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Weapon Messaging
Quit slapping me with your Combat Engine!

So, this is an existing issue, and I didn't feel like it belonged in the Ideas section.

Feel free to correct me on any of these points, because this predates my participation in the game.

Johnny instituted a weapons freeze a while back (old thread) because each weapon requires 3 different strings for every action. One for first person, second person, and third person. Add in parries and dodges and such, and it's a cluster.

There are a few weapons in the game with broken strings. You've probably seen them. The weapon will show up as "Combat Engine" or "UNDEF" in the verb.

But that aside... I'd like to workshop a bit and see what peoples' solutions for the weapon issue is, assuming that a streamlined system opens the path to more weapon variety.

Personally, I do not think I would mind too much if the weapons referred to a parent object based on their weapon type OR damage type, which would dictate their action messaging. There might be some anchor points on the object that allowed for a bit of creativity to be defined on the child object to make messaging slightly more unique.

For example. All sharp edged weapons would have the same 'slash' verb at the lower skill level. "Player1 slashes Player2 viciously with their katana." for example.

We could cut out the need for unique dodge/parry/miss messaging by either describing the action itself as an attempt and appending the result to the end of the line, or simply referring to a generic message depending on the type of failure.

Aside from addressing the underlying issue, I'd also like to know how everyone feels about potentially watering down the weapon messaging if the result is more weapon variety itself.

I would honestly prefer more weapon variety over messaging. Personally, after reading through the action verbs the first time, they completely lost their luster. Especially pistol/sword verbs. Those are just annoyingly spammy now.

Demons screaming and the air filling with hellfire is evocative the first few times, but I've personally long ago switched to accessibility combat labels.

As much as I love descriptive prose, I don't think the game would be any worse off with %N shoots %d if it freed us up to put effort in on the combat elsewhere.

How do we switch to accessibility combat labels?
I'd also like to know this, I didn't even know this was a thing.
I am the mistress of obscure game functions.

@access COMBAT_LABELS is enabled
Combat Labels don't distinguish between single and multiple attacks in a round, and they don't include the significance or location of them, so anyone who is involved in serious combat is still going to have to learn how to parse the verbose weapon attack messaging, but I've found them to be a slight feedback improvement over verbose messaging alone.
Weapon messaging is one of those things that I think would be pretty easy to community outsource on the scripts page too if someone in staff were to dump some (or maybe all) exemplars.
Weapon messaging is one of those things that I think would be pretty easy to community outsource on the scripts page too if someone in staff were to dump some (or maybe all) exemplars.
Quite the contrary to watering down combat messaging.

I was having a conversation a few weeks back about this very thing. Some of the weapons in the game, which I don't want to spell out for IC reasons, have super bloated combat messaging compared with the rest. If you get even 2-3 people using these weapons in the same room fighting, the scroll quickly becomes something very difficult to try and parse out. Screaming demons give me screaming PTSD attacks! :)

I'd also say that I think that Combat Labels should probably just be a default setting at this point. I can't speak for what others do, but I don't read the verbose combat log until long after the fight. All I need to know in the moment is who's hitting what, and who's using what to hit them with.

I'm sure the new quartermaster will look into this in good time.
I don't like the idea of simplifying messages because the confusion of combat on Sindome is part of what makes it fun for me. Emphasis on for me.

There was one time I was attacked by two people and because they were both the same build and used the same weapon I thought it was only one person. Led to me getting murdered because I misjudged the situation, but it's not like they had the same adjective or anything, fault was on me.

Never really got tired of the long combat messages either, because who doesn't love every moment of you being eviscerated being described in detail?

All of that said though, for the sake of more weapon variety I'd be okay with things being simpler. More out of understanding the necessity of it than because it's my own personal preference. Maybe a mix of both styles is possible if anything is changed at all.

I prefer things the way they are now as well. Part of the fun of fights in the moment is the chaos, and then afterwards, reading the logs to see where things went wrong/great. There's a handful for me where I was surprised by a few things that happened in the playback.

I'd really hate for this to get boiled down to...

Tony slaps Jimmy with a club.

Jimmy shoots Tony with a gun.

Tony misses Jimmy with a club.

And so on.

I don't think we'd water down our messaging to that degree, HC. That's really the antithesis of what we're about here.

The Quartermaster is auditing things, but in general, we're not going to discard the work of previous community members that we've made part of us for years and years. Your contributions are important to what makes Sindome something you love. If we got rid of this, it would really send the wrong message about future contributions.

I never figured you would, Johnny. More offering a counter-point to the other players. But the reassurance is very much appreciated.