The Hero's of Legends
This is a console game design concept. In essence the game will be very similar in spirit to “Left4Dead” (meaning cooperative survival) with the gameplay reformulated to be more of a “Dark Souls” combat experience. So instead of a first person survival shooter with guns and zombies, it will be a streamlined action RPG combat experience. In short a cooperative third person action RPG survival experience in a sandboxed open world.
Similar to “Left4Dead” there will be 4 characters to choose from each with their own unique personalities and commentary. All characters are basically equal in terms of combat prowess and skills. This is just a cosmetic layer.
After you choose your character you have to decide what class you want to play as. There will be three classes; 1) The Tank, 2) The Swashbuckler, and 3) The Mage. When choosing a class the characters whole outfit will change and animate and sometimes they will make witty funny comments like “hells yea Im a mage! fear my fire blast”. This will add a lot of complexity to the gameplay not as much as character creation/customization but close enough to give the player quick options to choose from that are simple and straightforward. Since players can choose whatever class they want it will lead to interesting class match ups: like all tanks or just two tanks a mage and a swashbuckler or even all mages.
The classes breakdown like this:
-Tank: HP bonus, strong melee game, slow moving
-Swashbuckler: well rounded
-Mage: HP handicap, weak melee, fast, magic attacks
Instead of weapon pick-ups/drops each class (except mage) has two default interchangeable melee styles that can be swapped on the fly. The tank will have a shield/sword style that is more thrust heavy with high defense and can switch to a two-handed claymore style that sacrifices defense for a devastating slash heavy attack pattern. The swashbuckler will have a rapier style and a sword/shield style. The rapier is a quick, fast but weak thrust style, and the sword/shield will be a slow but stronger slash heavy style with better defense. The mage will simply use his staff as melee weapon trying to switch styles with a mage will instead just change the element of the staff he is wielding (fire, water, wind, lightning).
There will be two status bars to be aware of while playing the game. An HP bar, and a Stamina bar. Depending on difficulty setting the HP bar may or may not recharge, but the Stamina will always recharge when your character is at rest and not executing any actions (unless you have a status effect). Instead of health packs, potions or flasks you character can simply heal themselves at anytime. Each character will have their own unique healing animation some will just sit down and bust out a bottle of mead and start drinking while others might pull out a pouch and select a potion then drink it and so on (all of them recharge health and heal status effects with the same efficiency). When HP reaches zero your character will become incapacitated and must be helped by another player. If a player dies in action they are out of the game until the party stumbles upon or goes to a special altar later in the game. On harder difficulty settings you will have to deal with status effects, your HP wont recharge, HP handicaps, and each healing instance has a 60 second (or longer) recharge rate. Unlike “Left4Dead” as you defeat enemies you will gain XP. Accumulate enough XP and you get to “level up” choose a buff and a perk which can be done at anytime but leaves you vulnerable. Also of note you can choose to take a break and let the AI control your player just like “Left4Dead”and level up while the AI is playing your character. Consecutive hits + kills without being staggered will add “Adrenaline Rush” points. The adrenaline rush can be activated to add additional damage to attacks, as well as add health buffs in an emergency situation or the player can let it max out then use it to unleash a super power. A super-power is a special super attack that can only be done with full adrenaline gauge.
The combat experience will be similar to “Dark Souls” in spirit with a few tweaks here and there. The first and most important tweak is the concept of “stances” which will feel a lot like Assassin Creed. In that when holding one of the triggers it will change the “stance” of your character while also changing the inputs associated with the 4 input buttons. In fact you will not even draw your weapons/shield unless your are holding one of the triggers. The Left-Trigger will represent a defensive stance and the Right-Trigger will represent an offensive stance.
The defensive stance blocks all incoming attacks with your character turning to block and move automatically when getting hit from any direction (similar to Assassin Creed) with the exception that you can only block one hit at a time and you can choose where to block yourself by switching targets or just let the game handle the blocking for you. Blocking will negate most of the damage of incoming attacks and prevent stagger (most of the time) but drain stamina in the process, run out of stamina and consider your block broken which means next hit will stagger you. When in defensive stance your movement is severely limited to only slow steps forward, backwards and/or strafing side-steps. Dodges in defensive stance are only little hops back forwards or sideways (uses stamina) and any attacks be it strong or quick are just repetitive -- meaning they will not combo it will just be the same attack over and over again.
On the flip-side when holding the right trigger you go into an offensive stance. In this stance your movements are much faster and your attacks can become powerful combos. melee combos are combinations of quick and strong attacks. players can even add power-attacks (hold quick or strong attack charge and release) to their combos. A dodge in this offensive stance will be quick rolls and/or flips in the desired direction.
When not holding the triggers you can still initiate combat specific inputs these are considered “special attacks”. There are several different kinds of special attacks depending on weather you choose to hit quick attack or strong attack and weather you are sprinting or not.
Input Layouts (xbox):
-(A) sprint, dodge
-(X) quick attacks, quick special
-(B) strong attacks, strong special
-(Y) Adrenaline Release
-(Left/Right Bumpers) switch targets
-(Left Trigger) defensive stance + draw weapon
-(Right Trigger) offensive stance + draw weapon
-(Left/Right D-Pad) switch melee styles
-(Down D-Pad) heal yourself + interact with objects in the game
- (Up D-Pad) level up select buff and perk
-(joysticks) work just like any other third person action game
-(select) immediately takes a “break”
-(start) game menu
Super Power Attacks:
-Tank: brief charge animation that turns into a spinning vortex that gets faster and faster turning into a small tornado that you can control with the joystick. tank gets dizzy for a few seconds after release
-Swashbuckler: brief charge animation that generates a small field that is visible by a circle of energy around the player any enemies in that circle will be bombarded by several invincible attacks when finished. attacks are randomized.
-The mage: combines all four elements in one massive spell attack
combat experience as a mage:
-the mage is kind of the odd one out but still very effective and should be a lot of fun to play as
-the mage will be able to cast magical spells when not holding any triggers
-there will be two versions of the spell a quick and a strong
-quick spells unleash instantly but are weak
-strong spells take a few seconds to build up but are much stronger
-change the element by hitting left or right on the d-pad so enemies are weak to one element and immune to others.
-when in offensive stance magical spells can be incorporated into combos of melee attacks by charging and releasing a strong attack
combat experience as a tank:
-a tank is all about taking and dealing a lot of damage
-if your feeling spiffy you can sprint towards a group of enemies by pressing A
-then hit B to do a shoulder rush to knockback or stagger a few enemies
-hit the right trigger to draw your claymore out and bust out a simple quick quick strong combo
-then fall back into a defensive stance and chip away the health of a stronger enemy
-then when his hp is almost zero let go of the trigger walk up to the enemy and press X to grab and throw them into another group of oncoming enemies or press B to instantly kill them
combat experience as a swashbuckler:
-this class is all about agile attacks and getting critical hits
-you can get in and out and if you're overwhelmed switch to a sword/shield and hold your own in the grind but you will lose stamina much faster than a tank
-it is best to single out tough enemies for 1 on 1 combat quickly circle strafe and get bonus criticals
World Design and enemy concepts:
Unlike “Left4Dead” there will not be maps, instead there will be one huge sandboxed open world with 4 different scenarios or legends to choose from. the open world itself will be adequately scaled to feel huge complete with towns, numerous dungeons, caves, and huge ruins to explore. all of which can be entered without a single loading screen (just like dark souls). a quick note to point out that towns in this world are not safe areas. often the towns are being destroyed or are already destroyed. sometimes if you catch it at the right time you can choose to stay and help protect the town getting rewarded with information on a boss location in return.
when you start a legend it will play a brief cut-scene to introduce the scenario. sometimes the hero’s will be partying it up at a bar as strangers in some random town when all hell breaks lose. in another scenario they will be exploring some ruins as a team hired by the same guy (who might be involved in the whole catastrophe) or perhaps even fighting against each other in an arena to become champion of the land when a dragon attacks thus all hell breaks loose once again so on and so on.
the world itself will be populated with a huge plethora of generic beasts which i call “the wild-life” of the world. all of these generic beasts will be territorial and are always inhabiting the same areas each time no matter what the legend is. only leaving their designated area during a chase after your party. these beast will level up and become more difficult as you level up and are designed to be unexpected challenges that evolve into expected challenges as you become more familiar with the open world. in addition to the generic beasts each scenario will have its own army of unique enemies that spawn randomly on the map. often wandering or going on raids against towns sometimes fighting with each other and/or the wildlife itself when you stumble upon them. these enemies are extremely challenging and must be handled with care. there will also be environmental hazards, numerous traps and storms to contend with as you explore the world.
each scenario may be unique in content and story but all are exactly the same as far as the overall objective. the overall objective is to find and thus defeat 4 bosses that are randomly scattered throughout the game to unlock the final area and defeat the final boss as fast as you possibly can. the world has over 20 boss spawn points where the bosses could inhabit and you have to search through them until you find one of the 4 bosses. the final boss and area is always in the same place each time. infact its the only area that is blocked off from the players until all 4 bosses are defeated. once this is done two other bosses will appear that are optional. these 2 bosses will be 10 times more harder then the final boss. there will be no map and no waypoints. the only hints you have are; when you start getting close to a boss you can hear rumbling or even make out the sound of monstrous roars shrieks and screams. i imagine stumbling into a boss without being on your toes will result in immediate incapacitation. that is until you become more familiar with the bosses in each legend and the potential spawn points. when you wander into a boss it will get up and immediately begin its attack patterns no warning, no loading or cut-scene. the only cut-scenes in the game are the opening scene, boss death scenes and the final scenes that play when you beat the legend.
-mastering the art of combat and experimenting with different classes until you find the one that best fits your playstyle
-sticking together and cooperating in an open world with no loading and no in-game system to enforce cooperation
- locating the bosses. i can see some veteran players choosing to risk splitting up into two teams then regrouping to take on a boss when one is located.
-defeating the bosses. each boss will have a scale and ferociousness similar to that of the bosses in dark souls
-defeating the final boss
-beating the game as fast as you possibly can, to get the best score.