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Why Elden Ring doesn't impress me. Innovation in combat physics is needed in the gaming industry.

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Proper combat skill gameplay should include techniques that developed naturally through history.

For example, every game I have played, from all of the God of Wars, to Dark Souls, to Elden Ring, lots and lots of games... none of them ever did shield combat right for example.

In medieval times, the round shield could be used to not just block a sword blow, but could be turned and since made of wood, catch the enemy sword on the edge, so the sword bites into the shield, you rotate the shield, then counter attack. Little details like this from actual historical combat records we have could have drastically improved many aspects of combat in modern games, not just Elden Ring imo...

I don't know, there are more examples than this, I just find it disappointing nothing has really changed, its all the same basic time this, dodge that, etc. Where as timing the shield to get the sword to bite would be similar, the difference would be in the rotation of the shield being an extra step, etc. There are a lot of combat situations (not just with the shield) where if the combat 'allowed' for one extra step, it could truly utilize "skill" as an actual term for combat in gameplay.

Thoughts? (I did play a game years ago called ExAnima https://store.steampowered.com/app/362490/Exanima/ which is to be fair trying to revolutionize combat with better physics, I know this would never work in a game like Elden Ring, I just am saying, like a hybrid format of combat of current Elden Ring meets innovative physics... does that make sense?
 

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Sounds like "if you want it done right, do it yourself" comes into play.
 
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Sounds like "if you want it done right, do it yourself" comes into play.

I wish I could mate, I really do, but I can't code for the life of me. When I was 18 years old, I made "ok box" with code in visual basic .net but that is as far as I have ever gone in coding, it gave me a headache lol
 
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I think Elden Ring just isn't the type of game. Its a niche action game that relies heavily on timing, physics would introduce too much randomness and you'd be able to exploit your way out of most problems.

But you are right in a general sense, more dynamic combat is always welcome.

Kingdom Come Deliverance has an okay implementation of it, I think. Physics do come into play there, in some way.

But more freeform physics are problematic, gameplay systems that are tight and challenging will want to control all variables.
 
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I think Elden Ring just isn't the type of game. Its a niche action game that relies heavily on timing, physics would introduce too much randomness and you'd be able to exploit your way out of most problems.

But you are right in a general sense, more dynamic combat is always welcome.

Kingdom Come Deliverance has an okay implementation of it, I think. Physics do come into play there, in some way.

I have not played that KCD yet, I own it, but it always ran horribly for me, I will give it a try someday when I get a ultra powerful rig, thanks!
 
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Frankly, I hated the combat in that game. I had moments where I got into it, but most of the time, the learning curve is just so god damn steep. Thing is, in KCD you are pretty weak especially at the beginning. No superhero moves there, but careful strategic planned strikes and correct counter moves are what saves you. Being outnumbered is amazingly horrible. Ranged combat is hard too.
 

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I have not played that KCD yet, I own it, but it always ran horribly for me, I will give it a try someday when I get a ultra powerful rig, thanks!
It's not too hard to run honestly. It's just not very well coded and will always lag it seems.
 
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If you want (something close to) proper medieval combat, I'd suggest Kingdom Come: Deliverance. If you also don't mind playing online, then Chivalry, Chivalry 2 and Mordhau. ;)
 
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For the more arcadey combat there is also Vermintide 2, but that's not very dynamic either other than just being a complete frenzy.

And in MMO land I would suggest Tera.
 
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Frankly, I hated the combat in that game. I had moments where I got into it, but most of the time, the learning curve is just so god damn steep. Thing is, in KCD you are pretty weak especially at the beginning. No superhero moves there, but careful strategic planned strikes and correct counter moves are what saves you. Being outnumbered is amazingly horrible. Ranged combat is hard too.

I'm just glad you understood what I originally meant, with the 'dynamic combat' comment, I appreciate that, cause I feel a lot of people don't know what I am trying to say, it's hard to word it really.

If you want (something close to) proper medieval combat, I'd suggest Kingdom Come: Deliverance. If you also don't mind playing online, then Chivalry, Chivalry 2 and Mordhau. ;)

I will def try, ty

For the more arcadey combat there is also Vermintide 2, but that's not very dynamic either other than just being a complete frenzy.

And in MMO land I would suggest Tera.

I just hope as graphics power continues to progress, we will get better combat games in the future, I feel like a lot of game developers have either become lazy with innovation, or the tech simply isn't there yet for what I want.
 
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For Honor... actually. Didn't that game want to be the mainstream Chivalry? Major flop, but still.

I think the tech isn't the problem. We can mocap any kind of awesome choreography. Heck, even in the PS2 days I played numerous games with incredible combat. Matrix Path of Neo... The problem lies in getting a balanced gameplay out of dynamic combat. After all, dynamic still implies 'we have rules', except you have a whole lot more of them than you would with typical AI. You're really asking for a more complex AI. A self-learning one? I don't think that would be 'fun' :) A self-learning AI would always be able to counter you, because it will read and process your responses continuously. There will be no patterns, only responses, and they will likely be accurate.

Think Elden Ring and how the AI works. Most bosses have a rotation of moves that they execute randomly and they can also vary for close and long range to you. For some bosses its true RNG - roll a die and see which move comes up. That is dynamic, even if the moves themselves form patterns. It still is a system of rules and rules can be broken - humans read patterns quite well, and they can also quite easily read responses and process them. If the enemy does not evolve based on that, you're already stuck in a situation where things are 'static'.
 
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Frankly, I hated the combat in that game. I had moments where I got into it, but most of the time, the learning curve is just so god damn steep. Thing is, in KCD you are pretty weak especially at the beginning. No superhero moves there, but careful strategic planned strikes and correct counter moves are what saves you. Being outnumbered is amazingly horrible. Ranged combat is hard too.
It's a hard game, which is not something I generally appreciate, but let's be honest - it's part of what makes it realistic.
 
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If you want realistic combat, I recommend you practice the fencing arts, like sport fencing, HEMA, and other such organizations.

Video games just aren't designed for that level of granularity. A two-player fighting game provides a large amount of opportunity for footsie / mind-games with your opponent. A one-player fighting game (like Punch Out, Elden Ring, or Monster Hunter) is best when the bosses have sequences you can learn and improve against.

Its tough to strike that balance of "easy to memorize" vs "boss is too random, there's nothing to learn from them". But that's what these games really are at their core.
 
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If you want realistic combat, I recommend you practice the fencing arts, like sport fencing, HEMA, and other such organizations.

Video games just aren't designed for that level of granularity.

I think they will be able to do this in the future, as AI continues to improve and the hardware itself, Unreal Engine 5 looks so beautiful, it will be a real shame if all you do is "Hit B on controller to block with shield", the natural progression of technology and of graphics says to me the customer is eventually going to be wanting more advanced combat alongside those other advances.
 
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It's a hard game, which is not something I generally appreciate, but let's be honest - it's part of what makes it realistic.

Yeah I still spent over 80 hours in there, its awesome, and avoiding combat in all manner of ways brought a whole new dimension to the world because the world also supports that gameplay. The occasional fights I did get into, were really just things I feared more than anything. It was something else, really, to play underdog.
 
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I think they will be able to do this in the future, as AI continues to improve and the hardware itself, Unreal Engine 5 looks so beautiful, it will be a real shame if all you do is "Hit B on controller to block with shield", the natural progression of technology and of graphics says to me the customer is eventually going to be wanting more advanced combat alongside those other advances.

Except I've actually practiced fencing.

A slight counterclockwise twist of your wrist can avoid the block of most people's swords. A shield-user (who I have played against), can be avoided by high/low mixups, switching up feet-strikes with head strikes to confuse their shield-hand.

You can even "stab them in the back" with a "hook-like" sword swing, swinging behind their shield.

---------

Practiced sword-and-shield users can use the shield to hide their sword, so you don't know if they're going to attack you on the left or the right. Etc. etc. You ain't gonna be able to do that in a video game, and if it were in a video game, that'd be "unfair". Its surprising what a large block of wood does to your vision when they shove it into your face.
 
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Except I've actually practiced fencing.

A slight counterclockwise twist of your wrist can avoid the block of most people's swords. A shield-user (who I have played against), can be avoided by high/low mixups, switching up feet-strikes with head strikes to confuse their shield-hand.

You can even "stab them in the back" with a "hook-like" sword swing, swinging behind their shield.

---------

Practiced sword-and-shield users can use the shield to hide their sword, so you don't know if they're going to attack you on the left or the right. Etc. etc.

that's all well and good, but I am not interested in fencing, I doubt your fencing sword would last very long on the medieval battlefield
 
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that's all well and good, but I am not interested in fencing, I doubt your fencing sword would last very long on the medieval battlefield

Agreed.

I preferred the spear in the mass combat groups I've played in. But shieldmen had far higher survivability. The sword is quite a crappy weapon in practice. EDIT: The main advantage of the "sword" (or really, one-handed weapons in general), is that the 2nd hand offers you a shield, which can be used to block arrows, block blows, and form shield walls with your allies.

What people don't realize is that the shield-hand is just one hand, and can be overpowered by strong opponents. So its not something you want to just leave out there. Its a style of combat that never worked for me, since I'm a bit lighter and smaller (just 5'10). Shieldmen are best if they're like 6'5" huge dudes who have the strength to block everything with one arm.

Spear worked out much better for me, as of average height, I could poke from afar.
 
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Agreed.

I preferred the spear in the mass combat groups I've played in. But shieldmen had far higher survivability. The sword is quite a crappy weapon in practice.

I have had similar thoughts, like why didn't medieval times just develop to use long as fuck metal spears instead of metal swords? I feel like in actual combat it would have been to your advantage, but I mean I am not expert in this stuff, just interesting to think about. (also easier to forge than a sword I expect) and a metal speaker would break wooden shields
 
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I have had similar thoughts, like why didn't medieval times just develop to use long as fuck metal spears instead of metal swords? I feel like in actual combat it would have been to your advantage, but I mean I am not expert in this stuff, just interesting to think about. (also easier to forge than a sword I expect) and a metal speaker would break wooden shields

Historically, polearms were the king of combat. Be it the Qiang in China, the Halberd of Europe, or the Naginata of Japan, soldiers were generally carrying spears, not swords. The exception was Legionnaire's Gladius IIRC, maybe because Rome actually could afford all that iron. (Even then, Legionaires had two Pilum, throwing spears, equipped. So the polearm was still in widespread use by the Legions)

Its the same reason why in Westerns, everyone uses a pistol, when in reality / real wars, people used carbines and/or rifles. Pistols (and Swords) were used in polite society. They're small enough to carry and sheath. Only "soldiers" used bigger guns and/or bigger weapons (like a Halberd). If someone were walking around town with an AK-47, that's a lot more conspicuous than them walking around with a Glock.

Similarly, a "polite" member of society could walk around with a small fencing rapier and a buckler. If you walked around town with a Halberd, people would immediately think you were up to no good.

----------

Anyway. Real-world combat is completely different from video game combat. I highly recommend you find a group and play with them with some fencing (or HEMA-style historical reenactment battles) techniques, if you're actually interested in that craft. I mean... fencing / HEMA is still "a game" and not like, we're trying to kill each other. But even the barest of basic study will demonstrate why such an experience could never be replicated by a video game.


EDIT: Case in point: I know that if you kick the opponent in the elbow, their shield will pop open, and that opening is where I stab them with the spear. Yes, the opponent's elbow is "still behind the shield", you can't see their elbow, but its there. Just kick them in the elbow, and suddenly their shield isn't working for a brief ~1-second period. Even against strong opponents (ex: 6-foot guys), such a technique works (though you'll need a stronger and stronger kick the bigger the opponent is).

Its not like blocking the attempt with the shield helps, I'm attacking their arm / anatomy that's holding the shield, not the shield itself. The force from my front-kick, and the surprise when they aren't expecting it will open them up.

Unless they chop-off my let during the kick-attempt, lol. But you know, its a game, gotta take risks. Kicking with my legs while striking with my spear during the brief "elbow opens up the shield" moment is just part of the bread-and-butter techniques you can learn if you do this stuff. In a group setting, my ally to the left would perform the stab after I perform the kick. (I kick to open their shield to the right, my ally then strikes to the person's left), and group-practice can allow us to perform these maneuvers without communicating.

By this point, you realize that you very well are just playing a competitive sport. Not much different from Basketball, Football, or other games that exist in today's society (though the rules are different after all).

EDIT2: Now that I think of it, the real world soldiers probably didn't do "kicks" in combat, but instead switched weapons as appropriate. I'm looking at the shape of a warhammer and see how it could be used for this purpose.

1652816605325.png


That left-polearm with the hammer would open up shields best. The 4th polearm would pry the shield open with a hook-type attack. The axe-shape probably tries to punch through the shield entirely. Etc. etc. Just a little bit of "play fighting" on a pretend battlefield is all you need to fully understand the shapes of these weapons.
 
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Its not like blocking the attempt with the shield helps, I'm attacking their arm / anatomy that's holding the shield, not the shield itself. The force from my front-kick, and the surprise when they aren't expecting it will open them up.

Unless they chop-off my let during the kick-attempt, lol. But you know, its a game, gotta take risks. Kicking with my legs while striking with my spear during the brief "elbow opens up the shield" moment is just part of the bread-and-butter techniques you can learn if you do this stuff. In a group setting, my ally to the left would perform the stab after I perform the kick. (I kick to open their shield to the right, my ally then strikes to the person's left), and group-practice can allow us to perform these maneuvers without communicating.

By this point, you realize that you very well are just playing a competitive sport. Not much different from Basketball, Football, or other games that exist in today's society (though the rules are different after all).

EDIT2: Now that I think of it, the real world soldiers probably didn't do "kicks" in combat, but instead switched weapons as appropriate. I'm looking at the shape of a warhammer and see how it could be used for this purpose.

View attachment 247803

That left-polearm with the hammer would open up shields best. The 4th polearm would pry the shield open with a hook-type attack. The axe-shape probably tries to punch through the shield entirely. Etc. etc. Just a little bit of "play fighting" on a pretend battlefield is all you need to fully understand the shapes of these weapons.

You kind of just agreed with me just fyi, I understand video games are not capable of this level of detail right now, but I think they will be in the future.

I'm not talking about anything super insane here, just a little extra layer to combat mechanics (still doesn't have to be realistic like Ex Anima) but an extra layer would still add a nice and much needed layer to traditional video game combat. Imagine if Elden Ring were exactly the way it was, and you just add in some surprise mechanics, like the sword getting caught in a sheld/rotate the shield and boom stab your enemy (but this mechanic wouldn't work every time you tried to use, it could be randomized based on the enemy level) - and there could also be some physics too it, just not on the same level of Ex Anima which is trying to be realistic, I know Elden Ring is not trying to be realistic, but it could be like lets say as soon as the sword gets caught (when you timed the shield to go horizontal to have the edge of the sword dig in) before you rotate the shield the enemy would have a RNG built into it, and it realizes what you are trying to do, before you can rotate it pushes forward hard and knocks you back...

The polearms also present lots of different surprise mechanics you could build into a games combat physics, just to give it that extra layer, and a little RNG (but not overly so that a skilled player would just automatically die)... maybe AI will become so advanced it can even become resourceful... so since the sword got stuck in the shield, you got knocked on your ass, well the enemy AI just lost their shield, maybe they go grab a giant wooden club under a tree, and the battle resumes...

Does what I am saying make sense, about the extra layer/surprise mechanics? These would be on top of what already exists, it just would give combat a little more "life" imo

My hope is that AI and game engines will be advanced enough to do this someday. I think Ex Anima is on the right track, but I am not interested in an exact replica of real world physics, I think that concept can be adapted as I just talked about though.

@lexluthermiester thoughts on this? Also, I am reading a book by John Michael Godier right now, I know you like him, it would be interesting to see more advanced AI game engines designed for a space game too... I think the future of gaming is very bright... I hope I live another 50 years so I can see what the industry looks like in the future.
 
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You kind of just agreed with me just fyi, I understand video games are not capable of this level of detail right now, but I think they will be in the future.

So I'm not quite an "expert" level at various video games, but I've reached tournament-level play (IE: the ability to reach pools at a decent tournament, but not climb much higher than that).

The level of tactics and mixups available to fighting games is... very deep.

Which Direction to Block 18 - YouTube

The amount of speed and skill that it takes to recognize these setups, as well as the finesse to execute these kinds of attacks all exist both in real-life, and in video games. The question is one of execution: in video games, you execute these commands with your fingers. In this case with Millia Rage (Guilty Gear), the mixups are largely left/right and high/low mixups (aerial attacks must be blocked high, and from the correct direction), since she has a very fast air-dash, it is very difficult to react in time to her air-dash messing up with your block.

But on top of that, the "disc" prevents counter-attacks, meaning Millia has the time to attack from the air (aerials must be blocked high), as well as land and attack low (low-attacks must be crouch-blocked).

-----

Similar attacks of similar speeds occur in real combat: a jab-feint can force the opponent's block prematurely, and a well-timed reverse punch during your opponents "triggered" block (if they're twitchy) can punch through their guard. Despite happening in the real world, these attacks also happen at the same speeds as video games, assuming a well trained boxer who has the strength to execute these attacks.

On the one hand, the video-game fighting mechanics are "fantasy", there's no such thing as a floating-disc made out of someone's hair whip, nor do we possess the ability to air-dash. But that's what makes fighting games / video games fun. You leave the entire field of reality all together to craft new mechanics and gameplay.
 
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So I'm not quite an "expert" level at various video games, but I've reached tournament-level play (IE: the ability to reach pools at a decent tournament, but not climb much higher than that).

The level of tactics and mixups available to fighting games is... very deep.

Which Direction to Block 18 - YouTube

The amount of speed and skill that it takes to recognize these setups, as well as the finesse to execute these kinds of attacks all exist both in real-life, and in video games. The question is one of execution: in video games, you execute these commands with your fingers. In this case with Millia Rage (Guilty Gear), the mixups are largely left/right and high/low mixups (aerial attacks must be blocked high, and from the correct direction), since she has a very fast air-dash, it is very difficult to react in time to her air-dash messing up with your block.

But on top of that, the "disc" prevents counter-attacks, meaning Millia has the time to attack from the air (aerials must be blocked high), as well as land and attack low (low-attacks must be crouch-blocked).

-----

Similar attacks of similar speeds occur in real combat: a jab-feint can force the opponent's block prematurely, and a well-timed reverse punch during your opponents "triggered" block (if they're twitchy) can punch through their guard. Despite happening in the real world, these attacks also happen at the same speeds as video games, assuming a well trained boxer who has the strength to execute these attacks.

On the one hand, the video-game fighting mechanics are "fantasy", there's no such thing as a floating-disc made out of someone's hair whip, nor do we possess the ability to air-dash. But that's what makes fighting games / video games fun. You leave the entire field of reality all together to craft new mechanics and gameplay.

I understand what you are saying, however, the fighting games are developed with competitive nature in mind (I am solely focused on immersion, not competiveness). I feel that ruins kind of what I am saying. I am not saying make combat so complex you have to memorize a ton of combo patterns like in Virtua Fighter 4 (mainly the only fighter game I ever played back in the day), but instead just add an extra layer to combat for modern AAA games like Elden Ring (those that are single player focused). I feel like these two concepts should be separated for what I am trying to get others to understand. I am just saying, I personally would find Elden Ring more fun if it had an extra dimension to the combat, but it doesn't have to be as complex or competitively designed as a fighter game. "spur of the moment combat mechanics with reaction time and a bit of RNG" is kind of what I am thinking in my head, but it would require the AI to be much more advanced than is currently possible I think. It's also possible I am just not wording what I am trying to say properly, because in all honesty I am not sure what I am trying to say. I just know combat could be more immersive and fun in a lot of single player games if we had that extra layer of compute, to allow for not just a dodge roll, but a dodge roll and rotate shield as I catch the blade in it perfectly and yank it to the side with a "right analog push" then immediately slide under monster as I drop the shield with the sword stuck in it and smash the enemy behind the leg with my sword...

but currently games are much more limited in their programming than to allow this type of "Hollywood" action I guess you might say. and the AI for the enemy would need to be so much better than it is now for it to even be possible, because when you allow for non-choreographed fights like this, the enemy is going to need to be resourceful.
 
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