[MUD-Dev] Balancing Melee vs Ranged Combat in Games Which Model Space

shren shren at io.com
Tue Apr 3 16:17:29 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


On Tue, 3 Apr 2001 Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com wrote:

> Its a simple question really. Does anyone think it is possible to
> balance melee range combat with ranged combat/magic in games where
> spacial issues have impact?
 
> All the games keep trying to do it, but I'm beginning to wonder if
> its even possible. What it seems to boil down to is :
 
> 	How do you balance characters being able to cause damage to a
> monster/player when it isn't able to retaliate.
 	
> The traditional approach seems to be to make ranged/magic combat
> more effective than melee, but to balance it by making the users
> frail and constrained by ammo/mana/etc. I'm not sure this is a good
> approach as the outcome tends to be too deterministic. Either the
> battle is too easy for the ranged/magic combatant, or its too hard
> (mobs designed to challenge melee range classes tend to tear through
> ranged combatants).

I find it pretty rare to find a player that doesn't have some form of
ranged ability (at least in UO and relatives).  The monsters should
probably be the same - most monsters should have some melee and some
ranged.  Even the wee stereotypical kobold should be able to fling
rocks.

> Possible balancing tools (that have occured to me <G>):
 
>   - Make ranged combat do the same dmg as melee combat. Make ranged
>   combateers sufficiently robust to take some hits and try to make
>   is so that ranged combat involves taking some dmg (how?).

On one game I play, archery does more damage than melee, but is slower
and doesn't work at all within certain ranges.  This makes archery a
poor bet alone but very powerful as a member of a group.

My personal thought on the matter (for a design document for a game
that I work on every now and then but will probably never code) is to
have all attacks of all sorts require to-hits, and heavily penalize
attacks outside of thier proper range.  Thus, archery wouldn't work at
all, almost, up close.

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