Sunday, October 14, 2012

Strength Change

So, I'm about to sacrifice realism in favor of balance and simplicity. I realize this is a change that will likely be met with some controversy, but I think it is best for the game in the long run. The change: melee damage will no longer scale with Strength. Of course, melee weapons will be brought up substantially in damage. Read on if you want to know why I'm doing this.

The new accuracy system is pretty great, I think. It is fairly obvious that accuracy is beneficial and desirable for players, but having low accuracy values doesn't make the game nigh-unplayable anymore. The Strength change can be justified in a similar way: players that melee (with Strength weapons) will discover that high Strength values are beneficial. The difference from today? It won't be quite as set in stone.

In the current Strength system you basically have to play a high Strength species, forfeit the idea of melee, or just accept the fact that you are going to be playing a challenge run. Under the new system you'll probably still want to roll a species with good melee stats (high Reflexes and/or Strength) if you're planning on playing melee for the majority of the game. The difference is that if you roll a character and are planning on playing ranged for the majority of the game, you can actually switch to a melee play style either because you just want to or because you found a really great melee weapon. Under the current system, that is extremely difficult because your damage is artificially low. In the new system, the weapon itself will have all of the damage, just like ranged weapons do.

Again, this sacrifices realism (though I don't know who among my readers is expecting realism in a Star Wars game), but I think game balance and simplicity have to take priority over realism sometimes. I definitely feel like this is one of those times. But, I'm an independent developer. Every change is an experiment in design and just seeing how things feel. It won't really be a great challenge to revert back to the old system if I decide the new system doesn't really work.

The trunk build featuring the new system will be released later today or tomorrow afternoon. I'll post a small update on the blog and tweet it when it comes out. Feedback, as always, will be very welcome!


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