Considering combat mechanics February 6, 2011 cliffski I’m thinking out loud here. New game (codename: LB, previously G4). Involves military units shooting at each other. One of the mechanics I quite like is heat, where you would have heat based weapons, like flamethrowers, or incendiary bombs. I like the idea of units being vulnerable to, or impervious to, heat as a weapon. I also still want the idea of armor, and of shields. I like the amount of variety that gives, all before you worry about actual hitpoints and structural damage. What I am unsure about, is exactly how to put all this stuff together. GSB had a terribly complex system hardly any casual players got their heads around, so I’d like to avoid that. Things I did like was: Shields had to be taken down by different weapons to those that did major internal damage. Concept of different payloads for each weapon, especially missiles. Shields could be taken down, then would not come back. Shields could recharge over time, but armor was finite, without external repair modules. I had some overcomplex stuff, like individual shield modules being down, rather than the whole thing, of shield-disruptors and the uber-complex shield-reflection and penetration mechanics. With the new game, I like the idea of overheating a unit until it explodes. You can optionally add heat-sinks, of course, and I could even have environmental factors, so in some scenarios, losing heat is harder than others. However, there are a number of mechanics I’m unsure about. Firstly, Do I have a three tier system like before, where you have to down shields, then armor, then do internal damage? Can heat based weapons just go straight through shields? Do heat based weapons have any effect on armor? and can they go direct through armor? They need to be as good as other weapons… If heat dissipates over time, and shields recharge, aren’t they just 2 flavors of the same mechanic? and if so, does that really matter? Is it worth having dual mechanics? For example, energy-based weapons obviously damage shields, and then armor, but do they also generate some heat? I want a system that has some depth, but I want it to be understandable to someone who grabs the game for 10 minutes to see what it’s like. Obviously I can ‘drip-feed’ stuff in, so maybe the demo level only has shields,armor and energy weapons, and I could introduce heat-sinks and flamethrowers later.