| I'm pleased to announce that tomorrow we will begin a staged rollout of a new layer of immersion for the combat system. This has been tossed around on the Combat forums for some time, and I was finally able to get somebody to plug it into the Combat system (which was no mean feat being amidst Combat 3.0!). These changes grew to be a project far beyond changes to combat, and ended up being a rather robust overhaul of the way race is handled in DR.
The combat changes will be relatively simple, as follows:
Small races (Gnomes and Halflings) will now require two hands to wield Heavy Edged/Blunt weapons. Medium and Light weapons (which will be combined into Small Edged/Blunt when the skill combination happens) will still function as normal.
Large races (Gor'Tog and Kaldar that have been shifted to be tall) are able to wield weapons that previously required two hands with a single hand. This includes 2HB and 2HE, as well as polearms and halberds. However, Light and Medium weapons will be too unwieldy to perform well, and will thus be largely unusable except as offhand weapons.
Armor will still be purchased in a 'generic' size. However, after a piece of armor is worn, it will forever be the size of the original wearer. This mitigates issues where Gor'Tog are currently able to hand a suit of armor off to a gnome, which required significant suspension of disbelief.
It's worth noting that Human, Dwarf, Elf, S'Kra Mur, shorter Kaldar, Rakash, Prydaen, and Elothean characters are not impacted by this release.
In addition, several roleplay-centric mechanics will go live tomorrow to further encourage awareness of the racial size differences. Some of the effects include:
The above changes to armor also apply to clothing. Please note that most GM alterers will be able to resize anything for you for a reasonable fee.
Large races will be required to kneel or lie down and use the CRAWL verb to enter shops in Arthe Dale, Marachek's Oak, and various gnome- and halfling-related shops throughout the game.
Small races will be able to use the SQUEEZE verb to attempt to escape from jail. Their chance of success will depend on their build, as well as the racial demographics and relative wealth of the justice zone. For instance, Hibarnhvidar is largely Gor'Tog and Dwarven in population, so their jails aren't as well-suited for holding smaller criminals.
Large races will have a much smaller chance to be affected by systems such as the tremors near the flow in Dirge.
Climbing difficulty for obstacles with sparse handholds (such as trees, some cliffs, etc) will be reduced by 25% for large races and increased by 25% for small races.
Thanks to the advances made last year in the movement code, large races walking through heavily populated areas will have a chance to trip over other adventurers or passers-by. This chance will increase along a similar axis to the Thief urbanness scale. Additionally, racial demographics in a town (and of adventurers in the room) will be taken into account.
Similarly, small races will have a chance to be stepped on. This will not cause any damage, but it will knock you prone or kneeling. Please note that this mechanic is turned off (for large and small races) during invasions and other dangerous scenarios.
Plants that produce pickable fruit and flowers will take the character's height into account when determining success and/or ability to pick the fruit/flower.
This will likely not make it out tomorrow, but I have added the ability to create shop furniture that is only accessible by races of certain heights or taller.
As a counterpart to the above addition, trader shops will only be able to blacklist or ban characters of small races with an 85% effectiveness, due to the very high percentage of normal-sized races in the City Guard for Crossing, Haven, and Shard.
It's taken a lot of hard work to get these system modifications in, so please give a big hand to everybody that's helped out!