balancing things out

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    bla
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    balancing things out

    Post by bla on Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:26 pm

    Hi there. I'm new to the board but not to dark souls, which IMHO was the last great game to come out recently (I only heard of demon's souls after DkS), and it's exacly because of this that I nitpick for the perfect balance and also a bit of logic like I do in most games I love.

    These are, of course, personal opinions but I would like to see if anyboby feels the same way and also contribute with your own opinions.
    I know most of you look for balance mostly in pvp, but try to consider pve as well.


    Quick time events could be implemented in other ways: I feel that invulnerability, (player or enemy) detracts from the overall experience expecially if you're fighting groups.

    The way a player backstabs/strikes after a parry at the same speed with a dagger or ultra greatsword feels disconnected. First there's animation interuption (in backstab) which in some cases just looks weird, then there's the uniformization of weapons. Dark souls does a nice job of creating a different feel for each weapon type yet it kinda messes up when I can thrust a massive piece of iron in the same way I can thrust a dagger in quick time events. I know daggers have higher criticals but still...

    Now, I don't exacly know how to replace quick time events, but maybe simply using higher damage as well as knock down when you strike someone's back could do it for backstab. Adepts of heavy weapons would probably feel cheated, since it would be almost impossible to do, but it would look and feel so much better in my opinion.

    The parry is probably more complicated: maybe after the parry one could simply land a more powerfull strike (although this already happens with normal defense) and knock them down. At any rate the fact you can deflect a blow that would eat most of your stamina by using a low stamina move like the parry could be it's own reward. Again I'm guessing specialists (parry adepts in this case) wouldn't apreciate it much. I like using parry but not the end result.


    Other things:
    Heavy swords behave way too heavy. A zweihander for example is nowhere near the weight mentioned and despite behing a bit unwieldy, isn't handled in the fashion the game presents it. There's weight to consider but there's also point of balance which is completely different in a axe than a sword for example. Maybe reduce the damage and increase speed? However this is just a minor observation.

    On the other hand the jumping attack disregards weapon charateristics: why use the heavy swing in a massive weapon when you can simply jump forward at the same speed of any other weapon?

    Lastly, I stopped respecting gwyn after I parried him the first time. I believe even his two-handed strikes are parriable. First time I fought him I was wearing heavy armor with 50% plus mobility and a big shield. It was my most intense fight in this game. I had to switch to two hands mandatorily to be able to stun him and thus be able to kill him altogether. With parry he is a joke and that's a sadder ending for him than sacrificing himself to perpetuate the age of fire. Sure, people master games, but this parry business with him is just too effective and there are already alternatives: ranged combat, buffs, and rolling for fast melee builds. I'll never feel the same terror and awe when crossing that white fog again, something dark souls does so well.

    Neither of these observations stop me at all from playing this amazing game, nor are they patch wishes or anything; they're just opinions. Yours?
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    Re: balancing things out

    Post by NedroidPrime on Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:02 pm

    Sorry, I stopped reading when I saw "quick time events could be implemented"...

    I sincerely hope that will never happen, and I am doubtful it will. QTEs go completely contrary to the philosophies behind the Souls series. It would be like adding summons to Zelda, neat in theory, but ultimately taking away from the core, unique experience. The zweihander is handled like it is in the game because it also has the added ability to knock enemies back, which is something other greatswords cannot do. Personally, I found the claymore to be a really good balance, with a wide arc light attack, a thrusting heavy, and a decent attack speed.

    The balance of the large swords is that you are getting increased damage in exchange for the speed of attacks. What you want could horribly unbalance the game by allowing you to use a sword that is almost as big as you the same as someone would use a dagger (and dealing waaayy more damage).

    With the jumping attack, the hit box with many jumping attacks is narrower than the one for the power attack. A big advantage to the large swords (I like the claymore) is a wide swing arc, allowing you to deal massive damage to just about anything that is in front of you. Plus, if you goof on a jump attack, some bad stuff can happen to you (especially with the animation time for standing back up from the attack, depending on weapon).

    Overall Dark Souls is more a game of finding a weapon that suits you best, not one of making a weapon fit your style.

    And welcome to the forums! Definitely check out Demon's Souls when you get a chance. Excellent game, and neat to see the differences (but Dark Souls is the better, imho).

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    Re: balancing things out

    Post by bla on Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:28 pm

    Thanks for the welcome.

    Actually, had you red my quick time events observations you would see that I basically wanted to get rid of them. Maybe I phrased that wrong. There's yet to be a game that I can say "this game is better because of quick time events".

    The zweihander comments stems from me loving real swords (especially two-handed) and their respective arts. "Are you seriously trying to find realism in a game?" you may ask. No, I'm not, that's why I said it was a minor observations. Besides I said that the speed could be improved at the cost of damage. Balance can always be achieved. And I stand by my comment of the jumping attack. The getting up part is still quicker than the heavy attack. However the large arc of a heavy attack is indeed an advantage.

    Thanks for the comments as well. I like to write a bit too much I guess and I fear sometimes people won't even make it past the first paragraph. Cheers.
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    Re: balancing things out

    Post by sparkly-twinkly-lizard on Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:42 pm

    most people don't think of bs's as quick time events as in most games that tere are things called that it involves timed button combo's


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    Re: balancing things out

    Post by PlasticandRage on Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:19 pm

    bla wrote:There's yet to be a game that I can say "this game is better because of quick time events".

    I thought Heavy Rain made fantastic use of quick time events. They're essentially the core of the entire game. I think it plays pretty well too. I enjoyed it anyway.

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    Re: balancing things out

    Post by Guest on Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:56 am

    Isn't the zwei in dark souls bigger than the player? Swords of that size are in no way realistic fighting weapons that can be easily swung repeatedly. Simply put in actual combat you'd have to be retarded to use a sword that stands taller than yourself in a live combat situation. The time it would take to readjust yourself after swinging it once would be more than enough time for almost anyone with a simple one handed archer sword to stab you in the neck. You'd be better off dropping the weapon after the first swing to avoid instant death. A Claymore does a better job at representing a large two handed sword in dark souls.

    PS: This is what happens when you confuse fantasy with reality.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNc7kHADtUw

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=fvwp&NR=1&v=b2r_4AGk0zc

    PS: The actual size of a large two handed greatsword is more like this

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saG6iqTT3rg&feature=related
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    Re: balancing things out

    Post by BLA1NE on Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:33 am

    @OP

    I know what you mean when you say you nitpick because you care. I was the same with MAG (was very involved with the community on the official forums) and I am with Dark Souls now. So, having said that, I want to apologize for not giving your suggestions as much thought as you did, because I'm not really in the mood to think right now! Maybe some other day I'll come back and read them more closely...

    The reason I replied, was just to say: instead of saying "quick time events", what you mean is "grab attacks". QTEs are when you press a button according to an on-screen prompt in order to perform a non-standard action. Grab attacks, on the other hand, are when you press a button, of your own volition, to perform a standard action--usually one that freezes you and your opponent into an animation. In Dark Souls, specifically, you just happen to need to be in a certain position relative to your enemy to perform it, but that doesn't make it a QTE.

    So... welcome to the forums, and I hope someone else will come along and give you the proper feedback any member of this community deserves! Or I will, just not now...


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    Re: balancing things out

    Post by Guest on Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:52 am

    If you want realism you'd want more interactions with weapons that involve more than block or parry such as strike clashing or back & forth parry strike between players (as in I attack you parry & strike at an opening so I block that strike & try a counter process repeats). There would also need to be diverse uses for a weapon including but not limited to how the weapon is held, swing/trust animation, & your stance with the weapon itself. As far as great swords & Halberds go they aren't really used properly in this game. Then again our hero probably never had proper training to begin with.
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    Re: balancing things out

    Post by Tolvo on Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:18 am

    Sadly in regards to weapons if the game became realistic all you'd see are probably short swords.
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    Re: balancing things out

    Post by BLA1NE on Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:24 am

    ^I don't think so... I don't know all that much about weapons, to be honest, but I think historically their evolution has been in relation with the evolution of armor. So if Souls were to be more realistic in terms of weapons, then you'd have to base your weapon choice more in terms of what your opponent is wearing for armor. But, in my opinion, that wouldn't be a very good thing, since it would demand you change your gear for every fight lest you be at a severe disadvantage--essentially it would just become a game of "rock, paper, scissors", instead of mastering your weapon.


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    Re: balancing things out

    Post by Tolvo on Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:32 am

    The Short sword can cut and slash, light armor/no armor, Thrust, medium/heavy armor. There are weapons that are better than it, sure, like a Halberd against heavy armor. But, pretty much a Short Sword can fit into any situation, so I'd rather carry it.
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    Re: balancing things out

    Post by cloudyeki on Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:34 am

    I'd carry a french arming sword. I dunno why, it just calls to me. it and any sort of haliberd


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    Re: balancing things out

    Post by Tolvo on Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:36 am

    Arming Swords are bad ***!

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    Re: balancing things out

    Post by Guest on Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:39 am

    Actually a short or long sword that isn't boosted by magical properties (fire/lightning/magic/divine/occult/chaos/enchanted/resin/magic enchantment) isn't going to do much damage to a person with high quality plate armor in the game already. That added magical property is what makes the weapons viable in a SL 120 build. That rule can still be applied to a more realistic fighting move set.

    Bashing weapons such as the hammers/mace & thrusting/piercing weapons such as the reaper & spears would play a larger rule when damaging through platemail while slashing weapons such as straight swords & Katanas would be less effective unless used for trusting.

    PS: & just to be clear. Larger weapons generally have more range when compared to a short sword. Weapons like the larger hammers & Greatsword would ideally partially brake through defense which would force people to ether completely dodge or deflect/parry instead of simply standing there will a shield up.

    What this does is force people to use their side arm more often depending on a situation & not blindly two hand an oversized weapon while fishing for backstabs.

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    Re: balancing things out

    Post by bla on Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:35 am

    I stand corrected about quick time event meaning. I meant these so-called "grab animations". The reasons I dislike them are invulnerability and animation uniformization to make it short. I was more interested in finding a way to relace them with normal "un-interrupted" combat.
    0o1Zero wrote:Swords of that size are in no way realistic fighting weapons that can be easily swung repeatedly. Simply put in actual combat you'd have to be retarded to use a sword that stands taller than yourself in a live combat situation.

    The zweihander is probably a bit bigger in the game although there might be bigger variations. Be that as it may the technique to handle these swords is not correctly depicted nor the weight. Again I mention point of balance versus weight. The video you posted actually shows a bit how people can take advantage of the weight to keep swinging with less effort. He isn't an expert, nor am I, but he seems to get that idea. This sword was almost the freak child of armament back in the day. Probably used to chop horses legs against mounted enemies, but it did have its uses. Read german manuals about fencing and you will see. And just to clear it, no I don't have and in-depth knowledge of these arts but do know a thing or two, so I don't confuse fantasy with reality. Fantasy is thinking two-handed swords are really difficult to yield. Has been like that some many years in movies and games and I don't expect it to change overnight or ever. If you saw an expert using a zweihander or claymore for that matter you would see what I'm talking about. But, like I said it was a minor observation, and I easily forgive dark souls.
    http://www.thearma.org/essays/2HGS.html
    Hmmm... is the weight in dark souls in kgs or pounds? If it's pounds it's not so bad.

    Anyway my post was mostly about getting rid of the "grab" animations...
    But I apreciate the enthusiasm guys (Y)

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    Re: balancing things out

    Post by bla on Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:46 am

    By the way bla1ne what is MAG?
    And I've never played heavy rain. I supose quick time can have its uses but for me, in combat heavy games it just feels silly. Don't know how it was used in that game... heavy rain doesn't strike me as combat heavy though.
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    Re: balancing things out

    Post by BLA1NE on Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:45 pm

    MAG is a 256 player FPS for PS3, developed by (the now closed-down sad) Zipper Interactive. It had strategic, squad-based gameplay, and RPG elements like a skill-tree, etc.

    It's my favorite multiplayer FPS ever, but it's pretty much dead now...

    As for Heavy Rain, I'm not a huge fan. I just couldn't connect with the story through all the plot holes and whatnot, and I hated the gameplay.


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    Re: balancing things out

    Post by NedroidPrime on Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:38 pm

    bla wrote:Thanks for the welcome.

    Actually, had you red my quick time events observations you would see that I basically wanted to get rid of them. Maybe I phrased that wrong. There's yet to be a game that I can say "this game is better because of quick time events".

    The zweihander comments stems from me loving real swords (especially two-handed) and their respective arts. "Are you seriously trying to find realism in a game?" you may ask. No, I'm not, that's why I said it was a minor observations. Besides I said that the speed could be improved at the cost of damage. Balance can always be achieved. And I stand by my comment of the jumping attack. The getting up part is still quicker than the heavy attack. However the large arc of a heavy attack is indeed an advantage.

    Thanks for the comments as well. I like to write a bit too much I guess and I fear sometimes people won't even make it past the first paragraph. Cheers.

    Yeah, I typically go for a greatsword of some sort in this type of game. However, I have found that the main things that make my decision are a balance of reach, power, and moveset. The most important overall being the moveset.

    I know about the writing thing. My mind is so scattered at the best of times. Heck, i'm known for changing my mind on my phrasing mid-word, which results in "So am I" becoming "Smee too" lol!

    I have to admit, i'm a little surprised that there isn't a way to increase stats to allow slightly better wielding. I would think that if a sword has a strength requirement of 20, and you have a stat of 60, you should be able to attack faster than someone who just meets the requirement (or at least tweak the animation so it doesn't look like you are barely keeping it up). It would fit with the game overall, and I think the bb glitch wouldn't exacerbate it to breaking the game...

    Mebbe a patch? I could sure use something like this for the Four Kings on my NG+!

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    Re: balancing things out

    Post by Guest on Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:34 pm

    Exaggerated larger swords are display pieces made for ceremony & aren't practical for actual combat. The longer the blade the longer it takes your swing to travel from point A to point B which means the longer it takes you to recover to follow up with another attack or block. This is why Greatswords are sometimes held on the dull part of the blade to reduce the length while adding better leverage for more powerful strikes. If holding the sword by it's handle & actually swinging it one handed like in dark souls you could potentially lose power in your swing. You'd actually be better off using a one and a half hand sword over an oversized display piece. If these swords were practical everyone would have been using them.

    FYI a two handed sword IS difficult to wield if used improperly & with only one hand like in dark souls. That's why it's called a two handed sword because it's supposed to be used with both hands. I actually own some of these weapons so ummm yeah don't act like I have no idea what I'm talking about please.

    PS: Ever heard the phrase the bigger the gun the smaller the penis? It was a sign of higher standing in those time just as some platemail which weren't designed to be practical in combat such as some armor worn during jousting competition. Extra metal was added to look pretty & protect specific areas since they had no intention of getting off the horse.

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    Re: balancing things out

    Post by bla on Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:02 pm

    Oo1Zero I never said great or two-handed swords were easy to use with one hand. As for them being pieces made for ceremony that can be said for many weapons without a practical use for them. Large swords swords were used in combat and effective. The link I posted refers to this if you are inclined to read it. Check the pictures if you're feeling lazy. Moreover having a sword doesn't make you a swordsman (don't know if you are or not) and there are many poor replicas out there that completely disregard one of the most important aspects of true swords: balance and handling characteristics (again I don't know which sword you have, just saying).

    Without proper technique two handed swords are the worst to use. Anybody can play around with a short sword. Not so with two handed swords in which the user must know how to take advantage of the momentum and rely on wrist work rather than just arm work. They are indeed less agile than other swords but that doesn't make them useless (I'm talking real life here).

    My very simple point was that dark souls (as good and fun as it is) perpetuates a stereotype because even while two handing these weapons, they behave way too sluggishly. Check the link. It talks about many weapons but you see a lot of great/two-handed swords in there as well.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aeUCLQr1EM
    Don't get irritated over this. I'm not. Just stating facts while posting viable sources. You obviously know something about swords seeing as you know about grabbing the forte of the weapon (half-handing I think is the term) and I hope you can see what I'm talking about.
    Feel free to disagree though

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    Re: balancing things out

    Post by Guest on Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:13 pm

    Ok listen because you're not getting it. The only semi realistic greatswords size wise in dark souls are the Claymore & Bastard Sword. You're trying to compare the Dark Souls version of Zwei to a greatsword that was actually created with the intent of being used in combat which is an inaccurate comparison to say the least.

    What I'm saying is actual fact swords created with exaggerated length were not meant to be used in combat. They're used for ceremony such as an important wedding, treaty signing, & knighting someone. It's becoming more obvious that you have no idea what you're talking about.


    Last edited by Oo1Zer0 on Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:27 pm; edited 2 times in total

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    Re: balancing things out

    Post by bla on Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:17 pm

    NedroidPrime wrote: I have to admit, i'm a little surprised that there isn't a way to increase stats to allow slightly better wielding. I would think that if a sword has a strength requirement of 20, and you have a stat of 60, you should be able to attack faster than someone who just meets the requirement (or at least tweak the animation so it doesn't look like you are barely keeping it up). It would fit with the game overall, and I think the bb glitch wouldn't exacerbate it to breaking the game...
    Now you're getting to the meat.
    This is some of the things I believe games will never get right. And I can see why: it would be a nightmare from the programming/animating point of view. Most people focus on practical changeable aspects or patch suggestions and that's definitly important but I like too scrutinize the games of the present and hope for an ever improving future in these sort of details. I mean dark souls grabbed my attention immediatly simply because I saw something as simple as... defending. Most other meele games don't even bother with it.

    The strenght versus dexterity is something that always bugged me. How to implement it correctly in a game?
    My best bet would be something like torque versus hp (for the lack of a better comparison). Strenght would allow you to swing heavy weapons quickly and effectively while dexterity would offer unmatchable speed with light weapons. I guess I would have to learn proper laws of physics to come up with something more solid...
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    Re: balancing things out

    Post by BLA1NE on Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:18 pm

    @Bla

    I know what you're saying, but this is a matter of balancing gameplay vs reality. It's just like FPSs where some guns are only accurate to a fraction of their real life range, and they take many times more bullets to take someone down. Sure, making large weapons less unwieldy with more strength would be logical. But then that would make small swords completely useless if you can swing a large one with as much speed, if you have enough points invested in Str.

    It just goes back to what I was saying earlier: it would take away from the game's idea of "master your own weapon" because they're all pretty well balanced for speed, reach, move set, and damage. They all have their pros and cons, and if you allow some of them to overcome their cons with higher stats, then that would just make others no longer viable.


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    Re: balancing things out

    Post by bla on Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:26 pm

    Oo1Zer0 like I said the zweihander is a bit exageratted in size yes. But my argument stands: the sword animation is nowhere near the proper thechnique. The game does a poor job in this area, just like it does a poor job with lighter swords like the claymore.

    And even if the zweihander is a tad exagerated there are functional ones that stand as tall as the user. Again check my first link. It's all there. You can even see guys from the Arma association using them.

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    Re: balancing things out

    Post by Guest on Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:28 pm

    A bit exagerated you say? A sword that probably stands over 8 feet tall(at least) is a bit exaggerated? You have no clue what you're saying do you?


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