Melee Combat System : How to improve the experience of Sword fighting making it more dynamic and complex

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    Hello there !

    As usual, if you know me, you already know I made different thread before to talk about Skeleton Forts, Merchant Alliance and the Brig. I come back to you with a new problem everybody know, and with some ideas.

    First, I'm french so please, forgive my future mistakes, I'll do my best to be understood but don't hesitate to ask me everything you want if you miss a point.

    Now, let's talk about Melee Combat System ! We all know that the Melee Combat System is too simple with a system "Light attack is fast, Defense beat light attack, Heavy attack is slow but beats defense, Dodge, Paralyzed enemy when they take damage".

    Now here how to improve it and make it more dynamic with just little changes :

    • Delete the Paralyzing when a player is hit
    • Instead of Paralyzing, possibly just reduce the speed to 50% (take a hit is already a punishment, there's no reason to give more advantages to the attacker)
    • Dodge needs to be buffed, because actually, jump without being in Defense mode is more efficient. You should jump further when you dodge (jump in a direction when you're in Defense mode)
    • COUNTER : While defender is in Defense mode (LT), press RT at the impact of the enemy's attack to push and stun the enemy
    • FAILED COUNTER : A Counter failed make your Defense useless and you'll take damage if you're hit
    • STUN : After a Counter, the enemy is pushed, slow down to 25% maximum speed and can't defend himself for 2 seconds
    • Heavy attack can't be Countered because it goes through Defense.

    With just this 2 features, the Melee Combat System could be a little more complex and could make the fight more dynamic by deleting this stun when you take a hit, making you totally vulnerable. This is just little improvements to force players to think and not only be the first to attack because even the defender is still dangerous and can reverse the fight to his advantage.

    Let me know if you have other ideas about it and if you agree ! I'll update my post if you have some good ideas to share and which could work in the game !

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    It actually doesn't sound that bad. One thing I would consider adding would be maybe a counter to countering. That way you don't get locked into being countered every time you try something. Plus if you get locked into a counter off chain it goes to the first person to screw up. Could even have a variant of animations for the counter so it will look like your sword fighting.

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    It is depressing to the melee combat still so clunky, its been a common request to add abit more depth to it for months and months. Im hoping its something they have been working on in the background but am assuming its not a quick fix.

    I want to be in epic cutless battles for life and limb like real pirates, not the 3 hit stunlock death debacle. Heres hoping we get some changes soon.

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    @john-hatter a dit dans Melee Combat System : How to improve the experience of Sword fighting making it more dynamic and complex :

    It actually doesn't sound that bad. One thing I would consider adding would be maybe a counter to countering. That way you don't get locked into being countered every time you try something. Plus if you get locked into a counter off chain it goes to the first person to screw up. Could even have a variant of animations for the counter so it will look like your sword fighting.

    I'm not sure to understand your comment, you mean have the possibility to counter a counter (just like a Counter Breaker in Killer Instinct ?).

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    @grievous32
    More or less.

    I know it's singleplayer but I imagine a counter system playing out like the countering in assassins creed games. As long as you master the counter you are a god.

    To avoid this basically you could have this scenario:

    Person A attacks

    Person B counters

    Person A has short window to hit counter button to throw it back to B

    Person B has a short(maybe shorter?) window to hit counter to knock it back to A.

    So on and so forth. Maybe shorten the window the longer it goes on or even have the option to throw in a block instead of a counter to break the chain. Just some way of avoiding people only mastering the counter skill so that way basic hitting becomes pointless. This way if everyone goes for countering it doesn't mean you will win.

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    I personally enjoy a good sword fight but it does get a little dry... it’s not about skill at all, just basic luck and timing.

    I’d love to see a more dynamic combat system introduced.

    Your ideas are on point, for sure.

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    @escuzme said in Melee Combat System : How to improve the experience of Sword fighting making it more dynamic and complex:

    I personally enjoy a good sword fight but it does get a little dry... it’s not about skill at all, just basic luck and timing.

    I’d love to see a more dynamic combat system introduced.

    Your ideas are on point, for sure.

    I still think there is skill involved in the knowledge of the mechanics at least. I think the #1 thing that they can do to fix sword fight is to do away with the stupid clipping through players..... You can't have a true melee fight when you are inside your opponent.

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    @ve111a “You can't have a true melee fight when you are inside your opponent.”

    😂😂
    Why fight ‘em if you can be inside ‘em?
    😂

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    Too complex... try not sucking yargh! Lol

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    I like bushido blade style if two swords swing at same time and same area they should clash.

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    @grievous32 I do agree that the melee combat system could be improved, and your ideas are actually quite good. However, making a 2 second stun for being countered would be aweful. Not only would that leave you open to at least 3 full attacks, it would leave you open to those attacks at a relatively short range from your opponent (unlike the failed power attack 'stun').

    Also, I think the stun when being hit isn't such a bad thing. So, instead of removing that stun, just reducing it slightly, or changing it to where it affects certain actions differently (stops current attacks, slows movement speed instead of stopping it entirely, pauses banana eating for X amount of time, etc.).

    Making it so that players can parry would also be quite nice. While I understand that a super in-depth melee combat system wouldn't really fit the game's feel, parrying could be done in a way that feels like it doesn't add much complexity at all. Just making it where if a player attacks before their opponent's attack lands (within reason of course) it just clinks swords together and plays a little spark animation, neither player takes damage. Having this would require some sort of bonus effect to blocking, such as a slightly increased attack speed on the first attack after blocking within X amount of time.

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    Ok so let me give you a quick rundown on the cutlass:

    • Regular 3 swing combo that stunlocks
    • Block that can be held indefinitely
    • Successfully blocking the final 3rd hit of a regular combo pushes enemies back.
    • Jump holding a direction while blocking to do a sidestep
    • Lunge attack that pierces block
    • Lunge attack while holding block to maintain normal movement
    • Lunge attack while holding block then jump during the lunge animation to do a super jump foward
    • Lunge attack while holding block + jump to resposition while widing up the lunge.

    Now removing the stunlock from the regular swings would cause some netcode issues, mostly because players tend to be jumping all over the place, keeping them still while being damaged jut helps the combat be more fluid.

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    @ve111a Clipping through players during a sword fight is a huge issue in my opinion. It makes it ridiculously difficult to deal with multiple people at once, and makes it nearly impossible to position your opponent where you want to (which is huge in a melee fight of any kind).

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    @grievous32 I like your ideas as i am a huge fan of in depth sword fighting games. (For Honor and Kingdom come Deliverance to name a few)

    Buuuuut. I think this will put a staggering advantage into the hands of PC players. the simplicity of the sword fighting system could be tweaked, but the more complex it gets, the more advantage a KB-M has...

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    I have long been advocating for more depth to the sword mechanics, from a "simple" addition to a secondary attack, to an overhaul of the entire system that employs stances and different types of sword classes having different types of attacks.

    The "simple" version would be to add a quick attack to compliment the current standard or medium attack, along with the charged or "heavy" attack. For example, using an Xbox controller for reference, if parry was removed from LT then a quick attack could be added. You'd then have the standard attack be RT and be a swing, and the quick attack on LT be a thrust/jab/poke. This would allow for different combinations of attacks to be created through the order of standard and quick attacks. And much like the 3 hit combo now that does a knock back, these new combinations could have similar or other effects, including a stun (instead of it being on every hit). Parrying could be done by holding both RT and LT at the same time. And you could still have the charged lunge attack for holding the RT, and maybe a charged flurry attack (rapid multi-hit thrust) by holding LT. The flurry attack could create a "bleed" damage-over-time effect if it connects. Or maybe move the charged lunge to LT, and create a new sweeping heavy swing that is used by charging RT, and does damage/knocks-back enemies surrounding you so is better for crowd control.

    The more complex version on different stances/sword classes can be found here (along with some of my other musings that predated release, and some that have already been added to the game): https://www.seaofthieves.com/forum/topic/20518/knightx13-s-compendium-of-feature-mechanic-and-content-requests/5

    Bottom-line though, like many others I agree that the on-hit stun needs to be removed from the base attack.

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    I like the system as is. No further complications needed.

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    @knightx13

    That is simply a buff to the sword for no real good reason, if you want moveset variety for melee combat, advocate for weapon variety instead, stuff like:

    • Fast striking rapiers for fast swings at the cost of damage
    • Heavy swords for slow attacks that pack a punch and a heavy attack uppercut that sends foes in the air
    • Daggers for devastating backstabs and quicksteps
    • Tridents that give you that extra range with thrust attacks but hitbox is less forgiving that a cutlass swing
    • Long swords + buckler to give players a balanced defense and attack.
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    @urihamrayne Click the link I gave....I go into all of that there, as that would be great to eventuall see. But I even stated that yes, the above was a "simple" fix (nothing is ever truly simple).

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    @knightx13 6 months ago, yikes, I'll be linkink to your thread from now on, seems like the most ancient and accurate thread so far.

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    @John-Hatter I see ! That's not a bad idea, but it will be more complex to move while you're in Defense mode to possibly escape an attack instead of counter it. The other possibility could be to look inspiration into For Honor and allow players to fake an attack to begin the animation of the second hit for example but cancel it to let the enemy fail a counter and not have enough time to defend himself against the beginning of the next 3-hits attack.

    @Ve111a that's true but I think it's only in PvE, right ? You can't walk through enemy players, only skeletons, but I truly understand and approve this message !

    @SBF-Weeze nobody here said anything about something to be too complex... What are you talking about ?

    @Leospot828 maybe just 1 second then, but the stun just prevent you to defend yourself here, you can still move (at 25% of your maximum speed) and attack to prevent the enemy to approach you. Also, about the stun when you take a hit just give you more disadvantages, this is unfair BUT as you can notice, I suggest to make the stun less efficient by reducing speed to 50% and not 100% as currently.

    @UrihamRayne I know all of this and I understand the point to immobilize the players, that's why I suggest to just slow them to 50% of their maximum speed. Maybe we could add after a player take a hit, he can't jump for 2 seconds to prevent any bunny fight ?
    Anyway I love your comment about the different type of weapons and I really hope to see something like this before 2019.

    @I-Mite-Dominate I disagree, I beat a lot of PC players even with guns so... That's not because you add a Counter and a stun effect for a succeed or failed counter that PC players will be even better ;)

    @KnightX13 that's great idea here ! The only problem is there's no other advantage to be in Defense mode but defend yourself. Currently, be in Defense mode is a good thing to have normal speed while you're charging the Heavy attack. But I understand, maybe it would work with a complete rework. I'd hope to see some axes and other weapons which could add a little more complexity with much powerful attack which could push the enemy but taking more time to finish the animation.

    @Murph0id you're happy with nothing then, it's just 2 attacks and a defense mode, there's nothing interesting in the current fight. Also I'm pretty sure you'd love it if it were A LITTLE more complex.

    Thank you all anyway for your time and feedback, hoping the Melee Combat will be improved this year !

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    @grievous32 the fix to bunny hopping is diminishing returns on consecultive jumps, it isn't much that console can't replicate so removing it entirely is not wise either.

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    my 2 cents (it may be all it's worth, LOL!)

    To improve combat, primarily sword combat, why not have left trigger block, and right trigger attack, but use the right analogue stick to control the sword swiping and blocking. It would be sort of free motion sword fighting where you control the attack and block positions of the sword rather than a default swipe and block as it is today. Also for the super lunge attack, you would need to press right bumper or something. I think the super lunge attack is too important to remove from the game...

    Also, to fix the bunny hoppers (they are annoying in my opinion), 3 hops and then they need a rest.

    Thoughts?

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    @markglow a dit dans Melee Combat System : How to improve the experience of Sword fighting making it more dynamic and complex :

    my 2 cents (it may be all it's worth, LOL!)

    To improve combat, primarily sword combat, why not have left trigger block, and right trigger attack, but use the right analogue stick to control the sword swiping and blocking. It would be sort of free motion sword fighting where you control the attack and block positions of the sword rather than a default swipe and block as it is today. Also for the super lunge attack, you would need to press right bumper or something. I think the super lunge attack is too important to remove from the game...

    Also, to fix the bunny hoppers (they are annoying in my opinion), 3 hops and then they need a rest.

    Thoughts?

    It's just not possible... It's a FPS, the right stick control your sight, you can't change it roughly just because you take your sword, this could be absolutely not instinctive.

    But about the bunny hop, it's a good thing to add a stamina to prevent people to abuse this and force them more to use the dodge (jump while you're in Defense mode).

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    @john-hatter said in Melee Combat System : How to improve the experience of Sword fighting making it more dynamic and complex:

    It actually doesn't sound that bad. One thing I would consider adding would be maybe a counter to countering. That way you don't get locked into being countered every time you try something. Plus if you get locked into a counter off chain it goes to the first person to screw up. Could even have a variant of animations for the counter so it will look like your sword fighting.

    Smart comment! What do you think about introducing a GRAB mechanic as a punish for countering?

    It could be slower than every attack except the counter so using it against someone who isn't countering would be harmful but if you do manage to punish their counter( or take them by surprise) then you could put a cutlass to their throat and use them as a human shield until they struggle free.

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    I don't see anything wrong with the suggestions per say, but do find them a little convoluted, and not really hitting the "problem".

    Personally I just think mobility should be reduced when in battle, especially when it comes to bunny hoping. Otherwise, I just think these changes would still end up in chaotic fight in which you cannt really tell what is happening.

    Personally I would be fan of having to lock onto an opponent in order to do anymore than a light attack with the sword. Locking would also prevent jumping all-togheter, but allow little features like countering, side-step dodges, and so on to really shine.

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    @shreksanus
    hmm. A grab like that might be a little too overpowered. Though a quick grab and push/toss sort of thing so the opponent would have a brief stagger effect but at the same time you have pushed them away from you so can't necessarily attack them easily would work better.

    The trick with any adjustment to combat is you have to somehow make it fair for all parties, the attacking and the attacked while still making it a viable damage dealing system. No matter how much it could use depth you can't really argue that by this formula the current system works. You can attack...you can block. On a base level it's all there.

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    @verminpup
    A lock on feature would definitely open some doors for depth but I would be worried with the first person camera. This is very much a game where you need to be looking everywhere at once and if your camera is locked on one person it would be slower to respond to out of vision threats.

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    @john-hatter said in Melee Combat System : How to improve the experience of Sword fighting making it more dynamic and complex:

    @verminpup
    A lock on feature would definitely open some doors for depth but I would be worried with the first person camera. This is very much a game where you need to be looking everywhere at once and if your camera is locked on one person it would be slower to respond to out of vision threats.

    Sounds dangerous and immersive to me! Other first person games have definitely pulled off decent such melee combat before, and it makes sense that locking into combat would remove space awareness.

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    @verminpup

    True. I can't really argue against it but thinking about the mechanic for this game just doesn't mesh well for me though...

    ...Other than that I concede to your suggestion. A lock on system would work.

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    When did Sea of thieves turn into for honor? Yo we need a shoulder bash and guardbreak so i can do the warden 50/50 in SoT

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    @onyx-wartooth said in Melee Combat System : How to improve the experience of Sword fighting making it more dynamic and complex:

    When did Sea of thieves turn into for honor? Yo we need a shoulder bash and guardbreak so i can do the warden 50/50 in SoT

    Lots of games have used first person lock system before, its seemingly the only way to not turn first person close combat into a mess of swinging swords around and hoping it lands somewhere as I clip through enemies and jump about.

    I currently almost only ever use my sword to finish off someone who is almost dead with one or two quick attacks, or to prevent someone from using the bucket while sinking.

    I don't really mind how it happens, either reduce mobility in combat (i.e: Less jumping, etc), or introduce a system that encourages actually duelling and using the melee features.

    For now they are only marginally useful against skeletons (For me anyway).

    PS: This isn't a rant. I don't hate the melee in the game. Just find it under-used.

    PSS: For Honor is a third person with "lots of debt" to its melee combat. Sea of thieves would be more akin to other First person games with much simple close combat mechanics.

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    @verminpup I was making a joke, Ive been stuck playing For Honor for like the past 3 weeks now. But the sword is good/bad, its more of a tool to me and my group, a tool to stun people, not to kill.
    Until we get some massive tweaks to the swordplay, or new weapons that all play differently for melee (Daggers, Broadswords, Claymores, shamans, lawbringers, warden's, oops....started naming classes instead of weapons.) the cutlass will need tweaks. One can dream to have a throwing knife...I just wish it was more...rewarding to cut people instead of...Ha...you didn't block so i win.

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    i feel like they took stun, but didnt give us this now its really just button mashing, instead of timing and skill :(

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