the severance swan song

Talk about Severance Blade of Darkness modifications and maps here. No tips or tech support questions please, use the forum above. Note that the game is rated 18 so some content may be unsuitable for younger readers.

Moderators: prospero, Ade

Post Reply
bla
Whelp
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:20 pm

the severance swan song

Post by bla »

Hi.

I'm a big fan of severance, a game I think is one of a kind, but I have to say that when I come to the forum it's mostly to check out the "another one like severance" thread.
Some games I already knew, some I investigated, but none came close to emulate severance's feel.

I had hopes for mount & blade and elveon.
Mount & blade's move & strike didn't impress me. The controls and gameplay remind me of a fps game with a medieval setting and a 3rd person camera. When I feel the power in tukaram's swing it's because he plants both feet on the ground, just like a swordsman should. Striking while moving should (for me) be part of the game, not the only strategy, or as effective as it is in mount & blade. Finally I couldn't care less about horse ridding.
Elveon just didn't happen and never will. I didn't apreciate the elves or strange armour, but with that combat system I would have gladly ignored it.

This brings me to the unavoidable truth: severance is still the only way to enjoy good sword combat, which brings me to my final point: modding.

Now, I won't mod severance because I don't know how to, but if I could this is what I would do to make it perfect:
Make sword defense more usefull (jumping and normal movement makes it mostly useless), attack and movement more flexible and the damage system more realistic. There are other things that could be reworked but I feel these are the main areas. I'll develop a bit.

1 - Defense.
All characters should be able to constantly defend (like the shield defense) even without a shield. This, however would have a series of setbacks: attacks wouldn't be stopped completely and leave the opponent open to attack; weapon resilience would be seriously affected; fast attacks could still bypass your defense sometimes while strong ones could thown you off-balance or to the ground (like a guard break.)
The parry (the normal defense with weapons in severance) however would remain the same (done by tapping the defense button instead of holding), except it should take a lesser toll on your weapon.
All in all the shield should remain as the most effective defense.


2 - Combos and weapons.
Before you do any type of special with tukaram for example it doesn't really matter much if go left-left strike or left-right strike. The left-right strike should be faster and more effective since the movements flow better into each other.
I also think most special moves or even weapon-specific moves should be available to all the weapons. I know the current system adds a bit to the game's strategy but it makes no sense. The difference should be in the weapon's charateristics: how much they weight, how fast you can swing them, is it more of a cutting sword or a thrusting sword etc. etc.
I also think the whole concept of weapon defense statistc is rubbish. When you get hit it should always take the same life away. Weapon defense should have to do with preventing the damage altogether not mitigate it.

3 - Movement
When you're striking you should have the option of moving a little, mostly forward. This has nothing to do with the disconected feel of legs and arms motion you get with mount and blade or dark messiah. What I mean is a fluid, connected animation that gives you the chance to combo forward while preserving the sense of good sword-fighting technique, which is to say you don't do 3 or 4 steps while waving your sword, or magically slide forward like in god of war for example.

4 - Injuries
Blows to the head could injure your vision; blows to the torso your endurance; blows to the arms and legs your movement.

Opinions anyone? Remember these are just ideas. Unfortunatly I can't make it happen.

User avatar
Trinitron
Dragon
Posts: 307
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2008 5:53 pm
Location: Russia

Post by Trinitron »

Sorry man. You were mistaken a forum, here similar themes was much. Except you nobody will be engaged in it.

mikros
Dragon
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:21 pm
Location: Spain
Contact:

Post by mikros »

That's really hard to do, and I don't mean just from a technical point of view. Such changes would require lots of gameplay finesse from the developers. There was something the the makers of Blade did quite well: noticing the weak aspects of the combat engine and minimizing them the simple way.

As you say, blocking could be much more complex. In fighting games, there's high and low blocking for different attack levels, there are advanded defensive techniques like parrying, the stun time for each move after a block or parry is perfectly studied, and also you have grabs. It's incredibly hard to make all work well, without making blocking overpowered or useless. Blade opted for the easy way: make shields breakable so that you can't abuse blocking.

Other thing you mention is the variety of attacks. Problem is, when you enable all of them using Swords&More or similar mods, you end up using only a couple of them anyways. It is a matter of added depth to make them all useful for some purpose. I think this is why Blade forces you one special per weapon, because this is the easy way to make you use the different moves. <i>Wars and Warriors: Joan of Arc</i> used another system to force you to use all moves: they'd be always available (once you learned them), but the game would randomly prompt you to use use of them, and doing so would be a critical move. Just another easy solution.

I think the difference in left-right/left-left attack and so on is somewhat implicit in the animations of the combos. If you play Tukeram and do his, I think, right-right skill attack, he has to do some spin of the sword over his head, making it slower than other combos that alternate directions. The nature of motion capture tends to make this work well, so it's just a matter of giving the proper damage values to each hit. I didn't notice any problems with this.

I'd also like all the weapons to be different rather than just increase in levels, but we move into the same problem as with different moves. Blade forces you to change your weapon as more powerful ones appear. The strong vs fast variation would be interesting, but it kind of works already with the combo system even though in a weird way: you can choose a powerful weapon and do a couple of single strikes, or you can pick a lower one and do lots of strikes and combos.

Injuries are interesting, but its a touchy thing, because they may become annoying and the player is tempted to load a previous save, not to mention that you might not be able to jump a cliff if you are injuried.

I think that Blade managed to solve lots of problem in an easy and effective way. It would be great to have it be more complex, but it would be a whole new game. It's a shame that we have no Blade 2.

While Blade is the best game of its kind in sword combat, you may want to try <i>Oni</i>. The setting is totally different, but its melee combat system is actually better than Blade's (though it's unarmed). And then you have the three major 3D fighting game series: <i>Virtua Fighter</i>, <i>Tekken</i> and <i>SoulCalibur</i>. SoulCa has swords, but it has lots of juggle-combos and crazy moves that may not be what you're looking for.

charly
Dragon
Posts: 152
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:52 am
Location: Hungary

Post by charly »

funny is that, without the changes u wrote, BOD is the hardest hack and slash game for the people, that was one of the reason why it wasnt so beloved by the gamers, THE BATTLE WAS TO DIFFICULT FOR THEM, and that is what we love in this game, u dont just push one button without brain, u must move back rigth left block slach back, awwsome game [:D]

User avatar
prospero
Ancient Dragon
Posts: 1804
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2001 1:42 am
Location: United Kingdom

Post by prospero »

Thre are always small improvements that people will want to see. But I think the game stands up very well as it is. In the ten years since it's release there has never been it's equal when it comes to combat moves. The problem is, that there is always a compromise between realism and complexity. Some games, (not just hack'n slash) strive to be hyper-real and you end up spending ages picking options and general messing about before you get a look at the actual game. When you just want a quick thrash, BOD is great.
Having done modding for the game for quite a few years, I have some insight into the incredible complexity of the scripting. Maybe a bit more testing and fine-tuning could have been done, but that would have added years to the release date. As things turned out, that would have meant the game would never have been released. When RAS folded, BOD2 was in progress as well as an X-BOX version. More than a few promising games have collapsed under their own weight. In fact, some members of the BOD team formed a company called Digital Legends which had a superb game on the drawing board (So long ago I can't remember what it was called). That vanished without trace........ [8)]


Some folks don't update their websites very often....

http://uk.gamespot.com/xbox/action/ulti ... index.html

http://games.teamxbox.com/xbox/257/Ulti ... -Darkness/

[:)]

Hi-Poly Tukaram>>>

Image

Image

bla
Whelp
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:20 pm

Post by bla »

Mikros, you're pretty much right on everything you said.
I guess that was my BOD 2 wishlist. Afterall developers do need to sell games.
I still feel that the evolution of characters and forcing to choose this or that could be achieved in other ways, but that's just me.
I also feel the game would benefit from improved defense without breaking it. Elveon seemed to have a nice balanced system from the few videos I saw.
Oh yeah, and Oni is another game that will live in my hard drive forever alongside severance, heroes of might and magic 3 and screamer 4x4. I know the other titles you mentioned, especially tekken, but those are different "beasts"

Charly, the difficulty is one of the things I love about severance, but if you're playing with the barbarian or amazon, the "move back rigth left block slach back" thing you mentioned is just move back rigth left slach back. Afterall why risk getting hit trying to time a parry or break a perfectly good weapon?
Since the barbarian is a muscle-head berserker and the amazon a agile fighter I guess not relying much on defense makes sense, but I still would like to have the option. It would add to the strategic value.

Prospero, if could mod one thing from my list above it would be the defense system. That would involve animation and code.
But if YOU say it's difficult to mod severance... :)
I think I'll keep the wishes on ice.
On another note, the developers of severance did wonders with the technology of the time. For me the appeal of severance is in the combat but also the in general setting and heavy tone of the game. The sounds of the game are supperb, the lighting was unheard off, and the challenge posed is excelent. Believe me man, I'm very gratefull to rebel act.
I also heard of this ultimate bod. Another damn shame like elveon and bod 2.
If they kept some of the original's feel I think a new bod game would blend right into the x-box's control scheme.
Guess this kind of games doesn't have much of a market.

charly
Dragon
Posts: 152
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:52 am
Location: Hungary

Post by charly »

I broked a lot of sword with the Barbarien [:D] it gives the game more adrenaline [:)]

bla
Whelp
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:20 pm

Post by bla »

True.
I've gotten nostalgic and replayed the first level with the barbarian before crashing.
Tried to block a lot and the sword held but the first ogre almost broke it.
It's good fun even if for the challenge and variety.
Severance achievements for the win.
Headhunter - you've cut 100 heads
Headhunter 2 - You've killed 100 people with heads
The memories...

Nice details I remenbered: the left-left swing does take longer to perform than a left-right swing and tukaram steps forward when he swings left.

Bring on Bod 2.

mikros
Dragon
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:21 pm
Location: Spain
Contact:

Post by mikros »

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by bla</i>

Oh yeah, and Oni is another game that will live in my hard drive forever alongside severance, heroes of might and magic 3 and screamer 4x4.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">
Funny, I was playing Heroes3 today, celebrating the announcement of H6, and I also was doing some H5 fanart.

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by bla</i>

Nice details I remenbered: the left-left swing does take longer to perform than a left-right swing and tukaram steps forward when he swings left.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">
I had forgotten what you had mentioned about moving forward. Yeah, Tukaram and Sargon have some attacks that move them forward, but I think that Naglfar falls short in that department (I don't play him much), and Zoe only has a couple of slowly advancing moves. It feels so great after you break the shield of an enemy, you put Tukaram into full hack'n slash mode and start swinging your sword and shouting like crazy as you walk forward.[}:)] Whoaaa! Huh, whoh! Guyagaoo! Whaaaaaaaaa![:D]

bla
Whelp
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:20 pm

Post by bla »

Once that shield goes, the enemy can only pray your stamina runs out.
Sargon also has nice flowing strikes. Him and tukaram are my favourites.
Zoe feels somewhat overpowered with nice range for most weapons and running circles around enemies, but I finished the game once, a long time ago with her and that was it so my memory may betray me.
Nagflar is just a bit boring and annoying. Bad colision detection on some weapons and his size means you have to be glued to the opponent for effective striking. The shield helps a bit...


Heroes 6? I'll have to check that

Post Reply