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Platinum314

How useful are melee weapons in a game with guns?

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I have been working on a science fiction RPG/FPS game, and I have been wondering if anyone would bother to use a sword if they have a shotgun or some other ranged weapon. So far I have come up with these pros and cons of ranged and melee weapons. Ranged weapons Pros: If the monster you are fighting is has only melee attacks, you can pick it off from a distance without getting hurt at all. Doesn''t require that much stamina to use. Cons: You have limited ammunition (But if you have a lot it wont matter much) Ammunition has weight. Not quite as much damage as a melee weapon. Melee weapons Pros: More damage than most ranged weapons Doesn''t require ammunition Cons: You need to get right up close to your target to attack the creature, and by then you would probably already be dead if they are attacking you with a ranged weapon. Uses up stamina a lot faster than ranged weapons. Any ideas to further balance this? Or should I only keep the high-tech melee weapons such as the vector blade.

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What''ll hit a close enemy more accurately in a almost pitch black corridor, a swing from a sword or five rounds from a pistol before you have to reload?

RandomTask.

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quote:
Original post by RandomTask
What''ll hit a close enemy more accurately in a almost pitch black corridor, a swing from a sword or five rounds from a pistol before you have to reload?

RandomTask.


Hmm, good point. That would be a good use for a melee weapon. I guess that if you aren''t very skilled with a ranged weapon you will end up wasting a lot of ammo.



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Guest Anonymous Poster
And if you aren''t skilled with a melee weapon you''ll be dead -- fast.

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Guns : Cost a great deal of money
Need reload
Need some skill (A newbie can''t use a sniper)
Bigger gun have a greater recoil effect
Produce loud noise
Are not hidden easily (Rifle take a lot of place in a jacket)
Not selled everywhere, need permit

Melee weapon : Can be hidden easily
Can be buyed anywhere
Don''t produce lot of noise except if it hit something hard.


Well I don''t have other idea right now but still... Melee weapon have advantage, you should include them

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Well here''s a couple of things to keep in mind.

1. Are you keeping the game realistic (i.e. you get shot, your pretty much dead) or using standard RPG takes alot of hits to get killed.
-If you go with the first, then guns are definately going to pretty much OWN in open areas. My suggestion here is to add in a lot of confined spaces (rooms, twisting hallways) that make it so that range is cut down quite a bit, to give melee an even footing.
-If you go with the second you need to ask yourself, what sort of effect does getting hit do for you...If you get shot, does it slow you down or stop you for just a second, (if so, then even alot of hit points won''t help since they''ll be stunned long enough to get shots off, allowing you to just keep shooting at them till they fall) OR will they just lose the HP and continue moving at you without a break in speed? (If thats the case then depending on hp and damage done by melee, they are already on even footing...)

Just my two cents

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Guns vs blades. Its a tough call both have their uses and it all depend on the context and concept of your game. Generaly guns are more useful then blades since they are easier to handal and have longer range. But then again it depends on the game for instance if you can quicly cover the distance between you and the enemy then blade had the advantage sine you''''d be hard to hit. Also you could give them shields that can block bullets. Or since it future have blades made of energy that expense but can cut people in half.

-----------------------------------------------------
Writer, Programer, Cook, I''m a Jack of all Trades
Current Design project
Chaos Factor Design Document

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melee is stealthier
melee weapons can be anything
melee weapons can disarm guns from opponents
perhaps if character is skilled enuf they could deflect bullets
melee weapons can be combined with martial arts for more deadliness
melee weapons are alot more abundant

monsters with melee could have extra speed an dodge
melee weapons are harder to dodge and usually need to be paried

guns need reloading all the time
guns can jam an break
guns don''t require much stamina but need more skill to use effectively
guns are pricey cause they''re complicated to make
guns can be used as melee

characters could have battle shields to defend against guns

the list can go on an on an on. its not to hard to come up with benefits for melee.

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It''s a little hard to balance out the two...

In an open area, long-range weapons will own. Especially in a one-on-one battle. No matter how skilled you are with a sword, someone with enough presence of mind to aim and pull a trigger could very well take you out in less than a few seconds. Your only chance is if that person really, really aims bad. To top it off, a gun would definitively do more damage than a baseball bat, and even a sword. A shot to the head or chest will most likely kill you on the spot (depending where you''re hit, exactly). A cut from a sword, let''s face reality, won''t chop you in two. Though it could still kill, much better than a baseball bat at that.

In an enclosed space, long-range weapons still have somewhat of an advantage. It''s very hard to swing a sword in a tight hallway. Maybe a piercing weapon, like a spear, could work out nicely... Though if you''re going down a long hallway, the gun''ll get you for sure. And if there are many tight twists and turns, the spear becomes totally useless. Wide, frequent turns in a large passageway would give you an advantage though.

Basically, this is what I can think of on top of my head.

Guns
- Undodgeable (pretty much) but require a bit of accuracy.
- Require ammo.
- Can have a low firing rate.
- Can require room to set up, fire, manoeuvre, etc depending on the size of the gun. Void if it''s a handgun or the likes.
- Loud. Gives away anyone''s position.
- Can jam or run out of ammo, thus becomming useless.
- A mishap (with older, much older rifles) could result in personal damage.
- Easy to conceal. Or hard, size-dependant.

Swords/Whacking Utilities
- Can be blocked with average ease.
- Involve momentum, so swinging speed could be an issue. Keep in mind recovering from a missed swing, as well.
- Short range, of course.
- Unlimited ammo.
- Can break if striking something too hard with sufficient force.
- Silent, for the most part.
- May or may not be easy to conceal.
- Looks dang cool if it''s medieval.
- Can cause more violent damage (hacked off limbs, for instance).
- Not very hard to use.

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one word: halo (probably one of the most commonly used word to describe good games lol)
w/o the backside of the assault rifle, i would have been dead much much more... plus, in multiplayer, it''s extremely fun smacking your friend in the back of his head with somthing heavy. lol -PmanC

"Ford, you''re turning into a penguin. Stop it." - HichHiker''s Guide to the Galaxy

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I don''t see why you wouldn''t want to add melee weapons to a game with guns. You''d have most of the noobs (and some pros) with the guns, and then you''ll have the awesomely awesome people that have gotten their sword skills down to an art and are able to block most anything.

For added variety and fun, I say, add ''em.

Uberness...

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Melee weapons are very useful in games with guns, as long as it''s the other guy that has them.


How appropriate. You fight like a cow.

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i can''t tell you how useful having both are. especially when sneaking up on enemies -- in a lot of games, any hit to an enemy''s back with a melee weapon is an instant kill. melee weapons are also great for kudagras(sp) (i.e. when finishing off an enemy). you could have the best of both worlds like halo does, i.e. use ranged weapons, but all of them have the ability to be used as a melee weapon by hitting enemies w/ the butt of the gun. makes for excellent assaults.

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Since this is sci-fi, there is also the "Jedi" capability, or the ability to block shots with a melee attack. It isn''t realitic, but that is why it is fiction ^_^

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Fallout. Between limited resources and weight restrictions, if you shot every radscorpion, you''d be out of ammo in no time. I stuck to my trusty spear for the first few hours of gameplay, and saved my bullets for people. If I was taking a long trip into the waste to scavenge, I''d usually bring a powerful, but light gun (the .223 pistol), which could handle any unexpectedly tough enemies, but didn''t require me to fill my pack with hardware. That pistol and twenty rounds could kill anything I couldn''t nail with a melee weapon.

So leave them in. Especially if they''re opportunistic (pipes, crowbars, chairlegs, severed limbs), melee weapons add a lot to a game. And as has been mentioned before, skill is a factor. The best pistolero in the county is pretty lame when he doesn''t actually have a gun. But a guy who can use a spear is pretty dangerous with anything that can approximate that function.

Unless you have a neat justification for it, don''t let melee weapons block bullets. That sucks. Make armor really strong against bullets, or let players have "bullet redirectors" that stop them, but no zaniness. Maybe you could try to, and there''s a .02% chance that a bullet will hit the sword, be deflected, and wreck the blade. A shield could have a better chance, or a manhole cover or something, but no jedi stuff without some kind of supernatural facilitator.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
From a realisitc stand point firearms are much easier to use than a bladed weapon. You can teach anyone how to shot one in hours while on the other hand swords and such can take months. Firearms rarly jam or break assuming you use anything that is relativly modern and cleaned with some rergularity. Bladed weapons do have the advatage of being deadleir, causing bigger wounds and requiring less penatration to do serious damage to something. You also have to consider space with larger melee weapons, your not going to want to be in a narrow hallway with just a sword.

- the Reverend Null

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realisticly you all don''t know what you''re talking about with guns. bullets are dodgeable to a point, not matrix style but you could become a moving target making yourself quite harder to hit unless you''re being fired on with an automatic of sorts. Accuracy doesn''t come naturally at all. Accuracy with a real gun takes alot of practice and strength in your arm. Realisticly guns jam up all the time if you don''t know what the hell you''re doing with them. If you just keep loading in clip after clip they''re going to get worn quite fast. The knowledge of how you maintain your firearms doesn''t come naturally as soon as you pick up a gun. The quality of ammo is a big determining factor on how often you should clean your gun barrel and assorted mechanisms. If you buy cheap kmart ammo then your gun is going to jam up real soon if you don''t go easy on it.
As for automatics they tend to over heat real fast unless you know how to properly burst fire with them. The more they overheat the less accurate they get. Not every single gun out there is dead on accuracy. That takes precision machining and the wear of a barrel can affect it alot.
Its not like in the movies where average joe smith can pick up two AK''s an charge through a battle field with one in each arm while effectively killing everyone.

But this is only talking realisticly. If games were really completely realistic there''d be no fun to em. And those of you complaining about using some sort of jedi powers to block shots with a sword... its not your game. If you wanna make another complete shooter game then go ahead fill the bucket with another drop. In my opinion fantasy + guns = WAY cool.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
ah too much to read, my reply in short, depends on how the guns are aimed, thus spake the sorta kinda almost wise man

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iNfuSeD, there''s nothing worse than a fake gun expert.

Reverend, that''s a good observation, but I think it misses the point by just a little bit. You are absolutley correct that the learning curve for firearms starts out a little friendlier if you meet the basic (and quite low) requirements for strength and dexterity. However, training with a firearm is based overwhelmingly on muscle memory, and bad habits crop up very easily, putting an upper limit on the possible skill.

Anyone can get "pretty good" with a gun in a week or so, but if you''re going to use it effectively in combat, it''ll take more than "pretty good". Any goon can grap a gun and shoot you within about seven yards, which is the standard range for most gunfights, but if you factor in moving and fear and adrenaline, even trained government agents have about a 10% accuracy rate within ten FEET. Bear in mind that this is with handguns. Long guns have slightly different combat properties, and yield higher accuracy at long range, but can be slow to wield within "contact distance", which is where a melee weapon would be most effective.

Now, nobody wants to play a game where your character can''t hit the broad side of a barn, any more than they want to play as a knight who can''t get his sword back into the scabbard. That can be pretty freaking tough, by the way, especially if you''re on a horse.

The problem is that a guy who''s really good with a gun, and can aim under pressure, is basically untouchable. You bust it out, you take the shot ,and then it''s just a matter of how much twirling you want to do. With an hour a day of good training, reloading isn''t even a concern, and even a weapon malfunction can be cleared in well under a second the vast majority of the time. In my police training, we did fast draws that required us to strike the target with our support hand (you start with your toes touching the stand), step back, draw into a retention position, and fire three rounds into center of mass in under two seconds. Nobody had any trouble with the time, and I once completed the drill even after I had a failure to fire due to a bad primer. Tap, rack, back on the attack.

So weapon balancing becomes a real issue. Making ammo scarce is a champion method, but then there''ll be ammo hoarders. You could make ammo be the currency of the world, so you''ll generally have enough, but you''ll be hesitant to use it. I just thought of that. Go me. I guess that was used in the original Legend of Zelda though. Rats.

Mark of Kri gave some enemies armor, which your sword could eventually penetrate, but your arrows couldn''t touch. That required you to close with your enemies at least some of the time. Dune featured a similar system, where the personal shields would stop (most) bullets, but a careful thrust with a blade would do the job. That way, guns would be effective against grunt bad guys or weakened enemies, but if you want to do any kind of player vs. player fighting, you''ll have to get out the pointed stick.

If you''re going the RPG route, it could effect your EXP system. In Double Dragon, kicks were safer and more powerful, but if you wanted to unlock the special moves, punches were the attack of choice (or you could just whale on the invisible Williams in the second level, cheater). Shooting stuff is fun and easy, but if you want to boost your EXP, it''s back to the blade.

Stealth is always a factor. Melee weapons could facilitate sneakiness in a way guns couldn''t, or in sci-fi context you could have sensors that detect weapons fire. Star Trek has something like that, where the ship''s sensors report any phaser fire on board.

If you don''t mind incorporating some sort of magic system, you could give melee weapons supernatural properties, like letting you fly or summoning spirits to fight with you. the UT4Ever mod for Unreal Tournament had a weapon called the Samurai''s Katana. When you held it you ran faster and jumped higher, if you stood still for a little while you''d turn almost totally invisible, and it''s secondary fire was a teleport that could get you up to high ledges, out of holes, or into an enemy''s chest cavity for a telefrag. Also, it was almost a guaranteed one-hit kill if you conected with it. Keep your plasma rifle, I''m going with the magic steel.

Unless something like that balances them, though, the melee weapons are doomed to be back-ups to the more effective projectile launchers. It''s up to you.

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The Specialists (a HL mod, specialistsmod.net) now has a katana (sword) and in a game mostly to do with guns, its got a lot of use. Admittedly it does have slow motion like Max Payne, which can help with dodging bullets, but its still a very useful weapon even without the slowmo. Especially if you use kung-fu (melee punching and kicking), which will knock the weapon out of a player''s hands, and then quickly switch to the sword to take them out with a couple of swings.

Another consideration is that I think that in the specialists (I think) ranged weapons such as shotguns and rifles get a big accuracy _decrease_ if the target is right beside the player (like within half a metre), as the assumption is that the target will be able to hit aside a long barreled weapon before running you through with their knife or sword.

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In turok, the only times I used the knife were to quietly get an enemy from behind or when I was out of ammo.

Early in the game, knife was supreme for underwater combat, but later I found spear guns and used them instead.

For multi-player... forget everything and go for the Cerebral Bore.

Whoever came up with the exploding arrow is pretty sick and twisted it makes the enemy explode in a shower of fresh meat.

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im with Iron Chef Carnage on this. if you do everything anno 2003 style realistic, nobody isnt even going to look at a sword, and those of you who think so have seen too many bad movies.

but there are tons of cool advantages for swords to think of, besides lots of constraints on fireweapons without hurting gameplay.

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Thanks for the ideas, I really like the idea of weapons jamming once and a while, and even more with cheap ammo. Along with automatic weapons losing accuracy when they overheat.

I designed a skill system for my game, and it is quite likely that if the character has a low firearms skill, they would fare worse using a rifle than a broadsword.

I also forgot to tell all of you that I was planning on weapons having different penetration, along with damage. So swords can be more effective on heavily armored guys.

Ok, I think they are balanced quite a bit now. I just wonder if anyone would bother using them.

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I don''t see how a sword would ever has good penatration as gun. A high calibure firearm could shoot through a brick wall something no sword could ever do, unless some kind of advanced high tech energy or monofiliment sword.

-----------------------------------------------------
Writer, Programer, Cook, I''m a Jack of all Trades
Current Design project
Chaos Factor Design Document

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Anyone who has played Halflife or Day of Defeat or any of those games where the melee weapon is the one last resort will tell you the same thing : there is no greater humiliation than to be taken out by the lowliest of weapons.
And as a player there is nothing more hilarious than delivering a massive blow across the back of the skull of an enemy unaware of your presence (say ... a camping bastard) with your sturdy and reliable german shovel :-P Is there ?

The *fun factor*, guys. It shouldnt be dismissed too quickly


Sancte Isidore ora pro nobis !

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