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Ultima Ratio Regum's speed system changes, yet again, but hopefully for the final time.

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Let's talk about speed. YET AGAIN.

For those who have followed this game's development for a while, speed has been a constant pain. I've gone through a variety of different speed systems, each of which had something in favour. The fundamental driver is this - in a game where your character is fragile, and has permadeath, you must be able to rapidly assess the speed of foes. Currently I have an incremental system. If something takes 10 turns, say, walking on tundra might add 15% of time, having a light armour load might take off 20%, having high stamina might take off 25%, etc, and all these add together to create new (and hidden, under-the-hood), values.

So, I've been thinking about this all day, and I've come up with a model that is clear, fair, but still offers a lot of depth, and that scales nicely. The two things that affect the time it takes you or a foe to move are affected by terrain type and movement type. Under this model, here are the values.

Sprinting: 1 turn/tile.
Running: 2 turns/tile.
Walking: 4 turns/tile.
Crawling/Sneaking: 8 turns/tile.
Moving through difficult terrain: turns x 2.

^ Normal terrain like this will have no modifier, but wading through chest-high water would half your speed.

So, someone trying to run through difficult terrain - like up a sand bank - moves at the same speed as someone walking in normal terrain, which I'd say is about accurate. From the player's perspective, therefore, if they are crawling through normal terrain, someone sprinting will cross eight tiles in the same period. Snow, sand and waist-high water will slow you - all other terrain gives you normal walking speed. This means you can actually think about terrain types in combat - escaping across sand will be more difficult, enemies will be slowed on snow or through shallow water, etc, adding a simple but effective layer of tactical depth.

Lastly, I think I'm going to remove encumbrance speeding/slowing you. It's a boring mechanic and everyone else does it. Let's focus on terrain instead! Leave any thoughts below - I need someone to point out if I've made a glaring error, but I think this system gives a lot of knowledge and power to the player, whilst still retaining depth and thought to your movement and attack. In the mean time, you can keep up to date on my devblog, Facebook page, or Twitter feed. The devblog is updated weekly or fortnightly on Mondays, Facebook a few times a week, and the Twitter roughly daily. Any thoughts, please leave them in the comments! Stay tuned...

ethanethan - - 58 comments

Gogogo! Cant wait!

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wareye - - 5 comments

questions, if you are sneaking will it affect your view ? like bushes or low ramps? and what would be the reaction speed ? if you are crawling and just out of your vision arc someone comes sprinting at full speed in your direction how long would it take to get up, pull your weapon and defend yourself ? Am i asking this to early in development ? :) anyway I'm exited with this project.

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Fluffkind - - 71 comments

Wouldn't that cause problems if, say, you get caught sneaking? You press a button to move forward and your enemy sprints up to you and bashes you a few times over the head while you are unable to react due to just having wasted your 8 next moves.

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UltimaRatioRegum Author
UltimaRatioRegum - - 307 comments

@ Ethan - thanks :). Working on it!

@ Wareye - not currently, no. I currently expect sneaking might slow down your attack, but I'm not sure. My thinking is that you will not be able to instantly de-sprint, it will take you (or an NPC) a few turns to leave sprint, or alternatively stay sprinting and do an attack. That attack might be less likely to hit than a normal attack because, whilst running, you can't really take aim. Not sure yet.

@ Fluffkind - well, partly as above, I don't think you'll be able to leave sprinting instantly, but more importantly, you cannot enter sprinting instantly. You (or NPCs) have to be running for a little while before you can start sprinting, so happily the situation you describe cannot occur! They probably wouldn't start running towards you unless they see you from a distance, either - if closer, they'd probably walk/attack.

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