Very early WIP of a new combat system. The basic ideas are to make combat less predictable, while still allowing time react, to create more meaningful choices in combat, to make combat more visually interesting, and most importantly, make combat more fun.
Movement and Targeting
In this first gif you can see the "lock on" part of the system. Locking on to a monster changes its health bar to blue, letting you know you've locked on. When locked, your character will face the monster and strafing will allow you to circle the monster. Attacking a monster will automatically lock you on to it. If there are more than one monster you'll be able to cycle through them or break lock on all together to escape if you need to.
Dodge rolling breaks the lock on temporarily, allowing you to dodge to the left or right without continuing to face the monster - which would look really weird! When the dodge is ended, the system snaps you back to face the monster again so you can focus more on what the monster is doing and decide your next move.
Attacking a monster is dynamic based on your positioning. If you're a bit far away, your character will perform a powerful attack that gets you in range quickly. If you're close, a more basic attack is selected. Note the monster reacts to getting hit and the slow-motion effect to emphasize successful hits. The reason I dodge roll back after my follow up attack is because Ratman are more likely to counter-attack after being hit. More on that later.
The monster's health bar doesn't drop because I don't have damage hooked up to this yet.
In these next two gifs, you'll see that the monster's health bar doesn't blink before he attacks. Instead, his "wind up" before the attack is slower, giving you time to react.
Unlike in the current system, blocking requires timing. Starting your block too early or holding it and waiting for the monster to attack, will result in the monster's attack pushing past your block.
Your character plays animations for both a good block and a bad block.
Monsters aren't stupid (well ok, maybe a little!) and will attempt to block or dodge your attacks as well. In this gif, the Ratman jumps back and I miss, resulting in an attack without the slow-motion effect.
In addition to the above, monsters will also have different tendencies in combat. So Ratman might be more likely to dodge an attack and then immediately charge in with an attack of their own whereas Goblins might dodge, but then not counter right away. And Orcs may never dodge, preferring to stay stuck-in and keep the pressure on you.
Attacks (both yours and monsters') don't interrupt attacks. So timing is important if you want to avoid getting hit at the same time you hit the monster. This is where tendencies will matter. An Orc might attack with either one big attack or three smaller attacks in a row. Learning these tendencies will allow you to know when it's best to strike, dodge, or block.
The system is still in the very early stages of development, but I hope to have a test map up and running soon for players to try it out themselves!