It took a while to settle on the weapon types that would be available to Luisa. I had originally considered having bows or crossbows, axes, and maybe even two different swords types (short bladed and long bladed). Luckily, I changed my mind before going too deep into the development of those weapons.
I wanted the weapons to feel different and for each one to fill a different role. I ended up settling on Swords, Daggers, Spears and Maces. By not having a specific class of ranged weapon, I put the focus on Magick spells for ranged combat.
I'll briefly describe the role of each weapon class below:
Note that the game is still very much in development, and this information may change before the final product.
SWORDS – I feel that swords tend to be the go-to weapon for many people in fantasy games — myself included. In Luisa, they're probably the best general purpose melee weapon. They do the most damage, and have moderate speed and reach. If you're having trouble deciding, then swords are probably your best bet.
DAGGERS – Originally daggers were going to be a “challenge run” kind of weapon. There was going to be an achievement (and probably still will be) for completing the game only using daggers. Once I got them coded and added to the game, I realized that they were a hell of a lot of fun to play with. Daggers are blazing fast, and while their damage is low, they have a high critical hit rate which will help make up for that. Getting used to their extremely low range will take some getting used to, of course.
If you intend on using daggers a lot, raising your DEX stat is your best bet. It will further increase your crit rate and your attack speed.
SPEARS – I really enjoy when games include “reach” weapons, like spears. Discovering that spears could hit from two squares away in Final Fantasy Tactics really opened my eyes to the amazing utility these weapons can provide in a video game. Spears keep Luisa at a relatively safe distance from her enemies. They have twice the reach of most swords and three times the reach of most daggers. Their damage and speed is a little lacking, but the utility really makes up for that. They also get a small critical hit bonus.
MACES – These are the weapons that have been changed the most over the course of development. Originally they were going to be the highest damage melee weapon, but have lower range and slow speed. Then they were going to ignore a portion of the enemy's defense stat. I've changed them considerably since then.
Maces are still the slowest weapon by a good margin. Their range is slightly lower than swords, and their damage is roughly equivalent to spears (but without the crit bonus). They're clearly the worst melee weapon of the bunch, but they have a different purpose. I've recently re-branded maces as “Scepters” and they're designed to be the magick-user's weapon of choice. Scepters are the only melee weapon class that increases spell damage (and defense). It's also likely I'll be adding some extra passive mana regeneration to the player for having a mace equipped, but that's still being tested.
So there they are – the four weapon classes!
Earlier I mentioned how I decided not to have ranged weapons to make spells more viable in combat. While that is mostly true, I did decide to add some limited-use throwing weapons. This is mainly to make DEX build characters more viable. Throwing weapons are relatively low damage, but scale with DEX. Throwing daggers, in particular, are extremely fast, and go well with the agile play-style that the DEX build caters to.
Right now there are only throwing daggers and throwing axes (which arc through the air similar to the axes in Castlevania). I may add more to the throwing mechanics, but I definitely want spells to be the primary source of ranged attacks in the game. I imagine there will be a lot of changes to how these systems work in the coming months.
That's all for now. Thanks for reading! (I also added a few new screenshots to the Media gallery – check them out!)