The code and spreadsheets are a’changing… so far, I’m really looking forward to how the changes work. With simpler math, the combat engine should be much easier to balance out.
As usual, changing some spells was in order. I had several that affected defensive bonuses that no longer exist, so I removed them. A big challenge is with damage; while hit and defense numbers are fairly static and a +1 is ALWAYS good, damage will scale up a bit more. So I decided to have all damage effects be things like 1/2 or double. This means changing the bonus calculations slightly to account for changes of this nature instead of adding/subtracting.
One major addition is that I’ve added party rations as a game factor. I don’t intend for food to be a major pain like it is in Ultima, where running out of it effectively kills your party in short order. Instead, rations serve the same purpose as they do in Tunnels of Doom; you periodically consume rations on the world map and heal fatigue and possibly wounds. Rations also serve as a money sink.
I’ve removed some of the more lame spells and added new ones to replace them. A corrosion spell now exists that halves normal damage resistance, while protection doubles it. Like many spells that have counter-effects, one will remove the other if cast upon a target. A spell to create rations also seemed like a good idea.
One bit of caution I’m taking is to not make ranged weapons too overwhelmingly powerful. The first step to this is to make sure hit bonuses for ranged weapons are lower than melee weapons. Another is that spells that increase damage potential will only work on melee. That way, melee attacks still have good value at the expense of range.
My final step, before I try to start compiling and running the changes and looking for regressions, is to update the combat movement system. Before, you had to press the M key and then indicate a direction. I want to scrap this and have you be able to use the arrow keys immediately to move and attack. This will speed up combat considerably.