WOO II An Exploration in Design - July 2012 - By Stoneghost: Dalaran


WOO II - Weapons

Damage is an attribute of the character rather than the weapon. For example, if a character has the ability to do physical damage, then the character's rating will be applied to any melee, projectile or thrown weapon that he or she picks up. The rating may be modified by the nature of the weapon ... for example, a melee weapon my do full damage per hit while a projectile weapon may do a fraction of that.

Similarly, if a character has the ability to do ranged, magical damage ... frost, for example ... then the player can do that damage even if he or she holds no weapon. However, a weapon with a magic multiplier will increase the damage done.

This is central to the releveling process. Weapons may not need to change at all when a character relevels.

For example, suppose that a character is level 5 and can do 10 physical damage per melee hit. Picking up a sword with a 1% physical damage multiplier (+1%) would boost the player's damage to 10.1 per hit. Now suppose that the character relevels to level 22 where she can do 25 physical damage per hit. The weapon's +1% still applies, giving her 24.2 per hit at that level. Of course it would be possible to scale the multipliers, too, though that would add complexity to the implementation.

Note: numbers used in example here are purely for illustration. They have not been checked for validity or even rationality.

Weapons Types and Classes

The basic notion is that a player should start with a "basic" training weapon and replace that with a "utility" weapon which he or she will use until and if a more effective "rare" or "unique" weapon is acquired. The choice of initial weapon should not matter as much as the choice of enhancements (gems, enchantments, runes, etc.) that the character acquires during play. Enhancements can change both the "look" and effectiveness of the weapon. Most characters should not need more than one or two weapons, and there should be no need for the game to maintain a large inventory of weapon items.

Weapon Types

The "type" of a weapon refers to the mechanical method by which it's damage is projected.

A weapon's type filters or modifies the damage attributes of the character. For example, a thrown weapon might do less damage per hit than a melee weapon and also hit less often. A cast spell might hit more often and do more damage than a spell transmitted by means of a melee hit.

A character who carries no weapon is presumed to do damage with his or her feet, fists or mental powers. Thus a weapon not only multiplies the damage done, but it also provides a channel through which the damage can flow.

Weapons may have multiple types. A sword, for example, may do melee damage, be thrown, and implement a cast.

Damage Types

Weapons begin with an initial damage multiplier linked to a type or types of damage. There are four basic types of damage:

In each case the damage multiplier of the weapon will apply to the damage abilities of the character wielding it. A weapon will often have more than one multiplier. For example, a staff might be rated

a dagger might be rated

Weapon Classes

"Class" refers to the extent of the damage multiplier stacking on a weapon.