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Consolidation and problematic terms


By Epsilon command - Posted on 12 January 2009

A lot of my recent corrections just got obsolete as I decided to do change one of basic elements in the game. I had to go through the whole document again to change all reference to ship class - I realized that all units I had made had a straight relation between their hull rating and ship class. While this change gave some problems to be solved it already solved some by itself. Several factors were related to ship class, but now they will have to depend on hull rating.

4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons did a great job with consolidation. Despite the fact that I miss several features of 3.5E, the game itself is fast and fun to play. I think 4th edition changes worked even better for D&D miniatures game, where the changes don't have much effect on freedom of roleplaying. These changes are a thing everyone can learn from, and while the line between fast and easy playability and too refined is thin, I haven't found any space combat game that would have been really close to optimum; Games have had either too much complications or they have been simplified too much.

This is the void E2O is going to fill.

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There's a lot of terms that have been stabilized in gaming use, which is a small problem. I already had struggled and given up in case of term 'Fighters'. While this might not be very common problem, I believe anyone that has been playing Master of Orion II a lot will find this familiar. In a game where majority of units (and main units) are spaceships, I've learned to use term 'Fighters' for those small craft that are launched and that act as squadrons. I tried to use term 'Squadron' for those things in general, and they would be divided into fighters and bombers. But time after time, I found myself using term 'Fighters' for them all, so I finally gave up and started to use term 'Fighters' for all the squadron units. Bombers are still bombers and what used to be fighters are now Interceptors. Term squadron is still used as well, as fighters act and take losses as squadrons.

I'm currently struggling with terms 'Hit' and 'Damage'. I can't find any good words for them. I would have wanted to use term 'Damage' for hit severity, but it is so stabilized in use for weapon's damage capacity that I don't think I can replace it with 'Fire power' I was thinking of. Fine, weapon's damage capacity is likely to stay Damage; I could already see play testers saying 'Damage' and me correcting it to 'Fire power' time after time. My players in D&D 4E still refer to 'Fortitude saves'.

The biggest problem with terms right now is word 'Hit'. When a ship attacks, it rolls several dice. Weapon's damage and amount of hits determine how much damage it can inflict. I'll have to use term 'hit' here, as 'succeed' doesn't sound fitting. But I've also been using Hit elsewhere. If the attack causes enough damage, the ship takes a 'Hit', 'Heavy hit' or 'Devastating hit' (may still be changed disastrous, fatal or some other). But I could think that they are different and separate enough that they don't cause confusion; A player rolls an attack, counts his hits and tells the damage to his opponent, who tells if the ship takes a hit.

If I find a different term for one of these that works as well as 'hit' I may change it, but right now they both remain hits; If there isn't much chance for confusion, I don't want to change anything to something that works against intuition.