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Game Combat Mechanic Examples

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I'm asking something a bit different for this forum. I've noticed many questions in this forum ask something like, "is X a good idea?"  What I'd like to see is examples of how other people did similar things to what I want to do, and maybe some suggestions for what would be best.

Basically I'm trying to create a game where you play as a bandit leader, and you set up ambushes for various travelers, ala Robin Hood, but with a bit less giving to people other than yourself.

The game I envision has you managing equipment, bandits, and location to increase the success of these ambushes. Therein lies the problem, I'm not sure how to set up a deep system like that. It's not that I lack ideas, but that I am unsure how to refine it down, and translate my idea into actual game mechanics.

Part of it is, while I'm a fan of RPGs, I don't really know how they work. I've never exactly been a minmaxer and while I understand more armor is reduces damage, more attack increase hit-chance etc. I don't really understand how these systems work in detail, and I don't know how to find out.

So my question is, how can I find out about these systems so I can modify them to suit what I want to do?

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Most of these systems are transcribed pretty literally from pen-and-paper RPGs. There are quite a lot of good resources on those floating around the web, and dozens of variations depending on what you are trying to achieve.

A lot of modern games have significantly simplified these mechanics from the days of Armour Classes and THAC0, however. It's not uncommon to see games that just have straight up hit points, attack strength deals 1:1 damage to hit points, and armor provides provides percentage-based reduction of incoming attack damage. To increase tactical variety, you usually have elemental damage types (at least physical vs magic, but maybe fire/ice/etc too). Then you get to have resistances in the various elements (basically, they work just like armour but for fire/ice/etc). Point being, things can get as arbitrarily complicated as you like.

But you generally don't want complexity for the sake of it. Balancing/tuning these systems becomes nightmarish as they increase in complexity. Take a look at some of the patch notes for Heroes of the Storm. Blizzard (who is very transparent about balance changes) is tuning values by as little as 0.25% per bi-weekly patch, across hundreds of characters.

It's probably better to start from the other end (what types of gameplay do you want to enable? What tactical options do you want to give your players?) and then try to design the combat system to support those goals.

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Thanks for the answer. I'll take a look at your links.

Right now I say I'd like to try and keep it as simple as possible while still giving the player a sense of accomplishment. I'd like to easily be able to add complexity and depth as I continue development too.

I'm a bit overwhelmed by my options at this point. I will continue working on it.

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As a basic requirement on combat system I  would say you may want to display some disavantages of heavier armors so that the game will not progress into full plate armour thugs dangling of the trees or something similar. Such disadvantages may be wearing of stamina, slowing down really rapid moves like sprint, worse maintenance in the wilds, vision etc.

Friend of mine did very neat system covering that quite a bit- so there could be regular character path way going as half naked barbarian. Let us please know, I am interested in the setting as well ;-).

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Well here's a bit more about my idea. I plan to make full-plate very expensive, rare, and difficult to sneak around in. Thus preventing bandits from taking full advantage of their ambushes,

So far I've come up with the idea of making a few basic types of weapons and armor. Each is made of either copper, bronze, steel, mithril, or adamantium. Each has a quality level. Both of these will affect its price and level of protection.

So the things that will affect whether your bandits come back with loot would be:

    Their physical stats (strength, dexterity, endurance, willpower, intelligence)

    Their equipment.

    Whether there are enough bandits to win in a  fight, and a small enough number to go undetected until ready to ambush.

This is why I want to know more about typical RPG systems.

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