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Melee reach for different models/races?

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I am thinking of combat mechanic where you swing the sword and the longer it is the longer reach you have to hit something.
Examples: Mount & Blade, Age of Chivalry, Darkfall Online.

I want the animation for the swing to be guiding... as in.. It should be a miss if the swing clearly didn't get close enough to target.
I'm thinking something like.. distance between the 2 characters... For example a 2handed sword needs for example be within 50 range.
While a spear withing 100 range and a sword within 40.. etc just examples of what I mean.

But if you have choice between different character models... It will be easy ofcourse to make the range same.. it's just code.
But it will be hard to make the animation correct.. Because another model might have slightly longer arms for example.. or fatter body.. or maybe slightly bigger.. So the animation might be a clear obvious hit but the code is the same for the smaller model so it's a miss.

I don't like these imbalances.. and makes it pointless to choose a model with less reach.
I want them to choose the model purely because of the looks.. or lore for the roleplayers.

Any good suggestions on a fix to this?

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I think this is a matter of picking what is best. I can't think of a way to make hits a "clear hit" without some "inefficiencies":

- Altering the character model so the stretched arm is the same on all the models.
- Altering the weapon model so the end point is always the same
- Don't make it a clear hit for the smaller character models, or the other way around, let the smallest character model be the max length of a clear hit. This will however give the effect for the larger models to perhaps over obviously penetrate the enemy.
- Take an average length of the character models and base the max distance on that. You'll end up with with slightly less obvious over penetration or clear hits.

You might also be able to mix and match to reduce the effect as much as possible, but I think you'll end up with some inaccuracy in any situation unless you want to give bigger characters an advantage in range.

You could also try to balance it with counter effectiveness, like: Bigger characters have more reach, but against smaller characters, the small character might be able to dodge the blows better. I'm sure you can come up with a lot of diversities in that manner.

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You could also try to balance it with counter effectiveness, like: Bigger characters have more reach, but against smaller characters, the small character might be able to dodge the blows better. I'm sure you can come up with a lot of diversities in that manner.


Fairly much along the lines I was thinking. IRL a big guy has more reach than a little guy but by no means does this mean a big guy will win in a fight. You could keep character models appropriate to their scales and as suggested tweek racials to better balance reach versus speed/agility etc.

A separate possibility is to design racial weaponry i.e. a larger toon might racially only use up to a certain length weaponry in keeping with their "philosophy/religion etc" where as the mighty dwarf might weild an improbably huge 2 handed sword/axe (does give an opening for some sly humour).

The other aspect you might give consideration to, is that Character A wields an almighty long sword and is a big guy, How does he deal with a knife fighter who is literally within the arc of the sword up close and personal. The extra reach the toon has could be offset by the inability to attack effectively at immediate range.

I don't suggest selling short the animation in anyway but instead very much develop play styles for each type of weaponry thus making a player more likely to interact with the strengths of their weapon etc. A tall guy may have more reach but a short guy will always have enough reach to parry a blow even whilst out of his striking range.



Note: I use the word racials not knowing if you are dealing with different races etc. Body types could also be used as a descriptor.

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- Altering the character model so the stretched arm is the same on all the models.


I agree with this. I think character height should not be a factor in weapon reach, but maybe in other things such as larger hitboxes but larger strides when moving? Or keep character heights all roughly the same and therefore almost trivial - character build and features could be the better way of making variation of models.

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The simple solution is to put every model on the same skeleton, so animations and reach will be consistent between models. If you want to make character size a factor, then you will have to modify the animations. You could customize the animations so that the hands of the wielder are always the same distance from their positional center, causing short-limbed characters to fully extend while long-limbed characters keep their elbows bent. Alternately, you could balance these inherent advantages in some other way. Races or characters that are taller might have slower attack rates, or less magical affinity, so their boosted range is offset in a tangible way.

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