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Combat is HARD; But It Doesn’t Have To Be… It’s Fantasy Guys!

Combat Mechanics In Games – A Pet Peeve By Wolfe Hearte

INTRO:

So I’ve done two reviews for a certain *ahem* cop game I won’t directly name. It’s a bit of an obsession by now, I’ll admit. The problem being it is a good one, stripped of perhaps one specific part the author can’t seem to get right. Subtle or not, the lore doesn’t match what has been built, and that one game is just a number in many that make things far harder on players than they have to be. If I wanted to play Dark Souls, I would go do that. I’m sure someone has some ideas of what porn in that scene could be like. Don’t know if I want to see it myself, but hey… they made Fifty Shades, so there’s got to be a market, right?

Common Mechanics:

I’ve already covered some of my pet peeves – the idiot hero; the noob who just picks up a sword and has nothing special about him but somehow is destined at the same time to save X town, or the whole damned world… right. Or the ‘uber alpha’ who’s about as good in combat despite the stated lore in game, as a piece of over-cooked spaghetti. No thanks. Instead of going over that again, I’m going to state some common mechanics and then offer suggestions in a new point. It’s a pet-peeve, not an attack piece. I would like to help make games better. Less frustrating. At the end of the day, you won’t catch more whales on Paetron if you go out of your way to ignore comments from the fan-base, or decide to actively piss the player off.

  1. Throwing over-leveled bad guys at the MC who just started to show “impressive skill.”
  2. Throwing too many enemies at the MC all at once.
  3. Giving said enemies multiple hits/Making the MC who has such “impressive skill” or has been trained in combat “miss.” For any reason – this one is major and it needs to stop.
  4. Gimping the exp in any fight, or going out of the way to make quests grant more.
  5. Not offering a VIABLE healing option/over-pricing the healing items which makes them all but impossible to afford. In a certain game you start with gimped salary – unrealistic btw – and a fairly large debt, on top of needing those healing items. On top of wanting better gear which segues nicely I think…
  6. Over-pricing the gear in general to make it capped to a certain point in game – yes we know why you do it, nobody likes it. It’s just look at this brilliantly powerful thing if you’ve played for more than five seconds you know you’ll never be able to afford.
  7. Under-powering special moves. This includes stuns that never work, only work rarely; buffs that should be healing, guard functions that give MP/TP but not HP (duh; like money… that’s what I want) and on top of that don’t negate all damage that turn. You’re already wasting potential attacks. If I’m in a fight, I want to win, and most people agree on that.
  8. Adding a feature for kink like Pregnancy, but making the pills to negate or enhance said feature almost impossible to afford without harming combat potential. (Will be covering this one in more detail, it’s a matter close to my Hearte)

 

Suggestions?

Using the stated unnamed game as example; the intro is long-winded up to the first fight and it doesn’t need to be. You should be able to skp dialogue (I’ve seen it all about 50 times at least) and get right to the choice with X char that comes before the first fight. Then jump into said fight. Now here’s how that should go…

  1. The MC is ‘trained’ professional vs. some lazy overly muscled arrogant fuck who thinks Daddy saves him from everything. He’s not all wrong, but not all right. (In the head either, but we’ll get to that) There should be him, and him alone, or at most him and another guy. Maybe even a girl, gasp… God forbid he had one he trusted as a steady beforehand. There should not be more than two. Or if there is because you insist…
  2. The MC’s moves for this first fight (really all of them because HERO of the game goddamn it) should never miss. Adding a gun that costs 1 k with the economy you built, does not work. Especially not when you can’t equip it. I found a way to buy the damned thing and even after that it wasn’t equip-able. I know the game’s not done but come on.
  3. In later days unless the MC gets the exact same never miss ‘special move’ an enemy should never get more than a double hit if the HP starts low. Any move that costs MP should not miss. Any move that costs TP should not miss. Especially if it costs TP and ammunition which is also expensive to replace.
  4. ALWAYS have an option to heal. EVERY. FUCKING. BAR. Not just MP. Not just TP. HP is the only one that will really help the MC survive. Said healing option should be powerful. There is no point wasting the turn to heal if it does effectively nothing for me.
  5. A buff should be appreciable. Also wasting magic every four turns to keep it up is a no-go. Buffs should be once per battle. End of story. You have other moves, and may want/need to use them.
  6.  Anything on the green bar should count as a “Save My Ass.” It should either instantly kill; massively heal you, power up your attacks to demigod levels or critically hit with some large degree of reliability. You end up having to wait to use the damned thing more often than not. It goes to waste far too often. Which segues…
  7. There should be any one of the above options ALWAYS available to the player for survival, from the damned start of the game. It can be the best way you’d even unfair odds. I really don’t care. What is the bar there for if there is nothing from it I can use. It’s just there, looking pretty with potential gone to waste.
  8. Economies based on reality should follow due course. Again I’m plastering one example but a cop makes a lot more than 500/week (I literally googled it – in Canada it’s: $ 1731. Took me 2 seconds) That would be enough to cover the debt in 2 weeks, and avoid content not everyone wants – OR afford better gear at current rates. Also it would make affording those healing items and other special things later in game more viable. Round it to 1750 or down to 1500 it’s still better than now.
Double cum on face manila gameplay
 Does she look happy to lose, to you guys? Is it just me?

 

The Hard Maths:

If an enemy can hit you from the beginning for almost 50 damage, or gets two shots at the same you need means to deal with that. Otherwise, you will lose 90% of the people you want to pay for your game. If you have an enemy that can triple hit you for 50 damage and it almost never misses (I think it’s happened maybe 3 times in all my numerous version playthroughs) You need means to take that enemy out. Quickly. No questions. There should also not have been a beef gate that even if you win against, he comes back to kick your ass in a cut scene. Why bother having anything but accept defeat cause you’re screwed? The Dev wants you to be.

  1. Healing items should be like maybe $20. Maximum. Even the powerful ones.
  2. Make the buff stronger, and gained from the start to show she has training. It should be a great gain in damage and actually worth wasting MP on. It should viably kill in 4 rounds max without question. If I’m ‘buff’ treat me like Ah-nold. It’s here to Pump… me up.
  3. Give the character enough raw attack not to need the weapons at all. Since one of the problems in the game I’m still hammering at is that anything you equip stays on whatever outfit you equipped it to. It doesn’t come off automatically or switch over the same when you change clothes. It should. I paid for it; it’s at least half the reason I won so many fights, it shouldn’t matter what I’m wearing god damn it.
  4. If healing magic isn’t your thing; make the defensive gear as cheap as good weapons, and make it do the same job but with mitigation. There’s no point spending over 1k for a 5+ vest that doesn’t feel like it makes any actual difference when you go so far out of your way to get it early.
  5. If healing items should be expensive; give the player some means to heal – be it buff or just raw will. She is a martial artist for example. The eastern philosophies have a SHIT ton you could work into that about the power of mind over matter. Eating right, that advanced metabolism. SO. MANY. WAYS. to work something in there like that. It should be done from the start. It should be able to counter the big damage. None of this I hit you for 100 damage and you heal 50 bs. That’s not going to help anyone.
  6. If you’re going to give me a weapon that’s just a better version of a move I already know; why? In this case you could actually give a weapon that does area attacks. The new one in fact, has a spread, as a hint. It’s meant for mid-range at best. Let me hit all at once. On that point…
  7. It should be a multi hit that FOCUS’ on ONE target. Spreading the damage out randomly across several in combat isn’t doing anyone any favors and every player with a brain cell functioning knows it. I’m also going to say it again: Special moves are NOT special if they can miss. They are just there. Which makes them decidedly not special.
  8. If an enemy is supposed to be the henchman or the big bad, they can have negation moves. Or healing powers too. I won’t care about that. It’d even work in the lore if a certain few people have been experimenting on themselves before MC. Every battle I face should not feel like a boss. Also, after set point, the major characters start calling in minions for a four against one or at best four against two battle. The ‘minions’ can do exactly what the named characters can. They are minions. Treat them that way. They should be easier to kill and do less damage. Jesus, do none of you Devs play D&D at all?
  9.  Levels DO matter. Fuck anyone that says different. What you get in any given level up, also very much matters. If I’m going to be facing four jerk offs with sub machine guns at any point as a random example, those attacks need to do jack for damage by that point, OR I need to be able to damage everything. Badly. In that game I won’t mention it SHOULD be that every battle I win whether by skin of teeth or not will level me up. There is a character added to your side later that starts level nine. His buff with no stated martial training is about six times more effective than the MC’s. Why bother then?
  10. Back to the buff, as she spends a good chunk of the game getting forced to be that way, do not add a quest that makes me fight like five times just to get it. Then put powering it up behind a mana gate, as I have just spent all mine in those fights trying not to have my ass handed to me. If you want that side quest for a puzzle, fine. Find another means to make it one. I’ve never beaten that side quest because of those facts, and I probably never will. Without spending a boatload in healing items I don’t think anyone can… so the quest is the journey and the destination is pointless.

He should be injecting her with the same ‘enhancement’ junk right here that he gave Muscle Boy… Then we’d be able to win once in a while. He’s “obsessed” with her, and will just… let her lose all the time? Right. He’s not very good at gambling I’d wager.

Conclusion:

I really hate that this comes off as an attack piece. Look, I know coding is hard. I hate math myself and coming up with new characters for my stories for me is a lot easier than trying to calculate damage. I get that. Again, it’s best not to assume anyone who downloaded a porn game really wants anything but a bit of naughty fun. There are other genres to go to if a challenge is what you want. More mainstream, less… taboo. At any rate, follow my suggestions or don’t. End of the day it’s your call Devs. I can only offer the points I know would make things less frustrating for me. For a lot of other players who just want a fun story, and perhaps less chance of blue balls by the end. At least mine are fuzzy, right? Catch you later. Wolfe out.

 

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