Warhammer Online to model geometric collision

I find this horribly interesting.

Here’s the original preview on gamespot.

And here’s the interesting part:

it became very clear that a very key part of Warhammer Online’s PVP strategy will be about jockeying for position. This is because the game actually models geometric collision, which is a fancy way of saying that characters can’t walk through each other. Therefore, PVP battles seem to share something in common with tackle football (the American kind): In order to get at the vulnerable quarterback, you need to get past a couple of big, thick-necked linemen. So, smart dwarf ironbreakers will insert themselves within chokepoints as a buffer between the enemy and their weaker allies,

So, my worry, as I posted above, is that it won’t be handled well and that it’ll just become a real pain in the ass.


  • the simple griefing. 10 people stand around you…what do you do?
  • Imagine Ironforge with geometric collision
  • You’ll almost assuredly be able to use it against the NPCs.

Now some of that could be taken care of by not having it happen when not in combat areas, but that only limits it, doesn’t solve the problem.

That being said, I REALLY like the idea. IF it can be made to not suck. It’ll make combat a lot more tactical, fun and potentially erase the need for hate lists. Which can only be a good thing.

So if anyone can do it, Mythic can, but damn if I don’t see a lot potential problems.


I hope they give the characters relative mass. I want to see warriors running over mages!

That would be pretty awesome too… except even more likely to be abused. My ultimate combat game as all physics and mass in it, but has no assholes. I imagine I won’t be seeing that game soon.


That’s a tonne of calculations to add to the system, no?

I dunno, it sounds like a reasonable game balance starting point. People just boxing each other out with no consideration towards mass is boring. Flying wedges and magic walls are not.

EQ had character collision if I remember right (although maybe it was later removed). I recall Ogres (very large character models) being used to block passageways to grief people, similar to what Matt imagines.

That said, I think this is a great idea. MMOs need to get past the artificial crutch of aggro lists and taunts, and start moving towards a system where strong front-liners can physically shield weaker back-line troops, and get facing bonuses if someone tries to run past them to hit the rear. Whether it can be done with current technology or not, I have no idea, but if Mythic can pull it off that will be a big, big selling point to get people to switch from WoW.

And that’s what I think people need to do to succeed here. WoW has pretty well wrapped up the EQ-style “diku-mud” market. It has way too much momentum to be beaten at its own game; it’s like stores who try to compete with Wal-Mart on pricing. Don’t bother. Differentiate yourself some other way.

Target: We’re like Wal-Mart with a bit more shiny and less bad PR!

That’s a great idea for a PVP game. I imagine the tactics you’d have to use: archers and spellcasters launching shit over the melee to get at a mage that’s being protected.
It could be some good stuff. Maybe not in this game, but at some point.

I’d just have it active when you are in combat. That way, it’s there when it can add something worthwhile to the game, and goes away the rest of the time. This also limits issues with lag and such, since the game only has to calculate collision between small, isolated groups for short periods of time, rather than calculating collision for all entities in a zone, all the time.

I’d also be afraid of going AFK having having some “helpful” people push me into a high-aggro area.

I’d rather if you just got knocked down and became a non-factor. Rolling you to another zone would be funny, but I don’t see it happening.

Remember when some ogre would park his fat ass at the entrance to Solusek B? Yeah, that was real fun.


It seems like that could be solved, though. For example, you could allow people to “push past” a player obstacle (which might be pretty slow, and allow the obstacle to get free attacks on you if he’s in combat with you, or whatever – so that it’s not worth doing in combat, but can be used to get around griefers).

Aaaandd Balasarius skips posts 2-11 to post a one-liner and vanish.

Yeah, EQ had it for awhile and they removed it because it was such a pain in the ass. The Ogre sitting is a good example.

But they didn’t really use it tactically in combat either.

I don’t know what WHO is implementing, but it would be cool if there was no hate list. Enemies randomly selected their target, often by a simple closest check. Then as, they got their ass kicked by the mages/archers/whatever in back, they tried to readjust. So now the warriors are continually hacking on them, slowing them down from moving (getting hit should slow you down), tripping them, etc. The mens and womens in back are now moving, trying to keep the melee types in between them. Then as it’s going south, a command is issued, a wall of stone is thrown up and the melee peeps are now able to keep them contained.

Or have multiple lines of melee types. Or fight in a roman esque square.

So many cool tactics make them self available when you start to include real world physics into the combat. Of course, then you’ll want things like archers and mages needing line of site and having a chance of burning their front line if they don’t have correctly, etc.

True tactical combat. Or least a good game approximation of it (you wouldn’t really have archers firing into melee combat, etc).

That would end up with two things. One, combat would become more about skill and adaptability than what you’re wearing or what class you are. Two, most people would suck at it. ;)

Who what?

P.S. The official acronym is WAR, for Warhammer Age of Reckoning.

Asheron’s Call had collision detection for people flagged +PVP. We used this on occasion to get to places you weren’t supposed to be able to get to by creating pyramids.

An interesting byproduct of this was that when you got killed, you had 2 minutes of -PVP, where you were able to pass through other players. If you reflagged while inside another character, you froze them in place. During the “…of the Hill People” runs on Darktide, we used this to good effect vs people 70 levels higher than us. :)

UO used to have collision detection as well. Yes it could be used to greif but you could push past if you had full endurance (IIRC).

Personally I think that if it is implemented with some way to get past enemies who then get some sort of bonus attack it could be great. Mind you the devil is in the details for this sort of thing.

If there’s enough room, it’s not really a problem. EverQuest was packed with tiny corridors too small for the largest races to get through, so you could get the scenarios described. The later expansions generally had larger corridors, and I really only know about griefing happening in the very old dungeons of Sol A and B, and Befallen. Given the way EQ worked, the monsters would kill the blockage for you if it wasn’t right next to the entrance, and thus could zone in and out.

Being surrounded by collision-buddies seems to me to be an incredibly unlikely event. If they are enemies, you can bash your way out. If they are allies, well, what the hell - they are wasting six or more accounts to try to disrupt one account. Call a GM and that’s the end of him - MMOG providers take harassment pretty seriously.

Planetside has full collision detection, and I don’t remember being griefed like that. Mind you, it has friendly fire and sanctuary recall, so you can always shoot your way out or just teleport home. UO had the famous travelling carpenters, but there’s no implication that players can create collision structures, just that they carry one around with themselves. I can’t think of any other examples from the genre. I think D&D online had collision detection, but it was pure group PvE, so there was a strong incentive not to be a cock.

Is there falling damage? Because I’d buy just to push people off cliffs.