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Modeling weapons in PE

How detailed should the mêlée weapons of PE be?  

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  1. 1. How detailed should the mêlée weapons of PE be?

    • Fully detailed - everything about weapons which could make a difference IRL should be in the game
    • Some detail - different weapons will perhaps have both strengths and weaknesses
    • No detail - just give all weapons a DPS number and let them have no other differences


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So, last update had me thinking about different types of weapon damage, more specifically which stats are needed to simulate fighting with a weapon in PE, and what they will change. All this does not mention armor (which was already covered in the recent update), or ranged weapons.

 

So I came up with a small list of suggestions - which stats and modifiers are needed, and how these different stats or modifiers should make a difference in a fight. Since we are not limited by some PnP game, we can make everything as complicated as needed. :) Please note that "length" and "weight" of weapons are rough approximations - it would do fine if all long swords of the same material were approximated as being the same length and weight, regardless of in- game representation.

 

Player stats:

  • Strength – A stat reflecting the strength of the character.
  • Dexterity – A measure of hand- eye coordination.
  • Skill (Accuracy) – How well the character knows how to fight. Probably a number which increases with levels, perhaps you also need to specifically allocate skill points to increase this.
  • Attack speed – Same as the above. Maybe the starting attack speed is weakly proportionally influenced by dexterity? This number might also be level-independent, as in for example Arcanum and Fallout.

Weapon modifiers:

  • Bonus/ malus to Strength - Longer weapons you swing in an arc should give a bonus to Strength. D&D actually models this as weapons having different “dice” of damage, instead of having a base amount of player damage which is modified by the weapon.
  • Bonus/ malus to Dexterity – Larger, heavier weapons are less maneuverable and should give a malus to dexterity. It’s best not to have minimum requirements for weapons and instead let the player’s calculated Dexterity with the weapon suffer by the amount of Strength they lack compared to the ideal Strength required for the weapon (which in turn is based on the weight of the weapon).
  • Bonus/ malus to attack speed – Possibly same as above. Typically, lighter piercing weapons take shorter time of executing an attack with than heavier swinging weapons. I admit this is perhaps most often just a tiny difference.
  • Slashing/Piercing/Crushing – This part should be pretty obvious (axes are not crushing weapons, and so on). Some weapons could have different kinds of damage at different distances. A large two- handed sword should be impossible to swing perfectly at a close enemy, but you can still deliver a pommel blow. Here, you also apply a proportional modifier which depends on how sharp/pointy/hard the weapon in question is.
  • Optimal distance of striking, or “threat radius” – Longer weapons usually are good at a certain distance, but worthless against a simple dagger if you’re right next to each other. If a dagger- wielding warrior charges a Zweihander- wielding warrior, the latter would be able to have a (quite possibly deadly) “free strike” at the former. In the situation where two people fight with swords of equal length, this would not occur. A player with a long weapon should receive a bonus to attack speed when striking enemies who do not have the player inside their threat radius, since they have no need to think of their own defense (this is one reason why spears were used, and why they were used in formations IRL).

Stuff derived from both of these:

  • Ability to parry/ dodge – Possibly proportional to the length of the "parrying end" of the weapon, weapon skill and Dexterity calculated for the weapon in question.
  • Ability to avoid being parried/dodged – Like the above, but instead inversely proportional to weapon length (or generally, weapon size).

What do you think? Did I forget something?


"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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People seem to agree that taking advantage of a non-PnP ruleset for detailed depiction of weapons in the game rules is important, but no discussion? Come on.


"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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I think everyone's shocked into angry silence by the fact that someone tried to use the word "malus" in a sentence and also wasn't a Diablo 2 character.

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Maybe you'd get more discussion in the Gameplay & Mechanics section of the PE forums?

 

Personally I think that different classes of weapons should have large differences in-game in terms of pros, cons, strategies, uses etc. with individual weapons in the same class being more similar in use with fewer differences.

I know that sounds mostly like every other game ever, but the biggest difference those games make between weapon classes is the amount of damage they do to different enemies.

 

I also however don't think that the system should be too pedantic.

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Maybe you'd get more discussion in the Gameplay & Mechanics section of the PE forums?

 

Quite. Mods, feel free to move this :) I'm still used to the time when this was the only PE subforum...


"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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I like to see just enough detail to differentiate the weapons and make the tactical choices interesting, yet not so much that the game gets bogged down in details. But the developers are in the best position, and have the necessary experience, to make that choice. I'm sure I'll be happy with the combat system they decide upon; what I've heard thus far sounds decent.


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I didn't vote because my answer is somewhere between options 1 and 2. I think the ideal balance is enough detail to simulate real-life differences while not making such a huge range of variables as to induce decision fatigue/paralysis. I'd be OK with just DPS plus crushing/piercing/slashing, but if they do something like what you're suggesting and it playtests well, then that's even better.

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I have no comment on the specific system you're proposing, but I do think that some differences in weapons, beyond brute damage, should go in. I like the armor penetration mechanic that has been presented so far, and reach might also be useful. However, I think the law of diminishing returns sets in pretty quickly as you start piling on more stuff.

 

No comment on the specifics of your post; whether they're workable or not depends on how they hang together. My spontaneous reaction is that it looks overcomplicated; it ought to be possible to get more or less the same result more intuitively and with fewer variables.

 

I also like what I've heard about the combat mechanics so far. They seem to have it well in hand.


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A defensive bonus from reach weapons should be interesting. While the range makes it harder for enemies to close in, the game may have a tough time animating that.

Maybe the game can still represent the reach defensive bonus by slowing down enemy attacks. Someone with a spear receives fewer attacks and net damage from a dagger wielding enemy.

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I think Josh Sawyer mentioned something along the lines of "an important part of game design is how it actually affects the way people play the game". Sorry if I butchered that quote, but I think that's a important point to keep in mind, and while things like reach are interesting I think it can pose some problems when you look at how it affects gameplay. I can see weapon range playing out in a few ways.

  • A. The player manually kites the enemy to maintain his/her ideal distance. Don't think some will appreciate the amount of micro it would take (a fighter at that) to capitalize on the range bonus. Feels too much like starcraft to me.
  • B. Characters automatically adjust their distance to opponent and is driven by AI. Could be interesting, although the fight might get drawn out to the point where characters end up on the other side of the map, triggering more foes along the way. :p That's an extreme case though, and I think this might be cool because it differentiates roles within the melee characters. Polearm wielding fighters might be excellent support but horrible at protecting a mage because he needs to move around all the time.
  • C. Polearms are used only for the initial strikes and quickly replaced by the character's primary weapon. Also has potential, although if damage to HP ratio is anywhere near the old IE games, gaining a bonus in the first few hits will have negligible impact on the overall fight as enemies typically took quite a few hits before going down. This idea would be interesting if fights were quick and deadly, however that would make for some punishing gameplay if not heavily microed. Turn based games seem like a better fit for that kind of model rather than an IE type game using RTwP.

Those are just a few scenarios that I could think of. Overall I think weapon range is an interesting one since the devs have hinted that character placement will be important in combat.

 

I like the idea of STR DEX modifiers on weapons to give them more flavor. This is more about presentation/communication to the player, but I'd prefer if bonuses were expressed as; giant war hammer gains +X to damage and suffers -X in chance to hit. Having my innate strength and dexterity altered by picking up a certain weapon doesn't make much sense, and the system could throw things out of balance if skills make checks against core attributes. The mechanics are similar to what you proposed, it's just a different way of expressing them.

Edited by Kaz

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The goal of having a realistic weapon system is that all the weapons should have the uses they had in real life. When you equip a weapon, you expect it to do what it does in real life and have all the strengths and weaknesses a weapon has in real life. This is also why the most complicated system is also the most intuitive, because it models real weapons most accurately.

 

  • A. The player manually kites the enemy to maintain his/her ideal distance. Don't think some will appreciate the amount of micro it would take (a fighter at that) to capitalize on the range bonus. Feels too much like starcraft to me.

 

I agree - this is obviously a bad implementation.

 

  • B. Characters automatically adjust their distance to opponent and is driven by AI. Could be interesting, although the fight might get drawn out to the point where characters end up on the other side of the map, triggering more foes along the way. :p That's an extreme case though, and I think this might be cool because it differentiates roles within the melee characters. Polearm wielding fighters might be excellent support but horrible at protecting a mage because he needs to move around all the time.

 

I'm looking at something like this, only with the difference that fighters with short swords or maces could enter the "threat radius" of a fighter with a halberd or Zweihänder at the expense of being target of a vicious first strike. If you add the rule that the bonus to attack speed for fighting at a distance (out of harm's way) with longer weapons only applies to targeting opponents who are not targeting the player him/herself in question, I think we got a stable system. :)

 

Above all, this would be very realistic.

 

  • C. Polearms are used only for the initial strikes and quickly replaced by the character's primary weapon. Also has potential, although if damage to HP ratio is anywhere near the old IE games, gaining a bonus in the first few hits will have negligible impact on the overall fight as enemies typically took quite a few hits before going down. This idea would be interesting if fights were quick and deadly, however that would make for some punishing gameplay if not heavily microed. Turn based games seem like a better fit for that kind of model rather than an IE type game using RTwP.

 

Is this realistic? Also, it seems like an action game mechanic.

 

I like the idea of STR DEX modifiers on weapons to give them more flavor. This is more about presentation/communication to the player, but I'd prefer if bonuses were expressed as; giant war hammer gains +X to damage and suffers -X in chance to hit. Having my innate strength and dexterity altered by picking up a certain weapon doesn't make much sense, and the system could throw things out of balance if skills make checks against core attributes. The mechanics are similar to what you proposed, it's just a different way of expressing them.

 

Exactly. Yes, DMG=C*STR (in my model), where C is a constant reflecting how "sharp"/"hard"/"pointy" the weapon is and STR is player strength modified by the weapon. It would make sense to display only DMG on the paper doll screen, and display STR modifier and C in the weapon description.

 

Also, I don't really mean that your innate dexterity would be changed, only that you would get a modified dexterity for fighting purposes. You're right in that this value doesn't need to be displayed anywhere, the player will be perfectly fine seeing just the To Hit modifier and the different parrying values.


"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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