Understanding damage types

The more I play this game the more I think I am misunderstanding some of its mechanics. Right now I am reading The Historic Weaponsmith and most of its recipes seem to be worse than the fire axe. This is the exact same thing that happened to me earlier in the game, where the combat knife was markedly better than all of the available crafting recipes.

One of the weapons I was excited to see and dissapointed by the stats of is the Awl Pike, which does less than double the damage of the combat knife and substantially less than its competitors from the recipe book. Does it do so little base damage because pierce attacks do not have an innate resistance against them?

Crafting is for when the RNGesus gives you shit, yet you want to use a specific item.

Crafted items are shittier than looted items. At least, they should. If crafted items are better than looted items, then someone screwed up the balance.

[quote=“Muaddib, post:2, topic:8441”]Crafting is for when the RNGesus gives you shit, yet you want to use a specific item.

Crafted items are shittier than looted items. At least, they should. If crafted items are better than looted items, then someone screwed up the balance.[/quote]

You can craft quite a few of the melee weapons out there, you’ll probably need a fully functioning blacksmiths workshop for it, but they are craftable.

Also personally I don’t think the fire axe nor the awl pike are particularly good weapons, because of their high attack times. Probably a bit better when you get to the point where your armor can soak up most of the damage, but even then I’d probably want to try and stick to weapons that take less than 1 turn to attack with instead of those with an attack time more than a turn.

Attack time, bashing, cutting (Don’t ever look at piercing stats, they’re not in yet), weight, and volume are what you should be looking at.

The fire axe has great cutting and bashing, but is heavy, has a high volume, and has a slow attack time.

The weapons in the Historical weapons-smith are actually better than the fire axe, just wait until you craft them and test them out in the field.

Always remember to look at the moves per attack, not just the damage values. The awl pike has a decently low moves per attack, for example, giving it a very high DPS. The reason it’s damage looks quite low is because if it was high, you could literally rip strong enemies to shreds within seconds.

Spears are underpowered and quite heavily so at the moment. Don’t use them, except maybe the starting pointy stick or wooden spear.

No one rebalanced them because not many people use spears. If someone did some basic statistics on how spears work in the game and rebalanced things, it would probably get accepted.

Combat knife is an extremely solid weapon that’s easy to get. At the point you find your first combat knife, all new melee weapons become more of a convenience than necessity. Shocking zombies are an exception, because combat knife is conductive.

As for stats: going for damage per moves is fine. Splitting damage between types (bash vs chop) isn’t good, because then the armor is applied to each type. However bashing damage prevents weapons sticking to targets, so spears with no bash will be bad. Katanas are generally the best thing around.
You also want cool techniques like parry/block and (early on, later not) rapid strike. Parry will damage your weapon occasionally, but will prevent some damage to you, while rapid strike lets you quickly dispatch unarmored combatants (worse than regular attack against armored).

With sufficient mechanics skill, and some scrap metal, you can also improve the stats of higher end metal weapons as well as armor them against damage.
Basic repair kit does the same for wood weps, in case you got something made of wood such as an artifact or baseball bat.

Looking at it again I was incorrect about all of the weapons in that book being worse than the fire axe.

On further analysis the Awlpike is also terrible in 239fcf9, doing only only Bash: 8 and Pierce: 28 for 254 moves per attack.

OH GOD. Yep the awl pike has way more moves per attack, holy crap that’s a bad weapon.

couldn’t understand for the longest why Zwiehanders were bad early game until I noticed the moves per attack.

always check the cost to attack with the item

Actually, I gave piercing weapons a slight buff a few weeks ago. They’re less likely to get stuck, and do slight bonus damage when pulled out. I also added the survivor naginata which should be one of the best crowd control weapons considering it has both wide and impaling attacks.

They may still need further buffing, idk. Maybe bonus critical?

Crowd control is generally a bad idea, with impaling being a really bad idea. That x5 multiplier on stuck penalty AND uncapping of stuck penalty make for a really dangerous move to execute when any degree of caution is needed. Wide strike is better, but it has a move cost multiplier.

It’s a much better idea not to get surrounded and instead shanking one creature at a time with a proper weapon, like the common combat knife.

Spears could be cool against big stuff (that -30 moves to target), but knives are even better (and their -20 moves to target will stack faster because lower moves per attack) and also don’t constantly get stuck in small stuff if you have low STR.

The biggest problem is for new spear users. Sticking doesn’t scale with damage, meaning it’s stickfest at low skill levels and high skill levels don’t exist because it’s easier to just grab a knife.

My ideas for spear buffs:
Make the move penalty for target scale with something, so that it could be used to deprive big stuff of turns
Make the stuck penalty scale with damage, so that it sticks less at low skill
Reduce the speed penalty for big weapons (could be specifically cased just for spears, because spears are easier to use fast than swords or hammers)
Give it reach, even something hacky like what bullwhip got

@Coolthulhu: I’m digging the reach idea for spears. Make it wear spears can “fire” like the bullwhip.
I’m imagining it being something like when you wield the spear it does a certain amount of bash/stab damage like normal melee and when you activate it, it does the damage plus pushes a zed back or keep them from coming forward. Of course it would take a long time to do this so early on it wouldn’t be OP and against more than one zombie it would be dangerous. Mid game it would be awesome against 2 or 3 zombies. End game for melee users doesn’t really matter what you use because you can just punch a zombear in the dick and dance out of the way no problem.

When thinking about reach, please consider that squares are roughly a meter across. With a shortspear (which is all we have in the game), you don’t have a meter of reach.
We could add a longspear that works like the whip, but keep in mind it’s going to be huge and super slow.

[quote=“Kevin Granade, post:14, topic:8441”]When thinking about reach, please consider that squares are roughly a meter across. With a shortspear (which is all we have in the game), you don’t have a meter of reach.
We could add a longspear that works like the whip, but keep in mind it’s going to be huge and super slow.[/quote]

Likely that folks see stuff like the awl pike (vol 14) or the new survivor naginata (vol 9) and think those are fairly long. Seems a forgivable presumption IMO, so probably worth adding a length estimate in the descriptive text.

You can easily reach a meter far with a shortspear.

Seriously. Pikes and such will reach even further.

Maybe weaker or untrained characters might not be able to pull it off, but someone on par with the average medieval soldier should definately be able to poke away from a meter away.

According to the wikipedia entry on the awl pike, at least (which I’ll concede is by no means infallible):

“The ahlspiess [awlpike] consisted of a long thin spike of square cross section measuring a metre (39 inches) or more in length, mounted to a round wooden shaft and secured with a pair of langets extending from the socket. The length of the shaft ranged from 1.6 to 1.8 m. (5 - 6 feet), and located at the base of the spike was a rondel guard (a circular metal plate) to protect the hands.”

So the combined spike+shaft would be over 2 meters long for an awl pike.

For the naginata entry:

"The 30 cm to 60 cm long naginata blade is forged in the same manner as traditional Japanese swords. The blade has a long tang (nakago) which is inserted in the shaft (nagaye or ebu).

. . . .

The nagaye (ebu) ranges from 120 cm to 240 cm in length and is oval shaped."

So more variable, but can be over 2 meters long.

On the other hand, one doesn’t normally wield such weapons by holding on to the very end… and the survivor naginata would be whatever length the crafter desired.

Adding a #pound function to spears would improve them and give them something unique. To say someone could not stab something from 1 meter away with a spear even the length of a broom handle is demonstrably untrue. Anyone can see this for themselves with a ruler and a house broom. If you wish to play to technicality, with both subjects being perfectly square against the edge of a meter on either side, then you would barely even extend your arms in the effort.

Early game characters in particular would benefit from the ability to #pound enemies that are hung up in door frames / windows / fences - It would seem fitting since that is the reason the spear was the grandfather of all other military weapons.

Aah, I’d forgotten the awl pike was in there. The compound name keeps making me think it’s some kind of pike plus axe or plus hammer deal.
The main problems with giving polearms reach is they become unusable or significantly hampered when an enemy is adjacent or in between you and your target, and the UI becomes cumbersome to use. I’m not totally against going that route, but it’s more work than just flipping a switch to add reach to the weapons.

According to your argument, swords should also have reach. You’re assuming the conditions are as favorable as possible for the attacker, it’s far more reasonable to assume attacker and defender are standing in the center of their respective squares, so the gap is nearly a meter when they’re adjacent, and nearly two meters of there is an intervening square.

Awl pikes are already nearly unusable when the enemy is adjacent (250 or so moves makes them one of the worst weapons around).

UI could be simply the reused aiming UI, with an additional check for clear “line of fire”.