Mounted Combat

For combat stuff that doesn't fit into any of the other forums.
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Karjus
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:28 am

Mounted Combat

Post by Karjus » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:26 pm

Been meaning to for a while, and figured now was the time.

So, first of all mounted combat still seems a bit buggy in regards to engagement. Your horse might end up in engagement, or the rider, but it doesn't seem to always flawlessly work if one manages to but not the other. I've not managed to hammer home where it is bugging out.

Few things then. In general, I find mounted combat a mixed bag. It's interesting, but it doesn't generally feel "better" than being on foot. Currently, you end up with more rerolls for the rider's attacks but without any effective tools to reduce your opponents. This often ends up meaning lots of missing attacks/hoping your horse lands a hit instead of any actual combat strategy.

Few oddities/things that might make combat more interesting/fun
1) You can order your horse to do things, putting it into RT, and then go into RT yourself. Have the horse kick for example then immediately attack. You can't however, order your horse if you're in RT. Not a huge issue, as you likely want to have your horse attack first anyway due to its knockdowns, but at the same time it creates a very rigid flow. I'm always command stacking, and it just doesn't feel... great? Not sure how else to describe it.

2) Despite the extra rerolls for the player, the horse is fairly limited in their capability. They don't get a reroll, and instead have an attack value based on the player's riding. This means against most mobs, they're going to be going up against 1-2x rerolls so these attacks very rarely hit. As it is, my horse attacks with higher attack than the mobs I'm fighting, but my horse is capped in skill. Mobs will only get harder. When they do hit mind you, they're super effective keeping in mind that the player can immediately attack after. Part of me is concerned about what would happen if they did land more regularly but then I think how easily & quickly the right setup works with abilities. Circle/Feint/Tackle/Kill. Brutally efficient, and a *lot* less uncertainty because the player goes through the motions of stacking the situation instead of trusting to luck. It's a lot more enjoyable.

3) Currently, warhorses mostly have two attacks that do the same thing. They both use normal attack mechanics, and the best thing about them is that they do a knockdown. It would be nice if they mixed up a little. Perhaps kick is more of a melee attack, that doesn't always knockdown like it does now but it does reduce opponent balance. Trample works better if done from a distance, and is less effective when already engaged but uses maneuvers instead and causes balance damage like other dedicated knockdowns. Some ability for the rider to also steady themselves in the saddle maybe, taking time, but gaining some balance. Charge should also work better, or only work when not currently engaged but have an almost guarantee of getting into combat vs non-mounted opponents.

4) Oh yes, mounted guys should also have huge engagement bonuses vs non-mounted. For keeping at range, if they want to, or getting close.

This was mostly a ramble, but I can't quite pin down on what would make mounted combat feel as involved as what it means to fight on foot.
- Karjus

Speaking to you, XYZ says, "Never bother to wash it. It gets dirty again anyway."
Speaking to XYZ, you say, "I hope you don't treat your ass the same way."

Agelity
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:48 am

Re: Mounted Combat

Post by Agelity » Fri Jan 01, 2021 6:39 pm

Decided to test out combat on my Duelist. Here's what I've found for little oddities:

-Engage mechanics seem to reflect what I already have on foot with no inherent advantage to being mounted.

-Can only use the three mount abilities, Quickstrike, and normal attack. I strongly suspect multi-throw will work as well, but I haven't tested that yet.

-Balance mechanics suffer a bit, as the only way to gain balance is via Circle, which can only be used by dismounting. Currently it's possible to dismount, circle, mount, and still have your +8 (or more) balance, which enables the use of Armor Chink (our best melee offensive ability). It does look like balance is lost upon dismounting.

-No way to reduce enemy balance save hoping one of your mount abilities connects and makes them fall over. Awesome when this happens though.

-Similar thing as Karjus where I need to order the horse prior to using an attack myself to avoid the RT issues.

Currently warhorses seem to be very good battle companions that allow Duelists to flip off of them for the use of flip-flank along with having an extra body + offensive power next to you. Having access to balance affecting and movement abilities makes Duelist gameplay feel much more fluid and like I'm in control. I do think mounted combat ought to have a different feeling to it than being on foot, just don't believe the current mechanics really make it more enticing to do so in just about any scenario right now, save me wishing to make a quick escape. Also not sure how warhorse strength intends to scale later on or what riding skills will be required for the warhorse to be capable in different locations (so it doesn't become little more than a travel companion).

Was thinking on the balance issue and I had at least one thought. If there's a mounted balance that one defaults to (scales with the riding skill) when they hop on a mount that they can increase through a repositioning command or just slowly as they grow accustomed to being on the mount, with different things spooking the mount, hurting the rider, etc. that can reduce that mount balance. Upon dismounting, the balance clears and is reset to your footed base value (0 or 5), with a chance that a small amount of balance carries over depending on riding or something like acrobatics. This will in turn clear the mounted balance once any carryover is added and the rider is on their feet again. Vice-versa for balance carrying over when mounting, things like encumbrance, riding skill, etc. playing a roll into how well someone can utilize a mount and gain additional control over their opponent through more than just raw skill or pure chance.

This is with the intent that it will be possible for those on mounts to continue to gain advantage if they manage to stay better balanced on their mount (and keep it under better control) than their opponent. Or risk being flung off if it tilts too much into the negatives. For those that have abilities that have a balance requirement this can give them an opportunity for a good shot in, even if the skill required to pull it off is higher. Other abilities that require movement on foot likely won't be usable, but I suspect some synergy with different mount skills can help make up for it. At least in my case, it would help from having to use weird and almost certainly unintended steps to maintain balance while mounted and get advantage that way.

In addition to mount skills, I do agree with Karjus in that having kick and trample could afford to differentiate a bit more as both feel more like regular attacks with an extra chance to knock them over (which is pretty nice). I'd also imagine that mounts could easily close the distance between them and an opponent on foot and not have the engage mechanics feel quite as slow going.

I am still mulling over some other thoughts, but I did wish to at least add what I could more readily test.

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Rias
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Re: Mounted Combat

Post by Rias » Fri Jan 08, 2021 11:31 am

There's a lot to consider here, and some definite bugs that need fixing. I haven't been able to address anything here yet, but I did want to mention that I think certain fighters are just going to get less out of mounts. Particularly ones that rely heavily on movement and footwork, like a Duelist or Nightblade, or anyone who use acrobatics for things like tumbling. You just can't do all that fancy footwork and zipping around when you're stuck up in the saddle on a horse, and your legs aren't doing much other than keeping you steady and guiding the horse itself. I think this is okay, and hopefully we can give mounted combat enough of its own perks that these types of characters can still find worthwhile benefits in the right situations. But I can certainly see mounted combat being overall more useful to characters that don't necessarily rely on quick precision movement and footwork.

Agelity
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:48 am

Re: Mounted Combat

Post by Agelity » Fri Jan 08, 2021 11:37 am

Rias wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 11:31 am
There's a lot to consider here, and some definite bugs that need fixing. I haven't been able to address anything here yet, but I did want to mention that I think certain fighters are just going to get less out of mounts. Particularly ones that rely heavily on movement and footwork, like a Duelist or Nightblade, or anyone who use acrobatics for things like tumbling. You just can't do all that fancy footwork and zipping around when you're stuck up in the saddle on a horse, and your legs aren't doing much other than keeping you steady and guiding the horse itself. I think this is okay, and hopefully we can give mounted combat enough of its own perks that these types of characters can still find worthwhile benefits in the right situations. But I can certainly see mounted combat being overall more useful to characters that don't necessarily rely on quick precision movement and footwork.
I could definitely agree to that, which is also partially why when laying out skills I haven't looked at maxing riding (200 perhaps for the 2s mount/dismount at least). Probably the only things I could think of that could be unique for those types of characters would be to have fancier methods of mounting/dismounting, but otherwise as far as overall combat... once mounted they're a bit limited since you're not able to move much beyond trying to swivel your body and not fall off of the mount. Doable, but it limits offensive options due to not being able to as easily shrug off attacks like those with heavier armor.

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