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The Future: Combat

Combat System:  Perhaps you can be set to engage creatures, and you engage them if they attack you... you should still be able to perform specific actions and attacking should always be quick and easy if you want it to be. The cease action dialog can be replaced with engagement. Two combatants might occupy the same area much more often, and an attacker might charge through the defender's area to another area, making an attack at the same time. Pole arms would then be able to keep creatures at bay in adjacent areas, etc. Very large creatures like dragons would be able to do this as well. I haven't decided if/how large creatures can actually occupy more than one square (squares still underlie the map structure). The combat system changes will lead to more satisfying group battles (instead of the standard line forming) and to a richer combat interface.

Simultaneous Strikes:  It can happen.

Blood splatters:  Things can get messy. This isn't just the ground spillage that's in now, but projectile splatters that can get all over everything. Maybe there can be some kind of castes (in ants, say) where the blood of two castes is different and explodes on mixing. Many of the hymenopterans have suicide down cold, anyway.

Wrestling:  Exactly that. Grab opponents, grab enemy items, strangling, locks, chokes, takedowns, throws, straddling/dominant positions, gouges, bites, head butts...

Grab-tears:  Big animal grabs onto something, shakes, and yanks it off.

Vulnerability Attacks:  Straddle an unconscious or otherwise subdued victim and do what you like. The corpse processing section might be relevant here for you sickos, and if you're desperate you may very well end up gouging out someone's throat with a broken femur.

Increase Damage to Prone/Braced Targets:  When they're braced up against something or lying on the ground, they don't move with the force. This will realize the usefulness of a chopping block as well.

Shields:  Some people might appreciate this stuff. There is also the matter of how much an item you are holding can be treated like a shield. Shields should be incorporated into the item wielding skill system, and shield use might be a different skill from guarding/parrying.

Cover:  Archers, etc. should be able to use boulders etc., for cover while harassing opponents.

Facing and Direction Bias:  As you focus more and more on certain opponents or activities involving particular items, your focus will be narrowed, and you can be more easily surprised - unless you have the appropriate skill and attributes.

Situational Awareness:  This counteracts facing and direction bias and allows you to make decisions about terrain, etc. I'm not quite sure how to implement some of the benefits for the player, although other creatures will have them.

More critical strikes:  Minor arteries, temporary function loss, knock-overs, pain centers, weapon twisting (with stuck ins)...

Multiple moves:  These include jumping back while striking or using both arms at once. It is particularly relevant for creatures with four arms, etc. It might also be good to assume a different stance and strike at the same time (slide down on knees and hack through horses legs, etc.). The mechanisms for this are completely coded - I'm just missing the interface.

Manipulating others, corpses:  This is related to wrestling. You should be able to grab an opponent as a shield for incoming projectiles. You could also do this with a corpse. There are some other possibilities here as well.

Inventory possessions restrict movements:  Mobility should be restricted by large or unwieldy items.

Styles and Item Components:  Styles that incorporate composite items should have specific references to the component used in techniques, etc.

Fumbles and Balance:  Unskilled creatures should sometimes overextend, trip, fall, slip, stumble, and be knocked off balance. They can also lose grip of their weapons and become entangled with opponents. In general, it will be good to slow combat flow somewhat.

Strength Contests:  If parrying results in a lock of weapons, there might be a strength contest to see if someone gets knocked off balance or loses his or her weapon.

Fix the Stuck-In mess:  Once weapons get stuck in people, there are lots of problems. What happens if you fall over and someone is still holding on to the sword that's in you? What if you die (and your body changes into an item)? Then there's fighting over the stuck weapon... A creature should be able to impale another creature on a pike and raise it into the air.

Damage, Armor, and Materials:  These interact a lot. For instance, if someone hits an armored opponent with a slashing weapon, the opponent may be seriously injured but by bludgeoning damage instead.

Attack speed:  Right now, attack speed is the same for everybody, basically. It should depend on many things: weight, unwieldiness, skill, attributes, etc. The energy used in an attack should depend on these factors as well.

Reach:  The length of an item doesn't have any effect right now. That will change (probably when pole arms are added). There may be some kind of skill associated with this like distance control (both of the weapon to the opponent and the distance from the player to the opponent).

Unwieldiness:  Oddly shaped, cumbersome, and lengthy items should be harder to use.

Multiple-handed weapons:  Some weapons require multiple grasps to use effectively, depending on your size, etc.

Attack Parameters:  Quick strike, powerful strike, quick touch, stealthy touch - sometimes a touch will be enough, if the touching object/part is magical or poisoned.

Contents Under Pressure:  When muscle tissue in an organ-containing part is damaged, the organs might pop out. Also, if a creature is bifurcated, etc., it may end up dragging organs behind it. These organs can get dirty and infected. Even if they don't pop out, organs can become exposed and get dirty and infected.

Additional Way/Technique Modifiers:  Changing damage types is in, but there can be others: most spell effects, delayed damage, target organs from afar, general relaxation of distance restrictions, etc.

Guarding and Waiting:  There should be an option to wait and guard against specific opponents. In general, waiting needs to be improved.

Shock:  Right now, shock comes about from blood loss. Massive trauma might also cause a creature to go into shock.

Various and Sundry Combat Scenarios that Have Been Mentioned:  Ogre breaks your arm -> compound fracture -> stabs your neck with the jagged bone while it is still in your body, strangling w/ intestines (the old standby), breaking fingers one by one, eating part of the enemy's body while fighting, swallowing an enemy whole, pulling hair (effectiveness depends on length), smashing two heads together, intentionally missing to scare things, charging -> bull/unicorn misses -> stuck in wall, grab tail -> throw big monster into city/buildings, behead horned creature -> head flies -> kills beheader, crush body part w/ hand, attack w/ big weapon -> miss -> weapon stuck in ground, sever -> part falls on small opponent, die -> body falls on (small) opponent.

You Can Bite Your Own Ear:  That's strange. When I update the attack interface, I'll try to remedy this problem.

Projectile Severs:  At time, body parts should fly off long distances when they are separated from the body.

Body Positions for Fighting Stances:  The position of the body is quite important while fighting, and some effort should be made to keep track of it. This is definitely true for wrestling.

Attacks of Opportunity:  Sometimes an action by the opponent gives rise to an opening. These should be exploitable.

Disarming:  Disarming and the other skills already in the game need to be implemented.

Damage to Attacker:  An attacker's item is damaged during the attack -- the same should be true for unarmed attacks, depending on the relative durability of the materials striking each other.

Multiple Damage Types for One Weapon:  Even with a simple blade, one can slash and thrust. The more exotic pole arms are capable of various types of damage.

Hitting Multiple Body Parts:  Right now, for convenience, only one major body part can be hit in a given attack. This will definitely be changed (especially in combats where the attacker is much larger than the defender).

Kicking vs. Stomping:  The foot can be used to attack in various ways.

Parry Preferences:  There should be certain parry settings much like the aiming preferences.