Friday, June 17, 2011

Another week, more code.

So this past week I have been doing some serious overhauling of the codebase I have been working on for the past two months. There were some things left hanging in the wind so to speak as I rushed through coding the preliminary basics of the in game systems such as combat, structure building and character definement/advancement. My main focus this week was the very rudimentary combat system. Before my additions, combat was just round based white damage fests. Every round initative is rolled, and whoever wins does their damage rolls first. To hit someone your attack roll must be larger or equal to the opponents armor rating.

As you can see it all has a very D&D feel to it at the core.

However, as I added skills I came to a very quick conclusion that being able to spam combat skills as fast as your fingers can type isn't really all that fair, or fun for that matter. Enter the "Combat balance system" as I have been calling it. This system is a way to curb skill spamming without absolutely outright taking the skill away from the player if they use it too often.

In the code every character has an attribute called balance. This is a numeric representation of the characters balance on their two feet and also their stamina for fighting in battle. This value is set to 3 by default for every new character. Every time a combat skill (kick, strike etc) is used, a portion of that balance is removed. Once you are at 1, you take a 10% decrease to combat stats (str, dex, attack rating), at 0 the decrease is 30%, and finally at -1 it is 50%. Once you become 'unbalanced', your balance will be periodically restored, returning your stats to the value they originally were at.

This system has a lot of room for changing the way a character is able to fight. Perhaps there will be a 'rogue' character class, that gets a skill called 'endurance' or something similar that merely gives them one extra point of balance. That's the equivalent to one more full strength attack before you become tired and off balance. Or it could go the other way as well, perhaps there will be spells that make you weak and tired, which will ultimately affect the balance attribute?

This step ahead with the combat engine while seemingly small will have a large impact on how people decide to play their encounters.

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