Combat Rework part II – Ranged

You may want to read part I before reading this. Ranged combat are seeing even more changes than melee. Let’s first look at how it looks now (v2.1.3):

Your chance to hit in ranged combat is determined by your Missile attribute and the distance to the target. The exact formula is 50% + 10*(Missile - distance)%. There’s no defence against missile attacks (other than staying away).

Reworked Ranged Combat

The ranged combat is seeing the same kind of simplification that melee combat did. The chance to hit is now expressed as a plain percentage. Another simplification is that this percentage does not change with distance! No longer will you have to close in to a monster so you’re almost adjacent to have a decent chance to hit.

Reintroducing: Range

In release #5 I removed the Range attribute. Range was a hard limit on how far your missile attacks could reach. However, the practical limitation on your range was actually your Missile attribute since your chance to hit quickly diminished with distance. When I introduced the Light/Vision attribute instead of being able to see unlimited distances, Range almost stopped having a function at all.

But now when your chance to hit does not decrease with distance, a maximum range suddenly becomes important again. Sure, your Vision is still a practical limit for how far you can fire in most cases, but having infravision or seeing monsters in light can make you target monsters many squares away.

However, range is not an attribute as it used to be. Instead, range is a property of ammunition and launchers. Your total range is the sum of these and are displayed on the player character screen as seen below:

Your current range is displayed

Your current range is displayed

The reason it is not an attribute is that it simply isn’t important enough to be an attribute. The target cursor will turn blue when you can fire a missile at a monster just like before. It will also be displayed in the “distances” portion of the target window.

Launchers now display their range in the description and comparison windows.

Launchers now display their range in the description and comparison windows.

The Missile attribute will in most cases be lower than your Melee attribute, usually in the 40%-60% range (compare to Melee that will typically be 60%-80%). The logical explanation of this is that it is harder to hit a target at a distance with a missile. The gameplay justification is that ranged combat has less risk than melee combat. However, if you equip and train your character specifically for ranged combat, you can of course reach high values or the Missile attribute, just like before.

Blocking

Your Block attribute has never helped in ranged combat. However, in v2.2 Block will also block missile attacks (but still not magic attacks) with the same plain percent as melee combat. This is more intuitive (some players have been surprised to learn that Block didn’t help). As with melee, there’s a message and a visual cue indicating whether the attack was a miss or if it was blocked.

It did feel a bit weird earlier that there was no defence against missiles. The reason was that the distance penalty was so hard that there weren’t room for more penalties. In addition it would have made the chance to hit formula too complicated. Now, there’s a defence attribute for missile attacks and the combat formula is even simpler!

Summary

The new system can be summarized as follows:

  • Missile is a plain percentage to hit instead of an abstract number.
  • Your chance to hit does not decrease with distance.
  • Missile attacks have a limited range determined by launcher and ammo.
  • Block now block missiles as well as melee attacks.

This has a series of advantages:

  • Missile combat is more intuitive and easy to understand.
  • More differentiation between ranged options (rocks are short distance and high damage whereas bows are low damage and long distance).
  • More interface clutter has been removed (e.g. displaying chance to hit in “actions” window, or beside monster attack descriptions).
  • No more running semi-adjacent to a monster to get a higher chance to hit. While that may have been realistic, it is a bit weird to use ranged combat in that way.
  • Missile combat is a bit more reliable in general because abysmal to-hit chances (lower than 30%) are rarely seen anymore.

 

Comments

  1. Question regarding the percentage, where will we be able to see the “true” chance to hit (accounting for monster block), as that is much more relevant?

    Also a couple bugs found:
    1. Still cannot add to a stack inside a container
    2. Cannot upgrade red tunic to blue tunic (or was this removed?)
    3. Misspelling: “fruit sallad”

    These change are excellent and very sensible. Can’t wait for the next release.

    1. > Where will we be able to see the “true” chance to hit (accounting for monster block), as that is much more relevant?

      This is how I’m thinking: before it was necessary to how the actual to-hit number because it was hidden behind a formula, displaying it was the only way to convey anything about the likelihood to hit.

      Now the game both tells you whether you miss, hit or are blocked (both visually and in text) and you are aware of the independent likelihoods of this events. I think this information is enough to make informed decisions and I think displaying the actual chance to land a damaging hit would be both confusing and add unnecessary clutter to the interface.

      > 1. Still cannot add to a stack inside a container
      > 2. Cannot upgrade red tunic to blue tunic (or was this removed?)
      > 3. Misspelling: “fruit sallad”

      1. Hm.. must be in a special circumstance then? It seem to work in normal cases?
      2. the blue tunic was sadly removed when drowning/waterbreathing disappeared from the game.
      3. Fixed it, thanks!

      > These change are excellent and very sensible. Can’t wait for the next release.

      Glad you like them! Thank you very much for your input :)

      1. 1. If I recall it was only when the container was at capacity. I’ll see if I can have it happen again.

        1. Here’s an example I just saw happen. Potion belt is full 5/5 including 1 bottle of liquor. In my inventory (not in belt) is another bottle of liquor. Go the select bottle of liquor to put into the belt (so it stacks with the other one), but no option to do so.

          1. Oh, I’ve seen this happen, but the game still permits you to add the liquor into your potion belt – the option is grayed out, but pressing the potion belt number will put the liquor inside without a problem.

  2. Cool change! Also, I found a niche little exploit, you can sell unidentified items for full price when they’re in a satchel. Naturally pretty abusable when you’ve got a low EP run with lots of wands or useless enchanted items in it.

    1. Also, a terrains effects don’t apply when a trap is activated when you step on it. E.g. Step on a boulder -> slowtrap goes off -> No vision bonus

  3. I really want to see this combat reworks in action – is there any release plan just for that, or should we be just patient for v2.2 with more variety as well?

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