Strategy for weapons

Will there be strategic calculations for weapons. Examples: extended reach for polearms, increased range and damage for elevated archers, various damage types (piercing, slashing, crushing), etc?

I think so. but I’m not sure. @Tom care to comment on this? I’m sure it’s not finalized, but it would be good to hear some of what your vision for combat is.

It seems like that would be a given. They’re making everything else have deep mechanics (ex. Farming/building/etc/everything) I don’t see why they’d skimp out on the combat.
They are very big fans of the fighting game genre so to not have complex combat mechanics would seem really weird to me!

Yup, that would be easily doable in their easy to learn - difficult to master philosophy. Just give all weapons a basic generic damage output and add specific piercing, crushing etc. damage. Then make armor deflect a set percentage of generic damage and in addition certein types of damage (Iron deflect piercing, Leather deflect nothing and so on), and you have the same system as in farming: just equip your guys and they can fight a little, pay attention to their equipment and against whom they need to use it and they can fight formidably.

There’s no Strategery involved in such a numbers game. A strategic decision would be to have an army and in which country to station it.

Among many others, Stardock had tried this “numbers” system and damage types and like everyone else they came to the conclusion that x+1 systems are only interesting to math geeks. About as interesting as your average spreadsheet.

What they switched to were simplified numbers but tactical abilities on weapons and equipment.
A pike can pierce several opponents in a row, making pike formations actually useful, an axe hits multiple opponents in an arc, a sword is good for fencing / parrying, a Zweihänder might temporarily “disarm” a polearm user, a crossbow takes much longer to load than a bow but can pierce several opponents like a pike, a shield can deflect projectiles or knock back / down opponents. Add zone of control rules and you have the makings of tactical combat where the terrain actually plays a role.

Abilities like that are set pieces that the player can play with. Different units are meaningful, have a purpose.
With just numbers, every fight looks like every other fight. Hit point bars shrink down a little faster or slower but it’s the same thing every time. Boooring.


hugging Gazz
Easy, big guy.

I do see your point and its superiority to mine :smiley: (honestly).

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This isn’t personal and I’m not trying to “shoot down” anything you said.

Just pointing out that there will be no interesting or tactical combat if you don’t have conceptually different units / abilities.
Numbers play a role but it’s a supporting one.
By starting with numbers like relative unit strengths you’re all putting the carriage before the horse.

Creating diverse concepts for the combat model should be the focus.
All numbers are placeholders until balancing can start for real in beta - when all features are implemented.


And I kinda wish this forum had a moderator or two to fix nonsensical thread titles like this one. For starters it has nothing to do with strategy…
(I’m not volunteering =)


Hit the nail on the head as far as I’m concerned - when you talk about tactical abilities, I get that each weapon/armour piece would have certain advantages/ disadvantages depending on the situation … but just to clear something up for me.

Are these abilities locked in to each class, as in certain classes equip different weapons/ armour and, so to put it crudely, something like a weapon triangle, as in X beats Y, Y beats Z, Z beats X (I need to stop with the Fire Emblem references).

Or do you mean that, for example, spears will have certain characteristics that would mean you would want to deploy them in certain situations over others, and certain spears might have extra added characteristics depending on their quality/ rarity.

Or is it a combination of the both?


TL&DR: I don’t know.

At this time I simply don’t know what properties a “unit” has. If it can equip different weapons, can advance in dfferent branches of a skill tree…
Therefore I’m keeping it rather abstract.

Rock - paper - shotgun is a classic but it only works well in very abstract systems like a “basic” RTS such as C&C.
Fortified infantry > tanks > artillery > fortified infantry.
Within each unit category the stats scale somewhat but that’s more of a gating mechanism or a trade-off in terms of production time and resources. It doesn’t alter the purpose of a unit category.

Example time. (aka Gazz likes to hear himself talk)
Melee infantry vs bears or wolves.

The armour values of bears or wolves are largely identical. None.

Wolves tend to attack in packs, though, swarming and flanking their prey.
With “just numbers” a pike would be as good as an axe against either opponent because armour piercing or similar properties have no effect.

With what I suggested, the axe unit could attack several adjacent units at once which would be a major benefit against “swarm” enemies like wolves.
Against a bear or two, the pike’s longer reach would result in getting a “free” attack or two in before the bear can close to melee range.

Even if they had exactly the same stats, these two weapons would have completely different uses and it’s a conceptual difference that will never be trivialised by upgrading to the +3 Pike.
Instead, specialisation / upgrades should pronounce differences instead of “fixing” a weapon’s intended limitations.
For instance, the upgraded pike would gain a higher “armor piercing” value or maybe get more range and a damage reduction in close melee range. It would be a better “long” weapon but also create a greater dependency on being “covered” by axe units.

The limitations are what makes combat diverse. Without them, you don’t have to think about which unit would be best at some particular task. They could all perform equally well at every task. Just zerg it. Booooring.

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Sounds good to me, so just to chuck ideas out there, and please feel free to correct me if you think any of these are wrong or just plain out stupid:

I’m also just speculating on weapons here, and potential benefits:

  • Pike: Longer reach, Slower than Axe and Sword
  • Long Sword - Faster than Axe and Pike,
  • Axe - Faster than Pike, Slower than Sword, wider radius than sword.
  • Longbow - Larger range than Crossbow, quicker than Crossbow
  • Crossbow - Shorter radius than Longbow, armour piercing, longer to reload than longbow

Something like that?

Refer to musashi Balancing Existing Armor and Weapons Design Theory.

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What you are doing, however, is underestimating the many times the devs have stated that combat will not be as simplistic as the attacks with dodge and parry chances. Diversity is not the only way to ensure exciting or interesting combat with tactical options.

Tom and Tony are mainstays of the FGC, and even if you have two identically equipped units, it seems a safe bet with the hints dropped that combat will have enough options and choices in play, not just with gearing, to ensure varied and interesting combat.

Otherwise, Alex Valle vs Daigo Umehara with their Ryu vs Ryu match wouldn’t be so damn hype.

Let’s all just agree that at some point… we want to see a dragon swoop down, pick up a bad guy (or one of our guys) and eat him. No numbers involved, no tactical advantage. Just pure fun. :stuck_out_tongue:

Based on their concept of “easy to learn, hard to master” I’m thinking one simple way would be just go for the ATK bonus like in most RPG and select all and throw them into combat. But once you dig deeper you can start making formation example: a 2 line consisting of shield bearing swordsman with heavy gears in the front, with a attack speed boosted light armor spearman in the rear etc…

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There is a Combat demo in the archives:
First look at combat engine
as well as some indications about the combat mechanics:
If you know fighting games, then you probably know how this is going to play out. During combat, units are completely vulnerable during their execution time and recovery time. Look closely and you can see guys getting hit while they’re winding up to do an attack — they are being hit out of their execution phase.

It looks like weapons and class are also fairly linked, so I think weapon stats might being taking a back seat to the class abilities themselves.


I think @Gazz is exagerating the importance in differing “numbers” from “unit diversity”, but more or less, I agree. I think having it be “numbers” in the sense of RPG-style battles with HP, MP, etc., unit effects, and special abilities (to name a few) is perfectly fine, but I also think that this idea of different types of weapons being more useful in different situations is also awesome.

In reference to yoru pike example, you need to keep in mind that the largest city is currently planned to have only 100-130 - not because of a population cap but because you won’t WANT to manage more than that, it’s just too hard according to the dev’s. Only a smaller portion of that will likely be troops/combatants. I just question whether a concept like that could work.

I get the feeling that individual soldiers are going to be treated more like a personal D&D character than nondescript cannon fodder you might find in a regular RTS game. As such, you’re going to have to rely more on “numbers” than unique weapon ability. I don’t have a problem with this and quite like these sort of mechanics. And if popular games such as Dragon Age, Baldur’s Gate, even Civilization, etc. have taught us anything, it’s that players aren’t as put off by “numbers” as Gazz makes them out to be.

My approach? A healthy balance between the two that puts an emphasis on individual unit strength over whole-army tactics.

Great discussion going on here! On a second reflection, I remember them stating in a video that they loved Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre (me too!), so maybe it’s less equipment and more job focused. Perhaps you need to craft certain weapons to obtain a certain job, in the same way a mason crafts a hammer that someone can equip to become a blacksmith. Really, I would just love the idea the walls and towers are useful because it makes your archers more useful and defensible.

The other thing I was getting at that would be awesome is ensuring your troops or armory are equipped to deal with a variety of enemies. For example: let’s say trolls attack. Trolls, as we all know, have thick skin and are most easily damaged by fire. Therefore, you could perhaps more easily stave off this invasion when your archers have pots of pitch and torches by their stations, or if your veteran soldier happens to have a runed blade with fire damage. Also, perhaps longbows are fairly ineffective, yet since crossbows have more piercing power, they could be useful despite that naturally thick hide.

Additionally, wouldn’t it also be cool if soldiers gained knowledge from fighting or training? Say we have Grisly McVeteran from above. He knew to use his awesome fire sword, because he’s fought trolls before. But perhaps he hasn’t learned enough yet to know that a fire spear or axe would have worked even better due to the thick hide. And further still, perhaps Noob Greenhands really didn’t know what he was doing and grabbed a quarter staff and promptly gets crushed by the trolls for being slightly annoying. Then, after the attack, we would learn to put future rookies to training with Grisly to learn the benefits of burning, pokey things in Troll Lore 101. Awesome, methinks.

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This would be so damn amazing.

so maybe it’s less equipment and more job focused. Perhaps you need to craft certain weapons to obtain a certain job

I definitely think this is the way they are headed, as it’s consistent with the rest of the job classes. So Swordsmen use swords, archers use bows, spearmen use spears, full stop. There might be better swords and spears and bows, but you aren’t sweating about whether a +1 acc and +2 dmg sword is better than a +2 acc and +1 dmg sword. So it’s less about getting just the right weapons as it is about figuring out what types of combat classes in what proportion make the most sense.