Elemental Effects Design II

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Roots
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Elemental Effects Design II

Postby Roots » Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:06 am

I am at a point in the code where we need to finalize decisions about elemental effects so that I can implement them. :D First, see this part of the wiki for an overview on elementals: http://allacrost.sourceforge.net/wiki/i ... al_Effects

Here are the icons we have for our elementals, at the various levels of intensity (there are four intensity levels, eight if you include both positive and negative).

[img:225:200]http://www.allacrost.org/staff/user/jetryl/Misc/elemental_icons-fullset.png[/img]


Now, on to the issues to discuss.


1. Elemental Names

Since there's been some recent gripes about our name choice, i thought I'd throw this issue out there and see what happens. Our elemental names right now are:

- Fire
- Water
- Volt
- Earth

- Slicing
- Smashing
- Mauling
- Piercing


2. Elemental Strengths and Weaknesses

You can not be resistant to and susceptable to the same element at any given time. For example, you can not be strong against smashing and weak against smashing. Your fire armor can not both provide a fire elemental boost and a fire weakness. Pretty obvious, but I thought I'd state it for the record.

Note though, that elementals come from any one of three sources: the actor's properties, weapons/armor equipped, and the skills used in battle. So an actor may have a native weakness for piercing, but their armor provides a piercing protection. In this way, we "sum" the elemental strengths and weaknesses together to arrive at a sum which is either a strength or a weakness or neither (neutral). Make sense? Anything I'm missing?


3. Metaphysical and Physical Interactions

I confused myself earlier last week thinking about physical elementals so I just wanted to make sure we're all clear here.

Physical: armor, actors, etc. can have either metaphysical weaknesses or strengths. I can have armor that affords a high defense rating, but is weak against piercing damage. Or an armor that is very strong against smashing damage, but does not have very good defense. Etc.

Meta: If I have armor that is strong against fire, then it is equally weak against water*


(*note: if this is true, isn't it kind of pointless/frustrating to try and defend against meta elementals, since you always must present a weakness in another elemental type? You can fully defend yourself against piercing damage without penalty, but fire defense always induces a water weakness..... :ohnoes: )


4. Damage Bonuses
The four intensities do four types of damage/resistance bonuses:

Lesser: 1.5x
Moderate: 2x
Greater: 4x
Extreme: 8x


5. Elemental Attacks

Now here's a big issue. Lets say I have character A with strength 50, who equips a volt sword with attack rating 75.


When I equip a volt sword, does all of my character's attack (50+75 volt damage) become charged with volt elemental? Or is the character's strength kept "neutral" (50 neutral damage) and the sword's attack rating is given the "volt bonus" (75 volt damage)? Or does the volt sword give the character a neutral boost to their attack rating (125 neutral damage), and the sword includes a small volt damage bonus (say, +15 volt damage)?


To put it in another way, there are two questions to ask here:

1) can an attack consist of both "neutral" and "elemental" damages that calculate two different damages?

2) when I add an elemental property onto something, must that elemental contain an arbitrary "bonus" that tells what degree (what number) the elemental adds to attack or defense, in addition to the intensity?

-----

I think that's good for starters. I still don't have a lot of my mind sorted out about this elemental business and exactly how it affects things and what its limitations are. :eyespin:
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Re: Elemental Effects Design II

Postby Jetryl » Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:24 am

Roots wrote:2. Elemental Strengths and Weaknesses


:approve: Sounds good, and is what I would have done.

Roots wrote:3. Metaphysical and Physical Interactions

Physical: armor, actors, etc. can have either metaphysical weaknesses or strengths. I can have armor that affords a high defense rating, but is weak against piercing damage. Or an armor that is very strong against smashing damage, but does not have very good defense. Etc.

Meta: If I have armor that is strong against fire, then it is equally weak against water*

(*note: if this is true, isn't it kind of pointless/frustrating to try and defend against meta elementals, since you always must present a weakness in another elemental type? You can fully defend yourself against piercing damage without penalty, but fire defense always induces a water weakness..... :ohnoes: )


:disapprove: If we do this, let's do this by hand (explicitly stating in the .lua file that the item is both res. to fire and weak to water). We may not always want to do this(!), and it keeps the C++ simpler.


Roots wrote:4. Damage Bonuses


:approve: However, just make sure that this is easy to globally modify; we may wish to tweak these constants, later. We need actual experience in-game to know if this is too strong/weak/exponential/whatever. So instead of hard-coding these numerical values into the functions that use them, have them refer to a global constant - it would be especially cool if this could be defined in lua, so we could tweak it without compiling.


Roots wrote:5. Elemental Attacks

Now here's a big issue. Lets say I have character A with strength 50, who equips a volt sword with attack rating 75.


When I equip a volt sword, does all of my character's attack (50+75 volt damage) become charged with volt elemental? Or is the character's strength kept "neutral" (50 neutral damage) and the sword's attack rating is given the "volt bonus" (75 volt damage)? Or does the volt sword give the character a neutral boost to their attack rating (125 neutral damage), and the sword includes a small volt damage bonus (say, +15 volt damage)?


To put it in another way, there are two questions to ask here:

1) can an attack consist of both "neutral" and "elemental" damages that calculate two different damages?

2) when I add an elemental property onto something, must that elemental contain an arbitrary "bonus" that tells what degree (what number) the elemental adds to attack or defense, in addition to the intensity?


Yes; I think that a weapon should have a separate "volt" damage rating (say, 15), and a separate "slash" damage rating (say, 60). Each of these should be calculated separately, and have their total damage summed, and dealt together. So, against an enemy with no volt resistance, it would deal (50+60+15)=125 damage; against an enemy with a "greater" volt vulnerability, it would deal (50+60+60)=170 damage.

Also, weapons should be able to have more than one extra-modifier like this (since people might have multiple shards).
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Postby EmreBFG » Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:20 am

I agree with Jetryl's comments. It does concern me that elemental bonuses render an opposite elemental penalty, as that hasn't always been the case with games (I believe), but it makes sense. I don't usually pay attention to armor bonuses for elementals so I probably wouldn't equip an armor that carries a penalty unless I know I'm in a fire cave.

Roots wrote:5. Elemental Attacks


I agree here as well. It is annoying when you have a fire sword equipped and you end up doing '0' damage to a boss and have to use weak magic instead. A weapon should have some effectiveness.
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Postby Roots » Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:32 pm

- (3) Okay then, we'll go with what Jetryl said if no one disagrees. I think explicitly requiring strengths/weaknesses to be declared instead of relying on implicit relationships between the elements is a good idea, and it makes thinking about the elemental system much easier.


- (4) The damage bonus constants have to be declared in C++. Lua doesn't actually have support for constants (they'd just be values) and then we'd have to load that data in C++, and wrap those constants in a class since they can't be set as "true" constants. Its too much of a headache to do in Lua, so we'll just go with C++ defs for them.


- (5) Alright, I think this scheme will work best as well. This means that there's really 10 types of damage: the 8 elementals, plus "neutral" physical and metaphysical damage.
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