Thursday, April 29, 2010

Perpetuum Online – Clone or not to clone. (Part 3)

So in the last part I left off with inviting gamers to come and check out Perpetuum for themselves. But I have decided to continue my look at the differences between Perpetuum and EVE Online.

Lets take a look at combat in Perpetuum. In (part 2) I explained that Perpetuum has free movement with the use of (W,S,A,D) keys. The ability to have direct control of your bot or mech in Perpetuum takes the combat a step beyond the combat you have in EVE.

With Perpetuum you are freed from the point-and-click type command system, giving you better control during combat. But in no way are you completely free of the mouse for certain click actions still needed in the game. It is this mesh of (W,S,A,D) and mouse control that gives the player a better sense of the combat they are in and a better feel for the strategic movement in the game. The direct control gives you a better connection with your bot or mech and a better immersion in game during combat.

At the same time you have at your disposal many GUI elements that help you visually with your surroundings. One element is the terrain with the slop mechanic that every bot and mech has to adhere to. The slope mechanics are different depending on the size/weight of the bot or mech you are in at that moment.

The Slope mechanic determines the path/area that the bot or mech has access to. Light bots can cut across areas of terrain that mechs cannot. The slope areas are visible and let the player see where they can or cannot go while trying to evade or pursue an enemy. The affects can be but not limited to, dead ends or areas that will cause you to zigzag across the terrain which can slow your movement toward or away from a target.

In essence a light bot can evade a fast mech by moving across terrain that a mech can't travel across giving the light bot  a chance to get away. This tactic works even better for a light bot if they are equipped correctly for fast movement.

Another element of the terrain that comes into play is the hide or block method by using the terrain around you as cover. This duck and cover method is something that both hunter and prey should pay attention too. If a plant, rock or tree gets in between the line of fire anything fired will be stopped by those terrain objects. Plants and trees can only take so much damage and will be destroyed leaving the hunted to seek a new object to use for duck and cover.

This leads us to hit failure in Perpetuum. Not only can terrain objects cause you to miss but so can other specific mechanics in the game. Like missile guidance or firing at a target outside of your weapons optimal range. Perpetuum doesn't let the missile or shot fired hit a target, then present you with a (0 damage done) message. Perpetuum shows your miss visually. If a missile fails it will shoot off and away from it's intended target.There are extensions to counter the percent of failure rate of missiles and increase the optimal range of slugs or projectiles.

This visual failure is another example that lets Perpetuum succeed with  player immersion into the games combat and world.

1 comment:

Iconic said...

You've picked up on a couple annoyances I have with EvE. There is no intermediate collision detection between agressor and target. This is somewhat reasonable in Eve, but would be less so in Perpetuum. Also including the hit or miss in the animation is a really great thing.

I'd give my left one for a beta key... :-)