Now, I understand that things like low melee skill and torso encumbrance is supposed to hinder melee combat.
But is it really supposed to make you utterly helpless? If your torso encumbrance is 1 and you’re just starting off (ie, have 0 melee skill), then you will basically never be able to hit anything, especially smaller enemies such as zombie/skeletal dogs, racoons, krecks, manhacks and such. I mean it, you can swing at these guys over 100 times and not even one single attempt will actually connect. All because you have 1 torso encumberance at low levels. I don’t know about you, but I find it extremely difficult to imagine how its possible even for the most completely inept fighter to be THIS pathetically helpless at stabbing/bashing something that’s right god damn in front of them. Yes, even if they are wearing a backpack and a sweater. Even the most uncoordinated cerebral palsy parkinsons train wreck of a human being should be able to hit a zombie dog biting at their throat at least 1 out of every 10 tries. But here the survivor is, a perfectly competent human being, completely unable to land even one single hit on a kreck or a zombie dog as if they’re an Agent from the god damn Matrix movies. All because they’re wearing a backpack. This really needs to be changed.
First off, the to-hit penalty for creatures that are smaller than the player character needs to be drastically reduced. An especially dedicated (read as: desperate) hunter could, if needed, just wrestle a racoon to death - instead of just untiringly picking up a heavy stick and throwing it at them over and over and over for 1 damage.
Second, make to-hit chances scale multiplicatively rather than additively, ie, a poor melee weapon incurs a 0.6x chance to hit, 2 torso encumbrance incurs a 0.75x hit chance, while a good melee weapon like a combat knife does 1.35x chance to hit along with introducing a “minimum hit chance” based on the creature’s dodge skill compared to the player’s melee skill, so that instances of “zombies with the dodging power of mosquitoes” can at least mostly be avoided. Minimum hit chance should really never go below 10%.
Side note 1: And I know things like manhacks are supposed to be difficult to hit too, they’re fast, flying pieces of metal with razorblades spinning around. But consider things like baseball players. People that can reliably hit fist-sized balls racing towards them at 80 miles per hour almost every single time. How much “melee skill” does a baseball player have? A whopping…2. According to the starting professions. So, shouldn’t something like a melee skill of two and a decently accurate melee weapon (ie, a baseball bat…) be enough to reliably hit something like a manhack?
Side note 2: Also I figure the devs should considerably reduce the effect Dexterity has on to-hit chance. Especially negative to-hit chance. Getting low dexterity from pain/shakes is crippling for melee builds. And look. I get shakes too. I’m not exactly the most perfectly coordinated person either. But I am very confident that my hand-eye coordination would at least be competent enough to stab a zombie shambling towards me enough times that I’m not missing it so frequently that I might as well just be staying perfectly still and doing nothing for all its worth.