I’ve started using different notation for combat powers, like “range” instead of “target.” There are only a couple powers in the Update Combat Powers for August that are targeting-powers now, to reflect an update in targeting, erm, philosophy, I suppose. In one sense, “target one creature” is redundant, and I’ll explain why.

Once ranged powers become available, ranges will be effective replacements for “target” information. If a character makes an attack with a range of “melee,” they can choose which creatures or characters they wish to attack on the battlefield with relative impunity, this by and large due to the fact that spatial position is no longer a factor.

This means that a character with a sword can make a melee attack and target everyone on the field at the same time. Or just all the enemies on the field at the same time. This might sound a bit ludicrous, but the entire point of this exercise is for each team to create effective deterrents to one side or the other doing exactly that.

Diablo II Character Classes

There’s a LEGO game I want to play.

Let’s say an archer makes a field attack against all enemies with their bow — some of their foes may have a special defense in place to guard against that, and in the case of touch-range enemies, they may be able to capitalize with free attacks against the archer when he or she unleashes their volley of death.

Incidentally, this is also where “encounter equivalent” powers come into play. Not every character will be able to unleash an unstoppable rain of arrow-y destruction on each turn, only some of them – and even then, only some of the time.

It’s far faster, far easier for the player to declare, “I attack all the guys with my bow,” than to try and work out distances and lines of sight versus lines of effect, and it’s just as easy to modify that by saying, “I shoot at the guys who can’t get an advantage on me for doing so.” Or maybe you bite the bullet and attack anyway.

Generally speaking however, no one wants to draw too much attention to themselves. The game system is one that rewards everyone cooperating and ganging up on a single target at a time – or at the very least coordinating attacks.

A simpler example than the above might well be a question of reach – say you make a melee-range attack against a foe with longer reach than you. You might get more damage with your fancy melee attack, but they might also get a swing at you before you can connect with your attack. It ought to make charging a scary prospect.

The timing system (interrupts and such) is already built to handle all that.

I think the next thing I need to do is overhaul the rest of the tactical defenses to make sure they’re up to the latest version of the basic combat powers, maybe see if I can’t retouch the Seven States (status effects), and then get cracking on some character classes to demonstrate the sorts of effects I’m talking about here.

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