The knockback system is something we REALLY need to lock down. I’m not absolutely sure how this all translates, nor am I particularly clear on how it’s done in other games. Especially with Dark Souls, as it works in conjunction (?) with poise.
As far as “I” have designed. Each attack would have knockback details. This allows us to have differing effects from something like an uppercut, to things like a home-run swing from a club. The uppercut would knock you high into the air, without much distance. While the home-run would strike you far.
I feel this could easily be met with 3 values. Height, Distance, and Stuntime. If not stun, then constrained to the animations I detail in the diagram.
One of the significant aspects of the knockback is to position enemies in front of your next attack, or in a more varied context position them further from your next attack to make combat more considered. With committed attack animations, like in Dark Souls, your unit often steps forward an amount based on the intensity of the attack. If the target enemy does not get knocked back from the hit, then you will either press unnaturally close to them with the following attack, or you’ll pass by them altogether. This means that, in most cases, you’ll need to knock the enemy back about as far as you will be stepping forward in the next attack.
Greater attacks, and finishing combo attacks would be the types of attacks that launch the enemy farther than a following attack would land, because they are emant to be a great deal more impactful visually and gameplay wise.
Knockback severity could be set by the specific attack with an ENUM, so that we know what sort of knockback we’re trying to deliver in any attacks. This means that if we had a giant with a tree as a weapon, even if you have a lot of defense and can mitigate lots of the damage, you’d be swept off your feet and launched away.
I’m not sure however, if poise is intact would you not get launched? Would the launch be reduced by one? This is something we need to better understand by the end of the knockback implementation.
Likewise, how will the player slide against the surface if taking air doesn’t keep you in the air for the duration of the launch.
There will need to be an “In Launch” animation that reflects the type of launch, followed by an “On Launch Land” animation that finalizes the launch and transitions back into freemove.