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Monday, October 17, 2016

Combat and balance changes

Had some time today and in lieu of the comments regarding controls and bullshit AI I decided to play some games instead of watching AI duke it out or AI stomp to test out new features.

There were definitely some bugs to the controls and the combat falls short of where I want it to be. The current game balance is fine, provided you know about the special moves and can use them effectively. Unfortunately, the special moves are too strong atm and it kinda turn into a game of special move rock paper, scissor.

Take Ruby for example, all 3 of her moves have enough super armor to withstand regular attack and they all have such low cooldown that there isnt really a opening to attack her unless you know how to use your own abilities to counter hers. In addition, since currently there is a window of opportunity to react after the 2nd basic strike going aggressive on her (or any other AI) with basic strikes is unlikely to work well. The reactive observe and counter plan doesnt work too well either because grab attempts invalidate guarding and poking with basic strikes gets countered too easily by abilities. So in the end, the special moves are too dominant in combat.

This wacky balance is kinda expected given the alpha nature of the game. New features, particular AI improvements will give the game a drastically different feel each iteration. I am very glad that "watch" is unlocked via defeating the difficult AI and I thank those who tested against this somewhat unfair setup and that bring this issue to light.

So I am going to tweak the game balance and refine animations, some of which are very rough due to the model rig adjustment. Expect fairly big game balance changes in the near future.

I also implemented the following changes to the controls:
  • characters are now able to run even when their weak
  • dash attack will now attack towards the target opponent if the angle between the attacker and opponent is less than 60 degrees. (instead of attacking in the direction the character is running towards)
  • improved input buffering for dash attack
  • updated Helper Window to reflect Dash Attack cooldown status
  • added more visual cues to the Stomp attack to indicate its size better
  • guarding will now turn the character towards targeted opponent
  • reworked game logic for auto de-targeting (currently sometimes the opponent is unintentionally de-targeted and thus result in the ability attacking the wrong way)


  1. ok noted. I cant wait for the 4th heroine :)

  2. You may also want to check into the grabbing. I was able to unlock all the features (Extra character + Watch) without losing by special ability abuse and chain grabbing. If you execute a grab after releasing an opponent, it seems to land the grab as soon as they touch the floor. I found that this fails only if I execute too early or when the grab does literally nothing, as if the hitbox somehow slid away from the opponent. By using the new grappler character, I Zangief-ed my way through AI Difficulty 4.

    Also that stomp is complete BS alongside the dropkick. The dropkick seems to either hit twice or has a lingering hitbox. I block the first hit only to be sent skyward when she drops onto the ground. I'll need to test it again though, I may have dropped my guard early. The stomp seems to be unblockable (makes sense) but I have to test some more.

    On buffering, I think it should only really be used for special moves. It's the thing I have to turn on in Guilty Gear Accent Core so that my moves come out properly in combos instead of just regular hits. Here I seem to have odd actions like immediately guarding after dropping a grapple, which is annoying.

    Oh and if you haven't, try Rumble Rose. It seems to be related enough.

  3. the extra character? u mean yellow?

  4. Same Anon with the big post from before with some more testing.

    After entering AI 5, the grabbing seems to be working as intended, meaning the AI below 5 just doesn't do anything after a grab sometimes. That being said AI 5 is a great example of:

    Though I've read that the final AI difficulties are just for funzies for those who like a challenge. I'll avoid complaining about it if that's the case (Had enough of forced challenge with Contra).

    The stomp is blockable, but it only strikes in front of you, which is a bit strange. The failing grapples are odd. If I grapple early when they are in the air it just seems to continuously fail, sliding past the character either to the side or right over them.

    Also having you stop guarding after one second is strange. I don't know if I'm running out of stamina or it was designed that way but I just randomly seem to be dropping guard for no reason.

    That being said the buffering is nutty. I've tried to execute special moves only to just punch at the end. It's likely the game fails to register the block after holding it for sometime, meaning a quick uppercut or backflip counter is quite difficult to pull off, especially when your character must execute the guard action again before the move will execute.

    The characters themselves, well...

    Sapphire: The multikick is a little lackluster as well as the FALCON PUNCH. However she makes it all up with the uppercut. If the DP is the answer to waking up from knockdown in other fighting games, that uppercut is the answer to almost everything. Fast, powerful and a knock-up.

    Ruby: From this stand point, her moves tend to be very slow to execute. If you have Uppercut or Backflip off cooldown you can practically stop all of her moves. This would apply if I could get the moves to come out properly but the buttons tend to stick or fail to execute when pressed in fast enough succession.

    Amber: She has an uppercut even faster and safer than Sapphire's. This move is the literal answer to everything provided it's off cooldown. The other moves are pretty meh, with the dropkick having a lingering hitbox while being incredibly unsafe on block. The throws are just icing on the cake, provided you have stamina. Instead of doing the normal grapples, you can just chunk them. It's faster than the traditional grapple as you can get off multiple throws when their green health is drained. This stops applying once they've hit low health where you're better off doing submission holds. However I'll have to face off against the telepath computer and get rolled by AI 5 Amber to get a feel of how powerful the throws are.

    Will report in later. I've only spent a grand total of 1 hour thus far in the game :P

    1. Your assessment is mostly correct. But they will all change soon :) Fairly impressive for 1 hr of playtime. You play many fighting games?

      AI doesnt do anything in grapples is to give the players a better chance, but it seems that isnt enough...

      "The stomp is blockable, but it only strikes in front of you, which is a bit strange."
      - this sounds like a bug. Will look into.

      When you release a foe they are invul for a bit to give a chance to avoid chain grabs. Grab system rework on the todo list.

      The key sequence need to be pressed consecutively in a quick succession.

  5. Anon here again. After having blogspot delete my post 3 times, I hope this one goes through. After much frustration I've beaten AI 5 Amber and here's what I've found.

    1) Have a separate roll button. This is my own personal request but damn my muscle memory has screwed me out of so many dodges it's not funny. You can also combine it with sprint as well as keeping the old way of rolling if you're so inclined.

    2) Guarding. I've had my guards drop so many times I'm amazed my character hasn't lost all her teeth from being drop kicked in the face so much from guards just dropping out of nowhere. I'd prefer if you'd make guarding indefinite or if you provided us a guard meter so we can see when the guard will drop.

    3) Throws are worse than holds. In every case a hold does not cost stamina to execute, allows minor stamina regeneration, does more damage than a throw AND causes the enemy to spike into the air giving you ample time to back off. A throw does not have any of these, except maybe the regen.

    4) Grappling. Oh wait you're reworking that. Well I just have to wait I guess :p

    5) Stomp failed to hit an opponent directly behind me. The graphic seems to be slightly farther than the hit box.

    OK. Now for me to test fighting against Sapphire to see if the my suspicion of Amber being stronger than the other 2 is true. Amber has 2 quick special moves that can be combo-ed. Sapphire's multi-kick doesn't provide hard-knock down which is a problem.

    1. Hey if you are interested in the new combat version send a email to If I can get some actual feedback instead of watching bots all the time it really would help a ton.

    2. I'd love to but considering my academic schedule I won't be that reliable. I'll shoot an email anyway and see what comes of it :p

      I've beaten AI 5 Sapphire with Amber and it's not the character's power that is an issue, the AI enjoys walking right into slap and backflip. Also the AI will consistently wait for you to attempt a grab when on the floor to kick your face. If you wait for the recovery animation and then attack, they will always, without fail, roll away from you.

      There's also the issue with the snowball-y nature of the game. If I get into a strangehold at the start, I immediately restart. I need to be on the offensive and at a resource advantage to win against the AI 5. When you've entered a hold, you're literally out of resources and once you exit a hold. You'll be left with about 1/10 of stamina from empty which then leads into getting floored again and so forth. The green health/red health system also enforces this momentum style gameplay where you'll get floored easily as you run out of health and making stamina basically pointless since you can't fight back. Once you've entered a submission hold you're fucked for that amount of time. I find myself having a swig of tea everytime I enter a sub hold. As you've stated however, this has changed in the current build so this might not hold water anymore.