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.