What is combat about, in your game?
Is it just aiming to be a
simulation of combat in real life? Well in real life it's kind of a hack
fest until one drops - the reason that's exciting, or even just plain
frightening, is perma death.
If combat in your game is about
'wanting to win' more than it's about simulation, then what do you win
from combat? Basically it's an easy formula - the more you stand to win,
the bigger the excitement.
The formula continues that the longer
it takes to get there (ie, were waiting for hit points to go down), the
more the excitement is reduced. I'd really recommend having a chance on
each attack of one shotting the other warrior. Because instead of going
"oh, I did 5 damage...and he's got 95 to go...well, what's the point of
watching in the next few seconds to a minute? Nothings going to happen"
they watch in anticipation because at any point one guy could be dropped
But again, the excitement is a multiplier of the potential reward.
is generally an issue to online game designers, because they want to
spread out rewards over a long period of time. Sadly, even in big name
mmorpg, the designers seem to have gone 'Oh, just in case someone grinds
for eight hours each day, we'll make all the rewards really, really damn
small'. Which sucks and is lame design. At the very least you could
simply have someone have X number of chances per day of a big reward,
thus the grinder does not break the reward spread AND you don't have to
make the rewards pathetic - they can be substantial.
Anyway, for a
long time I concentrated on how to make combat options that were
exciting. But after a long time I came to the conclusion it was like
flogging a dead horse. All the combat options in the world doesn't make
combat exciting if the reward is pathetic.
I originally posted this over at indie resource in reply to another poster. But it warrants it's own post here, as well.