring a limited amount of them -- a limit which increases along with the passing of decades. Skills that you bring into combat will determine a character's focus role, shaping up your playing style even more.
For example, packing Reynard with skills like Bestial Frenzy and Slayer's Fury makes him a very powerful damage dealer in expense of lowering defenses and losing his own HP. It's a viable style if you have supports in the team to keep him running, but if you don't, you might want to pick safer skills like Shield Breaker or Heavy Blows, which isn't as hard-hitting but also with less drawbacks. Or perhaps you'd like him to be atank who soaks up damage while also being able to return the favor? Then get Battle Cry or Sentinel, which forces the enemy to hit him and take his wrath.
Passive Skills: Other than the skills we described above, you also have passive skills. It works basically in the same way as before -- you have many of it, but may only pick some to bring into combat. You might frown at Reynard's tendency for suicidal attacks, but you love the damage -- then bring Boundless Endurance, which heals himself every time he deals damage. Or maybe you just want the numbers to go through the roof -- then take Reckless Stance, lowering your defenses further in return for higher damage output.
What do you think about the customization options? We really love to hear your feedback! :D
Prototype Combat Build
We know some of you have been waiting for this. We wished to deliver more, but due to time constraints (do you know that in our country, we have two weeks holiday right now?) we could only deliver a fraction of what we aimed for. You can say it's like the test bed -- you can try out the things we want to apply in the game, but the shape itself is still basic.
Try it out yourselves here!
Due to our upgraded backgrounds, we wanted to show more of it -- and that means revamping the UI positions. We also add smoother animations to the characters, though incomplete. In the future we will add more animation frames, but as far as time goes for now, this could do.
A couple of notes about the web player:
- Items and Run do not work.
- If you can't do anything at all, it could be because the web player isn't in focus. To fix this, click on the game window first (as in, the 800x600 combat itself)
- You can't die. You're not going to lose against two bandits, are you?
You can try everything you want here. Mash attack buttons, see how that turns out. Heal every turn, or spam your Blade Flurry until your SP's drained. In the end, we found out that utilizing all three -- attack, defend, and skills -- works best. That's the kind of gameplay we want.
What's your take on the prototype? Do you enjoy it? Found any bugs? Do throw us a comment! :D