View Full Version : light saber mechanics

04-22-2002, 07:48 AM
i'm sure this has been discussed to death, but i'd like qualified remarks about this...

i've been playing fps'ers since doom, and got respectacbly good starting with quake 1. in jedi knight 2, i see potential for saber duels being a clear distinction in skill (which I believe is positive).

that said, there seems to be some discontent with the dueling. i personally feel the balance is just about there, and agree with the concept of the 3 styles.

while the strongest stance certainly swings 'slowly,' (at least winds up so) and some people seem to have some sort of mental hangup about this, think about it from a gameplay point of view. if, as some people seem to suggest, all styles of saber combat were lightning-quick, there wouldn't be a tremendous point in using any other style than that with the most damage potential. given 3 styles, i think the decision to slow down the attack was probably a good one.

a lot of people also complain that there isn't enough blocking, but having played a lot on duel servers, if blocking were increased noticably, all else constant, matches would take a whole lot of time. maybe some people are cool with this, but unless ure playing just one other person, it seems like a bad idea to me. quite honestly, it's pretty impossible to reproduce the effect of the movies...people are demanding impossible mechanics. what raven has pulled off is really frickin cool in my opinion, an arcade-ish compromise of the spirit of 'really cool light saber fights.'

that said, i could see the point of a 'block' specific button on top of the passive blocking that already exists. being that one would have to proactively hit it, it would have more strategic value. to potentially offset the effects of a lot more blocks, the only solutions i could think of would be to marginally increase the saber swing times (or better yet, the wind-up before the actual swing) along with the damage to a degree. the latter could be accomplished by giving a small percentage chance for dismemberment to be standard...

but that's kind of a wish-list type of deal. since jedi knight 2 is a release product, i have serious doubts any of these mechanics are going to change, as they wouldn't want someone practicing something important like that with a release copy and then have to adjust to new mechanics with a patch. some sort of 'clanring' mod could be made to accomplish these, but, again, i doubt the schism-like repurcussions would necessarily be worth it.

either way, from a GAMEPLAY standpoint (as opposed to a 'oh god it's not QUITE like the movies!' position), i want to know how others feel.

04-22-2002, 08:15 AM
I think they did an extremely good job balancing this game. Ive played games since Duke3d (and doom, but I didnt care for it much)

Even *ALL* the force powers are balanced exceptionally well. YES even heal and drain.

I play both the dark and light side, and I cheese (what some would refer to as cheap) and counter effectively with both. The fact that I can play both (with no discrimination) and counter with both is a rare treat. This is a "rock-paper-scisors" type of balance. The best you can get IMO.

The saber stances are done fairly well and saber fights do have the potential for skill.
not to mention they all play their role. Blue is useful for finishing people off, Yellow is a normal stance, and red is good for taking down people that just wont die.

I was actually very surprised at how solid this game is. Most games have some glaring flaws in them, and in JK2 I cant really see any.

... well other than the in-game loads that stall everyone, but thats a technical problem :)

04-22-2002, 08:20 AM
I agree, raven really did a good job on the saberworks.

Although I was one of the people who complained that saber combat is so different and less fun in MP compared to SP, I noticed by the time why it is so different.

When you're playing SP you tackle an AI. Especially an AI that is tweaked to give a great time battling it. You won't ever see an AI reborn jumping around aimlessly, swinging his saber like mad.

Observe them for once, they rarely jump, only move in softly bent curves still somewhat predictable for an experienced player, they rarely suddenly change direction and even more rarely launch a seriously threatening attack on you by themselves, but will wait for your move.

(really! try standing some meters away from a reborn, waiting for him to attack. Except on Jedi Master he is most likely to stand there and wait a LONG time for YOUR well-timed, well-aimed next move to strike him down.)

No human adversary would EVER fight that way. Humans stay in motion, constantly avoiding your swings and confusing you by wild strafing, jumping and sudden changes of direction. It is highly difficult (though possible) to place a well-timed and -aimed strike under such circumstances. (Add a bad ping and things get even more complicated)

I think the actual MP saber combat itself does not really differ THAT much to the SP one in terms of coding, but that it is rather the way the people USE it that makes the 'feel' so different.


04-22-2002, 09:21 AM
I agree that any patch would have to be delicate, i would like to see a few changes, primarily either add a more reliable blocking feature, preferably one that you have to activate (Ie push a button to assume a defensive stance ETC). Why? Well one of the reasons I think people hate strong style is because blocking it is something of a joke. Easy to avoid? Maybe, fine I won't argue that, but honestly a few people out there have mastered strong style, making it just like the orriginal poster said, one of the most used styles.

Now before I go on let me just say I teach sword and weapon fighting styles in real life (in multiple forms Everything except for maybe fencing really). I taught martial arts for about 7 years, so I do have some clue as to the reality of this stuff, and I would say making this any more realistic would be a bad thing, or fights would be over way to fast. In real life, one solid hit would end the fight like in bushido blade. your only way of survival would be blocking and dodging. end of story. but this is a game with HP's and such. so we need to asses what is needed for BALANCES sake. Keep saber fighting deadly, but make each style have a new pro and a con using a possible new blocking ability.

Blocking: Normal blocking occurs as it does now, if your not at the ready stance your vulnerable, and even then shots can get through if done properly.

Activated blocking:

This would have to be an easy key to bind, in other words, maybe making it the "G" key (for guard) if you use the default setup for example.

The different styles would effect how useful this key would be. The key would need to be pressed with fairly precise timing (not down to miliseconds though), in order to block an incoming saber blow. for example if someone is spinning at you in medium style, you press "G" a split second before the attacking saber should hit you. Depending on the style you would need to keep the incoming attacker in your firing arc/swinging arc. for example in a DFA attack you need to look up, for an attack coming from the rear you need to turn around. The block effect would remain active for a different time for each style, but non ewould stay active for more than a split second.

As I said the effect would be different for each style as follows.

Light style: Can quickly block many times in a row to the very front arc, but a little damage always gets through depending on the style being blocked. Allows for a Parry move to be perfromed about 25% of the time allowing you to counterattack. Indicated by the attackers saber being flung backwards or something, but it only in the very front arc. A parry move would be deflecting the incoming attack, and being able to launch a counterattack like a thrust. suggested Block effect time .2 seconds, suggested lag between blocks, 0 seconds.

Medium style: Can block to a wider Arc. But is slower to do so, you take no damage from any medium or light style swings you block unlike light which only does this for light style. Percent of parry ability now at 10%. suggested Block effect time: .4 seconds, suggested lag between blacks, .3 seconds

Strong style: Can only block directly (IE can only block attacks that are directly in front of the defender, perhaps by keeing the attacker in the red crosshairs. No parry ability. Can block ONe of any kind of attack, even DFA. Suggested block effect time: .6 seconds, suggested lag between blocks, 1 second.

By doing this, it should balance out the various effects of the current style system. each style will still have advantages and disadvantages, but the moves some people feel are exploited like DFA have a more reliable way of being avoided.

Don't get me wrong I am well aware that strong style is on the easy side to dodge when you know what your doing, but even then it isn't quite like the other two styles either. You can block blows from the other two styles a bit more reliably, when trying to block strong style by staying in the ready stance, it's just not worth it. In real life, you are more likely to try to do a deflection parry a strong blow, than try to dodge, or block. A deflection parry is a bit different from other parries in that it is a passive parry. Instead of manipulating the enemies weapon with your own power, you angle your weapon so that the blow slides off the edge of your blade and away from you, leaving you open to counterattack in many cases. Thus the strong style DFA attack would be fairly easy to counter in real life without having to dodge, simply use a deflection parry with your saber while sidesteping a tiny bit away from the point of contact, and the path of the incoming weapon. then counterattack while they recover.

This would be more or less possible using a manual blocking system of some kind.

also just another word for the wise, in real life, the one who hops around and dances a lot is following the same pro and con rule. If you move you are predictable no matter what you think, so long as your enemy is fast enough. Plus you lose endurance, and are more likely to be knocked off balance. thats not to say you should simply stand at attention either. But standing still waiting for the enemy to make his move is often a better way.

for example, one more that gets em every time in this game in a duel, is to simply wait standing still, for them to move in to attack then not be where they are attacking, and counterattack while they are still in progress. this works best in medium style, and can be done in any other if timed right.

thus in this example, we use a incoming attack, we stand still at the ready till they are almost upon us, then we quickly sidestep out of range, and then sidestep back while hitting/holding the primary attack. this causes the saber to do a horizontal swing back in the direction of the attacker. If timed right, you will avoid being hit, and hit the attacker while they are either recovering from thier swing, or spinning.

I'd say the success rate would be about 60% of all incoming attackers get hit this way when I use this without hurting me at all. About 40% either miss or do mutual damage.

And remember this move has NO real recovery time. Unlike DFA which might have the same odds, but has a bad recovery.

finaly the only thing I would like to see end is the time length that strong stylers do full damage durring a swing. I don't mind a long swing, with damage, but if the swing is obviously over, and the saber is moving back into the ready stance and I am hurt with full damage it bugs me a little (just a little). I really get kinda sad about the DFa attack since you can stub your toe on the saber while it's in the floor (it stays there for like what a whole second and a half!?) and die. Makes counter attacking a strong DFA kind of harder than it should be.

Anyway just my 2 space bucks.

Hamni Nadar
04-22-2002, 09:32 AM
u ever played "severence" (Check spelling) quite an old sword based fighting game and it used a similar system to what u discribe but it binded the "block" to ur right mouse button. Its a good system and could be a possible solution as it then draws on the strategy of blocking and counter attack but could have problems due to all the special moves that there are in JK2 .... still a nice idea.

04-22-2002, 10:16 AM
Introducing manual blocks is a bad idea IMO. Rune has it too... the result is that no one blocks, instead they just flail about like madmen.

The system is fine as it is now. You people talk like you don't have to do anything to block right now. That is simply not correct! You HAVE to have your saber ready and not attacking AND face the attack. It is brilliant to design it this way instead of having to press a button. And it is more true to the fast and furious blocks of SW too. Please people open your eyes and see the gameplay value of this blocking system!!!

The three different stances do block differently... so there is no need to change anything about that.

Raven just need to fix the DFA so its damage isn't active for so long. Then it is fine. Also they should add dismemberment in a way like Rune where you can get an arm cut off and still be alive... It is so much fun :D Getting both arms cut off in Rune and fleeing to find some food (healing) is just golden ;)

If the patch document posted here a while ago was official I think the patch will be great.

No matter what real life is like, no matter what the SW movies are like, no matter what experiences you have with real swords or lightsabers... remember this is a game and GAMEPLAY is THE most important thing!

Raven will fix the bugs, tweak the powers, make a cool weapon/saber system and they are wise enough not to experiment with things that are fundamental for the great gameplay!

04-22-2002, 12:37 PM
all though we differ in our opinions on blocking

[Qoute]No matter what real life is like, no matter what the SW movies are like, no matter what experiences you have with real swords or lightsabers... remember this is a game and GAMEPLAY is THE most important thing! [/Quote]

I can't argue in any way with this bit regardless of how much I do sword fighting in real life ETC.

I still feel blocking manual would inly serve to ADd to the game if done properly, however, even just making DFa less exploitable by fixing damage detection ETC somehow would be a BIG happy change for most people, and the people who would be pissed would mainly be the ones who exploit it I think.

My final request would be that if we can't black, make strong style a bit easier to block than it is using the better damage detection. It doesn't have to be easily blocked just a bit less exploitable get my drift? Make it so people who focus on red for it's power and DFA moves and unblockable (or very hard to block actually) swings, will need to switch to yellow, and blue to stay alive, as it is the only time they switch for me is for the split second it takes to block my saber throw, and in a non force server against a red, though I can still win, someone who knows how to use red well or exploits it, is still tougher to tackle.

Heck I get pissed at blue style too, but only because I have no reason to B**** when I get killed by it hehehe...

04-22-2002, 06:31 PM
not to float my own boat, but i think people are exaggerating how powerful the red stance is. i frequently employ the yellow along with proper strafing/dodging, and find it extremely useful. that said, i rarely use the blue stance, though it is fun to start swinging wildly against MULTIPLE opponents.

my only thought is, in simplest terms...add a manual block that's proportionate to the style you're using (meaning red stance's block is least effective). obviously you'd have to be facing the opponent. if they wanted to take it one step farther...they could base the direction of the block on your movement while pressing the block (similar to the attack), though that might be unnecessary.

beefing up the defensive capacity of blue stance might be good...or even make it do a little more damage...it is good for finishing people, but i almost always defer to yellow for that purpose. the one redeeming attack is the low thrust by using crouch/forward/attack. that thing is pretty cool :P

but, as originally stated and i think is somewhat evident from this thread...in terms of GAMEPLAY, the lightsaber duels right now are quite adequate. i was SURPRISED at how well raven created the balance...looking for it to be more like the movies won't necessarily make it fun or be good for competition. i think raven focused on what would really work and foster long-term fun/competition online.