Previously, the most fundamental functions of any combat concept were cemented: tanking, damage, healing.
Additionally, the two supporting functions determined the input/output of the fundamentals: (de)buffing, utility.
Only Slightly Less Known than F = ma
…and so only one remains. Combat is, at its very core, the tri-dependent abilities of tanking, damage, and healing. These are achieved through the means of an input for the abilities to take place, and their output. There is only one more combat function to consider.
This final derivative (that allows all other concepts to take place) might be explained as follows:
Logistic – the act permitting combat to occur at all.
It’s all fine and dandy that you want to engage in a little tanking, damage, or healing. And it’s super that you have the means and opportunities to achieve those goals. But unless combat actually takes place, it’s all for naught.
The first of two facets dealing with the ‘Logistic’ title is location (“being”). You can have all the willpower, the means, the firepower superiority in the world, but unless you are in a physical position to apply any of it, it’s worthless. There is no ‘threat’ otherwise, and ‘threat’ denotes the ‘realistic possibility’ of something occurring.
There are plenty of real life examples where this very concept exists.
The second of two facets is simply being aware (“knowing”). You can be on location, ready to rumble, but if you cannot identify who the combatants are, where precisely combat is taking place, what you are dealing with, etc. then you will never be involved in combat, in fighting. It is possible, however, that someone is fighting you.
Consent – This is a subset of matching awareness, dealing with willingness. It is worthy of its own bullet because in many ways it’s the ultimate 800lb gorilla in having combat happen.
You Don’t Say!
There’s a reason why certain expressions exist. It is the supreme concept to warfare. And its reassuring that after establishing base fundamentals, identifying different combat roles, we arrive at such a state.
A different way of looking at things might be helpful as well. One might approach things linearly and state:
– Tanking, the fact of having a health pool, starts things off
– Damage, begins the interactions, removing health
– Healing, allows sustained interactions, replenishing health
– (De)Buffing, facilitates any of the aforementioned taking place
– Utility, allows any of the aforementioned to take place
– Logistic, decides if any of the aforementioned even matters
The goal was to establish the baseline of combat and how the ‘Holy Trinity’ tied into it, if at all. As such, a tiered approach, examining derivatives, was used. At the end of the day, however one relates to the concept of combat is their prerogative. We all have our perspectives. Now, with everything in its place, we can cite the HT as a bare necessity of life combat.
Tha.. tha… tha…. That’s all Folks!
No. Not really. We’ve only just begun. Now that we’ve established all the components necessary for combat to take place, it’s high time the concepts were put to use. The next stage is to establish how they fit into the life of the individual and group.
It’s paramount that a designer of any system, be it of games, flight dynamics, social events- of anything– be aware of all the components at play, and tools at their disposal. That is the goal of this series: to outline, underscore, establish all functions at their most bare. Sometimes, in so doing, ‘new’ components are uncovered- this is the art of introspection.
Once this is done, design can begin. And the design need not be systematic, procedural or anything of the sort. It can be semi-chaotic, ‘artistic’, random… but it must start with first rounding up all the terms. Otherwise you wake up to find you’re left with a goal of painting a portrait, and you only have a single pencil in hand.