Mar 212013

Another busy week here, mostly character development and rebuilding the mastery trees. There’s been a few system changes to the game over the last couple of months so it’s time for me to go back and smooth over the fundamentals. Most of the masteries are existing ones, but there are some new ones, as well as edits that fold two less interesting powers into one.

Many of the touch ups this week have involved ranged combat. I was asked in a comment last Thursday if ranged attacks can go through other characters, like in this image below:

Should the player be able to take a shot at one of those archers in the back, even though he’s got other bad guys between him and them? My answer is yes. It isn’t quite realistic, but that’s not something I worry about. Ranged attackers need to remain a threat for the player to either dispatch quickly, or hide from until ready to fight. Using trees and columns as cover is great, but other enemies, not so much. Take a look at this example:

In this case, it would be advantageous to the monsters if units blocked ranged attacks. Sure, the Boneshooter can’t get a shot in right now, but neither can the player, and the monsters are free to overtake the player as they move in. The player might have to hustle to keep the archer out of LOS, but most movement actions (whether you’re just moving one square or taking a jump/dash action) are usually defensive, meaning the player is going to be overwhelmed unless they stop and fight.

Advantage: monsters, right? So why not let units block ranged attacks? Well here’s another example.

The typical Conga Line Of Death, where the player just hangs out in a hallway and crushes monsters as they just line up to get owned. Boring! All the player has to do is sit here and fire, only worrying about the front line monster, one at a time. To me, this is the most compelling case to let ranged attacks through. The Boneshooter must be a threat, or this setup quickly becomes uninteresting.

That’s it for today, back to work! Thanks for reading, and I’d love to hear your comments or questions.

  4 Responses to “Dev Update 11: Arrow’d”

  1. Those are some pretty buff mummies.

    • Only the strongest earned the right to be wrapped in paper and stuffed in a sarcophagus for centuries.

  2. If I might make a suggestion, ranged attacks on enemies behind enemies don’t just have to be a yes or a no. There could be another small system in place, such as (mind you I don’t know the technicalities of the game’s engine or mechanics) enemies having a chance of intercepting the projectile based on size, or if block chance exists I would say use that for a chance to block the projectile, or even factor in (if it exists) miss chance for your ranged weapon and character. Other possibilities could just be a flat chance for each enemy the projectile passes over/through, possibly depending on the type of monster.

    • These are good suggestions! I like the idea of different enemies being able to block projectiles. If the bad guy is carrying a large shield (like, riot/tower shield large) and it’s obvious to the player they could create a blockade, that might work. Something I was also considering was having certain higher tier enemies create projectile nulling fields, walls that don’t block movement but they do block arrows. The player could acquire that sort of power as well. I haven’t gotten into my ideas about player modification of the field yet, mainly because they aren’t fully fleshed out, but there’s fun to be had in allowing the player to create ice blocks, slowing fields, burning areas, things like that.

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