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Joined: Oct 2020
Javi93 Offline OP
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Joined: Oct 2020

I had a lot of fun last night with my friends trying out early access, thank you for that!

I wanted to suggest a change to how sneak attack is implemented. My perspective is that of a web developer who has never played DnD, and therefore never played a Rogue, but has spent many weeks nerding out with the core rulebooks and has some experience with game design. So maybe I'm off base, but I'm going to try to be clear and constructive.

The goal of this change is to:
1) reduce redundancy in the UI
2) prevent new players from forgetting to use their sneak attack
3) at the same time, clarify for the player if sneak attack will activate, so that they can adjust accordingly

Currently, there are the two normal attack buttons, and two sneak attack buttons in the hotbar. Functionally, the sneak attack buttons will do extra damage under the correct conditions, but otherwise duplicate the regular attack buttons. So, why not just upgrade the attack buttons? Make sneak attack a passive feature that applies to your attack actions every time, rather than an active "option" that you can forget to use and takes up space in your hotbar.

I've tried to think of problems with this approach. Here are my thoughts and concerns:

- How would we communicate to the player what sneak attack does and how to use it?
-- Add the sneak attack text to the attack action button instead, and introduce the upgraded attack button in the class section of character creation.

- How would we indicate to the player that sneak attack will be applied?
-- Currently, there is no clear yes/no indicator that sneak attack will activate before committing to the attack, and the only way to know that sneak attack did activate is if a second number showed up after the fact. It's not a different colored number or a bigger number or anything like that. This is a general problem with sneak attack, and any improvement here is welcome. I think a UI element or effect where the player is attacking (and therefore, where they are already looking) would be ideal. However, a smaller change might be to change the color of the background or icon of the attack button while aiming the attack at a target.

- What if I want to attack but not apply sneak attack?
-- I can think of only two scenarios for this, both are fairly rare: "I want to deal non-lethal damage" and "I want to deal a specific amount of damage". The first is better accomplished by Knock Unconscious, and the second can be achieved in a variety of ways, including intentionally attacking in a way that wouldn't trigger sneak attack.

- What if there are multiple classes that could make the same argument (like the Fighter's extra attack)?
-- I haven't tried out the fighter yet, unfortunately. The attack buttons are there for every single player, regardless of class; especially with multi-classing, it may be challenging to make a single button serve so many masters. Nevertheless, my intuition is that precisely because every player will be using those buttons, making them more robust is an opportunity more than it is a problem, as long as it can be done well. If it can't be done then it can't be done, but I think it's worth looking into.

- What if my bosses overhaul the UI again and invalidate this whole thing?
-- You got me there. I'd have to make a new post in that case, if it makes you feel any better. I can only give feedback on what's in front of me.

Anyway, thank you reading!


Joined: Oct 2020
Joined: Oct 2020

Granted, a sneak attack is a conscious action, I understand the rationale behind making it separate, but in DnD the realism (or more importantly, fun) doesn't derive from some fanatical attention to detail. You don't knock arrows during combat, it is assumed your character is doing these things. Similarly, with a rogue if you move to flank or gain sneak attack in any other way, it should be a equally automatic

Wasteland 3 offered many improvements over its predecessors, but the greatest of them all was your squad automatically reloading after combat. Forcing the player to do so manually contributed nothing to the game and offered only opportunities for frustration. Also consider many players dislike overly busy interfaces especially when a number of things are ultimately redundant

Last edited by DistantStranger; 07/10/20 08:16 PM. Reason: typographical errors
Joined: Oct 2020
Joined: Oct 2020
I agree that the sneak attack function is wonky.

The fact that it can only be done by pressing the sneak attack button means that you lose the opportunity to use it both as one of your bonus action attacks (assuming you are TWF) or during an opportunity attack (I haven't tested whether it works for opportunity attacks, but I'm assuming the answer is no - can anyone confirm?).

The fix is quite simple for coding actually. If an attack hits and is a successful sneak attack (fulfills all the conditions for sneak attacks), set a variable to yes to show that it was used. For each attack during that character makes, check the variable. If it is set to yes, do normal damage. If it is set to no, check the normal variables to determine whether it qualifies for sneak attack and do damage accordingly. At the end of that character's turn, reset the variable to no, so that any opportunity attacks that qualify for sneak attack can do the extra damage. Then at the beginning of that character's turn, reset the variable to no again (just in case there was a successful opportunity sneak attack that set the variable to yes).

I'm guessing sneak attack is its own call function, so adding one more variable and a few extra lines of code to that shouldn't be too much work.

As for the notion that you won't want to use sneak attack for the first target, but might for another (example of a reason why: the target you are closest to only has a few HP left. You need to kill it so it dies and/or doesn't get an opportunity attack, but you want to sneak attack the healthier target): It's quite simple. Have a sneak attack toggle button. If the toggle is set for on, call the newly improved sneak attack function every attack. Otherwise, don't.

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