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U9 inspired Combat System

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    Ultima 9’s combat system focused on each monster having vulnerabilities or resistances to various damage types – Fire, Air, Water, Earth, Electrical, Internal (Death and Poison), Edged, Piercing, Blunt, and Projectile. Each damage-based spell and weapon style has one or two of these damage types associated with it. Combat itself is a real-time, collision-based system. Of course hitting your target was quite easy, but there was also a tendency for you or your enemy to get stun-locked by damage reaction animation.

    Attributes had a small effect on combat and only consisted of 4 levels per attributes. Strength largely impacted health with each level increases HP by 30 and giving a small damage bonuses +2, +4, and +8. Intelligence worked the same way with mana increasing by 10 per level and spell damage improved by +2, +4 and +8; there is also 5% added spell resistance with each Intelligence gain. Dexterity was the least impactful since it only governed your ability to train a combat style, which had limited benefit in combat.

    To improve upon this system, a number of changes are proposed.

    First weapon types as well as styles will vary more to increase the effectiveness of training.
    All 1-Handed Swords: L1 – Hammer Shot (Edged), L2 – Thrust (Pierce), L3 – Slash (Edged), L4 – Shield Bash (Blunt)
    Clubs/Maces/1-H Hammers: L1 – Hammer Shot (Blunt), L2 – Thrust (Piercing), L3 – Slash (Blunt), L4 – Shield Bash (Blunt) [each of these has a spike on top]
    All 1-Handed Axes: L1 – Hammer Shot (Edged), L2 – Thrust (Blunt), L3 – Slash (Edged), L4 – Shield Bash (Blunt)
    All 2-Handed Swords/Axes: (All Edged Attacks) L1 – Overhead Strike (Full Damage), L2 – Roundhouse Spin (Half Damage on each opponent), L3 – “Batter’s” Cleave (Slow, Twice Damage), L4 – special attack (Slow, Ignores 50% Armor, multiple hits)
    All 2-Handed Hammers: Same as 2-Handed Swords but doing blunt damage
    Staff: (L1-3 Blunt, chance of stun) L1 – Slash, L2 – Vault (knockback, half damage), L3 – Leg Sweep (knockdown/stun, half damage), L4 – Defensive Spin (blocks incoming frontal attacks 90 degree protection)
    Bows: L1 – Single arrow (Projectile), L2 – Triple shot (3 Projectiles), L3 – Fire Arrow (Fire), L4 – Magic Arrow (Most vulnerable magic-based damage)
    Crossbows: (same style as Bow) L1/2 – Standard Bolt (Piercing), L3 – Fire Bolt (Fire), L4 – Magic Bolt (Most vulnerable magic-based damage)

    Each armor would provide certain damage resistances and vulnerabilities with Wyrmguard and Blackrock armors being the best in this regard.

    For attributes, the scale would be changed to a 100 point system subdivided into four tiers. Strength/Dexterity/Intelligence would give bonuses to Melee/Ranged/Magic damage. Strength and Intelligence would still impact health and mana points with Dexterity Tiers affecting your ability to train styles with certain attacks requiring minimum Tiers in either Strength or Intelligence.

    While stat increases are largely handled by ‘leveling up’ at the shrines, points can be added through various actions. Strength is increased through melee attacks upon enemies with each enemy belonging to one of four Tiers. The difference between your Tier and an enemy’s Tier determines how many hits you need to gain a point of strength. Lower Tier enemies don’t increase strength with same Tier enemies providing requiring a large number of hits. Higher tier enemies require few hits to gain strength. Dexterity works similarly with different criteria for what monsters belong in which Tier. Intelligence (“Karma”) increases/decreases largely through good and bad actions.

    Obviously, this system as presented is a bit restrictive, but it isn’t too hard to see how this system behind this could be more generalized to allow for a variety of combat systems of varying complexity.



    I like the damage types in U9 but didn’t like that attributes only went from 1 to 4.


    Yeah, it was more of a power-up type mechanic than true attributes.

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