- June 23rd, 2009
Alright, this one will be overly long, so bear with me (no pun intended)
Think back to the days (if you are a gamer) to when the 2.5D FPS graphics were all the rage (you know, like in Doom 1 and 2, Duke Nukem 3D, Heritic/ Hexen). Now we all know that the standard, low level enemies exist for 2 reasons: 1, so they can die (giving the game flavor) and 2, so that, in overwhelming numbers, they MIGHT get a hit on you. It's always been fun to run circles around them, punch them to death, chainsaw them, or reduce then to piles of gore with a rocket launcher. But I propose that someone should take that to the next level. Make completely owning these enemies FUN AS HELL. Here's how...
(I'm going to make a lot of Hexen referances, so if you've never played it, check it out, it's on steam)
Take your standard Etin (two-dog-headed humanoid enemy): Slow, stupid, melee attack, and easy to kill. In the first hexen (2.5D graphics) they had their one and only one death animation and sound. In Hexen 2 (polygonal graphics) The equivilant low-level ememy had muliple death anmiations and sounds, depending if you killed him a certain way (poison, ice, fire, normal...) Now you have that, plus ragdoll physics for killing another enemy. Here's what I propose: Give your player HUGE amounts of ways to kill an enemy. Let a well-placed slash cut off it's arm, and (if you wait long enough) the etin will bleed to death, screaming the entire way. Be able to grab enemies, and punch their face repeatedly, or throw them into another, or even use them a a battering ram. Throw them on the ground and step on their face. Drive them into a wall with a pike, and watch them try to get themselves down. Have realistic damage effects: hit their leg with a mace, and bones will crack, a spiked flail to the side of the head will leave holes, that sort of thing. The perfect game to do this in, would be a resurection of an old series, Hexen 3.
Hexen 1 and 2 (and Heritic before that) were colabs between ID and Raven Software (I'm pretty sure) and Hexen was one of the first hardcore FPS games I played (yes, I was about 5 at the time, but I didn't know what I was doing.), so I have a strong affinity with it. Take Doom, replace the sci-fi setting with a dark swords and sorcery setting, replace the forces of hell with the forces of darkness (ID was never known for their storylines) and the Cyberdemon with a serpent rider, and you essentialy get Hexen. In Hexen 1, there were 3 classes, each tailored for a different style of play: Warrior, Cleric and Wizard. The warrior was brutal, fast, and a killer at close combat. But he had very few long range options untill you get farther along. . The Wizard was slower, more frail, and very bad a close-quarters, but had great ranged attacks. The Cleric was a jack-of-all-trades, and a mix between the warrior and wizard, with an affinity for area-attacks. Hexen 2 kept the warrior, added the "crusader," made the wizard a necromancer, and took out the cleric and put in the "assassin." Hexen 2 dosn't work too well on my computer, so I havent played much, but the warrior's very much the same. Hexen 2 DID include the inventory system (which was in Hexen 1), and also added a stats/ level system. Every time you "level up" you dont choose your stats, but you do get certain abilites. The assasin gets "hide in shadows" at a certain point, for example. Health and mana increases are included.
Alright, for Hexen 3, here's what I think should be done (this is not end-all, I am very open to other ideas): Have 6 classes, each (again) styling to differnet ways of playing: The bezerker (all melee, has spiked gauntlets) The crusader (Magic-embuned attacks, has holy sword), The wizard (all ranged, has sapphire rod from Hexen 1), The Necromancer (lots of damage over time attacks, has a scythe), The assasin (fast and deadly, has combonation claws/ arm blades), and the Cleric (lots of muliple-ememy damaging attacks, has a mace). Another thing: take out weapon switching. Include only the 1 weapon listed for each character, but have different key combonations do different things. Hitting back and secondary attack (heavy attack) for the bezerker would make him do a wind-up attack. The same combo would make the wizard prepare the fireball spell. You gain differnet combonations (attacks) from reaching certain stats. Other things like pulling yourself up from a ledge would require certain dexterity and Strength that characters like assasin would find easy doing, but the Wizard would have to get to that amount of stats over time. And stats would be a hybrid version of Hexen 2. You don't choose what you level up in, but what stats go up depend on what kind of playing style you take between levels: if you do alot of running and jumping, you would get more dexterity, but if you take alot of damage, you would gain more vitality, and so on. But here's a chatch: When you first start, you dont know any combonations for given attacks, or what ammounts of stat points they require, UNTILL you have come across it, and have the required stats. The game would record what combonations you have discovered, and tells you when you have found a new combo. Another interesting twist: your weapon changes with your style of play. For example, if you like to focus on one ememy at a time, and like to do lots of heavy-hitting attacks, your spiked gauntlets will slowly start turning into something like trench spikes. But if you like to do lots of lighter attacks, and always are switching between enemies, the spikes will start turning into blades. The weapons will always retain their other fuctionalities, but, say, you go the trench-spike route, your wind-up heavy attacks will do LOTS more damage, and even instant fatalities if you can get someone in the head.
Alright, I think i've spoken my peace. Sorry to go ON AND ON, but I HAD to put this down somewhere. (I should have used a cut, I know) Put any ideas/thoughs/comments down PLEASE! I always like other's imput. This has been Xan, your game-loving white tiger, and DASSA END!