Anvil Game Studios

Author Topic: Suggestion - New damage system to improve gameplay and scope for future developm  (Read 368 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Kethrian

  • Ordinary Seaman
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • QRR, Lancashire Artillery, Lieutenant Of Artillery
  • Faction: British Empire
  • Nick: Kethrian
Also posted on Steam Forums - https://steamcommunity.com/app/589290/discussions/4/1743342647559463147/

I believe that the way infantry health works in game needs changing in order to improve the current musket play and to allow better development of new weapons, artillery rounds, rockets and other such features in the future.

Currently it is an all or nothing system - a wounded soldier is as effective with 1% hp as he is with 100% hp and this creates several problems:
•   Above 50m, musket hits are only effective when scoring headshots.
•   Surgeons are pointless.
•   Swords are vastly inferior to bayonets.
•   Small health buffs, such as that given to flag bearers, make them over powered as they are “effectively” twice as tough as normal infantry (one of the reasons they are so Overpowered in the current melee system).

Without changing this system, future developments, such as new weapon types, and particularly features which may do AoE damage such as grenades, or canister shot, would fall foul of the same problems, either instantly killing anyone in range, or causing a wound that has no tangible effect.

I believe a better system would be to use a bleeding mechanic and increasingly debilitating effects as health reduces, combined with a damage system that simply reduces over range as described below.
•   Weapon damage reduces with distance – eg a musket would do flat 100% damage from 0-25m, then would reduce to a minimum of 1% at 300m or more.
•   Headshots cause damage to be doubled (edit: this multiplier would need to be balanced to keep headshots lethal, but give a chance of survival at extreme/improbable ranges) – not instantly kill at any range.
•   Melee damage scales with class and weapon used.
•   When wounded, a soldier will bleed for the same amount of hp as caused by the initial hit over the next minute. (so if the initial shot takes 20% hp, they will take a further 20% damage over the next minute for a total of 40%). (edit: bleed system is suggested to give surgeons a reason to be with line infantry and is not essential to the proposed system, it does add a lot of immersion to the systems though)
•   Reduced health causes detrimental effects over 4 ranges. 100%-75%, 74%-50%, 49%-25%, 24%-0%
•   100%-75% - No effect
•   74%-50% - 20% penalty to reload, accuracy, melee damage and melee swing speed,
•   49%-25% - Cannot run, 50% penalty to reload, accuracy, melee damage and melee swing speed.
•   24%-0% - Cannot run or hold a weapon – walking wounded, find a surgeon. If health hits 0% you are dead of course.
•   Treatment from a surgeon stops the bleeding. He may continue to treat the soldier to increase hp up to a maximum of 50%. Ie, above 50% health, a surgeon only stops the bleeding and will not magically heal someone to full health!
(edit: rather than hard speed reduction a system of knockdown or stun may be a better option to prevent a trail of casualties in large regimental battles. Either option would work well with other suggestions for a stamina bar to allow troops to run/charge for short distances while forcing march for the most part.... see below)

Using this system, close range shots and melee attacks would still kill instantly or be fatal within seconds, mid-range shots would be fatal if not treated quickly, and minor injuries would be potentially debilitating if not treated, as well as making soldiers very vulnerable to further damage. Headshots would continue to be deadly at up to medium ranges but may be survivable at very long ranges, or if a fast-acting surgeon is nearby.

This system adds scope for giving different weapon types differing damage, carbines and dragoon style muskets might do slightly less damage than a full length musket or have different damage fall off range. A sword hit wouldn’t instantly kill, but after the first hit, the opponent would be severely weakened and may die from their injuries even if they win the fight.
This would also add scope for future developments such as shrapnel blasts, blunderbusses and canister rounds which could be effective at causing debilitating damage without being instantly fatal (or being completely ineffective).

Example 1: A soldier is hit at 70m and sustains 75% damage. He shoulders his musket and is unable to run, falling out of formation with his unit. His remaining hp will reduce to 0 in 20 seconds if not treated by a surgeon. Lucky for him a surgeon reaches him and stops the bleeding, then continues to heal him back to 50% health. The soldier re-joins his unit but will reload slower and be less accurate than his comrades.

Example 2: a soldier is hit by a stray musket ball from 200m away. The shot grazes him for 13% hp and he bleeds a further 13% hp over the next minute as there are no surgeons nearby. He continues to fight but with slightly reduced accuracy and reload speed. If the shot had hit his head, he would have suffered 26% hp from the initial shot, and bleeding would have caused a further 26% loss, leaving him seriously wounded with large firing and melee penalties and unable to run. (In the current system he would be either unaffected or outright dead)
« Last Edit: August 10, 2018, 02:42:56 am by Kethrian »

Offline Livington

  • Surgeon's Mate
  • *
  • Posts: 95
  • 58th Regiment of Foot, Captain
  • Faction: British Empire

•   49%-25% - Cannot run, 50% penalty to reload, accuracy, melee damage and melee swing speed.


I think that this would cause too much casualty litter in a linebattle. I do realise that casualties are of course a huge part of real warfare, way more common than immediate death. However, in the game, I consider the current replacement of a wounded casualty status with death a more reasonable option. When a person "dies" it just means he would not be able to fight any longer, so in game he might aswell be represented as dead on the ground.

I think that the addition of this, especially already at the 49% mark, would lead to a confusing trail of unintentional rambos across the field, sanctioned by the game mechanics. This will quickly become a mess in linebattles with random people running around, after hopefully being healed, trying to find lines.

(Then again I also find the idea of having a surgeon opening up shop in the middle of a battle fixing lost limbs and bullet wounds etc. as rather ridiculous aswell.)

I think wounds that hamper your ability to stay in formation and perform your basic duties should be represented with death. Alternatively have people dying in the mud, but that would not really serve any purpose anyway and I'd much rather get to spectate.
[Insert an excellent or at the very least conspicuous signature here]

Offline Livington

  • Surgeon's Mate
  • *
  • Posts: 95
  • 58th Regiment of Foot, Captain
  • Faction: British Empire
Although headshots are not always bang on lethal, they almost always are. In the extremely rare cases where the person magically survives, he is probably not in a fighting condition. In the proposed system, I think headshots are way underpowered.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2018, 11:32:37 pm by Livington »
[Insert an excellent or at the very least conspicuous signature here]

Offline Kethrian

  • Ordinary Seaman
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • QRR, Lancashire Artillery, Lieutenant Of Artillery
  • Faction: British Empire
  • Nick: Kethrian
Livington: I agree that the speed decrease may be something that has to be excluded because of the requirement to chase down a string of walking wounded and the logistics of getting them back to their line when healed. It was more to encourage the use of surgeons as an important addition to a line, rather than to set up field hospitals for half dead soldiers. The bleed component of the proposal is designed to mitigate the number of walking wounded as most will die if not treated within a minute.

However, I do feel that penalties to accuracy, reload, melee damage and melee speed should be imposed based on health to make any sense of the game's health system. Maybe the speed decrease could be a short duration stagger, or a knockdown, disrupting formations rather than separating them entirely.

An example of the sillyness of the current system occured 2 weeks ago in a line battle. I was playing in a line and one of our soldiers received 4 hits over the course of the first 10 minutes of the battle. We had no surgeon and the shots were at long enough range that after 4 hits he still had about 10% hp left. He went on to kill another 5 enemies (3 ranged and 2 melee kills) before he was finally killed by a bayonet to the stomach, a wound which would have killed him even if he had 100% hp at the time. It just doesn't seem right that hp mean so little in the game.

This only gets more significant when you look at the road map and the communities main requests. As leader of my regiments artillery, my main concern is the balance problems of the recently announced artillery changes that would occur using the current system. These same concerns have sparked a lot of discussion within our regiment about the short-comings of the current damage model in both regimental battles in and pub games, for all unit types and additional planned roles.

For example; The current system will run into trouble when things like canister shot are introduced to artillery. Imagine your cannon is attacked by 12 angry scots who want to give fire, then ram a bayonet up your arse. I instruct my gunner to load canister shot. If i fire when they are 50m away, I may kill all of them in a single shot, if I fire when they are 51m away, i may leave all of them on 1% hp which will have no effect on their ability to continue the charge and kill me and my crew - we have as much chance of killing them whether they have 1% hp or 100% hp at this stage. The first result is  frustratingly Over Powered, the second is utterly underwhelming.

The same problem occurs when you consider other community requests, such as grenadier grenades... they would be either overpoweringly lethal, or pointlessly ineffective, as wounding someone has no effect unless they are in extended long range musket fights and are unlucky enough to get hit multiple times by extreme range shots (not common).

I disagree with your comment about the proposed system head shots being under powered. Firstly, as far as I am aware, headshots are ALWAYS lethal in the current system, even if fired from a range that would result in only 1 hp damage (I have seen a 325m pistol headshot kill during a line battle).

In my proposed system, if you do the maths, they would still be lethal unless at extreme ranges or unless a surgeon was standing next to you ready to help.

E.G: If a shot was fired at you from a range that would inflict 25% damage if it hit your body (lets say its about 200m), the subsequent bleeding will reduce you to 50% hp over the next minute if untreated, leaving you with a small accuracy and reload penalty. If the same shot at the same range instead struck your head, it would then do 50% (25% x 2) damage as a head shot, and you would then bleed out for a further 50% hp over the next minute, killing you. In total, a head shot will do 4 x the base damage. Given the scaled down nature of the game, I think that 200m lethal range for a stray and lucky shot from an archaic firearm is more than enough.


Offline Space_Cube

  • Regiment Leaders
  • Ordinary Seaman
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Faction: Prussia
  • Nick: Spacey
I do agree with Kethrian on this. The damage/health factor of the game is quite lacking. I would love to see some new content come out surrounding it. As you said a Surgeon on the field can only heal to 50% I think that's fair to prevent people from just never dying, but I think a "medic tent" could be added. I think it could work as that a person can either walk to it to get full health OR a medic can "carry" a person to it to heal if they are to low health. This would add a interesting dynamic of having to defend not just arty but also your medic tent. I do see how this could make the game to based on healing but I think it would help balance the game ALOT and make for alot more fun in the medic side of the game.
Oberst of the 26th Freiwillige Infanterie.

Discord: Spacey#7987


Offline Livington

  • Surgeon's Mate
  • *
  • Posts: 95
  • 58th Regiment of Foot, Captain
  • Faction: British Empire
I do agree with Kethrian on this. The damage/health factor of the game is quite lacking. I would love to see some new content come out surrounding it. As you said a Surgeon on the field can only heal to 50% I think that's fair to prevent people from just never dying, but I think a "medic tent" could be added. I think it could work as that a person can either walk to it to get full health OR a medic can "carry" a person to it to heal if they are to low health. This would add a interesting dynamic of having to defend not just arty but also your medic tent. I do see how this could make the game to based on healing but I think it would help balance the game ALOT and make for alot more fun in the medic side of the game.

I still think that, although it might be more interesting for the surgeon, it is not what the game is about. It's a game based around napoleonic battles. I think adding more surgeon-centric things would be misplaced in the game. I would be behind having health impact a characters performace in some ways, but I don't think we should be looking at how to make the game interesting for surgeons. They are a support class and should only be relevant if it compliments the combat characters (such as health and healing).

As I said, without shifting too much focus on to the surgeons I think it is still possible to add debuffs to the combat troops.
I am on the fence when it comes to force-walk (I myself am in favour of a setting where you can put on stamina, so that regiments have to think when they want their men to double-quick it across a field, as to not become exhausted.) I might agree that force walk could be an idea, at a health percentage lower than 49%, but I find 49% too high. Reload and potentially melee debuffs I can agree to too.

(The above opinion assumes that everything is toggleable and up to the admin of the server.)
« Last Edit: August 08, 2018, 01:18:42 am by Livington »
[Insert an excellent or at the very least conspicuous signature here]

Offline Livington

  • Surgeon's Mate
  • *
  • Posts: 95
  • 58th Regiment of Foot, Captain
  • Faction: British Empire
Kethrian,

I agree with you on the debuffs side of things, although the details may differ.

From the anecdote about the person being shot 4 times I have to take-aways. As I understand it you wanted to underline the point about bleeding and also debuffs. I agree with this. Some kind of bleeding mechanic could be interesting and as I said I agree with the debuffs. My other take-away is the fact that after 4 shots at any range, unless they were but mere flesh wounds, he should be dead (or dying on the floor). This is of course where some sort of bleeding mechanic could come into play.

Oh artillery! As fond of balls as I'll ever get. I'm looking forwards to working the angles, making sure that the perfect graze is achieved, just skipping across the land scape. Cannister would be an interesting topic; it asks interesting questions. In Mount & Blade - NW, they ran with the 'underwhelming' option. Canister was comparatively underpowered for various reasons and the receive-wounds-with-impunity model had its share to say about it. 1% was merely an inconvenience, so I agree that something could be done there.

I agree that a lot of what you propose does make sense. However, I still think that headshots should be an instant kill in most cases, unless the range or angle is extreme. If you get shot in the head bleeding would not be a very big problem. Instead, the fact that a projectile just penetrated the command centre of your body would be. To fit into your system I think the multiplier should be increased, to facilitate those rare instances where someone survives but to also keep them that way - rare.

I think the debuffs, bleeding and mobility decreases are all good suggestions to different degress in one shape or another. I was not really able to figure out why I disliked it before, but I think I have now. Instead of adding ALL of these consequences into the health system I think it would be more "clean" to focus on 1 or 2. Refining, for example, a bleeding mechanic combined with maybe some kind of stun after being shot could be worked into something great. Another example would be to perhaps not include immobilisation and instead focus on bleeding in combination with debuffs.

So I guess I agree with the suggestions at large, but my opinion is that focusing on 1 or 2 instead of adding all would work better.

I am curious as to in what order would you place your priorities for the healthbound consequenses you proposed. Bleeding? Immobilisation? Debuffs? Other?

I know that your original post did not say "ADD ALL OF IT", but when I ran everything in my head that is what it became and therefore my opinions formed around that idea.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2018, 01:16:12 am by Livington »
[Insert an excellent or at the very least conspicuous signature here]

Offline Kethrian

  • Ordinary Seaman
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • QRR, Lancashire Artillery, Lieutenant Of Artillery
  • Faction: British Empire
  • Nick: Kethrian
From the anecdote about the person being shot 4 times I have to take-aways. As I understand it you wanted to underline the point about bleeding and also debuffs. I agree with this. Some kind of bleeding mechanic could be interesting and as I said I agree with the debuffs. My other take-away is the fact that after 4 shots at any range, unless they were but mere flesh wounds, he should be dead (or dying on the floor). This is of course where some sort of bleeding mechanic could come into play.
The soldier in the example should have been dead, the bleeding system would have finished him off a lot sooner, whilst still allowing time for a medic to find him.

More relevant is the fact that he continued to act in the same way as the other 11 soldiers in the line who were at full health, despite having being shot 4 times! If a de-buff system was applied, he would not be as accurate, would have taken longer to reload, and would likely not have survived the melee encounter as he would do less damage per swing and be slower to strike.

I agree that a lot of what you propose does make sense. However, I still think that headshots should be an instant kill in most cases, unless the range or angle is extreme.

Changing the proposed headshot damage to 2.5x or more (or less) would need to be balanced as the game evolves. The point of the headshot damage not always being fatal is that musket shots from extreme range would have lost most of their killing power... A pistol ball fired at 45 degrees into the air wont have much stopping power after flying 300m and would be unlikely to penetrate a wet paper bag. My point is, the 2x damage is a starting point and the Devs and community would dictate what the appropriate multiplier would be as the game develops

I think the debuffs, bleeding and mobility decreases are all good suggestions to different degress in one shape or another. I was not really able to figure out why I disliked it before, but I think I have now. Instead of adding ALL of these consequences into the health system I think it would be more "clean" to focus on 1 or 2. Refining, for example, a bleeding mechanic combined with maybe some kind of stun after being shot could be worked into something great. Another example would be to perhaps not include immobilisation and instead focus on bleeding in combination with debuffs.

So I guess I agree with the suggestions at large, but my opinion is that focusing on 1 or 2 instead of adding all would work better.
I think there should be 2 main areas that this applies to:
Firstly, that long range damage which doesn't insta-kill, should cause some reduction in fighting effectiveness (this may include bursting artillery rounds and rockets if/when introduced)
Secondly that close range AoE fire (when introduced in the form of artillery shots, grenades etc) is effective at hampering the enemy without being overly deadly.

My priority for long range musket fire would be that health affects accuracy and melee damage as a permanent debuff when soldiers are wounded, and that the severity of the wound causes more debilitation.
My priority for grenades/canister shot style effects would be that the enemy formation is disrupted, so knockdown or temporary stun/slow would more important than debuff.
Bleed damage adds little to either situation, but (in combination with the permanent debuff affects that are applied if you aren't treated quickly) gives surgeons a purpose and an urgency that is not seen in the game currently.

I will write an edited proposal based on the discussion because I feel were getting somewhere on this!
« Last Edit: August 08, 2018, 09:19:27 pm by Kethrian »

Offline Kethrian

  • Ordinary Seaman
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • QRR, Lancashire Artillery, Lieutenant Of Artillery
  • Faction: British Empire
  • Nick: Kethrian
I am on the fence when it comes to force-walk (I myself am in favour of a setting where you can put on stamina, so that regiments have to think when they want their men to double-quick it across a field, as to not become exhausted.) I might agree that force walk could be an idea, at a health percentage lower than 49%, but I find 49% too high. Reload and potentially melee debuffs I can agree to too.

The idea of having all troops walking and using stamina to run/charge is something that also came up in our discussions within the regiment, and something I am totally behind. It is on my list of things that need to be addressed before mobile arty can be balanced, but didn't feel it appropriate to be included in this post... (the damage model was something that needed tackling before arty)

BUT IT IS NECESARY, and used in combination with a rule system that has different classes and weapons doing different (not always fatal) damage with different hp, stamina and run speed could allow the various classes to shine in some areas and be vulnerable in others.