Ranged accuracy has the following problems:
[ol][li]Shooting at point blank is almost always the best choice[/li]
[li]“Sniping” at range comparable to car’s length requires very low encumbrance and high skill to work[/li]
[li]Accuracy is really wild, as you can see in the newest experimentals. It was always wild, but before that it could produce false positive hits (miss that becomes a hit due to hit reroll) and the “visual” effects of wild accuracy were heavily capped. They are still heavily capped, but now they represent the misses more correctly - the values are really this weird.[/li]
[li]Critters can’t dodge ranged attacks well. Dodging ranged attacks isn’t just Matrix-style bullet dodging, it also includes weaving to prevent the shooter from getting a good aim. For this reason critters near point-blank range should include their dodging ability into accuracy calculations.[/li]
[li]Smaller critters aren’t harder to hit with firearms[/li][/ol]
4 and 5 require formulas. The idea is already there: big/small critters should multiply accuracy by some number, dodgy critters should add some number to miss value.
3 requires a good idea. The current accuracy formula will have to result in those values, meaning it needs to be reworked.
1 and 2 will be solved if 3 is solved well. If 3 is solved with a hack, they will probably require a non-linear miss formula.
Aiming under pressure is hard. Make ‘careful’ and ‘aimed’ shots a priority. Firing from the hip gets a lot, lot easier with experience, a high agility (no shakes), and a shotgun.
Are we talking about a full rewrite here?
For accuracy, I think the factors are:
- Size of the target
- Distance to the target
- Speed of the target, and more specifically how erratically the target moves
- Calmness of the shooter at the moment (other mental conditions as well)
- The amount and variety of past shooting experience (skill)
- Projectile accuracy
- Encumbrance penalties
- Shooter’s stance and/or weapon support
- Light level and/or target’s visibility
- Weather, especially wind
In the end we simply have to ask what should be the maximum capabilities of the best CDDA marksman? How far away should he be able to hit targets reliably (over 90% chance to hit) and how much damage is he able to inflict over 90% of the time? Is it 80-120 damage at 100 tiles away with a fully kitted .50 cal rifle using .50 cal ball ammo against an unarmored stationary target, with 10 marksmanship, 10 rifles skill, 10 perception, 10 dexterity, with unencumbered arms and eyes, in clear weather? Just putting that there as a starting point.
Then you might consider putting caps to sustained damage, just to cut off any ludicrous damage numbers for whatever reason they might occur. Possibly on per creature basis.
I think arm encumbrance should be relevant only in quick aim scenarios, and ignored when performing patient long-distance shooting. So the longer you aim, the less relevant the arm encumbrance becomes. Or just possibly have arm encumbrance slow down aiming times, instead of reducing accuracy. Eye encumbrance OTOH should become steeply increasing penalty as distance grows.
The shooting mechanics being as complex as they already are, I would urge that whatever tweaks or changes are made, please start with very small and gradual changes just so that we might detect the emergence of any balance breakers as early as possible. I suspect the problem currently is that the various penalties just accumulate too high, too fast. I think that the character skills aren’t doing enough to neutralize those penalties, and there’s a difference between neutralizing penalties and granting bonus chance to hit.
Do not forget projectile velocity. Having speed C does wonders for accuracy.