Weapons of Grimrock 2

August 5, 2013|
25 Comments

Back from the holidays and already busy at work, it is time for another development update! In this update I’ll talk about changes to the item system that ended up having a pretty big effect on the combat mechanics as well. Did I get your attention? Read on! :)

Let’s take a look at a familiar weapon the dagger (see below). As you can see we have changed some of the item statistics to reflect the underlying game mechanics better. In the Grimrock 1 a bigger value was always better, but unfortunately the values were quite abstract. For example, the graphical interface showed an abstract statistic called “attack speed” and the player probably had no way of telling how attack speed was internally translated to a cooldown value. One of the goals of the new system is to make it less opaque, so that’s why instead of abstract “attack power” and “attack speed” statistics, the item tooltip now display a damage range and a cooldown value in seconds.

However, a much bigger improvement is the addition of secondary actions. Many items in Grimrock 2 will have two actions. The first one is the primary action that is most natural for the item and it can be activated quickly with the familiar click on the attack button. For example, the primary action of the dagger is a melee attack, but in Grimrock 2 you can also throw a dagger by holding the attack button down briefly. The buildup time for secondary attacks varies per action, so that simple actions such as throwing can be executed very fast, but more powerful attacks and abilities take considerably longer.

Some secondary attacks can be very powerful. For example, the longsword (see below) can deliver mighty Thrust attacks that have improved damage and much higher accuracy. It can also bypass enemy’s armor to some extend — enemy’s armor value is reduced by 20 points for the duration of attack so it’s much more effective against armored foes. To keep you from spamming special attacks and increase the importance of tactics, the special actions usually have an energy cost and sometimes a limited number of charges. We are also toying with ideas of level and skill requirements for some of the most powerful special attacks.

Talking about charges, the problem with items with charges, is typically that the player saves these items for special combats. Usually this means that these items will actually never be used and just pile up in the inventory. That’s why most items with charges will have another use in Grimrock 2. For example, the Meteor Hammer, a new weapon for Grimrock 2, has a melee attack in addition to its devastating Meteor Storm attack. This way a front line fighter can still use the weapon even after all charges have been used. Also, its much more convenient to shoot a fiery storm of death from an item held in hand than go rummaging through the backpack in the middle of hectic combat.

We are still toying with the secondary attacks and things might still change considerably. We have some pretty interesting abilities planned for new items, and there are other things in the plans as well, for example, to make certain monsters resistant and weak against certain attacks. But the addition of secondary actions has already made a big impact on the feel of the combat. More choices, more tactics. Buildup times of special attacks affect the rhythm and pacing of combat. Combat in Grimrock 2 will be different affair than in Grimrock 1!

25 Responses to “Weapons of Grimrock 2”

  1. Jack Dandy says:

    Sounds very cool. I was wishing the combat in 2 would have more depth.

    However, with the addition of these secondary actions, I think it might be a good idea to make these weapons work with keyboard clicks as well. How about dedicating the numpad for them?

    • Jack Dandy says:

      Also it might be obvious, but it would be great if there would be some enemies that actively encourage smart use of secondary attacks, or a combination of them with specific primary attacks.

      • jzw says:

        The example about longsword thrusts and armoured enemies implies that this might already be the case. I too hope there will be more unique kind of enemies that require special tactics.

        • petri says:

          Hint: one big goal for the sequel is to add variety to combat and monsters :)

          • Jack Dandy says:

            Sounds great- this kind of realtime RPG can’t be that very deep when it comes to RPG elements, stats and all that.

            So you might as well make an effort to make all the other parts (atmosphere, combat, puzzles..) shine as bright as you can. And it looks like you’re doing just that.

            Can’t wait to play :)

  2. Daegan says:

    I really look forward to having multiple options here. A great additional item if it’s possible to implement may be a secondary autofeed similar to how you’re thrown items worked in LoG. Thus if you are attacking with a rogue type character, you have an option to slash and/or throw with the dagger. If you have another dagger in your inventory, your character would automatically refill it into the hand, just like the throwing stars, etc.

    That would add realism, and a great deal of depth to gameplay while encouraging strategic use of the secondary attacks with small weapons.

  3. sinus says:

    How about making the “charges” either rechargeable (magically or with the Blue Crystal) or simply self-recharging over some very, very long time? Like you said – they often end up totally unused, and even leaving a secondary use for them makes it feel like giving an iPhone extra sturdy chassis so that it can double as a hammer when its battery dies.

    • petri says:

      This is something we have been discussing but not decided yet. I personally like the oldschool vibe of non-rechargeable items (makes them feel more unique & important) but I also understand your concerns. We’ll have to playtest and think about it some more…

  4. Benvenuti says:

    The secondary attacks are a great idea! Maybe you can put a tertiary attack too.. And I suggest put keyboards keys like alt + attack button, ctrl + attack button instead of a “hold down attack button”..

    And the rechargeable weapons really stay piled up in my inventory haha But the reason why I not use them was I doesn’t need them.. because the death it was not a big deal that you have to avoid at any cost with the “anytime quick saves”… so if you get ambushed you can load and try again more carefully .. I guess with more bosses or more checkpoints (instead of any time saves) maybe you’ll be obligated to use them to advance..

    Anyway.. Grimrock is an awesome game with kick-ass puzzles.. it’s a smart game where you have to think how to progress and was not an “interactive novel” with only fights after fights in a linear dungeon.. I really like this aspect of the game that is so rare nowadays!! Congratulations to you Almost Human!

    • Jack Dandy says:

      The original game was pretty damn balanced for autosaves-only. I only saved and loaded at the crystals. I think that was a great challenge.

  5. lejonmanen says:

    I recall having read an in-depth discussion somewhere on the internet about items with charges, maybe on tvtropes.org. Anyway as you point out, if charges cannot ever be replenished they are more valuable and thus players are encouraged to never use them – what if I *really* need them on the next level? On the other hand, if charges can be easily replenished this makes balancing difficult unless the charges are weak enough to not really make a difference. In which case they are kinda pointless. Here’s some random thoughts…

    * What if charges regenerate at a rate proportional to food consumption? That way, players are encouraged to use them (since they eventually replenish) but discouraged to wait for it, since the threat of famine drives the party forward.

    * What if using charged items carried a penalty, proportional to its usefulness? Using a magical wand or similar might drain energy from the caster, causing hunger, energy loss, health loss or decreased evasion/armour; instead of losing a charge.

    * What if charges replenished by killing certain kinds of monsters?

    * What if using a charge caused the item to slowly but permanently lose effectiveness? The meteor hammer could lose damage points or the meteor swarm spell could lose power.

    Anyway I’m confident that you will create another great game, looking very much forward to it :)

  6. j.wordsworth says:

    This sounds like a great addition to the Grimrock combat system. What’s really nice about this model is that (a) it’s simple and doesn’t require any popup menus, (b) it allows you to have some really specific secondary attacks which can be useful against specific monsters without making that weapon useless the rest of the time and (c) as you say, it means that you might actually use the items with charges if the regular attack doesn’t use charges – which are the ‘cool’ items that you want to use when you find them instead of saving them!

    With regards to charges, I personally feel that there should be a way to recharge magic items, but they should be rare, generic and not automatic. For instance, you might find half a dozen magical altars throughout a dungeon which can one-shot refill a magical item. This means that you won’t continually save item charges until the end of the game and you’ll also get the fun of using the items you really like more than a handful of times. It gives you the freedom to have fun with the items that you like, but also restricts it.

    This system also opens up some alternative interesting ideas too. (1) It would be cool to pickup wands that have 2 different spells in them, but the second spell might use up 2 charges say. (2) The secondary attack could only be enabled if you also have another specific item in your off hand – for instance, you can do a flurry of blows only if you have a short sword in each hand.

    Anyway – sounds great!

  7. t3mp says:

    Sounds cool.

    In the longsword example, both cooldown times are 3.2 seconds. Should the special attack cooldown not be much higher ?

    Is crafting (weapons) an option for LOG2 ? :-)

  8. twofoldsilence says:

    Sounds like good combat editions.

    Will the use of spells change in Grimrock 2? I hope they do because in my opinion they were one of the weakest parts of Grimrock 1. Also, when will we hear more about the different environments in Grimrock 2? I’m hoping there’s just as much if not more forests, swamps, and cities in it thrn dungeons.

    • blob says:

      I agree for spells! I really hope we can have mages not be forced to only go through one type of element for the whole game. I feel the game could have been a lot more interesting if your mage actually had the capacity of using any elements but then also had to remember more runes to cast them in battle.

  9. germanny says:

    Great, really want this!
    About items, is it possible that log2 would have bigger item icons than log?
    Say to 96×96 (for power of 8) or better, fit 1024 tex = 128 px, maybe with an opt to have a switch to toggle between small or big icons for users.
    I know this will change the usual menu size – for users of common displays (HD+) this may be welcomed.
    It is a very important visual piece of the game (well – needs more textures for icons)
    Big size displays will be (very soon) standard for gaming pc´s, if not yet.

  10. Diarmuid says:

    All that sounds really cool… As you may know, I did consider this holding button for power-up a second attack mechanic in my own project, but finally settled for a classic Dungeon Master 2-click interface. Quite curious of how it will turn out to play in LoG2, and I can’t wait to see what cool mechanics there’ll be, especially combat-wise! That meteor hammer sounds like great fun.

    Keep up the good work!

  11. blob says:

    Some very interesting changes here!
    Clever way of getting people to actually wield those magical items ( I never used the fire sword in G1…)

    I kinda liked the “speed” instead of “cooldown” though. I always feel like games lose a bit of immersivity when they start getting super precise numbers and stats around, like dps 13.6 or cooldown 2.4s.
    I enjoyed having a simple “speed” 10 and comparing to another weapon by testing them to see how they “felt”. Not a big deal though, its all great stuff! :)

  12. lordgarth says:

    Hmmmmm

    Lots More to play with.

    Muaahahhahahahaha
    :)

    LordGarth

  13. Kamui Hyuga says:

    One thing I would suggest for things like the Longsword’s secondary action is to state that it “Ignores 20 points of armour” or something similar. Saying that it reduces enemy armour could easily be interpreted as destroying enemy armour for the rest of combat or something similar. Otherwise these seem very cool, I’m really looking forward to what you do with charged items, since I’m also one of those guys that NEVER uses items with limited use because I might need it later for something REALLY tough.

  14. luckylogic says:

    I just discovered Grimrock few days ago and I am hooked!
    I’m atl level 5 and dazzled with all the secrets. This is a great game! And it is very true to the old school RPG. It has everything in the right proportions. I’m very glad to hear there’s a sequel coming, I will certaintly check it out.
    Congrats on a really great game, made with love :D
    greetins grom Greece
    Luckylogic

  15. torrentails says:

    Nice, liking how this project is turning out! A few things:

    You should change the tooltip on the longsword (and any other future, armor piercing weapons) to read “Ignores 20 points or armor.” or something similar, because right now, it seems like it permantly reduces the enemy’s armor by 20. Unleas that is it’s intention, in which case, your blog post was misleading.

    It’d be nice if the tool tips showed how long we have to hold down the attack button in order to activate the secondary action.

    Will we finally be able to program our own AI brains in the new game?

    Finally, as lejonmanen sugested, I would like to see some charged items recharge over a long time period, as it’ll add more usefullnes to and encourage their use. Of course, the recharge time would have to rather long, so it would become pointless just sitting and waiting for it to recharge, mostly because of hunger.

    • petri says:

      Yes, that’s a good point about the piercing ability. Will change the tooltip. Thanks!

      And yes, you will be able to program custom brains!

    • Tenebrous says:

      Registered to say this, nice find! “Ignore” will certainly read better than “Removes” :)