On the fly combos

Hmm, the recent post by Mike Z in the execution requirements thread made me think.

Usually in most FGs, once a combo starts, the rest of it is just a series of inputs with specific and precise timing. You could program a macro to do it if you wanted. There are particular combos in particular games which are exceptions of course (eg. loop juggle combos where you have to adjust for opponent altitude / reaching the corner).

So yeah, what about a FG where some properties of the combo system are not predictable and have to be judged by eye?

eg. launcher attack hits opponent up to a variable height. You can always follow up, but the timing will vary and you have to judge it visually.

eg. different air juggle attacks can raise or lower the opponents altitude. The opponent also is hit up or down by a variable amount, so to prevent him from falling out of your combo you have to watch his height and choose the correct attack.

eg. a ground combo that involves a knockdown and then guaranteed oki attack. But the period of time the opponent stays down will vary, so you have to hit the oki based on watching the wakeup animation.

Putting aside my examples, I wonder if there have been any obscure FGs in the past that have such a design? (ie. all combos have to be judged by eye, and are impossible to macro.)

This is a lame idea. Like a “tripping” in some party game.

Almost every FG have characters with “different weights” and “different sizes”.
And many FG have combos which must be “judged by eye”.
Why jeopardize it more?

If you want exaples of a really weird shit go and play some mugen. If you bump into badly coded characters you’ll get your “On the fly combos”.

Doesn’t Smash do this with directional influence? I wouldn’t know since I don’t play Smash as much as I’d like (much less can do any combos 'cept Falco’s gatling combo.) But you have some control over yourself when you’re getting comboed, so you can move in a way where your opponent has to adjust. Neat idea.

But either way, randomness isn’t the answer to creating ‘on the fly’ combo adjustments. Technically it’s possible to come up with combo variations on the fly whenever you get a weird hitconfirm. I did it all the time with Zero in MvC3.

If a combo is impossible to macro, in the sense that a macro’d combo will not always work consistently, there’s something wrong with the fighting game in question.

That’s exactly what smash does, maybe you should try it its pretty fun. I am talking about melee of course.

That’s a pretty bold statement. Can you or anyone else back that up with some proper reasoning?

Oh, thanks for mentioning smash btw. When thinking about writing this thread I had also thought of the combo victim being able to control his trajectory somewhat. (but forgot to write it in the OP). It’s handy to know the feature is in a game already to try out. (ive never played any of the smash games)

Well it just goes back to randomness. If the same series of inputs is inputted twice, and you get two different results, the combo system sucks.

The only way this would happen is if there’s some element of randomness in the game or the combos. Or if you’re playing ST.

All this statement is wrong. I even wont bother my self to tell why.
Just tell me how you will macro combo in GG which starts with Alpha Blade, RC…

I don’t know why you’d introduce something like this and not make it something that requires interaction between the players.

Smash DI is a good idea, I think Soul Calibur has it too? But I don’t know how well it would work in a traditional 2D game, where comboing is very different. Maybe if both players could influence their air trajectory throughout the course of the combo.

The old Marvel games actually have DI too I think, there are some combos that will only work if the opponent is holding forward on the stick while you’re comboing them. It never really comes up other than that.

Umm, how would that not work? As far as I know there’s nothing random going on in GG combos.

Maybe you don’t understand. What I’m saying is if you start the round, input the exact same series of inputs, restart the round, input the same series and get a different result, then there’s probably something going on in the game where something is randomized, be it juggle height, hitstun, whatever, and that’s bad IMO.

I don’t know how to macro any combos, but if a combo is macro’d, and does not produce consistent results (assume the macro software is perfect) then the game is messed up somewhere.

Random results from the same combo is just wrong. Competitively, games need to be built around a certain amount of predictability.

Directional influence however is a different matter and, implemented correctly, could lead to something rather interesting. At the very elast, it sounds liek a more interesting way to trying to get out of combos than plain old burst.

Tekken 6, is a example. When I launch with d/f+2, 2, F,f+1 I have to see if the bound isn’t angled, if it’s slightly angled I miss my f,f,f,+4 into b+3,2,2. Or when I get a side-wall splat, I can then sidestep and then do a wall-carry from the side again into the wall and finish it.

Yeah Tekken 6 somewhat has this idea going for it. Sure you have your bnbs but it varies depending on the stage setting, so If you’re using a bnb and you are about to place your opponent into the wall, your going to have to adapt and change that combo to incorporate the incoming wall/wall break/balcony break. Usually with moves that wall carry. If the stage is an infinite no wall thing then yeah you can go for most bnb and you only really worry about the axis of the person getting juggled, since not all combos will hit If opponent is off axis and probably where you caught the opponent in a juggle state. Parry, jab got his hopkick, catching Devil Jin in the air :arazz: , CH 4…

Dunno, it seems like a bit of a sacred cow. I will attempt to slay it.

There’s plenty of other perfectly respectable competitive genres that feature randomness as part of their gameplay. Magic, Poker, wargames, etc. And we even have games like BB where Platinum has random items as part of her drive.

The key things that makes the randomness “ok” in those examples, are:

  • You have some control over the probabilities involved, and/or the consequences afterwards. (eg. discarding cards in poker, discarding items with Platina, unit control in wargames, etc)
  • The randomness occurs many many times over the course of the game, and each time only has a minor effect.

So yeah, having a random launch height (thus forcing you to vary your followup timing each time) is different from say, the followup move has 10% chance of critical hit that allows for a huge subsequent combo. Or if an uppercut has a 10% chance of randomly not being invulnerable.

No it isn’t.
In many fighting games there are combos which must be started from specific place (so opponent will hit the wall\ground from certain distance) or height (so you could land fast enough or not). And usually there are different chars with different size and weight.

So you want to add this bizarre on the fly shit and make all combosw like that. But what will happen with combos that ALREADY has this strict start conditions?
They will become impossible to do.
Like you need to hit opponent with attack with wall-slam property from certain distance so you’ll get enough time to follow him and hit again. BUT due to “random launch height” he can fly there faster (and you wont run there in time) or hit the ground (because launched too low). And even if you manage to continue combo all this random thing will sums up with every hit. Who need’s that?

Sure, its easy to make fake scenarios that can break things. So what?

Not all games have wallbounces, and just because theres variation in the launch height or whatever doesnt mean the variation is so large that it can change which followups are possible / impossible.

But yes, certainly in a sufficiently freeform combo system (although its not necessary to have a free form combo system - many games dont), then there will be emergent combos that only work under certain conditions. And if you add randomness into the equation, then that means certain combos only become possible if some random factors are favourable. But there are games where certain combos only become possible in unpredictable situations. Eg. hitting a major counter juggle in VF. From the player’s point of view, the experience is similar - you still have to react to a somewhat unplanned event and do something different.

As long as you can manipulate the possibilities (eg. you can try for a more certain combo rather than an unlikely one) and one dice roll doesnt make or break a win, then such a system isnt really so terrible compared with many other competitive genres.

Not a good idea not at all. Launch height can be different in different situations sure. Lie if I used a launcher on an airbourne opponent my opponent would be launched higher than if i launched a ground opponent but it is randomized in the same situations thats a no no. Though I dont have problems with character specific combos tho :smiley:

Sacred cow again? Can you explain why you feel its a no no? Or do you simply not like it?

(Heck, I dont even personally support my idea all that much - although I do think un-macroability is a plus. I’m just interested to see whether people can analyse the gameplay implications and give some useful reasoning why they are against it.)

Well this is the thing. When you land a combo starter, more specifically a juggle starter after opening up your opponent with proper footsies and spacing I think a player deserves guaranteed damage using a combo he’s learned for that specific situation. This random thing just becomes an unnecessary nuisance to juggle mechanics and Im just not a fan of the idea. Juggle combos should be based on positioning, Character properties/weight, launch properties etc.(I put the etc. there in case i missed one of the general aspects) and not some unnecessary random change in launch height in the same scenario. Jus my opinion :confused:

So, you don’t like how there is an additional factor in there that can cause you to mess up your combo.

Well, that’s fair enough to have a preference. (for example, personally I dont like character specificity in combos, because they increase the amount of stuff you need to learn/practise without really changing the number of options available to you.)

“Deserves” and “guaranteed” are maybe taking it too far, tho, since after all, it’s perfectly possible to still drop your combo in current games.

With the variable height / timing, you’re still “guaranteed” your combo - just that there’s an additional element of execution required to perform it. (you have to time your followup correctly).

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: More people need to play Arcana Heart 3.

Because you can approach from literally any angle, you have to take this into account with your combos, not to mention different character sizes and weights, plus your arcana selection (for example, Time, fire, magnetism, wind, etc. all have “non-standard” combo possibilities) and maybe even your opponents arcana selection (not sure if that can affect weight, etc.). Sure, there are combos that you can do on any character from specific angles, but to get the most out of any given situation that isn’t on the ground and in their face, you have to do a bit of free-styling or at least train for lots of very different situations.