Saturday, June 14, 2008

Combat and Stuff

Okay combat and stat stuff.

I don't think I'm gonna do a skill system.

At first I actually put a basic one in there, 'cause its cool to have stuff like Dual Wield and Robotics and Engineering and Driving.

And I like the idea of numbers going up while you are fighting, y'know, like "Your Ranged Attack Skill has increased by 1!"

That's cool.

But the problem is that a skill system like that turns into a headache for players eventually.

'Cause eventually it makes you feel like you need to practice shit to get skills up that you weren't bothering with.

And I don't think I wanna have that "I gotta get my two hand blunt skill up" shit in there heh.

Where, if I just based your Dual Wielding skill off your Dexterity, or your ability to fix the Time Machine off your Intelligence (which goes up with your level), you don't ever gotta worry about stuff like that.

Plus I don't want people not using an item 'cause of some skill system thingie, y'know, like, if you are good at fighting, you can pick up anything in a room and kill someone with it.

So I don't think I'm gonna do a skill system.

Although there could still be "skill checks" based off your attributes.

And I already added a "free point" thingie into there so that folks will get some automatic increases based on their class every time they level, and some points that they're free to spend any way they want on their attributes, so they'll still be able to customize their guy to some degree.

I'm programming that bit of the thing right now as I'm watching SNL heh.

And then there's the way combat works.

This is how I was thinking about doing that:

First there's a Dodge Rating, where you might just be able to move out of the goddam way, depending on how quick and coordinated (dexterity) and situationally aware (wisdom, I'm gonna have wisdom be a measure of your perception and cunning for tactical things) you are.

And mebbe I'll add strength into that mix too.

And there's gonna be an optional Parry-entangle thing after that, if you have a melee weapon equipped that you can block an attack with.

And a Block thing after that, for dudes who are carrying some kind of shields (y'know, there's still Riot Shields in modern times, and force fields and junk in scifi, and there's all sorts of shield-like crap in sorcery).

And I'm gonna have a damage resistance system, based on the Armor you are wearing, and whatever "specials" you got, if you are a "Tough" Guy, which will mitigate different sorts of damage.

And your Constitution affects your hit points, so that's already factored in to "how much damage you can take" against ALL damage types (which makes sense), and if everybody recovers hit points at a percentage, instead of so-many-per-round or something, then it effects your regen rate, too.

And your Strength attribute will make it so you can wear heavier armor and carry heavier weapons and stuff and still Dodge and Parry and Block effectively.

I don't think I'm gonna do weight stuff with the crap in your inventory, I'm gonna pretend you aren't actually carrying that around with you in a fight, but I think its cool if dudes carrying around a mini-gun or a telephone pole are generally easier-to-hit than a chick in a swimsuit armed with a ballpoint pen or something heh.

And Luck will randomly help you do everything.

I dunno if Intelligence should help you with any blood-n-guts combat stuff, it might help you know where to shoot something to land a critical hit, I guess, but Intelligence is more for the "special dependent" spellcasters and mad scientist types (who do the same kinda junk as wizards through technological devices and traps and explosives and stuff in the place of sorcery).

Specials are gonna be like "special moves" for everybody, and the meat-and-potatoes of a Smart guy, 'cause Intelligence gives you more Mana (which I been calling Sass, just to make it independent of magic), just like Constitution gives you more hit points.

I guess Charisma should give you Sass too, 'cause Charming guys are Special Spammers (they're illusionists and enchanters and con artists and animal tamers and tricksters and stuff in combat).

Oh, and its gonna be turned based combat, where everybody declares their intentions (you pick your targets and say what you are gonna do), and then there's a roll for "initiative" (which we always called "Nish") which is modified by your Dexterity ('cause that's how "quick" you are) and maybe your Wisdom (for that situational awareness thing), and then the "round" plays out automagically in front of everybody, where the fastest guy goes first, and you see what he does, and then the next guy throws down a special, and everybody gets to just kick back and see what happens, until the next "round."

I still need to work out some kind of system for being able to move and attack in the same round (for melee dudes or anybody else who wants to move-and-then-do-something, maybe I'll have sneak attacks and stuff), and something that allows a guy with multiple attacks per round to pick another target if his first target explodes on the first shot or whatever.

I keep forgetting about that stuff 'cause DK doesn't have anything like that in it (DK doesn't have anything like any of this stuff in it), but I could do a combat-placement-position thingie (like we did with miniatures in D&D) pretty easy in a window so that it didn't bother the rest of it without the thing turning into Diablo.

I just don't really wanna get into having dudes in your group hit each other with friendly fire and "cone attacks" and stuff like that, or people needing to click around a lot to position themselves for a "backstab" or something, that's too much of a headache for drunk folks, but if I can automate stuff like that, where a melee guy just picks his target and his character moves forward and starts fighting (with his penalty to initiative and everything calculated in the background) that's fine, and it'd be cool to have something like a "battle map" so that the AI of the monsters would be able to pick targets that make sense ('cause then, when the thief moves into position to backstab a guy, he's also made himself a choice target for the other badguys over there).

And monsters could have cone attacks and stuff then too.

But I could do all that "area of effect" stuff without a battle map, too, where you just think of it like two teams of guys playing tennis and firing volleys of stuff across the net at each other.

And that has nothing to do with traps and moving around in a dungeon and stuff, 'cause I already got everything except collision detection set up for that, I'm just talking about skipping all the complicated gear-head miniature wargames tactical junk to start with, and maybe adding that as an optional thing later.

Or moving to a Fallout-style combat thingie, or a Baldur's Gate one, or even a real-time Syndicate style thing eventually, it all depends on how fun stuff is at each step, but each one of those steps toward "button-mashing" turns some of the older guys off, and the younger folks already got a lot of cooler things that they could be jacking around with, I just wanna make it fun and lighthearted and easy and entertaining and relaxing and fast paced without a lot of complicated interactions.

But whatever, that's probably how I'm gonna set it up to start with, I'm not against changing anything if anybody's got better ideas for any part of it, the only "rules" are that I don't want the thing to get too complicated on the surface where the "average user" is gonna need to deal with it, aside from that, it can be more complicated than anything anybody's ever done before heh.

Oh yah, there's gonna be a lot of mechanical junk to Specials, like, for a machine gun guy, he might be able to do an "area-of-effect" full-auto burst type Special once every four rounds, or an "aimed shot" every six or something, so those Specials will "go gray" on his screen until its "recharged" and ready to be used again.

I was thinking about the ranged and melee types being less "special" focused and more "normal attack" focused, and having the "caster" types be constantly using their specials to do everything.

And Specials might be passive buffs that are "always on" once you get 'em, or short term buffs and whatever else (they're already spells like healing and spell attacks).

Specials are gonna be different for each class (although there might be similar things in each pool) and they'll also have level restrictions, like, first level guys only have so many to pick from, and they don't get a new one until level 5, and then they get to pick another one, which might be a level 5 Special, or another level 1 Special.

I don't have 'em worked out yet so I have no idea how many folks are gonna have to pick from or any of that, I'm just saying.

And even though I need to program how Specials work mechanically, underneath the surface, like, First Aid heals for 4-8 hit points, players can still add their own versions of the First Aid Card ('cause I sorta think of Specials as the Card Game part) to the mix, with different pictures and descriptions, so that there'll be more than one "wrapper" for First Aid to pick from for different kinds of guys and different game "themes and time periods" and stuff.

But they'll all be First Aid underneath, and at 5th level (or whatever), there'll be a more powerful healing "Special" that heals more in one round but takes longer than First Aid to recharge.

And as long as First Aid and its "Upgrades" are made more potent by your ever-increasing Wisdom attribute (or level as a Wise Guy), they'll never become obsolete.

Mmm I gotta think about whether I wanna do ammo and reloading or not.

I hate the idea of a cowboy needing to reload y'know that's so painful for those guys.

They need a Quick Reload special for sure heh.

Specials are also how I was thinking of granting things like the ability to Build a Fort or a Wizard's Tower and the Paladin's Horse dealie and stuff.

They're not restricted to combat, they could be things for exploring (or not being surprised by monsters while exploring) or having a permanent pet and whatever.

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