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Potential Combat Rework


LadyWYT

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I know it's already on the development roadmap, but I've got ideas that just have to come out and this one is mostly hammered out in my mind. I'm mostly thinking of a rock/paper/scissors approach, in which damage is split into slashing, piercing, or blunt types(outside of a couple of special cases I'll cover later). Be warned, it's a bit of a read ahead.

Weapons

Weapons fit into three general categories--one-handed, two-handed, and ranged. One-handed weapons only require one hand to use, allowing players to use something else in the offhand slot. Two-handed and ranged requires the use of both hands, meaning that the offhand slot will need to be empty in order to effectively use these weapon types.

Swords

The most basic of weapons.

Arming Sword: The standard weapon we all know and love! Does a decent amount of slashing damage and is a solid choice in most scenarios. Is a one-handed weapon.

Falx Blade: Similar to the Arming Sword, but does a bit less slashing damage in favor of having a damage bonus against supernatural mobs(either a flat damage boost against them, or a high chance to land a critical hit that does significantly more damage than the standard). The reasoning for this change is that the Falx Blades are described as being adept at killing drifters and the like, where standard weaponry has failed. Thus I wanted to give it its own special niche to encourage players to pick it over other weapons in certain scenarios.

Blackguard Shortsword: I'd say this one is a bit of special case since it's a class-specific craftable. It has the same base damage type as the Arming Sword, but has the damage bonus against supernatural mobs as well given the occupation of Blackguards. Is a one-handed weapon.

Greatsword: This one does significantly more slashing damage than the Arming Sword, with a longer reach but slower swing time. It's also a two-handed weapon, so the player will need to use both hands to wield it properly. The larger blade also requires two ingots to craft rather than one.

Dagger/Knife: A small one-handed weapon with a very short range, fast swing time, and low base piercing damage rather than slashing. Unlike the others in its grouping, this weapon has a very high chance to ignore a target's armor completely and can also be poisoned for extra damage per hit. I expect this weapon to be a high-risk/high-reward choice for assassinating armored targets, or just an interesting niche for those looking to vary their fighting style. It's also a weapon I would expect to have more value in PvP scenarios rather than in singleplayer.

Axes

I'm going to keep it simple here; the axe is a two-handed weapon that does a moderate amount of slashing damage(more than the Arming Sword but less than the Greatsword), and has a somewhat slower swing time as well. I would say the range is longer than the Arming Sword but shorter than the Greatsword. This weapon's niche would be dealing with shields, ideally by chewing through the shield's durability faster than other weapons. This weapon can also cut down trees(it's the same axe we already have, just with a couple of combat upgrades). It's another weapon that I expect to have more use in PvP than singleplayer, though it could be a solid option for players who want that Viking look.

Bludgeoning Weapons

These weapons I expect to be some of the most effective choices for dealing with heavily armored targets or mechanicals. In regards to how it deals with armor, I envision a scenario similar to axe vs shield--blunt weapons do bonus damage to the armor's durability.

Mace/Club: A simple one-handed weapon with a short range and slower swing time, but decent blunt damage. The club is the earliest version of this weapon, with the mace being the metal option that can be forged later.

Warhammer: Has a good range and does significant blunt damage per swing(swings at the same speed as the axe, or slightly slower). It's a two-handed weapon as well as doing much more damage to armor than maces/clubs can do.

Polearms

These weapons have the longest range of melee weapons, and typically do piercing damage rather than slashing or blunt. Spears and pikes will also be available at bronze, iron, and steel tiers rather than limited to copper.

Spear: Decent damage comparable to the Arming Sword(perhaps a bit less), with a range and swing time comparable to the Greatsword. For gameplay purposes, the spear counts as a one-handed weapon, allowing it to be used with items in the offhand or thrown as a projectile weapon.

Quarterstaff: Entirely wooden construction. Has the same range and swing time as the spear, but does a smaller amount of blunt damage instead. While it requires both hands to wield as a weapon, it may be equipped in the offhand slot for a small movement speed bonus, making it useful for exploration.

Pike: Does the same piercing damage as the spear and at the same speed, but with twice the melee range. As a result, it requires both hands to use, an extra stick to craft, and cannot be thrown. Ideally, this weapon should also have a minimum effective range, meaning that enemies that get close enough no longer take significant damage from the weapon.

Ranged

Bows: Same as we have now, except the arrows now do piercing damage and can be poisoned for even more damage, provided one has the right resources.

Crossbow: A ranged weapon requiring iron or steel parts and projectiles. Has better accuracy than standard bows as well as doing much more damage per shot, at the expense of a much slower reload time(could manage about two shots in the same time that a standard bow could fire 6-8 shots). Can also be poisoned, and loaded in advance of use.

Armor

Leather/Gambeson: Resistant to slashing damage, but not to piercing or blunt damage types. Blunt damage, however, will not apply the extra durability loss penalty on hit. This type of armor is still the most ideal for players that wish to retain more mobility or ranged accuracy.

Chain: Good resistance to slashing damage and moderate resistance to blunt damage; small resistance to piercing damage.

Scale/Brigandine: Excellent resistance to slashing damage, with a moderate resistance to piercing and blunt damage.

Lamellar: Moderate resistance to slashing, piercing, and blunt damage. A good choice for early armor that tends to be overshadowed by other armors later in the game.

Plate: Highly resistant to slashing and piercing damage, with good resistance to blunt damage--the highest level of protection at the expense of mobility and ranged accuracy.

On the subject of armor, my general thoughts is that plate armor should be the best overall protection and require special tactics to deal with, which is where weapons like the warhammer should shine. One thing I would like to see though, that doesn't currently exist in game, is something like an archer's breastplate to offer a bit more protection for ranged characters. I'd expect something like this to offer and bit more protection than gambeson or leather while still retaining mobility and accuracy, but not protecting to the extent that the full chest armors will.

Enemies

I see four general categories here:

Animals: Vulnerable to slashing, piercing, and blunt damage. Depending on what kinds of animals get added later, some could be resistant to certain damage types, but for the most part the player should be able to handle an encounter with them. Predators I would expect to do some kind of slashing and/or piercing damage. Prey animals I would expect to do blunt damage, potentially mixed with some slashing or piercing, depending on the animal. Large predators such as bears could have some damage resistance so that they are still a threatening encounter even to an equipped player.

Supernaturals: Drifters and their ilk. Surface drifters should be a bit more durable than the average animal, perhaps having a small resistance to all three damage types. Higher tier drifters could become increasingly resistant to blunt damage while retaining the same base resistances to slashing/piercing as the surface drifters. My expectation here is something that provides a bit more of a threat than normal animals; ideally, this also encourages the player to craft a Falx Blade or two to help deal with them.

Mechanicals: Locusts, bells, and their like. I would expect them to be quite resistant to both slashing and piercing damage, but weak to blunt damage. On that note, I'm not sure that I'd want the bells to be much tougher than they are currently--they already take several good whacks from a Blackguard's iron/steel sword to kill and having them take much longer than that would probably be annoying. Ideally, 2-4 whacks from a blunt weapon should be enough to put a bell out of commission, with about twice as many whacks required from other weapons to achieve the same result. Now, doing that would put the Clockmaker in an odd spot, enabling them to possibly kill most mechanicals in one hit. However, Clockmakers also have the penalty to health, melee damage, and distance with ranged weapons, so I think it's probably fine.

Humanoids: Humans and seraphs. Currently, we have yet to meet other NPCs outside of traders, so it remains to be seen if there will be any seraph characters to meet(outside of other players, that is). Humans I expect to meet eventually given that the traders are human, and mention human settlements(that will be implemented sometime in the future). In regards to humanoid NPCs though, I would expect their damage resistances to be based on what they have equipped.

Boss Battles

I think there could be a lot more potential here with different damage types and resistances. Boss mobs I would expect to be quite resistant to most everything to help ensure that there's a proper battle that takes place, but not to the extent that they become a hassle for the player to deal with(damage sponges aren't really fun). The last thing you want when designing an encounter, in most cases, is for the player to kill the boss in a couple of hits.

Where I see the shenanigans really ensuing is in how the bosses attack. Special attacks like a powerful slam ability suddenly have a lot more meaning if it can tear a huge chunk out of your armor's durability, and will encourage the player to avoid the attack if they can rather than take the hit. Taking too many hits like that suddenly means that there's no longer any armor offering protection, leaving a complacent player in quite the predicament.

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And that's gonna have to be a wrap for this post, because the keyboard is starting to look a lot like a comfortable pillow. Hopefully it's not too convoluted and generally makes sense. I haven't figured out numbers for any of it, and it feels like I'm forgetting something, but I think I covered most of the territory I wanted to. If nothing else, I hope it's entertaining to read!

 

 

 

 

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A combat overhaul like this could also bring about new class traits.
Malefactors could have extra crit chance with daggers due to their sneaky nature and stealthy playstyle, Clockmakers could be more adept with crossbows because they are mechanical. Blackguards could have enhanced bludgeoning damage due to strength - meaning Tailors, Clockmakers and Malefactors would have less due to their frail traits. I think a combat overhaul like this would be really awesome to see, and by incorporating class traits into the mix could offer players different ways to play to their class' advantages!

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6 hours ago, ifoz said:

A combat overhaul like this could also bring about new class traits.
Malefactors could have extra crit chance with daggers due to their sneaky nature and stealthy playstyle, Clockmakers could be more adept with crossbows because they are mechanical. Blackguards could have enhanced bludgeoning damage due to strength - meaning Tailors, Clockmakers and Malefactors would have less due to their frail traits. I think a combat overhaul like this would be really awesome to see, and by incorporating class traits into the mix could offer players different ways to play to their class' advantages!

Exactly, though I've something else in mind for a class bonus to blunt damage, that involves creating a new class entirely. That's a thread to be posted on a different day though, once the idea has had more time to marinate. 🤔

One idea I forgot to include was some sort of belt-fastened lantern, or miner's headlamp, to assist underground or in other situations where the player isn't able to use anything in their offhand. However, that's also one of the drawbacks of using big weapons or ranged weapons--they don't do well in confined spaces(which is why a player might want to switch to a smaller weapon for those situations, or bring a friend). There's also already an answer to that problem in the game with the night vision headgear. While the headgear might be difficult to acquire, it suddenly becomes more valuable to do so given the opportunities it opens up.

Clockmakers are still in a weird spot with this layout because while they're not great in general combat, they're perhaps the best for clearing dungeons due to the inherent damage bonus against mechanicals. So they're going to have an easier time cutting through mechanicals even when using the "wrong" weapon type; give them a hammer and they'll smash the machines even faster! I would expect the Blackguard to lag behind a bit in this area due to those resistances, unless they happen to be using the ideal weapon type. Overall though, the Blackguard should still remain the undisputed king of close-quarters combat scenarios.

I do like the idea of an extra crit chance with daggers for Malefactors--it fits their playstyle and I think with a combat rework they might need to have a bit more going for them in the fighting department, given they're meant to be adept survivors. The preference for daggers would also pair nicely with poison crafting, as Malefactors will have an advantage here as well due to their harvesting bonus.

The one class I'm really not sure about is Hunter. They already have issues dealing their ranged damage at night/underground, and taking away the option of the offhand light source is going to make that issue a bit more prominent. On the other hand, being able to kill something before it can reach you is a big advantage in itself. Likewise, Hunters would be getting a couple more options in how to deal their damage, in the form of the crossbow and poisoned arrows. So it should balance well enough overall, but it probably becomes a bit more challenging for new players to play as, given how much Hunter will probably struggle underground.

 

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8 hours ago, LadyWYT said:

Clockmakers are still in a weird spot with this layout because while they're not great in general combat, they're perhaps the best for clearing dungeons due to the inherent damage bonus against mechanicals. So they're going to have an easier time cutting through mechanicals even when using the "wrong" weapon type; give them a hammer and they'll smash the machines even faster!

This conjured up a funny mental image of a Clockmaker wielding a giant greathammer and crushing locusts like whack-a-mole.

 

 

8 hours ago, LadyWYT said:

The one class I'm really not sure about is Hunter.

Could Hunters potentially gain higher damage against animals? It could fit their whole thing of, well, hunting.
I don't see much realistic use for a bow and arrow in a cave in real life, though obviously they can still be quite nice to have in-game.
I think Hunters could maybe fit the niche of the ranger who stays at distance from the enemy and offers support to the melee fighters.

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56 minutes ago, ifoz said:

This conjured up a funny mental image of a Clockmaker wielding a giant greathammer and crushing locusts like whack-a-mole.

Precisely the reason I didn't touch Clockmaker in that regard 😆 Hilarious mental imagery and it'd likely be a whole lot of fun to do!

57 minutes ago, ifoz said:

Could Hunters potentially gain higher damage against animals? It could fit their whole thing of, well, hunting.
I don't see much realistic use for a bow and arrow in a cave in real life, though obviously they can still be quite nice to have in-game.
I think Hunters could maybe fit the niche of the ranger who stays at distance from the enemy and offers support to the melee fighters.

Possibly, although they do already fill that niche with the general boost to all ranged damage. If they needed a bit more to help even out their playing style though having a small advantage to hunting animals would work. It would also make them a bit more beginner friendly given that they could deal with aggressive animals much more easily, and it would be an attractive pick for veteran players that have issues with aggressive animals. Underground is where they run into more difficulties than most other classes to balance them out; the majority of fighting will be melee, which isn't their specialty, and they'll need to speed a bit more time underground in order to gather the same amount of ore as other classes.

It also fits nicely with the lore we have to work with. I think Bardo from the "Ghosts" short story is meant to be a hunter, and while he's not shown hunting any animals the story treats him as an experienced ranger type. He also had trouble dealing with drifters, as they didn't seem to play by the laws of nature.

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