May 23rd, 2016: Runestar devlog 23/5/16: combat and equipment revamp
Posted by Gravecat at 7:29 pm under Game Dev, Runestar. Comment?

Game version: 0.21.3a (pre-alpha)
Lines of C++ code: 9,328 (+36)
Lines of JSON data: 3413 (+34)

Another relatively short update, but a fairly significant one today!

While I’m largely very happy with the direction that the project is heading, especially with plans put in place for player-controlled vehicles and mechs, there was one thing that was consistently bothering me: the equipment system. The combat engine is based largely on (character) skill levels, but also influenced significantly by equipment, and the system I had in place up until this point was… in a nutshell, too granular. I had no less than 100 separate tiers of weapons, and not only did the combat system rely more heavily on gear over skill (especially for ranged weapons, which can’t be parried), but it was also far too much of a headache to deal with such an absurd range of potential gear.

Something had to change, and that came in the form of a combat revamp of sorts — the new system is a lot more linear than exponential growth, equipment tiers are narrowed down from 100 to 20, and character skill makes a huge difference in combat, to the extent that with maxed-out combat skills, you could be dealing up to 11 times more damage with the same weapon than a complete novice. After a fair amount of tinkering and testing, I’m happy to report that I’m extremely pleased with this new system, and it fits my vision for the game far better than the original ever did.

In addition, I’ve finally implemented the feature that grants bonus critical strike chance when using a one-handed weapon with an empty off-hand, meaning that now all styles of combat (one-handed, dual-wielding, two-handed) are equally viable — as it always should have been; I prefer the use of weapons to come down to player style and preference, not a clear-cut case of X is objectively better than Y. I’ll also be implementing ammunition and weapon jams to ranged weapons in the near future, along with backfires from overcharged weapons such as plasma rifles, which should help narrow the gap between melee and ranged weaponry in terms of overall usefulness.

Here’s a couple of screenshots of the new combat engine in action. More to come soon; there’s some more boilerplate to work on, but I’d like to get the vehicle code implemented sometime very soon!

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