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Why do people like "Autocombo"?
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Atrus Westland
Tue Mar 18 2008, 03:13PM

Registered Member #633
Joined: Fri Dec 21 2007, 03:21PM
Posts: 57
Colin Suggested it in a reply to Robby's blog that we make a thread just for this topic here as more people may wan to discuss it here rather than in his blog. A quote of the original blog post for those of you who might be lazy:
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Robby ( March 18, 2008 in Bug Reports, products, C:SI and Second Life) wrote ...

Also called "Auto-triple" or even just "combo", what I mean by auto-combo is the ability to hold down multiple attack keys and have the C:SI weapon perform three attacks (four if you include the fact that #3 is a double-attack) in a row.

I’ve never liked this "feature" (or is it a misbug?), preferring instead to explicitly press the keys that perform the attacks that I want, in the order that I want them to be performed in. In fact, when I first discovered that this would be a consequence of the way the C:SI attack code was designed, I "fixed" it in the Wave Katana’s code.

This led to a few comments of praise by some members of the community who felt the same as I do, and a great many more comments that the Wave "can’t combo" and that the missing feature was a large reason that many people wouldn’t use the Wave. In fact, one person even told me via email in no uncertain terms that without "auto-triple", they would not use any of my weapons. Autocombo was required.

I finally capitulated, and version 2.0.3 once again allows people to use autocombo. Several people have thanked me for re-adding it, and I have noticed that many people who had previously owned a Wave but were never seen actually using it are now occasionally seen using it in combat.

For the new sword I’m building (I know, it’s taking forever) I redid almost all of the control code in a quest to discover whether it’s possible to make the transitions between "ready" or "block" and "attack" a little smoother. I also spent a huge amount of time making sure that the ability to move from one attack to the next without rapid-fire key spamming was as smooth and reliable as I can make it, and so far I’m pretty happy with my results. But it doesn’t auto-combo.

Already I’ve had a few beta testers complain about (or at least mention) the fact that the new sword doesn’t autocombo, and until this morning I was on the fence about whether it would do so by the time it was released.

I guess my thinking is that if it’s possible to perform the same attacks in the same amount of time and without having to spam the keys, there’s no need for autocombo. Apparently 75% of my beta testers disagree with that.

So, I guess I simply don’t understand. What makes autocombo so appealing? Why do (some) people feel that a sword is inferior if it doesn’t have it? What am I missing here?

_______________________________________________________

So there you have it. I think the basic jist of this thread is discussing why you do or don't find the "auto combo" useful. Pros and Cons etc; I believe Robby or some of the more die hard folks will want facts, data and such to back up theory's and examples you may have.
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RobbyRacoon Olmstead
Tue Mar 18 2008, 03:32PM


Registered Member #13
Joined: Sun Oct 14 2007, 02:54PM
Posts: 141
I don't know if hard facts are necessary, I suspect there just aren't that many to be had. I would, however, find it quite interesting if someone can prove that auto-triple is a tenth of a Second Faster, as JulieAnne asserts.

In my own testing I've been unable to prove that assertion correct; that is to say that I've found no significant timing difference between three taps of the attack keys and auto-triple. However, I suppose it's likely that my results are dependent upon factors such as network latency, the order of the keys, etc. I can see how it's possible, even though I've yet to see it proven.

Mostly, though, I want to know why people feel so strongly about the issue. Even in the post on my blog, JulieAnne asserts that without auto-triple sales for my new sword will be poor. She may be correct on that score, and while I'm not about to let potential future sales sway me on the matter, I'd like to hear from the actual community members themselves why this should be so. It may be that they can describe it such that it will finally make sense to me, and persuade me where market performance and popularity will not.

[ Edited Tue Mar 18 2008, 03:34PM ]

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Atrus Westland
Tue Mar 18 2008, 03:44PM

Registered Member #633
Joined: Fri Dec 21 2007, 03:21PM
Posts: 57


I can’t say that I understand it much myself. To be perfectly honest, the only games in all the years I’ve gamed that ever really had any auto combo anything was Street fighter and Mortal Kombat. When they made the change to one button or three button mash technique for specials and combos, that’s when I gave up. Even if it provides someone a tenth of a second advantage like some people seem to think; after latency issues and personal computer drawbacks it doesn’t matter enough to me. I think the idea of having an auto anything just bugs me. I want control of a weapon, object or item. Arguing that you can still control the combo may come up, but it’s still that minute fraction that I don’t have control over that bugs me. “No sir, I don’t like it, I don’t like it one bit.”

I personally can’t see the need or desire for auto combo I know it exists but I still don’t use it in combat if I can avoid it. If it does get used it was an accident. I think I would be more than happy if it was removed from the entire system myself.
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RobbyRacoon Olmstead
Tue Mar 18 2008, 04:02PM


Registered Member #13
Joined: Sun Oct 14 2007, 02:54PM
Posts: 141
At this point my thinking is that by not having autocombo in the new sword, it will allow for a wider range of possible attacks, where pressing W and D together might be a different attack than either W or D alone. While I don't actually have all of those attacks done at this point, I want to implement it that way.

I've already got a sword that can autocombo, so I feel like that could "cover the gap" in my product line if people really feel it's important.

But I'm still waiting for more feedback before I make the final decision.

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Atrus Westland
Tue Mar 18 2008, 04:09PM

Registered Member #633
Joined: Fri Dec 21 2007, 03:21PM
Posts: 57
Well I think that basic key combos are a good thing, and needed to widen a systems range of content offered. However auto combo is bleh in my opinion. I like the idea of more combos though robby. It creates advanced mechanics kind of like the blood drinkers have.

[ Edited Tue Mar 18 2008, 04:11PM ]
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RobbyRacoon Olmstead
Tue Mar 18 2008, 04:51PM


Registered Member #13
Joined: Sun Oct 14 2007, 02:54PM
Posts: 141
That's exactly my thought, yeah.

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Malachi Rothschild
Tue Mar 18 2008, 05:34PM
Registered Member #104
Joined: Tue Oct 30 2007, 07:40PM
Posts: 106
I don't have much to add that I haven't already said, just that I agree with both of your sentiments.

A good katana fight is like a good conversation.

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

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JulieAnne Rau
Wed Mar 19 2008, 07:35AM

Registered Member #107
Joined: Tue Oct 30 2007, 08:52PM
Posts: 77
ok, then I would need to understand why we need 3 keys for a slash attack. Why not just use one key and have 3 different animations depending on how many times you tap the keys? I sparred last night and never used the auto-combo on the sword I was using and I never once touched the A or D key! However, as Robby mentioned, that if you are using the keys in combination for different attacks, I'm all for that! But if its just another animation of a slash, I would be disappointed.

Also, on my original post in Robbys Blog, I asked the question of "does it really matter?" If I like the auto-combo (whether or not its a tenth of a second faster) what is the sin in having it?

[ Edited Wed Mar 19 2008, 08:05AM ]
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RobbyRacoon Olmstead
Wed Mar 19 2008, 08:50AM


Registered Member #13
Joined: Sun Oct 14 2007, 02:54PM
Posts: 141
There is no sin in wanting it, obviously, though it's definitely worth starting a discussion about it if the omission of a feature is likely to cause strong reactions from a large number of people.

I suspect that we could quite easily have fast-paced and fun combat with one slash, one kick, and block. Some SL melee combat systems do in fact only have those three things, and some don't even have kick. Yet they get plenty of people who regularly participate, and they do seem to enjoy themselves.

But, just like animation overrides, it's much more fun and exciting to have multiple attacks and provides a better immersive and visual experience. And since the timing of each of those can be subtly different, it leads to exploration to see whether some combinations or sequences are better than others, etc... It's a more broadly appealing system with more than just the W attacks, wouldn't you agree?

We have not yet reached the limits of what we can do with these swords, and I suspect (but am not certain) that over time we (the C:SI devs) will all be experimenting to some degree with intentional "chords" or "sequences" that trigger specific actions.

The fact that in this specific case it might mean removing a commonly-used feature is another reason to try to engage the community in a dialog about it, and is why I asked the question in the first place.

[ Edited Wed Mar 19 2008, 08:55AM ]

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JulieAnne Rau
Wed Mar 19 2008, 09:14AM

Registered Member #107
Joined: Tue Oct 30 2007, 08:52PM
Posts: 77
RobbyRacoon Olmstead wrote ...

But, just like animation overrides, it's much more fun and exciting to have multiple attacks and provides a better immersive and visual experience. And since the timing of each of those can be subtly different, it leads to exploration to see whether some combinations or sequences are better than others, etc... It's a more broadly appealing system with more than just the W attacks, wouldn't you agree?


I guess that statement comes back to the tenth of a second discussion. If I train my fingers to tap certain keys, I would definately lose time if I tap other keys just for the sake of a better visual effect for my opponent. Most of us play in mouselook anyways and a lot of the fighters i know use the CAS9 system to increase there FPS, I suspect they are not intersted in visuals. Don't get me wrong here, I'm just trying to be the devils advocate here. But I suspect most people will stick with one key stroke. Much as the community as a whole understand that a single strike from the nagi is considered to be faster from the A key.

Like I said, I'm ust playing Devils Advocate here,

JulieAnne
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