Yesterday in the MMORPG.com chatroom, our community was joined by TCoS Community Managers Papillon (German), Mirage (French), and Banshee (English), as well as combat designer Selachii, to discuss the upcoming MMORPG’s combat system.
Subclasses and Bodyslots
Our first question of the night was about body slots, part of TCoS’s innovative subclass system. Starting at level 5, players are allowed to choose a subclass. This subclass has its own skills, but it also has a unique feature called body slots. Players can purchase (yes, all body slots are purchasable) body slots that are unique to their subclass, which change character appearance and add abilities. For example, the Blood Warrior body slots are scars, which actually appear on your character. Most of these scars are self buffs with a beneficial and detrimental effect; one of the first scars Blood Warriors will receive is called Magic Repulsion and it raises magic resistances, but lowers melee resistances.
Today, Selachii talked a bit about the Ancestral Mage, the pet-class subclass. This is the only subclass that works with pets, and all of the body slot options give the Ancestral Mage different summons. These pets will have a variety of roles: some of them will be pure melee while others might heal, buff, or even debuff.
Each class will have between 10 and 15 body slots, though only one can be active during combat.
Equipment and Consumables
In most MMOs, equipment is an important part of combat; players eventually find the “optimal” build and nearly every high level, hardcore cleric wears the same set of armor. In TCoS, though, “gear is purely for looks,” Selachii explained. “In combat, it has no direct effects. That said, some of your gear works as a container for Sigils, which are items that enhance your stats, however the type of gear you use doesn’t affect the Sigils you can use. As a high level player, you can run around in a cloth and a bare chest and you won’t suffer compared to players in shining armor.”
One of our users also asked about the use of potions in TCoS. “We don’t have consumables that give health,” said Selachii. “The consumables in TCoS offer buffs to improve certain situations.” This can mean your max health, or one of your resistances!
First, the bad news: there won’t be any mounts or flying mounts at release. Travel through the game will be done via shardships, which fly from dock to dock within shards or between shards.
That being said, there are future plans for post-launch mount additions, including combat. This is one of the reasons that mounts won’t be ready at launch: “When we implement mounts/flying mounts, we want to have jousting/mounted combat.”
First off, let’s start with melee combat: in TCoS, there are no hidden dice rolls or chance/luck-based mechanics. Damage is calculated based on weapon damage, resistances, buffs and debuffs. Players can also dodge attacks, but this means actually moving your character – manually – out of the way.
For ranged combat, including spell casting, players will use a shooter-style crosshair. “If you want to heal a party member and a monster stands in between, whether or not you can accomplish your task depends on igetting your crosshair on your teammate. If the monster blocks your actual crosshair, it won’t hit. If you’re taller than the monster, or so short you can see your teammate through the monster’s legs, you can heal him.”
Aim is determined based on the target’s location at the time of firing, not when the spell/projectile would actually hit so there’s no target-leading for slower weapons/casts.
Also notable in the combat system is the difference between combat and non-combat modes. When your weapon is sheathed, players’ health will replenish; sitting down speeds this up even more. You will also be able to run and travel faster. Once you unsheathe your weapon, you move slower but take less damage. Managing your combat/non-combat modes is important for battle and fleeing alike.
Monsters in The Chronicles of Spellborn run on a fairly sophisticated AI. Monsters won’t just stand around waiting for you to come kill them; they’ll get bored if there’s nothing to do and wander off (within a set territory).
In addition to this, not all NPCs are on the same “bad guy” faction. There will be combat situations where a team of players is fighting a group of monsters, and another set of monsters joins in hostile to both sides. Even if players are not involved, certain monsters in the wilderness will attack each other. “We have a predator-prey system in place. Hoppies really need to watch where they are going.”
TCoS has another very unique system in the form of World Bosses. “We like to approach the world of Spellborn as an evolving world, not a static world which repeats itself every day,” says Selachii. There are bosses that may spawn only once in the game world, and players might receive a permanent reward such as a statue built in their honor.
For the full log, make sure to check out http://mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/gameId/207/setView/features/loadFeature/1632 and keep looking back for future articles and Dev Chats with The Chronicles of Spellborn!