Unarmed combat improvements

Jul 12, 1:34 am
#1
red_kangaroo's avatar
goblin prince


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Based on this thread about balancing different playstyles and weapon builds, I would like to talk about a fourth playstyle to balance against the others: unarmed.

Right now, it's rather nice early-game, but quickly overshadowed by enchanted weapons. One way to go with unarmed would be to make the player automatically use a kick attack every time he attacks unarmed. This would make the playstyle rather distinct, giving three attacks per turn with a chance the last attack (kick) will knock back the enemy (forceing them to move next to you again), while balancing it by retaining the lower damage per hit unarmed already has.

Another way, very cool, very flavourful, but very code-heavy, would be to introduce unarmed martial arts, learnable from special NPCs. Ideally, you could learn several martial art stances from different NPCs, each giving specific bonuses when fighting unarmed, but all mutually exclusive, ie. you would need a menu to switch from one stance to another. This is to prevent minor bonuses from several stances to snowball into overpowered unarmed.

Example stance effects:

* Getting automatic kick while fighting unarmed, as described above, could be one stance. You could also get boosted knockback from kicks while in this stance, knocking the monsters many tiles back. (Fighting Warhorse Style)

* Stance allowing you to block weapon strikes unarmed. Very useful indeed. (Indomitable Jade Mountain Style)

* Stance that increases your attack speed and accuracy as you land blows - successfully hitting a monster would grant a short buff, stacking over subsequent hits, thus making you more effective in prolongued fights where you land many blows.

* Defensive stance giving you a bonus chance to dodge any attack, moving you to random empty adjacent square. This would both result in less attacks landed against you and sometimes give you some breathing space by giving you a free move, but could also mess with your positioning by moving you randomly (though you could prevent this by switching the stance off). The dodges should never move you into a lake or known trap, and would be useless with no empty square around you. (Bending Reed in the Wind Style)

* Berserker-like stance that massively boosts your unarmed damage while you're hurt - the more HP you're missing, the more damage you do, maybe giving even more damage boost for missing limbs. This stance is obviously double-edged and situational. (Bloody Hands of Cruentus Style)

Of course, this rework to unarmed would require its own subsystem, so it's easier to propose than actually implement.

BTW, I think gauntlets already add their enchantment to unarmed attacks?
Jul 12, 9:53 am
#2
Ischaldirh's avatar
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Combat styles would be fun! It would be tricky to make something worth the time to code in, but which doesn't overpower the armed styles.

I've been toying in my head with a "trait" system where you would chose one of a small list (10 max, probably less) of perks on player creation. Perhaps style choice could be part of this?
Jul 13, 1:56 am
#3
red_kangaroo's avatar
goblin prince


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Ischaldirh wrote
I've been toying in my head with a "trait" system where you would chose one of a small list (10 max, probably less) of perks on player creation. Perhaps style choice could be part of this?

Perhaps, but I was thinking of them as a kind of "weapon" for unarmed combat. Thus you can earn several and switch between them as situation demands, but you can only be using one at a time. This both makes unarmed exciting as you can try several different combat styles by simply changing your stance, and allows for situational stances that you want to be using only sometimes. Balancing it would of course be a concern, but armed combat still has artifacts and enchantments, which weight heavily in its favour.
Jul 13, 2:08 am
#4
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Stances would be cool, but the first step would be to make basic unarmed worth it, otherwise nobody would go looking around for these stances. It's easily overlooked but a major factor in combat is skill, and what you happen to find (or don't find) in UT when you start out plays a big role in determining your play style for the rest of the game simply because of the skill you accumulate through UT.

I do think gauntlets should add to unarmed even when equipped as armour because wielding two sets of them is just silly.

As far as kicking goes, a kick only stance would be pretty cool. It'd give you double kicks and an increased chance of knockback, the idea being that you use this stance to force an enemy back without really giving them a chance to hit back. Maybe even a minor speed boost.
Jul 18, 4:32 am
#5
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It's a great suggestion, an unarmed combat subsystem. It'd be a cool way to automate kicking into unarmed combat. What about biting?

Maybe the mannekin should have teeth... Lose all your teeth and bite strength drops to zero!
Jul 18, 6:13 am
#6
red_kangaroo's avatar
goblin prince


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fejoa wrote
Maybe the mannekin should have teeth... Lose all your teeth and bite strength drops to zero!

Not only teeth - heavy damage or crits could destroy your eyes or teeth if they hit head, fingers if they hit arms, toes if they hit legs, nuts (male only) if they hit groin, maybe breasts (female only) if they hit torso. Loosing all eyes would obviously mean blindness, loosing all fingers on one hand would mean no wielded weapon or ring, loosing toes would affect your movement speed, dodging and maybe balance, making you occasionally fall. Nuts and breasts would only affect your wo/manliness.

You're making me think about more subsystems I can't code.
Jul 31, 9:47 pm
#7
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Maybe praying to Cruentus with a really good relationship could have him replace your teeth with Ommel Tooth.
Aug 1, 12:48 am
#8
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Pfffft now that's an idea!

Do teeth even exist in code though?
Aug 1, 1:46 am
#9
red_kangaroo's avatar
goblin prince


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chaostrom wrote
Do teeth even exist in code though?

No, but I like the idea, too.
Aug 1, 4:12 am
#10
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If you guys implement this stuff I'm gonna be forced to actually start paying attention to the forums again.
Aug 1, 9:47 am
#11
Ischaldirh's avatar
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Valpurus forbid! Quick, trash this idea and come up with something more mundane!
Aug 2, 11:51 am
#12
Ischaldirh's avatar
Ex-Tyrant of the IVANers


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A side note which just occurred to me: we could take a page out of the DCSS book, and allow a PC wielding a single one-handed weapon (so, swords mostly - I think most weapons have the option to be two-handed) to occasionally strike with their free hand. Chance could increase with unarmed skill.
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