As a MMORPG set in a medieval world, Gloria Victis must inevitably focus on combat. The main idea was to base it on player skill instead of the character’s statistics or equipment, contrary to the classic MMOs. To achieve this goal we decided to use a Non-Target system, so the player has to manually aim their attacks at the opponent at the right time, from a proper distance and direction, adjusting the strength of a strike as well.
Basic combat mechanisms are very easy to learn and affordable for new players, but with a Non-Target system the players receive full control over their characters and are given an extremely broad range of possibilities as well as available tactics. It is not unusual to see a skillful player gaining victory in PVP despite being a lower level or wearing worse equipment.
Melee combat offers four attacks – overhead, from left and right and stab – initiated by moving the mouse in a certain direction. Their power can be also adjusted by the player by holding a strike longer, but it’s an opportunity for the enemy to perform a quick attack. Ranged combat works similarly – players need to aim their weapon at the opponent, predicting their movement and the arrow’s trajectory which depends on the character’s statistics and the type of bow. Switching to the optional first person view is a great help for archers as it allows them to take more accurate shots. The player can also block an enemy’s attack with their weapon or a shield – good timing is required here but a proper block staggers an opponent for a while, allowing the player to perform a deadly riposte.
Stamina and vitality management is extremely crucial in combat. Though powerful strikes deal much more damage, they also drain more stamina. When the character is tired, their attacks are much weaker and blocking doesn’t offer as much protection. Moreover, there is a risk of being staggered or unable to escape. Proper movement is also important – flanking an enemy offers a great opportunity to deal a crushing blow in their back. Sure, it’s against the Code of Chivalry, but war is war!
With the classless progression system the player has real freedom in developing their avatar, which affects the game’s style and range of available tactics. Increasing the character’s strength will result in higher damage while investing in constitution increases vitality. Dexterity affects shot efficiency with bows, as well as critical hit chance. The character’s attributes also influence the range for arrows, regeneration time or time to regain balance after being blocked by an enemy. Only the player decides how to develop the character’s statistics and how to use their potential in combat.
Equipment also plays an important role. Light armor offers definitely worse protection than full plate but has much less impact on mobility, allowing the player to deal stronger blows and fight longer before getting tired. Choosing a proper weapon is also important. A good heavy mace is a great remedy for heavily armored enemies, but fencing with a longsword is better for more balanced combat ? each weapon has its advantages. Moreover, some of the weapons can inflict additional effects on an opponent: a single scratch with a torch can cause serious burns, and a stab with a dagger or spear may inflict deadly bleeding.
Gloria Victis is still under development, so the combat system is being continuously improved. Among the planned updates there are feints, dodges, breaking blocks with kicks, shield bashes and more dynamic combat animations.
However, even now the combat system is deep and expansive, rewarding the player’s individual and team play skills. In both PVP and PVE the keys to success are communication, strategy, intuition and the ability to make decisions within limited time. That’s why the combat system of Gloria Victis attracts both veterans of hardcore PVP games and the less experienced players, looking for a solid dose of fun in a Medieval world.