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Why a stamina system is important for a non-restrictive combat system


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Some people (*cough* Tyron *cough*) expressed a distaste for a stamina system for combat,

so I'll try to explain, why a stamina system is important:


When there is no restriction or drawback for an action and that action is very useful,
then players will use it. And don't stop using it. They will do it all the time.
Minecraft had and still to some degree has this problem:
Combat was sprint-jumping around and triggering the left mouse button to no end.
It made for a really unimmersive and chaotic experience.

How did Mojang try to fix this?

A timer on the attack. Severely limiting the players freedom. And sprint-jumping
all over the place is still a thing.

Minecraft isn't the only example of this problem: Mount and Blade also has a similar problem.
Melee combat in M&B is a large bit more complex than in Minecraft. The player can attack
in four directions and block in four directions. Blocks only count if they mirror the
direction of the attack. Attacks also aren't instant and can be cancled.
And then there are some things like different damage types, stunning and chambers.
Sounds like it would make for a great combat system and it sort of does, to a point.

The problem arises from canceling attacks, which is often used to make the opponent block in
a wrong direction. This attack canceling to outplay the opponent is called fainting.
However, the player can faint attacks at any time and players make use of this at any time.
The combat is less about timing/reflexes and much more about confusing the enemy.
Fainting and attacks are spammed at a really fast rate and the readability of combat
suffers a lot. It also looks very stupid. However, it's the most effective way to play.

To fix this, one could either put a timer on feints, however this isn't really a
good idea as seen in Minecraft, limiting player freedom too much. A stamina cost however
could be very finely tuned (even weapon-specific), making feints have a drawback, while
also not limiting the player from using them. 

Stamina could also help fix the other problem of Minecraft combat: sprint-jumping.
Having stamina cost to sprinting and jumping can help making these actions the
retreat option they're supposed to be.

When discussing stamina, we also have to discuss the punishment for low or zero stamina.
The player still has to have some options for combat, or it would be like killing the player 
when stamina reaches zero. So basic actions like attacking and blocking should still be possible.
I like to think of stamina as the evasive/defensive capability of the player.
The only action that I think needs to be disabled would be sprinting, as it would be
a way to effective way of evading and retreating, possibly restoring stamina.
The other actions, especially the defensive actions, need to be heavily impacted:
Blocking should be highly ineffective, perhaps only blocking half the damage
and causing stagger. Attacking also needs to be slightly nerfed or going hyper-aggressive would
be too effective when at zero stamina. Probably something like slower swing speed or
lower damage would do.

The point is, at low stamina you should be at a massive disadvantage, but not without options.

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