There have been a few important updates today to the combat system regarding reach and avoiding/fending melee attacks:
- A target in Avoid combat mode is no longer automatically switched to Engage combat mode upon failure to avoid a melee attack.
- Holding a ranged weapon no longer provides a virtual weapon reach bonus, as ranged combatants can now simply remain in the Avoid combat mode which does the same thing.
- When determining weapon reach for both attackers and defenders, a main-hand (right) weapon will always take preference over an off-hand (left) one. (Having a non-weapon (including shields) in the main hand will NOT prevent using an off-hand weapon for reach calculations.)
- The chance to avoid melee attacks via Avoid combat mode or to fend off melee attacks via weapon reach is now more heavily penalized by the amount of roundtime the target is currently in.
- Avoiding melee attacks via Avoid combat mode or fending off via weapon reach now has a 7-second cooldown.
- Making unarmed attacks will now remove the attacker's ability to fend off attacks with any other weapons they might be holding for the duration of their attack.
These were to address a few issues we thought were worth resolving:
- Things were getting pretty meta, with people holding weapons solely for their reach value. Carrying large or ranged weapons solely for reach/avoidance for characters that otherwise wouldn't normally wield a weapon, wielding large weapons in the off-hand while attacking with small weapons in the main hand, stuff like that. It was kind of sad to people feel forced to carry weapons they wouldn't if they didn't have to, like little old men with polehammers for fending, nonviolent stealthy sneaks carrying a ranged weapon just to keep distance, and so on. And yeah, some of the meta was just pretty immersion-breaking meta that didn't really make much sense.
- It should make ranged casting (and hurled weapons) less fiddly and meta in particular. Rejoice, Warlocks! No longer do you need to run around with a bow or a sling or something when all you want to do is hurl those horrifying gobs of matter-consuming nether at your foes unimpeded by tacky conventional weaponry and tools. Just stay in Combat Avoid mode with both hands free and go melt faces enjoying the maximum potential for staying at a distance.
- Reach-based defense was a bit too effective. It was pretty goofy to be able to potentially fend 10 nigh-simultaneous melee attacks from every angle. It was pretty goofy that such a massive defensive benefit allowing complete nullification of melee attacks could be achieved by simply having a spear or sling in one hand, regardless of any skill or other factor other than "I have a sling in my left hand." And it pushed some of the big heavy hitting polearms pretty close to the Overpowered Zone - top-shelf damage factors, least-resisted damage types, AND incredible frequency of "nope!"-ing incoming melee attacks? Yikes.
- Frequent attack avoidance was a bit too common and was making combat frustrating. The reach/avoid system is neat and we still love it, but it was happening so often and so effectively that it was getting pretty frustrating to so consistently have all skills and abilities and whatnot ignored by a very basic no-investment no-skill mechanic. We want to see a character's skills and abilities coming into play and being the major factor determining how things turn out, not the mere presence of a large branch in the off-hand or the lackthereof.
And remember: This affects everyone equally, PCs and NPCs. This should make it less frustrating to fight those baddies with ranged or long-reach weapons, or with other combat-avoid abilities that would inevitably proc the -one- time you finally get past their fend roll (arrrrrggghhh). Combat is going to be a bit more dangerous now for everyone, so don't forget to put on that protective gear - at least on the torso, neck, and head!
Share and discuss your combat tactics here.
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