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View Full Version : Is AC1's combat clunky and frustrating, actually challenging or a bit of both?



ArabianFrost
06-30-2013, 10:14 PM
I know this is a bit old, actually, 6 years old, but today I got to the Robert de Sable decoy missions and then then actual mission which pitted you against a great deal of knights before dueling De sable himself, and it got me thinking.

Maybe on smaller scale, with few variety and less "strong enemies", it plays out well, but when pitted against a multitude of enemies, the mechanic starts to show weakness and I played The Witcher 2, so I know clunky.


Let's assume you play offensively, occasionally one of these scenarios will happen (not to imply that these are the only scenarios):
-Your attacks get mostly blocked, then your enemy counters you without any possible action done by you, so you lose health
-You keep attacking, again with no avail cause you get blocked, until an enemy attacks you suddenly, however, you can't counter that enemy, cause there is when the combat system shows it's unresponsiveness. When in the middle of an attack animation, you cannot switch to counter (or at least that's how it was for me), rendering you completely exposed to the enemy with NULL chance of resistance.
-You attack, your enemy counters, but then you CAN reverse-counter, which isn't as frustrating as the above to points. It ensures that you are focused and not simply bashing buttons, which I personally like.


Now assume you are more of a defense fanatic, one of these scenarios occasionally takes place:
-You wait
-you wait more
-HAH! An enemy suddenly decides it's a good idea to wave their sword, but wait, there is no giant red circle to indicate they Are attacking, no stupid slow-mo sequence, no nothing, just a guy approaching you furiously as he braces his swords and levels it up. This is excellent to force you to study the AI and their behaviour, then methodically plan out your next attack. You don't just keep hacking and slashing against enemies indifferently, you must observe every single movement of every single AI and this means you can't jump in into the combat. It needs mastering and possesses an actual learning curve.
-You counter the enemy, he resists and ends up being thrown to the ground. Not scathed, not injured, just thrown yonder, beyond your reach, surrounded by enemies and you can't get to him. He gets up, comes back and attacks like he just drank 10 cans of redbull. Now i understand the importance of not having one hit, one kill counter button, but this is ridiculous. The enemy shows no fatigue or signs of depleted health, so it pretty much becomes a way to decrease the enemies currently surrounding you, only to be bombarded by more clunky mechanics.
-You counter, enemy dies.
-You counter but you get countered with no avail for you reverse-countering. Frustrating.
-You dodge, but it usually ends up with the enemy blocking you when attacking, or someone else attacks you. Dodging puts the enemy in a vulnerable position. It definitely should expose him to attacks, but that is not always the case.

But before SidSpykr's army of elitist, hardcore, pure bred PC gamer master race charges at me, I must mention that by no means am I saying the AC1 combat system is the worst though. It has a learning curve, needs proper examination of AI behaviour and and can be, to an extent, mastered, but how slow it can be at times, random, depriving of interaction and resistance can somewhat overshadow the difficulty to be channeled to frustration. IMO, if tweaked a bit to be more responsive and more open to allowing you to counter all the time, it can prove to be the best combat system in an AC game.

So, forum goers, what do you think of the AC1 combat system? Should the series go back to making an original combat system rather copying off Batman's or is horribly murdering another game's combat system then pasting it in your acceptable to you(I kid, it can be copied well amd even made enjoyable, but it needs to force you to mix up tactics to do that though)?

Megas_Doux
06-30-2013, 10:29 PM
I like AC1s combat, although I prefer AC3s.....

ProletariatPleb
06-30-2013, 10:40 PM
I'm just here to see how people respond, you know what I would say anyway.

ArabianFrost
06-30-2013, 10:43 PM
I like AC1s combat, although I prefer AC3s.....

Thing is, AC3's system wasn't, "better", as it much as it felt smoother and more fluid. It felt "better", but it wasn't neccessarily better.

ArabianFrost
06-30-2013, 10:46 PM
I'm just here to see how people respond, you know what I would say anyway.

I guess I hadn't been here long enough to know your opinion. I adamantly believe it's a solidly challenging combat system, but it has it's quite obvious frustrations. Care to explain yours?

ProletariatPleb
06-30-2013, 10:57 PM
I guess I hadn't been here long enough to know your opinion. I adamantly believe it's a solidly challenging combat system, but it has it's quite obvious frustrations. Care to explain yours?
Then why did you mention meeeeee you evil man...

Anyway moving on, I think AC1's combat system was mostly perfect, could be polished more but if you play offensively then it's just amazing. If you keep mashing attack then you can forget about countering incoming attacks while playing offensively, the key is to time each attack instead of repeatedly pressing attack. And try to get combo kills.

ArabianFrost
06-30-2013, 11:31 PM
Then why did you mention meeeeee you evil man...

Anyway moving on, I think AC1's combat system was mostly perfect, could be polished more but if you play offensively then it's just amazing. If you keep mashing attack then you can forget about countering incoming attacks while playing offensively, the key is to time each attack instead of repeatedly pressing attack. And try to get combo kills.

See, this is actually a great system. Methodically timed attacks, but the catch is that the enemy has no indication of health. You strike them once, take a step back, then strike back and it's like nothing happened. As long as there is no health system, or any visible indication (i.e limping enemies, spilt blood..etc.) that your attacks indeed affect the enemy, then you're just left to keep frustratingly "mash" buttons until the gods arbitrarily wish the enemies should be dead. There isn't even a pattern to follow the steps to gradually kill an enemy. The system is perfect as it is, but needs visual health indications of enemy AI.


Also, aren't combos just mashing?

dxsxhxcx
06-30-2013, 11:31 PM
-You wait
-you wait more


this was a big problem in AC1 and IMO it's something that still happens today, the only difference is that now, like you say, we can hack and slash our way through the enemies without much (if any) resistance,



-You counter the enemy, he resists and ends up being thrown to the ground. Not scathed, not injured, just thrown yonder, beyond your reach, surrounded by enemies and you can't get to him. He gets up, comes back and attacks like he just drank 10 cans of redbull. Now i understand the importance of not having one hit, one kill counter button, but this is ridiculous. The enemy shows no fatigue or signs of depleted health, so it pretty much becomes a way to decrease the enemies currently surrounding you, only to be bombarded by more clunky mechanics.

it's been some time since I played AC1 but if this is the situation I think it is, IMO this is one of those situations where realism wouldn't add much gameplay-wise, maybe they could make the guard enter some sort of "stunt" mode for some seconds where we would be able to attack him without any kind of resistance but make him look like he's injured for the rest of the battle and make him lose some abilities due to his injuries wouldn't be much different than 1HKO him, IMO it would be too much work to add something that wouldn'd bring much to the table.



-You counter but you get countered with no avail for you reverse-countering. Frustrating

I kinda like this situation, it shows you aren't a super human capable of do everything, it shows the guards can be as skilled as you are.




See, this is actually a great system. Methodically timed attacks, but the catch is that the enemy has no indication of health. You strike them once, take a step back, then strike back and it's like nothing happened. As long as there is no health system, or any visible indication (i.e limping enemies, spilt blood..etc.) that your attacks indeed affect the enemy, then you're just left to keep frustratingly "mash" buttons until the gods arbitrarily wish the enemies should be dead. There isn't even a pattern to follow the steps to gradually kill an enemy. The system is perfect as it is, but needs visual health indications of enemy AI.


if I'm not wrong you was able to see the enemies health if you lock on an enemy.

Gi1t
06-30-2013, 11:37 PM
Then why did you mention meeeeee you evil man...

Anyway moving on, I think AC1's combat system was mostly perfect, could be polished more but if you play offensively then it's just amazing. If you keep mashing attack then you can forget about countering incoming attacks while playing offensively, the key is to time each attack instead of repeatedly pressing attack. And try to get combo kills.

That's something they really never made clear about the combo kills, actually. When I read the prompt on what combo kills are, I don't recall reading anything about timing. It made it sound likeyou just press X a lot and you'll kill someone. (And that did happen a lot anyway.)

You're right that there isn't much life in the more defensive system, not because the basic idea was flawed, but because there wasn't really a good reason not to just counter-kill. The game also had the dodge ability too, but there didn't seem to be a reason to use it over the counterattack.

At its heart though, the biggest problem, I think, is that the enemies don't provide you with any interesting, unique ways to play with the combat system. They all do the same things and can all pretty much die the same ways. A few have some slightly more limited options, but they really don't make a very big difference.

Maybe sometime I'll go back and look it over again. I haven't loaded up the game in quite a while. :)

ProletariatPleb
06-30-2013, 11:38 PM
See, this is actually a great system. Methodically timed attacks, but the catch is that the enemy has no indication of health. You strike them once, take a step back, then strike back and it's like nothing happened. As long as there is no health system, or any visible indication (i.e limping enemies, spilt blood..etc.) that your attacks indeed affect the enemy, then you're just left to keep frustratingly "mash" buttons until the gods arbitrarily wish the enemies should be dead. There isn't even a pattern to follow the steps to gradually kill an enemy. The system is perfect as it is, but needs visual health indications of enemy AI.


Also, aren't combos just mashing?
Well I'm no fan of visual health indication in AC games but I wouldn't mind if they were optional.

And no. Combos aren't just mashing you have to time them.

ArabianFrost
06-30-2013, 11:48 PM
Well I'm no fan of visual health indication in AC games but I wouldn't mind if they were optional.

And no. Combos aren't just mashing you have to time them.

The problem isn't a visual health system only. There isn't one at all. Enemies do not die after a certain number of blows. Through my experience, they just seem to die in an arbitrary matter.

Ureh
06-30-2013, 11:48 PM
I think you can tell if you're doing a combo correctly by the "glitch" effect that occurs when swinging the weapons. It'll be white colour and extra pretty if timed correctly, but red and messy if you mash it. Might be I'm mistaken. I've only played on the PC and that was years ago.

Also Hidden Blade is guranteed to counter kill all enemies (just in case anyone didn't know). And I think you can counter mid-combo but you have to point at the target that is going to attack and time the counter.

The short blade + throwing dagger combos are pretty underused.

I remember watching a vid on youtube, and apparently there is a way to incapacitate the guards without killing them (during combat). Can't remember how it was done exactly but had something to do with countering a guard's heavy attack then pressing the empty hand button as soon as your swords clash.

Edit: also enemies in AC1 have an "idle" animation during combat that makes them vulnerable to instant kills with the hidden blade. And they're also able to throw you around if you fail to counter grab which is pretty neat.

ProletariatPleb
06-30-2013, 11:54 PM
That's something they really never made clear about the combo kills, actually. When I read the prompt on what combo kills are, I don't recall reading anything about timing. It made it sound like you just press X a lot and you'll kill someone. (And that did happen a lot anyway.)
It said something like attack and QUICKLY press attack again when your sword CONNECTS. That's a pretty clear timing indication for me.


You're right that there isn't much life in the more defensive system, not because the basic idea was flawed, but because there wasn't really a good reason not to just counter-kill. The game also had the dodge ability too, but there didn't seem to be a reason to use it over the counterattack.
Really? On the contrary the dodge ability was very useful IMO. I can't remember the specifics but it was VERY useful as I recall with tougher enemies. The thing with dodge is after you dodge you can attack your enemy, so for combo kill lovers like me it was a blessing. There was one more use but I just can't remember that atm.


At its heart though, the biggest problem, I think, is that the enemies don't provide you with any interesting, unique ways to play with the combat system. They all do the same things and can all pretty much die the same ways. A few have some slightly more limited options, but they really don't make a very big difference.
Ehhh I dunno, I found them to be quite apt. All depends on who is playing, I recorded a video a few months ago when I start AC1 at random just trying out cel-shading. I had forgotten most of the combat tactics but I still played decently, and offensively(IMO). If I remembered properly how to DODGE and BREAK DEFENSE it would be a LOT faster.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZqNUp8Z_ck

(and if it isn't obvious enough I was trying to avoid killing Robert de Wife just to fight more guards.)

Starting from 1:35 are a few combo kills.

ArabianFrost
06-30-2013, 11:58 PM
I kinda like this situation, it shows you aren't a super human capable of do everything, it shows the guards can be as skilled as you are.








I don't know. I think you're mixing up authenticity with lack of control over the character. If the character fails, he should do so because I failed to press the counter button incorrectly, or failed to respond in proper timing or simply made mistakes on MY end. The consequences of my failure can be punished however the game decides, but the game should never punish me, because my character is "human, not because I made mistakes.

AC2_alex
07-01-2013, 12:55 AM
The combat of AC1 is definitely the most challenging. It was the only AC that I died in combat.

Gi1t
07-01-2013, 02:32 AM
It said something like attack and QUICKLY press attack again when your sword CONNECTS. That's a pretty clear timing indication for me.

I loaded up the game and palyed for a while. First, I definitely don't remember seeing that prompt, but I could see it getting overlooked in the tutorials (which, in most games are a formality.) It might have been something they should have put in those loading screen reminders if they didn't already. (I certainly have never heard it.) But I see another problem with it anyway. XD The instructions, to me, read backwards. Attacking again when you make contact makes sense. Although not all games are like this, after a few minues of playing I'm pretty sure any idiot would keep mashing X whenever they make good contact. The window of opportunity is very large, which is another reason the timing may have escaped my notice. What they should have said was to wait if the enemy deflects the attack. That's what's actually different here. If you wait a second after an enemy deflects an attack, you can potentially catch them off guard. If you keep going, they'll keep deflecting.




Really? On the contrary the dodge ability was very useful IMO. I can't remember the specifics but it was VERY useful as I recall with tougher enemies. The thing with dodge is after you dodge you can attack your enemy, so for combo kill lovers like me it was a blessing. There was one more use but I just can't remember that atm.

You're thinking of power attacks. If a tough guard hits back after dodging or if they just use a straight power attack, deflecting won't work. It' also avoids the attempted guard break that some higer rank guards can use. What I meant was that technically, although the dodge is much cooler (which is why I always used it so much) if you can counter something, it's inevitably better than the dodge because you damage someone and avoid any damage for a short period while stopping all attacks for a moment.



Ehhh I dunno, I found them to be quite apt. All depends on who is playing, I recorded a video a few months ago when I start AC1 at random just trying out cel-shading. I had forgotten most of the combat tactics but I still played decently, and offensively(IMO). If I remembered properly how to DODGE and BREAK DEFENSE it would be a LOT faster.

.

After the rampage I just went on (great tragedy for the kingdom, really), that seems laughable, but like you said, it varies from person to person. (I'm not talking about player skill, but rather the interpretation of difficulty from player to player.) What I see here is that, with very few sword attacks at their disposal, the only variation in terms of the enemies AI is increased aggression on the part of stronger enemies. Other than that, they, like you, really only have the one attack button. I don't consider enemies like that tough, even in large numbers. If I have trouble, it's my fault for screwing up my timing. The enemies rely on me to screw up in order to do damage. The silly thing about the grab is that it does much more harm than good to the enemies.

In any case, what I'd say for this game is what I say about Prince of Persia 2008. The enemies don't need to be AS good as you; they need to be BETTER in some way. Not better at everything necessarily but they need something other than the same basic stuff you can do, and if they've only got one, maybe two ways to approach you for an attack, that can prevent their other abilities from coming into play because once players get used to dealing with that first blow, the'll never let the enemy go further then that. THis is by no means unique to AC. Most games tend to lack variation in this area. Even with some interesting enemies, they still end up attacking the same way: move forward=attack-get *** kicked. XD

One thing specific to AC: I think the control response feels a little sluggish during certain animations and sometimes I need to hit a button a couple of times to make it work. I also find some of the attack animations kind of slow and clunky. I know they're gooing for realism, but some attacks, you could just clock the guy over the head before he's even done with the attack, which begs the question why he thought it was a good idea. XD The knights tend to look like they know what they're doing though. :) I've always liked those Templars,

ProletariatPleb
07-01-2013, 02:54 AM
You're thinking of power attacks. If a tough guard hits back after dodging or if they just use a straight power attack, deflecting won't work. It' also avoids the attempted guard break that some higer rank guards can use. What I meant was that technically, although the dodge is much cooler (which is why I always used it so much) if you can counter something, it's inevitably better than the dodge because you damage someone and avoid any damage for a short period while stopping all attacks for a moment.
Nailed it! When you get power attacked, dodge works better than counter.


One thing specific to AC: I think the control response feels a little sluggish during certain animations and sometimes I need to hit a button a couple of times to make it work. I also find some of the attack animations kind of slow and clunky. I know they're gooing for realism, but some attacks, you could just clock the guy over the head before he's even done with the attack, which begs the question why he thought it was a good idea. XD The knights tend to look like they know what they're doing though. :) I've always liked those Templars,
About the attack animations, some ARE slow yes, but I figured out that it depends on timing. Depending on how early/late you counter the animations is selected. For example if you counter JUST before getting hit the faster animations(like slashing the chest while going under guard's arm then slashing his back) play, while if you press it very early then the slower animations play. Hell I have trained my muscle memory based on timing for counters.

Gi1t
07-01-2013, 03:05 AM
Nailed it! When you get power attacked, dodge works better than counter.


About the attack animations, some ARE slow yes, but I figured out that it depends on timing. Depending on how early/late you counter the animations is selected. For example if you counter JUST before getting hit the faster animations(like slashing the chest while going under guard's arm then slashing his back) play, while if you press it very early then the slower animations play. Hell I have trained my muscle memory based on timing for counters.


The one and only issue I have with timing based combat is that I find I'm never all that consistent. I can nail it 20 times in a row and then screw up just as many times. Even if I've been playing a long time, I don't ever really get to a point where I'm just perfect. It seems like I would get better, but I never seem to get beyond a certain point. I'm not sure why that is, but regardless, I tend to like combat systems that hinge more on what you're doing than the exact time you're doing it. One of the reasons I always liked Ninja Gaiden so much. :) There's some timing, but what you do matters just as much if not more. AC is VERY focused on your timing as Altair won't usually do most actions unless you get the timing right.

Shahkulu101
07-01-2013, 03:13 AM
I enjoyed ACI's combat a whole lot. The timing was especially important and challenging and killing a guard with your hidden blade in combat was rewarding.

Forgive me If I'm mistaken but can't you actually kill Robert De Salbe with one counter hit? like after you kill a bunch of his guards he runs at you and If you time it properly he dies instantly?

ProletariatPleb
07-01-2013, 03:24 AM
Forgive me If I'm mistaken but can't you actually kill Robert De Salbe with one counter hit? like after you kill a bunch of his guards he runs at you and If you time it properly he dies instantly?
Uh? 1 hit? idk but if you counter and he fall on the ground immediately switch to hidden blade and get the kill.

Shahkulu101
07-01-2013, 03:30 AM
Uh? 1 hit? idk but if you counter and he fall on the ground immediately switch to hidden blade and get the kill.

Ah yes! That's what I meant :) A while since I played... might give it another shot later tomorrow.

Assassin_M
07-01-2013, 03:55 AM
AC I`s combat??

Imperfectly perfect...

Klagermeister
07-01-2013, 06:17 AM
Uh? 1 hit? idk but if you counter and he fall on the ground immediately switch to hidden blade and get the kill.

Nope, he's right. First time I played through the game, both Robert de Sable and Al Mualim's final "mode" fell to one hidden blade counter.

This is why I don't miss AC1's combat. I found an end-all solution to every single battle (HIDDEN BLADE COUNTER!), realized all the other mechanics are crap, and got bored. It's silly.
Good God, did nobody else think AC1's combat was ridiculously easy, clunky, stale, and BORING?

ProletariatPleb
07-01-2013, 06:25 AM
Nope, he's right. First time I played through the game, both Robert de Sable and Al Mualim's final "mode" fell to one hidden blade counter.

This is why I don't miss AC1's combat. I found an end-all solution to every single battle (HIDDEN BLADE COUNTER!), realized all the other mechanics are crap, and got bored. It's silly.
Well he never mentioned he was talking about HIDDEN BLADE counter. It's always 1 hit kill if you can get it.


Good God, did nobody else think AC1's combat was ridiculously easy, clunky, stale, and BORING?
If not using the hidden blade? No. What's boring is sitting on your *** waiting to counter and then watching flashy kill animations in the current AC games.

Are you implying the combat has NOT become easier and **** as the series has progressed?

Assassin_M
07-01-2013, 06:27 AM
Good God, did nobody else think AC1's combat was ridiculously easy, clunky, stale, and BORING?
Are you the only one who doesn't think that about every other AC combat??

Ureh
07-01-2013, 02:45 PM
@Klagermeister I guess it depends on your preferences and how you choose to play. There's actually enough options in AC1 to mix up the combat a bit. Not sure how the AC1 combat is clunky though, they've been using very similar button layouts since AC1 to AC3. If anything AC1 requires a bit more timing, usage of abilities if you want to take down enemies quickly, and more button pressing (whereas it has been simplified in AC3 so that you really only have to press one button at a time). But if you only sit back to counter then it'll last forever.

Farlander1991
07-01-2013, 03:20 PM
I really like AC1's combat system. It has got one huge flaw, however, that breaks it - it's the counter-attack. It's a dominant strategy. And, well, dominant strategies are bad.

Now, you can say things like 'don't like it - don't use it', but... that's ********. It's a part of the core combat system, so why the hell I have to restrict myself from using it to make the core gameplay more fun for me? It's a flaw, and it's there.

The simplest solution would be to remove counter-attack altogether, but... you know. That's no way to deal with a problem.

I think a better solution would be to change the counter-window. Like, you know, when you attack, to make a combo you have to click when your blade collides with the other one? Something like that, just for counter-attack. If you press counter while in defense profile during the time of contact, then you counter. There should be a system in place to prevent button-mashing, like with combos too - i.e. you won't counter if you button mash the counter button.

Of course, it has to be playtested. Every design idea like that has to be playtested, really. Maybe in my head it plays better than it would in reality, but I think that it adds more skill to counter-attacks (just like the hidden blade requires more skill to counter-attack due to its specific counter-window), which would look nicely alongside how powerful the counter-attack is (and especially how powerful it eventually becomes with newer weapons near the end of the game). Risk vs. reward, you know. Leave the big action window to stuff like dodge.

Bastiaen
07-01-2013, 03:33 PM
AC1's combat was extremely elegant. Whenever I replay AC1, it really strikes me how much more immersive the combat really is. My blood starts to pump, and that's the sign of good combat. The offensive attacks require such wonderfully precise timing that I actually have to pay attention.
This reaction reminds me of when I watched reviews for Remember Me. IGN specifically had troubles with the timing in combat. I picked it up, read the directions to strike when my attack landed, and voila, easy as pie. I think that there are too many people out there who expect games to play themselves. They're not movies. Remember how mad we were about the quick time event assassinations in AC3 (well, I wasn't too upset, but I"m an optimist)? Seriously, and when a game walks the middle ground, (like in AC2), the combat is seen as slow and repetitive.
Can we not just be happy?

luckyto
07-01-2013, 07:41 PM
The answer to both of your questions is: Yes. Yes, it is challenging to master. For the novice, yes, it is clunky and frustrating; but for the master, it is simple, smooth and utterly fantastic.

One, any and all of AC1's combat tactics can be used in any variety against any AC1 enemy. You do not have to approach one type of guard one specific way, and another type another specific way. They are applicable, with varying effectiveness against all enemies. Also, most guards can pull any given move (a grab, a dodge or a counter) - so you always have to be aware of what your enemy is doing, not simply what he looks like ("archetype"). This is a major difference between AC1 and it's successors - as it allows for the greatest flexibility on the part of the player in how to approach combat and the greatest variety across encounters.

Two, AC1's combat requires timing. Combo kills are the cornerstone of an offensive approach, and each weapon requires different timing to master the combo and guard break. Plus, the dagger and the sword both have strong swings (HOLD BUTTON) and quick swings (TAP BUTTON) with different uses and timing. Mashing the button will NOT work... at least, not well. Choosing when to land a combo also matters. Against easier guards, launch your attack at any time. Against the tougher guards, your odds improve if you wait for them to miss (through a a dodge) or to lower their swords (in reaction to another kill) before launching your attack. AC1's guards are reactive your skill - if you brutally counter a lead guard, then other guards will lower their swords and poop their pants with fear which opens them up for attack. Effective Offense in AC1 is totally about timing and opportunities.

The same timing applies to the counter. Sword counters are relatively simple, but doing an instant kill counter with the hidden blade requires perfect timing. Each weapon is unique. And moving from offensive combo kills into a counter at just the right moment requires as much (or more) skill than any other combat mechanisms in AC's sequels. AC1's sequels are notoriously forgiving about the landing of a counter or a combo kill, AC1's level of forgiveness depends on the weapon.

Three, throws are useful in a) pushing guards away can provide breathing room, b) guards can be thrown into scaffolds or off of buildings to their death, and c) guards on the ground are vulnerable to instant death from your hidden blade. Dodges also are infinitely valuable for creating opportunity for a combo kill.

The combination of all these techniques with different timing for each of the weapons creates a simple but extremely fluid system. Tack on a reactive guard AI without archetypes that is constantly respawning in new patrols and you've got a very different system than AC's successors. In the hands of the skilled, one can move from the weakest to the strongest of opponents in a quick varied offensive that is a joy to execute and to watch It is always challenging, after hundreds of encounters an has great depth. In the hands of the novice, it is clunky series of getting knocked around, turtling and mashing buttons.

The great weaknesses of AC1's combat is that only one guard attacks at a time. This allows novice players to simply sit and hold BLOCK (to "turtle"). The counter attack is too powerful because only one guard attacks at a time. Any confrontation is survivable. It also opens the door for some people to criticize it for being "easy", when in fact, the critics simply exploited a single manoevre to the boredom of all. If more than one guard attacked, you'd be forced to use the dodge in those situations and go on the offense. Still, as it stands, the counter attack is too powerful and why the combat is criticized.


AC1's combat was extremely elegant. Whenever I replay AC1, it really strikes me how much more immersive the combat really is. My blood starts to pump, and that's the sign of good combat. The offensive attacks require such wonderfully precise timing that I actually have to pay attention.

Well said.

shobhit7777777
07-01-2013, 08:11 PM
AC1s combat does what it was designed to do

I mean does no one here get that the combat system was there to encourage escape and stealth?

There is a reason why the first game's combat system is perceived to be harder and slower.

The idea of the game was a realistic assassin experience. Every core mechanic tied into that. Realistically combat was supposed to be more challenging and about careful positioning and timing....with the entire system designed to punish players who were sloppy at it to encourage the escape and hide loop...and overall emphasize stealth over direct combat.
It did reward the players who put in the time and effort with graceful kills....and it was enjoyable and brutal enough to be a complete bore.

If you are good at combat...then engage...if not..stick to the more Assassin routes. It was a way of the devs telling us that ideally Altair never goes into combat with a platoon of armed guards..but he CAN....however if you don't keep your wits about, you're ****ed..."Realistic"

It was another element to build up the core gameplay loop and the Assassin fantasy

ProletariatPleb
07-01-2013, 11:31 PM
AC1s combat does what it was designed to do

I mean does no one here get that the combat system was there to encourage escape and stealth?

There is a reason why the first game's combat system is perceived to be harder and slower.

The idea of the game was a realistic assassin experience. Every core mechanic tied into that. Realistically combat was supposed to be more challenging and about careful positioning and timing....with the entire system designed to punish players who were sloppy at it to encourage the escape and hide loop...and overall emphasize stealth over direct combat.
It did reward the players who put in the time and effort with graceful kills....and it was enjoyable and brutal enough to be a complete bore.

If you are good at combat...then engage...if not..stick to the more Assassin routes. It was a way of the devs telling us that ideally Altair never goes into combat with a platoon of armed guards..but he CAN....however if you don't keep your wits about, you're ****ed..."Realistic"

It was another element to build up the core gameplay loop and the Assassin fantasy
Touche..

Last time I mentioned that someone was crying "that is no excuse for having a bad combat system".....

ArabianFrost
07-01-2013, 11:44 PM
Apparently, I had ABSOLUTELY NO knowledge of defense breaking, combos and even heavy attacks(I am an idiot, sorry).Turns out these skills are obtained as you rank and not only that, but they are not ones that are taught in a mandatory fashion, you actually have the option to decline them and that was my case.

After I learned these moves, my experience is now far less frustrating, I believe the time window for the combo should be a bit wider,but not enough to make it OP, cause I never seem to voluntarily hit the person again when our swords are in contact, always seem to bit by luck, but the defense breaking is perfect as it is. I still believe it we should be allowed to counter mid-attack like in AC3,but otherwise, this combat system fits AC perfectly, as long as heavy attacks are dumbed down, enemies are even more powerful and varied. This can be easily done in future installments, so I hope Jade Raymond has a remembrance for AC1's combat ;)

ProletariatPleb
07-01-2013, 11:52 PM
I believe the time window for the combo should be a bit wider,but not enough to make it OP, cause I never seem to voluntarily hit the person again when our swords are in contact, always seem to bit by luck
Here is my suggestion(that's how I did it), go to Masyaf and into the training area, select combo tutorial and repeat it until you can perfectly do combos.

luckyto
07-02-2013, 12:14 AM
Here is my suggestion(that's how I did it), go to Masyaf and into the training area, select combo tutorial and repeat it until you can perfectly do combos.

Good advice. It takes practice (aka ... skill) but you can master it.

ArabianFrost, counters can be initiated in mid attack. You just have to be quick.

Anyone can survive AC1's combat... albeit clunky and relying on the turtle. But it takes skill to master it, and doing so creates a whole new experience.

ProletariatPleb
07-02-2013, 12:18 AM
Anyone can survive AC1's combat... albeit clunky and relying on the turtle. But it takes skill to master it, and doing so creates a whole new experience.
Couldn't have put it better myself.

LoyalACFan
07-02-2013, 02:46 PM
I never cared for AC1's combat. I played the hell out of that game and eventually mastered every strategy available in combat (so don't say I hate it because I suck) but it never really became fun to me. Honestly, as much as I've criticized AC3, I think it has the makings of a really good combat system. As it is, every archetype can be killed with a killstreak or Counter+Tool, but if they continued to evolve it to be more like the Arkham games (albeit much less cartoony) by having multiple archetypes that force you to use different strategies, it could be pretty great. It's never going to be challenging to survive in an AC game's combat (like it or not, the "casuals" are here to stay) but they could make it challenging and rewarding to finish a fight in style without taking a hit. And for the love of God, lose the five-second slo-mo counter window crap.

As for AC1's combat encouraging chases and escapes, I actually very much agree with that, and the epic chases were probably my favorite part of AC1. I think they could bring back this sense of urgency and incentive to escape by adding a Templar Knight-like archetype that's extremely hard to kill in combat, and takes all four shots to kill. If there's more than one of them, you're screwed unless you run. These guys would be reserved as guards for restricted areas/bodyguards for primary assassination targets, but still be enough of a presence in the game for you to know you're in trouble when they show up. This new "gunner" archetype that can supposedly kill you in two shots sounds promising, but we'll have to wait and see.

Ureh
07-02-2013, 02:54 PM
Yeah I missed the times where we have to identify our own path for parkour and shove people ourselves. Now the game does it for us. :(

Gi1t
07-02-2013, 02:58 PM
AC1s combat does what it was designed to do

I mean does no one here get that the combat system was there to encourage escape and stealth?

There is a reason why the first game's combat system is perceived to be harder and slower.

The idea of the game was a realistic assassin experience. Every core mechanic tied into that. Realistically combat was supposed to be more challenging and about careful positioning and timing....with the entire system designed to punish players who were sloppy at it to encourage the escape and hide loop...and overall emphasize stealth over direct combat.
It did reward the players who put in the time and effort with graceful kills....and it was enjoyable and brutal enough to be a complete bore.

If you are good at combat...then engage...if not..stick to the more Assassin routes. It was a way of the devs telling us that ideally Altair never goes into combat with a platoon of armed guards..but he CAN....however if you don't keep your wits about, you're ****ed..."Realistic"

It was another element to build up the core gameplay loop and the Assassin fantasy

I think this was also the reason they had the counterattacks from enemies that were basically random. Combat was never supposed to be an ideal tactic. A couple of things I'd like to see would be the ability to change your position more quickly (like the strafe ability from AC2) and again, guards having more interesting and dangerous attacks. (Someone use a shoulder ram or a kick or something.:D )


Yeah I missed the times where we have to identify our own path for parkour and shove people ourselves. Now the game does it for us. http://static5.cdn.ubi.com/u/ubiforums/20120411.419/images/smilies/frown.png

And sticks archers everywhere else.

luckyto
07-02-2013, 03:14 PM
I never cared for AC1's combat. I played the hell out of that game and eventually mastered every strategy available in combat (so don't say I hate it because I suck) but it never really became fun to me. Honestly, as much as I've criticized AC3, I think it has the makings of a really good combat system. As it is, every archetype can be killed with a killstreak or Counter+Tool, but if they continued to evolve it to be more like the Arkham games (albeit much less cartoony) by having multiple archetypes that force you to use different strategies, it could be pretty great. It's never going to be challenging to survive in an AC game's combat (like it or not, the "casuals" are here to stay) but they could make it challenging and rewarding to finish a fight in style without taking a hit. And for the love of God, lose the five-second slo-mo counter window crap.

As for AC1's combat encouraging chases and escapes, I actually very much agree with that, and the epic chases were probably my favorite part of AC1. I think they could bring back this sense of urgency and incentive to escape by adding a Templar Knight-like archetype that's extremely hard to kill in combat, and takes all four shots to kill. If there's more than one of them, you're screwed unless you run. These guys would be reserved as guards for restricted areas/bodyguards for primary assassination targets, but still be enough of a presence in the game for you to know you're in trouble when they show up. This new "gunner" archetype that can supposedly kill you in two shots sounds promising, but we'll have to wait and see.

I love AC1's combat. And if I ranked them, AC3's would be #2 among the franchise. I actually think that it has a lot of elements from AC1 in it. It's fluid and requires you to react more to the moment than to the archetype. But I'm often still reacting to the archetype, and not to what the enemies are actually doing.

"Archetypes" are the problem. They've been a problem since AC2. They are a problem because the player can see the character model, and immediately know what buttons to press to take that enemy out; rather than reacting to what the enemy character is doing. And that's the key difference in AC1 combat. You aren't reacting based on the person you are fighting, you are reacting because they tried to grab you - so you break it. They swing at you, so you dodge it. They cower in fear, so you attack. Another begins to swing, you counter. Since AC2, combat has been --- dagger guard = counter, brute = kick + combo, normal guard = attack. That is zero variety and zero fun because it's completely predictable. It's Batman's biggest problem too. "Archetypes" are totally predictable and once you learn them, you fall in to very monotonous repetition in combat.

Can we just get guards that can do every move with different levels of difficulty? They could all grab you, or counter you, or dodge you; just with different degrees of probability. So that I never ever know exactly what to expect. So that the player is always reacting to what the enemy is doing, and not who they are.

What makes AC1 special is that there is no archetype. And no chain killing either. Just my .02

...

And the "2 shot" kill archetype has me more worried than anything else in the BLACK FLAG. I keep imagining Janisarries, and what was a good idea on paper, became absolutely painful and unfun in game.

ArabianFrost
07-02-2013, 03:35 PM
I just want to add that AC1 did a less-than-good job trying to get you to learn the new mechanics, which is the main reason for frustration. It's very silly to not make these tutorials obilgatory cause not everyone understands that they cannbe practiced in the ring. Just something to look into in the future.

ProletariatPleb
07-02-2013, 03:42 PM
I just want to add that AC1 did a less-than-good job trying to get you to learn the new mechanics, which is the main reason for frustration. It's very silly to not make these tutorials obilgatory cause not everyone understands that they cannbe practiced in the ring. Just something to look into in the future.
Altar! It seems my students do not fully understand what it means to wield a blade. Perhaps you can show them what you know.

ArabianFrost
07-02-2013, 03:53 PM
. Perhaps

Not obligatory. AC2's were, which I liked. It doesn't have to be a 3 sequence haytham tutorial. Just an obligatory minute after every skill is learnt.

ProletariatPleb
07-02-2013, 04:04 PM
Not obligatory. AC2's were, which I liked. It doesn't have to be a 3 sequence haytham tutorial. Just an obligatory minute after every skill is learnt.
-_- that's just the line he says, you HAD to do the tutorials whenever he appeared to say that it WAS obligatory, and that is everytime you gain a new combat ability.

dxsxhxcx
07-02-2013, 04:06 PM
Not obligatory. AC2's were, which I liked. It doesn't have to be a 3 sequence haytham tutorial. Just an obligatory minute after every skill is learnt.

I believe the first tutorial was obligatory.. and if I'm not wrong you were always asked by that guy to teach something to the other Assassins each time a new skill was available, you were able to skip the tutorials for the rest of the game, but if in the first time you completed the tutorial you learned something new, IMO it was obvious that in the next times that guy asked for your help you would learn something new...

Gi1t
07-02-2013, 05:54 PM
I love AC1's combat. And if I ranked them, AC3's would be #2 among the franchise. I actually think that it has a lot of elements from AC1 in it. It's fluid and requires you to react more to the moment than to the archetype. But I'm often still reacting to the archetype, and not to what the enemies are actually doing.

"Archetypes" are the problem. They've been a problem since AC2. They are a problem because the player can see the character model, and immediately know what buttons to press to take that enemy out; rather than reacting to what the enemy character is doing. And that's the key difference in AC1 combat. You aren't reacting based on the person you are fighting, you are reacting because they tried to grab you - so you break it. They swing at you, so you dodge it. They cower in fear, so you attack. Another begins to swing, you counter. Since AC2, combat has been --- dagger guard = counter, brute = kick + combo, normal guard = attack. That is zero variety and zero fun because it's completely predictable. It's Batman's biggest problem too. "Archetypes" are totally predictable and once you learn them, you fall in to very monotonous repetition in combat.

Can we just get guards that can do every move with different levels of difficulty? They could all grab you, or counter you, or dodge you; just with different degrees of probability. So that I never ever know exactly what to expect. So that the player is always reacting to what the enemy is doing, and not who they are.

What makes AC1 special is that there is no archetype. And no chain killing either. Just my .02

...

And the "2 shot" kill archetype has me more worried than anything else in the BLACK FLAG. I keep imagining Janisarries, and what was a good idea on paper, became absolutely painful and unfun in game.

I think that would be oversimplifying it. The majority of games I've played all have distinctive archetypes for enemies. These all have specific abilities and they all have things that you can do that will work exceptionally well against them. The difference is that, where Ubisoft designs their enemies to walk over and give you an opportunity to demonstrate your amazing fighting skills, the enemies in other games walk over and...you know..actually try to kill you. XD

Getting rid of these archetypes would just make the combat the same thing, but with everyone looking more or less the same. Even AC1 has obvious differences in the attire of the guards that signify which ones are which. Instead, I think they need to make their enemies capable of fighting in spite of their various vulnerabilities, because those vulnerabilities also come with strengths. Have more than one technique that can work against them for one thing. If you lock out all other methods of attack, then obviously, players will feel like they're just going through the motions after a while. Give the enemies some variety of attacks that will allow them to fight different ways (like you said) but instead of trying to make their attacks random, make them actually use them in effective ways.

I know I bring this one up a lot, but in Ninja Gaiden, the enemies don't move in close, then decide what attack they're going to use. They pick the attack first and then follow a unique movement pattern associated with that attack that makes it more effective. This also means you can read their movement patterns to guess at what they're trying to do, but they're quick and they change behaviors quickly too if you do something like block way too early. If an enemy is hanging around at close range, they're not on idle, they're defending, meaning if you attack them, they'll block or dodge and then hit back when you leave yourself open. The fact that the enemies are all distinct archetypes doesn't make them super-easy becuase they don't just do the same thing over and over, but they aren't random either. They have rules you'll want to follow when fighting them, but there's no specific kill technique to destroy them. They're not designed to be targets for your abilities, they're designed to screw with YOUR strategies.

As for the tutorials in AC1 I think all the main abilities were mandatory, like the counter-grab, but in certain ones, like combo-kills, they didn't really bother to make you do it right. In the combo-kill demo, I remember that you could just walk over and bash the guy until the tutorial ended and the game would just keep saying 'great job'. XD Another issue may have been that the target was so pathetic that it was way too easy to do the move. Either way, they need to actually make sure you know what you're doing before saying 'great you know what you're doing'.