I copied my own post from another forum for another MMO in development. I didn't want to type it out again. It is written more toward the standard MMO build so some things may need to change to fit the action of an arpg like Torchlight.
Combos / Techniques
Something I have always wanted to see in a MMO is "choreographed" epic combos executed by multiple characters. If you have played Chrono Trigger or other various console based RPG's games you know what combos / techniques are. Various RPG's have used them over the years in some form or another.
The code/process/server tech/animation are not technically out of the of question, asset wise it could be a strain on the studio and it might break immersion for some gamers if the combo takes too long to execute.
Requirements / Limitations
- You would have to be in the same party or raid to contribute to the combo.
- Only one combo prep request can show up at a time.
- Combos can only be executed on specific targets.
- Combos should take no longer then 3 - 6 seconds to execute. (10 seconds may even be too long reduced to 6, want to avoid those crazy long FF summon sequences...ugh)
- The person who prepped the combo can cancel it if the combo has not yet been confirmed.
- The character who prepped the combo, or all characters involved in the combo would get a debuff that would not allow them to execute another combo OR a timer would limit how often a combo could be executed. There are number of ways to limit combo usage.
- Rough combo time limitation: 3 to 8 mins. (This could be less for an arpg type MMO)
- Characters involved in a combo would have to be within range of each other and the target.
Someone would hit their combo prep skill.
A combo prep indicator would show up to the group / raid. If you are a character that has a move that can mix with the combo a bar will popup showing you what combo is being started and the available moves you could choose to mix with the combo.
There would be a timer that allows any player to choose a move to add to the combo, if time runs out the popup goes away. If a character chooses a move to add to the mix the popup stays and shows what they choose and the other move options fade out.
These prep moves are happening independently from the normal combat at this point. All players can still use their normal skills.
After the combo popups have all timed out and/or all players have submitted their moves the combo is confirmed and will execute on the next combat tick.
This is where the strain on assets would hit the studio and where the immersion could break for some gamers.
The combo execution "roots" the target mob in place. It can not move. (The mob can or cannot take damage from other sources, this is up in the air, not sure which is better. Depends if you wanted to expand this to PvP.) If the mob is taking damage and ran out of hps while the combo is being executed it does not "fall over" until the combo is complete.
The characters involved in the combo are immune and any buffs / debuffs timers on them are paused. This should not matter much for balance, due to the limits placed on starting or being part of a combo move.
The characters perform their combo. After the combo is finished the characters involved have their combo timers/debuffs applied to limit how often combos can be executed.
The Destroyer leaps at the target. The Alchemist tosses oil across the Destroyer's blade mid air. As the Destroyer descends the Vanquisher shoots a fire arrow on the Destroyer's sword causing it to turn into a raging inferno as the Destroyer plunges the blade into his foe.
There are many many ways the combos could be executed visually.
Some Chrono Trigger Tech Examples
This is a set of two character Tech moves. It requires two characters to perform the combo.