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Critical Hit: The Trouble With Lightsabers

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Mentai 22nd May 2011, 11:28 Quote
I think the star wars universe is inherently flawed for MMO's because of this. I don't think a bunch of jedi running around 1 hitting everything would be fun and dulled lightsabers wouldn't be either. On the other hand, fiction like Mass Effect doesn't have any ultimate class, and actually has the backbone narratively to support excuses for balancing.
Boogle 22nd May 2011, 11:55 Quote
I wish they did what you said - balanced in other ways. A Jedi could attract attention where a smuggler may not. So while a Jedi will be rewarded for hacking up a load of enemies, a smuggler can be rewarded for evading.

Although really, if I'm totally honest - why not just have everyone as a Jedi? OK it's not uber-realistic, but it's what the fans are most likely to want to play. If the game is centred around everyone being a Jedi then it can be designed in such a way to accommodate that rather than gimping Jedi to cater for classes people can play in any other MMO. This MMO should have been brave and unique, rather than just copying all the existing conventions.

I think flaws aside, Force Unleashed II struck a good balance of making the Lightsabers seem powerful without totally unbalancing the game. I doubt it's possible to get the same sort of mechanics working in an MMO, but I think it does show that balancing is possible even with uber force powers.
StoneyMahoney 22nd May 2011, 12:28 Quote
If you can't handle an imbalance like this in-game without ruining the feeling of playing it or failing to live up to expectations, perhaps some other game mechanism could be employed in some unconventional way to balance it out.

EG: What if the PC spods (smugglers, pilots et al.) just respawned in the usual MMORPG manner, but big-damn-hero OHK machines (Jedi, Sith) required a WoW hero class-style unlock, were restricted to one per account and suffered perma-death, a la Diablo Hardcore?

Did the developers not watch the films? Don't they know what happens when you kill a Jedi? They couldn't have worked that into the game somehow? Or could they not figure out how to program a glowing blue outline shader effect? Your tragically killed Jedi hero recruits and trains one of your spods from beyond the grave to take over as your hero character. That actually might have made a Star Wars game cool for once!
vaderag 22nd May 2011, 12:32 Quote
If i'm not mistaken, a Jedi has to construct his own lightsaber... why not stick a mechanic in where at lower levels, you just didn't construct you saber very well, so it keeps cutting out at certain points. That way, you can yank it out every now and then (more as the game goes on), but at other points you have to revert to your blaster etc...
Flibblebot 22nd May 2011, 13:06 Quote
^^ This is an excellent idea. Wish I'd thought of it first :D

An alternative would be to make all Jedi NPCs and not a playable class - although I guess that wouldn't have been a popular move and would have elicited howls of pain from Star Wars geeks around the world.
Spuzzell 22nd May 2011, 13:14 Quote
Lightsabers not being insta slice and dice did annoy me briefly in KOTOR, but then I realised that it was a game and got over it.

Its not like anyone has a hissy fit over characters with guns shooting people directly in the face and just doing 2 damage.
The Monk 22nd May 2011, 13:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaderag
If i'm not mistaken, a Jedi has to construct his own lightsaber... why not stick a mechanic in where at lower levels, you just didn't construct you saber very well, so it keeps cutting out at certain points. That way, you can yank it out every now and then (more as the game goes on), but at other points you have to revert to your blaster etc...

Genius idea. Also the higher level you get the longer it goes without breaking, meaning there is some reward for levelling
vaderag 22nd May 2011, 13:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monk
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaderag
If i'm not mistaken, a Jedi has to construct his own lightsaber... why not stick a mechanic in where at lower levels, you just didn't construct you saber very well, so it keeps cutting out at certain points. That way, you can yank it out every now and then (more as the game goes on), but at other points you have to revert to your blaster etc...

Genius idea. Also the higher level you get the longer it goes without breaking, meaning there is some reward for levelling

Yeah, that's what i meant by "(more as the game goes on)"... still, glad it's not just me that thinks that is the best (and only) way to realistically do it and keep both the traditionalists and the gamers happy!
vdbswong 22nd May 2011, 14:02 Quote
Actually since this was going from a lore perspective, i believe if a lightsaber isn't constructed "very well" the thing either doesn't work or is rather dangerous (maybe it explodes) - hence why only force sensitives are required to do it.

Maybe shoddy components or something, but poor construction wouldn't be one of the reasons. (It would be rather funny to explain it as a large batch of XXX component was found to be flawed and they haven't been able to bring out a new revision).

Also the mechanic would have to work on a time basis, rather than by random since RNG is usually the bane of most PvP and is rather annoying.

And on a side note, if that mechanic were implemented, how would it be regulated? For example if you implement that mechanic, i assume that you're trying to justify having Lightsabers "1 hit" people... as such, why should it matter "how long" you can use it for since combat invariably wouldn't last very long anyways.

Anyhow.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spuzzell
Lightsabers not being insta slice and dice did annoy me briefly in KOTOR, but then I realised that it was a game and got over it.

/ +1
tad2008 22nd May 2011, 14:54 Quote
It's long been true with a lot of games that reduce the effectiveness of weapons often making them completely unrealistic, guns and magic being two that come to mind. Ok, so lightsabers and magic are a fantasy based phenomena but a sense of realism goes a long way to drawing people in.

In the films the games are based on the jedi rarely had cause to use their light sabers unless directly threatened or unless they were facing a mortal enemy. Often using them for defence or to merely remove and offending limb than to go all out and one kill everything in sight.

Beginning with a training light saber that had no cutting edge would be another possible option. Having a Jedi in the game having to create a light saber from lower quality materials for lower levels due to cost and resources that was simply less effective versus higher level enemies and thus needing upgrades to become more potent. As they progress through the game and earn more money and gain access to better resources they could go on to create a better and more effective light saber.

This would be balanced and also more in keeping with those who use firearms and being able to use a larger magazine for more rounds, or change those rounds to be armour piercing, etc

The crystals used in light saber construction could even have a life span and each time the cutting edge is used, this drains or damages the crystal making it overall less effective until it eventually needs to be replaced or upgraded.

The developers also show a lack of imagination for not creating enemies that are force resistant or who have defences that low grade light sabers do not work as effectively against.
Lance 22nd May 2011, 15:51 Quote
The other option is to reduce the power of other aspects of the jedi.

For instance, being able to slice away lazer blasts, use the force (as it takes years of training, we can't all be Yoda), take a hit as we're not wearing armour.

Jedi/Sith would be very potent in close combat, but remember in most of the films they're basically a steath unit.
StoneyMahoney 22nd May 2011, 15:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaderag
That way, you can yank it out every now and then (more as the game goes on)

Why? Do you meet someone wearing *that* bikini later on?
IronDoc 22nd May 2011, 16:21 Quote
Tbh Jedi/Sith are the most overpowered characters ever, bar Superman. I don't think there's really a very good way of dealing with it.

One possible option, building on vaderag's, is if you weren't proper Jedi but were part of some small group of people who'd found a lightsabre and tried to backwards-engineer one. Also removes the issue of being blaster fire not being a threat. You could then become properly initiated as a Jedi later in your story.

Like I said though, I don't think anything will be satisfactory really.
cheeriokilla 22nd May 2011, 18:01 Quote
It would've been cooler if they created a "star wars" world in which you couldnt just be born and decided "HEY! YOU KNOW WHAT? IMMA BE A JEDI"... But rather have the class very limited, and then have all these cool classes/jobs like smugglers, bounty hunters, rebel troopers, imperial troopers and it becomes more of a STAR WARS universe kinda game... If people can choose to be a Jedi as easily as being a smuggler, 95% of the people will choose to be a Jedi... Sad, but true... And then it becomes Jedi Wars, the universe filled with with douchebags with robes and lightsabers
Bhuvsta 22nd May 2011, 18:13 Quote
Maybe the lightsabre could be 1-hit kill to make it 'realistic', but the jedi will have some kind of xp gain reduction. i.e. if the jedi can kill 10 enemies in the same time as another class kills one, they would only get 10% of the exp for a kill. Surely that would make the jedi uber and balanced at the same time. I don't know how that would work in pvp or group play though.
vdbswong 22nd May 2011, 18:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheeriokilla
It would've been cooler if they created a "star wars" world in which you couldnt just be born and decided "HEY! YOU KNOW WHAT? IMMA BE A JEDI"... But rather have the class very limited, and then have all these cool classes/jobs like smugglers, bounty hunters, rebel troopers, imperial troopers and it becomes more of a STAR WARS universe kinda game... If people can choose to be a Jedi as easily as being a smuggler, 95% of the people will choose to be a Jedi... Sad, but true... And then it becomes Jedi Wars, the universe filled with with douchebags with robes and lightsabers

I can't tell if you're trying to be serious, or one of those that's obsessed with how SOE ruined Star Wars: Galaxies.

Also, people always state that "Everyone will choose Jedi" but from everyone i've talked to/arranged to play with, as well as the general forum consensus, it seems fairly balanced (although it will invariably be skewed towards Jedi/Sith).

In fact, quite a few people i know have simply stated they aren't going to be a Force Wielding class simply because they think that everyone will be one.
SlowMotionSuicide 22nd May 2011, 19:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by vdbswong
In fact, quite a few people i know have simply stated they aren't going to be a Force Wielding class simply because they think that everyone will be one.

I would have.

Then again, they lost me at

UberSithlord666 hits Dickwolf with lightsaber for 2 damage.
UberSithlord666 hits Dickwolf with lightsaber for 2 damage.
UberSithlord666 hits Dickwolf with lightsaber for 2 damage.
UberSithlord666 hits Dickwolf with lightsaber for 3 damage.
UberSithlord666 casts Force Lightning.
Dickwolf dies.

Quest status updated: 1/144 Dickwolves killed.

I'm through with WoW already, thank you.
Ciber 22nd May 2011, 19:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowMotionSuicide
I would have.

Then again, they lost me at

UberSithlord666 hits Dickwolf with lightsaber for 2 damage.
UberSithlord666 hits Dickwolf with lightsaber for 2 damage.
UberSithlord666 hits Dickwolf with lightsaber for 2 damage.
UberSithlord666 hits Dickwolf with lightsaber for 3 damage.
UberSithlord666 casts Force Lightning.
Dickwolf dies.

Quest status updated: 1/144 Dickwolves killed.

I'm through with WoW already, thank you.

Made me laugh, ty.
John_T 22nd May 2011, 19:47 Quote
I like the idea of weaker lightsabres for the lower level Jedi / Sith, upgrading their power as they grow stronger in the force / better learn to use technology / access better crystals etc. I think they could all work in the context of a game and still keep plausible to the ethos of the Star Wars universe.

But, without having played the game, (so maybe I'm missing something) but why would characters have to start out as fully qualified Jedi / Sith in the first place?

Why not start out as a 'Youngling' with NO lightsabre at all? Anakin joined the Jedi order as a youth and not a baby, (and Luke as a full adult) so that could easily be worked into a game storyline without breaking the feeling of the Star Wars lore.

Be a 'Youngling' or novice trying to prove yourself up till, say, level 25, when you get promoted to the rank of 'Padawan'. Only THEN would you get your first, highly weakened, lightsabre, (as described above) - which over time gets more and more useful. You could be on the 'Jedi path' and not become a fully fledged Jedi until, say, level 50 - when you get your real kickass lightsabre - and at a level in the game where you'd expect to one-hit kill most standard stuff anyway.

I think the point of the article, (and I agree with it) is that is doesn't take too much thought to iron out problems and remain 'believable' within the context of the universe created...
metarinka 22nd May 2011, 21:21 Quote
I haven't played the game but you could also make the lightsaber a cool down ability, say once every 2-3 minutes you could insta pwn something, or use it to defend 95% of incoming blaster shots for 10-30 seconds? The timing would have to be balanced, but that would be in line with games like WoW where powerful abilities aren't available all the time.

Alternative you could do what kotor did and have vibroblades and what not for along time before you get a light saber near end game.
hyperion 22nd May 2011, 22:51 Quote
If you want to have a proper lightsaber fight it needs to be 10 minutes of blocking and then 1-shot kill. Sith should have a skill to disable Jedi by taking hostages, while Jedi are allowed to abuse terrain exploits ;)
Fizzban 22nd May 2011, 23:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spuzzell
Lightsabers not being insta slice and dice did annoy me briefly in KOTOR, but then I realised that it was a game and got over it.

Its not like anyone has a hissy fit over characters with guns shooting people directly in the face and just doing 2 damage.

This X a million. I think people need to realise it is a game, and that if Lightsabers did indeed one hit everything that it would be no fun at all.
vdbswong 23rd May 2011, 00:19 Quote
I understand that there are people who don't agree with what a developer is doing, however i think it's different to this situation where lots of people don't seem to understand what a developer is trying to do.

To all those that are suggesting that Lightsabers be denied until mid-high level players, that's exactly what Bioware do not want. They want players from the start to feel like their Class from the start. Just like how Bounty Hunters expect Flamethrowers and Jetpacks, Jedi/Sith expect to be able to use Lightsabers.

The whole "realistic" Star Wars sim was done before and the only people that really enjoyed that were a small group of people who now keep lamenting about how SOE ruined the game.
Jezcentral 23rd May 2011, 11:25 Quote
I'm not sure of the shonky early level lightsabre. It's still not fun when it explodes in your hand, or just stops working.

My idea would be to use "blockpoints" that equal your hitpoints. If you hit someone with a lightsabre, instead of wounding them with it, they block your attack with their lightsabre. (Let's assume it's jedi v jedi).The computer can then remember how much damage you would have done with that if it had connected, and subtract it from your blockpoints. The attack that reduces the blockpoints to zero would be an attack that actually connects with your opponent, and you are rewarded with a one-shot kill that you would expect from a lightsabre fight.

For non-jedi classes, you could have them jumping back outof the range of the lightsabre, or ducking under it.
vdbswong 23rd May 2011, 11:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jezcentral
My idea would be to use "blockpoints" that equal your hitpoints. If you hit someone with a lightsabre, instead of wounding them with it, they block your attack with their lightsabre. (Let's assume it's jedi v jedi).The computer can then remember how much damage you would have done with that if it had connected, and subtract it from your blockpoints. The attack that reduces the blockpoints to zero would be an attack that actually connects with your opponent, and you are rewarded with a one-shot kill that you would expect from a lightsabre fight.

If you're just suggesting that HP be renamed "BP" for the purposes of Jedi/Sith it's really just pulling wool over your eyes really and would just make an unnecessary "complication" just for lore justification purposes - not to mention it would probably be criticised as being a rather lame "cop-out" by various people (damned if you do, damned if you don't).

Also how would healing be justified? Since the notion of being able to "replenish" a person's ability to block sounds a little silly.

And there's Force Abilities to consider... if a character sees them choke an enemy player, would those be subtracted from Hitpoints? Or Block points? Since they obviously haven't blocked the ability, yet having effectively 2 HP bars would be more imbalanced.
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