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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Dev Diary: Combat System Premise

I just got done coding a rough outline for what might be the start of the roguelike's combat system.

Design Goals:

- Must be fast. While I'd love to basically re-use a system I had of dice management which allowed very precise control of initiative, aim and damage - I want minimal input demands. I'm not looking for a strategy feel, just a step above the average walk into monsters to swing.

- Should be more than random. Nothing wrong with a little random, but the player should feel like they are in some control of the combat and their actions.

- Should be customizable. Players should be able to choose if magic, or agility or skill or whatever is their flavor.


Players setup their attacks by equipping particular weapons (and possibly even specific attacks offered by those weapons). There is a Hit Ratio of the opponent determined by a combination of armor, strength, agility and even the weapon they carry. The attacker first rolls to hit against this defense ratio. If successful, the attacker will take down first the opponent's energy, then agility, then strength.

When an opponent hits zero strength, they die. For magic, replace strength with wisdom. Attackers may expend energy to make a more powerful attack, but obviously they do so by placing themselves at a higher risk of more severe damage.

Weapon choices will help determine chances of defense over offense. For example, staves may not be overly offensive weapons - they provide better defense. Axes may have a high offense, but low defense. Ranged weapons would offer no defense. There may be other tradeoffs - like better armor reduces overall energy (because its heavier).

On a "miss", the game will determine the reason based on the defense matrix and produce likely feedback like "dodged" versus "blocked".

Advantages: Forces players to think about defense with offense. Equipment choices become vital to play.

Disadvantages: May still be overly simplistic. Will take a while to tweak the math so that it's not unbalanced.

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