Author Topic: Ranged weapons that don't suck?  (Read 44000 times)

Anvilfolk

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Re: Ranged weapons that don't suck?
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2007, 03:46:43 PM »
Slash, I either forgot to answer you, or I was trying not to disagree, but either way... you're wrong! *g* I do proper medieval re-enactment, and one of the things we do is let everyone have three shots with a decent medieval bow (although I'll admit they don't have as much drawing power as the original ones). Most people, if they put their mind to it, can fire half-decently.

In any case, that's not the kind of "if he can do it" I meant. You can put all the coding checks you want, but it's not IMPOSSIBLE, and as such, shouldn't really be impossible in roguelikes (my opinion only, of course). That's what I mean. If you had a guy trying to kill you a few of feet away, and a strung arrow, you'd fire it. You might miss or be too slow, but I'm pretty sure you would at least give it a shot (pun intended:P). One thing that is IMPOSSIBLE is climbing the air, up to the clouds - that shouldn't be implemented.

Another example: trying to push a siege tower on your own. You could try it, but it'd be worthless. No reason not to try, though. If you had an environment with several other @ around you, you could join and help. No reason not to be able to try to push it alone. You just won't be able to (unless you have 25 str *g*).

Sticky weapon damage doesn't seem very "credible" (not even realistic). How about considering types of damage? Such as slashing, bludgeon, piercing. Maybe piercing (arrows) could take little amounts of HP, but reduce stats/movement, or cause some kind of other incapacity. Slashing could cause long-term bleeding wounds, and bludgeon just remove HP by the chunks? This way, the weapons you use could easily affect your tactics.
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Slash

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Re: Ranged weapons that don't suck?
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2007, 04:37:08 PM »
@Krice: I really like the idea of arrows providing a different kind of damage, if not realistic it would be at least differenciating gameplay-wise. I have heard less credible things related to dwarf fortress :D

@Anvil: Yes, I agree with you... it is all about how open-ended you want your game to be... there are always going to be some boundaries, for example, if you can push a tower, why cant you push a mountain? (a easy feat for a character with 255 strength), what is below the mountain afterward? would it cause a vulcanic eruption? would it turn the developer into a mad dangerous person for trying to make his game more flexible than needed? :)

oh, and I was j/k in that reply btw :)
« Last Edit: September 25, 2007, 04:56:09 PM by Slash »

Krice

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Re: Ranged weapons that don't suck?
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2007, 07:27:34 AM »
Maybe piercing (arrows) could take little amounts of HP

This will probably make long range weapons either less useful or having same problem as mentioned earlier.

Ex

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Re: Ranged weapons that don't suck?
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2007, 03:23:46 AM »
I don't use ranged weapons in roguelikes mostly because the firing sequence is entirely too complex. If I want to fire a ranged weapon in a roguelike, usually it requires wielding the weapon, selecting the arrows, and painfully selecting the target each round.

I much prefer moving to the monster and dealing damage directly by holding down a direction. Because the firing sequence is so complex, I think it makes sense for ranged weapons to be slightly broken compared with normal weapons since they're more complex to use.

MetroidRL had very experimental and good ranged weapon support, if you ask me. Still I much prefer not using ranged weapons in roguelikes.

Edit; How I would implement ranged weapons is one of the following:
1. Ranged only in name.
2. Similar to MetroidRL
3. Anything hostile within a certain area is automatically hit, similar to MAngband.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2007, 03:27:39 AM by Elig »

Krice

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Re: Ranged weapons that don't suck?
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2007, 09:55:07 AM »
I don't use ranged weapons in roguelikes mostly because the firing sequence is entirely too complex. If I want to fire a ranged weapon in a roguelike, usually it requires wielding the weapon, selecting the arrows, and painfully selecting the target each round.

That can be fixed with better UI. In fact I think ranged weapon could be an independent equipment slot.

Adral

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Re: Ranged weapons that don't suck?
« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2007, 05:13:13 PM »
I don't use ranged weapons in roguelikes mostly because the firing sequence is entirely too complex. If I want to fire a ranged weapon in a roguelike, usually it requires wielding the weapon, selecting the arrows, and painfully selecting the target each round.

That can be fixed with better UI. In fact I think ranged weapon could be an independent equipment slot.

I agree with you. I think there should be a decent interface so the people who want to use ranged weapons can use them easily, and then have the game balanced around this.

Angband actually has a decent solution at that: you always have your ranged weapon equiped, and to fire it you just press 'f' then select target. However, ranged attacks in Angband are far too powerful, as I said in some earlier post.

Perhaps to make it more easy to use you would just press the firing key and then press a direction, and the game would choose the nearest enemy in that direction, or something like that. Maybe the solution of Nethack in which you only fire in the 8 directions is not so bad after all, as it induces some metagaming, but also strategic decisions, and keeps firing simple. If you had a "firing slot" in Nethack so you didn't have to rewield your weapon, it might work well.
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Ex

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Re: Ranged weapons that don't suck?
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2007, 07:37:24 AM »
Perhaps to make it more easy to use you would just press the firing key and then press a direction, and the game would choose the nearest enemy in that direction, or something like that.

I agree, this is a pretty good idea. The nethack way is good too, I wouldn't mind only being able to fire in eight directions if I only had to hit F or something. Or there could be a fire 'mode' where every time you press a direction your weapon will fire. Or a fire mode where you have targets like in MetroidRL, every time you press f it attacks the selected target or something until you exit firing mode. In ZZT you could only fire in four directions, and that wasn't so bad.

Lummox JR

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Re: Ranged weapons that don't suck?
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2007, 04:46:21 PM »
Well ZZT wasn't exactly a Roguelike, although gads, a Roguelike based on MZX would be awesome. I love the firing slot idea for quick access to a ranged weapon, while of course being sure the weapon isn't that powerful. I'd also prefer to be able to choose a target instead of just a direction, which is something a lot of Roguelikes don't do.

My original conception that ranged weapons suck is based almost entirely on Rogue. There the limited number of projectiles available, and the limited damage they do, makes the bow and arrow useful only on rare occasions where you see a monster far enough away and have time to switch weapons and fire off half a dozen shots or more, and switch back to your regular weapon in time for the next melee. Not having to switch takes out part of that problem, maybe much of it. To my mind the major balance issues are 1) the need to change weapons, 2) the damage of the projectiles, 3) the quantity of projectiles available, 4) the ability to fire at any target or just in a direction, and 5) the ability to see your target. (Rogue also screws players on that last one.) The question is, what is the ideal formula--or at least what are several possible ideals?

If Rogue had better visibility of targets (not so many dark rooms) and a better chance of finding arrows or bolts, that would probably be enough to un-nerf its ranged weapons.

tseckington

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Re: Ranged weapons that don't suck?
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2007, 08:41:18 PM »
In Frozen Depths, you can fire at any monster in visual range, swapping weapons doesn't cost a tick, and you usually have enough arrows to get by. Damage is comparable to melee weapons. Check it out for a decent example.

Ex

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Re: Ranged weapons that don't suck?
« Reply #24 on: September 30, 2007, 03:26:58 AM »
a Roguelike based on MZX would be awesome.

Heheh, you mentioned MZX. Awesome. I'm a member of the MZX community :P

Anyway, my main point is just that it needs to be easier from a user interface standpoint to fire arrows. It has to be as simple as melee attacks, otherwise a lot of people are going to use melee instead. I think autotargetting would be good, and pressing f repeatedly should fire at the currently selected target without any further input. That seems the most reasonable to me, if you want to keep the traditional rogue feeling of ranged weapons alive. Again, I do like the way it was done in MetroidRL.

Personally, I want to try having any enemies in a range be automatically attacked by your ranged weapon. This seems reasonable to me, though it's quite a move towards more MAngband style combat. But it requires absolutely no GUI changes, and the benefits of equipping a ranged weapon along with a melee weapon become quite apparent imediatly.

Maybe I'll make a demonstration case for each or something sometime.

The alternative in my mind to making it as easy as melee is to make it much more powerful than melee which would compel people to use it anyway.

Edit; Also, DoomRL did it quite well too.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2007, 03:34:17 AM by Elig »

Slash

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Re: Ranged weapons that don't suck?
« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2007, 02:17:45 AM »
autoattacking enemies on LOS if you have a ranged weapon equipped would IMO take out all the emotion of firing your weapon... you would end up walking around the dungeon killing everything even without knowing... plus, there may be situations where you just dont want to fire (killing a Cat in adom for example, or attacking a Leprechaum?).

I agree targetting is an area of the UI on which lots of attention must be put. It must be easy to understand and use.

First versions of CastlevaniaRL had eight directional firing. It certainly adds a lot to the strategic part of the game, and changing it to omnidirectional targetting completely changed the balance... I guess it is a question of what kind of game you are making.