Multitool knife underpowered?

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Multitool knife underpowered?

Yes, I'm fighting against tough guys (why are 95% of the enemies strong and/or tough?) but how many times do I really need to slash them against their punches??

The enemies are so eager to fight hand to hand even if I've got a knife. I admit, I like the challenge but it seems a bit strange to be in these long drawn out knife vs punches battles when I know in r/l that kind of mismatch leads to quick and bloody ends.

Spear vs unarmed guy who kept coming back for more (and threatening me to boot) for some reason was amusing though...

While this hardly can be considered a weapon:

Spoiler: Highlight to view

I do agree that some of the weaponized items (branches, pots) are surprisingly non-efficient against enemies, especially ones that are Tough.

As for their suicidal persistence when it comes to attacking better armed opponents - maybe they are sure they can overcome you with their superior hand-to-hand combat skills, or maybe they are simply desperate enough to try anyway?

<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
DeviantArt Gallery of MoD Sprites

Not to be pedantic but the image that's displayed when you've got it armed in battle makes it look more imposing than that one :) Plus, you'd be surprised how effective a small blade can be, like the shivs that prisoners fashion. Anyways, I realize it's probably more of a balance aspect to the game rather than aiming for pure realism.

I guess the question is, if every unarmed guy ran away at the sight of me brandishing a knife, crowbar, meat cleaver, etc, would it ruin the current balance of the game? I'm thinking yes.

Despite the strangeness of the encounters I do like the difficulty. But maybe there should be a few more "normal" people and slightly less superheroes.

As usual in video games, item pictures present only a general item type, so my assumption on multi-tool was that most of those are what the name suggests - tools - rather than combat knifes in disguise :D

As with usefulness of such weapons, I guess that when your target is turned back, standing naked and cleaning his junk under the prison shower, anything sharp is quite effective ;) However in active combat, when opponent counteracts your moves, items that are very short/fragile (this tool's blade looks like around 2cm) are not particularly useful. I find it not so hard to believe that a seasoned brawler could easily counter blade as such with his bare hands, getting nothing more than a few scratches/scars to brag about.

However when it comes to the enemies attacking or not, this is dependent in how the game handles morale. Things that enemies consider are: weapon class (obviously) but also a few skills: Tough and Strong give owner a plus, while Feeble and Fragile give a minus. So enemy with bare hands and both those skills will usually think he is stronger than a player with a knife and nothing else. There is some randomness in that as well I guess, so that actions are not always identical.

Good thing to remember, is that there are, currently, three general types of human enemies: Raider (Strong and Tough), Bandit (Strong) and Looter (Feeble and Fragile) and they occupy different areas, so how eager the enemies are to fight depends on where you are really.

<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
DeviantArt Gallery of MoD Sprites

I think I'm getting the hang of the combat. With a melee weapon against a strong or tough opponent it helps a lot to stay 1 or 2 (if possible) distance away and attack while judiciously using the dodge or step back options to maintain the range. I've been able to take down several like this now, with the crowbar that is. Very cool :)

Pshh. The best way to fight most people hand to hand is to just get them on the floor, and then keep on kicking them.

I only cheat a little bit guis

Who needs honor when you can simply stomp anyone to death?
I imagine that my character simply jumps on enemy and starts dancing Lords of the Dance style :D

Children's backpack full of bullets? I see nothing wrong in that.

A lot of times, I've found myself without a weapon while my enemy has his own weapon. What do I do? I beat the crap out of him, give him the final, killing blow, and then I take his weapon. Works everytime.:D

Proud member of the International Federation of Looters, Bandits, and Raiders. "Divided, we stand. Together, you better have athletic skill!"

With Crowbar, will travel

Given how vulnerable human body is and how severe some injuries made with even most basic of tools can be, I guess I wouldn't mind upping the upper limit of damage done with things like branches and small blades, at least against unarmored, lightly dressed humans and other weaker opponents - this way, aforementioned items won't ever be dependable weapons but upon repeated.. application and with some luck - they will be able to do considerable damage.

While it's amazing some of the seemingly minor things that can kill a person, it's also amazing how much punishment the human body can take under the right conditions. While visually gruesome, superficial to moderate lacerations are very survivable and don't generally incur a lot of blood loss. Most of your vitals and high pressure arteries are deep to all of your veins, fat, and muscle. We're not latex balloons full of blood with self-destruct buttons laying just under the skin everywhere. More pressing than the lacerations themselves would be secondary concerns like infection and quality of life after scar formation.

The current balance where a player has to scratch, cut and stab their opponent seemingly many, many times to incapacitate them is very plausible. Especially when given that the blade they're cutting with is probably around 1.5". While not apples to apples, for comparison's sake lets look at a frequently used penetration requirement for defensive handgun ammunition. The FBI and some other organizations require a projectile be able to penetrate 12-18" (IIRC). This is to ensure ability to hit critical structures (CNS, PNS, cardiac) from different angles, which may be more elusive in an actively resisting opponent than you may think.

It is likely that many of the raiders, bandits, and looters in Neo Scavenger's world have been cut before, and will be again after the player is gone. In that vein the dirty, hungry opportunists that grew up in this brutal wasteland might not be so concerned by the soft-looking player who woke into their world a few days prior. It's commonly held that in a knife fight getting cut is almost a certainty, and they'd know that, just as they'd know it's survivable. This may explain part of why they're not scared off.

It's also conceivable that they simply wouldn't notice the knife. It's not unheard of for police reports to show that stabbing victims didn't perceive the knife or realize they'd been stabbed and not simply struck. They notice afterwards when sympathetic responses wind down and they feel the pain or realize they're bleeding. Along with concealability and ease of retainment this is one of the appeals of a push knife. The motion used to stab with it is simply a punch. To the recipient of the punch and common observers, it may appear to be just that.

Edit: Speaking of that, how about those push knives, Dan? Could potentially fit into a special slot around the neck or in a boot that can be accessed without going into inventory.


"You've got some red on you."

I think you guys have done a good job of covering all the angles here, and in terms of reality, I don't think there's much more for me to add. However, I can talk a bit about the rationale that went into the game design.

For most weapons, my rule of thumb was to imagine the range of possible wounds, and to gauge their relative probabilities. My assumption is that most hits will be a non-optimal, so I tried not to dwell on the "perfect hit" scenario.

E.g. a multitool blade could slice the trachea, but in all probability, is going to slice surface flesh or stab a non-vital muscle. On the other hand, a meat cleaver is always used as a chopper, and if it hits at all, it's more likely to cut deep into the body, severing a tendon, muscle, or artery.

As such, the cleaver has a much higher "cut" lethality than a multitool. In game terms, the multitool can kill a person in no less than 3 hits, and usually more like 5-6. A cleaver, on the other hand, can kill a man in 1 hit, and usually requires more like 2.

Now, that's assuming the attacker knows what they're doing (i.e. has Melee) and the defender is normal (i.e. not Tough/Fragile). An unskilled attacker is going to have a lower lethality with their chosen weapon, which roughly halves their effectiveness (e.g. more scratching and bruising than shredding and pounding). Being Strong will counteract that lack of skill (purely in damage terms, not hitting), and being both Strong and skilled can make almost any weapon lethal in 1-2 hits, if lucky.

In terms of morale effects, each weapon has an assigned morale value. Wielding it grants that morale, and seeing it on an opponent detracts that morale. For the most part, morale values track lethality.

However, cutting weapons have a morale disproportionate to their lethality. My rationale here is that some weapons just give people the heebie jeebies. E.g. a broken glass bottle is less lethal than a sauce pan in practice, but most people don't like the idea of broken skin and glass shards in their body, so it has a slightly inflated threat factor. Similarly, the punch is quite underrated in terms of morale compared to its lethality.

As with everything, though, this is just a reflection of the way I perceive reality. And I reserve the right to be wrong :)

Edit: added parenthetical note about Strong hit probabilities. Also, @aesop, push-knives are a great idea! I just haven't had time to add as much variety to game items as I've wanted. (E.g. only one type of shoe in the whole game!)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Well, it IS the apocalyptic world after all, I bet those bandits seen worst, probably not a half naked guy holding a tiny shiv...

They laugh as they cracked my head wide open...but now...who's laughing now? Just me, cuz they have no head to laugh with.
*Meat Cleaver fells apart...*

...I can't even figure out how to attack. Bandits are hitting me before I'm even in range to do anything at all, and even at 0 range all I can do is grab him and try to pull him to the ground. There is NO option to attack.

What are you armed with? If you have a ranged weapon in hand, and a ranged attack chosen, you won't be able to attack when in melee range. Some ranged/thrown weapons have an option to attack in melee (pistol whip, rifle's butt) - to change attack mode use arrows in the lower right corner (where the weapon is shown) or use mousewheel.

<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
DeviantArt Gallery of MoD Sprites

I had the same issue on my very first non-demo game. Had a cleaver in my hand, was at range 1 or 2 and the bandit could punch me, but I never got the crosshair icon so I could attack. My tough strong melee guy weilding a cleaver got the crap kicked out of him by an unarmed shoeless bandit.

Only happened that one time though. Every other fight I've been in I could attack.

If your only option was to pull them to the ground it's because you were on the ground yourself. You'll find that while standing you generally have more extensive combat options. A group of opponents or a particularly obnoxious one will sometimes tackle you repeatedly and get you stuck in a loop of standing up and being knocked right back down. Defensive moves seem to reduce the success rate of enemy tackles in my experience. When you're on the ground your options are generally limited to rolling, standing, and pulling down. IIRC you can also make ranged attacks while prone.

You will lose the opportunity to make an offensive action on the turn you switch your weapon/ammo type/attack method. I have had fights where I kept accidentally touching the mouse wheel, which would change my attack weapon and force me to spend the round doing something ho-hum like threatening or falling back.