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

Brian Hook bwh at wksoftware.com
Wed Apr 4 23:26:34 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

At 12:54 PM 4/4/01 -0500, Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com wrote:

My initial thought is that many of your ideas can be categorized under
"Make ranged combat a second class citizen" (which is fine if you want
to emphasize melee combat over ranged combat, but a goal for me is to
make the two separate but equal).

> my response to long range verses short range combat would be as
> follows.

>   1. make it so that if the monster HAS no effect on the player that
>   the monster gives NO loot and NO experience.

This is an extreme form of nerfing.  Imagine the scene:

  "Dariad spotted the wild boar 40 paces away.  Carefully aiming his
  recurve, he looses an arrow.  A feathered blossom erupts behind the
  boar's shoulder.  A Critical Hit!  The boar staggers and turns, then
  spots his foe.  Coughing blood, it charges at Dariad.  Quickly the
  ranger nocks another arrow and fires, sending a shaft through the
  wild pig's ribs.  It stumbles on, takes several more clumsy steps,
  then falls dead at Dariad's feet."

  Damage inflicted to Dariad: 0
  Experience awarded: 0
  Boar meat awarded: none

  Dariad says, "Doh!"

  Dariad remembers next time to let the boar inflict trivial damage
  before giving the coup de grace.

>   2. make it so that the monsters get a greater
>   dodge/shield/protection against a ranged attack with each
>   successful hit.. maxing out at something like 80 resistance.

This may be a bit extreme, however I think a target that is charging
and aware of the missile using enemy should get a sizable defensive
bonus.  It balances things AND makes sense.

>   3. make it so ranged attacks do less damage.

Ugh.  That's a fairly arbitrary nerf.

> the players have 2 thoughts when killing.. the time it takes for
> them to kill stuff and how much damage they take. they are going to
> try very hard to take as little damage as they can so they can
> immediatly kill something else right after. if it takes a long time
> for them to kill stuff with just ranged then they will group or then
> will learn melee.

First, I would say that's a fairly huge generalization.  Second, there
is enough evidence to the contrary -- druids soloing guards in EQ.

>   4. make ranged weapons not work within 20 to 30 feet. so when a
>   monster gets close they have to switch.

This also feels rather arbitrary.  Instead, how about making the
archer at a huge melee disadvantage as long as a bow is equipped, and
make the weapon switch time fairly lengthy.

>   5. make wielding a ranged weapon or magic wand give BIG
>   pentalities to skills such as dodge and defenses.. since they are
>   focused on aiming...

That makes sense.

>   6. give monsters the ability to reflect ranged attacks back if the
>   monster cant get to the attacker. for example the monster is now
>   at 25% health and it hasnt done any damage to the player. the
>   monster huddles down and concentrates its powers... all ranged
>   attacks will reflect back to the shooter... and the first melee
>   attack on the monster will reflect and deal 50percent damage to
>   the player....

Egads, that's horrifyingly kludgy.

Brian Hook

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