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Developer Quotes/Combat (formation)

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It doesn't change the way these would be used potentially only the method of mechanic. Removing control of the player and locking them into the formation as dictated by someone else is a bad bad idea. Period. Hence it has to be at the choice of the user for them to be IN formation and to STAY in formation, this also involves player skill instead of insta presto we are in phalanx.

If playing the game is fun, and people enjoy the community and the content as well as the pure act of game-play we don't have to gate advancement to make it so people go "more slowly" when it comes to getting a character to level 80. There are many examples of games you play for the joy of playing itself rather than a concern of advancement. There are also many games I know that I continue to play because I like them even once I hit the "max".

Forums, 1st September 2007 (Athelan) [1]



Here the formations are especially useful. No siege engine can withstand a formation of charging cavalry. On the other hand, place a formation of pike-men in front of the siege engine to dig in as the cavalry charges, and we shall see many a rider less horse trotting nervously around on the battlefield. Well, unless you blast the pike men with spells or a formation of archers.

ShackNews, 16th June 2006 (Gaute Godager)




Formation combat is the Age of Conan teams venture into redefining group combat. In the game it does not only matter which classes you have in your team, but also how they stand in relation to each other. For instance, the pen-and-paper RPG most beloved ability; that of blocking doorways to hold opponents at bay, protecting the "softer" targets in the group is finally a reality. You get different bonuses to your group if you stand close enough to each other, in a certain formation. The formations can also give you special attacks to attack your opponents, especially opponent formations.

The most important feature in the Formation is that you can add NPC’s (for example Master Followers) in your formation to bolster its effectiveness. This is especially important as they will always stand in their correct spot and do as they’re told to increase the effectiveness of the group.

ShackNews, 16th June 2006 (Gaute Godager)



In Conan you can thus create player-made formations, consisting of both NPCs and other players. Depending on your skill in commanding others, you can lead a whole troop of your fellow fighters towards the enemy, be it mounted, ranged or on the ground. The leader of the formation is the one deciding which kind of formation to have (wedge formation etc.), and in which direction the formation should move in, but each and every player has freedom within the formation (think of a rubber band around the group). Formations are great for lots of things, both towards other players and against monsters, and in combat you will find that being in a formation gives bonuses and strategic advantages as well as the ability to shield weaker targets.

Tothegame, 4th May 2006 (Gaute Godager)




1. Dig-in formations. These are used to block access to certain areas by letting you defend them, stop charges, or fire ranged special attacks against other areas. The noteworthy aspect of these is that they bestow large defensive bonuses and provide a means through which to keep people out.

2. Moving formations. These are used to do more massive damage, smash dig-in formations, and knock individual monsters/players out of the way. Options include berserker charges, rows of knights riding or whatnot. Characters in these formations won't collide as they flow and move and these tactics are extremely offensive in nature.

3. Party formations. These are smaller, but hold a mix of the two above attributes. They can enable offensive or defensive bonuses, let you dig in for shorter amounts of time, or enable charged special attacks...

Ogaming, 20th January 2006 (Gaute Godager)



The second is that of formations. You can place other players or NPCs in your formation. This will enable you to protect the vulnerable characters on your team since the formation offers a natural collision box against monsters or other players. The formations can also be used to gain special attacks and bonuses to be used against other formations in a paper, scissors, rock-type approach.

IGN, 21st November 2005 (Gaute Godager)



I think what I have been trying to say here, is that the player may have other players and NPCs in the formation. What the mix will be, players to NPC’s is yet to be decided. As a leader you simply move around to have the formation follow you, be it players or NPCs. The leader may also fire off special moves or attacks only available to the formation like “Charge of the Phalanx” or “Volley of Arrows”. These will be fired using shortcuts or pressing icons.

MMORPG.com, 14th October 2005 (Gaute Godager)



Most actions will not be able to hit your group mates, we dont want to penalize the group for one person potentially wanting to grief or being unable to play well. So friendly fire situations will be special case.

Forums, 20th September 2005 (Athelan)



To add more tactical abilities into the game, we decided to make the formation system a flexible one that can be used for both dungeon crawling and massive battles. The idea behind the combat in formations is that we space players and monsters out, and let orientation, direction and distance influence your ability to do damage. One of the things that have sort of aggravated me, at least from a realistic point of view, is the crowd of 20 players standing almost on top of each other, hacking at the toe of the giant - only to fell it. In Conan, every player will have collision, and cannot stack on top of others, but huge monsters will actually eat you if you hack at their toe. To combat that, you must gang up in a formation and attack the boss monsters like a unit instead of a gathering of individuals. In addition to that, heroes can always try to climb the giant demons back, to behead them. ;p

IGN, 17th June 2005 (Gaute Godager)



The second type offered in Conan is formation combat. Here, players and NPCs can join up in formations, offering tactical advantages. This is usable not only in smaller settings like dungeon crawls, but also in grander settings like massive battles and PvP.

IGN, 17th June 2005 (Gaute Godager)



We will try to make the choice of formation vs. free-for-all so that cooperating players will always gain a certain advantage, but not so much as to rule the battlefield. Naturally, the amount of players on each side will be the biggest factor in determining who wins. But, given equal numbers, or even a slight disadvantage on the side of the players in formation, the organized players should almost always win. This is most clearly shown in the Roman history; they used formations very effectively in skirmishes.

Players in Age of Conan will have collision, so you cannot pack an unlimited number of players into an area. Creating formations will be an effective way of controlling who gets attacked. Formations are for to six people and up. The biggest formation is yet to be decided.

Gamespy, 17th May 2005 (Gaute Godager)



Formations are also the best offense and defense against other formations. In a paper-scissors-rock type approach, Age of Conan will offer a unique PvP and PvE approach to tactical combat. A charging gang of knights will decimate a formation of archers. On the other hand, the knights will be hard pressed to survive their charge if it actually was a formation of pikemen they charged at. What better way to break the pikemen formation, then, than to fire volley after volley of arrows at them from your archer formation?

The leader will make the formation. The leader can give leadership to another in the formation. If the leader leaves the leadership will be given automatically to another player.

Gamespy, 17th May 2005 (Gaute Godager)



The formation combat found in Age of Conan is unique. Not only do players get a "collision" sphere around their formation to push other players and monsters around, but the formation also offers special attacks and bonuses. The players will be able to move freely within a certain "circle" around their designated position, and the whole formation is moved by the formation leader. Formations are the only real protection against the violent onslaught of boss powers. If you ever were to fight a massive demon it would play golf with your head unless you gang up and help each-other.

Gamespy, 17th May 2005 (Gaute Godager)



Typically there are four types of challenges where a formation can be useful. First off it is the standard dungeon crawling. Simply using a small "group formation" that protects the mages and priests have their benefits.

Secondly they are used extensively in Boss battles. Fighting a giant demon from a dark nameless hell should feel like being a golf-ball, unless you are ganging up on him using a formation. I have always felt it was silly looking at 20 tiny guys hacking at the toes of a giant - only to fell him. To alleviate that, the big bosses in Conan will literally eat you - unless you are locked in a formation, that is - which might help... some. Thirdly, it should be used extensively in PvP battles. More on that later. And finally, and most importantly - I would say, they should be used in siege battles against "hiving" monsters.

IGN, 11th May 2005 (Gaute Godager)



Hm, I have mentioned some of the formation benefits above. In more detail, they work like this. Players learn different types of formations through feats. Each formation has a distinct look, set of benefits and special attacks and moves. The formation leader controls the location of the players in it, by assigning them to a location. Within the formation, each player has like a "rubber circle" he may move freely within, orient herself and follow. The player can at any time leave the formation. If a certain amount of players leave the formation, through death, volunteering to disband or being kicked, the formation breaks.

Only other formations or special bosses might break a formation against the players will. I will not disclose the list of formations, atm, but there are several - from 4-6 party formations up to massive battle formations of 20+ players. You can also use mounts in formation battles.

IGN, 11th May 2005 (Gaute Godager)



In the multiplayer part of the game (with between 1000-1500 players per "server") being with other players is more fun, as I see it. This then, is a social game, too. I think the major step-up is found in the formations. Not only are these useful in a group / party setting of 4-6 people. The nice thing about them is that they offer protection against "knock-back" effects of larger monsters / charge attacks. In addition to that they give a substantial ability bonus (as in "buff") to the members. They offer special attacks (from charge-attacks when mounted, to firing a massive volley of arrows) and finally - they give you one, great collision "volume" usable to protect the "softer players" (Mages and their like ;p).

IGN, 11th May 2005 (Gaute Godager)

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