#3116 Tunnel combat, melee flavor and balancing weapon types


Here's a proposal for passive weapon-based battle skills that I think would:
(1) favor combat in the open over tunnel combat,
(2) provide melee combat flavor, and
(3) balance weapon categories and make some (lesser-used) weapons more interesting.

Add some of these, or similar, melee-based skills:
Parry: chance to block an attack, (if not using a shield). If this ability (has a chance to) apply to attacks from multiple monsters, it would benefit open combat.
Riposte: chance of an extra attack after a parry (or a shield block). Probably should be the same as parry, kicking in a higher skill levels.
Disarm: on hit, chance of disarming (forcing weapon drop).
Repel: on hit, chance of pushing smaller monsters back one space. Only works if the monster isn't next to a wall, which would help it to regain its balance.
Double: on hit, a chance of an extra attack (probably with lower damage/acc) on a monster adjacent to the attacked monster.
Remise or Reprise: similar to double, but after a missed or blocked attack. Could be combined with Double.
Reach: much like reaching currently. Higher skill levels let you reach with more acc, more damage, though larger monsters, or into deeper water.
Stab: same as stabbing at present.

(1) All of the skills (except stab) would make it easier to battle multiple monsters in the open, opening up a refreshing alternative to cowering in tunnels.

(2) They would primarily make combat more flavorful ("You parry the nerd's attack but your riposte misses"; "You miss the cow, but your remise hits the moose"; "You hit the smurf, who [stumbles backward] [uses the wall to retains its balance]"). Ranged combat is getting a wonderful flavorful boost in 0.6; it would be nice for melee to get one, too.

(3) The skills granted by each weapon could be based on flavor and balance considerations. This could help to subtly weaken axes, improve M&F and polearms, or whatever balance issues others might see. Each weapon type would either employ/train the skill or not.
Short sword: parry, remise and stabbing.
Sabre: might train remise and disarm.
Maces, most flails and quarterstaves: repel and double (the idea is that the weapon bouncing off one monster into another).
A halberd and most polearms: repel and reach. (It would be fun to repel a monster and the reach to hit it!)
Axes might train only remise.
UC might train repel, remise and stabbing.

The skill level, the weapon type, and the HD of the monster enter into the likelihood of the skill being activated. For example, you'll never parry an attack with a hand axe, regardless of how skilled you are at parrying. (This is the simplest implementation, but it might make for interesting strategy if a longsword-wielder could choose to train up parrying using a short sword so as to parry occasionally with the longsword.)

These should be activated relatively rarely. The likelihood of parrying, while wielding an appropriate weapon type, might be [1+[min(parrying_skill-2*monster_HD),0]]/100 or something in that ballpark.

The proposed thief god, or other gods as appropriate, help train otherwise give a bonus to the skill. Monsters would use these abilities, too, if they wield the appropriate weapon.

They are passive, based on the idea that the player uses the ability when the monster presents the opening to do so, although some (like reach and repel) might be better as "v" abilities. I suggested more than I think should be added in the end. In particular, riposte, remise and double could be combined. Other ideas are very welcome. I'd love to help with a patch but my coding days are years behind me, sorry.



  • Nobody/Anonymous

    I like this. While melee certainly doesn't need an improvement in terms of effectiveness (so such an implementation might need a slight reduction in base damage or speed or somesuch to compensate) it is a pretty dull affair flavour-wise compared to spellcasting - press left x 10, you kill the naga, you kill the naga, yawn. Plus it could give fighters something 'cool' to aim for beyond ego weaponary. Allowing a god to buff these secondary attacks also seems in keeping with the devs current thinking on god development.

    - molari

  • Nobody/Anonymous

    Whilst these changes would be fun, at its heart this game is ROGUE which is just a simple direction hit game.

    Adding latest MMO technology, is not really in the spirit with roguelikes.

  • Nobody/Anonymous

    i'm in favour of something like this - i play a lot of melee characters and, without recourse to spellcasting, they tend to play very similarly. i'd like some more customisation potential.

  • dpeg

    dpeg - 2009-12-12

    There are very good reasons to keep melee combat as something that involves steamrolling monsters. First, we should try to have less steamrolled monsters and better opposition. Second, I don't think that skill inflation is the way to go. I like the idea of passive weapon effects a lot but I wouldn't tie them to new skills.

  • Matt

    Matt - 2009-12-14

    There's already one passive effect implemented in Crawl: if you hit a confused monster there's a chance you'll stab it (unaware stabbing). This effect takes place more often when stabbing skill is high. Perhaps some of these effects could be implemented the same way for characters highly skilled in a weapon category.

  • Nobody/Anonymous

    Good thoughts: Attaching these features to new skills with new options is probably not needed. As suggested, keying these feature off the weapon skill would be more straightforward. They would work well as god-granted abilities, too.

    It would still make steamrolling more flavorful, favor combat in the open over tunnel combat, and could improve under-powered weapons. I've seen all of these mentioned as problems in comments on other FRs.


  • blinkfrog

    blinkfrog - 2009-12-23

    Long ago a proposed to implement something like melee features of Vampire Path. But the discussion fastly became confused and went to probability of implementation these features as God's abilities, not like true melee skills features.

    ____Proposed features____

    Special attacks when weapon skill level reaches 15:

    Sweep Attack (scythe)
    Full damage to three creatures next to player


    Sweep Attack (axes bigger than hand axe)
    Full damage to three creatures next to player


    Crush Attack (maces and flails bigger than club)
    Double damage to a single target


    (long swords)
    Full damage to two creatures on opposite sides of player


    (all polearms except scythes)
    33% damage for one creature next to player
    tries to push monster away (actually player takes one step backwards)


    ######## ########
    ...@gg.. -> ..@.gg..
    ######## ########

    Special attacks when weapon skill level reaches 20:

    Round Attack (all chopping polearms)
    Half damage to all creatures next to player


    Special attacks when fighting skill level reaches 20:

    Rush (all weapons)
    Full damage to one creature next to player and one step forward.


    ######## ######## ######## ########
    ...@gg.. -> ....@g.. or ...g@g.. or ...@gg..
    ######## ######## ######## ########


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