So, I’ve done a further bit of change to how weapons and armor work… now all base types (sword, dagger, leather armor, etc.) have fixed amounts for ALL statistics, read from CPU memory. (I could push it out to disk somewhere, but why bother? We’re talking 42 bytes here…)
Why? Well, as I was going over some of my old item lists, I noticed how many items were just fancier names for “more damage, more accuracy”. From a “rusty blade” to “heroic sword of awesomeness”. That really bugs me because I didn’t want the equipment system to be a constant “move up” to the next bigger better item.
I’m not the only one to get tired of this. The latest beta version of D&D Next has magical items limited to a +1 bonus standard… special items have a higher bonus only in specific circumstances. They also have removed the notion that a creature may require a “more powerful” weapon to be hit with, so that magic items always have value.
I was already using half of my four bytes for a “special” property, which is essentially an index and value in the player array. That lets me have weapons that have special properties. A rapier, for example, is a sword designed for defense, so it may also grant a +1 defense bonus. A dagger designed for a wizard may offer a +1 casting bonus when wielded. And so forth… The only change I’ve made is to move the static values off into memory and have those two bytes serve as a second modifier.
The main change this has is that damage should be far more predictable. I really want the game to be “explore-friendly” so a player can go anywhere he chooses to and not get wiped out by a group of monsters too strong for him. At least not without plenty of warning of what they’re getting into…