New idea: Hardness

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JW
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New idea: Hardness

Post by JW »

Hardness is an idea that comes straight from my experience with DnD. A unit can take so much damage before it is affected permanantly. It can be thought of as automatic regeneration or better yet, a threshhold which must be broken for damage to be non-negligible.

There are several reasons this idea has merit in Wesnoth:
:arrow: Impact vs. Crush damage found here.
Units with shields and armor should be able to take blows without punishment if insubstantial. Currently how this is dealt with is through defense (actually dodge/miss chance) and resistancies. Resistancies are good in that they reduce the amount of damage taken by a blow, but the difference between Crush and Impact is that Crush damage was thought of as having such great force that normal armor could not stop the clows if they landed.

Because of this either:
1) Crush and Impact would need to be split into 2 different damage types, or
2) Hardness could be implemented in the existing system so that lower damage, high repetition strikes (representing weaker hits, e.g. Bandit) would deal less damage than high damage, low repetition strikes (e.g. troll clubs).

You may be wondering how implementing Hardness would work exactly. Well this is what my idea is in this regard:

:!: An armored unit like a Heavy Infantryman (HI) would have both a resistance to and a hardness to Impact damage. Let's say, for example, his resistance drops to 20% and he now has a Hardness of 2. A Bandit that attacks him with a club (5-4 Impact) would normally deal 4-4 damage at dawn/dusk after the 20% removal. Now, with Hardness, the HI ignores the first 2 points of damage. The damage taken is then 2-4, totalling 8 damage from a potential 20 (5-4), or 40% of the total.

:!: Now a Troll comes along with his 14-2 club and beats on him. 20% resist make the damage 11-2, and the hardness makes the damage 9-2 for a total of 18 out of 28 possible damage, or 64% of the total damage. As you can see, heavier hits are now far more effective in this situation, resembling the difference between Impact and Crush.

:!: An alternative way to calculate would be to remove the hardness first, then calculate resistancies - probably a better way to do it.
Thug: 5-4 -> 3-4 -> 2-4 = 8/20 = 40%
Troll: 14-2 -> 12-2 -> 10-2 = 20/28 = 71%

As you can see this favors heavier hitters more, which may be a good thing - it would also decrease the likelihood of hits rounded to 1 from 0.

:arrow: Units such as skeletons could have hardness with respect to damages such as cold

Although not a major point of concern, it does seem viable that skeletons would shake off some cold damage as a pile of bones doesn't have living tissue. I imagine that if a threshhold was reached, however, bones would become brittle and break easily - therefore a hardness without a resistance may be appropriate. A Hardness such as 4 or 5 would closely mimic the current resistancies versus Dark Adepts, but higher damage cold users would deal increasingly more damage comparatively.

This is just a thought that is not wrapped up in the original reasoning for the concept, although it is a possibility that could arise if deemed appropriate. Other such occurences may appear, like Drakes to fire, etc. It could become as widely used or as narrowly focused as is deemed fit.

:!: If implemented I imagine Hardness being defined by movetype with the standard assumption being 0. Hardness would not need to be displayed in character descriptions except in non-zero instances.

Anyway, what I am wondering is what you guys think of such a concept and if you think its implementation would benefit gameplay. If so, would it or would it not complicate gameplay too much?

Thank you for your opinions.
Last edited by JW on January 21st, 2006, 2:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

Becephalus
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Post by Becephalus »

As far as I know DnD was a very late adopter of the hardness metric, not sure who came up with it, but I know when we were kids that was one of our biggest complaints about the DnD system. Armor was just poorly portrayed. I know Fallout 1 had hardness, although I am sure it was aroudn before then.
There are three roads to ruin: by gambling, which is the quickest; through women, which is the most pleasurable; and through taking the advice of experts, which is the most certain. -de Gaulle

ozymandias
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Post by ozymandias »

I cut my RPG teeth on a german Pen&Paper game called DSA that represented armor purely with hardness, so the basic D&D AC always struck me as a bit weird.

However, mixing the current resistancy system with hardness becomes too complicated, IMHO, especially since it's not really intuitive which of the two gets applied first.

I'd rather take either one system or the other.

Hardness would have the positive effect of making the different numbers of attacks more meaningful. However, negative resistancies would pose a problem then...

deserter
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Post by deserter »

So we have two alternative ways:
JW wrote: 1) Crush and Impact would need to be split into 2 different damage types.
2) Hardness could be implemented in the existing system so that lower damage, high repetition strikes (representing weaker hits, e.g. Bandit) would deal less damage than high damage, low repetition strikes (e.g. troll clubs).
1 would just add one more resistance and attack type.
2 would not add those but a whole new thing to keep track of. You would have to check the hardness of the units, not only attack type and resistance.
For this reason I see 1 as a more preferable solution.

If we were to implement hardness however, I think that syntax could be following:

Code: Select all

Resistances:
Blade    0+20%
Fire       3+20%
Cold      1+0%
Pierce    0-30%
etc...
Something like that.
Resistances would then be x+/-aa% for everyone and for every resistance. We wouldn't have to deal with the term hardess anyway. :)
Resistances would just be in a different form than now.

Still I see the splitting as a more simple way.

elanthis
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Post by elanthis »

As far as I know DnD was a very late adopter of the hardness metric, not sure who came up with it, but I know when we were kids that was one of our biggest complaints about the DnD system. Armor was just poorly portrayed.
D&D had one of the best armor portrayals around.

Armor does not just reduce damage. It outright stops the attack. While some people think AC means that armor makes it harder for your person to be hit (which is wrong), what AC really means is that it's harder for your flesh to be hit. And that's all that really counts. (D&D 3rd edition adds the concept of touch attacks specifically for the cases when you need to differentiate between an attack that hits your person or an attack that hits your flesh.)

There are weapons designed for going through armor, but those don't make any sense in a "hardness" context either. The armor didn't reduce damage, it just failed to stop it. You might say the armor helped the blow glance off a bit, but that's why D&D had damage dice instead of fixed damage; it emulates the differences between glancing and absorbed hits and solid hits. No extra rules necessary.

I really wish people who've never worn real armor or fought with a real sword would quit babbling on about what's more realistic like they had a clue.

Darth Fool
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Post by Darth Fool »

elanthis wrote: I really wish people who've never worn real armor or fought with a real sword would quit babbling on about what's more realistic like they had a clue.
By "fought" I presume you mean in a real honest to god fight to the death where limbs get severed and the loser isn't walking home, not some simulation like SCA or fencing which are decidedly unrealistic. I mean, come on now, how realistic is any battle where all the participants can go out and have a beer afterwards?

My point, there are many ways to get a clue. For some people the only way to get a clue is to be bonked on the head with a heavy object. Others prefer to get clues by watching someone else get bonked on the head. Some people prefer to get their clues completely independent of any bonking. Each method of getting a clue has its merits and its down sides. If you wish to share what clues you have learned from getting your head bonked a few times, please do, but please don't denigrate those who choose to use their head for more than target practice.

Oh, and if your only means of arguing that something is correct is to point to an expert (even yourself) and say that the expert says so, therefore it must be true, let me just point out that aristotle (an expert on logic, I hear) a long time ago pointed out that such arguments aren't very logical.
;)

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Noyga
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Post by Noyga »

I think the hardness idea is really nice, but having both reistsances and hardness is probably too much.

There will still be issues with pierce damages (in a realistic point of view):
- The armor penetration is not as effective for every weapon : a dager would likely be more effective to penetrate the armor, because the way it is used it would more likely hit the weakest parts of the armor than an arrow or a spear. Here hardness would probably make the things worse
- The dimension of the weapon is also important. On klarge creature, a smaller weapon would be more likely unable to damage vital organs like heart, so it would make minor damage instead. Hardness may probably be usefull here :)
Well a system that take everything in account would be probably too much unKISS btw.

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JW
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Post by JW »

I've given up the idea in place of changed resistancies and hp. Thanks for the supportive thoughts though. ;)

I thought I was going crazy! :P

Check out Bece's thread about changing hp/resistancies. I'm more interested in helping with that project now.

Duke Guillermo
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Post by Duke Guillermo »

Why give up so quickly? :D

I like this idea, but if there are only positive hardness values or none than the crush style attack is always favored. So, I would only support the implementation of this ability if some units have negative hardness values as well. This way, some units take more damage from crush units such as a troll, while some units take more damage from units with more attacks such as a bandit. That way neither trolls nor bandits are better, just some are better in certain situations.
In summation, you're wrong.

Belwar
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Post by Belwar »

i too use the hardness ability in spells in dnd and it has saved my ass several times and i think that it would be a great addition to this game. you shouldnt give up a good idea too easly JW. sometimes you have to fight to get you point across and you can always compromise i think that you should keep going with your idea.
Bivrip!!

plese do not yell at me for any misspelled errors!

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JW
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Post by JW »

Hmm....I may ponder on this some more and come back with a second attack. :wink:

I dunno though. I don't know how the info would be put in place - where it would go. Would it be like resistancies? Would they be needed on every unit?

I would think that Hardness could be listed only on units that have it and not even have to be defined in most cases. What I envision would be you play normally but when you run into say a HI it would, when you cursor over him and see his resistancies :wink:, see his hardness as an addition to whatever resistance he has. In fact - I'm not sure about this - but might it be possible to code this into resistancies themselves? They wouldn't have to be 2 seperate ideas basically. Hardness would be a subset of resistance and far less common.

Hmm....

deserter
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Post by deserter »

JW wrote:In fact - I'm not sure about this - but might it be possible to code this into resistancies themselves? They wouldn't have to be 2 seperate ideas basically. Hardness would be a subset of resistance and far less common.

Hmm....
I think I was saying just about the same thing earlier in this thread...

Scys
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Post by Scys »

Perhaps this would be easier to add as a new ability. Hitpoints and resistances would need to be rebalanced, but only for units with the new ability. Something along these lines:

Ability: Armoured

This unit wears heavy armour or has an unusually tough hide. Armoured units are often slow but are heavily protected against physical attacks.

Damage received from each successful enemy attack is reduced by 2 points for a blade attack and 1 point for an impact attack.

A pierce attack has a 10% (melee) 30% (ranged) chance of being deflected entirely. Deflected attacks cause no damage.

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JW
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Post by JW »

deserter wrote:
JW wrote:In fact - I'm not sure about this - but might it be possible to code this into resistancies themselves? They wouldn't have to be 2 seperate ideas basically. Hardness would be a subset of resistance and far less common.

Hmm....
I think I was saying just about the same thing earlier in this thread...
That's probably why it came to me so naturally. I forgot you said it.

Scys: the deflection part makes sense, but isn't that what defense it for in the first place? I don't like adding an additional miss chance to the mix, but maybe someone else will. I think Armored is a good name, except it may sound funny on units with no armor but tough hide. I'm not sure. I would also like to have the damage reduction be variable according to the unit and not be a static 2 points. 2 points is actually relatively powerful as I don't envision too many scenarios where this ability would be without an actual resistance attatched to it as well.

In any case, thank you for the input.

Scys
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Post by Scys »

JW:

JW wrote:
isn't that what defense it for in the first place?
I don't think there is currently any way for the defender to modify the attacker's hit chance other than by standing in better terrain.

I was trying to find a way to cover Noyga's point about arrows, and to make armour useful against pierce attacks without reducing damage - since there seems to be agreement that if a pierce attack goes through the armour it does full damage.

Variable damage reduction is a bit more difficult to solve this way. Perhaps by reducing the bladed reduction to 1 point as well, and allowing more than one "layer" of armour - if you can have the same ability more than once?

I admit that this idea is less comprehensive than some of the solutions that have been posted so far in this thread. I was trying for something easy to implement and explain to the players.

Thanks for the reply, and good luck with the discussion.

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