Author Topic: How to do archery?  (Read 28340 times)

miki151

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How to do archery?
« on: August 20, 2013, 07:04:15 PM »
I'm standing before a few choices on archery UI and mechanics in my game.

Have the player wield the bow or make a separate equipment slot for it? Nethack uses #1 and I like the tactical element of switching weapons when going from shooting to melee, but I don't like it when I forget to switch: "you begin bashing monsters with your bow". Adom does #2 and it seems like an easy solution, maybe too easy.

Another thing is the UI. You can use the "throw" command on arrows and assume they are fired if you've equiped a bow. You can have a separate "fire" command, which automatically chooses the arrow or have arrows readied in quiver. Finally, you can also "apply" a bow to shoot. To make things complicated, I'm planning the crossbow to require two actions: loading, which takes more time, and shooting, which is instant  (it will be more powerful than the bow, to balance it).
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Vanguard

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Re: How to do archery?
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2013, 09:35:12 PM »
Personally, I avoid archery in most roguelikes because it's less convenient than hand to hand combat or magic, so I'm in favor of anything that alleviates that.

With archery they usually make you switch your weapon and then gather or replace all of your ammo, but if you're a fighter or a wizard you don't have to deal with that.  I think you should only require weapon switching if it fulfills an important purpose, and bows should either have infinite ammo like ToME 4 or there should be some kind of auto-gather function where your character recovers all the arrows lying around.

zasvid

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Re: How to do archery?
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2013, 11:17:50 PM »
bows should either have infinite ammo like ToME 4 or there should be some kind of auto-gather function where your character recovers all the arrows lying around.

Arrows could be also treated like bullets and always be spent when shooting, which is a pretty good compromise unless you want to have guns in a game and play up the difference or you're aiming for a 'realistic' game.

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Re: How to do archery?
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2013, 02:07:59 AM »
Check out the way Demonhunt does it.

It's a great and tight system all around, cannot recommend it enough.

miki151

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Re: How to do archery?
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2013, 04:30:37 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions. I think infinite ammo is silly for such a complicated game as a RL. I'd rather have monsters drop more arrows so the player has enough of them. This allows specialized arrows like in Adom, too. Autopicking is a good suggestion.

I checked Demonhunt and it looks like it's the same as in Adom.
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Vanguard

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Re: How to do archery?
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2013, 06:14:49 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions. I think infinite ammo is silly for such a complicated game as a RL.

If you're going with finite ammo then you should either make it very easy to obtain and allow the player to carry a huge amount or make it a limited resource like wands, potions, etc. and bring archery's power up to par with those other consumable options.

Krice

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Re: How to do archery?
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2013, 06:47:27 AM »
To make things complicated, I'm planning the crossbow to require two actions: loading, which takes more time, and shooting, which is instant  (it will be more powerful than the bow, to balance it).

Making things manual can have mixed results. Maybe it's better to get more realistic feel to it, but it can also become tedious and annoying. I'm using a long range weapon slot in Kaduria and automatic quiver, but it's also possible to put long range weapon in one of hands and use quiver with the type of projectiles you want. So if you want to switch weapons "realistic" way it's possible, or you can just press 'f' to shoot with anything you have in long range slot.

miki151

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Re: How to do archery?
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2013, 07:28:18 AM »
How do you combine the two options? If there is a long range weapon slot, then why would the player want to manually switch weapons? Does he get some kind of bonus if he does that?

If you're going with finite ammo then you should either make it very easy to obtain and allow the player to carry a huge amount or make it a limited resource like wands, potions, etc. and bring archery's power up to par with those other consumable options.
A perfect game would require certain strategies to keep a healthy stack of ammo, but would never leave the PC without an option to get some. Similar to food. But anyway, I'm not planning to have characters limited to archery, like an Archer class. In no fantasy book that I've read was there a character skilled in archery and nothing else. So the ammo problem is not such a big deal.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 07:34:17 AM by miki151 »
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Re: How to do archery?
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2013, 08:20:00 AM »
I think DoomRL handles ranged combat the best of any roguelike. Firing takes two keypresses, one to target and one to fire (you don't have to choose ammunition), and reloading takes one. You can target monsters by cycling through them with tab, or using the arrow keys.
The only other thing I want from ranged combat is a way to shoot at the nearest monster with one keypress - Angband has this, but it doesn't handle targetting quite as well.

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Re: How to do archery?
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2013, 11:50:30 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions. I think infinite ammo is silly for such a complicated game as a RL.
If you're going with finite ammo then you should either make it very easy to obtain and allow the player to carry a huge amount or make it a limited resource like wands, potions, etc. and bring archery's power up to par with those other consumable options.

For my potential western RL (yeah, it's not dead yet), I'm considering having ammo and money as a single resource. The rationale will either be that this is such a grotesque society that lead slugs is the actual currency, or the transaction will be symbolic (1 bullet costs 1 dollar, and you're assumed to have bought the ammo you need/can afford). I know it all comes down to balancing whether or not that would work, but I'd still be interested to hear any comments to that idea – before I implement it in an utterly stupid way.

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edit: typo
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 06:10:06 PM by AgingMinotaur »
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

Krice

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Re: How to do archery?
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2013, 12:11:58 PM »
How do you combine the two options? If there is a long range weapon slot, then why would the player want to manually switch weapons? Does he get some kind of bonus if he does that?

I guess it's just to give shooters better immersion. They can wield bow in hand slot and leave other hand empty if they want to get hard core. Hand slots have priority over long range slot so if there is a bow in hand it's used as long range weapon.

Trystan

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Re: How to do archery?
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2013, 02:46:55 PM »
For my potential western RL (yeah, it's not dead yet), I'm considering having ammo and money as a single resource.

That works quite well for The Legend Of Zelda and its sequels. It's also a lot like using stamina for magic and special moves, or using hunger for everything - and those are accepted conventions.

zasvid

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Re: How to do archery?
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2013, 05:08:59 PM »
Another option is to make switching automatic with some cost (if switching takes a fraction of a turn, like in DCSS for example, it would be way better than bashing opponents over the head with a bow). Of course manual change should be kept in too, probably.

For my potential western RL (yeah, it's not dead yet), I'm considering having ammo and money as a single resource. The rationale will either be that this is such a grotesque society that lead slugs is the actual currency, or the transaction will be symbolic (1 bullet costs 1 dollar, and you're assumed not to have bought the ammo you need/can afford). I know it all comes down to balancing whether or not that would work, but I'd still be interested to hear any comments to that idea – before I implement it in an utterly stupid way.

Sounds good either way. If I were doing it, I'd use the one with people using bullets as money and explore where is that coming from setting-wise (lead and other bullet-worthy metals all roughly as worthwhile as silver? interesting), though you might not want to.

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Re: How to do archery?
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2013, 06:26:22 PM »
For my potential western RL (yeah, it's not dead yet), I'm considering having ammo and money as a single resource. The rationale will either be that this is such a grotesque society that lead slugs is the actual currency, or the transaction will be symbolic. I know it all comes down to balancing whether or not that would work, but I'd still be interested to hear any comments to that idea – before I implement it in an utterly stupid way.
Sounds good either way. If I were doing it, I'd use the one with people using bullets as money and explore where is that coming from setting-wise (lead and other bullet-worthy metals all roughly as worthwhile as silver? interesting), though you might not want to.

That's what I was thinking, as well. Extrapolating on that outlandish idea, I envisioned a fantasy world where salt is far from plentiful, except in the wild outland that would be setting of the game (there would be other natural treasures, as well, procedurally generated bovines, and the like). So you'd be mining for salt, hijacking (or protecting) salt transports, etc., and getting paid in lead 8) Also, the idea lends itself to adding shot towers as a location type, which is quite cool in itself. The only problem is, I'd have to scrap my random currency generator, which currently outputs beautiful coin names, like "silver tögrögs" and "pseudo-bits".  :'(

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zasvid

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Re: How to do archery?
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2013, 06:59:42 PM »
Extrapolating on that outlandish idea, I envisioned a fantasy world where salt is far from plentiful, except in the wild outland that would be setting of the game (there would be other natural treasures, as well, procedurally generated bovines, and the like). So you'd be mining for salt, hijacking (or protecting) salt transports, etc., and getting paid in lead 8) Also, the idea lends itself to adding shot towers as a location type, which is quite cool in itself. The only problem is, I'd have to scrap my random currency generator, which currently outputs beautiful coin names, like "silver tögrögs" and "pseudo-bits".  :'(

Lead mines would be naturally awesome dungeons in such a world - filled with violent miners (due to lead poisoning), with an in-built clock to push the player onward (because you don't want to get too much lead poisoning yourself) and fiercely protected, because they're as worthwhile as silver mines were to our ancestors.

Also, re: random currency generator - I'm sure it will find a home. If not in your roguelike, maybe in someone elses?