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Combat Mechanics- Observations and Questions

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Ok, so this post is divided into 2 parts: Observations I've made about the AC combat system and Questions that are likely beyond me to answer. Hopefully, my observations are not overly redundant- they're not anything I've come across in any FAQ at least.

I'm somewhat neurotic about wanting to know how some things in the game work, despite not being a programmer so likewise I hope that some expert can come to my rescue in removing some of those persistent questions gnawing away at my ankles.

    Observations:

      1) When attempting a combo kill, correct timing is indicated by an animation where Altair's blade bounces (as opposed to sliding) off a guard's block. This part is well known. What seems to be less well known is that what you are really doing lowering the target's health since each "bounced" attack counts as a hit.

      Evidence: try bouncing 1 or 2 attacks off a low level guard's block. Provided you didn't kill him by accident, observe him after this. Despite the fact that you didn't actually score any hits on his body, he should periodically wince or rub a limb indicating that he is injured.

      I refer to this practice of removing health through bouncing attacks off the block as "chipping" or "chip attack".

      1a) The consequence of point 1 is that combo killing does not in any way speed up the process of taking down your enemies. It is not possible to insta-combo kill a guard at full health- they essentially have to be whittled down to next-to-no health before combo kill will activate. The combo kill animation basically subs-in for the last hit which would have killed them anyway.

      The most obvious evidence for this is in the difference between trying to take out a bottom tier guard vs a 2nd tier guard. A basic guard should get combo killed within the first 3 chips (depending on your weapon damage level) while a 2nd tier guard seems to take around 4-6.

      2) A set of chip attacks done one right after the other I refer to as a "chip string". The max length of a chip string seems to be 3 (or it's just very difficult to get consecutive chips beyond that). I know that with the longsword, a chip string seem to naturally stop at 3- normally, when you press the attack button on contact to chip, it also counts as the input for your next swing. On the 3rd attack of a chip string, however, pressing attack on contact does not seem to queue up another attack.

      3) Guards seem to have an aggression or passivity value that makes them attack more or less frequently depending on events in combat.

      Some things that make them attack more frequently:
      -simply waiting (do nothing and the guards will work up more and more nerve)
      -Altair getting countered
      -Altair getting grab broken
      -Altair getting thrown (it seems like for some reason when one guard throws you, it makes the other guards want to throw you as well)

      Some things that make them attack less frequently:
      -getting attacked by Altair (this is specific to the guard getting attacked. Conversely, if Altair focuses on a single guard too long, it tends to raise the aggression of the guards standing behind him much faster than if Altair spreads his attacks out among the group.)
      -Altair countering a guard fatally
      -Altair combo killing a guard
      -Altair assassinating (non-stealth) a guard with his hidden blade

      4) Countering is possible when Altair is in the middle of his own attack. I'm not sure if counters are possible during all of his attack frames but I've done it enough to be certain that a very good portion of any swing will accept a counter input if Altair is himself attacked. Successfully pulling it off means that Altair instantaneously stops whatever he's doing and goes into the counter animation. If Altair is not attacked, inputting a counter will not cause Altair to interrupt his own swing- this is an invisible counter since there's no animation of Altair waving his blade around in the standard counter-parry motion.

      5) Countering is possible when Altair is in his dodge recovery frames.
      Even though the dodge window is large, there are some frames after said window where Altair has to stand recovering and is seemingly helpless. I say seemingly because in reality, Altair still has counter available to him at that time. This means you can use dodge rather liberally and still have counter as a backup should you be attacked when Altair is vulnerable.

      6) The short blade seems to have some peculiar properties for chipping. The first two attacks seem very easy to chip successfully, the third is doable, but after that Altair seems to dissolve into a whirling dervish where you can only get the chip on 50% of his strikes- specifically, you can chip the forehand but the backhand always slides off. If at any time, you fail to chip an attack, Altair seems to go into this impotent whirling dervish mode (there is nothing wrong per se with the whirling dervish attack itself- just the mode he goes into which happens to use those animations exclusively) at which point the only way to regain consecutive chipping is to either stop attacking for a moment, or redirect your attack at a different target.

      Note that this may be why the in-game tips tell you that "the short blade is useful for fending off multiple attackers." It sort of sucks for attacking one target until it's dead but does better when you restrict yourself to 1 or 2 attacks at a time per target.

      I myself use a two-strike method where I do two chips against one target then redirect my next strike to a new target followed by one more strike, then bouncing to a new target etc... The effect is that the rhythm of strikes is seamless but since each new target counts as a new chip string, I get to use the reliable #1 and 2 strikes of the short blade over and over again. The short blade also seems to have an advantage in driving your enemies into passivity just by the number of attacks it can distribute in a small amount of time. This is in contrast to the longsword where passivity is easier gained through counter and combo kills.

      On a side note, I've had some modest success using the 2-strike method with the short blade, managing to take out 17 guards surrounding William de Monferrat and taking no damage in return. This does, of course, take some luck in order not to be countered by some of the higher tier guards there.

        Questions:

          1) Is there any method by which you can either block or counter after an enemy guard breaks you?

          It might have been just my eyes playing trick on me but once or twice I thought I might have manage to somehow block after being guard broken. I realize that some attacks look like guard breaks but I really thought I had heard the distinct "ting!" noise that signals the real move. Three or four times, I swear I've gotten lucky somehow and been able to counter after a guard break. Of course, when I tried to reproduce the move, my luck dried up.

          2) Do guards with the counter ability have increased or decreased chances of countering you depending on the circumstances?

          Ok, I'm not talking about like when they're taunting at which point they have a 0% chance of countering. Instead I'm referring to questions like:

          -Do 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc... attacks in an attack string have different chances of being countered?
          -Do you have less chance of being countered if you attack after you dodge your target's attack?
          -Does a successful chip vs a failed chip attack (i.e.:attack that slides off the block) have different chances of being countered?
          -Do attacks that are bounced and redirected from a previous target have less chance of being countered? (my experience suggests that the answer is yes, but I could be mistaken)

          3) Do guards of the same tier from different cities have the same abilities? Like would some guards have grab break but not counter and other guards vice-versa? Or does same tier of guard essentially mean they are the same guard? (I recognize 4 tiers of guard: no helmet, helmet, fancy helmet and templar. Are there more than this?)

          That's all I can seem to remember for now. I welcome any of your insights. Cheers!

"The finest harmony is composed of elements that are in tension with each other." -Richard Tarnas

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Man, where's granjow when you need him...

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My thoughts exactly, FLAE. We're going to need Granjow, Solid_Altair and Throwmasta to answer these questions.

You won't even feel the blade.

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Don't forget yvesgomes!


"When you have to kill a man, it costs nothing to be polite."- Winston Churchhill
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I didn't! yvesgomes = Solid_Altair on The Hidden Blade.

You won't even feel the blade.

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I have done the "countering during my attack animation" MILLIONS of times. Literally, when I'm normally playing the game, I will play with counters only/combos only separate from each other. If I drink some coffee and knuckle down, I will counter during my attacks generally what I'll do is after every attack I'm ready to hit R1+[ ] at the SAME time and it will counter the guard FATALLY most of the time.

I love it.
However, this is the only thing I know for sure.
The guard break and the counter after dodge has never occurred to me, as I was never attacked after Dodging ANYTHING.

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stabguy wrote:
I didn't! yvesgomes = Solid_Altair on The Hidden Blade.

Oh, oops Shy

Stab, I don't know if this is fixable, but if you click the button for the Shy emoticon, it actually displays :Cool which is wrong. I was just letting you know, since you probably never need to use the "oops, I messed up" emoticon Tongue


"When you have to kill a man, it costs nothing to be polite."- Winston Churchhill
"Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you

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I was hoping that Granjow would join this conversation. He did some research into the game mechanics of combos here. In the end he decided it was too complicated for a video and just said that your timing has to be good.

Granjow and MacRoMackerel came to very different conclusions about what it takes to do a combo kill. Can they be reconciled into a unified explanation? I've heard that combos in AC2 only work when the guard is down to his last block of health. Perhaps it was like that in AC1 also (where guards' health is hidden) and MacRo was among the few to figure that out. Conventional wisdom for AC1 has been that combos are all about timing.

You won't even feel the blade.

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Sorry for joining so late; I have been thinking about what to write, and hoping that I'd have some time to test again (but, well, exam preparations).

Thank you, MacRoe, for your observations! I hope I can add one or another thing there.

1) Just tested. It seems to be true that the killing animation does not do more damage than chipping. Because if a guard of a certain level takes 3 chip attacks to die, it also takes 2 chips plus the final animation. Didn't know that.
I assume the animation has influence on the guard's fear, and simply finishing one off by a chip does not do so.

When fighting guards both seem to lose health _and_ get tired. When you hit them, they lose health, and when they attack, they get tired. I found this out when trying to stun a guard (which is only possible if he does a strong attack). See my Fighting Tut 3 at 2:30. I didn't even touch him.

2) Agree.

3) I'm not sure. But I think your behaviour also makes them select their attack. When I keep defending only they sometimes start throwing me around. However, I'm not quite sure about that.

* Guards seem to attack more frequently after their leader screamed something.
* Guards don't seem to attack more frequently if you assassinate their leader while he is screaming something *muahaha*

6) This is also just something I suspect. When fighting multiple enemies I found it advantageous to change the target frequently. *grabs in his youtube chest* click. It is not my best video about that, but it is online Wink

When facing your target and then attacking it, it seems to have time to prepare its defense. However, classical example: One guard in front of Altaïr, one in his back. When attacking the one in front and then immediately the one in the back he seems to be surprised and totally does not defend at all. There are some exceptions, sure, but in general this seems to work.

#2 (Question): Again, tired guards or half-dead ones don't counter that often anymore. When fighting with the short blade against a group of high-ranked guards I often found myself attacking and every single attack being countered during the first minute. Then they assumedly slowly got tired a little bit and my attacks were more successful.

That's everything I remember right now. I've mostly been investigating in how to get the chip attack. Because, the first time you attack you just get this sliding sound, and the second time with the correct timing you get the chip. If you then wait a moment and again attack you sometimes get the chip again, or you need to try again with the right timing. This partially seems to be based on randomness too. There are certainly actions which tend to make you lose your chip, but not always. Eg I thought being hit would make you lose it, but that is not always the case.)

I sometimes think about how I would implement this fighting system in order to react the way it does. Like, as said, health, tiredness, and chip variables and randomness based upon these variables. (I'm pretty sure Altaïr can get tired too, btw.)

Granjow

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SBIzokronus wrote:
Stab, I don't know if this is fixable, but if you click the button for the Shy emoticon, it actually displays :Cool which is wrong. I was just letting you know, since you probably never need to use the "oops, I messed up" emoticon Tongue

Fixed: Shy Cool

I tried to maintain backward compatibility so that everyone's old comments will still have the desired smileys. Also, you can now type an S in parentheses such as "feather(s)" without it coming out like this: feather(Drunk

You won't even feel the blade.

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I knew the "chip" Attack did damage because i once tried it on myself. When you attack them and they deflect it your hear a certain sliding sound. Now go up to a guard, starta fight, but dont hold down R1. let them attack you and listen, you still half block the attacks and you hear the chip sound, but you lose health. Thats how i found out that it does damage to them as well

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stabguy wrote:
Also, you can now type an S in parentheses such as "feather(s)" without it coming out like this: feather(Drunk

Oh sure, you do this after I took out like 20 instances of (s) in the AC2 FAQ. Smile

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MacRo, sorry for joining so late. I kinda dropped the forums and blame ACII's lameness for that. Apologies apart, lets have fun with dissecting the fight system. I shall start with your questions.

1) I think what happened to you these few times was a sound glitch. The enemy didn't actually brake your defense, because you were out slightly of range. However, the sound of Defense Brake (DB) is programed to join the offensive motion, the guard's animation. So, even if the DB doesn't connect, it will sound. It should be programed to join the receiving end, your animation, the defense being broken, because it requires the offensive move to connect. So, basically, what happens is that you can deflect or counter after the DBs because there were no actual DBs. They didn't connect and the buggy sound tricked ya. I remember we've talked about this glitch, at the other forum, because it threatens a flawless fight. The usual reaction is to dodge after having your Defense Broken, and a false DB tends to leave you in a bad timed dodge. Unfair. In case you still want to reproduce this, I'd say your best bet is to face a high tier soldier, keep you guard up and walk back. This should increase the chances of an out of reach DB attempt. If you already know this glitch and know this is not the case you've witnessed, than it might be just a delayed attack after the DB. Enemies do this sometimes and it's the hardest thing to defend against in AC1 combat, imo.

2)...
-Do 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc... attacks in an attack string have different chances of being countered?
* Dunno.

-Do you have less chance of being countered if you attack after you dodge your target's attack?
* Most likely yes. I think the chance is close to zero. In fact, I think the dodge is the most fundamental ability for combat. The chance sof being countered when attempting a DB with the sword are also very low, specially from close range, as said by Throwmasta. I once thought it was zero.

-Does a successful chip vs a failed chip attack (i.e.:attack that slides off the block) have different chances of being countered?
* That's a pickle. Somehow, I think I wish that was the case, but I can only say the counter can happen even if you time the chip right.

-Do attacks that are bounced and redirected from a previous target have less chance of being countered? (my experience suggests that the answer is yes, but I could be mistaken)
* No freaking idea.

3) I haven't tested, but I think they have the same abilities.

I really liked your observation and mostly how this topic made me pay attention to the fact that guards get tired and that it might nullify their abilities, like when they get hurt! I wish the new ACs deserved this kind of analysis, but they've become a button mashing fest.

AC3 has surprised me greatly!

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any reasons for your negativity ? I mean, everyone else in the whole world loves ACII lol

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Well AC2's story was terrible compared to AC1's, but I don't see how anybody could prefer the first one's combat.

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hewkii9 wrote:
Well AC2's story was terrible compared to AC1's, but I don't see how anybody could prefer the first one's combat.

I like AC2's story, but I agree with you. It just seemed like another action game. I liked AC1's story, because it was serious. It just had this aura of badassery not found in most games. It made you be a master Assassin by the end. With AC2, it put in almost too much humor and "funny bits." As a stand-alone game, it's epic, but not when you try to compare it to the first.

As for the combat, I don't lean on either side of the spectrum. AC2 just feels different from AC1. I'm not so sure, though. I guess the major perk with the second is that you could use your fists against armed enemies. Also, everyone loves the Hidden Blades.

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Giga wrote:
any reasons for your negativity ? I mean, everyone else in the whole world loves ACII lol

I have quite a bunch of reasons. Basically, ACII was even easier than AC. I mean... a lot easier! The ridiculous lack of challenge has compromised almost every aspect of the game. It doesn't feel you're lurking in a dangerous city; it feels like a freaking playground where you can kill every one anyway you like and where you can't die unless you fall from the sky. Not being able to die in combat is a very serious problem, imo.

AC3 has surprised me greatly!

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To be fair, that was also a problem in AC1 (hold RT lolol), though ACII did have a lighter colour pallet so that wouldn't of helped.

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With Ac2 you could even deflect with fists and the hidden blade. At least they made some hard missions where you fail if you are seen, that was a good idea to make you more stealthy. However the combat was just ridiculously easy. I still prefer AC2 to AC1 though simply because of AC1s stupid investigations

However the actual assassinations in AC1 were really good, and at least the investigations allowed you to build up suspense before the assassination. I actually started thinking of how I took the investigations for granted in AC1, in AC 2 there were many assassinations where I didnt feel prepared at all and would always just blindly sneak up on my target, and always get seen. Half the time i had never seen the location where I was assassinating him before. I hope Brotherhood and AC3 get a good mix of AC2 and 1

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I think I prefer ACI just because of the assassinations. I thought of them as so rewardong. For example, I spent around an hour trying to study every single inch of Acre's port before I went on to kill Sibrand. Every guard, escape route, ways to intercept Sibrand if he ran away, I just felt like the best after I was done with it.

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[On the meaning of BAMF]i figured it was something similar to a MILF

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I agree 100%. You'd think that with the database, Truth, Codex, and even a folder for Giovanni's stupid letters there'd be a place for the same kind of supplementary documents for assassinations, but no. I loved that stuff.

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james89 wrote:
I think I prefer ACI just because of the assassinations. I thought of them as so rewardong. For example, I spent around an hour trying to study every single inch of Acre's port before I went on to kill Sibrand. Every guard, escape route, ways to intercept Sibrand if he ran away, I just felt like the best after I was done with it.

I just thought "hm, I bet I can climb up the back of the ship..."

Done Tongue

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