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HUD Inventory
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Eben Slade
Mon Feb 25 2008, 02:51AM

Registered Member #277
Joined: Tue Nov 06 2007, 08:48AM
Posts: 8
Ok, so Inventory in CSI is fairly straight-forward. You gain items, you stockpile them, and you find an opponent who’s agreeable to using them in a spar. However, there’s so much more to it than that.

-----“You gain items…”-----

You can only find inventory items in Samurai Edo. Originally I had planned on mapping out the locations to present here in a jpg, but that sim is undergoing a lot of changes. I was unable to find but a small handful of items in the buildings near the central meeting area. Hopefully I can provide better locations once the redecoration is complete.

Usually items come from a crate or vase. Simply take out your sword and whack the crate or the vase. They have a very small target area, so you have to stand close.

When you break the container, a “random” item is given. You’ll either see nothing at all, or a small glowing item bouncing along the ground. Personally, I think that the “random” chance is actually percentage based, as it seems more likely to give items on a scale. Out of 10 items given today, I received: nothing, Stamina, Health, nothing, Stamina, nothing, nothing, Kunai, Health. I’ve noticed a trend that Kunai are given rarely compared to the potions, and more often than not you get nothing, but I haven’t had the time to really test this theory or ask the devs about it yet.

Once you break a container that gives you an item, all you have to do is click the little glowing item on the ground. It *should* automatically go to your HUD’s inventory.

Sometimes, you find a grabby crate. There used to be a vase in the North-East corner of the ruins in Edo that was notoriously grabby. The item that you *should* be able to click is trapped within the destroyed container. When this happens, you can usually view transparent and Alt-cam around to inside the destroyed vase or crate and claim your reward. It takes some patience, but I consider it a mini-game, like using a toy crane.

About 5 minutes after you’ve crashed the crate, it will re-spawn. In MMORPG terms, it’s a LOOOOONG recharge, so be sure to check around for nearby containers you can crack while you’re waiting out the recharge.

-----“You stockpile them…”-----

Ok, so you have these nifty items. What do they do?

The three items in your arsenal are the Health Potion, the Stamina Potion, and the Kunai. They can be activated by clicking on the HUD, or if you are in mouse-look you can simply press F3.

Your HUD can hold up to seven items. You can cycle through items in your inventory, and change which one will be used by clicking the arrows in the extended inventory screen, but I have yet to find a way to order items; the order of items you get is fixed once you get them. And you cannot manipulate the extended inventory screen while in mouse look.

The red health potion is (lag willing) instantaneous and restores approx 50% of your health. Predictably, the blue stamina potion has the same activation and restores the same amount in stamina. Currently, there is no recharge time on the potions; they can be used back-to-back almost instantaneously.

The kunai are ranged throwing knives that originated from farming trowels in the Tenshō era in Japan. When you activate a kunai, it fires a bullet from you (just the same as your sword does,) and does the same damage as a slash – the difference is the range. As best I can tell, the bullet/kunai has a range of 10 meters. I’m pretty sure that’s the scripting limit on child prims, and it seems to bear out when using transparent, but your mileage may vary. The Kunai *do* seem to have a recharge on them in the same way a slash does; You can use them back-to-back, but not as quickly as you can potions.

-----“You find an opponent who’s agreeable…”-----

I respect that currently the community as a whole chooses not to use inventory items. However, when I got to asking why, I was troubled by the answers I got. Many were based on misinformation, and one was just laziness. Some of the CSI community at large even considers inventory items to be cheating, even though it’s a part of the CSI system scripted by devs to be balanced with the swords. Let’s debunk a few myths:

1) The changing HUD – Some people believe it is easy to stockpile a couple of HUDs with inventory items and switch back and forth amongst them to get an unfair advantage. Conceivably, you can, but it’s not as easy as they suggest. You have to drop out of mouse look, attach the new HUD, wait for it to rez, and then go on about your merry way. No matter how fast I switched HUDs, it always took longer to change than it took my opponent to do a slash combo. You can probably pull it off faster, but anyway you look at it you have to leave yourself open to change HUDs.

2) Multiple HUDs – My sensei suggested the idea of wearing two HUDs at once, on different attachment points. When I did, my HUDs let me activate two inventory items at once. Handy if you have your items and strategy planned out, but it burned through items like a fat kid on cake.

3) Lag – One of my first teachers told me that kunai create too much lag, and could crash sims. It turns out that a kunai is the same as a sword bullet. If it were going to crash a sim with lag, that sword you slash around would have eaten the grid by now.

4) Time / Energy – Items are not all over the place; you have to hunt for their containers, and even then it may not yield anything. Some people don’t have the time to stock up. Some people just don’t like the fact that items aren’t given every time, and don’t want to have to look for them. Thus, they don’t want to fight opponents who have the time and have made the effort. No myth to debunk here, just human nature.

5) Perceived Advantage – Some people believe that the items are over-powered. I could maybe, somehow conceivably see this, but hear me out: According to the Bug Reports Forum, the HUDs seem to be declaring death at anywhere from 0-25% of health remaining. Health potions heal 50%. A standard slash (not a combo) seems to do about 10%. Ignoring regeneration, actual skill, and putting it in the simplest way possible, if your opponent uses a heal potion instead of killing him in as few as 7 hits, you have to get in at least 12.

The kunai, on the other hand, is the only damage dealing item, and it does the same as a single slash – approx 10%. If one slash makes the battle, you have greater things to worry about than a kunai.

Other games that offer a healing buff often put recharge timers on them to prevent overuse/abuse. CSI could benefit from a similar timer (just make the inventory activation script sleep for x amount of time.) However, potions, even used back-to-back, will only make a difference in very evenly matched spars.


-----“There’s much more…”-----

1. So, what’s going on with Inventory Items? Apparently the only place you can get them is going through a major overhaul. My mentor, Mal, suggested that they are going away, but I seriously hope not. I think the inventory items are a seriously misunderstood aspect of the game.

2. How would you propose improving the inventory system? I’d add a recharge timer on the inventory bar, so that you had to wait a pre-determined period of time before using another item. I’d also make inventory items more readily available, possibly even selling inventory item dispensers for people to place in their home dojos.

3. What other items would you like to see added? More ranged weapons. Items that duplicate the damage/bullet of a sword or kunai while playing an animation that looks more like a hand-to-hand move. A million dollars.

4. I already know all this; Why are you rehashing it all? I believe that to refuse a tool is to handicap yourself, especially since no one seemed to have a good reason for it. Hopefully the information presented will help others to playtest not only the swords, but the HUDs and other features in CSI.

[ Edited Mon Feb 25 2008, 02:53AM ]
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JulieAnne Rau
Mon Feb 25 2008, 09:54AM

Registered Member #107
Joined: Tue Oct 30 2007, 08:52PM
Posts: 77
Interesting comments and I can see you put a lot of time, effort and thought into this. So, I did a little hunting around Edo myself and did create 3 HUDs. One is full with Stamina another with healing and a third with the Kunai. I also copied each of these HUDs so I never will have to go to EDO again to get the items (assuming of course that the HUD doesn’t change). I have a hard time with the comment made that “Thus, they don’t want to fight opponents who have the time and have make the effort” to collect items. It was a small effort on my part and a job I will never have to do again with this HUD, assuming I like to have the HUD configured this way. I doubt that if tomorrow, it became common to use inventory items; we would have people leaving the game! It’s just a difference of opinion to yours.

So, I have 7 of each of these items in a HUD and as you mentioned in item “2) Multiple HUDs”, it is possible to attach them at different attachments points. I haven’t tried this, put since you have tried 2 HUDs successfully I’m assuming I can do 3. I will check later on if you believe the assumption to be lazy? So now I have 7 of each of the 3 inventory items.

The one thing you never mentioned is the length of the sparring match. I think the longest match I have ever had was about 5 minutes and the shortest about 10 sec. (I was on the receiving end of that one BTW). The reason I want to talk about this, is the on previous threads we have discussed the Run-Away Strategy and hence my 5 minute match (BTW, I wasn’t the Rabbit). The Strategy is simple, if your low on HPs, distance yourself from your opponent until you regenerate. I don’t think anyone had anything positive to say about that! The main reason appeared to be the length of the match? Or is it the fact that once someone believes they have damaged you and have the advantage that the strategy appears to look cowardly? During the thread, both ideas were mentioned.

With that said, I think that using inventory items will prolong the match same as the Run-Away Strategy. I think the combat strategy would change, I think I would use the Kunai when people are jumping. I think most people lose HPs faster than Stamina (therefore the last ditch special effort is used during a Spar) and therefore I would use the HP potions during a jump (making sure I jump away and not over you, most arenas are not closed in)! I know that I would change a lot in how I spar when I use these items. I bet we would start to see threads on the use of closed in arenas for sparring? One of the things that was mentioned during a recent tournament was the size of the arena countered the balance issue of using the Nagi vs Katana? The jury is still out on that one IMO. I can see that becoming an issue. In any case, there is a lot more to consider.

I believe the following…

1) I believe the length of the spar will increase. (I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing?)
2) The strategies would completely change (I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing?)
3) Single man on man Tournaments would run for days if allowed (I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing?)

To answer these questions, people would have to agree to more sparring with inventory items. Amiee, in a recent thread, said she goes full out with her friends at times and can maybe comment. Could be kool and yet again, it could be a disaster. As I mentioned previously, I think that the inventory items have a place during events like capture-the-flag and RPing. I have yet to be convinced that during single one vs one sparring, that inventory items have a function besides making the spars longer. It would be interesting to have one of the “old one” to comment. Inventory items are not new and were around when I started 9 months ago. The culture of sparring was already here when I arrived so I would be interested to know what the lessons learnt were?

Finally, I don’t believe that by not using inventory items we are handicapping anyone just because they are there. The spacebar is available to everyone and you can read that thread!

JulieAnne
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Malachi Rothschild
Mon Feb 25 2008, 11:48AM
Registered Member #104
Joined: Tue Oct 30 2007, 07:40PM
Posts: 106
Hey Eben.

Great guide. I think it came out really well and I think you raise some very valid points, as does Julie. One thing you say is that when you wore multiple huds you went through the items very quickly, but someone who's adept at the use of them would be able to make them last. If I used multiple huds I'd intentionally spar in a way that allowed both my hp and sp to lower. When I fight in a KotH match I'll let one person take more hp from me knowing I need my sp to recover. I think I could probably make sure, against the majority of opponents, that neither hp or sp are drained too quickly and then use the potion at an optimal time.

I think, as I've said before, that between two friends who agree to use inventory items it might be a fun thing. When you were using items with me to prepare for your guide I didn't mind at all because it was agreed upon ahead of time. But for someone new to the system, I can see the inventory items becoming a crutch, especially the potions.

One comment on death before 0%: as I understand it the death is still at 0% but the hud isn't fast enough to show the last blow/s in those situations.

When we spoke about previously I think you mentioned something about the inventory items being really helpful for people who have bad ping or fps, but if everyone started to use inventory items you'd probably see the better-equipped community members using them too. That would cancel out their effectiveness.

I think you'd see some new strategies like a very tight tank without fear of sp depletion. If I was up against a sizuka I'd attach my sp potion hud. If I was fighting a nagi, my hp potion hud would be equipped. I don't know if that's a bad thing or not but as Julie said it would certainly change strategy. I think I'd personally avoid the kunai in favor of the more powerful potions.




A good katana fight is like a good conversation.

It's deeply engaging, reciprocal
and it flows smoothly.

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Esprite Xavier
Mon Feb 25 2008, 11:55AM

Registered Member #12
Joined: Thu Aug 16 2007, 07:17PM
Posts: 35
Inventory obviously has several issues that we haven't really addressed yet, and really its on a back burner compared to other features we fell are higher up on the priority list. Though inventory is not something we want to abandon and we have made plans and have ideas as to where we want it to go.
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Eben Slade
Tue Feb 26 2008, 06:04AM

Registered Member #277
Joined: Tue Nov 06 2007, 08:48AM
Posts: 8
-------------------------
JulieAnne Rau:
…I have a hard time with the comment made that “Thus, they don’t want to fight opponents who have the time and have make the effort” to collect items…
-------------------------

I’m sorry; I should have phrased that better. People who do not have a stocked inventory usually don’t want to allow their opponent to use items. I mean no offense by that, it is simply human nature. When I tested several potions with Mal, he was easily able to take me down, and I didn’t do any more damage than I usually do when I spar him. He was not at a disadvantage because he chose not to collect inventory items, and I’m sorry if I came off as implying anything about those who do not have the time or desire to collect items.

-------------------------
JulieAnne Rau:
The reason I want to talk about this, is the on previous threads we have discussed the Run-Away Strategy and hence my 5 minute match (BTW, I wasn’t the Rabbit). The Strategy is simple, if you’re low on HPs, distance yourself from your opponent until you regenerate….With that said, I think that using inventory items will prolong the match same as the Run-Away Strategy. I think the combat strategy would change… I know that I would change a lot in how I spar when I use these items.
I believe the following…
1) I believe the length of the spar will increase. (I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing?)
2) The strategies would completely change (I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing?)
3) Single man on man Tournaments would run for days if allowed (I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing?)

-------------------------

I agree whole-heartedly with these assumptions, with just one proviso. Spars involving equally-matched opponents would last longer. Changing strategies is so vital to this game, and the tournaments would still proceed as usual, just with equally-matched opponents having longer matches. In my experience, no potion is going to substitute for skill, as I painfully found out when testing items out. The testing matches with Mal didn’t really last longer, but like you mentioned in your next paragraph, more testing with more people would have to be done.

-------------------------
JulieAnne Rau:
Finally, I don’t believe that by not using inventory items we are handicapping anyone just because they are there. The spacebar is available to everyone and you can read that thread!
-------------------------

Again, I hope I didn’t offend you with my choice of words there. In my mind there’s a huge difference between the inventory and the spacebar. The space bar is not mentioned in any of the documentation I got with my swords, or with the group, or anywhere on the sims. Thus it’s unsupported – a bug. Inventory, on the other hand is part and parcel of the HUD and its documentation. That indicates to me that it was play-tested for balance sometime before it was released. If it was tested and the devs didn’t feel that it threw matches, then I’ll buy it and test it as well. =)

I also don’t think changing HUDS should be allowed nor should multiple HUDs (possibly a lock-out timer would prevent that? Or a progression-based series of items – as you earn an item token, it progressively improves your item following a pre-determined tier of items? Oooo, and if you die wearing 2 HUDs, does it affect your online stats twice?)

Anyway, I think if I am given items, I should at least know as much as I can about them before writing them off as superfluous.


-------------------------
Malachi Rothschild:
One thing you say is that when you wore multiple HUDs you went through the items very quickly, but someone who's adept at the use of them would be able to make them last. If I used multiple HUDs I'd intentionally spar in a way that allowed both my hp and sp to lower. When I fight in a KotH match I'll let one person take more hp from me knowing I need my sp to recover. I think I could probably make sure, against the majority of opponents, that neither hp nor sp are drained too quickly and then use the potion at an optimal time.
-------------------------

Ok, let me explain a bit better. When I had two HUDs on and pressed F3, it activated a Health potion and a Stamina potion both at the same time. The next thing to come up was a Stamina and a Kunai. If I needed a health potion later in the match, I could go out of mouse look and use the extended inventory bar to change the selection (Get your “Flawless Victory” gesture ready,) or I could dump the items till I came to a health potion.

Now, if you set up specific item HUDs like JulieAnne suggested, that would unbalance things. Maybe in later versions a fix for that might be put in place. The only thing I can offer up is that these are the types of scenarios that should be tested and reported on.

-------------------------
Malachi Rothschild:
I think, as I've said before, that between two friends who agree to use inventory items it might be a fun thing. When you were using items with me to prepare for your guide I didn't mind at all because it was agreed upon ahead of time. But for someone new to the system, I can see the inventory items becoming a crutch, especially the potions.
-------------------------

Yeah, just as much of a crutch as specials. However, here is food for thought: A crutch is bad because you use the same strategy over and over. JulieAnne said using inventory will force people to change their strategy…. There will always be people who cling to their potions, or specials, or jump slashes… and there are people who will get out and spar and change their tactics as they encounter other various players. It’s more of an argument about the user, not the tools. One thing about this game is if you use crutches, someone will invariably cut you off at the knees. You have to adapt or put your sword and your crutch up for special occasions.

-------------------------
Malachi Rothschild:
When we spoke about previously I think you mentioned something about the inventory items being really helpful for people who have bad ping or fps, but if everyone started to use inventory items you'd probably see the better-equipped community members using them too. That would cancel out their effectiveness.

I think you'd see some new strategies like a very tight tank without fear of sp depletion. If I was up against a sizuka I'd attach my sp potion HUD. If I was fighting a nagi, my hp potion HUD would be equipped. I don't know if that's a bad thing or not but as Julie said it would certainly change strategy. I think I'd personally avoid the kunai in favor of the more powerful potions.

-------------------------

I should have elaborated; at a bare minimum of use, items can help people with bad ping or fps. Someone with a bad connection can get massacred by a lag spike, and you don’t always type “Wait” fast enough when you get stuck. A potion (if agreed upon beforehand) can put you back closer to even. . If you are rubber-banding, a kunai can get you at least one hit that doesn’t involve running up on your opponent.

Same for the Run-Away strategy mentioned above, a kunai can help prevent those. One potion erases one successful katana special. The strategies you talk about are good for players who stack their HUDs, but what about a HUD with random items? How would you use each item in different situations? After trying items for a while, do you think it is more effective to go all one item type, or varied? Can you best opponents who use potions without using any yourself?


-------------------------
Esprite Xavier:
Inventory obviously has several issues that we haven't really addressed yet, and really it’s on a back burner compared to other features we feel are higher up on the priority list. Though inventory is not something we want to abandon and we have made plans and have ideas as to where we want it to go.
-------------------------

This is what I hoped for. I’m glad to see that inventory is around to stay (screw humpbacks, save the kunai!) However, let me posit one more thought: If the community makes a more open stance toward inventory items, they can be tested and improved upon. If they are on the back burner for now, even better… More testing can be done so people can accurately describe why they like or dislike items instead of Esprite and the crew trying to read our minds.


[ Edited Tue Feb 26 2008, 06:10AM ]
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Malachi Rothschild
Tue Feb 26 2008, 11:24AM
Registered Member #104
Joined: Tue Oct 30 2007, 07:40PM
Posts: 106
"Now, if you set up specific item HUDs like JulieAnne suggested, that would unbalance things. Maybe in later versions a fix for that might be put in place. The only thing I can offer up is that these are the types of scenarios that should be tested and reported on."

When I was talking about multiple huds I meant having one for blue pots, one for red pots, one for kunai, not mixed huds.

"One thing about this game is if you use crutches, someone will invariably cut you off at the knees. You have to adapt or put your sword and your crutch up for special occasions."

You're right that it's at least partially about the person who uses it, but some crutches are better than others. How can I counter someone who boosts their hp and sp at the same time whenever they reach the halfway mark? Let's assume we're evenly matched. The only way I can counter that is to do the same thing, and it becomes a war of attrition.

"Someone with a bad connection can get massacred by a lag spike, and you don’t always type “Wait” fast enough when you get stuck. "

Yeah but if they've got bad ping their reactions are going to be off aside from the spikes.

"but what about a HUD with random items?"

I wouldn't use a hud with random items. Unless I memorized the output, used all matched items, or kept them in a specific order it would make it more difficult for me to plan a strategy.

"Can you best opponents who use potions without using any yourself?"

It depends on the skill of the opponent, how many pots they've stacked and how many huds they've stacked them in. If they've got two huds full of hp potions then they can heal up to 100 % whenever they need to. If we're evenly matched they're probably going to best me. If they're near my skill level, they're probably going to best me. If they're not near my skill level or have very bad ping/fps I'll still stand a good chance of winning. I don't think the question is whether or not the items give an advantage. I think the question is how much of an advantage they really give. A special is more balanced than inventory because everyone has it and it leaves the combatant vulnerable.

"This is what I hoped for. I’m glad to see that inventory is around to stay (screw humpbacks, save the kunai!)"

Yeah I'm glad to hear the items are staying and are going to be reevaluated too. I've got nothing against items in general, but I think that as they exist now they create an imbalance. I hope that one of the ancient ones will comment on what happened when they were introduced, as JulieAnne also hoped.




A good katana fight is like a good conversation.

It's deeply engaging, reciprocal
and it flows smoothly.

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Shindo Otsuka
Fri Feb 29 2008, 02:19PM
Registered Member #823
Joined: Sun Jan 27 2008, 07:04PM
Posts: 132
And WHY can't we throw the kunais in mouse look?! lol :p

Let's have a play date with our swords! >:D

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Esprite Xavier
Fri Feb 29 2008, 03:23PM

Registered Member #12
Joined: Thu Aug 16 2007, 07:17PM
Posts: 35
You can if you use the gesture keys..
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RobbyRacoon Olmstead
Fri Feb 29 2008, 05:53PM


Registered Member #13
Joined: Sun Oct 14 2007, 02:54PM
Posts: 141
Ah, Esprite beat me to it. Yeah, I do it all the time :)

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Shindo Otsuka
Fri Feb 29 2008, 06:53PM
Registered Member #823
Joined: Sun Jan 27 2008, 07:04PM
Posts: 132
Darn you smart people! I will use this new found power for GOOD! XD lol

Let's have a play date with our swords! >:D

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