KCD combat system - spot on, half baked, or good enough?

not sure of actual design intent of KCD’s combat system. to me, it should be as follows:

(1) technique - technique should matter more than raw attribute (eg, strength). a swordmaster lacking strength should be able to slash (stab, etc) the crap out of Bob the beast almost every single time. exception being a low probability hail Mary slash (stab, etc) by Bob the beast. there should also be an opportunity cost in techniques. Henry shouldn’t be able to master all by grinding. as Henry develops techniques and selects their associated perks, the technique potential and perks in other martial domains should be lost or (much) reduced

(2) experience - experience should matter more than raw attribute. an old battle tested veteran should be able to anticipate and react way better than (novice) Bob the beast. Bob the beast going aggro should be embarrassed. exception again low probability hail Mary. grinding itself should provide some experience but difference making experience should come from actually using more advanced techniques

(3) raw attributes - raw attributes should differentiate (ceteris paribus - technique/experience) the good from the great. additionally, attributes like strength and agility should be naturally (normally distributed) distributed among the NPC population. if leaders are perceived to possess these attributes more (than the regular troops), weigh the distribution in their favor and against the general troops. as far as Henry is concerned, the attribute choices you make as Henry in the beginning should determine the potential Henry has to develop as the game progresses. if you don’t pick enough in strength early, Henry will never be able to attain the minimum strength necessary to use some weapons; the attribute penalty will always apply.

(4) tactics - the NPC tactics need to be elaborated on. There should be a discernible difference between a unit with at least one leader and one without. As is, it seems off. Once a camp breach is known, the NPCs should react as one. They don’t. +650 dead Cuman and bandits tell me so. The joint assault on Pribyslavitz was first time I saw them form a line. That’s wrong. Kill the leader? Maybe there should be loss in unit cohesion AI. Kill one in camp? The NPCs should maintain better vigilance. They don’t. And so, as a solitary horse archer, I grind the whole camp down bit by bit until they’re all dead. This even happened with nest of vipers. Killed all the NPCs in camp off bit by bit just by grinding even as some are crying about setting off the alarm. another thought, Cuman tactics should be discernibly different from bandit tactics. the former should be more organized in intent; the latter should be more aggro with less unit polish.

to me, WH made a great first effort at this verus other games but some tweaks could be used

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I think the biggest problem is that every melee weapon is the same, with the exception of polearms. Every peasant, bandit, guard, knight, Cuman, all fight in exactly the same style.

It’s good enough though. Could be better, but then what is good? Skyrim is terrible for melee. Just wave your sword around. Witcher? Console focused control system, rolling around, back weapons. One magic activate button, then you need to go into a menu to choose another one?

  • Technique is already implemented, as you well know, but the reason it matters less than the main attributes is that attributes are currently unbalanced and also pretty much all the NPCs possess good technique. You can be ambushed by literally a half-naked bandit with a stick on the road who can pull off perfect ripostes and hold a master grip.

  • Experience and raw attributes go pretty much hand in hand, the more experienced you are the higher your attributes.

  • Could you clarify for me why, realistically, your potential should be limited based on your dialogue checks in the beginning? It would make sense to inherently be better at something from the start but why be prohibited from improving regardless of practice?

agree. this is problematic

reason i don’t play Skyrim or W3 anymore is that it’s largely button mashing.


problem #1

problem #2 . lots of old, experienced veterans out there in the world who aren’t as strong as Hercules. in sport science, they talk about technical, tactical, mental, physical. each is separate. they should be separated in the game as well.

to me, Henry shouldn’t be able to have god (max) level in all attributes. minus professional athletes who represent less than 0,1% of the population, nobody has max attributes in the different categories no matter how much they train

in the beginning, i’d tweak the speech checks so that you can choose whether your guy has max strength potential with not so much agility potential, or balanced strength and agility potential, and so on. you still need to develop strength, etc. but how high you get is limited by your early game choices.

this makes it different than Bethesda and other games that let you distribute point early but then allow you to add more later as you level up. in this view, you’re picking the ceiling, and then whether you reach the celing is determined by in game training/experience (which i think WH nailed this)

Obviously, but what i meant to say was, the one who is stronger (ie. Bob the beast) is also the one with the more experience as far as this game does things, which seems acceptable to me. I don’t see any reason to change it.

And once you do reach the “lowered” cap, what natural element is it that keeps you from going further?

I like the system but my biggest gripe is I don’t feel in control. I have done many practice sessions with Bernard, and I know every combat technique that can be learned. But all I can pull off in actual combat is slash, stab, block.

I still win 99 percent of my combat encounters but it just feels like I am missing out on 90 percent of the combat experience. I want to do more stuff but the mechanics are poorly explained and very hard to achieve in game.

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this leads to Henry being overpowered: too agile, too strong. battle tested Cuman (esp. NCO equivalents) should be able to kick Henry’s butt (with AI aniticipation, etc) instead they battle like a noob against Henry . they are caricatures of real veterans.

enjoy the heck of the game but this is just not right for a game that intends to deliver some modicum of historical realism

in reality (esp the reality of one summer in 1403) you would never have maximum possible strength and agility relative to career professionals (guards, mercenaries, veteran troops). not everybody can swing 70kg kettle bells, run 40m in less than 4.5 secs, etc.
capping puts in place a limit that resembles at least in part the real world

not strong enough to meet strength req for Cuman bow because you’ve hit your ceiling? well, go ahead and shoot the Cuman bow and take the penalty. Or, pick a bow suitable to you strength. the ceiling just makes the player think about long term goal relative to desire play style. and, in RL, a guy who tries to be a swordmaster who switches to bow in one summer… yeah, he masters none no matter how much he grinds

Totally agree, and it’s quite the case in the game aswell. Remember how at the beginning, while fleeing Skalitz you come by three Cumans and despite your supposedly jawdropping sword, Henry get’s his sack handed to him. And the situation goes on for quite a while, until Henry himself participates in a good few battles and becomes quite the battle-tested chap himself, and that’s when you can start holding your own better.

Also agree, but don’t you think nerfing the stats in general, out of the current ludicrous god-mode and having Henry specialize in certain fields with slowered advancement in other fields would feel more in place rather than completely walled progression?

there a lot of data tables (weapons, perks, etc). yes, things can be nerfed here and there to make things better, but here’s the problem with that. nerfing here and there will cause a problem elsewhere. then, it’s rinse repeat.

you’ve got to have a larger vision… larger design intent. once you have that, then you can manipulate the numbers. when you do so, the nerfing leads to fewer unintended consequences

Seeing how overpowered some attributes like strength are at the moment and how it completely contradicts what most players want out of the game which are realistically proportioned capabilities and not superpowers, there’s no way around nerfing it down. Once that happens, hopefully we’ll see things looking better than they are now.

Patch 1.3.1 already nerfed that, as well as how much weapon skill increases damage. Not sure if it’s out on consoles yet but it keeps the late-game combat pretty well balanced.

will be looking forward to it. part of what i’m saying goes beyond just hit damage nerfing but extends to NPC AI. the 1.3.1 Cuman vets (NCOs… Bernard equivalents) should employ AI that makes you think ‘oh shit. can’t be reckless or sloppy with this guy. hmm. come to think of it, maybe i need to find a way to run away’

bandit vets should offer a different set of AI considerations as well.

Superb to hear it! It’s not out yet on consoles sadly though.

I’m with you on that one.

And once you do reach the “lowered” cap, what natural element is it that keeps you from going further?

The role you are playing? As it is now you can be everything you want: a super agile rogue along a super powerful knight. It doesn’t make sense, imo, that you should be able to be a master of everything. The same happens in Bethesda games and the system butchers real RP. Actually in KCD it’s even worse than in Bethesda games as at least in the latter only main skills grow fast and increase your level (so that there’s a modicum of role involved as you cannot do everything with the same skill) but in KCD nothing of this exists and the result is that in the end you are able to do the same exact things as a Knight that you can do while being a dedicated rogue, for example.

I’m sorry but this doesn’t make ANY sense at all. There should be a system in place that, at least in some way, ties you to a certain role, because that’s what RP is about. Having a ceiling for abilities would at least be a start, so you cannot become a master in everything as everyone else can, and then WH should also implement, IMO, role related quests or a reputation system that doesn’t allow certain dynamics to take place under opposite circumstances. As it is now the game actually incentives you to become an honorable knight by day and a scoundrel rogue by night, which, again, doesn’t make any sense nor from a realistic pow and neither from a RP one.

I didn’t argue about limitations in role-picking, only suggested slowing advancement from the start is more easily justifiable than completely blocking it off from the middle.

Slowing advancement alone doesn’t work as you just need to put more time and the same thing will happen again. Either you implement a ceiling at a certain point or you need to create another system in which skills are advanced (as in the aforementioned case of Bethesda games where you pick a set of skills to advance and only those count for you main level).

It should come as no wonder if someone invests time into something and gets progressively better, that fits better in the natural world than going:
" Woop, hold up there lad, you can’t get any better than this else you’ll be too good at too many things.
-But i tried thrice as hard!

  • No, sorry, can’t have that. Bye."

You’re achieving a greater level of realism while also implying RPG and role-choosing elements.

I’d like to see a game that enforces opportunity costs in your role development. Your decision now impacts your future trajectory (expand some, lose some). Do it again. More so. So forth and so on.

I can do everything. Master horse archer, swordmaster, mace expert, thief, bed breaker, haggler extraordinaire, bookworm, alchemist, herbalist, armor/weapon repairer, cobbler, huntsman, fish trapper

Having general skills in a variety of areas is fine but expertise in all is not


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