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Drethon

Realistic damage model and town system idea

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And he finally remmebers to get his password and login, the public rejoices... Sorry... Erm... In another post, I mentioned how I wouldn't mind realistic deaths. What I mean by this is a shot to the head or heart will kill you. Also added would be effects from being injured in other areas. A shot to the arm would lower parry defence and offence with weapons that use that arm. A shot to the leg would decrease your ability to doge. Etc... Now obviously this whole system would require careful ballance. The common system today relies on the characters ability to take damage to prevent dying every two seconds. What I have in mind is instead of the chacater being able to absorb the damage, the character would be able to avoid it more effectively. To allow the character to avoid damage, a shift in like level critter types would have to occur. Instead of skill levels being defined by the amount of damage done, the skill level will be defined by the ability of the player/critter to succesfully land a hit or dodge a hit. The amount of damage done would then be shifted to an attribute of the weapon. Also the difference in the amount of damage done between different weapons would not be significant, the attributes of the different weapons would be more the ability to do certian types of damage and certian defence abilities. Now the system described causes an new issue, at low levels the player would actually land a hit fairly rarely simply because the character does not know how to use their weapon yet. To prevent the low levels from lasting forever, a different approach to gaining experience would be implemented. Instead of gaining exp for each kill that can be assigned to whatever skills the player chooses, the player would gain instant skill in whatever action they are performing. Every time the player swings a weapon, the gain melee skill. Every time the player fires a weapon, they gain ranged weapon skill. Every time the player attempts to dodge, they gain dodge skill. This can also be made specific to the type of weapon being used as well for specialization. Onto the town system. To handle the lack of skill at low level, there will be critters that almost can't dodge or attack but also training grounds. At low levels the player can head to a training ground to work on a specific skill. Swinging or firing a weapon at a moving target, dodging simulated attacks, etc... This would allow the character to gain skills with no risk to themselves. On the other hand they gain to money or noteriety from killing critters. Another feature of the towns would be the occasional critter or group of critters would wander into the town. Most of the large groups would be lower level critters that would pretty much ignore everything unless attacked. Unless the lower level critter bumped into someone which they would then consider a threat or they might begin dismantling the town, requiring a clearing out of the critters. The higher level critters would come in smaller groups and kill everything they see. When a town seige occurs, the inner gates which are not usually opened to non citizens would allow anyone to enter for protection while blocking the critters. If a player (or NPC) died during the seige they would be dragged by the NPC military (or a player) to a healing point inside the inner gates. Here would be a number of NPC healers and assumed player healers that could bring the dead character back to life. If a character is too young to survive the seige, they can do things inside the inner gates that they would not normally have access to since young characters would usually not be able to become citizens. Well, for those of you who read though this whole book... (thanks) does it look like I've missed anything importiant? This whole system is still very much a work in progress. - my $0.02

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Original post by Drethon
In another post, I mentioned how I wouldn't mind realistic deaths. What I mean by this is a shot to the head or heart will kill you. Also added would be effects from being injured in other areas. A shot to the arm would lower parry defence and offence with weapons that use that arm. A shot to the leg would decrease your ability to doge. Etc...

Now obviously this whole system would require careful ballance. The common system today relies on the characters ability to take damage to prevent dying every two seconds. What I have in mind is instead of the chacater being able to absorb the damage, the character would be able to avoid it more effectively.


I think there was a samurai game on the PS2 that had fairly realistic damage, in which you can actually bleed to death from critical wounds, but that was about it. It would be nice to have a realistic damage system, but it would really involve alot of anatomy modelling, not to mention the player must have freedom as to which parts of the body to target.

Sometimes its not just external injuries that should be accounted for as well. For example, in boxing, boxer may perform continuous hits to the abdomenal area for long term effects that affect the opponent's balance and overall performance. Then there are the hit shots that causes minor concushions, which may lower reflex and judgement speed in the long run. If a system can fully take all these into account, or at least some of it, then it would really become fairly realistic.

That's my penny.

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For at least the first release of this game I'm planning on having it text based. With this format, its realitively easy to have the player target various body parts. Then base the skill levels to see if they actually hit their target.

I also like the idea of concussion damage, could make the unarmed combat more interesting as well as the use of blunt weapons...

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Your risk with this system is removing the element of skill and replacing it with luck or probability.

With absorbing damage, you can allow people to get hit a bit without making it insta-death. With your system they still get those occassional hits when their skill or memorization of the game are not up to par but instead of taking slight damage, they have a chance of getting killed, injured, or escaping completely unscathed.

It's up to you, but I'd be frustrated if I got to the end of a level and a low level critter got a lucky shot and killed me.

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I thought that Fallout dealt with damage quite well. Although critters still had the hitpoints, skilled warriors could get massive critical hit multipliers quite frequently. There was also always the chance that an unskilled warrior might get lucky and do an immense amount of damage with a lucky hit.

But my idea for how do deal with realistic damage, which I may implement into a future RPG someday, was to change the emphasis from hit points to 'luck' points. This operates in a similar fashion to the HP of the present, except the luck points are drained first. Once the character has no more luck, then they start taking 'real' damage (and much more quickly and with more devastating effects).

While this doesn't make a huge change in gameplay, it has a different effect to the display. Losing luck points wouldn't be displayed as a character getting hit, but as 'narrow misses'; dodging and lucky blocks.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
With a hit system like yours, every gamer would try to hit the head again and again cause enemies will die after one successful hit. You cannot make it too realistic, I think there won't be no fun if every enemy dies (after you reach the skill level in which you have a good chance to hit). I recommend to make it at every skill level very difficult to hit the head, so that players try to hit other things as well.

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Part of the factors would be that the skill level of the attacker determines there ability to hit the correct area in "space" but also the defenders skill in dodge would determine what body part is in that area when the attack reaches them. The attacker may swing at the head every time but its fairly easy to duck. A torso slash would the the attack most likely to land but that would primarily cause lacerations which are not immediately lethal.

The entire combat system with swords I envision is like fencing where you work on finding there weakness and exploit itfor a kill in one or two hits instead of the common approach of hit them until they are dead.

Like I say, still a work in progress...

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I'm worried that an instant kill can be the result of luck and not skill. Why not replace luck with player skill. I'm not saying you go down the fps route, instead you can implement a simple swing-o-meter. The size of the hit zone can be determined by the body part targeted, weapon used and character skill. It would then be down to player skill whether they stop the swing-o-meter in the hit zone, resulting in a instant kill.

It would be interesting to have the swing-o-meter get more difficult as character skill rises. Too often RPG's get easier as character skill increases, resulting in button mashing as the player chooses the same option time after time.

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Why not replace luck with player skill. I'm not saying you go down the fps route, instead you can implement a simple swing-o-meter


In almost all the RPGs I play, how strong you hit is based on a dice roll, I don't know how much more you can base it on luck already as opposed to skill.

Though I do plan on having the defender see, player x begins to swing his massive claidhmore of doom at you. Then the defender would have the roundtime of the attacker to make a decision on what they want to do about it. During the round time the player can dodge, parry or counter attack*. When the round time ends, the counter action will be based on the players wisdom stat and his skill in various actions.

*The idea of the counter attack is based on if they think they can land an attack before the attacker does. Say the attacker is a hobbit attacking with said massive claidhmore and the the defender is a giant with a toothpick, I think the dagger can hit the hobbit. Now if the giant cannot kill the hobbit with the toothpick before the hobbit lands with their massive claidhmore... I think there will be two giants all off a suddent.

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Vagrant Story, an Action-RPG for PlayStation by Squaresoft, uses "realistic damage" in which you can attack certain parts of the enemy. Attacking an arm and doing enough damage could mean it wouldn't be able to attack, but for the most part, being able to hit the smaller areas like arms and the head were much more difficult than hitting the chest. It wasn't really about percentage either, if I remember correctly you pressed the attack button, then you'd hear a "clash" sound, once you hear that sound you'd hit another button (whichever button you hit would signify a type of attack, I think) and you only have a certain amount of time to hit the button during the clash sound, if you don't hit it in an appropriate amount of time you miss, and the time allowed to hit is dependent on how easy it should be to hit the part of the enemy you are attacking.

But why should being shot in the arm reduce your parrying percentage a little? I would think you'd be screaming like a baby after being shot in non-lethal areas, hardly able to defend yourself.

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