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Pillars of Eternity is an isometric, party-based computer RPG set in a new fantasy world developed by Obsidian Entertainment.
Pillars of Eternity is an isometric, party-based computer RPG set in a new fantasy world developed by Obsidian Entertainment.
73,986 backers pledged $3,986,929 to help bring this project to life.

Project Eternity Update #44: The Rules of (Melee) Engagement

Posted by Obsidian Entertainment (Creator)

Update by Josh Sawyer, Project Director and Lead Designer

Last week, our art director, Rob, showed you our godlike concepts and dazzled you with an in-depth technical breakdown of how we're doing animation rigging on the project. This week, we'll be talking about a different technical subject, but one that's more connected to gameplay: engagement -- specifically, melee engagement.

Melee engagement is a solution to two common problems in the Infinity Engine games: melee characters' inability to control an area and ranged characters' ability to "kite" melee characters. In the Infinity Engine games, melee characters could be quite powerful in toe-to-toe combat, but many opponents found ways to foil those characters with little difficulty. Fast characters could easily rush around a slower melee character with impunity and ranged characters could backpedal perpetually out of reach.

If you're familiar with D&D 3E/3.5/4E/Pathfinder's attack of opportunity mechanics, Project Eternity's melee engagement fills a similar role by making melee combatants "sticky". Coming near a melee combatant means being drawn into Engagement with him or her, a state that can be risky to get out of.

Here's how it works: when two opposed combatants come near each other and one of them a) has a melee weapon equipped b) is not moving and c) is not currently at his or her maximum limit of engagement targets (the standard is 1), the other character will be Engaged.

When an opponent is Engaged by an attacker, moving any significant distance away from the attacker will provoke a Disengagement Attack. A Disengagement Attack has an inherent Accuracy bonus, does significantly more damage than a standard attack, and will call a hit reaction animation while momentarily stopping the character's movement.

When it's initiated, a Disengagement Attack automatically breaks Engagement on the target, but if the target is also the attacker's current melee target, the attacker will typically be able to re-establish Engagement before the target can move farther away. In this manner, melee combatants, especially ones that have high Accuracy and damage per hit, have a solid mechanic for keeping enemies close to them -- or making the cost of escape extremely expensive.

Of course, there are other ways to end Engagement. If the attacker switches to a non-melee weapon or performs a non-melee-based action, Engagement immediately ends. If the attacker moves away from their Engagement targets, is paralyzed, knocked down, or otherwise prevented from maintaining a threat, Engagement will also immediately end. If the attacker has a limited number of Engagement targets (as most do) and switches his or her attack focus to a different character, Engagement immediately ends.

We believe that Engagement can give AI a clear "decision point" where they can evaluate the threat of their new status and choose the appropriate course of action. For player-controlled characters, it makes melee enemies more potent threats and presents players with tactical challenges to solve.

We want Engagement to be a mechanic that players and enemies can mess with using a variety of class Abilities and general Talents, so we will be experimenting with a variety of elements to that end:

  • Fighters' Defender mode allows them to engage two additional targets and increases the range at which they engage targets. This gives fighters much greater capability to control the area around them.
  • The limited-use Escape ability lets rogues break Engagement without provoking a Disengagement Attack. It is generally best used when the rogue's enemy is preoccupied with another target.
  • Barbarians can use Wild Rush to temporarily ignore the movement stop and hit reactions from Engagement and Disengagement Attacks, respectively -- though they can still suffer massive damage while powering through.
  • The wizards' Grimoire Slam allows them to attack an enemy in melee with their magically-charged grimoires, unleashing a concussive wave of energy on contact. If it hits, the attack knocks the target back, usually far enough to break Engagement in the process.

Additionally, creatures may have their own special abilities related to Engagement and Disengagement Attacks. We hope that the system itself is easy to understand but allows for increasingly complex tactical considerations over the course of the game.

That's all for this week! Let us know what you think of the mechanic on our forums. Your feedback, as always, is appreciated. In our next update, in addition to our usual weekly content, we'll also be continuing our thrilling coverage of Chris Avellone's playthrough of Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura.

FORUMS: Discuss this update on our forums!


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    1. Missing avatar

      john on

      Have you considered giving melee classes a dash or charge skill in addition to the engagement circle so they can close gaps quicker? maybe give it a break engagement function so that you can get out of an enemy's circle and make a hasty retreat. the attacker then has to use his own dash to catch up or spend the time chasing the opponent down.

    2. Missing avatar

      Nicolas on

      I love the sound of The Rules of (Melee) Engagement. The few things I would suggest are as follows:

      I agree with Adam Diran You need to be able to see an enemies Area of Threat. Most games already use colored target circles so just allow them to change size to match the unit's threat area. There needs to be a way that if the player wishes they can avoid accidentally giving away attacks of opportunity. Maybe have an option in each unit's character sheet (because this might be annoying if it always happened for all characters) that would cause them to not attempt to disengage or that would auto pause when that unit would automatically disengage when attempting to attack it's current target. Someone suggested Ctrl+ click idea to force a charge through, which would be great but still wouldn't prevent the AI from making bad decisions mid fight and incurring Attacks of Opportunity against it's self without another safeguard.

      As to this notion that the Disengagement attack always halts motion to allow the character to be locked down, this is a problem as illustrated by Derek Belanger by his Paladin vs. kobold example below. But it seems there is an easy solution to that problem and others like it. If the Attack of Opportunity granted during disengagement fails to do damage equal or greater than a certain percentage of the max HP (I'm thinking 10%) of the fleeing character they continue forward. In that way a Paladin blocking 3 kobolds could probably lock them all down and 3 kobolds attempting to block the Paladin would have little to no chance due to their pathetic damage output.

      If you tie it to damage dealt it also automatically makes a bigger, higher damage weapon more likely to lock down an opponent that attempts to flee. That makes sense I think, I'd love to see you try to keep running after getting tagged by a war hammer to the ribs, but being stopped dead in your tracks by a small cut from a knife seems absurd. That creates an issue I think where people would always feel compelled to give the tank the hugest two-handed weapon they could which I don't think is positive so I propose the following: The more massive the weapon is, maybe even based on the item weight allow fewer attacks of oportunity, but possibly allow it to scale up with the fighters strength. A man with average strength would be hard pressed to swing a 15 lb sword more than once every few seconds but if they had ogre strength it would be live a toothpick and could swing it wildly and continuously. Change the threat radius based on the equipped weapon, if you have a 6 foot long sword 8 feet is probably the threat range because of the sword, plus your arm's reach and a little movement that you could accomplish while wielding it. But I am not suggesting a person with a dagger would only have arms reach plus inches for the daggers blade as they would be much more free to move while wielding them so possibly more like 4 feet of so. These things would allow a weapon like the Bo Staff the have an interesting roll on the battle field as you would have great sword reach without the weight and thus could take more Attacks of Opportunity against enemies over a large area if the enemies insisted on running past to try and get at your squishies but would be less likely to lock them down as it wouldn't have as much damage as a heavier weapon.

      Since shields are a completely different animal I would propose a different rule when attempting to decide how they interact with area of threat. If a character is fighting sword and board then they would use the rules above unless the character trying to run past comes into body to body contact with the fighter, then the fighter would attempt to use his shield to bash or block their advancement,doing little to no damage would normally mean that the character would continue past but since shields are great at bodily blocking a person's advancement they would almost automatically be stopped in their tracks and possibly stunned briefly by running headlong into the shield.

      If you've read all this, thanks and I'd love to hear some feedback.

    3. David Tucker on

      Awesome System I agree 100%

    4. Tommy P. on

      The rules of (melee) engagement sound really good. Please do not dumb them down or, worse yet, remove them altogether, as melee characters do need ways to control the area around them and enemy movement must be penalized through that controlled/threatened area - to stop enemies simply waltzing past them with impunity.

    5. Missing avatar

      KrisP on

      Very nice update, i'm loving the D&D mechanics. The Grimoire Slam description sounds badass. Not sure why I keep picturing it in a movie, but it would be exciting to see that magician/warlock/wizard/etc. studying his fragile-looking book throughout the story, then use it in a battle to just slap-shot a baddie trying to sneak-attack from behind across the room.

    6. Nikki on

      a good simple system that does the job with minimum interference. i like it.

      ha i loved the helios one cup too pity you guys never released small new vegas merchandise like that. actually it would be a better bonus in collectors editions than the usual crappy plastic statues, etc you normally get

    7. Missing avatar

      Tom D on

      Awesome update. Was always annoyed in dragon age how characters (mine included) could just run by melee soldiers and make them useless for protection. Think this will do quite nicely :). Keep up the good work.
      Will engagement range partially depend on weapon type? I would think a spear or pole axe would be able to engage an enemy from about 5 meters away, while a knife would have almost no engagement range at all. This could make a difference in what weapons my defenders need to carry to protect my ranged soldiers in an open area.

    8. Taragon on

      im also reminded of the bloodbowl tackle zone mechanic

    9. Nameless Knightshark on

      I second what Adam said below:

      Adam Diran about 3 hours ago
      Sounds great but I'll want 2 things.
      1. Easily visible representation of engagement (an aura around the feet connecting them?
      2. Some way to ensure I don't accidently disengage via inadvertent mouse-clicks.

    10. Calvin on

      Sure... I guess?


      dat mouse

    11. Missing avatar

      Taziar on

      I think I have the best approach to accomplish what Josh talks about (blocking paths and such) without locking.

      All characters have a personal space. If you run into their personal space, the AI will stop (if it can't run around them). If you choose to force-click through, then you risk some pain. But if you choose to back away, or run around them you can. You are not locked. But a single warrior could still guard a door, because his personal space would be bigger then just him, though not full melee range size, but enough to cover a doorway.

      The abilities mentioned would still be useful, a thief could still dodge past an enemy, a Barbarian could run through. It would also allow you to tell your warrior (via force click) in platemail to run past the kobolds and attack the ogre magi. It would also address the grazing the edge of the circle. You will likely be gone before an attack of opportunity (engagement attack if you prefer) and you wouldn't get magically sucked in for crossing the engagement threshold. But if you blatantly violate it, attacks would be made.

    12. Justin on

      As a follow up, don't you think it likely that rogues will probably have some sort of stealth mechanic that would let them avoid those engagements? I bet they will, I also bet it will be on a cooldown. So yes, drop a smoke bomb at the enemies feet and run past quickly... once per battle. In your example, boom, you're now taking down that squishy that needs to die. Just don't expect to do it all the time, everytime as often as you want. It makes you think, is it worth using my ability to get past this guy right now, or do I need to save it for later? I have full faith they will test these mechanics and get them balanced. Maybe it will be rock-paper-scissors style, but that's still balance. Don't make a party of all mages or all rogues and expect to have every tool at your disposal.

    13. Justin on

      I've played plenty of real-time RPG's. Including all the ones you've mentioned. Let's take Dragon Age (played on highest difficulty) as an example. In that game if you have a mage who gets a melee on them, they will die. Once mages get aggro they just die, even from ranged. So what does that mean? It means you use abilities/spells to control the fight. Stuns, roots, other characters taunts. You use every tool in your arsenal to *not* get hit by *anything.* Now let's say you decide: "Oh boy, that big mage behind all those melee mobs needs to die." Do you run your frail mage straight through them so you can get in range to blast him? NO!!!! You use crowd control. AE stun, blasts that throw the melee away, etc etc etc. There are tools to accomplish this. Guess what? I bet the same will happen here. You need to control the battle to win. They're basically taking a mechanic that simulates the one or two hit kill scenario from Dragon Age on highest difficulty, and spreading it around other difficulties by using engagement instead of just killing your character outright. Tactics man! Strategy! Things more complicated than "have the archer fire while running and beat the entire game."

    14. Missing avatar

      Taziar on

      Justin, have you ever played a real-time RPG before? Even with pause, it is hard to be that precise in controlling units. To make it 1/2 way manageable, they will have to implement waypoints and command queues, so we don't have to pause every 2 seconds to manually path-find a unit around an enemy engagement zone to reach another target.

      Their plan might be to have the character AI be smart enough, but my experience with pathfinding/AI in countless games doesn't give me great faith this will happen. Getting path-finding to use doors is an accomplishment, never mind walking AROUND traps. (KOTOR, NWN2, Dragon Age as well if I remember correctly) I have little faith it will compensate for an engagement radius on a moving target without getting caught on terrain, or stuck in a logic loop dance. Perhaps I am just cynical.

      Tactics is sending my rogue to the back to attack the archers/spell-slingers. Manually babysit-clicking him to run around the enemies who may already be in battle on the way, is micromanagement. There was no mention if a locked down target can lock-down someone else. I.e. My tank has engaged with 2 enemies. If each one of them can engage 1 enemy, (1 for my tank, the other is free) then If my rogue drifts too closely, can he get engaged?

      I don't hate the concept of an engagement system, I just don't it will play-out well in the game.

    15. Missing avatar

      Taziar on

      Riddle, yes.

      Escape - " It is generally best used when the rogue's enemy is preoccupied with another target."
      Wild Rush - "...though they can still suffer MASSIVE DAMAGE while powering through."
      Grimoire Slam - ..."usually far enough to break Engagement in the process."

      These are limited use abilities, and still don't sound very effective. 1 requires a second unit as a distraction, 1 says you will still take lots of damage, and the third says it 'usually' works.

    16. Adam Diran on

      Sounds great but I'll want 2 things.

      1. Easily visible representation of engagement (an aura around the feet connecting them?
      2. Some way to ensure I don't accidently disengage via inadvertent mouse-clicks.

    17. Justin on

      *sigh* My point was to *NOT* use realism in games. Yes, a bullet/arrow/javelin/giant-thrown-boulder to the face will pretty much kill anyone in one shot. Those are great mechanics for games... first person shooters. Are they great mechanics for RPG's? No. Would RPG's really be fun if every single character on both sides just one shot each other with virtually any attack? I'd think not.

      Also I love the hyperbole about how that *one* melee fighter is going to lock down and entire room full of your party. Cause apparently the engagement range is going to be about 50 yards in your minds. From the sound of it, engagement range is *melee* range. So just don't get within melee range of the fighters and you don't get engaged. (Barring special abilities like taunts or what-have-you. Learn some tactics. Tanks are designed to prevent your squishies from getting hurt. Use them to lock down the other tanks before they hit your mage. Use that wizard to knock out the enemies artillery, don't try to have him run past melee characters and book-slap as his main ability.

      I just think people are sad they now have to worry about positioning, party formations, and terrain instead of just kite kite kite ftw.

    18. Dan George on

      I like it - kinda reminds me of Blood Bowl.

    19. Missing avatar

      Ty on

      Sounds awesome!

    20. Daniel

      @porcupine In your example with Indy and the swordsman, the swordsman was never in melee range. That kind of nullifies your ability to argue against the melee behaviour with that as an example ;)

    21. Riddlewrong on

      @Derek Belanger -

      Did you read the actual article? At the end, several example abilities are given that allow classes the potential to disengage from melee. Movement wouldn't stop and everyone wouldn't get "stuck".

    22. The Lazy One on

      It's a good system, I think. At least enemies will stop running past the damn tank. Most of the time.

    23. Porcupine on

      Look, I'm the first to admit that I'm neither a D&D expert nor some Shaolin ninja - if any of this is trying to imply that in the well known Indiana Jones scene the Arab swordsman should be entitled to some sort of fair fight when facing Indy's revolver (and that this sort of thing will be enforced in the game), we'll just have to agree to disagree. STRONGLY.

      Ranged weapons might have poor effectiveness against adequately armored foes and sufficiently powerful melee weapons might devastate a weaker ranged foe in a single blow given the chance - but all else being equal a ranged weapon from some distance away is always going to win against a melee one in reality, and that's the way it should be in the game as well as far as I'm concerned. Sorry.

    24. Missing avatar

      Taziar on

      Thought about it more, here is a real problem. Once combat begins, all your units would essentially be stuck. I see enemies, my melee fighters engage. Now, they are locked there until they kill all the enemies near them, or they use some sort of limited use ability and still likely take some punishing attacks. Worse, if more enemies come and attack my ranged/spell casters there is nothing I can do. My ranged characters get stuck in melee, and my fighters can't help because they are already locked in melee themselves.

      It will completely kill movement after a battle begins.

    25. ezryder914 on

      Engagement sounds cool. That is a really big d20 by the way. :)

    26. Céline .S. Sauvé on

      Interesting. So you basically gave the melee monsters a way to "Mark" their targets, like D&D 4e Defenders.

      As I'm not a fan of Wizards, I am hoping there's another spell-class that I just missed somewhere.

      As for any comments suggesting they revamp the whole concept... I believe it's a bit late for that once they're proudly showing us their baby.

      Tweaking the range? Now that might be possible.

    27. Missing avatar

      Nikita Obnosov on

      This system sounds great, not only for fighters but also for thieves. Now fighters can tie down the front lines and thieves can go and slaughter some squishy mages or backstab the melee guys.

    28. Wayne Sung on

      Nice rage mode there. ;p

      I think I'd like to see an in-game demo before I make any final opinion.

      But it sounds like the complaints are mainly towards the area of effect Engagement would have. Can it be a stance like how warrior classes in WoW have attack and defense? Engagement stance would then create an aura that will have the effects you showed us, but if the melee member needs to move without threat of encounters, he turns Engagement off. This will allow more flexibility of play and not force players into Engagement as a melee method.

    29. Wim Jansen

      Hmm, so many opinions on this subject. Personally, I think this engagement mechanism can work, but it all comes down to how and how easy an engagement is establshed and how easy it is to disengage. I would prefer a mechanism where the NPC first spots you if you come into his vision/hearing turns to face you and, depending on its (un)frienlyness, then closes in. Only if you come within (a smaller) range would you be engaged.
      As for engagement being a solution for kiting, I am not so sure. Either kiting would still be possible if enough distance is kept or completely impossible, potentially making melee type characters too powerful. After all, ranged attacks are a balancing mechanism to begin with. Besuides, there are much simpler way to limit kiting; for instance make sure that moving backwards is slower than moving forwards, making sure that the one attack will agt some point close the dkistance.

    30. Jean-Luc Picard on

      Great move Obsidian, kiting is always a problem with RTwP.

    31. Missing avatar

      Taziar on

      Take Dragon Age for example. Your party is fighting away in real time, all against different targets. One of your members kills his target and you don't notice the instant it happens, so he will automatically run to attack another enemy. You see him running, you pause and redirect him somewhere else. Now imagine it with this locking mechanism, if he drifts too close before you stop him, he will get sucked into battle and unless you have a special ability available, you have to just leave him there? Or give him high-damaging-movement-slowing-attacks at your back until you are dead? That is not deep tactics. That is babysit or be punished.

      Giving Starcraft as an example of deep tactics is bad. That game is all about APMs, not complex strategy.

    32. When I do, you won't know. on

      Fucking love it! Well done.

    33. Missing avatar

      Taziar on

      An attack rate boost while you run past inherently balances with how deep you go in their threat range. If you just graze the circle, it will make little difference. If you try to nearly run through an enemy, you will get hit far more.

      A locking mechanism is silly. If a creature is not enough of a threat where a free strike or two isn't a deterrent to running past them, then they are not a real threat and shouldn't be able to lock someone down. A blind kobold wielding a dagger should not be able to lock down a paladin in full plate as he charges past. Even worse, if they don't allow for creatures with zero lock down targets, a few aggressive rats would lock down your party.

      Justin, I have taken martial arts too. You can not stop three people running past you, except perhaps in a very narrow hallway. This game mechanic would apply in ROOMS as well. Also, these are not multiple attackers, your forms do not apply. Have you ever watched football? Just because they are not attacking, you doesn't mean they are not paying attention.

      Micromanagement is not strategy. Having to babysit my entire party to avoid gravity wells of encounter locking is a pain.

      You would get quicker attacks, because you don't have to spend time countering their attacks. Your strikes would not be more accurate, however. You are swinging at people in armor as they run by. You don't have time to aim for weak spots, you simply swing away. Also, as they are not attacking, they can focus solely on dodging your attacks as they run by.

      Increase the attack rate when you run by enemies. Your character should normally stop automatically to avoid this, but give the option of a force move (Like Control + Click) that will ignore the circle and go where it is told without stopping. I would risk running past a kobold. I would not risk running past an ogre. You don't need artificial locking and slow down mechanics.

    34. Missing avatar

      Nathan Destler on

      Derek, I think the point is for careful positioning to matter quite a lot, which means if you barely graze the edge of the enemy's circle, that's your own fault. I think of it like positioning in Starcraft (because RTS micro isn't far from isometric RPG combat), where the onus is on you to stay away from the banelings or you die horribly.

      Also, if you're running past an enemy, you're already doing something that the system is explicitly designed to punish you for. Yes, it creates a huge mess, but that's precisely the point.

      Now, as for your argument about the nature of the free attack. I have many issues with attacks of opportunity, but I don't really get your points. You say an accuracy and damage boost doesn't make sense, but the target is making themselves open to your attack, meaning that you can clobber them pretty hard and pretty easily. There's a move in modern Olympic fencing called a fleche, which is basically "charge past your opponent and hit them on the way." It's incredibly dangerous unless it catches your opponent off-guard, because you basically lose all defensive ability and can get hit really easily. In fact, you almost always get hit, but the rules of fencing sometimes award you the point anyway (because the rules of modern Olympic fencing are weird). As for stopping momentum, well, I can say from experience that nothing stops momentum quite like getting clothslined, and I don't see that being less true if it's with an axe. Given that in real life you'd probably fall over and/or in half, a momentary stop seems practically lenient.

      All that aside, I do share a general gameplay concern that this will make combat too locked-in. As such, I hope there are plenty of abilities that allow characters to move, escape, or break engagements in one way or another. And perhaps more ways for ranged characters to keep melee characters from getting to them in the first place, so they don't get anti-kited to death instantly (incidentally, conventional kiting could actually work for this). Ultimately I think this system is a good idea, but just keep in mind that it's possible to go too far and create the opposite of the kiting problem.

    35. Justin on

      @Derek Belanger ... I've trained in martial arts for over 6 years in Traditional Shaolin Kung Fu. This is an art designed to fight multiple attackers at once. I would love to see you and two of your friends try to run past me in a small space and ignore me while you tried to attack a friend of mine behind me. Your logic is flawed. All 3 of you will be in either severe pain, or sprawled on the floor. Don't bring real world logic to a game, especially when it's not accurate. It's a game mechanic that they (and I) feel brings some much needed "battlefield awareness" mechanics into play.

    36. Missing avatar

      Taziar on

      I just read a bit more, and the Grimoire slam, Escape, and Wild Rush can be used to illustrate the problem.

      Picture this. My party is running past an enemy, perhaps to get to a boss or more dangerous threat, and my barbarian is in front. I try to run around, but barely graze their circle. He gets engaged. I pause the game, activate my wild rush, and unpause. He gets out of range. My rogue was right behind him, but as soon as the Barbarian is no longer engaged, the enemy is free to lock my rogue into melee. I immediately pause, and use Escape. Then my mage, a few steps behind him, gets locked. Pause. Use ability. Unpause. Really frustrating.

      Also, forgot to mention, the pause effect from getting hit? Bad idea. Getting hit by a sword doesn't negate the laws of momentum, especially of you get hit on the back or side, which is likely if you are rushing past someone. Interrupting/delaying attacks, sure, even makes getting swarmed by many weak enemies more dangerous. Stopping a running opponent? No. (except for the aforementioned shield check)

      Getting trapped in melee-locked-hell doesn't sound like my idea of fun.

    37. thenthomwaslike on

      i love this idea, kiting has always made no logical sense to me, its great to see a way to reduce this from being the only viable tactic

    38. Missing avatar

      Taziar on

      The system sounds like it would be a ClusterF in game. I see either your party's AI, or the enemy's AI either stupidly grazing the radius and getting stuck, or some other issue inherent in the chaotic nature of real-time party based games.

      Realistically if three people try to run past a melee fighter, the melee fighter would likely get a swing on ONE of them. And it wouldn't be great attack either. The fighter is just trying to land a blow before they get past, they don't have the time to make a precise shot.

      If you want to address Kiting, then give archers moving shot penalties that last for a second after they stop moving, penalties for hitting moving targets, and make shields more effective arrow deterrents, which will also make dual wielding less overused.

      As far as blocking, perhaps something with a bit more flavor (see below). It would be a free attack, but with a realtime, perhaps instead, quicker animation/shorter time between strikes. Basically you would attack faster, like you were hasted. You wouldn't be more accurate, instead you would just flail your weapons at them because you wouldn't have to worry about defending.
      1. With two weapons they can strike up to 2 passing opponents, just standard attacks and not twice on one. (Body twisting would make hitting the same running opponent with both weapons really awkard)
      2. If the fighter has a shield it gives them a chance to knock down the runner with a 'body check'. (or stun them if you don't have trip animations)
      3. If they have a two handed weapon, then they have an increased chance to critically hit. Think being clothes-lined by a two-handed sword. There should also be a larger threat range.

      Also, It should be affected by the equipped weapon of the runner. If someone with a tower shield tries to rush past a melee fighter, they would do pretty damn well, probably better than the defender, think shield charge. If they were wielding darts, then not so well.

      But locking in with easy re-locking? Sounds like a micromanagement control disaster waiting to happen, that will involve lots of cursing at the screen. It should stop movement once just so you don't accidentally run through and get your party Cuisinarted, but NOT keep re-locking. After the AI stupidly runs all my melee party members to surround a single kobold warrior and get locked in, while they are being pelted by archers, I will not be happy. Even more likely, a party member runs through, gets hit, then gets stuck on some random piece of terrain or pathfinding hickup and gets re-locked. People will loathe your very existance.
      Engagement locking is a mechanic that works better for turn-based games, and even then, attacks of opportunity were often exploited. Temple of Elemental Evil anyone?

    39. Chris Conley on

      Yesss. I have wanted sticky fighters in CRPGs (and tactical strategy games) for, like, 15 years.

      @Mloren: Yes, of course a wizard who wanders next to a fighter is going to be cut to shreds. As it should be. The solution is to *not allow the fighter anywhere near the wizard*, perhaps through the use of fighters of your own. It's all about prevention and field control in general, a wizard's bread and butter.

    40. Dablue

      Cool update. At first glance i love the new system. I wonder if you not simply turn around the situation tho. Where the warrior is the all mighty peon on the battle field and ranged units are de-kited by warriors. (if that makes sence)

    41. Paul Andersen on

      Hell. Yes.

      It always annoyed me that characters couldn't effectively keep people from running past them in the Infinity Engine games, and AoO were a little too clunky in D&D. This sounds awesome, even down to the name.

    42. Missing avatar

      Mloren - Obsidian Order on

      I always disliked the Attack of Opportunity system...
      hopefully the Grimoire Slam and other abilities will address my main issue with it, which is:
      If a spell caster ends up in melee range of a fighter, he is probably going to die very quickly due to his lower health and armor class. In this system, the mage can't run away, doing so would provoke an attack and probably kill the spell caster.
      It's a frustrating "damned if you do, damned if you don't" system where there seems to be no way out.

      This really bugged me in 3.5 (mostly because I always played a wizard) and I hope this isn't a problem in project eternity.

    43. Nicholas Russell on

      Interesting discussion but what is the status of the actual game though? It's not that I don't appreciate this in depth analysis of mechanics nor that I want to rush you guys that I ask but it would be nice to know how far actual production is now, since it seems you have the basic framework set for most of the game.

    44. Silver on

      Nice update. :)

    45. advmal on

      booooooooooooooooooooooooooo shaved the beard.

    46. Arnifix

      Grimoire Slam sounds like the project infinity version of pogs.

    47. Sean Riedinger

      I have never been so happy about a Project update, and then I saw Grimoire Slam, and now I can't stop smiling.
      Bookslap specialist will be the best thing ever.

    48. Corbin Andrews on

      So Disengagement attacks are basically attacks of opportunity?

      When I first read that a disengagement attack will allow you to almost immediately re-engage the opponent, my first thought was that it would make an easily exploitable AI loop: force the enemy to disengage (maybe by using a ranged attack or a fear spell of some kind?) so the warrior gets the disengagement attack for free damage, re-engage, then repeat the whole process. How are you planning on preventing abuse of the AI for situations such as this?

    49. Missing avatar

      Wright Johnson

      Sounds awesome. Exactly what I'd hope an attack of opportunity system would be in an IE-style game.

    50. Riggo on

      Nice update!!!