Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Combat testing and balancing

A bit part of what I'm working on at the moment is making sure that the combat balance feels about right and isn't way too easy or way too hard. What exists currently is a test map with a village full of peasants, a small kobold camp nearby and through a swamp and underneath a mountain range is a series of caves filled with a range of monsters.

All of the monsters and characters as implemented follow the example Dead Simple stats and abilities exactly with a couple of exceptions for the homebrew combat changes I've put in as discussed in other combat blogs, and I'm interested to see how much of a challenging game this makes it, particularly in light of there being an absence of healing in the game at the moment.

Starting a game with a soldier named Milly, I didn't bother waiting around for my companions but went straight to the kobold village where I managed to take out a group of kobolds with their pet dire rats without being injured. Arguably it was a bit easy for this character type but I'm not entirely upset with that because it's a fight that a non-combat class would struggle with if there was no help and combat classes should logically find it much easier at that stage.

Heading into more challenging fights though really became interesting. I've currently got a small group of orc warriors led by an ogre near the entrance to the caves. The orcs were marginally challenging for my soldier and I managed to knock out two of them uninjured before running into the ogre. It quickly became apparent that I wasn't going to be able to do much damage at all to the ogre without being in serious risk of death so I was forced into retreat when I became injured. I led the ogre towards a group of neutral dwarves mining nearby in the caves and hoped that this would help me out. I attacked from the sides as the dwarves rushed into battle. Each and every one of them was knocked unconscious, even with my help, and we still hadn't hurt the ogre at all.

So I kept running, leading the ogre with me, and back towards the peasant village hoping for more reinforcements. My companions who had waited there for me ran to my assistance and both fell quickly but not before we managed to injure the ogre. So it next became a matter of leading the ogre into a group of peasants, hoping that their superior numbers would do the job with me still hacking away from the edges and hopefully staying safe. Eventually we got the job done, but at a significant cost as you can see below.

The ogre's body count ended up at about ten or so, with my character taking two injuries in the extended fight.

So as things stand, there's certainly some very tough fights already in existence which require a bit of thought and planning to overcome. Things will change a bit as magic and other systems are introduced, but I don't mind the difficulty as it is and I will be aiming to make combat like this a challenging experience so there is a definite risk-reward trade off, particularly with taking on the tougher monsters in the game. My plans with respect to healing being offered to the player group is that there will need to be some plot progression associated with it so you can't just run for help after every scratch received in combat but instead there's a bit of thought needed and planning as to what you can take on at your current health level.

I haven't experimented with fighting a number of the undead enemies put in there and they probably aren't all as tough as the ogre... hopefully.

EDIT: And while I'm still testing, here's a photo of some undead vs goblin action. Monsters are split into factions and treat you just the same as they treat their other evil enemies.

Spoiler: undead walked all over poor old team goblin :(

No comments:

Post a Comment