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View Full Version : Verisimilitude in Arms, Panoplies, Combat Mechanics, and Magic



Tsuga C
05-11-2012, 04:53 PM
Thisíll be a brief request, gentlemen. Please leave the silly, over-the-top, fantastical nonsense to other companies. When a rogue bounces around like a ping-pong ball or a fighter wields a battleaxe with a head the size of a trashcan lid, it well and truly strains my credulity. The market has seen plenty of games for those who enjoy such silliness, so please take the opposite path and keep a strong sense of verisimilitude in The Banner Saga. I'm really hoping this shall be a game made by and for adults. *crosses fingers*

Suggested browsing:

http://www.thearma.org/

http://hurstwic.org/

Thanks for your consideration. :-)

JokerAR
05-11-2012, 05:10 PM
I take it you've not seen the race of giants, the mage calling down lightning, the centaurs or the foreboding looking 'baddies' in oversized black plate then? ...

I know the dev team have already commented specifically on trying to keep the weapons used by the humans sensibly proportioned- and I'm behind you all the way in favouring a more realistic combat feeling- fantastical creatures be damned (or at least believably smited)

LoliSauce
05-11-2012, 06:31 PM
Gotta have that magic as realistic as possible.

kincajou
05-12-2012, 12:05 PM
everyone knows that giants really exist!

Aaron
05-12-2012, 12:52 PM
I think Tsuga just wants TBS to not be anime or World of Warcraft.

Tsuga C
05-12-2012, 02:02 PM
I take it you've not seen the race of giants, the mage calling down lightning, the centaurs or the foreboding looking 'baddies' in oversized black plate then? ...

I know the dev team have already commented specifically on trying to keep the weapons used by the humans sensibly proportioned- and I'm behind you all the way in favouring a more realistic combat feeling- fantastical creatures be damned (or at least believably smited)

I haven't seen the mage/lightning, but I have seen the giants with horns (not eye-poppingly silly, but I wouldn't want them to become any more fantastical), the centaurs aren't too over-the-top (athough I do question why they're in a Norse-like setting, there was a time when Odin was represented with a centaur-like logo which was wrapped up with his god of the battle-slain portfolio [his horse, Sleipnir had 8 legs, like four pallbearers bearing a coffin]), but...

The "baddies" in black plate armor, however, are really taxing the credulity factor. Are they the blackened fire giants of Surt? Aaron was correct in his assessment that I do not want to see The Banner Saga degenerate into puerile, anime-like combat with characters leaping dozens of yards through the air or World of Warcraft-like cartoonish avatars. That sort of nonsense is an instant deal-killer for me.

Tsuga C
05-12-2012, 02:36 PM
everyone knows that giants really exist!

Yes, they do (http://www.giantscausewayireland.com/), or did at one time, anyway. ;-)

lamaz
05-12-2012, 02:44 PM
I haven't seen the mage/lightning, but I have seen the giants with horns (not eye-poppingly silly, but I wouldn't want them to become any more fantastical), the centaurs aren't too over-the-top (athough I do question why they're in a Norse-like setting, there was a time when Odin was represented with a centaur-like logo which was wrapped up with his god of the battle-slain portfolio [his horse, Sleipnir had 8 legs, like four pallbearers bearing a coffin]), but...

The "baddies" in black plate armor, however, are really taxing the credulity factor. Are they the blackened fire giants of Surt? Aaron was correct in his assessment that I do not want to see The Banner Saga degenerate into puerile, anime-like combat with characters leaping dozens of yards through the air or World of Warcraft-like cartoonish avatars. That sort of nonsense is an instant deal-killer for me.

Stoic has already stated that they are not going for the real Norse mythology. They have their own low fantasy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_fantasy)setting and universe that is influenced by the Norse mythology.

Aaron
05-12-2012, 02:44 PM
Stoic have repeatedly said that the setting is only inspired from Norse culture and mythology. It's not actually using Norse mythology, so I'm not worried about the validity of the centaurs and black armour guys.

I don't anticipate TBS featuring any outlandish, over-the-top art direction so I wouldn't worry about it.

Also, let's not turn this thread into a discussion about the general merits and demerits of anime- and WoW-type stylization. That would be a matter of taste and such discussions never go anywhere on the Internet. :)

Tsuga C
05-12-2012, 03:31 PM
Also, let's not turn this thread into a discussion about the general merits and demerits of anime- and WoW-type stylization. That would be a matter of taste and such discussions never go anywhere on the Internet. :)

Truthfully, it's a matter of taste and physics--on both accounts, anime and WoW are most often a steaming pile of dog doo-doo. To the very core of my being, I despise both and would rather wander the yard scooping the poop than watch anime combat or grind away at WoW. If one is inclined towards cotton candy-type silliness and fluff, then those sorts of things don't offend one's sensibilities. I'm very much in the opposing camp.

JokerAR
05-12-2012, 04:12 PM
Well, we'll all see the Stoic style for ourselves come Summer's multi-player release- given that combat's turn based I can't really see the animation portraying overly realistic battles but I'd be pretty surprised to see anime physics and sensibilities represented in the Banner Saga. Just doesn't fit the tone Stoic are establishing with their trailers and interviews. I'll sacrifice realism as far as the game's look goes (I can't see all clean looking axe blows fellng my opponent in one strike for example) for core gameplay balance anyday but Stoic's stance that they aim to produce a title for adults should keep a happy medium for most of us.

LoliSauce
05-12-2012, 04:40 PM
I'm starting to wonder if this really is a troll thread, but I'll bite anyway.

Anyone who actually knows what they're talking about (and isn't just trying for a reaction), wouldn't go blindly lumping all anime content into the completely outlandish stuff that is only targeted towards kids. There are a lot of JP media that contain just as much realism as any other media, western or otherwise.

So, are you trolling or just plain ignorant? Regardless, it looks like you need to educate yourself at least on the subject matter regarding this game that has already been announced and discussed.

There is magic, giants, centaurs, and other fantasy creatures. There is going to be some level of exaggeration and stylized appearance, guaranteed. The giants in particular are supposed to be exaggerated fantasy vikings and will probably wield overly large weaponry and be somewhat brutish warmongers. So read up some and get a better idea of what to expect before making a stink about things that are already in motion.

Personally, I think that bending and exaggerating natural sensibilities can be tasteful depending on the setting and context of the story. Anything can be taken too far and get absolutely ridiculous, but I still recognize that there is a valid market for that content even though I don't favor it. So, although I've definitely said some offensive things, I'd like to apologize for getting heated, and would certainly appreciate it if you could put down the rampant elitism so that we can prevent this from getting stupid.

Arnie
05-13-2012, 12:18 AM
I won't be debating whether or not anime is poo-poo, I've seen some terrible anime and some great anime, but I can speak a bit to what we're doing with The Banner Saga (TBS).

TBS is a low fantasy. The most outlandish characters we currently have planned are the Dredge, the dark armored beings. We designed them to be otherworldly because it fits the story for them to be so. They need to look odd and out of place. You won't find any dragons in our world.

The Varl, our race of Jotun/giants have slightly different proportions than humans, but should still not look overly stylized. Their weapons are not over-sized and should look like a weapon that they could wield in real life if they were actually in real life. Oddly enough you may be happy to hear that we've gotten some negative feedback that our weapons are not large enough! But it is my belief that people are just not used to seeing normal sized weapons in video games anymore.

The centaurs are a nod to a character in another one of our favorite turn based strategies, but we feel that their design fits well into our fiction. If you notice the centaur is short and stocky and based off one of the stout furry Icelandic ponies that the Vikings used to trot around on. Their clothing and culture are decidedly Celtic, making them one of the few races in our game that are not Scandinavian...once again, on purpose for our story.

All in all, I understand your concerns and feel you will not be disgusted with the realm that TBS takes place in. It is in many ways far more realistic than the mythical world the Vikings themselves believed in, what with mead that flowed like beer from the utters of a giant goat in Valhalla...and all.

The real fun is going to come next week when Alex does his first 'Lore of TBS' blog. We'll really have stuff to discuss. :)

lamaz
05-13-2012, 09:05 AM
The real fun is going to come next week when Alex does his first 'Lore of TBS' blog. We'll really have stuff to discuss.

Mmmm Diablo III and a lore update for TBS. Next week is about to be as good as they get!

Aaron
05-13-2012, 07:24 PM
I won't be debating whether or not anime is poo-poo, I've seen some terrible anime and some great anime

For me it depends on the context, setting, and execution. I think TBS deserves a gritty and realistic (but not grimdark) stylization. But I wouldn't necessarily say no to another game about, say, anthropomorphic tanks with magical swords (http://www.mobygames.com/game-group/super-robot-taisen-series). Though I suppose Tsuga has his reasons to be frustrated since there seems to be a glut of overly stylized games as opposed to realistic ones (though I wouldn't know if this is true or not).

I was coming from this angle (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_mAcunt-xQ) more than anything else.

Tsuga C
05-14-2012, 03:10 PM
The Varl, our race of Jotun/giants have slightly different proportions than humans, but should still not look overly stylized. Their weapons are not over-sized and should look like a weapon that they could wield in real life if they were actually in real life. Oddly enough you may be happy to hear that we've gotten some negative feedback that our weapons are not large enough! But it is my belief that people are just not used to seeing normal sized weapons in video games anymore.

All in all, I understand your concerns and feel you will not be disgusted with the realm that TBS takes place in. It is in many ways far more realistic than the mythical world the Vikings themselves believed in, what with mead that flowed like beer from the utters of a giant goat in Valhalla...and all.

The real fun is going to come next week when Alex does his first 'Lore of TBS' blog. We'll really have stuff to discuss. :)

Arnie, this is most reassuring to me. If I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder concerning this particular portion of the game, it's because I have a low threshold for credulity and I've actually wielded swords before (university years) and am an avid bow and firearm hunter today. As such, I have a pretty fair idea of what works with melee and projectile weapons and what doesn't. If it doesn't pass the "inertia test", then it just doesn't pass muster with me. So far, so good, and I thank you for your response.

*****

Question: If the player is the "mind" for an entire travelling caravan of survivors as depicted in the introductory video, what is the numerical range of characters we will control in combat (e.g. 1-120)? I imagine this will be determined by whether or not we may "group" characters into units a la the Total War series which would make issuing orders to larger numbers of survivors much more convenient.

Eberict
05-14-2012, 07:44 PM
The centaurs are a nod to a character in another one of our favorite turn based strategies, but we feel that their design fits well into our fiction.

Shining Force, Arnie? ;)

JokerAR
05-15-2012, 12:22 AM
*****

Question: If the player is the "mind" for an entire travelling caravan of survivors as depicted in the introductory video, what is the numerical range of characters we will control in combat (e.g. 1-120)? I imagine this will be determined by whether or not we may "group" characters into units a la the Total War series which would make issuing orders to larger numbers of survivors much more convenient.

Are you familiar with tactical rpgs? Nothing I've seen so far gives the impression that the Banner Saga's combat will be out of the usual TRPG scale (parties of usually less than 10 vs 10).

There are a few early screenshots of the combat out the- giving a fair indication of the combat grid size (unless the grid is variable or scrollable- but when the combat has been described as Final Fantasy Tactics with a hint of chess I'd imagine a fairly condensed battlefield is the order of the day).

Eberict
05-15-2012, 05:13 AM
Stoic mentioned that the battle grid is variable, but I'm not sure about scrollable. Definitely it'll feature different shapes and not be limited by ye olde square pattern. So you can have an L shaped field, perhaps a triangle field, rectangle, IKEA key shape, etc.

Arnie
05-15-2012, 12:03 PM
@Tsuga C:
You don't play the "mind" of an entire caravan. They all have their own motivations, needs, dreams and concerns. It's a bit like herding cats.
Combat will be on a more personal level than a large war scenario. Adding warriors to your caravan will effect combat in certain ways though which we will go into in depth long before we ship. I'm not trying to be cagy, it's just that we're still balancing the whole system and I don't want to give out what becomes false information.
@Eberict:
Shining Force? Uh...yes. :)

Tsuga C
05-15-2012, 02:50 PM
Once again, Arnie, thanks for the information regarding the relative scale of combat. You're quite the fount of information! *thumbs up*

What of seidr (magic)? Will it be simple and direct (e.g. lightning bolt, enlarge, heal, slow, etc.) or will practitioners of seidr be able to do other things that are more complicated and/or indirect (summoning & binding spirits, find the path, clairvoyance, ensorcelling items, runecasting at critical junctures, etc.)?

Arnie
05-15-2012, 05:18 PM
"magic", not a great term for our universe, we prefer "weaving". Direct spells as you call them will be very rare, at least when it comes to direct damage. Most of our "weaving" will be based on indirect spells. Weaving is more subtle than fantasy magic for the most part. There are, of course, caveats to any rule which are story based. The lightning you saw in our trailer was used because it looks cool to see lightning in a trailer. :)

LoliSauce
05-15-2012, 05:37 PM
The lightning you saw in our trailer was used because it looks cool to see lightning in a trailer. :)

Best reason.

Tsuga C
05-15-2012, 06:32 PM
Most of our "weaving" will be based on indirect spells. Weaving is more subtle than fantasy magic for the most part. There are, of course, caveats to any rule which are story based. :)

Weaving and indirect, hmmm? To quote Artie Johnson, "Verrrrrry interesting." The more I hear of your efforts, the more intrigued I'm becoming. :cool:

Eberict
05-15-2012, 07:00 PM
@Eberict:
Shining Force? Uh...yes. :)

Backing the Banner Saga just gets better and better :D

Quidman
10-07-2012, 11:42 AM
And what about weapon's reach? is there is something planned about that? (and opportunity attack?)

Arnie
10-07-2012, 02:35 PM
@Quidman: I'm not sure what you mean by weapons reach. Melee reaches 1 tile, bows reach 2-5 (they cannot shoot the tile next to them). There are exceptions to this, but that's the basics. We have a spearman class that may shake this up, I think spearmen should be able to reach more than one space without throwing their weapon. We'll be trying to balance this, but I like unique classes.

Quidman
10-07-2012, 03:34 PM
It's exactly what i mean (except that in my mind, it was more about Spear/sword difference in term of tile)

About opportunity attack, It's more about controlled space like in D&D, so you can't do what you want if you are to close to an foe. Or may be you get some bonus if your are in formation with an ally (it's just a description of what i have in my mind, not what I expect)

Arnie
10-07-2012, 04:37 PM
Positioning plays a large roll in the Banner Saga. For instance the Axemen class and the advanced classes associated with it all get "Shield wall" as a passive ability. For every friendly unit adjacent to their tile they get +1 armor.
We will have advanced classes that take advantage of such things as flanking in the future, but not at ship. We have avoided facing in the tactical dynamics, but positioning is of prime importance.

Flickerdart
10-07-2012, 06:57 PM
Attacks of opportunity in D&D are granted when someone tries to move out of, or tries to fire a bow while in, a "threatened" square (a square into which an enemy can make a melee attack). Does Banner Saga have something like that?

Arnie
10-08-2012, 10:13 AM
Ahh, no we do not have attacks of opportunity.