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April 28, 2009

Tim Deen discusses Halo Wars combat system

halowars

Another developers blog appeared on the Halo Wars website today. Tim Deen a Halo Wars designer and Ensemble veteran discusses the damage system in Halo Wars and how things like accuracy and range affect the damage units dish out.

I will be continuing to mirror blog posts from Robot, Bonfire and others so that fans of Ensemble Studios can continue to find blog posts of their well respected developer in one place.

Blog post from HaloWars.com follows courtesy of Community Manager, Aloysius:

Under The Hood of the Halo Wars Combat System

Published Monday, April 27, 2009 2:37 PM by Aloysius 

Intro

The simulation system of any RTS can at times be hard for the players to unravel exactly what is going on so today we are taking a quick look at the core systems comprising the Halo wars combat system. 

 

In Halo Wars every combat unit has an armor type and at least one weapon (often more), while each weapon has its individual damage, damage type and accuracy stats.  Every attack in halo wars has a specific weapon associated with it even special attacks such as grenades or canister shot have separate specific weapons just for that special to use.

 

Accuracy

The first item we will look at it is the accuracy system in halo wars and how individual projectiles are directed when fired at the enemy.  Every weapon has individual accuracy ratings that determine how accurate the attacks it makes are; the first rating is a straight chance to have the projectile be fired true while the second rating is used to determine how far off the aim is if the attack is not perfectly accurate.   After the projectile is fired all that is left to find out is what unit is actually hit as a weapon can “roll” a miss and the enemy can move into the projectiles path.

 

Damage

After a projectile actually hits a target comes stage two of combat where the armor type of the unit being hit and the damage type being applied are used to look up a damage modification.  The final damage is calculated by multiplying the base damage by this damage modifier. 

 

A simple example of this is a marine firing on a scorpion with his rifle which for this example we will say does 10 base damage, now then the scorpion is armor type “Heavy armor” and the rifle does damage type “small arms fire” so we cross reference small arms fire and heavy armor on the table and get 0.4 modifier.  The final damage will 4 damage done to the scorpion tank, calculated by taking the base damage (10) and multiplying Is by the modifier (0.4).

 

Wrap up

Overall the damage system is relatively straight forward with the main complexity coming from the number of armor and damage types but where feasible like type weapons share like type damage types.  The machine gun on a scorpion does the same damage type as on the warthog for example.  Also most game units have a fairly straight forward armor type except for a few special cases I will not be covering (but they are not important for this article).

 

Timotron


Some base Armor types in Halo wars

·         Light infantry:                    Marines, Grunts, Jackals, brutes, Elites

·         Heavy Infantry:                 Flamethrowers, Hunters, Cyclops

·         Medium Armor:                     Warthogs, Ghosts, Choppers, Wolverines, Cobras

·         Heavy armor:                     Scorpions, Wraith, Elephants, Scarabs

·         Aircraft:                                Hornets,  Banshees, Vultures, Vampires

·         Building:                               Bases, Buildings, Turrets

 

Some example damage types

  •  
    • Plasma pistols and rifles
    • Plasma cannons on ghost, banshee and wraith
    • Heavy machine guns on warthog, scorpion and hornet
  • Heavy MG and plasma

  •  
    • Wolverine anti air missiles
    • Turret anti-air missiles
    • Vulture anti-air missiles
    • Vampire heavy needles
    • Turret anti-air needles
  • Anti air missiles/ needles

  •  
    • Marine grenade/ RPG special attacks
    • Grunt plasma grenade special attack
    • Warthog grenadier
    • Wolverine grenade mortar
  • Grenades

  •  
    • Rebel snipers
    • Jackal snipers
  • Sniper attacks

  •  
    • Flamethrower
    • Flame mortars
    • Covenant anti-infantry plasma mortar turret
  • Flames

Damage type/ armor type lookup table (real numbers from the Halo Wars database)

 

Light infantry

Heavy infantry

Medium Armor

Heavy Armor

Aircraft

Buildings

Heavy MG and plasma

160%

120%

120%

40%

180%

40%

Anti air missiles/ needles

120%

120%

100%

60%

300%

60%

Grenades

80%

60%

160%

120%

80%

160%

Sniper attacks

400%

300%

40%

20%

40%

20%

Flames

300%

200%

40%

20%

40%

40%

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Related posts:

  1. Tim “Timotron” Deen reveals (nearly) final patch list for Halo Wars
  2. Tim Deen talks about Halo Wars unit counters in detail
  3. Players invited to discuss Title Update 3 for Halo Wars on official community forum

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