Weapon Types & Effects

Frostorm

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So in my game I have several various weapon types, but for now I will be omitting the caster type weapons. The melee weapons are divided into Light, Medium, & Heavy. Light/Medium are 1-handed, while Heavy is 2-handed. All 1-handed weapons confer Dual Wielding, so as soon as you equip a 1H, you are able to equip a 2nd 1H in the other slot. All 1-handed weapons also grant +0.5 Attack Times, which basically does nothing unless you equip another 1H along w/ it, granting a total of +1 Attack Times. However, Dual Wielding will also incur a -15% Hit Chance.

Note: the following bonuses are for wielding a single weapon, double it if Dual Wielding (or add the sum if different types)

Light Weapons
Daggers: +5% Crit & +25% TCR (TP Charge Rate)
Claws: +5% Hit & +25% TCR (TP Charge Rate)

Medium Weapons
1H Axes: +5% Armor Penetration
1H Swords: +5% Counter

Heavy Weapons
2H Axes: +10% Armor Penetration
2H Swords: +10% Counter
Polearms: +1 Range

There are 2 more types that don't fit in the above...
Ranged: +3 Range (counts as 2H, for use w/ Marksman skills)
Shield: (I made this into a weapon type, so you'll need to equip any 1H weapon 1st, granting Dual Wield thus allowing Shields to be equipped in the 2nd weapon slot, but since Shields don't add any + Attack Times, you won't get the extra attack that Dual Wielding 2 1H weapons offers)

The reason for these 3 types are because many melee skills will require certain types of weapons to be equipped. Most skills in the Duelist tree will require either a Light or Medium weapon equipped, whereas skills in the Berserker tree will require a Medium or Heavy weapon equipped. So if you want to have access to a wide array of skills (including some skills in the Guardian tree), a Medium weapon is the way to go. Light weapons grant players faster TP generation to use their skills more often. And lastly, Heavy weapons obviously just hit really hard lol.

Feedback, thoughts, and ideas from your own games are welcome and appreciated! I'm curious how you guys handle different weapon types in your games. Happy game making! :D

Edit: I want to add Maces (both 1H & 2H) into the game, but haven't thought of what unique bonuses they could offer yet...
 
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Zerothedarklord

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Maces could provide a chance to stun, or "stagger" the target
 

Wavelength

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Moved to Ideas & Prototypes.

I think this is specific enough to your own game to belong here, rather than GMD (which is for more open-ended discussion and should only use your own game as an example, not as a way to frame the discussion).

Your system sounds pretty cool. It sounds like most characters/classes can equip most weapons, so you have to be very careful about balance between the different types. The choice should be a matter of battle style, not a matter of "which is mathematically better". For example, Dual Wielding gives you two attacks, but only a -15% penalty to hit chance - assuming a 95% default hit rate in the lack of other weapons, this means that you will average 1.6 successful attacks per "Attack" command given with Dual Wield weapons, versus 0.95 successful attacks with Two-Handed weapons. In addition, you get to combine the stat bonuses of both Dual weapons together. Therefore, it looks a lot rosier to use the Dual weapons, unless the stat bonuses on Two-Handed weapons are several times higher than the Dual weapons' stat bonuses!

For example, imagine that the character is providing 100 STR, and each 1H Sword is providing 50 STR. That's a total of 200 STR, and gives you 1.6 successful attacks which means (before defense reduction) you're dealing ~320 damage in a simple formula. To get to ~320 damage with 0.95 attacks, we'd need about 340 STR, minus the character's innate 100 STR, means that the 2H Sword of the same tier would need 240 STR (versus 50 for the 1H Sword) just to break even! DEF reduction can mean the gap needs to be less wide (since DEF would presumably count twice for Dual Attacks, once for each attack), but just keep the disparity between 0.95 attacks and 1.6 attacks in mind.

Additionally, you'd have to consider how it would work for Skills rather than basic attacks, unless all Skills also strike once for 2H weapons or twice for Dual weapons. If you're starting with a massive disparity in STR due to the above need, but a Dual weapon skill only strikes once, it's going to feel very flat with your relatively low 200 STR compared to a similar 2H weapon skill that is calculating from your 320 STR. And while it's reasonable (and even cool) to make one type of weapon specialize more in skills and one type specialize more in basic attacks, you can't make the disparity so large that one type never ever wants to use basic attacks or never ever wants to use skills.

5% Armor Pen (reducing 5% of a small defense number) feels like it would do a lot less than 5% Crit (double or triple total damage), and Daggers give you not only 5% Crit but also higher TCR, so there's another balance concern.

Lots to think about!

You also mention Range, but you never define what Range is or does in your game (and it's not something that comes in RPG Maker by default). Are you building some kind of Tactics game where characters move on a grid and need to get into Range to attack? That's a super-cool feature that adds a ton of depth and outplay potential, but it also can cause further balance issues (can a melee character ever get to a ranged character if the ranged character keeps kiting and shooting?) and tends to slow down combat a lot (instead of just choosing an attack/skill, now you have to choose Move, choose a location, wait for the sprite to get there, and then choose an attack/skill!). Or if I'm wrong, what does Range do in your game?

Some other ideas for mechanics you could add to Maces or any other weapons in your game:
  • Area of Effect attack (if it's a tactics-style game)
  • Backstab: extra damage when attacking target from behind (if it's a tactics-style game)
  • Knockback: knocks target a tile or two backwards (if it's a tactics-style game)
  • Quick Attack: always attacks before other weapons types (if it's a turn-based game)
  • Negates Counterattack Chance
  • Dueling: take less damage from the target you strike for one turn
  • Berserk: deal more damage by attacking in consecutive turns
  • 10% to Stun for a turn
  • State Immunity (probably for Shields)
 

Frostorm

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So in regard to how I've handled skills as far as dual wielding goes, I've edited lines 1293-1299 in rpg_objects.js so that all physical attacks gain the +1 Attack Times bonus. (I added "|| this.isPhysical()")
Code:
Game_Action.prototype.numRepeats = function() {
    var repeats = this.item().repeats;
    if (this.isAttack() || this.isPhysical()) {
        repeats += this.subject().attackTimesAdd();
    }
    return Math.floor(repeats);
};
And you are correct in regards to the dmg disparity between 2H & DW (0.95 vs 1.6). One thing I did add to help alleviate this issue is giving all attacks/skills using a 2H weapon to have a 1.5x multiplier to its dmg. This is aside from the raw stats the weapon confers (currently my 2H weaps simply grant double the stats of a comparable 1H). So using your example of +50 STR x 2 = 100 STR (for DW), a equivalent tier 2H would grant +100 STR, but also does 1.5x dmg output (using if/then conditionals in the dmg formula). This brings 2H up to 1.425 vs 1.6 for DW. I am hoping this will lessen the gap you mentioned, but further play testing/balancing will reveal if this is sufficient or overkill. I didn't want to make the Hit % penalty when DW to be any more than -15% since that would prolly just piss players off w/ frequent misses. Thankfully, a high DEX stat will pretty much negate this penalty.

Also wanted to mention that my default Crit multiplier is 1.5x instead of MV's default 3x. This can be gradually increased by stacking STR however. Still, I think you are correct in regards to the value of Armor Pen vs Crit...I will have to do more play testing to fine tune the balance between these and other bonuses. I'm also using diminishing returns when it comes to Armor & Resist (DEF & MDF) which I hope will increase the value of Armor Penetration. Like so...(I added target.level to help flatten the curve a bit)
Code:
value *= (100 + target.level) / (100 + target.level + armor)
In regards to range, sorry I should have elaborated. Yes it is a tactical RPG, using Lecode's TBS.

I'm definitely a number cruncher or theorycrafting kind of guy, and lacking in the art/music/story department (all very important, I know!) lol

I also want to highlight this particular statement you made (it just really stuck w/ me for some reason). It should be something everyone at least considers/asks themselves:
The choice should be a matter of battle style, not a matter of "which is mathematically better".
Edit: I really like the ideas you came up with for Maces. I thought about it and will probably end up giving them the 1-tile knockback or perhaps delaying turn order. I fear a stun might be too OP.
 
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HumanNinjaToo

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I always liked how Skyrim handled weapon types between sword, axe, and mace.

I have always found it difficult to balance a variety of weapon types, so I frequently borrow weapon effects from D&D and try to then mold that into something more unique that fits my game.

In my mind, maces/hammers should do more damage against heavy armor; swords/blades should do more damage against light/medium armor types; and heavier bladed weapons (like axes) should have the ability to cause some kind of disable/stun effect. I've always strayed away from getting really in depth in terms of stat changes, and focused more on weakness/element traits associated with weapon types. I also am a big fan of using states to infer some effect from getting hit with a weapon type.
 

Frostorm

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I always liked how Skyrim handled weapon types between sword, axe, and mace.

I have always found it difficult to balance a variety of weapon types, so I frequently borrow weapon effects from D&D and try to then mold that into something more unique that fits my game.

In my mind, maces/hammers should do more damage against heavy armor; swords/blades should do more damage against light/medium armor types; and heavier bladed weapons (like axes) should have the ability to cause some kind of disable/stun effect. I've always strayed away from getting really in depth in terms of stat changes, and focused more on weakness/element traits associated with weapon types. I also am a big fan of using states to infer some effect from getting hit with a weapon type.
Ah yes, good 'ol D&D. I too have incorporated their Slashing/Piercing/Bludgeoning types as different "elements" for the various weapon types. However, I simply renamed them Slash/Pierce/Blunt. Some magical spells in my game also deal physical damage. For example, an Earth spell like Boulder would be Blunt element, but Stalagmite would be Pierce element. I only have 3 "magical" elements: Fire/Frost/Shock. I am also considering adding Holy & Shadow but haven't decided yet...

Edit: Might rename Blunt to Crush, but eh that's a trivial matter.

Edit2: I wanted to mention the "elements" for the various weapon types:
Claws - Slash
Swords - Slash
Maces - Blunt
Staffs - Blunt
Daggers - Pierce
Axes - Slash & Blunt
Polearms - Slash & Pierce
Flails? *tentative* - Blunt & Pierce

And yes, I do use multi-element in my game (e.g. "Ice Lance" deals Frost & Pierce dmg)
 
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Wavelength

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@staf00 It sounds like you're mostly on the right track, but since you're the theorycrafting type, I don't mind being digging into the weeds in my analysis because it may serve as some good food for thought:

And you are correct in regards to the dmg disparity between 2H & DW (0.95 vs 1.6). One thing I did add to help alleviate this issue is giving all attacks/skills using a 2H weapon to have a 1.5x multiplier to its dmg. This is aside from the raw stats the weapon confers (currently my 2H weaps simply grant double the stats of a comparable 1H). So using your example of +50 STR x 2 = 100 STR (for DW), a equivalent tier 2H would grant +100 STR, but also does 1.5x dmg output (using if/then conditionals in the dmg formula). This brings 2H up to 1.425 vs 1.6 for DW. I am hoping this will lessen the gap you mentioned, but further play testing/balancing will reveal if this is sufficient or overkill. I didn't want to make the Hit % penalty when DW to be any more than -15% since that would prolly just piss players off w/ frequent misses. Thankfully, a high DEX stat will pretty much negate this penalty.
1.425 vs. 1.6 is definitely much closer to what we want. I would say you could probably make the 2H skills slightly better (or give the 2H weapons slightly better stats than the two DW weapons' stats combined), and you'll be at a place where the two can be well-balanced against each other. It will even allow for a bit of stylistic choice, as the DW weapons (offering 1.6 attacks as opposed to "1.425" attacks) will be optimal for regular attacks, whereas 2H weapons will be better for skills, assuming the DW skills don't also strike twice as a rule. I suppose if they do all strike twice, you'd need to make up the difference in the 2H weapons' stats.

Also wanted to mention that my default Crit multiplier is 1.5x instead of MV's default 3x. This can be gradually increased by stacking STR however.
Sounds good, but now you have to be careful to balance Daggers vs. Claws: at 1.50x Crit Multiplier, you are increasing average output by 2.5% by adding 5% extra crit chance, and you are doing so in an unpredictable (less useful) way than a straight 2.5% damage buff, whereas with 5% Hit Rate, you are not only getting an average of +5% damage, but you are increasing predictability for the player and ensuring that any other effects of the attack (like added states) also connect. Now, as STR grows and the Crit multiplier grows with it, this will become more balanced and also perhaps very fun. Just make sure that the Crit multiplier can reasonably go beyond 2.00x, because that's where the damage average is exactly balanced between the two types of light weapons. If it's too much to bring it beyond 2.00x at high STR, then offer something like +8% Crit Chance.
  • The one main exception to this advice is if most enemies can have an ally that can heal them when they're at low HP, and healing is pretty powerful and reliable. In such a case, Crits become really valuable despite their low "average" increase, because it can be the difference between getting or missing out on a kill before an enemy is healed.
Still, I think you are correct in regards to the value of Armor Pen vs Crit...I will have to do more play testing to fine tune the balance between these and other bonuses. I'm also using diminishing returns when it comes to Armor & Resist (DEF & MDF) which I hope will increase the value of Armor Penetration. Like so...(I added target.level to help flatten the curve a bit)
Code:
value *= (100 + target.level) / (100 + target.level + armor)
Give me an example if I'm wrong, but the way I understand Armor Penetration, such a formula would actually decrease its value below the nominal number (in the sense that 5% Armor Pen will always mean a damage increase of less than 5%)... and therefore the Armor Pen bonuses are very weak compared to the rest.

Using arbitrary numbers (and your own formula) as examples: A Level 10 target attacks a Level 10 target that has 50 armor. Normally it will do 110 / 160 = 69% of the base skill damage. With 5% Armor Pen, Armor should be reduced to 47.5 and therefore it will do 110 / 157.5 = 70% of the base skill damage: a very tiny increase.

I also want to highlight this particular statement you made (it just really stuck w/ me for some reason). It should be something everyone at least considers/asks themselves:
The choice should be a matter of battle style, not a matter of "which is mathematically better".
Thanks!! I agree that this is a really important takeaway for people. The more "incomparable" that two different advantages are, the better the gameplay becomes.
 

zelanius

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Ah yes, good 'ol D&D. I too have incorporated their Slashing/Piercing/Bludgeoning types as different "elements" for the various weapon types. However, I simply renamed them Slash/Pierce/Blunt. Some magical spells in my game also deal physical damage. For example, an Earth spell like Boulder would be Blunt element, but Stalagmite would be Pierce element. I only have 3 "magical" elements: Fire/Frost/Shock. I am also considering adding Holy & Shadow but haven't decided yet...

Edit: Might rename Blunt to Crush, but eh that's a trivial matter.

Edit2: I wanted to mention the "elements" for the various weapon types:
Claws - Slash
Swords - Slash
Maces - Blunt
Staffs - Blunt
Daggers - Pierce
Axes - Slash & Blunt
Polearms - Slash & Pierce
Flails? *tentative* - Blunt & Pierce

And yes, I do use multi-element in my game (e.g. "Ice Lance" deals Frost & Pierce dmg)
I am doing something similar as well with a game I am working on. Bows, Crossbows and Guns deal Pierce damage, while Slings deal Crush damage, and I use Crush (partly from AD&D 2 where they call it Crush instead of Bludgeon).

However, I have 12 elements on top of physical damage, namely Earth, Fire, Air and Water, plus 2 elements from Chinese Wuxin, namely Metal and Wood, and I incorporate Lightning (which I name Elec as in Electricity), Sonic (basically sound waves and vibrations) and Ice. The last 3 is Light, Shade (basically Darkness and Shadow), and Holy (or "Divine" which I consider different from Light).

I was thinking of adding Bomb damage to the physical part, but then I realized explosion is nothing by a combination of the 3 physical damage or one of the other elements (like shrapnel from grenades causing Pierce and Slash, while the concussive force might be Crush or Sonic).

I think Mace could be something similar to Axe, except they are 1H (so they might have less attack) but they deal Crush instead of Pierce damage. You can also make different armour more resistant to certain types of physical attacks (example splints and scales are better against large area damage from Hammers, but weak to precise cuts and slashes in between them from Daggers, while Plates provide good all around resistance, but slightly less against Crush damage).

Using Shields as weapon can also add an element of defense through blocks. Ramza did a plugin for this for RMMV which is distributed over at itch.io, which I think you might be interested to look into.
 

Frostorm

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Give me an example if I'm wrong, but the way I understand Armor Penetration, such a formula would actually decrease its value below the nominal number (in the sense that 5% Armor Pen will always mean a damage increase of less than 5%)... and therefore the Armor Pen bonuses are very weak compared to the rest.

Using arbitrary numbers (and your own formula) as examples: A Level 10 target attacks a Level 10 target that has 50 armor. Normally it will do 110 / 160 = 69% of the base skill damage. With 5% Armor Pen, Armor should be reduced to 47.5 and therefore it will do 110 / 157.5 = 70% of the base skill damage: a very tiny increase.
You are correct in that the 5% Armor Penetration feels underpowered, at least by itself. I will definitely have to up the amount granted by these weapons (prolly going to try doubling it for now). But since armor calculations are done w/ diminishing returns (e.g. Yanfly's default: value *= 100 / (100 + armor)), the value of Armor Pen should increase the more you stack, just as Armor/Resist becomes less effective per point as you stack more of it.

Let's do some math!

To give you some context of the numbers used in my game, a Lv10 character would typically have 10-30 Armor. A Lv50 (level cap in my game) would have anywhere from 50 (bare minimum) to 100 (average) to 200 (absolutely min-maxed, but sacrificing all other stats). Let's use a Lv10 character w/ 20 Armor and +10% Armor Pen from weapons (since they will most likely be DW or 2H) for the following example...

If an attack normally deals 100 damage, 20 Armor on a Lv10 would be:
(100 + 10) / (100 + 10 + 20) ≈ 84.6% or 85 damage after rounding

+10% Armor Pen would result in the following:
(100 + 10) / (100 + 10 + (20 * 0.9)) = 110 / 128 ≈ 85.9% or 86 damage

So far this is very underwhelming like you said, but the weapon's Armor Pen is meant to be calculated w/ other sources of Armor Pen in mind, typically from skills/passives/etc...

For example let's compare w/ & w/o a weapon's Armor Pen bonus using an early game skill called "Heavy Strike" which deals Str x 3 dmg w/ 50% Armor Pen:
(100 + 10) / (100 + 10 + (20 * 0.5)) = 110 / 120 ≈ 91.67% or 92 damage
(100 + 10) / (100 + 10 + (20 * 0.4)) = 110 / 118 ≈ 93.22% or 93 damage

Well, that settles it! You're absolutely right in that Armor Pen in its current state is severely underpowered. However, upon doing the math, I realized an easy solution to this dilemma. I can simply change Armor Penetration from a % to a FLAT value! So instead of +5%/10% Armor Pen, the weapons would grant +5/+10 Armor Pen, directly decreasing the target's Armor by that value. This would significantly increase the value and effectiveness of Armor Penetration in general, and of course I would apply this to skills that have ArP bonuses as well. Of course I would have to make the flat Armor Pen bonuses either scale w/ level or have higher level/tier weapons grant more Armor Pen since +5/+10 won't do much at max level.

Anyways, I must thank you for encouraging me to look into this matter w/ more scrutiny.

Side note: To answer your question regarding Crit Multipliers, base Crit Mult is 1.5x, but can reach up to 3.5x (+200 STR) if the player min-maxed STR (or even 4x w/ temporary buffs in play). A more balanced Lv50 melee character would have ~100 STR resulting in a Crit Multiplier of 2.5x (formula is STR/1000). Also, there are several skills/passives w/ Critical Strike procs in my game, which would further increase the value of +Crit chance. How much more valuable is a difficult question to answer however, but I'm hoping it is enuf to bring it at least on par w/ +Hit chance.
 
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Ninjakillzu

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@staf00 How did you add the hit chance reduction when dual wielding?
 

Frostorm

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@staf00 How did you add the hit chance reduction when dual wielding?
Give your character (or class) a passive state (you'll need Yanfly's YEP_AutoPassiveStates) like so:
<Passive State: #>

Create a state w/ the number u put in the passive state notetag w/ the following:
Code:
<Custom Passive Condition>
if (user.equips()[0] && user.equips()[1] {
  condition = true;
} else {
  condition = false;
}
</Custom Passive Condition>
And don't forget to give that state the -15% Hit Rate trait.
 

Willibab

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Very similar to what ive done, and i felt so smrt about the +0.5 attack time x2 dual wielding thing xD Im only on the planning stage tho, not sure what ill actually use yet.

My 2h weapons are basically just copies of their 1h versions but added +60% Might (atk) and +40% extra effects (crit,dodge,armor pen etc) Prolly not balanced but still working on the art for them atm :p

I dont always add bonuses based on type but rather the individual weapons based on the story behind them too. Set bonuses are also fun to play with.

Like if you have two regular swords, Lets say....Cursed Blade with a description of ''you feel the blade calling out to its twin'' ...Maybe a famous paladin used to dual wield powerful holy relics but was defeated and his weapons separated and the weapons lost their will (or something) and if you reunite them they become whole...blabla.. So if you dual wield them they might lose atk but gain holy attack element and bonus vs undead (just as an example) Can even change their look and add a holy looking attack animation....
I have a hard time keeping things simple it seems...
 

Ninjakillzu

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@staf00 Unfortunately, I have VX Ace, so that wouldn't work for me. It looks like the version of the script for Ace doesn't have the custom passive conditions part.
 

Frostorm

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Very similar to what ive done, and i felt so smrt about the +0.5 attack time x2 dual wielding thing xD Im only on the planning stage tho, not sure what ill actually use yet.
Haha yea, I felt so good when I had that eureka moment, I think I actually jumped up in joy lol. This was like 3 years ago tho...

I also edited rpg_objects.js as shown in my earlier post so that all physical skills would benefit from the extra attack.

@staf00 Unfortunately, I have VX Ace, so that wouldn't work for me. It looks like the version of the script for Ace doesn't have the custom passive conditions part.
Damn, sorry I didn't realize you were using VX Ace. Unfortunately I have next to no experience w/ that.
 

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