Weapons

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This page details the nature and mechanics of weaponry on the Discworld MUD. For our rapidly growing weapon database, click here.

Mudlib-unconf.gif This page contains formulae or data from the distribution mudlib. This information may be several years out of date, so needs to be verified as correct. You can help by performing research to validate it.

Weapons are, for almost all players, a necessity of every-day life on the Disc. Players rely on their weapons to do physical damage to enemies and, if parrying, to defend themselves. There are a great variety of weapons on the Disc, suited to varying levels of proficiency and bloodthirstiness.

General information

Weapons are used in the Discworld MUD to (typically) kill things. Most are melee-oriented, but many are well suited to throwing. Certain weapons such as the crossbow and blowpipe are available in game but are of extremely limited use to non-Assassins.

Weapons can be found in shops, or in the possession of players and NPCs. Certain weapons can only be acquired by completing Quests; those weapons are detailed here, but the means of getting them are not.

The Judge command can be used to assess the quality of a weapon (vurdere is used for armour). Note, however, that this command is only available after the player has 5 levels of the skill adventuring.evaluating.weapons.

Some weapons can be used as melee as well as ranged weapons.

Any object can also be thrown at targets, but such objects are likely to be less effective than throwing weapons designed for such an attack.

Weapon tables

You can find tables with all individual weapons per type in the following pages:

Melee ~ Axes | Daggers | Flails | Heavy-swords | Misc weapons | Polearms | Swords | Maces ~ Unarmed
Ranged ~ Fired | Thrown - Info: Weapons w e - Protection: < Shields w e > < Armours w e > < Scabbards >

Categories

Weapons on the disc are divided into the following categories, each with its own skill associated with it.

Most weapons are melee weapons, that can be used in close combat without using projectiles.

Weapon type Skill Description Examples
Daggers fighting.melee.dagger Any short, bladed weapon. They are light and fast; they sacrifice damage for speed and covert utility. Elegant stiletto, Aikuchi dagger.
Swords fighting.melee.sword A weapon with a long blade, between the shorter daggers and the longer and heavier heavy-swords. Katana, Fine sabre.
Heavy-swords fighting.melee.heavy-sword A big, heavy bladed weapon, usually requiring both hands to lift and slow to move. Sarilak, Nodachi.
Axes fighting.melee.axe A weapon with a cutting edge at the end of a short shaft. Meridian axe, Axe of Managerial Ire.
Maces fighting.melee.mace A rigid weapon with a blunt end. This class also includes hammers. Retribution, Crowbar
Flails fighting.melee.flail A staff with swinging parts attached to one end via a chain. Morning star, War flail.
Polearms fighting.melee.polearm A weapon including a long pole, which may or may not have something attached at one or both ends. Broomstick, Knight's halberd.
Misc fighting.melee.misc Any melee weapon that doesn't fit into the above categories. Rubber chicken, Ukulele of pain.

Items can also be ranged weapons, sometimes in addition to being melee weapons.

Ranged weapons are divided into the following categories:

Weapon type Skill Description Examples
Thrown fighting.range.thrown Any weapon designed to be thrown by hand without more specialized launching methods at an opponent. Throwing knife, Throwing khyber.
Bow fighting.range.bow Presumably they fire arrows into a target, but there are no known weapons of this kind on Discworld.
Fired fighting.range.fired Any weapon which propels a projectile at a target, amplifying the damage caused. Ivory blowpipe, Hand crossbow.

The type of a weapon can be seen by appraising it.

Attacks

Each weapon has one or more 'attacks' that may be used when a player strikes with it; each 'attack' has the following associated with it.

  • The type of damage (blunt, sharp, piercing or fire) - this determines which variety of armour class is used when the weapon strikes armour, and also determines which special attacks the weapon has associated with it. Fire damage ignores armour for the most part, taking several layers of it to make any difference. It may be that metal armour is treated differently than other types in regards to fire damage.research
  • A difficulty rating - this determines how hard it is to perform that attack.
  • A base damage characteristic - this is the distribution of damage caused by that attack, before any other modifiers (such as the player's skills) are applied.

For example, a long sword might have two attacks associated with it - slashing at someone and stabbing them with the point. The former attack does slashing damage, and is easier than the latter to do. The latter attack does piercing damage and, although harder to do, causes more damage.

It should be noted that although weapons may have multiple attacks associated with them, only one attack is used per strike - a weapon with 10 attacks does not strike any more often than one with a single attack. Multiple attacks only serve to add variety to the weapon's damage, they do not make it hit any faster.

There is no way for a player to specifically view the attacks associated with a weapon, though the presence of multiple attacks could be inferred by observing the attack messages produced by the weapon over a while, thereby deducing the types of the attacks observed (eg. pierce and blunt). It should be kept in mind that there can be several attacks of the same type with different characteristics (average and maximum damage, chance to hit, etc.) produced by the same weapon.

Special attacks

Each weapon may have any number of special attacks associated with it; the list of special attacks is revealed on successful use of the judge command, but only for the special attacks known to the one using judge. Special attacks are attacks which require guild points to perform and consume additional action points, but can cause much more damage than a normal attack would.

Damaged weapons

As weapons are used to attack or parry, they become damaged and lose condition. This negatively affects the damage that weapon can deal out, therefore it is important to keep weapons in good condition. Weapons can be fixed in a location appropriate to the material they are made out of - metal weapons (most weapons are made of metal) are fixed in a smithy, leather ones (such as whips) are leatherworked in a tannery, and wooden weapons (staves and broomsticks) are repaired in a woodworking shop.

Scabbards

Due to their shape, many weapons do not fit well into standard containers (such as backpacks). To that end, players can sheathe their weapons in scabbards when they are not using them.

Magical weapons

Some weapons have magical effects associated with them. These can be divided into two categories:

  • Weapons that serve a magical purpose, but don't automatically cause magical damage when fighting. Examples include broomsticks and red staves.
  • Weapons that do (or have a chance to do) magical damage with each hit. Examples include:

Mechanics - To hit

The chance to hit an opponent with a weapon is a long and complex calculation. In terms of factors directly affected by the attacker's weapon(s), the following sections apply. Note that there are many other factors at play - for example, the opponent's dodge and/or parry prowess, how bright the room is, whether the attacker is low on fighting GP, and so on.

Attack selection and difficulty

As indicated above, each weapon may have multiple attacks associated with it, and each attack has an an inherent difficulty rating.

When a player attempts an attack with a weapon, they are given a score as a random number. This score is then modified as follows:

  • It is increased by the attacker's strength stat.
  • It is increased by the attacker's dexterity stat.
  • It is decreased by 4.5x the weapon's weight (in lb).

The score is then compared against the difficulty rating for each attack. Any attacks that have a higher difficulty rating[1] than the score are discarded, and an attack is randomly chosen from the remainder. If no attacks remain, then the attacker will fail to do anything for that combat round.

Weapon encumberance

The to-hit chance is affected negatively by the weapon's encumberance, that is, how hard it is to swing it around. Specifically:

  • There is a to-hit penalty proportional to the weapon's weight.
  • If the player is holding multiple items, then there is a to-hit penalty based on the weight of the other held items.
    • This penalty is reduced a lot if the item in question is a shield.
    • This penalty is reduced if the player's tactics-response isn't parry - as long as the total weight of the other items is less than dexterity/9 lb.
  • The weight penalty is decreased by 33% if the player is wielding the weapon in both hands.
  • The weight penalty is reduced by an amount proportional to the player's strength.

Attacking with the off-hand

If the attacker is attacking with a weapon held in their off-hand[2], then you need additional skill to wield it without penalty. Specifically, you will incur a penalty if attacking with the off-hand and your dexterity is less than 14, with the penalty proportional to (14 - dexterity).

Skills

The attacker gets a to-hit bonus in proportion to the weapon skill appropriate to their weapon (see the categories section above).

Mechanics - Action point cost

The action point cost of an attack determines, to a certain extent, how many attacks a player can make in a combat round. The following sections detail how this cost is calculated.

Weapon encumberance (round 2)

Not only does weapon encumberance affect the chance to hit, but it also affects the AP cost of an attack - a more cumbersome weapon takes longer to attack with than a lighter one does. Weapon encumberance has the following action point effects:

  • The action point cost is increased by the 9x the square root of the weapon's weight (in lb).
  • This cost is reduced by 33% if the weapon is held in both hands.
  • If the attacker if wielding two weapons, then the action point cost is reduced by a small, constant amount (as you can use one to counterbalance the other).

Skills

The attacker's skills affect the action point cost as follows:

  • The AP cost is reduced by an amount proportional to the attacker's bonus in the weapon skill appropriate to the weapon being used (see the categories section above).
  • The AP cost is reduced by an amount proportional to the attacker's fighting.special.tactics bonus.

Caps

The action point cost for attacking has both maximum and minimum caps:

  • It is capped at below 2x the 'base AP cost'
  • It is capped at above 1/5 the 'base AP cost'

Therefore there are certain limits beyond which it is impossible to make a weapon attack any faster (or any slower).

Mechanics - Damage

Base damage

The damage calculation for a weapon starts with the weapon's base damage. This is essentially a representation of how good the weapon is on its own, before any other factors have been taken into account.

The base damage of a weapon may be categorized by a minimum, average and maximum damage caused by that weapon. Weapons may fall into one of three categories as far as base damage is concerned:

  • Constant damage: These weapons always do exactly the same amount of base damage - thus, their minimum, average and maximum are the same.
  • Flat variable damage: These weapons may do anywhere between their minimum and maximum base damage, with an equal chance of a given hit being anywhere inbetween the two.
  • Binomial variable damage: These weapons may do anywhere between their minimum and maximum base damage, but a given hit is more likely to occur at a damage level around the average than towards the extremes.

You can derive a rough assessment of a weapon's average and maximum damage using the judge command.

Why should I care about the maximum damage?

Generally speaking, the average is the most important in terms of total damage dealt over time. However, the maximum damage becomes relevant if you're attacking an armoured opponent, or one who otherwise has protection which removes a roughly constant amount from attacks.

The reason for this is hard to explain, but easy to demonstrate. Essentially, a more variable weapon is more useful against armour because a lesser proportion of damage is removed from the 'big hits', and those have a bigger impact on the total damage dealt.

To illustrate this, consider the following example. A target wearing armour is hit by two weapons, both with the same average damage:

  • Weapon 1 does a constant 150hp damage per hit.
  • Weapon 2 does between 50 and 250 damage per hit.

The armour absorbs 100hp from each strike.

Let us simulate 10 hits from weapon 1:

Attack 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total
Attack damage 150 150 150 150 150 150 150 150 150 150 1500
Damage absorbed by armour 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 1000
Damage inflicted on victim 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 500

And now 10 hits from weapon 2:

Attack 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total
Attack damage 100 60 170 70 150 230 240 230 110 140 1500
Damage absorbed by armour 100 60 100 70 100 100 100 100 100 100 930
Damage inflicted on victim 0 0 70 0 50 130 140 130 10 40 570

As can be seen, the more variable weapon had the same total base damage before armour, but more of it got through.

While the above examples illustrate the point by assuming a constant amount of damage reduction, it should also be noted that past certain thesholds of damage dealt (relative to the AC of the location being damaged), AC is less effective. If the damage reduction in the examples had been entirely provided by AC, the actual total damage that would have gotten through in example 2 would have been 592 instead of 570.

Enchantment and condition

After the base damage has been determined, the effects of enchantment and condition are factored in as follows:

Enchantment

Enchantment increases the damage caused by a weapon, via the following formula:

Extra damage = base_damage * (%enchant)/(100 + %enchant)

So, a fully enchanted weapon will do 50% more damage; a 50% enchanted weapon will do 33% more damage. Note that the absolute amount of enchantment in thaums on the weapon is irrelevant as far as damage goes - only the percentage of the maximum enchantment level for that item matters.

Condition

A weapon does damage in proportion to its condition - so a heavily damaged weapon will do very little damage. The following formula is applied:

Damage = pre_condition_damage * (condition / max_condition)

So, a weapon that is at 50% condition will only do 50% damage, one at 25% condition does 25% damage, and so on.

Effect of skills

The weapon's damage is then combined with the relevant weapon bonus (as per the categories section above) in a geometric average to get the final weapon damage. Specifically, the following formula applies:

Total weapon damage = sqrt(damage * skill_bonus)

The total damage is capped at thrice the post-condition-and-enchantment damage; therefore insane skills for a puny weapon will not produce a particularly high damage.

Note that the consequence of the above formula is that increasing whichever is the lesser of the post-enchantment damage and the skill bonus has a bigger effect. To illustrate this, consider two examples:

  • In the first example, we have a novice player with a 100 sword bonus, wielding a 150 base damage unenchanted sword. Their final average damage is 122. If they were to fully enchant their sword (increase the post-enchant damage by 75), then their final average damage would be 150. In order to get the same damage without enchanting their weapon, they would need to advance their sword skill until they had a bonus of 150 (increase bonus by 50).
  • In the second example, we have a reasonably skilled player with 400 sword bonus, wielding a 150 base damage unenchanted sword. Their final average damage is 245. If they were to fully enchant their sword (increase the post-enchant damage by 75), then their final average damage would be 300. In order to get the same damage without enchanting their weapon, they would have to advance their sword skill until they had a bonus of 600 (increase bonus by 200).

Critical and marginal hits

The damage can be further modified by the the degree to which the attacker won the earlier to-hit calculation:

  • If the attacker succeeded their to-hit check by an extremely large margin, then their final damage is doubled.
  • If the attacker succeeded their to-hit check by a very large margin, then their final damage is multiplied by 1.5.[3]
  • If the attacker only just succeeded in their to-hit check, then their final damage is halved.

Damage inflicted

So is the final damage, as determined above, that which ends up getting inflicted on the victim? Not necessarily. The figure as determined above is the total damage that is caused before any defensive considerations. Thus, the actual amount of damage caused may be reduced by:

Descriptor Effects

It is unknown if weapon descriptors (such as "blackened" or "blued") have any actual effect on the wielder's visibility.research This would be of particular interest to assassins and thieves, who would like to gain covert benefits from blackened or blued weapons.

There may also be other descriptors which may have other effects on game mechanics.research

On the other hand, is it also possible that descriptors have no direct effects beyond inspiring creators to match weapon characteristics with the item's name and description as they feel appropriate, which might lead to some variance in application.

See also

Footnotes

  1. The distribution mudlib has this as lower difficulty rating (bug) - this has been confirmed as been fixed.
  2. To find out which hand your off-hand is, unhold everything and then hold a single-handed weapon. Your off-hand is the hand you aren't holding your weapon in. Note that, unusually, most players on the Disc are left-handed, so your off-hand is probably your right.
  3. As of this announcement , though see also this one .