Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
vanguard333

Light & Heavy Attacks in Action Games

Recommended Posts

One thing that's been present in a lot of action games in the last few years is a combat system consisting of pressing one button for a light attack, which is faster but does less damage, and pressing a different button for a heavy attack, which is slower but does more damage. This is present in For Honor, the SoulsBorne games, The Witcher 3, etc. And I have just one question: why?

Ideally, this system would be balanced so that sometimes you want to use the faster attack to make sure you get the hit, but still be incentivised to use a heavy attack when the opportunity presents itself. However, it is almost never actually balanced. Either the heavy attack is too slow to use on most enemies; making the light attack superior in almost every situation, or, more rarely, the light attack does so little damage that the heavy attack is the superior option. If this problem was present in just one or two games that had this system, I would think that it's just a balancing issue. But, from what I personally have seen and experienced, it's been extremely prevalent throughout games that have this system. 

In addition to that, the very concept has no basis in reality when it comes to armed combat, which is usually what the game in question is utilizing. I'm a HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) practitioner, and, while I am still a novice, I can honestly say that there is not a single circumstance where one does a slower cut or thrust just to get more power out of it; the power comes from the speed and the technique. If you try to win a fight with strength against a skilled opponent, you will lose. 

Also, that means that two buttons are being devoted to attacks. Why not have one attack, and devote that second button to something else? Or, if you want multiple ways of attacking, why not have it that the two attack buttons each correspond to two different types of attacks? For example: cut & thrust if we're talking about swords.

So... yeah; these are my thoughts on the light & heavy attack system in action games. What are your thoughts on the subject?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've mostly played Snes Action games as far as I can recall, all of which had this light and heavy attack system.

I'll agree to it being a rather weird system and how its not really balanced. Most of the light attacks aren't that really worth doing so I just resort to heavy attacks (well, moreso heavy kicks...). I never really felt too slow when doing those heavy attacks which made using light attacks even more useless for me. But that's just my opinion of it, I'm not really that experienced with fighting games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only games I've seen use this system well are games like Bayonetta where not only do the two buttons represent different types of attacks (Punch and Kick respectively) but the order you press them in changes the combo executed. Usually these sorts of systems like to have one button be a linear motion while the other is a sweeping motion, ie slash/stab, like you said, which is a good way to work with it. Arbitrarily just having a "light" and "heavy" attack with no differentiating basis is silly unless it has something to do with your combos. NieR: Automata does something like this, but it also depends on which weapons you're using too, so it has an intrinsic difference based on your equipment set of choice, too. It's honestly not that bad as long as you don't have super committal endlag frames. Platinum Games tend to be really lenient with that, which is probably the best way to go about it. Getting punished for your choice of move is more a Fighting Game thing than an Action Game thing anyway. The former is about prediction and foresight, the latter is about reaction and execution. Probably why I prefer the latter any day...

Ultimately as long as they serve a distinctive purpose it's fine. ...Damn better than whatever in god's name DMC2 did. Excuse me but what. Who on earth even does that?

...Beat-'Em-Ups aren't exactly known for their realism, by the way lol. Obligatory, but just thought I'd point that out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Maritisa said:

...Beat-'Em-Ups aren't exactly known for their realism, by the way lol. Obligatory, but just thought I'd point that out.

True. Though one of the games I listed is For Honor, which tries to strive for balance between authenticity and rule of cool. 

 

24 minutes ago, Flee Fleet! said:

I've mostly played Snes Action games as far as I can recall, all of which had this light and heavy attack system.

So it's existed even back then. Huh. I did not know this. Thanks. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen some interesting approaches to this in dedicated beat em up games. Such as in Heavenly Sword and Golden Axe: Beast Rider. Where attacks are "light and heavy" in practice but are also color coded to tell the player which one will be effective on which enemy type as they attack. This would be a good time to mention that Heavenly Sword is not a bastion of good beat 'em up design while Golden Axe: Beast Rider is an affront to its legacy title. But a good idea's a good idea. And the color coding system is effective if you want as many as three attack buttons in your game. 

Nowadays though? I'd say the Batman Arkham series has pretty effectively overshadowed the light and heavy attacks in favor of a different two button system: Attack and Counter/Dodge. Sleeping Dogs, Mad Max, I'm told Shadow of Mordor has this system, the recent Spiderman game. That combat system has made its way into a lot of games, especially the open world genre that wants simplified systems above all else for the player.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

I've seen some interesting approaches to this in dedicated beat em up games. Such as in Heavenly Sword and Golden Axe: Beast Rider. Where attacks are "light and heavy" in practice but are also color coded to tell the player which one will be effective on which enemy type as they attack. This would be a good time to mention that Heavenly Sword is not a bastion of good beat 'em up design while Golden Axe: Beast Rider is an affront to its legacy title. But a good idea's a good idea. And the color coding system is effective if you want as many as three attack buttons in your game. 

Nowadays though? I'd say the Batman Arkham series has pretty effectively overshadowed the light and heavy attacks in favor of a different two button system: Attack and Counter/Dodge. Sleeping Dogs, Mad Max, I'm told Shadow of Mordor has this system, the recent Spiderman game. That combat system has made its way into a lot of games, especially the open world genre that wants simplified systems above all else for the player.

I really, really dislike the Batman/Assassin's Creed style of combat. It's very straightforward, to an almost auto-pilot/braindead level. A lot of people say these combat systems have a "rhythm", but I'd argue it's more of a "You nearly shut off your whole brain and it's actually very hard to not do well" kind of thing. Not that these systems are inherently bad, but there's very little variety in the core combat of these games. When these games are at their worst, lot of it is "mash attack, wait for the telegraphed counter, hit it, win", and honestly, I find the that there's not a lot of room for this system of combat of games at their worst, and these systems of games at their best. The new Spider-Man game is one of the better examples of this combat system, and its solution to this problem is largely "just give everyone guns so that Spider-Man is constantly on the move". It actually feels like you hit a rhythm when you do it right, but at the same time, it's very transparent and even it gets pretty repetitive without messing with the suit powers a bunch.

I've been playing very involved action games with typical light/heavy attacks since the original Devil May Cry, and a lot of these modern combat systems that ape Batman/Assassin's Creed just don't feel satisfying. I don't think I'll ever feel that a combat system like that is more fulfilling than one like in Bayonetta, Devil May Cry, or Ninja Gaiden Black, where your options are much more open and ultimately feel much more rhythmic once you really get used to them than the single-button combat style.

It always kind of makes me sad when I see a really polished-looking, intriguing action game, then I see Batman combat. Which yeah, you're right. These are basically "new-type" action games, and are becoming the norm over light/heavy combo-centric action games. Though, admittedly, this new style makes a lot of sense for a Spider-Man game.

...

Anyway, as for the OP, there's mechanical use for heavy attacks in a lot of games. In games like Bayonetta/DMC, it's basically a combo modifier. You really don't use heavy attacks on their own, true, but you also don't really use light attacks on their own that often. A lot of combos have different functions and properties. A lot of combos that end on a heavy attack either knock an opponent on the ground or launch them into the sky, which leaves them vulnerable and leaves you able to continue the combo, doing much more damage. There's also guard breaking or staggering, which tends to be a property of heavy attacks.

In games like the Souls games, the speed of two or three light attacks might not be fast enough to do the same amount of damage as one heavy attack in the same amount of time. If you know you can get it off, it's sometimes better to go for the heavy attack over the light attack. On top of this, heavy attacks break through poise a lot faster, or have unique properties, like the Golem Axe from 1's wind blast that's on the heavy attack. Then there's Bloodborne, where heavy attacks open up enemies to backstabs.

Edited by Slumber

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

I'm a HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) practitioner, and, while I am still a novice, I can honestly say that there is not a single circumstance where one does a slower cut or thrust just to get more power out of it; the power comes from the speed and the technique. If you try to win a fight with strength against a skilled opponent, you will lose. 

I myself have a bit of an interest in historical martial arts, at least from a technical study perspective (I don't actually practice it myself, nor do I learn under a teacher).

Anyway, yeah, it really doesn't seem practical in a realism sense.  I mean, usually what you're trying to go for is a fatal or crippling injury, and a "weak" blow in the right place will do that just fine.  All that'll happen if you try to "charge" an attack is probably a pike right in the gullet.  It's like trying to race in a tank against a bunch of race cars.

Though in a gameplay sense, I've seen it work in Warriors games.  But then again, Warriors games have rather easy combat.

 

Quick question, OP; what games have you played where armed combat was actually realistic?  Or what games were the closest to reality, in your opinion?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Light and Heavy attacks work well when there's a combo system (i.e. ABBA or XXYY) that let's you pull off different moves. Or even in some fighting games where depending on the order of buttons you hit (i.e. right, medium attack, light attack, right, special attack), it lets you stop time or pull off a cool finisher.

Light attacks are low risk, low reward. Heavy attacks are high risk, high reward. It all depends on the game, but I think that's a halfway decent way to sum it up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Ertrick36 said:

Quick question, OP; what games have you played where armed combat was actually realistic?  Or what games were the closest to reality, in your opinion?

Hm... Good question, and one that'll unfortunately have a long answer. First, we should note the difference between realistic and authentic. Realistic just means someone would be capable of doing it in real life, while authentic means someone might want to fight this way in real life. A few games come to mind that make more of an effort than others to be authentic, but usually in smaller ways. 

Dark Souls combat (apart from the light & heavy attack and the dodge rolling) is fairly realistic, but the attacks and blocks are extremely amateur-hour with immense overswings, keeping the spear out too long, etc. Also, in the first game at least, armour is actually fairly useful; that's a nice touch.

For Honor's stance system is pretty good in terms of authenticity (the three guards the Warden takes are actual guards; the high guard being ox guard and the side guards being the two versions of plough guard), but the overswings, telegraphing and spinning are all very over-the-top. I would still say that it's combat is more authentic than Dark Souls; mainly because of the three guard system and lots of little touches: the lawbringer and the raider change hands when going from one side guard to another (which is what you would do with a polearm); and the warden will sometimes do pommel bashes, half-swording, and even a mordhau in one of the combat animations (a mordhau is a technique where you use the sword like a hammer by gripping the blade with both hands and striking with the pommel or crossguard). However, this game's combat does have one glaring flaw: armour is tissue paper. In real life, if you swing at plate armour with a sword, the sword will glance off and do nothing. In this game, armour is useless against all weapons. 

However, and I know that this may come as a real surprise, the video game with the most most authentic combat I have played is: Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, though most 3D games are pretty good at realistic combat (the exception being Breath of the Wild). The spin attacks and jump attacks are very unrealistic and very not-authentic, but, apart from that (and those are options anyway that one rarely needs to do), Ocarina of Time has some of the best sword & shield combat I have seen in a video game. Link actually keeps his shield in front of him when he attacks (and he extends the shield out to protect his sword arm). So many games, including Dark Souls, have the characters just throw their shields behind them whenever they attack. I love that, in all 3D Zelda games (except Breath of the Wild sadly), Link keeps his shield in front of him.

Furthermore, Link is completely untrained in Ocarina of Time, yet his thrusts and most of his cuts have little telegraphing and he rarely overswings. He also leads with his sword rather than his arm for one or two cuts, which is absolutely what you're supposed to do. Even when using the Biggoron Sword, he does overswing it a bit, but he actually swings it quickly. So many video games have reasonable large two-handed swords swung around like telephone poles with anvils at the end: extremely slowly, clumsily, and awkwardly. This is the case in Dark Souls, Dragon Age, For Honor, and even Breath of the Wild. Ocarina of Time got it right that reasonably-proportioned greatswords are still fast weapons.

Finally, though this is more apparent in later Zelda games, armour actually works. The only way to hurt Gohma is by attacking its eye; Link's sword will otherwise bounce off its exoskeleton. The only way to hurt a dodongo is to attack its fleshy tail. Iron Knuckle does take damage from Link's sword strikes, but this is represented in-game by the armour being knocked off; something that was later done with the Darknuts in Twilight Princess (Twilight Princess also had it that the only way to hurt Ganon was by attacking his chest wound, as it otherwise bounces off either his sword or his armour). Plus, no light & heavy attack nonsense. I seriously hope that the next Zelda game goes back to a more grounded fighting style (and that Link goes back to being left-handed, but that's beside the point). 

That's not to say Link's attacks are flawless; in fact, he actually seems to get worse as an adult. But for a game from 1998 that was never meant to have authentic combat, it is surprisingly authentic. 

Now; this is just games that I've played. I have heard lots of great things from HEMA communities online about the game Kingdom Come: Deliverance. However, I have yet to play it. Once I play it, it'll probably be the most authentic combat in a video game that I've played. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Slumber said:

I really, really dislike the Batman/Assassin's Creed style of combat. It's very straightforward, to an almost auto-pilot/braindead level. A lot of people say these combat systems have a "rhythm", but I'd argue it's more of a "You nearly shut off your whole brain and it's actually very hard to not do well" kind of thing. Not that these systems are inherently bad, but there's very little variety in the core combat of these games. When these games are at their worst, lot of it is "mash attack, wait for the telegraphed counter, hit it, win", and honestly, I find the that there's not a lot of room for this system of combat of games at their worst, and these systems of games at their best. The new Spider-Man game is one of the better examples of this combat system, and its solution to this problem is largely "just give everyone guns so that Spider-Man is constantly on the move". It actually feels like you hit a rhythm when you do it right, but at the same time, it's very transparent and even it gets pretty repetitive without messing with the suit powers a bunch.

Actually, the Batman Arkham games took inspiration from the Spiderman 2 videogame. There was only one "attack" button, but you could dodge attacks using Spider-Sense, and in several situations, counterattack. There was also a "web" button, which used Spidermans signature webbing. What this meant was when you dodged an attack, you could punch that mook in the face, or you could use Spidey's web and knock them off their feet. When combo-ing, you could alternate between the attack, web, dodge, and even jump buttons to make different combos.

I can see why the Arkham games just have a single attack button, though. Some of the combos in Spiderman 2 where just for visual flair, while others were either somewhat limited in use or overpowered. That, and it lacked the fluidity of moving from mook-to-mook. I think the Arkham games also diversify the kind of mooks you face with each installment, but admittedly, I've only tried the games; I don't actually own them.

...

As for the topic itself, the only game that I've really played that uses light and heavy attacks is Eragon, which was based off the movie, and about equal lengths of forgettable. With that said, it wasn't so much that one attack was better, more how the game really only had four combos, which were basically either a light or heavy variant of an automatic grab or a stronger attack.

Otherwise, I tend to see that either light or heavy attacks dominate the game, or at least, one becomes more niche than the other.

The sole exception is fighting games with light-medium-heavy attacks, and those actually tend to balance between the three.

1 hour ago, Ertrick36 said:

Quick question, OP; what games have you played where armed combat was actually realistic?  Or what games were the closest to reality, in your opinion?

Mount and Blade comes to mind. The game forgoes anything fancy, and every attack is a simple yet meaningful strike, and you have to be quick to block. Low level armor will barely protect you, while the high level stuff will save your life. Also, arrows can and will kill you, blunt weaponry can still kill even though it usually knocks people out, fighting with and without a shield has subtle effect on how fast you swing your weapon, and anyone on a horse dominates the battleground.

It's not perfect example of realism, though. Aside from the AI cheating (like how the tactic of starving out a city under a siege only works against you, but the AI gets unlimited food), as well as the more ridiculous things like jumping to shoot your bow over your army is possible, or how jumping and swinging your weapon against an oncoming cavalier is basically a one-hit kill against them (although attempting such a feat in the first place is as awesome and as stupid as it sounds), Mount and Blade lacks things such as footing, swordplay more elaborate than simple thrusts and swings, advanced techniques (comparatively) like the Mordhau, etc. It basically eschews the fancy yet impractical stuff prevalent in other media for simple yet effective attacks.

Nidhogg also forgoes anything fancy for simple yet effective strikes, although considering how hilarious the game is in the first place, I don't know whether or not any of the moves have a basis in reality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Hawkwing said:

Mount and Blade comes to mind. The game forgoes anything fancy, and every attack is a simple yet meaningful strike, and you have to be quick to block. Low level armor will barely protect you, while the high level stuff will save your life. Also, arrows can and will kill you, blunt weaponry can still kill even though it usually knocks people out, fighting with and without a shield has subtle effect on how fast you swing your weapon, and anyone on a horse dominates the battleground.

It's not perfect example of realism, though. Aside from the AI cheating (like how the tactic of starving out a city under a siege only works against you, but the AI gets unlimited food), as well as the more ridiculous things like jumping to shoot your bow over your army is possible, or how jumping and swinging your weapon against an oncoming cavalier is basically a one-hit kill against them (although attempting such a feat in the first place is as awesome and as stupid as it sounds), Mount and Blade lacks things such as footing, swordplay more elaborate than simple thrusts and swings, advanced techniques (comparatively) like the Mordhau, etc. It basically eschews the fancy yet impractical stuff prevalent in other media for simple yet effective attacks.

I've never actually played Mount and Blade. I've seen good things about it, but don't you basically have one attack? I'm not talking about one attack button; I mean one attack. Or am I thinking of the games that came after Mount and Blade like Chivalry and/or War of the Roses?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, vanguard333 said:

I've never actually played Mount and Blade. I've seen good things about it, but don't you basically have one attack? I'm not talking about one attack button; I mean one attack. Or am I thinking of the games that came after Mount and Blade like Chivalry and/or War of the Roses?

Depends upon what you mean by "one attack."

Depending on if your mouse is aimed up, down, left or right, you do a downward strike, a thrust, or swing from the left or right, respectively. Although if you're holding a pole-arm and a shield together, you're limited to just thrusting (maybe depending on if your mouse is aimed high or low you attack overhead or forward, respectively, but I may be confusing that with how bayonets work in the free Napoleonic Wars mod).

Clicking the right mouse button blocks, and depending on the settings, you either have to aim which direction you block or it's done automatically. Shields basically block everything (although archers can hit the areas around the shield and still deal damage. Similarly, being attacked from behind or the side will do jack squat, although if you keep your shield on your back, I believe it can actually block arrows) but they can break if they take too much damage (and axes do bonus damage against shields). Characters who wield them have a slightly slower time bringing the shield up and swinging their weapon. It's barely noticeable, but you will realize it exists in heated engagements and in multiplayer. Meanwhile, holding a single weapon means you can block and attack faster, but you have to be much more precise with the timing, and it's kind of pointless to block when you're ganged up by multiple enemies.

Speed is also factored into attacks. Dashing towards your opponent when you strike them will deal more damage than if you were standing still, and retreating while attacking reduces the attacks power. A reason horseback units are considered so devastating is because the amount of damage they can do with this speed boost far surpasses what a ground unit is capable of.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Hawkwing said:

Depends upon what you mean by "one attack."

Depending on if your mouse is aimed up, down, left or right, you do a downward strike, a thrust, or swing from the left or right, respectively. Although if you're holding a pole-arm and a shield together, you're limited to just thrusting (maybe depending on if your mouse is aimed high or low you attack overhead or forward, respectively, but I may be confusing that with how bayonets work in the free Napoleonic Wars mod).

Clicking the right mouse button blocks, and depending on the settings, you either have to aim which direction you block or it's done automatically. Shields basically block everything (although archers can hit the areas around the shield and still deal damage. Similarly, being attacked from behind or the side will do jack squat, although if you keep your shield on your back, I believe it can actually block arrows) but they can break if they take too much damage (and axes do bonus damage against shields). Characters who wield them have a slightly slower time bringing the shield up and swinging their weapon. It's barely noticeable, but you will realize it exists in heated engagements and in multiplayer. Meanwhile, holding a single weapon means you can block and attack faster, but you have to be much more precise with the timing, and it's kind of pointless to block when you're ganged up by multiple enemies.

Speed is also factored into attacks. Dashing towards your opponent when you strike them will deal more damage than if you were standing still, and retreating while attacking reduces the attacks power. A reason horseback units are considered so devastating is because the amount of damage they can do with this speed boost far surpasses what a ground unit is capable of.

Okay; so I am probably thinking of one of the other games then. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@vanguard333 I actually wasn't expecting anyone to say Zelda's combat was realistic, but it also does make sense.  Though it's ridiculous how good of a shot Link is on horseback; it's like he's just doing a driveby in a car.

And I've heard about Kingdom Come.  That it was just straight up historical revisionism in a video game with no high fantasy aspects.  I was even expecting that to be listed by you, as I've heard folks into HEMA loved that game.

Also, you mentioned armor... what I find interesting in Kingdom Come, judging from screenshots alone, is that not every combatant you come across wears full plated armor.  Some are wearing as little as simple quilted shirts and traveling pants, but are still legitimate fighters and soldiers.  And others wear chainmail instead of plates; in fact, there were only a few of screenshots of people wearing actual plated armor, and they all seemed like more serious and major battles.

2 minutes ago, Hawkwing said:

Mount and Blade comes to mind. The game forgoes anything fancy, and every attack is a simple yet meaningful strike, and you have to be quick to block. Low level armor will barely protect you, while the high level stuff will save your life. Also, arrows can and will kill you, blunt weaponry can still kill even though it usually knocks people out, fighting with and without a shield has subtle effect on how fast you swing your weapon, and anyone on a horse dominates the battleground.

It's not perfect example of realism, though. Aside from the AI cheating (like how the tactic of starving out a city under a siege only works against you, but the AI gets unlimited food), as well as the more ridiculous things like jumping to shoot your bow over your army is possible, or how jumping and swinging your weapon against an oncoming cavalier is basically a one-hit kill against them (although attempting such a feat in the first place is as awesome and as stupid as it sounds), Mount and Blade lacks things such as footing, swordplay more elaborate than simple thrusts and swings, advanced techniques (comparatively) like the Mordhau, etc. It basically eschews the fancy yet impractical stuff prevalent in other media for simple yet effective attacks.

Another game I was expecting to hear listed.

It's funny, so often it seems like in games that the bow and arrow is this flimsy little thing that's more akin to a bee sting than it is something that pierces deep into your body.  As, I guess, a sort of "trade off" for fighting at a distance.

In reality, it was damn effective.  Effective enough that when infantry-carried guns started circulating the battlefield, there were still some folks who clung to traditional archery and suggested that such weaponry had advantages over guns, even though this obviously didn't prove to be the case (even a matchlock-configured arquebus was capable of piercing straight up plate armor).

Though something to note, a cavalry won't dominate a battlefield if the infantry doesn't break rank as horses won't charge at a wall of people.  Charges are planned to make infantry break so that the cavalry can crush them.  Typically cavalry alone are enough to scare the living hell out of infantry and cause them to break (as proven by the Mongols), but some battles (particularly against seasoned, elite armies) require more tact than simply throwing the cavalry at the enemy, which is why the main triad of combat arms (infantry, cavalry, and artillery) still exists to this day to some extent.  It's like if in the modern military world you always chose to rely on tanks; at some point you need to break out the infantry.  That is, unless you plan to turn everything into a crater filled with rubble and blood, but only a purely malevolent being with no mind for warfare would want that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Ertrick36 said:

It's funny, so often it seems like in games that the bow and arrow is this flimsy little thing that's more akin to a bee sting than it is something that pierces deep into your body.  As, I guess, a sort of "trade off" for fighting at a distance.

In reality, it was damn effective.  Effective enough that when infantry-carried guns started circulating the battlefield, there were still some folks who clung to traditional archery and suggested that such weaponry had advantages over guns, even though this obviously didn't prove to be the case (even a matchlock-configured arquebus was capable of piercing straight up plate armor).

Spoiler

THINK THEY MIGHTBE OUT OF ARROWS MC memecenter.com/filewulf

Related image

Related image

Mount and Blade is everywhere with the effectiveness of arrows. Granted, a large part of this is due the RPG mechanics, meaning that it's possible to have extremely high HP and/or have enough skill in certain stats that your character can literally look like a pincushion yet keep fighting as if nothing happened, but still. You'll have enemies that only take one or two good arrow shots to bring down, while others can get hit in areas of the body that would have definitely killed them in real life, yet they just shrug it off. It ranges from reasonable to ridiculous as to where you can get shot yet still move and fight as if nothing had happened, and then you'll play a siege, and be reminded why the art of archery lasted so long throughout history.

11 minutes ago, Ertrick36 said:

Though something to note, a cavalry won't dominate a battlefield if the infantry doesn't break rank as horses won't charge at a wall of people.  Charges are planned to make infantry break so that the cavalry can crush them.  Typically cavalry alone are enough to scare the living hell out of infantry and cause them to break (as proven by the Mongols), but some battles (particularly against seasoned, elite armies) require more tact than simply throwing the cavalry at the enemy, which is why the main triad of combat arms (infantry, cavalry, and artillery) still exists to this day to some extent.  It's like if in the modern military world you always chose to rely on tanks; at some point you need to break out the infantry.  That is, unless you plan to turn everything into a crater filled with rubble and blood, but only a purely malevolent being with no mind for warfare would want that.

I've noticed in Mount and Blade, no, strategy games in general, that cavalry is something that can easily dominate the playing field, but they require good tactics and planning in order to do so. Simply sending them directly at the enemy is likely to get them slaughtered within seconds, but proper flanking, charging, and shock tactics will likely be a nasty reminder of why they were so considered so important and powerful in the past

On a different, yet related note, cavaliers in Fire Emblem are not very realistic at all, are they? Or at least, they shouldn't serve the role as a defensive force as well as they do in the games, where they tend to be reliable tanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Hawkwing said:
  Reveal hidden contents

THINK THEY MIGHTBE OUT OF ARROWS MC memecenter.com/filewulf

Related image

Related image

Mount and Blade is everywhere with the effectiveness of arrows. Granted, a large part of this is due the RPG mechanics, meaning that it's possible to have extremely high HP and/or have enough skill in certain stats that your character can literally look like a pincushion yet keep fighting as if nothing happened, but still. You'll have enemies that only take one or two good arrow shots to bring down, while others can get hit in areas of the body that would have definitely killed them in real life, yet they just shrug it off. It ranges from reasonable to ridiculous as to where you can get shot yet still move and fight as if nothing had happened, and then you'll play a siege, and be reminded why the art of archery lasted so long throughout history.

Spoiler

afXuoht.jpg

Yes, you said you took an arrow to the knee?

Same goddamn game that the meme originated from, too.  And yes, I put guns into it, but just flintlocks that are basically crossbows with a different skin; still OP, tho.

 

45 minutes ago, Hawkwing said:

I've noticed in Mount and Blade, no, strategy games in general, that cavalry is something that can easily dominate the playing field, but they require good tactics and planning in order to do so. Simply sending them directly at the enemy is likely to get them slaughtered within seconds, but proper flanking, charging, and shock tactics will likely be a nasty reminder of why they were so considered so important and powerful in the past

That's what makes a good strategy game.

And why I hate when my strategy games allow for cop out tactics like charging Alicia - a single scout armed with a semi-automatic rifle akin to the Gewher 43 - to take a flag and somehow win a battle against an armored vehicle patrol unit in Valkyria Chronicles.  And it's also why I always use diverse armies in strategy games, even when everyone says some classes suck (I've used Bors in Binding Blade a generous amount of times, and he's somehow still able to double enemies, like, mid-game onwards).

21 minutes ago, Hawkwing said:

On a different, yet related note, cavaliers in Fire Emblem are not very realistic at all, are they? Or at least, they shouldn't serve the role as a defensive force as well as they do in the games, where they tend to be reliable tanks.

Yeah, that was more of an infantry thing, seen in the Greek hoplites, the Roman principes, and the Goguryeo heavy infantry in Korea, among other kinds of heavy infantry units.  Because the most mobile troops should not be the ones on the defensive lines, it should be heavy armored troops.  Though heavy armor actually shouldn't slow a soldier down like it apparently does in FE; knights in full plate armor are just as agile as soldiers in full gear.  They should be in the back, but they aren't slowed, because if they were they'd be as effective at defending a position as a five-by-five brick wall.  And even then, they still take part in charges against the enemy because "defensive role" was more akin to "last line of offense" unless the army was given the order to retreat.

Though at the same time, the way they handle pegasus knights is odd as well.  Pegasus knights are effectively flying cavalry (actually kind of had this argument in another thread).  Yet so many of them are the squishiest bastards ever.  At least in the GBA games dodge-tanking was more reliable, so the GBA handling of them was probably the most realistic.  But then there's the effectiveness of bows and wind against them, which... I mean honestly, how does that make actual sense?

Then again, lots of stuff in regards to combat doesn't make sense in this series.  Like, there's no weapon triangle (swords aren't great against either lances or axes, and polearms are more than likely going to strike first against any other type of melee weapon), and small throwing blades like knives and shuriken are hardly actual weapons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Ertrick36 said:

But then there's the effectiveness of bows and wind against them, which... I mean honestly, how does that make actual sense?

Arrows could either easily knock the rider off the mount, or be shoot into the Pegasus's wings to drop it out of the air. Wind magic creates air turbulence, which interrupts their flight, ideally to the point the Pegasus stops flapping its wings, can't recover mid-fall, and thus splat! it goes. That I think is the "logic".

Berwick Saga from what I've heard made flying units a little more realistic. Its Wyvern Knights- the only human fliers around- cannot be hit with melee range attacks from non-fliers, unless on counterattack. Why? Because it is flying and will stay flying away from the earthbound units unless it has to go low- aka when divebombing for an attack. From what I'm aware, this unique advantage of Larentia, the lone playable flier, is pretty darned amazing, kill off the mages and archers, and she is practically invincible. She isn't actually weak to Wind or Arrows I think, but they can normally hit her, and that is enough.

Edited by Interdimensional Observer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Arrows could either easily knock the rider off the mount, or be shoot into the Pegasus's wings to drop it out of the air. Wind magic creates air turbulence, which interrupts their flight, ideally to the point the Pegasus stops flapping its wings, can't recover mid-fall, and thus splat! it goes. That I think is the "logic".

The air bit makes some sense, but how does the arrow thing not also apply to regular cavaliers then?  An arrow could knock a rider off any mount, and I'd assume it could cripple a horse leg as easily as it could a horse wing.  Yeah, horses are generally pretty muscular in the legs, but I'd imagine the same would apply to pegasi wings apart from any feathery bits, which shouldn't mess with turbulence so much that it gets grounded.  The only instance I could see it seriously crippling the pegasus is if it gets hit right at the base of the wing (or one of the joints) in such a way that the wing becomes rigid, but you'd have to be a pretty damn good shot to manage that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Ertrick36 said:

The air bit makes some sense, but how does the arrow thing not also apply to regular cavaliers then?  An arrow could knock a rider off any mount, and I'd assume it could cripple a horse leg as easily as it could a horse wing.  Yeah, horses are generally pretty muscular in the legs, but I'd imagine the same would apply to pegasi wings apart from any feathery bits, which shouldn't mess with turbulence so much that it gets grounded.  The only instance I could see it seriously crippling the pegasus is if it gets hit right at the base of the wing (or one of the joints) in such a way that the wing becomes rigid, but you'd have to be a pretty damn good shot to manage that.

Yeah, but it'd hurt far more falling off a mount that's in the air than falling off a mount that's on the ground. It's less about the ability to fall in my opinion than the distance of the fall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Ertrick36 said:

Yeah, that was more of an infantry thing, seen in the Greek hoplites, the Roman principes, and the Goguryeo heavy infantry in Korea, among other kinds of heavy infantry units.  Because the most mobile troops should not be the ones on the defensive lines, it should be heavy armored troops.  Though heavy armor actually shouldn't slow a soldier down like it apparently does in FE; knights in full plate armor are just as agile as soldiers in full gear.  They should be in the back, but they aren't slowed, because if they were they'd be as effective at defending a position as a five-by-five brick wall.  And even then, they still take part in charges against the enemy because "defensive role" was more akin to "last line of offense" unless the army was given the order to retreat.

Yeah, it's strange how many video games in general get armor wrong. Granted, this is mostly due to balancing reasons (something that has high defense that can brush off most attacks while still being as fast as a normal soldier is a definition of overpowered, no matter how expensive ), and lack of experience with wearing armor can be a reasonable excuse, but still. It doesn't help that in games like Fire Emblem armor units get the short end of the stick.

10 hours ago, Ertrick36 said:

Like, there's no weapon triangle

To be fair, the guy outright states that skill,  experience, and the physical fitness and condition of the fighters are much more important factors in armed combat than the weapon someone is wielding.

10 hours ago, Ertrick36 said:

But then there's the effectiveness of bows and wind against them, which... I mean honestly, how does that make actual sense?

10 hours ago, Ertrick36 said:

The air bit makes some sense, but how does the arrow thing not also apply to regular cavaliers then?  An arrow could knock a rider off any mount, and I'd assume it could cripple a horse leg as easily as it could a horse wing.  Yeah, horses are generally pretty muscular in the legs, but I'd imagine the same would apply to pegasi wings apart from any feathery bits, which shouldn't mess with turbulence so much that it gets grounded.  The only instance I could see it seriously crippling the pegasus is if it gets hit right at the base of the wing (or one of the joints) in such a way that the wing becomes rigid, but you'd have to be a pretty damn good shot to manage that.

Battle for Wesnoth (annoyingly, but fairly) makes horse riding units weak to piercing weapons... which basically means that every single archer in the game could tear them to shreds. Doesn't help that some tend to be on the expensive "glass cannon" side of things. If this mechanic was in Fire Emblem... lets just say that archers would go up a few tiers.

As for why fliers are weak to them... well, it's probably the fact that they're in the air when archers attack them. When attacking (or being attacked) by ground units, they could be closer to the ground, meaning that if they were injured, they could treat those wounds at a reasonable height. Meanwhile, archers could wound either the rider or their mount while they're still flying, making the situation for handling those injuries more complicated and dangerous. Mages are in the same boat, but considering how deadly high winds can be in real life, wind magic has better reasoning for how they can tear flying units up so easily. The bigger question, honestly, is how archers and mages manage to hit a highly mobile target in the first place, especially since the former have to take into account wind directing, angles, etc.

This is just theorizing for fun, though, so take it with a grain of salt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Mad-manakete said:

It's less about the ability to fall in my opinion than the distance of the fall.

I think no matter how high you fall you're still kind of screwed in a combat situation if you fall onto your back.  In a full scale battle, you're either gonna get lunged at by, like, five dudes or you're gonna get trampled if you wind up prone.  And even in a one-on-one fight, you're still at a significant disadvantage until you can get up, which won't happen if you're fighting a skilled opponent, which is what most non-bandit units in this series are (typically either assassins, hardened mercenaries, or trained knights).

If nothing else, your combat effectiveness is cut down severely when you're knocked off of a horse, and if it was such a powerful shot that it managed to do that you probably are also crippled or critically wounded.  Basically dead in the water, so to speak.

18 minutes ago, Hawkwing said:

Yeah, it's strange how many video games in general get armor wrong. Granted, this is mostly due to balancing reasons (something that has high defense that can brush off most attacks while still being as fast as a normal soldier is a definition of overpowered, no matter how expensive ), and lack of experience with wearing armor can be a reasonable excuse, but still. It doesn't help that in games like Fire Emblem armor units get the short end of the stick.

What's weird is the "less experienced" armor knights are also the ones with the best speed stats of the class; it's their defense that usually sucks, which is baffling on many levels.

An armored unit who can attack quickly could be OP... unless you had a gun.  Come on, IS, let's see some Flintlock Emblem.  But in all seriousness, even well made armor has weaknesses, and vanguard333 sort of pointed that out in his example with Zelda; armor will never cover everything, and every armored boss in Zelda has some weakness (or their armor falls off).

24 minutes ago, Hawkwing said:

To be fair, the guy outright states that skill,  experience, and the physical fitness and condition of the fighters are much more important factors in armed combat than the weapon someone is wielding.

Yeah, my impression of the video was more that each weapon only has slight advantages over one another, and that it's mostly down to the individual fighter.  And that said advantages vary greatly depending on what kinds of swords, axes, and lances are involved as well as if the fighters have shields.  In real life, using an axe against a sword isn't going to make your attack 15% less likely to hit or deal less damage.  It'll merely change the tactics you'd have to utilize.

Also that halberds are pretty much the best weapons.  Which would explain why it's only carried by a princess.

27 minutes ago, Hawkwing said:

Battle for Wesnoth (annoyingly, but fairly) makes horse riding units weak to piercing weapons... which basically means that every single archer in the game could tear them to shreds. Doesn't help that some tend to be on the expensive "glass cannon" side of things. If this mechanic was in Fire Emblem... lets just say that archers would go up a few tiers.

As for why fliers are weak to them... well, it's probably the fact that they're in the air when archers attack them. When attacking (or being attacked) by ground units, they could be closer to the ground, meaning that if they were injured, they could treat those wounds at a reasonable height. Meanwhile, archers could wound either the rider or their mount while they're still flying, making the situation for handling those injuries more complicated and dangerous. Mages are in the same boat, but considering how deadly high winds can be in real life, wind magic has better reasoning for how they can tear flying units up so easily. The bigger question, honestly, is how archers and mages manage to hit a highly mobile target in the first place, especially since the former have to take into account wind directing, angles, etc.

Well, armored units like cavalry are typically at a disadvantage against piercing weapons.  Incidentally, so would the fliers because such combatants would be the only ones who could reach them.

Yeah, it really just comes down to if the archers and mages can even hit fliers in the first place, and in such ways that they'd come crashing down.  Though in terms of treating injuries, that's just not something that can be done in the middle of heated combat without magic or a tactical retreat.

36 minutes ago, Hawkwing said:

This is just theorizing for fun, though, so take it with a grain of salt.

Oh yeah no, there's a bit of conjecture on my end as well.

I find discussions of combat and warfare interesting.  I feel like one of those grandpas that spends all his days watching historical war documentaries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Ertrick36 said:

Also that halberds are pretty much the best weapons.  Which would explain why it's only carried by a princess.

I believe that they were the among the very last weapons to be used as warfare made the transition to firearms. They were a complex yet versatile weapon.

5 hours ago, Ertrick36 said:

Yeah, it really just comes down to if the archers and mages can even hit fliers in the first place, and in such ways that they'd come crashing down.  Though in terms of treating injuries, that's just not something that can be done in the middle of heated combat without magic or a tactical retreat.

I was admittedly typing half-awake when I brought up injuries. What I was trying to get at was that dealing with an arrow blow, or any attack really, is very different when on the ground and when several feet in the air. Having a flying mount be injured only complicates the matter.

My bigger question is how archers are able to hit them so easily. They're an obvious target, yes, but they're also highly mobile and thus harder to hit. Not to mention how different aiming at a mid-air target must be from attacking someone on the ground.

Then again, bird hunting is a thing, so I'm curious if the tactics would be the same.

5 hours ago, Ertrick36 said:

I find discussions of combat and warfare interesting.  I feel like one of those grandpas that spends all his days watching historical war documentaries.

Same boat, actually. I'll never say no to a lesson about history, and the more I learn about actual warfare, tactics, armed and unarmed combat, etc. the more it piques my interest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow; this got off-topic rather quickly :lol:.

1 hour ago, Hawkwing said:

Same boat, actually. I'll never say no to a lesson about history, and the more I learn about actual warfare, tactics, armed and unarmed combat, etc. the more it piques my interest.

Same here. One reason I became a HEMA practitioner. 

Anyway; I found this video I watched a year back about heavy attacks and how they're not realistic:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

Anyway; I found this video I watched a year back about heavy attacks and how they're not realistic:

Oh wow. I have not played an action game in some time! I've forgotten how ridiculous those look now.

Seriously, thought, what are they doing when they just stand there, and then swing? Charging up attacks doesn't work like that in real life, and the only excuse I can think of where that would make sense is if magic was involved, but it usually isn't.

...

On a relevant note, the only two games I can think of where heavy attacks are handled reasonably are The Force Unleashed and Sword of the Samurai.

While the former doesn't have a dedicated button for heavy attacks, you can perform one by pausing slightly between every strike. Despite the the fact that the movement itself is blatantly flashy, and the protagonist is wielding a lightsaber, the extra damage itself comes from Starkiller striking the enemy multiple times in a single movement rather than simply "hitting harder".

In Sword of the Samurai's case, during the sword fighting mini-game, you do have to "charge" the heavy attack by pressing down and having the character bring their sword behind their back. However, this doesn't take much time to do, especially considering how fast blocking and normal sword strikes are. The attack obviously uses more force than a normal swing, is unblockable, and does an extra point of damage (when four hits will kill you or the opponent), at the cost of being obvious (the AI, especially on higher difficulties, knows what you're doing when you try to pull this off, and thus approaches you slowly and reluctantly. They can attempt to be unpredictable in their movements when coming towards you in an attempt to get you to swing too early, and/or they attack as soon as they can reliably do so doing damage and wasting the players time) and if you miss, it takes a while to bring your sword back up again, leaving you open to a counterattack.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heavy attacks are definitely realistic in hand to hand combat. In martial arts like Muay Thai, Karate, boxing or taekwondo, a light jab or teep can only do so much. Without proper power behind the hits, you can hardly bring down your opponent. That is the whole point of light&heavy and combo systems in fighting games. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...