Get # Pro Tips: Turbocharging Avowed's Combat System Based on Fan Feedback

It’s not just good practice, it’s the very thing that makes the difference between a good game and a truly unforgettable one In Obsidian Entertainment’s upcoming action RPG Avowed, developer’s intentions lean into and complement this action. The studio is known for its sensitivity to community input with respect to Avowed’s combat systems, a fine-tuning that is bound to make a difference in the longevity and experience of the game. Let’s see how Obsidian aims to bring the gaming experience to a professional level.

Pro Feedback Leads to PRO Improvements

When Avowed was first demonstrated during an Xbox Developer Direct in January, the few snippets of the game shown left many fans hungry for more kinetic, reactive combat – prompting the team behind it, Obsidian’s senior gameplay engineer Gabriel Paramo and his combat test engineers, to see this as an opportunity to take existing combat and evolve it so that it would both meet and exceed expectations.

‘That feedback was a wake-up call,’ Paramo said. That input from the community was vital in focusing their improvements on combat first and foremost.

Pro-Level Detailing in Combat Mechanics

(One area of improvement the team pointed out was hit reactions, perhaps the most important element in making every encounter feel meaningful and ‘real’.) Obsidian is looking at animation frame by frame, to cut down the time it takes between a hit and noticeable reaction

‘We wanted to put as much weight as possible into every strike and impact’ This micro-level attention to detail, specifying excessively extreme poses for the start of hit-reaction animation and exaggerating blood-impact effects, is tellingly described by Paramo as allowing the company to give the pro gamer ‘everything a player could want’.

Beyond the Visuals: A Symphony of Sensory Feedback

While those visual upgrades are undoubtedly important, Obsidian wants more than that from Avowed. The team feels that truly immersive combat needs to engage the senses, and audio feedback is also a major part of that upgrade.

‘It’s not only about what you see, it’s about what you hear,’ said Paramo, adding that each interaction felt more realistic with sound.

The PRO Player's Anticipation: Avowed's Release

At this stage, there is no official release date for Avowed, although Obsidian hopes to ship the game some time in 2024. It will be playable on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PC, and will be available from day one on Xbox Game Pass. Pro gamers and other eager players are eagerly awaiting the game’s release.

News releases from the Avowed team are greetings from the Chosen People. A refined action combat system, hell-bent on satisfying our dreams and made more tantalising as we ramp up to launch in late 2023… it’s an awkward grace note that unfortunately symbolises a broader strain of unresolved anxiety.

More Than Just Combat: What Else to Expect from Avowed

Although combat is a crucial element, the scope of what Obsidian is aiming for with Avowed reaches much further: Paramo’s comments offer just a taste of what sorts of work goes into building a game that aspires to be as immersive as possible – and as we inch closer and closer to the game’s launch, fans will be eager for updates on what players can expect from the combat, story, and world of Avowed.

Pro Gaming Meets PRO Development

RPGs are more about pro-activeness: starting with an initial idea, but tweaking it in light of playtesting, and seeking out new ideas while the original idea is still pearly fresh. When Obsidian Entertainment polish Avowed’s combat system in response to player feedback, they exemplify this stance. Such a move will set a new bar for pro-ness on the way to being gold in game-making.

Both developers and players notice, and are excited about, what’s on the horizon. A game that truly listens to its audience, then takes that feedback and implements it with professional rigour – few upcoming RPGs have more anticipation behind them than Avowed. As Obsidian continues to work through each of these components, the message is implicit: the road to a legendary game runs straight through the heart of its player base.

About PRO

This ‘pro’ doesn’t merely mean ‘professional’ in a workplace sense, although it also means that. ‘Pro’ is a stand-insider term that represents a sense of excellence, expertise and a commitment to craft, which Obsidian is hoping that Avowed represents. Being pro-active in response to player feedback and pro-ing out levels of detail in terms of game feel are both examples of this commitment. Doing things ‘pro’ is about aspiring not just to player community standards, but to exceeding them. This pro-ness is what makes Avowed – and its creators – so different to all the others RPGs out there, and why I suspect it’s going to be a game to engage with, and to be engaged in by, experts.

Jun 15, 2024
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