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Posted by Ischaldirh, Jul 14 at 2:51 pm
Inspired by the recent post about weapon types, and thinking about systems already IN IVAN, I suggest we implement knockback as a combat mechanic. I'll break this down in 4 parts: 1) where it already exists, 2) suggestions on how it could be implemented, 3) ways it could change the PC tactical meta, 4) ways it could be implemented to create new challenges.

1: Knockback is already in the game. Kicking. When you kick a monster, sometimes they are knocked "off balance" and stumble back a square (or slam into an obstacle). In addition, I believe strong explosions sometimes push things away from their center. So, the code is already there; it would just need to be updated, tweaked, and implemented in more places.

2: As mentioned above, currently, kicking is the only way to cause knockback. I suggest expanding this effect to apply to any attack, with the percentile chance of it firing dependent on three factors: First, the damage of the attack; second, the weight of the weapon used to make the attack; third, the roundness of the weapon. A formula could look like...

A,a,B,b,C,c = < Numbers used below to weight the modifier towards some values, for the purpose of balance. >
Modifier = A(STRENGTH)**a + B(DAMAGE)**b + C(ROUNDNESS)**c    # This value will rise for high knockback items.
Minimizer = 1000      # This value is just a placeholder. I don't know what scale Modifier would be on. See below for this number's purpose.
ChanceToKB = Modifier / (Modifier + Minimizer)      # The chance to cause knockback. Will never reach 100%.

A note on all this: I'm not sure how unarmed strikes are currently handled, or what their values are for roundness or weight. But, punches and kicks should be very round, and bites should not be very round at all. Further, for realism (and because arms and legs are astoundingly heavy) perhaps the weight might be set to half the weight of the attacking limb.

A related quantity would be how far an enemy is knocked back on a successful knockback. This distance should be calculated in a manner similar to Modifier in the above equation... but would be mitigated by the weight of the target. INCLUDING the weight of their armor. However, carried (backpack) weight should NOT provide benefit - if anything it should make you more likely to go off balance. Being knocked back, in addition to pushing someone out of place, carries a chance of throwing someone into obstacles, which can cause additional damage.

Now, what does this parameterization do? It favors heavy, round weapons (such as maces and hammers) wielded by strong characters, giving them a chance to cause extra damage by slamming enemies into walls. It also gives some benefit to large slashing weapons, such as axes and two-handed swords. It gives less (but not no) benefit to small fast weapons - they don't really need the help anyways As a side effect, piercing weapons (such as spears) do not gain much from this mechanic. Further, this increases the defensive benefits of heavy armor in an indirect way, which is, IMO, the best way to buff something.

3: What does this do to the PC equipment setup? Well, it gives a much-needed boost to heavy weapons while giving a minor boost to small-weapon builds; in effect, it's an unequal buff to all PC gear builds. It does mean that sometimes you'll knock someone back when you don't want to - but that's rarely a problem, I think, except when you finally manage to get Izzy in melee range in a hallway, then you smack him and send him flying...

It also gives an unequal debuff to all armor setups, applying more heavily to light armors. However, again, these armors don't really need any help since they are already strong. (Besides - if you don't get hit, you don't have to worry about knockback at all )

4: How can this be used to challenge players in new ways? Monsters can be designed all around the knockback mechanic. Bears and golems could knock PCs around all day, throwing them against walls and through doors. Dungeon levels with treacherous footing become more dangerous when you have to fight big strong knockback-happy monsters along the way. (Probably don't want to put these kind of creatures close to insta-kill terrain though... that's a recipe for salt.)



Right. That's all I got.
Posted by Ischaldirh, Jul 12 at 7:23 pm
Hi, welcome to the forum! We lurk a lot, but that doesn't mean there's noone here. I'll see if I can answer your questions.

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in general, is there a difference between blunt and bladed weapons? Is there some hidden difference, like blunt weapons are stronger vs. armour?

In the game code, there are different damage types for different weapons - i.e. slashing, piercing, blunt, etc. HOWEVER, last time I checked this had no bearing on game play - it is a leftover from earlier development that was either never fleshed out or was phased out for other reasons. As a result, the current game does not distinguish between, for example, being a spear and a warhammer, beyond the actual damage dealt.

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do light weapon always swing faster compared to heavy weapons, or heavy weapons are just better if you can wield them well. On top of that, does light weapons accuracy max out as well? Meaning there's no difference in the late game, making lighter weapons obsolete

This one's a bit harder to answer. I suppose that, theoretically, there is a cap in how quickly you can swing your weapon - time is discrete, after all. (That's physics for "there is some base indivisible unit of time," i.e., you can't ever have half of a "time unit" whatever that time unit is.) I'm not sure how fast you would have to be swinging to hit that limit in IVAN though; I'm not sure how small IVAN time units get. Once again, there is a HOWEVER: You'll probably never get there. With artificial limbs you might be lucky enough to get into the low hundreds of Dex, and using only one weapon type all game might cap out your skill with that weapon, but you probably need more than 1000 Dex to actually hit the time cap.

As for accuracy: Please someone correct me, but I want to say that there is a maximum "accuracy" for a weapon. But high dexterity will still help you here: accurate weapons wielded by dexterous characters tend to hit limbs more often. Arms and legs are a lot easier to remove than torsos and groins, and as an added bonus even Ur-Kahn can't do a whole lot if he's reduced to trying to bite you for damage. Plus, you can get lucky and decapitate - nobody survives that. (Including zombies... get it? Because they're already dead? Nevermind. Yes, zombies can still kill you without their head, no, the joke wasn't funny...)

In short, lighter weapons never become truly obsolete. In fact, in a way they get better: with enough enchantment, even an iron dagger can do as much damage as a valpurium two-handed sword. But, the sword does not train your dexterity nearly as much, and dexterity is (arguably) a better stat to have a lot of than arm strength.

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As for shields based on what I've read, they're bad later in the game because of their lack of damage? But I was wondering if it's not their lack of damage output, but instead, there is diminishing returns for blocking value.

You're correct on both counts. Using a shield means sacrificing damage for defense, which is already problematic. To add insult to injury, however, their defensive value is highly questionable. Certainly, early on, a wooden shield can be a great boon. But, the amount of damage it blocks is fairly low; and worse, it will break, very fast, against anything after the UT (and some things IN the UT). Broken shields are pretty useless. Using a stronger shield, such as iron, means it will function better as a shield, and last longer before breaking - but in exchange, you are stuck with a substantially heavier item with a correspondingly worse accuracy, which impacts it's ability to actually block. Using shields made of mid- and late-game materials helps alleviate this conundrum (Do I block, and have it do nothing? Or do I not block, and have it matter when it happens?). However, by the time you get there, you can usually parry comparably well with an offhand weapon, or simply avoid the damage altogether.

It comes down to a common difficulty in building IVAN characters - tanks don't work. The game mechanics conspire to make defensively-minded equipment sets generally ineffective.

Welcome to the forum! Glad to have you. It sounds like you've got a good head for mechanics on your shoulders. I hope you stick around
Posted by Ischaldirh, Jun 7 at 3:14 pm
IVAN take on a Medusa, you say? Hmm...

Apsara are Hindu cloud spirits. According to one legend a set of statues in a certain throne room somewhere are actually Apsaras who were cursed. What if there were Apsara in IVAN who would disguise themselves as statues until the PC was close? (This would require actual statues to be a thing that could be found occasionally...) On a similar, more European vein, there could be gargoyles with the same ability...

According to legend, the "Cap-Chat" was a cat who ate the children of the "cat fairy" and was turned to stone as a result. How about a Cap-Chat monster, who gradually turns your limbs to stone with claw attacks?

Or, we could keep the traditional medusa, except change the ability... What if there was a twisted, distant relative of the frogs - neither lawful nor chaotic, but simply evil... the Toadon? (Or some other play on Toad and Gorgon/medusa/etc.) They could have the power to transform your limbs and gear into different materials with a glance (simulated in the game similarly to a wand beam). I'm thinking it would transform you/your gear into softer materials. Specifically, I'm thinking mud. The transformations would be temporary, but duration would stack with subsequent attacks - and of course if your limb was severed, the transformation would be permanent (probably your arm just explodes in a shower of mud as soon as it's hit with much force). In order to not be too devastating, I think the attack should apply in stages as the duration extends - if the duration is almost over (i.e. short) your limb might not really be affected; if it's longer you might lose some strength/agility/HP; if it's really long your limb material actually changes until the duration becomes shorter.
Posted by Ischaldirh, Jun 3 at 8:22 pm
Lord_404 wrote
like a floating eye (including the fighting in the darkness makes you inmune to sleep/stoning)

Oh my god does this work how did I not know
Posted by Ischaldirh, May 27 at 9:59 am
Also, Sauerkraut.
Posted by Ischaldirh, May 26 at 1:14 pm
badbeaver wrote
Also, if we are adding canning, then we have to add pickles.

This. If nothing else in this thread, THIS.
Posted by Ischaldirh, May 23 at 12:05 pm
Following shoutbox discussion - a subsystem proposal, sort of as an extension of the new crafting mechanics. Canning food. Several elements:

Cans: Now come in sealed and open/broken. A sealed can of food will never rot, but you also can't consume the contents. An open can will rot, but you can eat out of it. Most cans found in game will still be sealed.

Opening cans: Now requires the use of something capable of dealing slashing or piercing damage, OR a new tool (can opener). Using a can opener is totally safe. Using weapons has a chance (low (maybe 10%?) for slashing, about double for piercing) of contaminating the contents. Contamination is usually generic poison varying from weak to pretty strong, but rarely will give a worse condition (leprosy? parasite? ...tetanus?) as well.

Filling cans: You can fill cans with lumps of food, which can be produced by applying a slashing weapon on a corpse or severed limb. Bananas and other fruits can be canned without needing to be chopped up; bananas become "un-peeled" in the process, so you get a banana peel out of it.

Sealing cans: Mellis will still trade open, empty cans for sealed, full cans. There might be a cannery in Attnam or another city which will seal your cans for a fee, or a rare dungeon fixture which can be used to seal cans. Dungeon canneries might require that you input some consumable fuel (sticks? wooden stuff? coal? vacuum corn? idk...) or might just have limited uses. Also, there might be a very rare Wand of Sealing which will seal cans. (Also lock doors and chests. Maybe other effects, like sealing away demons/undead/magic?)
Posted by Ischaldirh, May 21 at 8:55 am
I'm not sure that crafting is a particularly well-explored subsystem. I haven't seen much on it, anyhow. Report back what you learn!
Posted by Ischaldirh, Apr 16 at 12:29 pm
I for one would be very interested in seeing the results of this venture.
Posted by Ischaldirh, Mar 16 at 9:08 am
Humm, I wonder if this is related to the walking problems others have been having?

Sklett, no guarantee this will work, but try toggling numlock and see if that does anything.