BF:BV - Blocking attacks
bionicle fighter game
Part of a series of posts about my game engine.
Question: What is a major game mechanic has been planned since the very beginning of the game, but hasn't yet seen the light of day?
Answer: Shields! I skipped programming this because I didn't have the right sprites for the blocking animations, and I figured it would be easy to add the functionality later. That turned out to be wrong. I should have put it in at once even if I had to use placeholder images, because right now the current game engine is very inflexible in several ways; not the least of which is animation replacement.
So, I've made some simple sprites that will be used for shields. Heck, I even fleshed out the shields themselves, so that instead of just "Kopaka shield" and "Kopaka's Nuva shield" I know have Nuparu Mahri's shield on hand as well as a work-in-progress Rhotuka shield.
So, with the graphics coming along, let's take a look at how blocking will work in the new engine.
Right off the bat, let me say that I have decided to steer away from the way equipment has worked up until now. Equipping a shield will no longer cost a stat point. Instead, heavy shields will slightly slow down your character by their weight unless you spend a point on strength or shield proficiency. This shouldn't be all that noticeable for an average character, as the ability to block properly will certainly offset the slight speed decrease. However, if you reduce strength or speed in order to gain points to use on other things, then the shield might be a bit too much for some characters. We'll see how it goes, and I'll adjust balance accordingly.
Lighter shields can be carried without a movement penalty, though they are not as resistant to forceful impacts. So where a heavy shield might weather a fireball completely, a light shield may still allow the enemy to knock you backwards a bit with the force of the explosion. Alternately, a light shield may not protect you completely from the heat or ignition effect.
You can defend yourself with a shield, your weapon, or your bare hands. Naturally, actual shields will be best at blocking. They will eliminate all damage that does not break their threshold. If an attack does break said threshold, you will be forced out of block and into a brief stagger animation. During this very short period of time, you can be hit normally. Finally, if an attack overwhelms your defense or strikes during the block-break stagger, you may get knocked down. Otherwise, the most that can happen is that you get pushed slightly backwards.
By default, shields will have 100% Damage Reduction from the front while active. Weapons will lie at 50-75% of a standard shield block, depending on the weapon(s). Bare hands will have something like 20-30%. Moving while blocking will be possible (such as stepping backwards away from a foe), but will lower the stagger threshold so long as you are in motion.
Kanohi Hau - Mask of Shielding
The Hau would need to change in order to accommodate for shields as a method of protection. The Hau will continue to let you block perfectly (no stagger chance) even while on the move, so long as it is active. It will keep projectiles and explosions from even reaching you. Just as it is activated, it would have a short "burst" of energy, which reflects projectiles and push back enemies that happen to connect with melee at that moment. This is in contrast to the current function, where the mask is either useless (get attacked constantly by something you cannot run away from) or overpowered (run into someone with it active and they get knocked into the air over and over).
While blocking, the mask will auto-activate at a low level for no cost. This will halt mask recharge for as long as you are blocking, however, and will not reflect anything unless you manually active the power (and thus expends mask energy).