Teaser - Combat

The latest news, updates and information on the ongoing development of Phobos.
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October 14, 2012, 09:50:48 PM


Combat, especially player-vs-player (PvP) combat, is a topic which divides players. It has also divided the staff. It's clearly a topic of interest though, because after “when are you releasing?”, one of the most common questions we get asked is about PvP combat. And since Andre has done an amazing job with drawing our spells and spell buttons, it seems a shame not to share this with you.

Personally, I love PvP. Not for the loot, or for the power, or for the ‘glory’ (if you like); but for the interaction with other players in something challenging and variable. Because the possibilities with PvP gaming are so much more varied and unpredictable and exciting than PvE combat could ever simulate. So really, there was no question about whether we should have it or not.

When designing our combat system, we decided upon a few essential key concepts. Each of these is discussed in detail below.

Player skill vs. character skill

Probably one of the earliest and most important things that we decided upon was the need to find a good balance between ‘player’ and ‘character’. What we mean by this, is that although the character’s skills (i.e. experience level, skills/attributes, spells/feats learnt, etc.) are very important, the skilfulness of the player (the person behind the keyboard) must have an effect on combat too. Even the strongest and best-built character should be nothing without a good, knowledgeable player controlling it.

To achieve this, we plan for combat with all classes to focus very much on spells and feats. Once you’ve learnt a particular spell/feat, you may select it by pressing a hotkey. However many spells will require aiming in order to cast them. Obviously self-acting spells like healing are an exception to this and don’t have to be aimed.
Moderate healing spell
Fury buff spell
Buff and debuff spells will be extremely effective when used in the right situation, and the range of buffs and debuffs available will encourage PvP combat to be varied and unpredictable. Importantly, whilst buffs and debuffs may be stacked, this puts a lot of strain on the caster. So if you are going to cast more than one buff at the same time, then you'd better have some potions ready, because this will very quickly drain your mana.

The hotkey bar
A poorly-designed combat system is annoying for the user. An annoyed user will probably either quit, or cheat. So convenience and usability are paramount to making our combat system work. Players will be able to move around using the arrow keys, WASD, and mouse, and we plan to allow players to customise almost all keys as spell/feat hotkeys to make combat in Phobos feel as natural as possible.

Unrestricted (mostly)

On PvP worlds, it should be possible to attack and be attacked by other players almost anywhere. The exceptions to this being in the starting area (Timar), inside temples, banks, boats, and a few other special locations.

We have no plans to add any sort of global automated PvP-restriction system, as far too many games have proved that these systems are easily abused and invariably bring with them as many problems as they solve. Importantly though, we do plan to restrict PvP slightly inside cities using NPC city guards.

Long live the King!
These guards will challenge players who they see fighting (i.e. hit them with a big sword until they kill the player or the player leaves the city). Having said that, not all city areas are regularly patrolled. You may even find that some guards can be persuaded to leave their posts for a short time and turn a blind eye to whatever evildoings you have planned, for the right price, of course.
Some guards are more helpful than others.
The idea is that this will provide a small amount of protection, especially around banks and the common areas that players congregate. That said, it is not our plan to make it safe to leave your computer whilst your character is logged in, in any PvP area.

Of course, when there is enough demand for it, we will add a non-PvP server. We will also be considering adding another slightly special PvP game world type.

Minimise the appeal of aimbots

Tackling cheating is all about weighing up the risks and rewards in the minds of players. Because we want a requirement for skill, it is sadly inevitable that some time in the future there will be an aimbot for Phobos. Obviously we will be doing our best to limit third party software in any way we can technically and through in-game rule enforcement with a zero-tolerance approach. But that is a backwards strategy, as we will always have to play catch-up with cheaters.
Zero-tolerance for caught cheaters.
So although we won’t be modelling Phobos on expected illegal software, it is something that we have considered in the design of our combat system. We’re looking for a PvP system which will minimise the benefit of using aimbots in a way that doesn’t damage the experience for fair players (easily said, not so easily done). As mentioned earlier, a large part of this is ensuring convenience, because a poor combat system actually encourages players to cheat.

Also, you will find that a large number of spells, including many (but not all) of the stronger spells which will be used in PvP combat are small 'area of effect' spells (e.g. area of effect of 3x3 sqm). This will make aiming at a moving target much easier, but will still require precision and timing from the player.

We’re not naive enough to think that we can deter all aimbot users, but we do hope to minimise it and the advantages they get from it.


The player economy should be tightly linked with combat. This is another longer-term aim which will be properly added later with the introduction of a crafting system. However to reduce any imbalance caused by the ability of a single class in crafting a consumable, the current plan is that crafting skills will not be class-specific.

Various potions and equipment useful in combat.
We will have some spell scrolls. These will be single-use objects which a player has to click to activate. However they won't be "shootables". Instead, the plan is that some very strong and potentially abusable spells will require a spell scroll in order to cast them. By clicking a spell scroll, the scroll is activated. This temporarily ‘unlocks’ that spell for the caster. The player can then cast the spell using hotkeys as usual (i.e. a domination spell scroll must be activated in order to cast the spell: domination). Importantly though, we don't plan for scrolls to be very common and so they probably won't be used much in normal gameplay.


We’re hoping that a combination of all these things should give us the interesting, skilful, varied and fast-paced combat that we’re looking for.

Fhew, well I know that was a bit of a wall-of-text. So well done if you managed to read it all. But what do you think? Do any of these plans worry you? What problems do you expect us to come across with this system? How would you like to see us deal with these problems?

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The Old Dwarf
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October 14, 2012, 10:12:19 PM

Sounds about right.
El Diablo
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October 14, 2012, 10:14:27 PM

I am very excited, you have pleased all of my senses so far. :) I saw this on Facebook by the way. Good job on updating it for us. :)
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October 14, 2012, 10:15:37 PM

I Love this teaser, PvP is essential in a game.
One question, this effects on spell, is in all spells or in some?
Sir Vitor
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October 14, 2012, 10:17:32 PM

That moment when you are chilling on Facebook and see a new teaser posted. I can't explain the feeling, it is just amazing, and then I see the teaser is about a thing I've always wanted to know about. Wonderful!

I really like how you guys already have in mind issues as cheating etc, since IMO those are the real principal problems. For example, when people say Tibia's oldschool PVP was great, actually it was not that great. Those who played at that time know that most of players would use aimbot and totally ruin the 'good pvpers'.
I hope Myth can really focus on it and avoid it at max :)

Also, being a wall-of-text is actually good, when I read and see there is a lot more to read it just makes me feel happier, the more, the better!
I would read a 10 page Teaser if you wrote one, with pleasure.
Last edited by Sir Vitor on October 14, 2012, 10:19:50 PM, edited 1 time in total.
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October 14, 2012, 10:18:02 PM

its great teaser...
i love WSAD
The bots is problem.
I like "guards system"
About PK system/afk/power abused/cap lvl?
Last edited by havy on October 15, 2012, 04:03:41 PM, edited 2 times in total.
Aidan Aneirin
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October 14, 2012, 10:25:03 PM

Oh hey, shiny. I agree with the reasoning behind your decisions, and am very pleased to see this well-thought out. The level of detail you place in environments, teaser footage, spell animations and overall design makes me eager to see what you will be able to do in a future when you are well-funded and can do this for a much larger player base.
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October 14, 2012, 10:31:43 PM

We have a facebook? 0o :)
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October 14, 2012, 10:44:22 PM

I also saw this through facebook, so good job there :like:

Good teaser, the pvp seems to be pretty much how you described it earlier and how i thought of it. :)
El Diablo
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October 14, 2012, 11:01:02 PM

Tim wrote:We have a facebook? 0o :)
Yep! https://www.facebook.com/phobosonline
Sir Vitor
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October 14, 2012, 11:09:52 PM

Tim wrote:We have a facebook? 0o :)
Give up Tim, you are not a true Phobos fan!
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October 15, 2012, 10:03:15 AM

A very good job.Keep up the good work! :twisted:
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October 15, 2012, 10:50:54 AM

Im nto much into PvP but i like this teaser and idea of how are you gonna do it.I still really hope there will be a NO PvP server in wich we can only PvP in a selected area like arena or something.I dont plan to play on PvP server,so if there is no nonPvP there is no UFOguy
Last edited by UFOguy on October 15, 2012, 03:15:21 PM, edited 1 time in total.
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October 15, 2012, 12:03:07 PM

The teaser is great overall. And yet i think some things are missing here. I'd love to know if teams or parties will affect combat substantially. By that I mean if buffs will be (possibly) team based or just single target. Another thing are those guard NPCs. I wonder if they will be invincible or rather just dangerous and yet killable. Lastly I am curious about the penalties for PK. Will the assassin be cursed, marked as a serial killer, or maybe there will be a bounty somewhere in the town with a reward for his/her head. That's all I think. Maybe someone will continue my train of thought.
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October 15, 2012, 01:47:22 PM

Can't wait anymore, get it live guys! this is too exciting :twisted:
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