Home > Game Design, Technical > PASBR AP Burst / Infinite Avoidance System

PASBR AP Burst / Infinite Avoidance System

December 12th, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Quite a few players have been asking for information on the AP Burst / Infinite Avoidance System in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, so here’s a quick overview. As most fighting game players know, a “combo” is defined as a series of attacks that can neither be blocked nor escaped once the initial attack connects. Basically the victim remains locked in hit stun until the combo ends, which can take a very long time in some games.

In PASBR, whenever a combo generates 100 AP or more, the victim instantly enters infinite avoidance state. They’re automatically ejected at a 45° angle and remain invincible the entire way up and down until they land – unless they attack or perform some other offensive action to relinquish their invincibility before landing.

PASBR Parappa AP Burst ComboWhen infinite avoidance occurs, whichever character triggered it receives a 30 AP bonus. Ideally, you want to perform a combo that adds up to 99 AP, then finish it with your strongest attack (which earns around 30 AP for most characters). That would cause AP burst at 129 AP and you’d end up with 159 AP after the bonus.

Of course, most characters can’t quite reach 159 AP because the vast majority of attacks are valued in increments of 5 or 10 AP. However, many characters can rack up 90 or 95 AP, making it possible to achieve 150 or 155 AP combos.

If two characters are beating up on one opponent in a 2v2 or FFA match, infinite avoidance is triggered when their attacks combine for 100 AP, not when they reach 100 AP independently. Only the character who performs the final hit to trigger AP burst will receive the 30 AP bonus.

There’s one major exception i should mention. Certain attacks in the game don’t cause hit stun, such as Sir Daniel’s D+Circle flames or Dante’s Triangle bullets. We call these “Twitch” reactions, and twitch reactions neither count against the infinite avoidance limit, nor can they trigger AP burst. That’s why Dante sometimes seems to break the rules, but it’s kind of his reward for having such a specialized Triangle button which isn’t useful in direct combat.

Our primary reason for implementing this system was to prevent players from getting caught in combos for painfully long periods of time. We were able to preserve PASBR’s open-ended, freestyle combo system, while ensuring that no player has to surrender control of their character for longer than 5-10 seconds at a time.

However, this system is more than a failsafe. The AP burst mechanic provides an interesting strategic choice for advanced players: Do you want to end your combo early and keep your opponent nearby for a wakeup mixup or air tech reset? Or do you want to maximize your AP gain at the cost of ejecting your opponent to safety?
PASBR Hero Cole AP Burst Combo
Furthermore, setting the infinite avoidance limit at 100 AP basically ensures that it takes at least two clean hits to combo into super at the beginning of a match – or after performing a lvl3 super. That’s because every lvl1 super attack in the game costs at least 100 AP.

Even if players were to discover 159 AP combos with every character in the game, it’s extremely difficult to cross the threshold from 99 AP to 100 AP without triggering AP burst. Dante is the biggest potential exception to this rule, which is why his lvl1 super costs 150 AP.

Overall, Battle Royale’s AP burst system ensures a more balanced gameplay experience for all characters – while presenting players with interesting tactical choices. Best of all, it allows PASBR’s combo system to remain open-ended, providing ample room for freestyle creativity.

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  1. LightSage
    March 13th, 2013 at 21:38 | #1

    Thanks for replying, I appreciate it. I’m very anxious for Jak’s buffs. It’s what i’m looking forward to the most(and his DLC alternate costume right after)and actually since launch i’ve been looking forward for one. I noticed first day of the recent patch that Jak’s Needle Lazer and Arc Wielder got slightly buffed. Definitely is a little more helpful especially the Arc Wielder, which is also true to his game series minus the range.

    About the lowest AP gain. I should have been more specific. I was referring to the gun mods he uses alone as a single attack. You know like the Needle L giving only 10 AP *if* all 3 lazers hit, Peace maker 5 AP, etc things like that. His melee moves are pretty solid except for the Jetboard dash(5AP)(without the punch) and regular (ground)punch(5AP). In addition, because he’s not a heavy combo hitting character his AP gain doesn’t build like others do like Ratchet, Spike, Drake, Cole, etc. It seems his spinkick got nerfed, because it doesn’t land all the hits it use to before the patch.

    His level 3 is great in general, but the limited time of it and Jak’s AP gain *rate* total doesn’t add up. That’s why I say an extra sec or 2 max. That’s all. Because in Light Jak’s current state and with how skilled the community/fans has gotten, getting 6 kills is pretty much rare in FFA.

    About his AP gain again. In FFA he does build AP the fastest then other modes. (I’d say that was one of his hidden traits/potential). I noticed that after a couple of months after release along with some little use of his under powered gun mods.

    But um i’m a very dedicated Jak main. Been studying him and maining him every single day since launch. I’m actually a hardcore J&D fan and mainly bought the game for Jak. When I finally saw that Jak was going to make an appearance in a party brawler type game I was like ok i’m going to main him and kick ass as him and show people that Jak is a character not to take lightly at all, but then when I played as him there was a lot of lacks from his series and I was highly disappointed. A character like Jak should be at least B tier with his reputation. He’s basically a god in his series. I was also looking forward to at least 1 Light Jak intro and outro, because you have to admit his Light mode and dark mode wasn’t rep’ped enough. It’s kinda sad to see that we only see Light & Dark Jak via the supers minus the dark eco emitting losing outro, but i’m at least grateful that Jak made it into the game. He definitely needs some buffs though, so yeah looking forward to it, still love the game and enjoy playing it.

    Also I don’t know how to get in contact with SSM. They don’t have a place like the forums where we fans can voice our concerns and inputs.

  2. March 14th, 2013 at 22:41 | #2

    Believe me, we meant no disrespect against Jak’s power level within his own universe. In fact, one of the biggest challenges we faced was that nearly every character in PASBR was the protagonist in their own single-player game, where they were literally unstoppable against every type of enemy.

    Ultimately we had to choose the most fitting combat persona for each character, then assign appropriate weaknesses to match that design. Jak is meant to be a mid-to-long range character in PASBR, so some of his close range attacks simply can’t be as powerful as Big Daddy’s or Raiden’s close range attacks – otherwise nobody would be able to tell that Jak is meant to be played at long range.

    As for some of those unusual AP values, we do actually have a set of standards for how much AP each attack is supposed to generate – which is tied to the type of reaction they cause. There are a few exceptions, but i’d say over 95% of all attacks obey those rules.

    Btw when you do get a chance to try out the changes, just remember to compare them against everyone else’s buffs/nerfs, not against the old status quo. Most of the characters you complained about did receive slight nerfs, although in general we tried to add more buffs than nerfs in the patch.

    As for contacting SSM, i’m not really sure what the best way would be. You might want to ask them on twitter.

  3. LightSage
    March 15th, 2013 at 11:42 | #3

    @Maj
    Interesting. I actually had that perspective in my head from release, but it’s just when Jak was compared to Ratchet and Sly then it seemed unfair. I mean Sly and Ratchet are above Jak in tier as well, but I definitely understand that first paragraph.

    2nd paragraph I also understand.

    Now I understand this to, but 5 AP for the Peace maker, 5 AP for the Mass Inverter, 5 ap per shot on the Beam Reflexor, etc? All of those I mentioned could have at least been 10.

    Oh trust me I know that some characters have been nerfed and buffed, but it’s just when you said abusive I had to bring up other characters who just about had the same level of abusiveness as Jak’s moves you mentioned.

    But so far Jak’s buffs/nerfs has been released- http://community.us.playstation.com/t5/PlayStation-All-Stars-Battle/PlayStation-All-Stars-Battle-Royale-Notes-on-3-19-13-Balance/td-p/39878989/highlight/false

    Of course I overall like it, but I have to say the nerf on the Wave Concussor was taken to far. The whole purpose of what the gun is known and was designed for is gone. It can no longer hit behind Jak and it received a 50% decrease in hit volume. Might as well replace the gun with the Scatter gun now especially since the fully charged version still grants no additional AP. 25 or 30% decrease in volume would have been enough, but 50% is just way to much especially since it can’t hit behind him anymore.

    It still sucks though that the Dark bomb, Beam Reflexor and Peace maker received no buffs at all :( Those moves need buffs as well whether it’s just slight AP gain or the move mechanics.

  4. LightSage
    March 16th, 2013 at 19:34 | #4

    @Maj
    I also have a couple of questions just regarding Jak in general.

    Was his original voice actor even tried to be contacted before release?

    And why the change to his double jump from his game series?

    I have other questions to, but I don’t want to overwhelm you so ill just ask these 2 and that’s it.

  5. March 19th, 2013 at 00:57 | #5

    Oh i’m sure Jak’s original voice actor was contacted, but there’s a lot of reasons why those deals don’t work out sometimes. I wasn’t really part of that discussion, but i do vaguely remember that people considered Daxter’s voice actor a higher priority – since Jak is sort of the silent protagonist in his own games. Daxter is really the voice that everyone’s remembers, right?

    As for your second question, i’m not really sure what you mean, but it probably had to do with animating it in a way that matched our standard double-jump physics. Jumping is one thing that we wanted to feel consistent across all characters, since everyone’s attacks and supers are so diversely unique and individualized.

    And don’t worry about overwhelming me with questions. Obviously i won’t have answers for everything because i wasn’t involved in every decision (not by a long shot). But if i know the answer or if i remember hearing anything about how some decision was made, i’ll be happy to answer.

  6. mcw00ty
    March 19th, 2013 at 09:11 | #6

    What I really enjoy about this game that I didn’t quite “get” at first was how much it plays like a traditional fighter more so than a Smash Bros. type platform fighter. There are a lot of rules in place in terms of hit reactions, eject trajectories and so on, that make the game feel structured and “purposeful”. I’m not saying Smash is a bunch of random code slapped together, and not to compare the two games, but All Stars just plays so much differently. When I was first trying this game out I was trying to play it like smash bros (spam air moves) and while that can work to some degree with some characters, it just doesn’t feel right. It’s when you start getting into the mechanics, rules, physics, and nuances of All Stars that it really opens up.

    I love the design decisions like having only one movement speed (walking doesn’t really count). It keeps the controls simple, and telegraphs how fast that character feels. It disallows “dash attack” moves, which maybe could have added depth, but I feel you covered movement based attacks with button attacks already on characters that need them.

    Anyway, love that the game is still being worked on, I sure hope there are more characters on the way. If the game has to stay alive by being an advertisement for new games via DLC characters than so be it :)

    Also, whose leg do I have to hump to get ranked 2v2 “solo queue” matchmaking?

  7. LightSage
    March 19th, 2013 at 11:24 | #7

    @Maj
    Alright, but what you said about Jak & Daxter only applied in the first game. In the first game Jak was silent and Daxter was always talking. In the sequels Jak starting talking a lot, not casual at all. A lot of fans love Jak’s original voice/voice actor and hate his new voice actor. As a matter of fact his original voice actor Facebook page was blown up with messages on his wall asking why he wasn’t in all stars and same with multiple youtube videos that leaked his voice before release. Several topics were even made on the forums earlier. Jak received a lot a lot of criticism and hate when people heard his voice especially in the whole arcade mode. Jak’s voice was one of the most hated things about all stars because theirs so many fans who bought this game just for Jak and of course some who bought it for other reasons. Everyone including me was expecting badass lines for/from Jak like in Jak II, 3 and X. But obviously his new voice actor doesn’t have that proper tone of voice and attitude, so I see why he isn’t badass in this game. What’s done is done, but I was really disappointed in his lines and voice, but mostly every fan knows he has his The Lost Frontier voice actor.

    Alright thanks for explaining the double jump physics. Now I understand.

    Since it’s ok to ask more questions Ill ask some more xD.

    Why was Daxter pants not included especially on the Jak’s Combat Racing costume?

    Was any Light Jak intro’s/outro’s at least thought about?

    Was there any plans for Jak to at least wear his red bandanna(which he constantly wore in Jak 3)like Emmett and Nariko wear theirs? May’be even the goggles may’be?

    Was any (out of the many possible) Jak and Daxter items/weapons/artifacts thought about being used as an item in all stars?

    **REAL IMPORTANT QUESTION** Why doesn’t he have his changed hair appearances in his costumes in this game when his own games strongly shown how his hair was dynamically different every installment? Some characters like Raiden, Fat Princess and others have it so why not Jak? I will say I have sometimes defended this and been against it with my rational and logical explanations to people. 1 of my many points why I thought his hair doesn’t change is because of the Light Jak & Dark Jak transformation. Would look pretty crazy to see Light Jak with long hair and etc, but I also always thought couldn’t they have found a way to get around that? But I want an answer from a former Dev who worked on the game.

    I’m a big Jak fan as you can see so that’s why all my questions pertain to Jak xD. There was never a way to get in contact with the devs regarding such questions as mine, so that’s why I have so many.

  8. March 20th, 2013 at 12:38 | #8

    mcw00ty: Thank you for the kind words, sir. We definitely made a conscious effort to infuse the combat system with more traditional fighting game elements, so i’m glad you enjoy the end result. As for your question, that would be up to Sony Santa Monica at this point, so i guess you’d have to find some way to contact them and hope for the best.

    LightSage: I’m not sure why Daxter’s pants, Jak’s red bandanna, or his different hair styles weren’t included, but i do know that we ran into some trouble with having to animate two characters in one slot. Jak and Daxter have some of the most detailed animations in the game, and in fact we exceeded the PS3’s joint rigging limit at one point, so we had to split Jak and Daxter into separate models and implement them in a whole new way (unlike any of our other characters) to avoid losing animation detail.

    Anyway the point is that we had some unique technical challenges with Jak, so some of the costume choices were bound by those limitations. Then again, it could’ve been a simple oversight, but i wasn’t involved with any of those decisions so i couldn’t say for sure. For what it’s worth, one of my coworkers was equally annoyed by Daxter’s missing pants.

    As for Light Jak intros/outros, we tried a few variants but ultimately felt the ones that made it into the game were more expressive. Cinematically there’s not a whole lot you can do in 1-2 seconds. Quirky/funny animations tend to work much better than trying something epic.

    Quite a few weapons from Jak and Daxter were considered as potential item candidates – namely the Scatter Gun, Vulcan Fury, Plasmite RPG, and Super Nova from Jak 3, as well as the Attack Drone, Homing Drone, Shock Screen, and Turbo Assist from Jak X. Unfortunately most of those weapons didn’t fit our intended role for items in PASBR, so we didn’t end up including any of them. It would’ve been cool to include the Super Nova as an item, but it probably would’ve had to kill opponents directly and that seemed too strong. (Medusa’s Gaze is the only item in PASBR that can kill enemies, but it happens through an interactive two-stage process.)

  9. LightSage
    March 20th, 2013 at 17:54 | #9

    @Maj
    Oh I see. That sounded complicated.

    Yeah Daxter pants was also a high disappointment to when Jak’s other costumes was shown.

    Hmm? The Light Jak intros/outros I was thinking about would have been similar to Emmett’s, Isaac’s(flying away outro and gliding down intro on his gravity shoes), Evil Cole’s(Static thruster gliding down intro) and Sackboy’s(jetpack intro) I/O’s. Like a simple Light Jak flying down from the screen(intro) or Jak transforming into Light Jak and flying away(outro) would have made me satisfied. It didn’t have to be that special. Just seeing Light Jak himself in a cinematic besides the Level 3 would have been enough. It’s nice to hear though that it was at least thought of. I thought it wasn’t.

    It’s nice to hear that some of those items especially those 4 guns mods you mentioned,which I was looking for after I found out it wasn’t in his moveset, was also thought of. Even more surprised that even though Jak X: Combat Racing was a candidate for having some item in this game in my mind, I still thought it would have been ignored. Now it’s weird how none of the items you mentioned didn’t fit the roles y’all wanted, because those items are amazing. This is a long shot, but was the Dark Eco Bomb looked into? http://jakanddaxter.wikia.com/wiki/Dark_Eco_bomb It’s the first artifact/item that appeared and debuted in J&D. Not only was it even used as an item on it’s first scene, but it’s also very iconic and re appeared in Jak 3. 1 item would been enough, because when I saw Ratchet had multiple items I was basically jealous and upset. I thought Jak games had the strongest possibility or best possibilities at getting at least 1 item :/ However about the Super Nova. That’s actually what I was thinking months before release. Either it would have had the same goal as the Medusa head or it would have been an EPIC item by taking an extraordinary amount of AP from players. I would say have the same purpose as the Medusa head though. I knew I missed some more questions. Sorry, but these questions slipped my mind.

    Why wasn’t there a Jak via Uncharted map like there was for Sly and Infamous & Ratchet and Resistance?

    Was Haven City and Sandover Village strongly debated across the team for which deserved to be his first, primary or rep’ed stage?

    Radec has 2 alternate colors on his default costume Red & Yellow. Was those purposely suppose to be a reference to the Krimzon Guard and Elite KG faction in the Jak franchise, specifically Jak II?

    Why wasn’t Jak’s main theme/credit theme, which was used as the HD Collection main menu theme, from Jak 3 used at all in this game through his Level 3 or Victory musics?

    Once again I really want to thank you for answering my questions that I’ve been long awaiting some answers to. I really really appreciate it!

  10. LightSage
    March 20th, 2013 at 23:58 | #10

    @Maj
    Oh and why doesn’t Jak have his ‘New Duds’ as an alternate color on his Mar’s Armor costume?

    (If there was an edit option, which I wished there was, I would have used it. I don’t like wasting comment boxes like this).

  11. March 21st, 2013 at 17:37 | #11

    We definitely came close to including the Super Nova, Attack Drone, and Shock Screen at various times during development, but ultimately it just didn’t work out. Personally i think the Mass Inverter and Beam Reflexor would’ve been the best candidates for fun items, but obviously they were already part of Jak’s regular moveset so we couldn’t use them.

    Sandover Village was an early choice, and it meshed well with the Hot Shots Golf mashup. I’m pretty sure it was the second level ever created for PASBR, and already existed when i joined SuperBot, so i couldn’t tell you if there were any debates about Haven City. And i think the racing mashup with Twisted Metal sounded too good to pass up, as did the Uncharted/BioShock mashup, so that’s why those level themes were paired together.

    As for your costume color and theme music questions, i really don’t know. Virtually all of those decisions were made under approval by the studios who owned the characters, so most of those aesthetic choices were sort of handed down to us.

  12. LightSage
    March 21st, 2013 at 21:45 | #12

    @Maj
    Man that’s sad to hear. Sounds like it would have been cool. Yeah the Beam Reflexor with it’s true attributes sound like it would have been a great item if it wasn’t in Jak’s moveset. Mass Inverter is to badass of a weapon to not be in Jak’s inventory though :)

    Oh ok. I was expecting more though for a Haven City mash up. Just a slight bit more. Don’t get me wrong, I love the mash up now. I love the music(Twisted Metal and Haven City theme :]), intensity of the level, all the Jak references like the Dark eco pool, Krimzon guards, etc! However since this was a Haven City mash up and KG’s were flying around everywhere in their hellcat cruisers, I was expecting Metal Heads to roam around as well similar to the Chimera’s on San Francisco. Either way the stage is great!

    Side note: I really wished his hair changed in his alternate costumes, Jak had a stage via Uncharted, Jak had at least 1 item in all stars, Jak had his new duds, his original voice actor and at least 1 Light Jak intro, but we can’t all get what we want, so I have to deal with that sadly.

    At least the overall game is fun and addictive…. when people aren’t spamming and rage-quitting left and right :(

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