Combat - What if it were more like a card game?

[li]So, I know combat’s received a lot of attention since the patch and I’ve been wondering: What if it were more like a card game?

At present I try to avoid combat as much as possible, mostly because the combat system just takes too long. That being said, I don’t think the framework is bad at all. I like how the moves work on warm-up as opposed to cool-down but watching the timer count down over and over gets tiresome.

What if instead of working on a timer, the moves worked off a kind of reverse-resource?

Say you play a move that takes 7 seconds, while the enemy plays one that takes 9. Rather than running down those 7 seconds before the player move resolves, the player’s card would resolve immediately, leaving 2 points on the enemy’s card. If the player were then to play another 7 second move, the enemy’s move would resolve first, leaving 5 seconds left on the move the player just chose.

Any thoughts?

&quotGather 'round bully-boys, and I’ll zing you a zong,
a zong from the sunless zea.
I’ll zing for the future, and hope it be long,
With a piece of advice, from me&quot

`Thomas Dredge

Dear Mr. Dredge,

Your suggestion sounds interesting to me. This would make combat somewhat faster, but honestly I do not know if this style wouldn´t interfere with the realtime concept of combat as it is now.
If I was a developer, I´d simply let the timer run faster and make combat a little bit more unforgiving. A high level of terror should result in a high chance of failure - zailors shaken by terror do not necessarily act reasonable and will make mistakes. They´d probably miss a target once in a while. Therefore I´d like to see some kind of terror-malus.
The Number of Zailors on board should also have an impact on the outcome.
The first decision - fight or run - should be the most important one. Any fight should be a real risk and running the better option in most cases. This would give a higher priority to investing in better engines and supplies would gain some more attention, because harvesting bats and crabs would become more dangerous.

Just my thoughts.

Peter Leon

Does the real time combat actually add anything though at this point? 'cause it really mostly seems to detract from the game to me at this point. (obviously it could be changed so it didn’t, though.)

Captain Leon,

I have a similar concern regarding whether my idea clashes with London’s highly stylistic atmosphere. I was just trying to contrast the current system with a tried and true formula for roguelike combat like the one used in Nethack. I think the current system just needs to be a bit snappier, while still being true to the intricacies of combat that the distance and light mechanics add. I like your idea of speeding up the timers, it definitely addresses my main problem with combat.
Furthermore, I enjoy your ideas on terror and crew having greater influence. As it stands, the crew total is nothing more than a health bar for the player and it does seem like there are some missed opportunities for benefits stemming from a full crew, and penalties for operating with a skeleton crew. I wonder if making the crew respond less accurately when terror is high would add anything other than frustration though. After all, if my terror is hovering around 75, I’m obviously not having the best voyage. Having the crew respond to this negatively strikes me as a “lose more” approach when one is already doing poorly.


Thomas Dredge

There are consequences and benefits to running with a full and a skeleton crew. High Fear also affects combat, in that it makes the beasties stronger and gives them new attacks.

I hadn’t realized! Thanks for the info, Zee. I’ve never noticed what they are though, what happens when the crew fluctuates?

If you’re under 50% crew you’re limited to half speed (which means you can’t outrun monsters and probably end up gaining a lot more terror than you should), and under 25% crew your terror gain is doubled. Doesn’t actually effect combat itself as far as I know (beyond having a lower crew count so stuff that kills crew can kill you faster) but the inability to effectively run away from fights can be a serious problem.

Mostly at the moment high terror gives zee beasts &quotSmell Fear&quot as an alternative version of seek that takes one less second, which doesn’t really do a lot. (There might be others but that’s all I’m aware of; presumably more could be done there)

My dear fellow Captains,

obviously most of the aspects I adressed in my former post are already implemented in one or the other way. I´ve played for fifty-something hours by now, but apart from the lacking abililty to run on full speed when your crew-count is low, I didn´t realize anything of it. Maybe these effects should be a little bit more obvious.
The good thing is: Everything I wanted is already there. The better thing is: The combat-system doesn´t need a complete rework, but just a little tuning here and there to increase tension. If each type of enemy would use a larger variety of tactical behaviour, depending on the players stats, this would be a desireable improvement. Also random events like a critical strike every now and then could add to the experience.
Can´t wait to see steel-Update…

Yours sincerely
Peter Leon

This card game needs more trap cards.