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Block/Parry for Melee weapons

melee combat

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#1 Trei

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 04:31 PM

One of the recent concerns regarding melee survivability was about how seemingly unintuitive it could become for a melee combatant to constantly need to dodge away from his opponent to avoid damaging attacks, especially from boss NPCs.

While I don't quite fully agree with it, it nevertheless got me thinking about the issue.

What if we can actively block or parry attacks the same way we dodge?

One version of this idea would be to have it share the same resource as dodge; when having a melee weapon equipped, one would be able to choose either to dodge or block/parry?

If one has a shield in hand, it would be a block.
For any other melee weapon, it would be a parry instead.

To activate it, just hold down the block/parry button.
While in this stance, the dodge bar would be depleted rapidly (ie: 1-3 secs maximum hold time before you run out of energy) instead of being reduced in a whole chunk like it does when dodging.

AE spell attacks probably still need to be dodged to escape their effects but this may be very helpful for those heavy cleaving attacks boss NPCs often have that comes with virtually no warning.

I think it is a pretty natural action in melee combat and it allows melee players to stay in their effective combat range more often.

I just thought I would throw this out here for anyone to improve on the idea, even if its just for fun discussion's sake.

Edited by Trei, 05 June 2012 - 04:32 PM.


#2 Iron Legionnaire

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 04:34 PM

Blocks and parries seem to be integrated into the game via selective abilities.

Changing that would require an overhaul of the entire combat system. Not gonna happen.

#3 blakdoxa

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 04:35 PM

View PostTrei, on 05 June 2012 - 04:31 PM, said:

One of the recent concerns regarding melee survivability was about how seemingly unintuitive it could become for a melee combatant to constantly need to dodge away from his opponent to avoid damaging attacks, especially from boss NPCs.

While I don't quite fully agree with it, it nevertheless got me thinking about the issue.

What if we can actively block or parry attacks the same way we dodge?

One version of this idea would be to have it share the same resource as dodge; when having a melee weapon equipped, one would be able to choose either to dodge or block/parry?

If one has a shield in hand, it would be a block.
For any other melee weapon, it would be a parry instead.

To activate it, just hold down the block/parry button.
While in this stance, the dodge bar would be depleted rapidly (ie: 1-3 secs maximum hold time before you run out of energy) instead of being reduced in a whole chunk like it does when dodging.

Of course, AE spell attacks should still need to be dodged to escape their effects but this may be very helpful for those heavy cleaving attacks boss NPCs often have that comes with virtually no warning.

I think it is a pretty natural action in melee combat and it allows melee players to stay in their effective combat range more often.

I just thought I would throw this out here for anyone to improve on the idea, even if its just for fun discussion's sake.
I think you might have...but not sure...
You've checked the shield, mace and off-hand sword for warrior right?
How about guardian's shield, their sword or even their class unique buff, aegis?

I think you can even block in-between switching weapons.

We already have the options built in the game...in our weapons, utilities, traits and mechanics. o.o

#4 Trei

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 04:40 PM

If they are going to change every melee weapon skill set to include at least one block/parry skill on a short cooldown, that would be cool.
It would make this idea a little redundant, yes.

But if not, then I am not sure if it would require this overhaul of the combat system you pointed out.

The resource mechanic is already there.
The ability to block or parry attacks also exists.

Edited by Trei, 05 June 2012 - 04:43 PM.


#5 Scarlet_Blossom

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 04:42 PM

You can just dodge right through your opponent so you are not out of range after having dodged so that shouldn't be too much of a problem.
As others already said parry/block is already in the game just on skills instead of a melee-only mechanic. I think it's good like this because you are very limited in your ability to parry/block then which is how it should be.

#6 Goldenrice

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 04:54 PM

Don't think people will be so against melee after they start putting sigils/runes into weapons and gear.

I'm pretty tanky as a necro using those lvl 39 gems with toughness and vitality on them

Edited by Goldenrice, 05 June 2012 - 04:54 PM.


#7 grey_foxx082

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 05:30 PM

I think it will be a downgrade for my shield warrior to use up endurance while blocking. I can already block with my shield and parry with my mace while I have my dodge on reserve.  If there's any change to be made with melee, I hope it's just minimal tweaks.  If anything, they should just adjust some of the encounters that are incredibly punishing for melee, instead of overhauling melee, which seems fine to me.

#8 Sidhardha

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 06:01 PM

Block/Parry is a very tricky question when it comes to MMOs.

First of all its a feature that has very big impact on balance, if works correctly.

Secondary, there is issue of lag in player/server communication - and active blocking would require real time connection to be able to work properly. If serves queues action of players, ie. works pseudo realtime, it already becomes problem.
And thirdly - i have yet never seen a properly implemented Blocking mechanic, that would actually be simple and efficient enough to be used by players actively in MMOs.

A perfect example of such system would be Mount and Blade, but its pretty much impossible to implement it in that form in GW2.

Darkfall had active blocking, but its a rather clumsy mechanic suffering from lag and mainly used for blocking for longer time trying to survive rather than  block specific attacks.

Age of Conan had "switchable shields" system, which is essentially blocking system where you can choose which flank of your character and how strongly you protect - so you can switch all defence forward, to side, or balanced. However it was clumsy as well and most people soon forgot it existed except maybe in 1on1 duels rarely.

Blade and Soul has nice blocking & counterattack dynamic, but it again "pseudorealtime". Blocking any attack in real time is trouble some and it basically acts as queued ability that triggers on enemy ability - GW2 already has many such abilities, i.e. ranger 2h sword block as example.

Instead of blocking, for tactical choise GW2 has a dodge mechanic, that functions rather well. Blocking would be effective for tactical melee combat consisting of attack/block/counterattack dynamic - but thats not how it works in GW2.

Mount and Blade block is great, as said, but works only because it functions in real time and because there are multiple directions of attack - so you have to use a proper block against side attacks, attacks from above, trusts etc and not just hold block button.

#9 Imaginos

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 07:39 PM

View PostIron Legionnaire, on 05 June 2012 - 04:34 PM, said:

Blocks and parries seem to be integrated into the game via selective abilities.

Changing that would require an overhaul of the entire combat system. Not gonna happen.

And yet in one of the human town areas you can particpate in training and one of those trainings is blocking with a shield by holding down the Shields "block" button at the appropriate time. The other two trainings were firing a rifle and attacking with a sword while timing the defenders block.

I never understood why that wasn't a normal mechanic in the game and yet it's a training scenario.

#10 Iron Legionnaire

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 07:56 PM

View PostImaginos, on 05 June 2012 - 07:39 PM, said:

And yet in one of the human town areas you can particpate in training and one of those trainings is blocking with a shield by holding down the Shields "block" button at the appropriate time. The other two trainings were firing a rifle and attacking with a sword while timing the defenders block.
That doesn't affect what I've said.

View PostImaginos, on 05 June 2012 - 07:39 PM, said:

I never understood why that wasn't a normal mechanic in the game and yet it's a training scenario.
The "training scenarios" are just minigames.

It's not in the game because that's not how they designed it. Why, that's another issue. But that's not how they designed it and it's not going to change.

#11 iLag

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 08:24 PM

I think they should make it that you attack and your weapon collides with the enemies weapon you can block them and yes the number one ability. If this isn't already in place, this is a proper block with a sword

Edited by iLag, 05 June 2012 - 08:25 PM.


#12 Iron Legionnaire

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 09:19 PM

View PostiLag, on 05 June 2012 - 08:24 PM, said:

I think they should make it that you attack and your weapon collides with the enemies weapon you can block them and yes the number one ability. If this isn't already in place, this is a proper block with a sword
Dunno, it's just not a melee combat simulator. It's not what they're going for.

#13 DJSkittles1

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 09:56 PM

I think a block would be cool, something like dcuo, I dont think it would be that hard to put in and if they gave you another energy bar for blocks it could help the balance between melee and ranged. I just hope that wouldnt make it to easy, but im sure they could scale that somehow, or maybe its alot of work.

#14 Xenon147

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 10:17 PM

You would essentially be adding a free aegis to all melee every 25ish seconds (however long it takes to recharge endurance). It's a cool idea, but it clearly presents a balance issue.

#15 Ganjan12

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 10:23 PM

Maybe the option could be added to dodge where if you hold down the dodge hotkey you will instead parry/block while depleting the endurance bar over a set time. Or if you actually want to dodge out of the way you hit the dodge key once or double tap a directional key. It wouldn't change how dodge works it would just add more depth in how to use it while also not restricting it to melee only. You could also make certain weapons drain endurance faster or slower if you wanted to go that far with it.

#16 Itharius

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 04:43 AM

Blocking is in the game through weapon skills and utility skills.

And it's not outlandish to suggest that a warrior should have to dodge attacks. Since when have you ever imagined a warrior in any fantasy game just standing still when fighting?

#17 Deathdawg_Thaur

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 08:50 AM

I really like the idea of being able to Parry (or choose to Dodge) using available Endurance. The length of time your character is in 'parry stance' would have to be balanced against dodge, to make the reflex timing equal.

OR

Have an Evasion mechanic (again with the choice of dodging, both using the same available Endurance), in which your character remains stationary but sways out of the way of the next blow (if you time it correctly). The length of time your character is in 'evasion stance' would have to be balanced against dodge, to make the reflex timing equal.


Neither Parry nor Evade would work against AOE, frontal-cone/flames, stomp, or blast-radius type attacks. You should use Dodge or character movement to avoid those as normal. Parry would probably be the easiest to implement due to existing animations?

Existing skill-based defensive mechanics need not be altered. In general they are either longer lasting, offer more comprehensive damage mitigation, or include a damage dealing component so I still see the skill based options being prioritised higher (if they are off cooldown). This is merely to provide players an option to 'dodge' whilst remaining within melee range.

Opinion: These would be pretty simple to understand mechanics to bring melee more in line with ranged. This would allow players to stay in melee range longer, making better use of their existing skills. Rather than just a series of brief 'hit and run' attacks, melee would be further differentiated from ranged combat. This would allow for a greater variety of play-styles.

Edited by Deathdawg_Thaur, 06 June 2012 - 08:55 AM.


#18 deathblossom

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 09:11 AM

i kind of agree with this... all they would have to do is give an option to "dodge" without moving you dont need to call it parry or evade or block... just give melee characters the option to dodge attacks without having to move away from the enemy they are fighting. As long as it used up the same dodge bar this would not be a problem it would just be a dodge that didnt force you to move away from the enemy (thus giving the enemy the advantage if they are ranged)

Edited by deathblossom, 06 June 2012 - 09:12 AM.


#19 Trei

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 09:39 AM

View PostItharius, on 06 June 2012 - 04:43 AM, said:

Blocking is in the game through weapon skills and utility skills.

And it's not outlandish to suggest that a warrior should have to dodge attacks. Since when have you ever imagined a warrior in any fantasy game just standing still when fighting?
Well, not standing still, of course.
But then, neither have I ever imagined two warriors rolling around the floor after every other swing of the sword ;) .

Instead, the picture seems to look more sensible and normal with them trading blows, sword to sword... etc.

#20 MrIllusion

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 09:49 AM

I've written this in just about every forum I've been to.

Survivability should be common to all professions. Blocking and parrying is already in the game. I just can't understand why they would want to restrict this to specific weapon combinations, instead of making it a common mechanic.

#21 Dasryn

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 11:12 AM

i think it would be cool for a block/parry option for melee weapons.  just make the damage reduction or w/e substantially lower than that of a shield block

#22 Chika

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 11:47 AM

Every class I indicate is assumed to be melee
Warrior- Heavy armor, shields, can stay alive long
Guardian- Class F1-F3 skills, Shields, Support & Protection skills, boons, can stay alive long.
Ranger- Many evasive skills, boons, utility skills that can make you avoid attacks, snares.
Thief- Many utility skills that gives you a chance to go away, conditions, control.



To me the only class that might need some help is thief.

#23 Ranko

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 12:47 PM

A passive block and parry system would destroy the entirety of the combat system in this game, as it was in no way built to use them. Instead, if melee people are being hit too often, I would suggest they learn to keep moving and dodge as much as they can, or spec more defensively.

#24 meeks

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 01:25 PM

You could just add a dodge mechanic for a backflip where you stay in place.  Acomplishes the goal without any change to current mechanics.

#25 AXE COP

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 01:41 PM

View PostImaginos, on 05 June 2012 - 07:39 PM, said:

And yet in one of the human town areas you can particpate in training and one of those trainings is blocking with a shield by holding down the Shields "block" button at the appropriate time. The other two trainings were firing a rifle and attacking with a sword while timing the defenders block.

Have you used the Warrior's shield? It's a replica of one of that weapon's abilities.

#26 DarksunG

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 06:25 PM

I have to agree that the current implementation of block currently in the game is pretty lame.
the idea of turning something that works better as a proper mechanic into a old school activate skill is really archaic.

Games like Tera, DCUO & even Champions have block implemented correctly. Blocking shouldn't be a preset length of time with a damn 40sec (or whatever) cooldown. that's super lame & tbh doesn't even use the shield correctly.

that being said, I realize they kinda crammed the shield into the combat system they've made, but I hardly even used block because 1. the button was way the hell outta the way for something that should be split-second. 2. I can doge just as often 3.it had a set time limit & a totally insane cooldown.  I do like the Engineer counter skills with the shield, but those feel better because I have to time something that attacks back.

"Block" is currently not fun.

#27 Trei

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 04:00 AM

View PostDarksunG, on 06 June 2012 - 06:25 PM, said:

I have to agree that the current implementation of block currently in the game is pretty lame.
the idea of turning something that works better as a proper mechanic into a old school activate skill is really archaic.

Games like Tera, DCUO & even Champions have block implemented correctly. Blocking shouldn't be a preset length of time with a damn 40sec (or whatever) cooldown. that's super lame & tbh doesn't even use the shield correctly.

that being said, I realize they kinda crammed the shield into the combat system they've made, but I hardly even used block because 1. the button was way the hell outta the way for something that should be split-second. 2. I can doge just as often 3.it had a set time limit & a totally insane cooldown.  I do like the Engineer counter skills with the shield, but those feel better because I have to time something that attacks back.

"Block" is currently not fun.
There is a place for the kinds of counter-attacking type skills currently existing in some weapon sets.
But if you think about it, are you really using these skills primarily for defense?

Or are they in actuality just conditional skills you use more for their counter effect?

Now that I think about it more, I don't see why both a 'default' kind of melee defense mechanic (other than dodge) cannot co-exist in a balanced way with those counter-attack skills.