Project Eternity Post-funding Update #36

A quick, maniacal laugh and an "It's Christmas time!" is the introduction that Mr. Josh Sawyer gives us in the thirty-sixth update to hit the Project Eternity Kickstarter campaign, after which he goes into a very interesting discussion on weaponry, UI design, class design, and more. The accompanying video:

And some text for the reader types:
We've been working on implementing all of the basics of party selection, movement, and combat. This includes working on personal space, ally and enemy pathing, friendly "bumping" during movement, ranges of melee attacks, attack timing and delays, target selection, and response time. A lot of work goes into making these elements feel good and feel "IE-ish" (while excluding the IE-ish things we didn't like).

We've also been building block-in weapon meshes and putting them in the game to see how they look in terms of scale. This has gone well, but we're still working on proportions. Some thin weapons, like stilettos, rapiers, and estocs, can be very difficult to discern, especially at lower resolutions. Their thicker cousins, daggers, swords, and greatswords, need to be "beefed up" a small amount to help distinguish them. Even though we need to make a few slight adjustments, our overall approach of making weapons with realistic... ish proportions is working well and feels similar to the characters and weapons found in Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale.

Along with implementing the visuals of the weapons, we're experimenting with weapon statistics and mechanics. Weapons are currently classified as slashing, piercing, or crushing, which is a pretty common division of types. We're not currently using damage types vs. armor types in Project Eternity, but the damage types all have properties that suggest a certain type of usage.

Slashing weapons do the most damage when compared to their counterparts from other categories. E.g., if you compare a greatsword to an estoc to a maul, the greatsword does the most damage. When targets have little to no armor, slashing weapons are the ideal choice. Piercing weapons negate a fixed amount of Damage Threshold, which is the primary way in which armor reduces damage. Though they don't do as much damage as slashing or crushing weapons, their ability to ignore even moderately heavy armor means that it is superior to other weapons in those circumstances. While armor can negate a large amount of damage, there's always a small amount that gets through. Crushing weapons do much more through armor, which makes them the best choice when dealing with very heavily armored targets.

So far, this works well on paper, scales well, and seems to hold up in the game, but it is very "mathy" and not necessarily intuitive because you can't always guess a target's Damage Threshold simply by looking at them (as opposed to armor types, which are usually visually apparent). We will continue to experiment with this to see how it feels in the long run. Our goals are to provide tactical challenges to the player and give them to feedback and tools to adapt and overcome when they're in a difficult spot.