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LucasArts / SOE Austin
MMORPG | Setting:Sci-Fi | Status:Cancelled  (est.rel 06/23/03)  | Pub:Sony Online Entertainment
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Rule Changes

Posted by Jon Wood on May 06, 2006  | Comments

Rule Changes -

The Star Wars Galaxies forums have some new information on their new rule changes, which revolve around their combat system. See the thread, here.

Motivation & Goals

Overall, the majority feedback we've collected from the boards and elsewhere suggests that combat is currently perceived to resolve too quickly, thus leaving little room for strategic choices or meaningful attacks beyond the standard left-click shot. With the GCW becoming a major factor in our game within the near future, we want to make sure that the core combat system is enjoyable for most players as combat will be a major aspect of the war.

The goal of these rule changes is to

  • Bring strategy back into combat
  • Decrease default attack speeds to possibly allow for more natural looking animations while at the same time keeping the overall "laser shooting", action-paced feel that combat currently has.
  • While not immediately part of this change, these changes lend themselves to bringing back the combat log so players can once more track combat in greater detail.
  • These changes also directly play into the upcoming Expertise system where players will be able to permanently modify some of their combat "variables" by spending points in some of the Expertise trees. A player might increase her chance to land "critical hits" for instance. Read on to get some details about crits and glancing blows at the end of this comlink.

Base Combat Changes

  • Weapon damage will be adjusted upward (this is what we've been calling the "weapon retrofit", i.e. we're retrofitting the weapons for more damage) to account for the damage we are removing from combat caused by being a particular level. Currently a player does most of her damage based on what level she is. This will no longer be the case.
  • Damage against an unarmored opponent (all non-elite, non-boss npc enemies) is expected to be within a couple of points of the listed weapon damage, barring any damage modifiers the player might have gained from various sources (loot perhaps, or an Expertise for instance).
  • All actions have 2 timers. An execution timer (during which no other action in the game may be executed, because you are "busy doing something else") and a cooldown timer (during which you cannot perforam that particular action again, but you can perform other actions). This is currently the case in the live game and will continue to remain true.
  • Currently, primary left click attacks (also know as default attack) have an execute time of 0.25 seconds. After this change, default attacks will have an execute timer of zero (0) but will gain a cooldown timer that is determined by the weapon speed (i.e a weapon that has a 0.4 speed will only be able to shoot the default attack every 0.4 seconds). This change shifts the primary combat strategy from "left click until it dies" to making more meaningful special attack decisions, given various variables in any given combat, since default attacks will not always be available.
  • As mentioned, default attacks have no execute time. In practice, this means that specials can be executed immediately following or during primary attacks. This will fix the issue of attacks firing visually on the server and in the UI (cooldown starts counting down) but not on the server (you don't actually get healed, for instance).
  • Considering the control scheme in SWG it will be difficult to execute a variety of specials AND run around at the same time ( movement being the primary left hand responsibility while the right hand is busy aiming with the mouse). This means that moving in combat actually becomes an "action" (conceptually speaking) you take to effect the outcome of a fight (much like executing specials). In other words, a player now chooses whether to stand and fight (increased DPS through more criticals and use of specials) or run around to be harder to hit because of the targeting scheme as well as the increased chance of glancing blows (see below). Running around becomes a defensive action that one does instead of offensively using specials.
  • AI Creatures will once again change weapons if they have a secondary weapon to switch to.
[ expand article ]