View Full Version : Alternative to sabers

07-16-2004, 02:22 AM
For people who prefer to use guns instead of sabers, why not integrated the melee attacks and dual pistols together with some new special moves? Such as being able to knock someone onto the ground and then shooting them etc.

07-16-2004, 05:33 AM
any sort of additional move requires a lot of coding work. Which in this case probably wouldn't be used by many people.

07-17-2004, 03:48 PM
The "saber dueling system" really only works well when everyone is using sabers.

Why would you want a slow saber with manual blocking, that forces you to use walk speed when you're facing people who use guns who are in no way hindered?

The enhanced sabers just don't seem setup for mixed weapons play. If I'm wrong that and that's not how it'll end up, correct me.

But I got the impression that OJP's enhanced sabers were really intended for sabers only dueling purposes, not FFA, Siege, or CTF with mixed tactics.

While it might be cool to have everyone balanced together, I'd rather have fast, quick kill sabers (with the so-called "cheap moves") in an all out battle, rather than having to try to duel with gunners. ; )

07-19-2004, 03:40 PM
I think enhanced sabers could work against guns. Why not just give the sabers a defense bonus vs bullets?

07-26-2004, 12:16 PM
Thre are still major problems associated with slow dueling sabers in other game modes with guns.

FFA: This game mode is about scoring points. So if you are using a slow saber that takes forever to kill someone, then you're going to be behind in points, while others rack up the kills using guns. Likewise, if you are going after the other gunners instead of the saberists, you'll rise in points much faster.

(This could also apply to team FFA)

CTF: In CTF, combat is relegated to defense mostly, since people will just run & jump past you to get the flag. Thus saberists are going to be useless for chasing people down, only good for defense, but if a guy can just blow past you, then some defense you were with your saber right? If a saberist moves slower with his blade out, he'll just spend the game running around with it off.

Siege: Similar to CTF in that many people will just ignore combat in favor of completing objectives. Jedi will become poor for offense unless they turn off their sabers, and since they are so low on health and have no other weapons, they will be quite useless in battle. Likewise, for defense, since they move so slowly, offense can rush past them too easily.

Plus in all these game modes, making them better against bullets doesn't matter, because people use splash damage and traps to get more and easier kills than nailing somebody in the head with a laser anyway.

How is a Jedi supposed to avoid a stack of trip mines? Or a rocket/conc shot that detonates at his feet (fired from a jumping person as they land)?

Dueling friendly modes like those in enhanced just don't work well in this environment. You'd have to overhaul all of the combat system, something like ProMod did.

That's an awful lot of work, and I'm not sure it's something worth doing for OJP, but if Razor wants to try it, he's welcome...

Personally, I think there's noething wrong with having two "versions" of the saber. One for strict dueling, and one for everything else (ie: combat with all weapons).

Kyle Kelasheski
08-20-2004, 03:04 PM
After trying out lightsaber dueling, I have to say I find OJP's approach to be the most cinematic, but I can see where the new combat system would create imbalances versus those running around at full speed with blazing pistols.

Perhaps the easiest solution is to signficantly raise a Jedi's ability to block blaster fire, and make it more likely that blocked shots will be redirected successfully at enemy targets. This would "extend" the Jedi's reach against missile bearers without having to change the actual dueling system.

In Ep. 2, out on the open plains of Geonosis, Jedi actually LED the clone army formations into battle, blocking/returning the droids' missile fire right back at them. So, elevating the missile blocking/returning ability seems quite cinematic to me, and would probably balance out the shooter vs. dueler scenario.

I'm not sure that having two "dueling systems" operating in a game would work/look well. It'd be strange to see Jedi making blistering saber moves against shooters, but then suddenly slowing down into a much more cinematic looking saber swinging behavior we've seen in the films. Actually, the Jedi in Ep. 2 DON'T use two immensely different saber fighting styles. Their sabers move just as fast against shooters as when they duel against other Jedi. I feel that altering missile blocking/returning may be the most effecient route, but there is also another path one could take...

I'm sure that revising the missile system would require a LOT of work, but it may very well be worth it, although the way I'm imagining it would make the game play into something radically different than the default JKJA.

There's a phenomenal mod I play for the original UT called Infiltration, which is an ultra realistic modern day infantry "simulator." As old as the game's engine may be, don't be fooled by what the modding team achieved with this game. It's mechanics, and reliance on intelligent tactics places it far FAR above more contemporary "realistic" combat games, such as "Call of Duty," which I found to be highly overhyped (the fact that the player's view "zooms in" when looking down the barrel is absurd, and soldiers and hunters everywhere would be thrilled if such an accurance actually happened with real weapons). Infiltration plays VERY differently from the original UT, yet it is just as, if not MORE intense an experience, even though player speed, health, etc., etc. is GREATLY reduced. The tension comes in knowing that 1-2 hits will most likely drop a target, and that cunning, cover, and nerves of steel are the only means of ensuring survival.

The direction I'm going with this is to make the missile combat more "realistic," which does not necessarily conflict with what we've seen in the films. Most of the time, shooters in the movies make a POINT of seeking concealment/taking cover (when available), lean around objects, aim down sights/scopes, and THEN shoot. How many hits does it take to drop a target? One to two. Is it possible that the combat in the films were modeled after how combat takes place in the real world? Gee, I wonder...

So, imagine a game where Star Wars characters have to more closely obey the laws of physics with how they move their bodies, and how they handle their weapons. Could it work? Absolutely, but perhaps the only way "I" can convince those who completely balk at this notion is to direct them to download Infiltration, and find out for themselves. If that isn't convincing proof that such changes are fun, intense, and satisfying because one's achievements are actually significantly based on REAL skill and working HARD one's brain, then I don't know what will.

I just think that such an overhaul would lead to a very consistent feeling to the game, it would be very cinematic, and more importantly, it would still play great.

Yes, indeed a lot of work. Worthy to think about, yes?

08-20-2004, 06:23 PM
I think the key word to keep in mind here is "cinematic."

Nobody cares about "cinematic" stuff when they're trying to win a contest. Rather "cinematic" works fine for two guys who are dueling who want to feel like they're in the movies.

After all, the good guys aren't supposed to lose, Jedi aren't supposed to get gunned down before they can do anything cool (like how Indiana Jones just shot that guy who did all the cool sword moves) in the movies, but in the games, well it happens. If it didn't, things would get very boring and predictable pretty fast.

Cinematic works fine for dueling, but it becomes next to impossible (if not outright impossible) in the other game modes, if you still want to maintain competition, balance and fun.

You make a good point about Jedi being always fast, and this is how the game currently is. The trouble is that to the "cinematic" crowd, the word to them means "slow and takes forever." Not everyone has the patience for that, and it's really annoying for anyone trying to actually score points or complete objectives. This style of play works fine on its own, but now when combined with other styles of play in the same game (the two guys who keep dueling each other will simply have the lowest scores and have no impact on the outcome of the game whatsoever, unless they are the only participants). I have no problem with fast duels, but again, the "cinematic" crowd feels that a duel's quality is judged by how slow it is, how "stylish" it looks and how long it takes.

Another point I'd make (one others have made plenty of times) is that if you have two duelists who are really good, even with the "fast" system (ie: saberdamagescale 2 in basejka) a duel can last a long time between them.

And finally, while other games are fine for comparisons, we have to remember that the fact that these are Jedi changes a lot of things. For one it has sabers and melee weapons (most FPS games aren't big on anything more complicated than a zero range infinite ammo "gun" like a fist/knife/gauntlet/axe/chainsaw). And the fact that it is Star Wars Jedi (with the romanticism) makes people forget about gameplay and demand "cinematic" stuff all the time. ; )

08-20-2004, 09:22 PM
ohhh Infiltration now dats a game worth talking about..... :p

Any ways giving a defense bonus to saber vs blasters will ultimately drag the game play even longer, not too mention how cheap it'll be in a CTF game....
My suggestion is to follow a similar line of thinking as in infiltration, and give a offensive bonus to stand still, crouching gunner, and a penalty if a gunner is running. the bonus would give the gunner a higher chance to shoot through the jedi's defense. That way it'll force the gunner fight on even speed against the jedi, while the jedi's are given a chance to run close to the gunners with the expense of block points regeneration.

Kyle Kelasheski
08-21-2004, 01:17 AM

Ahhh... Yet another passionate believer in Infiltration's (a.k.a. "INF") qualities. Good. I was hoping that I wasn't the only participant of these forums who's had the great pleasure of playing a fantastic total conversion. More on this later in regards to your observations on how aspects of it could be folded into OJP.

Kurgan (and anyone else),

The discussion on cinematic qualities and game play can be a tricky one to navigate. I feel that, for the most part, game developers interpret "cinematic" as meaning skin deep "effects," and in my opinion, this leads to having very LITTLE impact on game play, which can be a good or a bad thing.

I think in the case of Star Wars fans who buy the game, they're buying the product initially and primarily so that they can feel like the are a part of the FILMS' universe. This establishes a DIFFERENT criteria/target from other games that aren't based on a cinematic franchise. In my mind, the game's developers should use the audience's expectations as the PRIMARY goal of the game, meaning that the designers should NOT interpret "cinematic" as merely meaning fancy effects, costumes and architecture (surface), but rather they should extend the meaning of "cinematic" so it becomes the HEART of game play (substance).

Clouding how one thinks about the way a game should be, is our experiences with other games. There is now a long established history in customers' minds as to what first person shooters and adventure games "should" be like. Likewise, game designers have also been steeped in these same experiences, so it should come as no surprise when they approach designing games with this "game play template" burned into their brain. I feel that most of the time this "game play tradition" is treated as being SO sacrosanct that it acts as a filter through which they view the building of games, whether they're built on cinematic franchises or not.

BUT the FACT is that games are totally artificial in their construction, and thus can be WHATEVER it is the designers set out to make it into. Yes, this should be an obvious observation, but the reality is most of us simply never think about its ramifications and cosequences. I strongly believe that these "game play design traditions" are holding back and outright smothering what games could be. Doom 3 is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. It's just filled to the brim with traditional game play. It's awfully pretty, but after the 4th level, who cares anymore? Wash, rinse, repeat. It's the SAME mechanics we've been exercising since we were teenagers, and the horse is DEAD, encrusted with bloated maggots and few are talking about it even though they're holding their noses from the wretched smell. Well, I'm tired of riding a dead horse.

Gaming CAN be something entirely different. I wholeheartedly BELIEVE that a TRULY cinematic Star Wars game CAN be made, and that if the cinema is the HEART of the game that it CAN be challenging, mentally/emotionally stimulating, fair, and fun. But a truly cinematic Star Wars will HAVE TO be VERY different from what we've been indoctrinated into believing what a game "should" be. But it WILL be fun if we DON'T let our preconceptions of what gaming "is" trip us up.

This is something that I feel OJP has only just TOUCHED upon. And that's why the mod is SO exciting to me. It's potential is enormous, but that only depends on how far the developers are willing to push it.

In my mind, the most viable and solid "solution" for the whole shooters vs. slashers imbalance factor is to adjust the SHOOTERS so that they are as cinematic in their capabilities as the Jedi have been made with the dueling adjustments. Taking this approach WILL significantly alter the game play in one primary direction: the player will have to THINK more. And for those of us who've played Infiltration (INF), we know that thinking CAN be deeply rewarding fun.

Kusanagi's above detailed interpretation/translation of potential INF game mechanics into OJP is very well done. In just one of his sentences, he reveals a UNIVERSE of critical nuances that are missing from JKJA, and these nuances ARE in the films if one thinks about what is they're actually watching.

I feel that a great solution to the shooters vs. slashers dilemma is to level the playing field by incorporating mechanics that are found in INF, in the real world, and in the films.

(1) Stamina. ALL player "classes" (I don't want to use that word too strongly) have to learn how to manage stamina. Stamina, like speed, can be directly proportional to what one's carrying in regards to gear. The more one carries, the slower one moves, and the more quickly stamina is used up. I've never seen a clone or a Mandalorian at a full out sprint, have you? By the way, this is a great means to balance out those armed and armored to the gills. One can jog/sprint/melee/duel until one runs out of gas. Walking has no stamina penalty, and standing still, crouching, and yes, going prone, helps to maintain/replenish one's stamina level. "But that doesn't sound very 'cinematic' Mr. Smartypants." If one thinks about what was shown in the films, it's clear that dueling is exhausting. Luke in Ep. 5 was soaked through with sweat and certainly wasn't fighting with the vigor he had when he first swung his saber at Daddy Vader on Bespin. See my HIGHLY detailed description of how stamina could play a MAJOR role in duels with my reply to the "Saber Control Methods" thread, found at http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?s=&postid=1603936#post1603936 . Characters DO run in the films, but do they run throughout the entire battle sequence? No. In fact, the clones don't run at all in Ep. 2. At most, they jog. "But managing stamina doesn't sound like fun, Mr., uh...Staminapants." Take it from those of us who've explored INF's stamina system, it IS fun because it is challenging, and those that smartly manage (there we go, "thinking" again!) their stamina have a major advantage over those that don't. There's one sure way to find out whether or not stamina maintenance is fun. Spend a couple of days learning to master INF, and you'll see...

(2) Combatants are VERY vulnerable. True in real life, true in INF, and very true in the Star Wars films. One reduces their vulnerability by (A) not being seen, and (B) hiding behind cover. Do they do this in the films? ALL the time, except for rare bouts of sheer madness (Han's and Chewie's completely unexpected charge on the storm troopers amidst the Death Star's hallways), or when there simply is no concealment or cover (the clones' first battle on the wide open plains of Geonosis in Ep. 2). Leaning, and (less seen in the movies, but still there) going prone will give significant advantages to those who seek to minimize their vulnerabilities.

(3) Aim. Ah, yes, the citizens of the Star Wars universe do this nearly all the time, but there's no such thing in a Star Wars game. Here's a major means of balancing out combat types amongst those with the Force, and those without. The more carefully a person aims (which also means being aware of one's body posture) the greater one's capabilities in hitting the target. Naturally, unless being shot from behind, the Jedi will have a chance at deflecting the bolts with their sabers, but good solid aiming can be used as a device to reduce their odds of successfully defending themselves against such attacks.

(4) Jedi. As exciting as I find the current system for dueling, I do feel that some changes could enhance game play. Define stances according to what we've seen in the films. I see these as...

(i) Grumpy Old Men Stance :D : Old Ben and Vader's duel was made up largely of SHORT chops and slashes. Very quick attacks, that are nevertheless lethal with the slightest touch. In my mind, if I was equipped with a weapon that can cut through anything at any point along its length, I would use this stance the most. Why use something flashy, when all it does is leave one open to counterattacks? This is also the stance I'd use when I closed with a shooter, as speed is of the essence when beating the aiming of a barrel and the pulling of a trigger.

(ii) Son vs. Daddy Stance: Luke's clashes with Vader were a little more flashy than Ben's, but still believable. Saber lock ups were VERY brief (one might justifiably say that they weren't even seen in Ep. 5 & 6, but there are moments of slightly longer saber-to-saber contact than in Ep. 4, which didn't have any).

With the NEXT stance, it's important to determine how critical strength is in a duel when it comes to using weapons that can cut through anything.

(iii) Disco Dueling Stance: Yes, who'd imagine that that with Ep. 1 we'd see saber duels where the more one twirls and pirouettes the less sense it actually makes in combat. It sure looks pretty though. Oh well, it's there, and if one wants a "cinematic" game, well, one has to then deal with it. This is where I think Raven went really wrong with the way it setup its stances. Anyway, back to my point... These flashier moves ONLY make sense if saber LOCK UPS are a substantial concern. Why the Jedi and Sith decided that this was a sound combat strategy is beyond me, but maybe they have something like the Geneva Conventions where it says something like, "If an opponent exerts tremendous effort in pushing his blade towards yours, then you are OBLIGATED to push yours back as well. Never mind that it'd be smarter to step away and counterattack when the pushing opponent leaves himself open upon becoming unbalanced. Agreed? Good, then sign here. This'll look COOL on film." Alright, so if lock ups are a pretty common occurrence, then strength is quite important in trying to blow through your opponent's saber resistance. The idea is to keep his saber directed so that it becomes an advantageous opening for a counterattack. Preferably, a quick Grumpy Old Men stance chop. :p

(iv) They Must be Gods Stance: Darth Mauls, Darth Tyranus and Yodas only. This probably shouldn't even be a "stance" category, for I think it's entirely possible to get these amazing dueling moves IF one applies one's Force powers wisely. This should be a VERY hard thing to do. In my mind, Yoda's and Tyranus' duel could be ANY of the above stances while using Force speed, but one's ability to execute swings so accurately while moving SO fast should be something that would have to be truly worked at in order to duplicate. They are, after all, Force/saber combat "gods."

That’s it then. I guess you could call this my “dream” of what a Star Wars game could be like. Whether anyone with the know how wants to pick up and run with this thing is beyond me, but from seeing how dueling’s been modified, I get the sneaking suspicion that I’m not the only one who thinks about approaching game play in this fashion. I guess we’ll see, won’t we?

Time for bed.

Good night!