This entry starts a series intended to discuss what goes into each creature in URR, and what stats they – and therefore you – have. Originally, creatures had a huge number of stats and were each uniquely constructed in the game – each had its own selection of limbs and its own unique code that handled when it was attacked. This was massively inefficient, and there’s a bunch of changes I’m making at the moment which should speed the game up; allow for a much greater variety of creatures; and make far more explicit to the player the strengths/weaknesses of each foe, and reduce some of the uncertainty and unknowns in combat. Here’s a few of the changes I’m currently programming in. Some of them were implemented in a simpler form before-hand, but some are entirely new:
Originally, messages of the following sort came up:
You slash the male Cyclops`s upper left arm with your steel longsword.
The male Cyclops hits your torso with his fists.
However, what if you were friends with that Orc? Or if you had been told to kill that Orc in particular? Which is to say, Orcs are an intelligent species (well, nominally), and have names like any other sentient race. However, you won’t automatically know a sentient creature’s name when you meet them, unlike pretty much every other RPG or Roguelike I can think of. Instead, if you encounter any sentient creature without foreknowledge, you get messages like the above. If you know their name, then you’ll get (with an output from the Cyclops name generator):
You slash the Cyclops Pylopedes` upper left arm with your steel longsword.
The Cyclops Pylopedes hits your torso with his fists.
Lastly, if a creature is of your species, you won’t get its species listed there, simply its name. If a creature is any other species, it will note the species – which is to say, if you are human, you won’t get “the human <human name>”, but you will get “the dwarf <dwarf name>”, and so on.
Height and weight.
Creatures have both a height and a weight. The taller they are, the more z levels they occupy, and that gives them a variety of benefits outlined in a previous entry. However, weight has also been fully added, which has a variety of effects – it determines the weight of a limb if chopped off; whether particularly large creatures can walk safely across certain surfaces; and is a major factor in whether they can be knocked back, thrown to the ground, wrestled with, etc.
Finally (for this entry), Experience has been entirely redone. When a creature is spawned (this includes you), its experience for each of the five base stats is calculated by squaring that particular stat. They are currently five of the traditional base stats – Strength, Endurance, Dexterity, Intelligence, and Willpower. Stronger creatures give more experience; weaker give less; and your current level of experience also determines how much more experience is required, and how much experience you get from each creature. Other creatures will also gain experience in combat; the more of your forces your enemies kill, the stronger, more experienced and more skilled they will become. Battles that occur which you aren’t part of will calculate appropriate numbers of surviving creatures and assign experience based on that. There is currently no upper limit to these stats – I intend to leave it that way, though when any stat reaches a sufficiently high point, finding and killing enough high-level creatures to raise it will become increasingly challenging. This, of course, does not cover the 80+ skills in the game, which are a topic for a future entry in this series…