Author Topic: Dev Log #24: Combat Initiative  (Read 3686 times)

Styg

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Dev Log #24: Combat Initiative
« on: December 01, 2013, 04:45:09 PM »
Hey, guys. We're still hard at work at producing new content for the next version. And while I'm not ready to show the new areas yet (except the attached teaser screenshot), there are a couple of smaller changes I wanted to talk about.



The most significant change to the combat mechanics is the addition of initiative. Character's base initiative is determined like this: 5 + agility + dexterity. At the start of the combat, each combat participant randomly adds 1-15 points to the base initiative and the modified value is used when sorting the turn order. The only exception is when the player initiates combat manually (by pressing ENTER) or by simply attacking. In this case the player will always act first, but because of this, the AP cost of the opening attack/action will be deducted from his first turn. Additionally, this also applies to some other non-combat action performed just before entering combat, such as opening doors.

Also, player will no longer be able to quickly initiated combat manually when exiting a dialog to get a jump on their enemies, but I will be going through all situations that involve dialog initiated combat to make sure the player receives appropriate initiative bonus depending on the situation. That is, if you are having a dialog with someone who is already wary of you (such as GMS hostage situation) you do not get any initiative bonus (though you still "roll" standard initiative and may in fact play first), while in situation in which you surprise attack someone through a dialog you will get a substantial initiative bonus, effectively granting you first strike.

I think it's pretty clear what the purpose of this change is - I want to remove the ability (and the need) to "cheese" your way into attacking first, while providing a game mechanic that will allow you to do this in a more meaningful way instead using your reflexes. I think these changes will particularly benefit non-stealth characters who are often hard pressed to survive when ambushed by multiple attackers. For now the initiative is only dependent on the start mentioned above, but later on I plan to add feats/abilities/psi that will allow you to increase this base value. I'm also considering adding initiative modifiers to weapons.

In other news:
  • UI
    • Added a confirmation box when changing video settings
    • Added an option to scroll with mouse while holding the right button
    • Added an option to lock the mouse to screen in fullscreen mode (doesn't work perfectly though, sorry)
    • You can double click on your (non-existing) portrait to center back to your character
    • Game window will no longer process input while inactive
  • Tweaks
    • Shroomhead feat now restores 15 psi points each time you pick a mindshroom
    • Reduced base trap arming time to 7 seconds
    • Reduced the range at which the traps trigger when you step into their tile (should be more consistent with visual collision now)
  • Items
    • Added electrical knives (same crafting mechanics like with sledgehammers and gloves)
    • Added more belts (belts have fixed stats and are not craftable)
    • Added bear trap - a cheap early game trap that deals mechanical damage, roots the target and inflicts a bleeding wound; like caltrops, it can be envenomed
    • Added serrated crossbow bolt that deals additional 100% of original damage dealt through a bleeding wound over 3 turns, but incurs even greater damage threshold penalty than a regular bolt
    • Weapons can now have varying base critical damage bonuses (for now only depending on the weapon base type, but in the future modifiable through enhancements)

Let me know what you think about the balance changes and the new mechanics. Sorry that I can't give you guys a date of the next update, but what I can say is that development speed is picking up again and we're planning to release a new town in the next update as well as bunch of new enemy types.

Sakuragi

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Re: Dev Log #24: Combat Initiative
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2013, 08:17:43 AM »
Fantastic. I like the idea of initiative. It will make dex and agi a bit more desirable.  As for the shroom feat. Dunno how it will affect but i suppose it will only be good for hybrid user because my psy character has like over 300 psy (forgot but its a lot with 11 will or is it 12 will). Anyway i never take the feat because there are way too many other feats more important to me. This feat is only taken to save some money.

Havent been playing for a long time but was always lurking in the forum for new updates. New monsters looks awesome. I wonder if those are laser guns on them rats (think they are). New area will continue the story???

Banggunner

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Re: Dev Log #24: Combat Initiative
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2013, 02:24:28 PM »
Look promising! Underrail #1
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epeli

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Re: Dev Log #24: Combat Initiative
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2013, 02:40:15 PM »
Those drill machines look neat. But they look like they're floating... give them simple blob shadows like the characters have, if possible?


Initiative sounds like an excellent addition! I always thought the completely random combat sequence was kind of lacking, nice to see you're one step ahead in fixing lacking game mechanics. :P
Hmm... you will have 12-26 initiative with 3 agi/dex and 26-40 with 10 agi/dex. So you could roll the same initiative with 3 or 10 agi/dex. Or in other words, the random roll can double the initiative of an average character. Sounds like the random roll will play a part so large you won't even notice small changes in agi/dex. But that's just the first impression without actually playtesting it.


Not sure what to think of the shroomhead change. Probably for the best. At first glance, 15 psi points sounds kinda low. It's definitely less powerful in the very early game, but mindshroom spawns stack up quite quickly.... there's something like 9 in Junkyard alone. Well, at least that makes shroomhead less of a tedious "unlimited free mana" trait and makes psionic characters use more than 40% of their psi pool more often.


The trap triggering range change will definitely make playing characters without high detection/traps much less annoying!
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UnLimiTeD

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Re: Dev Log #24: Combat Initiative
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2013, 07:51:04 PM »
Sounds awesome.
All of it.
Shroomhead... well, if that replaces the 40% regen, it's probably a change for the better, but it'll also be somewhat pointless.
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Eliasfrost

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Re: Dev Log #24: Combat Initiative
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2013, 10:13:22 PM »
Love the addition of initiative, the lack of it was definitively one of the weaker parts of the game. I dig the new content as well, but I agree that it looks like the drills are floating.

Btw, will you charge extra for that rathound armor? ;)

Banggunner

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Re: Dev Log #24: Combat Initiative
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2013, 11:30:44 AM »
I assume that the balance changes from devlog#23 will be implemented together with these changes in the next patch? Or will they come separated from each other?
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epeli

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Re: Dev Log #24: Combat Initiative
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2013, 05:29:46 PM »
I assume that the balance changes from devlog#23 will be implemented together with these changes in the next patch?
Yeah, that's how it works. We usually get a few devlogs between version releases.
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