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  • Writer's pictureSlaveyko Slaveykov

Combat Breakdown (part2)

Hello everyone! Once again it's me, Mr. Slate! This is part two of our closer look of the combat system in our upcoming Action RPG.

You should have seen this last time but if you haven't here's the combat system in action:

Today I'll focus on the rest of the major features of our combat system. That will be statuses, afflictions, blocking, ranged attacks and a couple more.


The status bar shows positive and negative statuses during combat. In this scenario the pink status with a minus icon represents an ongoing Burn affliction and the red plus represents the effect of a healing item. These status icons are only visible during the status lifetime and can be clicked to show a brief breakdown.


Afflictions is what we call ongoing negative effects to a character. There are four elemental types that can cause affliction. Those are Burn, Poison, Freeze and Shock.

You can see your character's total resistance to these types in the character sheet as well as during combat on the left side of the health bar.

In combat certain weapons can cause affliction damage which takes away from the target's affliction resistance. When the target's resistance hits zero they are afflicted. Resistance recovers slowly during combat and even slower when afflicted. When a character is afflicted they begin to take damage over time. This damage only stops if they use an item or move or when their resistance regenerates fully. An afflicted target will not take affliction damage. The combat affliction panel shows the amount of the player character's current affliction resistance.

A large panel overlaps the character's health bar when afflicted.

Damage over time is then displayed using popups.


Most held items give you the ability to block. Blocks are a held move which means you press and hold the block button for as long as you wish to be blocking. Every block move will negate a pre-set percentage of damage while in this held state. Every block move also has a set amount of stamina drain while in effect. During blocking characters have a stability score which is calculated using the move and item stability. For example an unarmed block will have a significantly lower stability than a shield block.

The stability score is important because it dictates the amount of stamina that will be drained by blocked attacks. There are cases where the block is so weak even a single attack will break it. When this happens or the blocked attack uses all of the blocker's stamina the defender will be staggered. Each held item has a stagger critical score which is calculated using an Agility bonus and the item's own stagger critical. When a character is staggered they take damage equal to the attack's base damage multiplied by the item's stagger critical score.

Furthermore some attacks will drain stability resistance just like affliction damage drains affliction resistance. The most devastating attack to do this with is the kick. Kicks drain more stamina and cause more stability damage than other attacks making it easier to stagger an opponent.

Ranged Attacks

We made the decision early on to stick to close quarter fights. That was great to flesh out the combat system and make sure it is satisfying to use. Eventually however we realised that some form of ranged attacks would help make the combat more engaging. So we introduced throwable items. Daggers, urns, grenades or strange stones, those consumable items give the player another form of freedom to build a unique character.

Just like the rest of the combat system thrown items are represented through an abstraction. The projectiles are animated moving from the centre of the attacker's clock, travel to and hit at the centre of the target's clock. When the projectile hits the centre of the clock the target is damaged. This whole system is completely customisable and we already have a few interesting ideas for this type of item.

While the item is in flight the character is free to use other moves, allowing for some heavy damage combinations for fast hitting, Dexterity based builds.

Parry and Riposte

This is fairly simple. When a character is parried they can be riposted for extra damage. This extra damage comes from a riposte critical score that is calculated similarly to the stagger critical score. That is by using a bonus from the character's Dexterity and the item's base riposte critical.


Backstabbing is another type of attack that benefits from critical damage. As you can imagine in a game where movement is completely abstract an attack fully relying on character positioning is... slightly difficult. We have some ideas about this staple of souls like games but nothing final so you'll have to stay tuned for this one.


Well that was fun! Thanks for indulging me once more and I'll make sure to keep you posted on any changes or significant additions.

Hope to see you all next Monday, and have a great week!

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