How to: COMBAT?
I have noticed recently in the up-rise in people god-modding without knowing it, auto-hitting and ignoring attacks and just attacking back when it comes to combat in RPs. Some of which are Newer members, others are older... Some RP in Casual, others Free. Not sure about Advanced though.
Either way, the question stands...
What makes combat in an RP good? How should PVP, PVE, and EVE play? what precautions, restrictions or tips that you use to keep others, and yourself from god-modding & Auto-hitting? Finally, how do YOU fight in an RP? (Examples will be appreciated).
Also, for those who have been called a god-modder before recently and don't know what to do to better yourself in combat posting, make yourself known, give an example and I'm sure everyone will come in help you out.
After some time I will be taking some of the things that were said in this thread to turn it into an article to help other new RPers in the future so that they have a resource to go to when they need a lesson or two about combat in RPs.
Edit: NOTE: when answering my questions, imagine you're talking to a god-modder/Auto-hitter who doesn't understand any other way to fight in RPs.
I haven't much experience in RP combat myself. I've NONE here, and just a little bit in other forums. That said, I would say that the definition of a "good" PvP combat post depends on the goal of the RP. If your goal, for example, is storytelling, then a "good" combat post between two players might be long, drawn out, and dramatic, leading to the conclusion. For something like an arena RP, I imagine people wouldn't want one combat scene to take 20 posts, and so avoiding unnecessary "fluffing" might be something that would be considered "good" for those type of posts.
I know in other forums, PvP combat can get frustrating because of either auto-hits or the other person dodging frikin EVERYTHING. UGH, that gets so annoying. Possibly a good way to combat this (no pun intended) would be to pre-determine who is going to win the RP fight? Anyway, wish I could contribute more, but I really don't have a lot of experience in this area. Yet.
Here is my thing, story first. Direct combat in rp's tend to be weird, people seem to take it *very* personally. They want their character to look good. Fights happen and they tend to be very 'even' until the last minute because both players don't want to give in, and if they do loose they want it to be said they put up a good fight. When really, the character may be very different power levels. I have not really enjoyed any direct rp combat I have been involved with, usually I often enjoy playing character who is terrible at combat. I find another solution, or if I get in a fight I loose horribly... which is really fun to write. and the other person really enjoys writing winning! so it sort of works out!
... so what makes a GOOD fight? A fight that serves the story and character development. (likewise, I don't think players should avoid fights that would forward the development/story for the sake of say party-harmony) I had a really awesome one recently, the other player did a lot I did not expect, and really set off this whole sub-plot for our characters that I also hadn't expected. I"m not sure how it happened, we didn't plan it or decide who would win beforehand (tho I was the GM so I certainly had the upper hand XD). If i fought more IG I might be able to tell you... :O
I think what generally works well if players aren't really competitive with one another is stating you action and maybe implying where you're trying to hit and how and leave it to your parner the aftermath. In my general experience, most people will take the hit or come up with a reasonable answer for how they dodged. It may work differently in arena, but there you go.
At what point is an Auto-hit or a god-mod too far? Do you just allow it or tell the player what they did or take matters into their own hands? How do you prevent yourself from doing it? Isn't there a choice of whether or not you can dodge or take a hit in most RP fights? How do you make that an option for other players and how do you take the option away?
Okay, here's how I always handle combat (well, how I have in the past, as I've not been in PvP combat here).
What I would do, is I take into account my characters abilities. This is important--be real, nobody is perfect (unless your playing a God, but even then, God's make mistakes too :p). If your character is a walking tank, big, muscular, able to lift twice his own body weight; it's safe to assume he has a lot of bulk to carry around, and will therefor move slower than other characters who are smaller, thinner, and less built. Likewise, someone such as Nixie from the Hunger Games RP I'm in, who is thin, spends most of her time behind a desk (as a district 3 tribute, she gets little excersize--her district specializes in engineering and that sort of thing), isn't going to do well in a physical confrontation with said walking tank. She wouldn't be able to stand up to him in hand to hand combat. Nixie might be faster, though, and utilize that to her advantage.
What i'm saying, is I like to be realistic. I use my characters abilities, and if someone genuinely outplays them, well...it's a hit! If there's a realistic way to dodge, I dodge. I also take into account timing. If a person I am RPing with starts talking in the middle of swinging their sword, I consider their swing slower--you try swinging a blade and talking right as you do it--you will lose speed or accuracy. Likewise, if it is reasonable for me to dodge, I dodge. If it's likely I'd get hit, I let myself get hit. If my character is outclassed entirely, with little hope of victory, I flee or let the char die fighting.
In short, I play to the character's strengths and weaknesses--and if that leads to victory, awesome. If it leads to defeat, still awesome! It's an RP telling a story :D
I think the best way to do this is, if the two players talk to each other, and discuss before hand, who is going to be the winner. Then build around it, creating a unique battle scene for which the strengths, and weaknesses might be seen of both characters. That How I see battling for RP's that are not combat arena are best done.
I know this is a bit of a break from the topic, but I **have to know**--what game is that sig from, that looks badass! I wanna play it :D
A player has to be willing to let their character take a hit, and willing to let their character miss a hit, and to weigh their characters abilities to the situation they're in. They should consider how it'll progress the RP if one thing happens versus another.
The main problem is when people play an RP like their goal is to win, instead of how to progress the RP or get interesting events. The only rules and restrictions are set by the RPers involved, unlike video games/reality, and the only challenge or conflict exists if they establish/allow it. And something always winning (in this context) is pointless and boring. The best and most awesome fights have impact. Wounding, damaging, fatal impact.
So there has to be give and take, and more or less when appropriate to the context. The Sith Lord should not be taking serious hits from a ten year old with an affinity to the force, and the ten year old should not be immune. If someone throws a punch, maybe my guy doesn't see it coming. If my guy gets jumped from behind, he's pinned down. If my guy is pinned down, he's going to be taking serious blows, and he's not gonna have a chance to counter it.
On tips: Try to think of a character's weaknesses ahead of time. It establishes it from the start and acts as a nice guideline for when they're on the losing end of odds.
I am not experienced in combat rp myself but one of my partners is and I simply told him that my combat writing is not the best. He was very accommodating and suggested if I needed advice to ask him which was very encouraging. We determined who would win beforehand and both parried accordingly, and neither of us took a hit because our chars were sparing for fun so it was more relaxed. I like to spice up the rp with fight scenes for my partners even though I lack the skills (and feel silly), and it certainly does help if you have someone that gives great advice and you are comfortable rpg a combat scene with.
Like Tick said do know your weaknesses ahead of time, and be willing to take a hit when necessary. Talk with your partner as well, and try not to take it personally. If you have a great partner you both should be able to figure it out. Remember that rpg should be fun, and if you are becoming agitated take a step back and perhaps you should try another method or talk with the other person.