Thursday, July 10, 2008

Finishing moves!

One thing I always loved about the Mortal Kombat games was the range of finishing moves and fatalities that players could execute on their near death opponents. It was the sheer awesomeness factor that drove players to learn the ridiculous combos required to activate them. Nothing is more satisfying than ripping your your opponent's heart out and feeding it to them right after a long and bloody battle. I spent some time thinking during the consumption of my Chinese noodles today on how to put finishing moves into fantasy style MMORPGs...

Straight up, you can forget about activating them via some kind of keyboard and or mouse combo. Players would simply use macros which would ruin all the fun. If you made the finishing moves too easy to activate, they would lose their awesomeness. Class specific finishing moves that activated automatically upon annihilation of your opponent is another idea, but that would still be too common for my liking. Whilst approaching the last piece of chicken in the bottom of my noodle box, it occurred to me:

Why not connect a finishing move to a weapon. Each weapon in the game could have it's own unique finishing move, which activated automatically when you dealt the final blow to your unfortunate foe (he he poetry). To prevent the player from getting bored of seeing the same scene over and over, the finishing move would only activate if you dealt a critical hit on your final blow. There could even be a percentage chance of it happening based of the rarity of the weapon.

Being a software developer myself, I realize that it would not be an easy task for the games company to create x thousand finishing move animations for the amount of different weapons in the game. Therefore common weapons would have common finishing moves, rare weapons: rare moves, and unique weapons: unique moves. I think this idea would give a whole new meaning to cool weapons and add an extra layer of awesomeness to the game.


Scott said...

Before I even finished reading the article, my immediate reaction was "just link the fatality to a critical hit!" That way it's more random, and more special, than if you're doing some retarded (AoC) combo for the bazillionth time (or more likely, did it 3 times then macro'd it to your G15).

Taking it further:

Let's assume the game has auto-attack. In that case, even if the auto-attack crits, no fatality. Fatalities will only occur on a special move which crits enough to kill in that blow.

So we'll be doing animations per weapon type but also for each possible finishing move that would crit. Take awhile yes, but hell, it keeps the animators too busy to work on their resume to Pixar, right?

Mechanic-wise, rather than learning Fatality (Rank 1) at level 10, Fatality (Rank 2) at level 20 and so on (what a waste of space in the skill book that crap is...), the fatality would accrue gradually upon occurrence just like reputation. After filling your "fatality xp" bar, its rank automatically increases.

Thallian said...

on a scale from 1 to awesome this is a pretty freaking great idea. The only issue I see here is trying to get it moved up in developer priority queues.

Crimson Starfire said...

I guess something like this would be classified as a 'nice to have' feature. It would require a large amount of development effort to actually build and so would therefore have a very low priority in a developer queue. Odds of ever seeing it implemented in an MMORPG would be very low :(

It would still be cool though ;)