We are back for our second Developer’s Blog, this time it is about dodging in an isometric Action RPG.
Personally, I can’t count the number of times that I thought, “wow, I could have avoided that damage only if …”. For many cases, that “if” was what I consider to be an interface issue. To move forward in a typical ARPG, your pointer needs to be in front of your character. That is reasonably okay if you keep your mouse pointer close to your character to be able to make quick changes in a direction. However, combine that with the typical situation where your enemies / targeted area is often closer to the edge of the screen in the direction that you are moving. Therefore, for you to move in the other direction quickly, you need to move the mouse at least half of the screen distance while losing your area for targeting.
While this situation is not so bad that it requires a redesign of the movement system, it does allow for cases where you just cannot get out of the way in time while you are both moving and targeting. And it is for that reason that we wanted to design and add a simple mechanic that allows for a basic dodge forward or backward that you can trigger from a re-boundable key.
The dodge action itself will consume a third of your maximum Stamina and consist of a roll that goes a set distance forward in the direction of your currently active movement, or backwards, in the opposite direction that you are currently facing, when standing still.
During the roll itself, the character can pass through enemies, but not pass through or over any normally blockable area of movement. We are also currently allowing the player to not receive damage, however, we are offsetting that by giving the character a Bane (a negative condition) that will reduce their armor and passive dodging for a short duration. The concept with that Bane is that you are recovering your footing / combat posture after the roll, and thus less able to be defensive.
We will continue to test and monitor how well this system works and we are open to modify it to ensure an appropriate balance.
Do you think that this ability will allow you to reduce those “only if” situations? If not, how would you want to see it work?