Dev Log -22: Weapon Classes and Skills
There are essentially eight weapon classes in Underrail: pistols, SMGs, assault rifles, sniper rifles, crossbows, knives, sledgehammers, and miscellaneous melee weapons (such as a crowbar).
The last three are covered by a single skill – melee - which also includes unarmed combat.
Crossbow is a class of its own. I intend it to be a different kind of weapon from the rest of the ranged weapons; one that makes up for its lower damage output with additional utility and shield mitigation.
The rest of the weapons mentioned above are the usual ranged firearms (though some will have energy based variants as well). Originally, they each had their own skill, but after a while I realized that wouldn’t work well for two main reasons:
- I want to introduce different weapon classes gradually during the early game, but the player would be asked to invest skill points in a certain weapon class immediately which would often leave him with two options: waste skill points in the early game to be proficient in a weapon you might not use later or spend skill points only in the chose weapon class and struggle until you obtain that weapon.
- Some weapons (assault and sniper rifles) will have naturally higher damage output than others (pistols, SMGs). The latter will still be viable damage-wise in the late game and might bring additional utility; however, for a character that wants to max out their pure weapon damage, rifles will be superior. So these should require more training to be used, but with originally, it’s just as easy to spend points in rifles as in pistols.
So I decided to merge these four skills into a single skill called ‘Guns’. This solved the first problem. Then I introduced minimum weapon skill requirement for using different weapon types. This requirement is based on the weapon class (pistols - requirement, SMGs - low, rifles - medium) and weapon level. This will ensure that only those characters that spend a lot of points in Guns will be able to effectively use the most powerful weapons, while other characters can decide how much they want to spend in this skill to supplement their other damage sources.
By the way, not meeting the minimal skill requirement for a weapon will not prevent you from equipping the weapon, but give you an increased chance to miss (which increases with skill discrepancy).