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January 29th, 2011, 16:34
Originally Posted by Nerevarine View Post
Yeah I actually played as a melee character for 10-15 hours or so and restarted as a mage before going on to finish the game. Playing as a mage certainly makes combat a bit more fun and tolerable, but I still don't like the design of the combat mechanics. But like I said in my previous post, I still think that Divinity 2 is a really solid game overall and features some very inspired design elements. It might have some flaws, but it would be great if there were more games like this.
It's too bad you didn't found the fun of close range fighting. Have you played Torchlight? With various well designed skills with special effects Torchlight setup a high quality close range fighting. If you remind apply a similar approach in DKS, the close range fight of DKS show a lot of fun.

A first point in DKS is how fast are missiles and even how some seek you. If you stop to this feeling then it's irritating. But put more care:
  • The fast missiles are prepared by an enemy animation for most of them, so have a an eye on them to anticipate dodging instead of waiting the missile is thrown/cast, this will not work with all enemies but with many.
  • One trouble with so fast missiles is to dodge many coming from different directions and different opponents. A trick is to try to approximately synchronize their attacks. You can achieve it by hiding and show you to all at same time, a jump into the open area do that well.
  • Another trick to manage multiple fast missiles is to use movements that will dodge multiple missiles coming even not synchronized, Jumping do that very well and the good thing with you use melee weapon is that you can also use jump to combine an efficient attack with the dodging.
  • Side roll achieve with side step and jump are also very efficient to move and dodge multiple missiles at same time. They are also useful to dodge a close range attacker.
  • Against missiles that seek you, in fact they seek you only partially for many and even for those that seek you efficiently, jump and side rolls are very efficient to dodge them, and if you keep a constant care of this instead of focusing only on hitting, you'll see it's much more doable and efficient than you could think.
  • Another point against seeking missiles is to manage your placement not too far from an obstacle where you could hide with a side roll or jump.
  • When you need run to opponents using such guided missiles and even those with more standard missiles, not rushing forward but merge short move and jumps and anticipate missiles with a jump, will make quite less basic such phase and in fact quite fun. You can merge this approach with jump fighting some of the last close range enemy that bother you.

But the game also provides some cool close range fighting skills:
  • The first, almost mandatory is the jump attack skill increasing damages of this versatile and useful attack.
  • The Jump Attack isn't only efficient because giving a great way to mix dodging and attack, but also it allows slow down a lot the pace of the fights, and that's a grezt point.
  • Whirlwind is also very useful to make fights more deep and more fun. You can't constantly do group attack but it's very useful when you get cornered by multiple oponent and could chain Whirlwind with Jump Attack to escape. Another good chain is jump in and Whirlwind against multiple opponents.
  • Rush Attack is a cool option to have too. When you have played Torchlight you could only quote how Rush Attack could be better designed, but it's still a good move for some special cases, for a rare special fast movements, or to start attacking an opponent not yet close range.

Later skills also offer some good opportunity to make close range fights deeper and more fun:
  • Battle Rage : To manage aggressive phases and less aggressive phases.
  • Thousand Strikes : To have a powerful attack at disposal.

All in all, DKS close range fights really worth more care and a deeper investigation, and they provide a good amount of fun, and the Jump Attack design is top class.

For sure the close range fights design aren't top design, for a similar design approach the DKS design team could learn a lot from Torchlight design team, slower missiles, slower enemies, better visual/sound hints to allow player anticipation, skills with constant effects allowing setup tactics, stun, push back, make fall down, freeze, and more. And also the auto targeting works roughly well and is well designed but it certainly disable plenty fun, a good example would be how in Torchlight the skill similar to Rush Attack is quite more deep and more fun just because it isn't glued with auto targeting.

But still despite there's a wide range of potential improvements, DKS close range fights have a lot of fun, and with some effort the reward can be very good. For sure G2/Risen sword fighting system is quite subtle when merged with a tuned design of enemies but this system never worked well against multiple enemies and it definitely needs reach the same diversity depth that could bring a system using skills. I don't see any RPG with single character and first person/over the shoulder point of view that offer better close range fights, other than G2 and Risen but I don't consider them better from a large margin but only a small margin. And The Witcher is third if you give up exploit frenetic clicking and try something more subtle and more fun by merging movements, attacks and skills.
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