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Why no iron spear heads?


JamesB
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7 hours ago, Streetwind said:

Spears stop at bronze. It's intentional - but I personally don't know why.

There are mods that add higher metal tier spears.

Yeah I saw those and am using one.  I was just curious about the decision.

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I think it's a good feature. If you could have iron/steel spears, how would you play ? You would stack iron and steel, and produce all your weapons out of this. And you would forget about bronze age.

As the spear is a very powerful weapon, thanks to its attack range, you always want to have one in your hand, and so, you still search for silver, gold, tin and bismuth to produce all flavors or bronze. I like that.

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21 minutes ago, Saricane said:

I think it's a good feature. If you could have iron/steel spears, how would you play ? You would stack iron and steel, and produce all your weapons out of this. And you would forget about bronze age.

I don't think the point is to make you play through each age.  The first map I played I couldn't find any tin or any other alloys of bronze.  But I had a lot of iron deposits.  So I had to buy a bronze pick to jump start the iron production.  The second map I play was filthy with tin but I had a hard time finding iron.  It really comes down to map gen as to what type of game you'll be playing.

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@Saricane The issue with that is that bronze spears get outclassed so hard by steel weapons.

Tin bronze spear melee attack is 3.75, with a slow animation. Steel longblade melee attack is 4.25, and it can hit at least three times in the same span of time the spear needs to stab once. As a melee weapon, the spear is completely outclassed.

And let's not forget the tin bronze spear's 250 durability compared to the steel longblade's 2125.

Tin bronze spear ranged damage is 7.5, and you have one shot per inventory slot. Steel arrows with a regular bow do 4.5, fire twice as fast as spears are thrown, and stack way more ammo per slot. Plus, in 1.15 we're getting new, more powerful bows, which could bump steel arrow damage up even further. So as a ranged weapon, the spear is completely outclassed.

That leaves the niche of keeping an enemy at bay with the spear's superior melee range. Which is something I absolutely love. It is much safer than using a sword. But honestly, that's something for surface drifters and animals. Venture in a cave and try to kill a Nightmare drifter with a bronze spear sometime. I hope you brought yourself some coffee, because you're gonna be there a while! It's not just that tougher enemies have more total HP, but also that enemies begin regenerating health after a set time of being in combat. Meaning, the longer it takes you to kill a target, the more time to regenerate health they have, meaning it takes you even longer to kill the target... And as soon as there is more than one enemy at the same time, you're going to have a problem, because once you begin to have to split your attacks between two or three targets, the regeneration is going to be tough to overcome, and the low durability is going to drop quickly.

I really do like spears, but there is no scenario where I would opt to spend inventory space on a bronze spear if I had steel available.

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There cannot be arbitrary inconsistencies between weapons like this. Steel spears are obviously a thing and need to be in the game. If a theoretical steel spear is too OP, balance it. If this is intentional, it is a bad feature and should be reconsidered.

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It wouldn't be hard to balance iron/steel spears.  Higher damage than arrows is balanced by limited inventory space for ranged combat.  Lower melee damage is balanced by longer reach than long blades.  Do we even need to mention attack speed as another pathway to balancing the meta? 

Spears could be a niche for players that want a ranged weapon but don't want to bother breeding/hunting chickens.  If there's a protein option for vegans then why not a ranged weapon option for vegans as well?  I wouldn't look forward to tackling locusts or drifters without a ranged weapon.

Historically spears were used until the musket, thousands of years after bows were developed.

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