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Weapons, how elaborate should they be added to the game?

Discussion in 'General' started by War.Freak, Jan 17, 2015.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Bullethead Apprentice Engineer

    I figure that as a mason/carpenter, the character will already have plenty of melee weapons: axes, hammers, bill hooks (originally invented to prune high branches and clear underbrush and still sold today for those purposes), shovels, adzes, etc. So that's covered. No need for any combat-only things like swords, spears, morning stars, etc.

    This leaves ranged weapons. Bows IMHO are out. Making a bow requires the specialized knowledge and skills of a bowyer, whereas your guy learned how to be a stone mason and a carpenter. Plus making a bow requires a lot of time to season the wood (often years). Then, of course, a lifetime of training to become a competent archer, again something your character didn't do because he studied other things. And making the arrows is a whole 'nother skill (that of the fletcher) which requires a lot of time, talent, and hunting/raising birds for feathers.

    HOWEVER, a staff sling would be ideal. First, it doesn't take a whole lot of practice to use effectively. Second, it's cheap and quick to make. Third, it's just a scaled-down trebuchet arm, and your guy knows all about making trebuchets. And finally, as a mason, your character is always turning big rocks into small rocks so has plenty of ammo.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2015
  2. Wintersend Senior Engineer

    You really seem to be over exaggerating the time it took to make a bow and train in how to use it.

    It can take that long to make a bow. But only really for very high end ones does it take years and years. If your looking for the fast and dirty solution, one that doesn't need to be very good but you need it quick. You can potentially make one in a few hours. It just won't hold up well to repeated use so you'll go through more. Also, not really too much specialized training probably considering you can find a lot of people today on various internet forums who make bows. Finally, it doesn't take much training to be able to start using one. Even to become very good it should only take like 10 years is what I think it took this guy.

    But I know nothing on slingstaves, their practicality, ease of use, or effectiveness.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2015
  3. Bullethead Apprentice Engineer

    <---- Observe my avatar. I do a lot of primitive technology so know something on this subject. There's a huge difference in making a quick-and-dirty bow for immediate survival needs and making a durable, accurate, reliable weapon you might need at any time and which might need to hold up for a prolonged battle. And don't forget, a war bow will almost certainly have to get through armor of some sort, so needs to be considerably more powerful than an expedient starvation-averting bow.

    For these reasons, making a war bow is a specialized skill. You have to find and harvest a very good specimen (as in knot-free, straight-grained) of the proper type of wood, at the correct season of the year. Then you have to season it correctly, and then use a variety of specialized tools in a knowledgeable way to shape the wood into the bow. Even when you have the seasoned wood ready to go, the shaping process can take many days doing a little bit, letting it sit for a while, doing a little more, etc. And this isn't even considering adding any sinew backing, recurving with steam, or (especially) adding horn.

    Arrows are nearly as complex to make. Again, the proper material (appropriate for the bow) must be found and harvested. Then properly shaped and straigtened, again using specialized tools and techniques, fletching harvested, prepared, and attached, point and nock made and attached, and the whole thing probably balanced and aerodynamically true. And don't forget, making the point will require the services of a blacksmith or even flintknapper. And all this is a task that never ends as long as there's a need for ammo.

    Using a bow in a video game is ridiculously simple compared to real life, and in now way indicates the amount of training required. In any case, it's a far cry from being able to hit a stationary target at 20m to being able to hit a moving, actively evading target at any range, much less hit a vital spot.

    In any case, back in the day, all these things were specialized crafts just the same as mason/carpenter (or cooper, wheelwright, blacksmith, tinsmith, tanner, cordwainer, etc.). Folks got into them as kids and served long apprenticeships. Your character doesn't know how to make bows and arrows (or even arrowheads) any more than a bowyer knows how to build a catapult or a stone staircase. So bows are not something a medieval engineer should be able to make or use himself.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2015
  4. Wintersend Senior Engineer

    I know bows in games are much easier to use in games than in real life. I myself have used a real bow as well, and I know that it is fairly difficult. I'm just saying that one need not be an expert archer to use a bow at all. Especially if they already have the upper body strength to manage one with a powerful draw.

    Another flaw in this conversation is that we are both assuming wooden bows are being used. The bows could be made out of bone or horn to form a composite bow which takes more time to make, but removes the need to let it dry out for several years. They are also smaller and can be used from mounted positions while having similar power to a longbow.

    Given what is necessary, we can also assume our character will have skills as a blacksmith since otherwise we would not be able to make anything out of metal which would lead to our characters going nowhere fast. Which actually also means that we should be able to make chain armor at least since its not actually all that difficult to make once you have the metal. It's a fairly simple matter once you have the wire.
  5. Tenzo Apprentice Engineer

    I chose nothing.

    Play it like a tower defence game, where you use your buildings to encase in your territory and defend it from attackers using contraptions you build and man.

    Secondarily if that doesn't work, I would like to populate towns eventually with my own NPCs to act as guards on wall ramparts for example that shoot bows at attackers if I can't be everywhere at once myself.

    I would like crops and such to be added in order to maintain my own NPC population and have a reason to encase things in fortifications from enemies. Have a reason to build a city but only for NPCs. Logistics for needs. I would like horses if possible, to attach wooden wagons to and ferry things to and fro much faster. I would like to build a barn for them and plan for their upkeep.

    But I don't want to have to go around everywhere with a sword and kill endless spawning enemies. I want to build stuff that eventually I can assign a function to, not just act as storage houses.

    I don't want this to be an open world action game where you kill an endless supply of enemies Shadow of Mordor style. If I wanted to play that, I would play Shadow of Mordor, which is an infinitely better action game and no combat in this game would compare to that or even the combat in Skyrim.

    I don't want a knockoff or something that attempts to be a first person hack and slash game because that would lack the polish that those AAA titles have and that is the genre I am used to - and I would expect something to those standards, which is NOT what ME is about.

    This was sold as a construction game and it should remain true to that. I wouldn't mind it to go in the direction of a Sim City like game, however where you just design how elaborate your designed structures to be instead of them being fixed plots that you just plop down. I think that is more realistic and makes sense to this game.

    Whatever gameplay they add needs to be original and make sense within Medieval Engineers.

    But no, not like an open world action game where you go around the landscape slaughtering stuff. Just no. If I wanted to play that I would play a different game, like I said, which has infinitely better polish in regards to that.

    Any action combat will be inferior to titles that focus on action combat and will turn this into a subpar action game, with subpar building than what it would have had otherwise because combat was hacked in to appease people that know nothing about the game development process.

    Any resources you allocate to combat to appease people that want to play a Shadow of Mordor style open world action game will be resources taken away from more intuitive building options, new blocks, water, proper physics, more refined contraptions, and so on.

    You know, kind of like George Lucas going in and always changing the concept of the games worked on at Lucas Arts or giving them movie style direction that doesn't translate well to a game development process, which in the end actually KILLED THE STUDIO.

    People would have a project they worked on for months for example, be cancelled or just have to be started over because of his given "direction" on one of his visits, leading to massive delays and unmotivated staff. I don't want this to happen to Keen.

    Stick to your vision, Keen, I would rather have a well optimized building game with working water than a jack of all trades, master of none game, that does nothing really well and falls short in every area compared to other titles because the community (George Lucas in this case) has to be appeased.

    The community can be very disruptive to the development of a game.

    (George Lucas style).

    Stick strong with your vision and eventually they will see it for themselves and respect the game for what it is. And what ME can be is a superb engineering game with realistic physics and revolutionary block building. Stick to that, expand on the idea of compound blocks, apply function to such construction to reward players for completing said engineering projects.

    Take compound blocks further, so that eventually, as we imagine it in our heads, we can build it just so in the game. That would be awesome.

    That is my take and I am looking forward to the next update!
  6. Wizlawz Master Engineer

    voted wide variety but so long as they are Medieval weapons of historic accuracy
  7. Wintersend Senior Engineer

    I don't think that having a combat system will turn the game into a hack and slash game. Nor would turning it into a tower defense be good. For one thing, how would encounters against another player work? Hitting the other person with siege equipment doesn't make any sense and would be easily dodged. Also, why would NPCs have weapons but we don't?

    I don't think that anyone wants this to become an open world hack n slash adventure game. Including the ability to actual cause damage in melee combat does not turn it into a grind against an infinite number of enemies.

    This is honestly one of the worst slippery slope arguments I've seen. https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/slippery-slope
  8. entspeak Senior Engineer

    I'd say leave a complex combat system for modders or for later in development. It makes sense that you'd need something for defense, but you aren't intended to be a warrior; you are an engineer. Building traps, seige engines and engineering warmaking devices should be the primary function.

    Let modders bring in various weapon types, I hope Keen focuses less on weapon design and more on the cogs and material necessary to engineer cool weapons and structures.
  9. zDeveloper10 Junior Engineer

    currently SE has weapons that can be used by hand(gun,and abuse of grinders and drills). it's also got turrets- yet there's still more to do than hack-and-slash. so some combat capacity for the players in this game probably won't devolve either.
    (it's easy to compare things because of the similarities in style and engine. there will be some differences of due to the theme, but some tech things can be done that way)
  10. Bullethead Apprentice Engineer

    Drawing the bow and getting the arrow to go in approximately the right direction, without injuring yourself, isn't really the problem. It's being able to hit a small, moving target in a vital location. That takes a lifetime of practice, especially because dodging arrows was something warriors (such as troublesome barbarians) started training on from about the time they could walk.

    The famous horn bows of old might take as long as 20 years to make. Seriously. There are even clay tablets explaining why. And making even a lower-quality horn or bone bow also takes considerable time. You have to soak the material for days to make it pliable, and frequently resoak it as it dries while you're working on it. Bottom line is, no matter what you make the bow (and arrows) out of, it's going to take a long time and require specialized knowledge and tools your character doesn't have.

    I cannot imagine our character having both mason and blacksmith skills as both require a lifetime to master. You can't do both. Anybody can bend a rod into a crude hook to hang his coat on, but making the ratchet like on the locking catch block, or putting the steel tire on the wagon wheel, , or making an axehead, that requires an expert. So I prefer to think your character gets his metal bits from an NPC smith somewhere offscreen.

    As to chainmail, only modern make-believe mail is made of wire. Wire wasn't used for real mail back in the day for 2 reasons. First, wire simply wasn't available in any quantity so each ring was individually hammered into shape from a lump. Second, wire is by definition something you can bend by hand without heat, so was pretty much useless for armor, at least against sharp edges and points. This is another reason why each link was forged, not just bent into shape like we do now.
  11. Wintersend Senior Engineer

    Ok, I admit you win on bows. I would however still find it strange if they were totally unavailable.

    However, we've got to assume that, like in SE our character can make just about anything we need. Friendly AI hasn't been confirmed so its got to be assumed our character is basically a Renaissance man to some extent at least. He's got enough knowledge, in enough fields to do most of what needs to be done for a project on his own, but helpers are ideal to expedite things.

    On chain, the most common pattern was actually the 4 in 1, 4 other links attached to every link, pattern using riveted links to prevent the snapping of individual links. What it was actually ineffective against was blunt objects which could take advantage of the flexibility of the armor due to the links in it and basically bypass the armor altogether. That or very fine points which could slip between the links to burst them and then carry on through to the opponent.

    Can you link me the thing that says that chainmail links were individually pounded into shape from lumps of metal and that wire was rare? I can't find anything on either of those or anything that is on chainmail without using wire. I can't find anything on google about any of those.
  12. Ingenio Ingens Apprentice Engineer

    I think realism wise, bows would be hard to implement. But for the sake of actually being able to defend at a distance, essential.
  13. Black spiky thing Apprentice Engineer

    Halberds, swords, spears, axes, hammers, daggers, crossbows. So many to choose from.

    Starting weapons can be simple stone axes, wooden clubs, and cheap bows.

    Later on you'll get more advanced weapons like steel halberds, crossbows, etc.

    Armor can be things like leather and simplistic plate armors, again, later you'd have chainmail and more advanced plate armors.

    Granted you'd have to sacrifice some realism for the sake of gameplay. Then again if they implement NPCs you can just hire a blacksmith to make what you need.
    Also shields, can't forget those.
  14. lardman Trainee Engineer

    This is what I would like - I don't particularly want to have to shoot at the enemies, this is what my troops are for, I'm the chief architect/engineer and it's my job to plan and construct a working fortress.

    So to that end some weapons would be useful for my NPC troops to use - close combat weapons (swords), ranged weapons (bows & arrows), rocks and hot/burning oil to send down murder-holes and machicolations.

    I am a little concerned that catapults/trebuchets seem to be rather powerful (though I'm only judging from a YouTube video) and no self respecting castle builder allows a trebuchet to get too close (at least not without it having some serious protection) - that's why I'd like some archers to make any would-be rock slingers have to work for any damage they want to inflict.

    I like the idea of crops and logistics in general, but it depends really on how much effort it takes to deal with these aspects. The logistics would be interesting but is at a higher level than the engineering part which is my real interest - the thing that does interest me is sieges, and therefore the logistics of building a food storage area and water access/supply.


    In other random thoughts, I'd quite like to see fire and fire damage (burning projectiles -> burning wooden structures; oil filled moats/pits; etc.), and rain/water (washing away building works; rivers, dams, moats, wells and aqueducts [see my comments on sieges])

    Keep up the good work :)
  15. Sensei Trainee Engineer

    If players were given no weapons at all and had to rely on NPCs, I wouldn't mind. It would still seem a little weird to implement a few weapons and not have players able to use them though.
  16. Bullethead Apprentice Engineer

    Not directly, but you can look it up from various factoids.

    The main reason for hammering everything from lumps is because Europeans couldn't make a fire hot enough to melt iron until the 1500s (the Chinese managed it long before). If you can't melt iron, all you can do is heat it and beat it, and this goes all the way back to refining the raw ore. As you heat and beat the ore, you remove dirt and impurities and oxygen, but because the fire is burning wood, coal, or coke, it's producing a lot of carbon which the hot iron readily absorbs. Putting carbon into iron turns it into steel, which is considerably less ductile at room temperature than iron. All the load-bearing metal bits in machinery, as well as armor and weapons, need steel anyway, so to make steel, you just keep on heating and beating until you get there.

    So, as you go along, you start with a lump and hammer it into shape. Along the way, you can also forge-weld (more heating and beating) multiple pieces together to make a bigger piece, and fold that over and weld its surfaces together to made damascus, but that's about the extent of your options. And the more of this you do, the more carbon gets in so the harder the material becomes. Also note that once the piece gets to be a certain size, the more difficult it is to get it all hot at once, due to the limited size of the forge, which limits your ability to work on more than 1 part of it at once.

    Now consider wire..... These days, steel wire is formed by pulling it through dies of decreasing size, all in large industrial machinery that carefully controls the temperature and can keep the whole mass at working temperature. Also, the heat comes from either a very clean gas fire or even electrical induction, so the amount of carbon can be carefully controlled and limited so that the necessary ductility is retained throughout the process.

    Back in the day, none of this existed. You were inescapably losing ductility as you went along, you could only get a portion of the material hot at once, and you could really only shape the material by hammering, cutting, and bending. Thus, the only real way to make something long and narrow was to start with something short and thick and beat on it, little by little, until you thinned it out. This doesn't make wire, it makes a hard steel rod. Ant it also explains why old-school nails were square, not round.
  17. Terminal_6 Trainee Engineer

    I'd be happy with a basic short sword and a basic bow. Leave the rest to modders.
  18. Me 10 Jin Apprentice Engineer

    This is all from a gameplay point of view and has nothing to do with realism...

    This game is never going to be about the player character engaging in melee combat. As such, melee weapons should have a simple point & click interface (no power attacks, dodging, or fancy swordplay). To facilitate this, swords, axes, and bludgeons should have identical combat functionality. We should not have to worry about any of the myriad combat statistics that pervade action-fantasy games. Let your aesthetic senses guide your choice of melee weapon.

    Ranged combat is likely going to attract much more player interest. In contrast to melee weapons, ranged weapons should scale their combat effectiveness along with the player's progress (however that might be measured). For example, spears or slings would be ideal early-game ranged weapons, then players would have to invest something before they could get rudimentary bows. Advanced bows and crossbows could be reserved for well-established players.
  19. Wizlawz Master Engineer

    makes sense

    how would "well established players" be defined, and would those "new" be able to reach that status eventually?

    a Leveling / Unlock System?
  20. Clunas Junior Engineer

    Definitely need a shield of some sort. With that, you can at least beat them with a hammer without the kite-them-around-the-castle shenanigans
  21. Bullethead Apprentice Engineer

    According to the dev interview video, the plan goes something like this....

    You start with absolutely nothing except your wits. You pick up a rock, turn it into something like Homo erectus' Acheulean handax, and chop down a tree. At this point, you can start making wooden and compound stone/wood tools. And so on until you can eventually make metal tools. IOW, the early part of the game is building tools to make better tools that ultimately allow you to make better finished products.
  22. Wizlawz Master Engineer

    ohhhh THAT kind of grind.... Survival as well?

    i would only do it if "survival" were involved, but just to do it to reach the levels needed for building bigger and better things....no i just won't grind that.
  23. Bullethead Apprentice Engineer

    Well, according to the same interview (which I suggest you listen to; it's in the "useful links" sticky topic at the top of this board), in survival mode there will be the soccer hooligans---er, I mean "barbarians", so you'll have a need to build defenses around your stuff to be able to get beyond the Stone Age.

    Of course, being a knapper myself, I think going beyond the Stone Age was a mistake. After all, humanity has never had sharper knives than since then :).
  24. Wizlawz Master Engineer

    the first video?


    ah ok so ye as i thought as they said no resources, nothing that "complicated" in survival.

    i guess im just stuck on a grind that would be ho hum but would be easier than needing resources to continue to advance "through the ages":

    you are building, you don't get tired, get thirsty need food for strength, no shelters from the elements which could slow your progress, no injuries while endeavoring on such projects that would need to be treated or risk severe hindrances or even death.

    i guess i was seeing it like in some games where you grind and grind but with little advance and or very slow advancement or rather the grind was much more than the reward for advancing.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 26, 2015
  25. Bullethead Apprentice Engineer

    This one:

  26. Wizlawz Master Engineer

    aye watched it
  27. Bullethead Apprentice Engineer

    The goal seems to be to have the tools necessary to build whatever you want. I would assume that's not just handtools but some rudimentary, medieval-style industrial base as well. Of course, if you believe that Mankind's 1st Greatest Mistake was agriculture, there seems little reason to advance to that point :).
  28. Wizlawz Master Engineer


    ok so basically i don't want this to be a "wurm online" grind.

    i dont mind its' aspect of survival but the grind is just imho too long vs reward / advancement

    archeage was fun but i didn't like the stamina grind.

    EVE was fun but i didn't like the missions grind

    Entropia Universe was fun but i didn't like the leveling grind nor the fast decay

    The Long Dark is fun but damn, the "decay" on the body {tired,sleep, water, food, cold/ freezing, fire} is just way too fast

    State Of Decay was fun but damn now that is fast decay

    etc, and so on

    {these games were just too long of a grind or too fast decay for me and or i did not feel the grind vs reward / advancement was balanced}

    and that is what i am, was worried about ME that it wouldn't find a balance of that just like all the others
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 26, 2015
  29. Sergy096 Trainee Engineer

  30. Me 10 Jin Apprentice Engineer

    Beats me. I've not seen a good example of leveling in a sandbox game with an engineering focus. Presumably, a player's engineering prowess will drive gameplay, so I would guess that "progress" will be an abstraction of how well the player is managing their resources (via engineering, of course).

    I imagine that "Survival Mode" is not going to require players to lay down every handful of stone manually, and NPC peons are a sensible way to take care of the grind-ish aspects of medieval building. Therefore, perhaps peons can be used to do other things, like crafting building parts and crossbows.

    So, to reach "well-established" status, a player might build a village that satisfies the needs of its inhabitants. Then, the player might build a workshop (by adding the necessary furnishings to a normal room) and assign peons to make weapons there. Peons could train skills over time, become master craftsmen, and produce the finest weapons. These superior weapons will take a while to craft, so a player who wants a lot of them will have to allocate resources accordingly.

    The skill levels of your peons could be the ultimate measure of how well you're doing.
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