Thursday, June 30, 2016

Combat mechanics

This is an interesting article on the combat mechanics for Tyranny by the Game Director:
When you perform an attack in Tyranny – whether it’s a basic weapon attack, casting a spell, or using an ability – your Accuracy is compared to the target’s Defense to determine how well the attack does. As with Pillars of Eternity, each attack can have one of four possible results: Miss, Graze (attacks deal less damage, status effects are applied for a shorter duration), Hit, or Crit (attacks deal greater damage, and status effects are applied for a longer duration).

Your Accuracy is determined by one or more character skills. A basic attack will use the skill associated with the weapon you’re attacking with. A spell will use the magic skill for that type of spell and the character’s Lore skill. If more than one skill is used, their values are averaged together to produce the final skill value. Accuracy bonuses from weapons or abilities are added to that base value to determine the final Accuracy for the attack. The skills used to determine Accuracy are also the skills you gain experience in for that attack.

Each attack targets one of five possible Defenses: Parry, Dodge, Endurance, Will, or Magic. Enemies and party members have different strengths and weaknesses in these defenses, making some attacks better options against one type of enemy than another.

Accuracy is compared to Defense, and the resulting difference is used to modify the combat result table. Higher Accuracy results in a greater chance to Crit or Hit, reducing the chance to Graze or Miss. A lower Accuracy has the opposite effect, making you Graze or Miss more often.
Dev diaries are a great way to learn about how designers and developers tackle the challenges that appear during the development process and how they think through the various options.


  1. In addition to composing I've also worked on a homebrew RPG off and on for years. Even though I never formally studied game design (until Vox's course) and there's a lot of games I haven't had the time to play, when talking to devs I can usually relate most design issues they're discussing to things I had to deal with when working on my own RPG. I don't know if I'm simply relating everything back to RPG's because that's what I've worked on, or if there is something foundation to RPG's that translates really well to video games.

    I'll say, in terms of playing a character / having an avatar the two are quite related. Also, as Vox points out, both having their origins in tactics games is a big part of it.

  2. Part of it is that there are a lot of "knobs" you can mess with in RPGs, and the rulesets can go from fairly simple to really really complex. Tons of design space to play with.

    As an aside, a friend and I programmed an RPG for BBS systems back when we were in high school. Used basically the AD&D 2nd edition rules straight up. It turns out that those are REALLY harsh on the character - it wasn't unusual to have one of your guys die in the very first encounter out of town. *laugh* (You created a party of 5.)