Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Mechanics of Fighting part 2 ranged weapons

Hello Everyone,

I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about combat again. A few weeks ago I wrote about using melee weapons in combat. Today we will talk about ranged weapons, which means guns, bow & arrows, etc.

So, lets say you are in Deadwood. One of the local toughs has challenged you to a fight, what do you do? If you know how set up a gesture tied to an Fkey for the draw and holser animations.
Once you have the Fkey set up go into mouselook and when your ready, hit the Fkey. Presto, your guns are out and ready to fire. This is how many are able to beat you to the draw. Many times though I will use the weapons hud to draw and holster with. Its really a matter of preference, but if you want an edge, set up the gesture. Also set your graphics to low to help reduce lag.

Now where to aim? In real life combat you aim for the body. Forget what you saw on TV and the movies. No one ever shot a gun out of someone's hand, and if they did it was by accident. In real life, if you do shoot a mans gun out of his hand several things may and likely will happen,
1) the mans gun hand will be shattered
2) you have just pissed the man off royally and he pulls a knife and rushes you or pulls a backup gun with his other hand.
I mention this because JF had an opponent in DW who shot him, but did not totally disable him. JF proceeded to shoot him down. The guy wasn't happy because he said he was rping that he was shooting my gun out of my hand. Well, as you know that was god modding on his part which I explained and since we try to emulate rl, trying to shoot my gun out of my hand is just plain stupid.
But you say, this is Second Life, not Real Life. Yep, your right and the rules are different. When in combat with a ranged weapon, aim for the head. Not the name tag, like you would in melee combat, the head. Thats just the way the physics work in Deadwood and in DCS sims. I have no knowledge if this works the same in CCS or other combat systems, though my thought is that it works the same.

One more thing you need to know about ranged combat. Movement is life! Thing about it, it is much harder to hit a moving target. Be random in your movement. If you go in a straight line or are predictable in your patterns, you will be full of lead in no time.

Now just a few thoughts about weapons. If at all possible buy the best weapons you can afford. Just make sure they meet the requirements of whatever sim you are playing in. I will say this, my character Jonah, used Caed Aldwych's freebie SAA in combat and defeated an experienced fighter who had a really nice weapon. So, the most expensive gun does not guarentee a win.

Lastly, the bane of all rp sims, LAG!! Lag can be your friend, but is usually your enemy. I have had battles where I thought I was doing great, then all of a sudden I get hit 8 times in rapid fire. the culprit? LAG. Folks lag happens, if you lose a fight, laugh it off and go with it. Its just a game and your not really hurt. Your character is not really dead, unless you wish it so.

I hope you find this helpful and Happy Fighting!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

JF Kanto in Deadwood 2.0

Many of you may remember JF in Deadwood 1.0. His story was, he had been a killer for hire who got sick of what he was doing and turned a new leaf. He became a dedicated lawman, Town Councilman and devoted Husband and Father. He had a hard edge to him, but was generally level headed and quite affable.

JF 2.0: JF when he arrives in Deadwood is 32 years old. He was born in north eastern Tennessee, close to the Kentucky, Virginia borders. JF grew up on a farm and was, by all accounts a good farmer. When he turned 18 he enlisted in the Confederate Army and by 1864 was a member of Mosbys 43rd Battallion. When he returned home from the war he found his home in ruins, his family gone. He and (Aintgotnoname)Larsson team up and head west to try to make something of themselves. However both men are still young and full of beans. They soon find that a life of crime suits them just fine.

JF makes his money by doing whatever he is paid to do. Someone needs a herd rustled, a house burnt, the occasional killing, JF has no problems with any of that. Both he and Larsson are hot tempered and quick to take offence. Larsson, for reasons known only to him likes to beat on any woman he takes to his bed. JF has an eye for the ladies too, but is not given to beating them.
JF and Larsson have come to Deadwood, because to their way of thinking if money is being made then there are enemies being made. Which means business opportunities for JF and Larsson.

Starting again

Hello Everyone,

I have decided not to close this blog and to start posting again. I thought about my reasons for and against maintaining the blog. In the end, it came down to my being a bit stupid to think about closing this. Yeah, you read right, stupid. I believe myself to be fairly well read, level headed and somewhat intelligent. But like all humans, I sometimes do not think things out real well and make rash statements or actions that just were not real smart (read stupid).

So, I will be posting somethings in here and will try to be a bit more regular.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The end, maybe

Good Morning Everyone,

I will not be posting on here for a while. In fact I am considering shutting down this blog, but have not yet made up my mind as of yet. The reasons? Well, there are several.

This particular blog is called BlackJacks Ruminations and was mostly about Jack and the rp in Deadwood. However, Jack is not going to be around for a while. For reasons that I will keep to myself, I have decided Jack needs a break. Will this typist continue to play in Deadwood? I don't know. I love Deadwood! The owners and all the players there are great people. I have not found better rp anywhere in SL.

As for my other characters, Ezra, JF, and Carlton will all be on hiatus.

I am not going to say good bye here, just so long and happy trails to you all.

BlackJack Landar

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Mechanics of Fighting Part I Melee

First, let me preface this with a statement: I do not claim to be the worlds greatest fighter. I have however had some success in melee and ranged combat. With that being said, here are some of my thoughts on the issue of actually fighting using meters. I decided to write this because it has taken me a long time to learn some of the ins and outs of combat. I was fortunate in having some really great fighters give me some tips. Thank you, to all who have shared their knowledge with me.

Let us assume that you have given a combat challenge to somebody. Are you going to use free form/text style combat or are you going to use meter combat? If you plan to do text style combat, then make sure you IM your opponent first, otherwise, you might find yourself laying on the ground with your meter reading you are dead while you are still typing out that you are drawing your pistol with lightening speed. So, let us assume that you are going to use meter fighting. The way many meters work is on collision. An object, for example, a bullet, makes contact with your meter. The meter detects the collision and registers the result as damage/reduced health, etc. That is a quick and dirty explanation of meters and how they work for combat.

Lets look at melee combat first. Melee combat is using your fists, knife, sword, broken bottle, etc.....You are up close and personal with your opponent. One of the first things you want to do is go into preferences and reduce your graphic quality. This will help reduce lag and make you slightly faster. If it is dark and you are new to melee combat, set your environmental control to midday. This way you will be able to see what you are trying to hit. If you are in a dcs, ccs, etc sim set your avatar to run. In Deadwood, I suggest you do not set to run. Some may disagree with me on this, but, in Deadwood, running really reduces your stamina and you can find yourself suddenly collapsed because your stam went to zero, yet your health is still good.

Now, pull your weapon or activate your fist weapon and go into mouselook. Fighting in mouselook is the best way to fight as you can move more easily and have better control of your avatar. Now lets look at a boxing match in Deadwood. Jack has climbed into the ring and activated his fist weapon. Pressing the left mouse button will raise your fists and allow you to swing when you hit the arrow buttons. The bell rings....what do you do? Some charge for the center of the ring and slug it out head to head. Exciting and fun to watch. This can work really well too. Another thing to try to do though is slip around behind your opponent. If he is facing away from you, he can't hit you, while you can hit him. Keep an eye on your health meter, if you are losing badly back away, move to the side, anything to keep from getting hit.

In DCS2 you have a few more options due to the fact that in most sims you have powers that you can use depending on your race. So lets say Wolfbane is about to fight a vampire. The first thing I do is hit my frenzy power, this gives me a "buff", which means it gives me more health and stamina, meaning I can take more damage. With DCS meters always set your avatar to run. Movement is life in any fight whether it is melee or ranged. So, I have hit my frenzy power, then I hit my regeneration button. Lycans in most sims heal quickly anyways, but this accelerates the process. I have drawn my sword and we attack. Now I hit him with my maul power. this is a ranged power that will do 20 points of damage to a target up to 15 meters away. As soon as I hit that, I hit mouselook and jump. thats right jump. Now, some sims forbid jumping so check before you use this tactic. Jumping is great for getting in behind an opponent and getting in a few quick swipes. The other thing jumping is useful for is, if you lose sight of our opponent you can jump up and look down to spot him. That way you can keep track of him. A couple of other helpful hints. Set your dcs powers up as gestures activated by an F key. this way if you take damage you can hit your regeneration button and gain some health back. You can also use your ranged power as well.
Does all this mean you will win each and every melee fight you are in? Nope. Many things play a part, for instance, lag can hit you and slow you down, the other guy has a better weapon then you do or he is just a better fighter. As I said, I am not the best fighter in SL. There are some really fantastic melee fighters out there. I do ok, I win some, I lose some. Even the best fighters lose. If you do, take it with good grace. Its just a game folks. You were not really hurt and your character is still alive. yeah, yeah, it says your dead on the meter, but guess what? It aint permanent!! So have fun

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Combat and how to do it in RolePlay

As many of you already know, Deadwood sim has been featured in Second Life's Destination Guide. The admin team has been dealing with a lot of new folks who have no idea whatsoever on how to role play. We have had the run of people running around nude or so close to it doesnt matter, their noobie dangly bits exposed for God and everybody to see...well, you get the idea. So the admins in Deadwood have been talking about how can we help new folks get into the rp with a minimum of time and a maximum of useful information. Not so easy as it seems. But never let it be said that the Deadwood admins backed away from a challenge. I will be posting some ideas on how to roleplay combat in Deadwood. These ideas will be applicable to other rp sims.

Combat! How does it happen? What do I do so I can commit mayhem and not get warned or banned for it?

Entering into Combat / Giving combat warnings

Your character is sitting in the Cricket Saloon, when a man walks in. During the course of time, this stranger looks over at you and makes some comments about your dubious parentage. What do you do? Lets look at the wrong way first.

Leaning against the bar Jack Landar sips his whiskey, his eyes flitting from person to person noting each one. Joe Smith turns to Jack, "You bastard, I was talking to that whore first." Jack Landar slams his fist into Joe Smith's jaw knocking him unconcious.

Several problems with this, Jack did not give any combat warning, and he god modded Joe by not giving him a chance to react to the punch he threw.

A better way...

Leaning against the bar Jack Landar sips his whiskey. Joe Smith takes a spot at the bar and turns to Jack, "You bastard, I was talking to that whore first." Jack smirks, "Bastard am I? I am going to teach you what a bastard can do." Jack pulls his fist back and throws a punch towards Joe's jaw.

Here Jack gives the combat warning by what he says and what he does. He also gives Joe the opportunity to react to his punch.

The use of rp warnings should of course be applied to meter fighting as well.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wolfbane's Travels

Hello Everyone,

Recently Deadwood has been quiet and when that happens I usually go pull Wolfbane out for a romp around Dark City. But I believe the same late spring/early summer stuff (graduations, parties and just really nice weather) is pulling people away from SL temporarily. Wolf was just sitting around in a nearly deserted Dark City about a week ago, when he got an IM from Crow Runner. Many of you know her from Deadwood. I had turned her onto Dark City and she repaid the favor by turning me onto Sentinel Mountains.

Sentinel Mountains is a new sim owned by Justinian Diavolo and Freya Kirax. The sim is set in 1420 and for its theme that of the Roman Empire with a mix of the World of Darkness and Anita Blake novels blended in for good measure. We have a number of races to choose from. Lycanthrope's (werewolve are not the only type of lycan, there are werebears, weretigers, wereswans, wererats, etc.), Vampires, Orcs (which includes goblin,hobgoblin, orcs), Drow, Elves,
and Dragons.

The top pic is the Temple of Luna.

The builds in the sim are quite good and some are massive. The keep pictured below is where the Dark Lord (Justinian) will rule the lands. The sim is primarily made up of Lycanthropes at the moment but there are other creatures. I have met two Merfolk , a dragon and a goblin. No vampires yet, but I look for some to come. Actually we need vampires and other dark creatures for the Lycans to fight. Because no matter what Hollywood tells you, werewolves are not evil creatures. They were created by Luna to protect the human race from the dark spirits, primarily, vampires. But hey, when has Hollywood ever got anything right?

The Dark Lords Keep

So if you find yourself with some time on your hands or are looking for a new place to play, come visit Sentinel Mountains.