Greetings, one and all, to one of Project Terra's busiest weeks! So much so that we have a mid-week update, just for you.
Over the last few days, I've been brainstorming with a couple of friends on how the mechanics of the game will work. Turned out this notebook has been grand inspiration for me, and I've filled... *counts*... 21 pages in about 3 days. Win.
Whilst there is alot, most of it I want as a suprise for later cannon fodder in news. However, here is some of the more interesting stuff...
(Please keep in mind the below are yet subject to tweaking for balancing!)
When combat is initiated, the two combatants are locked where they are (facing each other, a tile apart). To exit the combat, they must "flee", and risk a penalty that could be worse than facing the music.
Combat is real-time based, with several options to choose from. Each option will cost them stamina, and have different affects. For example, a player can "Slash, Slap and Stab" with a sword, causing Slash/Blunt/Pierce damage, in that respective order. However, there are more powerful moves that will drain the player's stamina moreso.
Whilst stamina regenerates anyway, if the player is in dire need of some Stamina regeneration, he can simple defend - which also gives him a dodge bonus.
When attacking, the player can choose which part of the body to aim for, on his opponent - head, upper torso, lower torso, arms and legs. This will affect what part of the defender's armour is struck.
Each piece of armour has it's own set of statistics - HP, Soak, Deflect, Dodge Penalty and Bleed.
Soak and Deflect have their own subsections of statistics (Slash/Blunt/Pierce).
Some armour is more suseptible to one type of damage than to another (ie, a Toga might be ripped to shreds after just two slashes, whilst a hammer might not damage the cloth and all, and go straight through into the player instead).
Per example, an attacker slashes for 18 damage. If the soak were to take 40% of the damage, 7.2 (Rounded to nearest, "7"), this would harm only the armour and the armour's HP would drop from 100 to 93.
Then, the damage is also negated by Deflect. If the Deflect were 20%, then 3.6 (4) would be ignored.
The "Bleed" statistic is a percentage chance of the damage after Soak and Deflect, the remainder, of harming the player's HP. Whilst a thich, heavy plated breastplate would have around 5% chance of slipping through, a vest would more like be up in the 90% area (10% for if the swung blade fell short and missed the player under the clothing/armour by millimeters!).
Therefore, the remaining 40% of the damage would, if the Bleed strung true, damage the player's well-being, 7.2 (-7 HP).
There is also a system based on if your character is left or right handed. If you are left handed, fighting a left-handed person, then you gain a bonus to your shield (If you are using one) because your shield is facing directly the opponent's weapon.
Finally, there is the matter of "Flinch".
When a strike hits a person, for say, 20 damage, the damage left over from armour damage (Soak and Deflect) is used in a "Flinch" or "Knockback" hit. The defender must roll a penalty check (All automatic of course) to see if he is knocked back by the power of the strike, based on his physique.
So, if a great, looming barbarian that deals out a hundred damage onto a toga-wearing librarian, chances are he's going to "Flinch". The effect of the Flinch is still in discussion, but I'm hoping to bend it towards "The player is struck flying backwards X Tiles, according to the damage caused". If not, it will likely give the attacker an opportunity to follow up with a free attack afterwards.
Let's use an example - The Sims 3. In the sims, you have to please the NPC with jokes, gossip, and so forth. As you do, your relationship bar goes up.
Project Terra has three of these, crossed over a single point in the center, to draw the form of a Web Graph.
The slider is instead based on a %. So, at 100% with maximum in each way along the slider, it could only be at 50% either way - or, 100% one way and 0% the other.
The three sliders are;
- Love VS Hate
- Friend VS Enemy
- Rival VS Peer
With this system, you could Hate a friend, Love an enemy, Be friend competition (rival) with a friend, Hate a Peer (Jealousy) and so forth. When you max out the three on either spectrum (Love, Friend, Peer VS Hate, Enemy, Rival) they become either a Follower or Nemesis. Followers will follow you to the end, whilst Nemesi will go out of their way to see you dead.
Meanwhile, each NPC will have a title with you, according to relation. An unkown will be a "Stranger" (ie, Neutral, 0% in most/all bars).
As soon as you begin to interact with that person, the sliders will begin to change. If you are only nice to them, their title will be "Friend" to you. If you are nice to them, but also any rival-based actions, they'll become "Opponent".
There will be several different combinations. Being in Love with somebody who is your Enemy is a "Forbidden Lover" for example. Hating an enemy is a "Villain".
Smithing Mechanics are the prime example on how quality in items works, at the moment. It may be subject to change, to suit the rest of the game. However, it seems pretty solid.
Meet Darius. He is a novice Smith (Level 3), and newbie Smelter (Level 0).
Meet Han. He is a master Smith (Level 52) and master Smelter (Level 44).
Let's take a look at Darius' situation first. He wants to forge a Gladius out of some Iron Ore he has. Because he is a newbie Smelter, he doesn't know how to create Wrought Iron through Bloom, so, he continues with the only way he knows.
First, the Ore is put into a Smelter, which melts away the useless rock and smelts the Iron into liquid. This trails and rips down into a default cast, to make them into bars. These are then melted down into liquid once more, and put into the cast of a Gladius Blade.
Once cooled, they are then ready to be worked on. The blade must first be heated into a Furnace. It is then beat with a hammer, at the Anvil. As it begins to cool, it can be reheated, or Darius, in a hurry can say, "That'll do." and his blade is done. If he did this, it would be a generic blade of default quality, depending on the tools used and his skill. The reheating process can be done as many times as he wants.
Every time he reheats and hammers the blade, its quality will increase.
When a player is smithing, he must keep an exact eye on the blade, and watch the colour of it. The closer he strikes to the right timing for the blade, at the right temperature, quality will increase. If he randomly smashes at the blade with his hammer, not paying attention to the temperature and colour of the blade, the quality will not increase - indeed, it may decrease.
However, the quality is limited by EQ. The EQ, Effective Quality, is a cap according to a Smith's skill.
((Smith Skill * 1.6)+10 = EQ). So, at level 3, the highest quality he could reach is q14.8 (q15), whilst Han can easily reach q93.
The higher the player's skill, the higher each quality gain will jump. Whilst Darius will jump in 1s, 2s, or even sometimes not at all, Han will leap his first few bouts in tens and twenties.
Now, the quality of tools used are also of matter. As a tool is used consecutively more and more (This goes for all tools in the game - saws, hammers, hatchets, plows, so forth), its "Stress Level" will increase. As the Stress of the tool peaks, it will take a hit to quality (ie, a chip in a blade, a dent in a hammer, a crack in a flat). The stress then cools somewhat. The higher quality a tool is, however, the longer it takes to stress it.
So, a quality 60 Hammer will last for long bouts of Han's hammerings, whilst a flimsy below-average quality 5 hammer, cracked and chipped, will stress relatively quickly. As it hits quality 0, it breaks in rubbish.
Also, as one might guess, using an unven, crack and chipped Hammer will of course affect the quality of the object being made.
For example; a flat, smooth saw blade, for example, will cut smoothly through wood (Not causing crevices and cracks in the wood).
Now, let's take a look at Han in his process of making a blade. First, because he's a badass Smelterer, he puts the Iron ORe through the Bloomery. This is like a tall Smelter where Iron is put into the top and causes a completely different oxidising process. The craft output comes out as "Bloom" which is a mixture of useless Slag and refined Iron deposits. This is then hammered out at the Anvil, then smelted into the Blade Cast.
This process gives a boost to end-quality. The blade will show as Quality 10 at the start of the processing, as if he had simply smelted it like Darius had, but will gain a boost when finished.
Han begins by Heating and Hammering the blade till the quality gain slows down, then he moves onto the next tier of Smithing that he picked up earlier in his Smithing levels - Quenching.
Quenching is when the blade is heated to White Hot, then dipped into water. This strengthens the blade, but leaves it brittle. This can also be repeated over and over, till the EQ kicks in. At a lower level, the blade would now be finished. However, because of Han's Smithing level, he knows how to counter the Brittle blade, but has only one chance. This will either cause the Quality level to drop, if he mistimes it, or it will strengthen to a pretty-pretty quality.
The blade must then be reheated to an exact temperature, then quenched - this is called Tempering.
In either of the player's cases above, the smith can either buy a hilt made by someone else, or if he is skilled, make one himself. The quality of the blade and the hilt are then mathematically figured out between them, and a weapon is created.
If all goes well, Han will have crafted a masterpiece weapon. Whilst the process takes alot longer, he will have created a quality piece. If Han instead needed to output a number of relatively-high-Q generic blades at q20-30, he needed only to spend 5-10 minutes on it. Instead, via the entire process, he spent an hour or so working on a delicate, perfect blade. When a craft strikes a certain quality or above, the piece is able to be named by the maker, and sent to an Engraver to engrave it on the blade.