Ideas To Improve Next Elder Scrolls Melee Combat

NeutralDrow

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I honestly really like the way Skyrim's melee combat already is. The only thing I could think of would be to add grapples and more weapons, and maybe allow blocking/parrying with an off-hand weapon.

Arnoxthe1 said:
So let's say you're beginning the game and you've got a nice sharp iron dagger. Now, in Skyrim's combat system, it's hardly more than a pitiful toy. Barely better than your fists.
Then we're talking before I learned how to use daggers. I realize on second read that you're only talking about the sneak attacks (I like how they work already, so no comment on that), but I actually love using them in straight-up fights. As long as you don't make the mistake of dual-wielding them, you can take some stamina upgrades, spec into certain Block perks, and turn yourself into a matrix-dodging, stun-locking, quick-slicing master.

Also, don't diss the fists. The unarmed kill cinematics are the coolest in the game, I'd love for there to be actual fist weapons, like brass knuckles, punch daggers, or cesti.

Not sure I'd go for a "whoever does the most damage" wins, either, but I'm fairly sure there's mods for that (the Realistic Combat mod sounds similar).
 

JagermanXcell

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Arnoxthe1 said:
Mycroft Holmes said:
Make it Mount and Blade: Skyrim. Intuitive. Extremely skill based. Difficult to fight large numbers of enemies but quite rewarding.
Yeah, but then it wouldn't be The Elder Scrolls anymore.
Yeah challenge would make the game amazing and no one wants that, it wouldn't be Elder Scrolls without the the horrible melee and hand holding. (Sorry about the snooty sarcasm, I kid)

OT: A lot of people bring up what I was going to and say Dark Souls, but counter argue by saying it won't translate well from a 3rd person to 1st. Simple, just add well timed parries and riposte animations, and depending on what armor you're wearing replace Dark Soul's roll for lets say carefully synced side steps with enough i frames to counter enemies. Also someone mentioned a backstab, which I agree should be reserved to only stealth kills, not like Dark Souls where almost everything is backstabable (what is stealth?!) and you can even backstab with a Scythe... A... Scythe... I mean I know realism isn't a video game thing but it just looks silly animation wise.

And this is just me but a little more variety in the weapon animations, all they do is differentiate the swing speed on a majority of the weapons, why not give weapons more versatile forms off attack like guard breaking, sword clashing, cross countering, or the option to two hand a one handed weapon for more damage. I'd also like to see limb breaking options much like in the Fallout games, shooting a Bandit's arm so he cant wield his bow properly reducing his accuracy or his mobility when you take out his leg would make for great variety when you fight groups.

And better AI, for Talos' sake Bethesda getting shot in the head by a mysterious arrow is NOT one's imagination.
 

Jeff O'Krafka

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I think we should go back too "A" Morrowind Style(key word style not full morrowind combat). Where at level 1 you can hardly swing a sword to level 10 where your ok with the sword. But still keep the fluidness of Skyrim. And what would really help fixing the combat in general is when you lvl up you get a plus 5 too your health/mana/stam and then u get too choose one too put 10 into, or just go back too the better leveling system.
 

The_Lost_King

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I think combat itself is fine as it is. I think if they just added animations and things to make it look and feel better people would like it. I use Skyre and it really shows that Skyrim combat can have some depth to it you just have to modify armor and weapons and the perks.
 

immortalfrieza

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spartan231490 said:
immortalfrieza said:
spartan231490 said:
Arnoxthe1 said:
snip
Type 1: The hardest backstab to do. If you backstab someone that is a Type 1, you will enter into a 3-button quicktime sequence snip
Absolutely not. Quick time events do not belong in TES. The entire system is meant to flow, quick-time events are flow breaking. If you really want to improve TES combat, the best way to do it is probably to have blocking be passive. Anytime you're attacked there is a chance that you will block the attack, unless you're attacking or staggered. That is a very simple change that fits in with the overall flow of the game, and still makes combat more interesting.
In other words, just like how Morrowind had it, but was switched to manual blocking because everybody hated it being random.
No, morrowind had hits vs miss random, which sucked. This would only be blocking, and for shields you would still need a cover option
Wrong. In Morrowind the player only blocked with the shield at random intervals based on the player's block skill.
 

Saelune

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I dont understand what people want out of combat from TES games. Real life medival combat is not very flashy. TES has 3 styles it has to have work together, combat, magic, and stealth. Focusing too much on making the combat "good" might hurt the others. Sure it can be better, and it has, and likely TES VI will make it better, but I feel most people will still want something to complain about.
 

Megahedron

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Well, I'm disappointed this thread isn't about how to improve the melee combat in general, though several of you have correctly answered that question anyways, so that's good. Now you've identified a problem: The backstab kills in Skyrim feel too easy. I agree with that. Your suggestion to fix this issue it to increase the difficulty of the backstab itself using QTEs. In my opinion, and I think it was suggested earlier in the thread, the problem is not with the backstab, but with how easy it is to sneak up behind someone. If the backstab stays a press-a-button-get-a-kill, but becomes the payoff of a difficulty stealthy encounter, the feeling of accomplishment will increase.

I'm just going to use the most recent stealth game I played, Dishonored, as my example. To kill/knock out an unaware enemy, you just have to hold down a single button. In that system, a one button kill is much more satisfying than it is in Skyrim. This isn't because pressing a single button is more difficult in one game than the other, but because the situation surrounding the stealth kill is itself rewarding. A typical stealth encounter in Skyrim involves crouching and walking up behind each enemy in a room and pressing a button. I have to pay almost no heed to other enemies because as long as I stay crouched they have almost no chance of spotting me. And as we all know, these kills don't feel skilled or meaningful. Most stealth kills in Dishonored require scoping out the area, possibly studying the enemy's routes, and (if you're as bad as I am) no small amount of trial and error. Once Corvo ends up behind an enemy, the kill itself is the same as in Skyrim, one button press. However by the time the body is hidden, I feel like I've accomplished something. What has changed is not actually the mechanic of the stealth kill, but the skill required to achieve it. I've done something correctly, and the kill is the reward for my hard work.

Now that conclusion ties in with your idea, that the stealth kills with QTEs will feel more rewarding because they are more difficult. The issue is, when I succeed in a QTE, I don't feel proud of my ability to press the button that flashes on screen, it feels like something I should execute correctly every time. When I fail, I get annoyed with both the game and myself, I feel stupid for messing up the most basic principal of video games (press the right button!) and angry with the game for punishing me for something that isn't really a skill, just a reflex and paying attention test. The next time I'm facing the QTE and succeed, I don't think it's because I've developed a better strategy or skill set for beating QTEs, so I don't get the same feeling of achievement I get from successfully blinking behind a guard as he walks over to inspect the bottle I just smashed against my head. People (I think) like challenges because overcoming them proves that they are strong, smart, or skilled enough to do so. Beating a QTE doesn't make us feel good about ourselves, and losing them costs us time to try again or something else in game. The best case scenario with skill QTEs is that they are neutral, and the worst case is that they are frustrating.

Now I like the idea of making different animations/events based on how much damage you can do. Currently, if you don't have the damage to execute the throat slit your character just slashes the target's back, which just doesn't seem as cool. If a little "opponent swats your arm away as you go for the slice so you end up giving him a swift kidney stab" animation played if I was only able to do half the opponent's hit points in damage I think it'd nicely compliment the current kill animation. The opponent would then be facing you with a significant amount of health lost and ready for an otherwise normal encounter. Could be fun.
 

Some_weirdGuy

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Arnoxthe1 said:
http://i71.servimg.com/u/f71/14/26/98/51/alrigh11.jpg

To all who took a massive crap on the OP, before you instantly assume it's terrible just because you saw the dreaded word, "quicktime" please actually read the OP in full. Seriously, if I see another person who just writes off the entire system I just thought out without explaining why it would be bad just because they saw "quicktime", I'm just going to ignore that post completely.

Dude, i mean this with only the exact right amount of insulting(no more or less) when i say you're really coming across as kinda douchey.

"you disagree with my idea? well you clllllah'hearly have not read my post at all! As my concept is entirely without fault, and any opinion to the contrary is simply outright wrong due to it's addresser obviously having stopped reading only a few words in."

Your idea just isn't what people want. Maybe you like that sort of stuff, but i personally found it to be one of the most annoying mechanics ever included in prince of persia((In nearly exactly the same implementation that you describe, including the different 'tiers' of QTE)) and god of war, and translating it into Elder Scorlls sounds awful...

So no, people ARE reading your post, i think you'll find the reason they are disagreeing is simply because your idea is just unappealing, if not outright off-putting. Sorry if that annoys you or feels insulting, it's nothing personal.

-----

As for your open question, I guess A way to make melee more interesting would be to take cues from fighting games/brawlers, ((soul calbur 3 comes to mind personally, but that's just cause I like that one over more 'arcadey' style fighters that relay more on annoying struggles to get into position)). Kya: dark lineage for the ps2 was a pretty great example, it was an action-adventure platformer that had a well developed fighter-game type combat system, felt satisfying to beat up on the wolfuns :p.

So yeah, I guess that means bring in attack combos and stuff, and i guess leveling up various things might give you new combos, or make them more likely to not be blocked. You could get around the need for multiple buttons((which people brought up as a potential issue)) by instead assigning it based on different mouse-swipe shapes, input delays, and perhaps even stuff like whether you have sprint or... sneak? toggled.
((I mean, that would triple the number of 'moves' if you have those two as toggles that effect combat. eg. sprint = heavier more powerful melee, sneak = lighter quicker melee))
 

Kaendris

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Here is what I would like to see done.

1. Different weapon types should have a different speed and fighting style. Fighting with a Longsword requires a different technique and strike sequence than fighting with a mace, or hand axe. Each weapon "class" (if you will) should have a different set of animations and fluidity to the combat motions.

2. Impact and blocking effects. I want some reaction when a blow strikes home, or when I eat one on my shield. The screen should jolt, there should be a sense of actual impact. Better sound effects and particle sprays. If my mace slams into a shield, deflected to the side, I want to see sparks and hear a scraping sound, not just some hollow, metallic thunk. If I land a blow to my opponents unguarded side, they should react, perhaps spin in a daze, or stumble and switch stances to cover the weakness.

3. Targeted damage. For the love of everything holy PLEASE just do this already. An arrow to the throat should be game over. If I do direct damage to a guards knee (that's right...I said it) I want him limping, his combat ability reduced. Good shots to the arms should cause opponents to have slower strikes and defenses. Head shots to helmets should daze and stagger opponents.

4. I would like opponents to actually surrender if losing. Not all the time of course, but there should be a part of them that values life, and begs for mercy. They should flee, and I mean really flee, not just run around in a circle until I corner them. If you beat someone in a stand up fight and they yield, there should be an option to take what you want from them and release them. Later down the line, they could come back and try to kill you, seeking revenge for their humiliation if they dare. Or, perhaps they are grateful for your kindness and send you money or items down the line. Heck, maybe some of them have a change of heart and you see them later as village guards...

5. More emphasis on defense. Right now in TES biggest sword wins. I would rather have it where you can not just out-swing your opponent, but have a system where you actually need to be concerned with the number of times you are hit. I think non-regen on health would assist with that. Add in PC area damage and critical wounds and you are golden.

6. Harder stealth. Line of sight becoming important, light sources becoming important, dead bodies becoming important, noise becoming important. The stealth system in TES is a joke and my least favorite part of the game. Even though my stealth is 100, you should be able to see me crouched next to a torch if you are looking at me. They really need to come up with an entirely new approach.

Anyway, those are my initial thoughts and I know they won't be popular with everyone. I just think the game could benefit a bit more from a sense of reality.

As for the question of QTEs. No. They break immersion, are not challenging, and take the control away from the player. They are designed to create a system that looks cool (and SOMETIMES delivers, if I am not scanning the screen for the button), but requires no true skill. I would rather have a one button kill, than a 4 button kill.
 

Broderick

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Arnoxthe1 said:
One thing you guys need to consider though is that Dark Souls' combat is made for third-person. Elder Scrolls has been and (hopefully) always will be a first-person game at its core. (With optional third person of course.) I really don't know how Dark Souls' combat would translate into Elder Scrolls.
I have seen a couple people mention Dark Souls as a good example of melee combat, and I agree, but let me elaborate on it. When I say more like Dark Souls, I dont mean "harder" or "have a lock on", I mean make the weapons have weight.

As it is, the weapons in the elder scrolls games hardly feel different from one another(in my opinion at least); there is absolutely no weight to the weapons. Swinging a Claymore should not feel the same as swinging a broadsword, and I feel that adding that weight to the weapons will at least make them feel different from one another. I mean they already have increased stamina costs for the two handed weapon's power moves, so now they just need to make it "feel" like you are swinging a massive piece of weaponry around. To me, the two handed weapons in the game just feel slower and make slightly more noise compared to it's one handed counterparts.

To show an example, I am going to link a video.
At 1:02 it features the short sword. Now contrast this to the Great sword at 5:57; not only are their move-sets, appearance, and swing speed different, but also the sounds they make, and the amount of bodily movement of the character wielding them as well. When the character swings each weapon, it looks like they put the right amount of muscle in to do so(at least to me).

While this may not be a "fix" per say, I think that it would go a long way to help make the combat in The Elder Scrolls games feel more fulfilling. As I said though, this is just my opinion and not an end all be all "fix".
 

Blunderboy

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Yeah, having read the whole of the OP I'm out. The backstabbing system is not what's missing from the Elderscrolls combat. I can't put my finger on what is exactly, but it's not that. For me, the Elderscrolls has always been about immersion, and that would be broken the instant a pop up appears like that. Hell the quest pop ups are bad enough as far as I'm concerned.
 

Blunderboy

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Or I could just let this chap post for me, as he seems to have summed up my thoughts perfectly.

Kaendris said:
Here is what I would like to see done.

1. Different weapon types should have a different speed and fighting style. Fighting with a Longsword requires a different technique and strike sequence than fighting with a mace, or hand axe. Each weapon "class" (if you will) should have a different set of animations and fluidity to the combat motions.

2. Impact and blocking effects. I want some reaction when a blow strikes home, or when I eat one on my shield. The screen should jolt, there should be a sense of actual impact. Better sound effects and particle sprays. If my mace slams into a shield, deflected to the side, I want to see sparks and hear a scraping sound, not just some hollow, metallic thunk. If I land a blow to my opponents unguarded side, they should react, perhaps spin in a daze, or stumble and switch stances to cover the weakness.

3. Targeted damage. For the love of everything holy PLEASE just do this already. An arrow to the throat should be game over. If I do direct damage to a guards knee (that's right...I said it) I want him limping, his combat ability reduced. Good shots to the arms should cause opponents to have slower strikes and defenses. Head shots to helmets should daze and stagger opponents.

4. I would like opponents to actually surrender if losing. Not all the time of course, but there should be a part of them that values life, and begs for mercy. They should flee, and I mean really flee, not just run around in a circle until I corner them. If you beat someone in a stand up fight and they yield, there should be an option to take what you want from them and release them. Later down the line, they could come back and try to kill you, seeking revenge for their humiliation if they dare. Or, perhaps they are grateful for your kindness and send you money or items down the line. Heck, maybe some of them have a change of heart and you see them later as village guards...

5. More emphasis on defense. Right now in TES biggest sword wins. I would rather have it where you can not just out-swing your opponent, but have a system where you actually need to be concerned with the number of times you are hit. I think non-regen on health would assist with that. Add in PC area damage and critical wounds and you are golden.

6. Harder stealth. Line of sight becoming important, light sources becoming important, dead bodies becoming important, noise becoming important. The stealth system in TES is a joke and my least favorite part of the game. Even though my stealth is 100, you should be able to see me crouched next to a torch if you are looking at me. They really need to come up with an entirely new approach.

Anyway, those are my initial thoughts and I know they won't be popular with everyone. I just think the game could benefit a bit more from a sense of reality.

As for the question of QTEs. No. They break immersion, are not challenging, and take the control away from the player. They are designed to create a system that looks cool (and SOMETIMES delivers, if I am not scanning the screen for the button), but requires no true skill. I would rather have a one button kill, than a 4 button kill.
 

Proto325

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I'm surprised nobody's mentioned Chivalry yet, though I don't know how it would translate to consoles. At the very least, maybe replace the block for non-shield users with a parry.

As for backstabs, how about they tie your skill and weapon quality to risk of getting caught before and after the kill:

Any knife can do an insta-kill, but you have to be a certain distance from the enemy depending on your skill level in stealth. With low skill, you'd have to be almost touching them, so it's more risky to go for it. At higher levels you could be at the max range of the knife, and maybe you could unlock a skill at Master level that lets you lunge at an enemy from a short distance.

The quality of the weapon could determine how "clean" the kill is. With an iron dagger your enemy lives just long enough lets out a yelp before he dies, or maybe stumbles forwards and clatters to the ground, attracting nearby guards to his position. With better blades they make less of a fuss when dying, because they cut better or something (LOGIC!). This isn't strictly necessary, and I suppose you could base it on weapon skill instead, but this way there's a reason to get better daggers later on.
 

spartan231490

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immortalfrieza said:
spartan231490 said:
immortalfrieza said:
spartan231490 said:
Arnoxthe1 said:
snip
Type 1: The hardest backstab to do. If you backstab someone that is a Type 1, you will enter into a 3-button quicktime sequence snip
Absolutely not. Quick time events do not belong in TES. The entire system is meant to flow, quick-time events are flow breaking. If you really want to improve TES combat, the best way to do it is probably to have blocking be passive. Anytime you're attacked there is a chance that you will block the attack, unless you're attacking or staggered. That is a very simple change that fits in with the overall flow of the game, and still makes combat more interesting.
In other words, just like how Morrowind had it, but was switched to manual blocking because everybody hated it being random.
No, morrowind had hits vs miss random, which sucked. This would only be blocking, and for shields you would still need a cover option
Wrong. In Morrowind the player only blocked with the shield at random intervals based on the player's block skill.
I wasn't disputing that, I was saying that hit or miss was also random in morrowind, and this is not analogous to the current combat system of TES, so you can't predict if people would like it in the more modern combat system. Sorry if that was unclear.
 

Sansha

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I think Chivalry does combat very well, in that there's a basic slash, a heavy attack and a stab, and combining them in combos is the most effective way to fight. I think an actual dodge control would be handy, too - to either just bend one's body or entirely jump out of the way of a blow.
 

immortalfrieza

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spartan231490 said:
I wasn't disputing that, I was saying that hit or miss was also random in morrowind, and this is not analogous to the current combat system of TES, so you can't predict if people would like it in the more modern combat system. Sorry if that was unclear.
Yeah, I can, because said random combat system was removed in Oblivion and it was pretty much universally praised for it, meaning that going back to randomness for any of it would probably be just as universally panned for it.