There are currently 124 weapons in Fallen Enchantress including 17 base weapons. The base weapons are the normal weapons you will encounter and equip your armies with. One of our design goals for FE was to make every weapon valuable and distinct. So there is a reason you may want to use a broad sword instead of a mace, or a spear instead of a dagger.
To accomplish that we needed to add more depth to weapons, they needed to be differentiated by more than their attack rating. The following table is the weapon stat spreadsheet in the editor (where it breaks down the base weapons so I can compare and tweak numbers). There is a lot of new information in this sheet. But the primary information I wanted to show is the stats on the comparisons on the individual weapons.
Type- This is the damage type of this weapon. Armor has the ability to have different defense values against different damage types. Plate mail is better against blunt weapons and chain mail is better against cutting weapons. The elemental types are also damage types so magical weapons can do fire, lighting, cold or poison damage, and magical armor or items can provide defense against those attacks.
Armor Piercing- This means that they negate 2/3 of the opponent’s defense (spears, pikes and yew longbows). They are excellent against heavily armored opponents.
Strength Mod- This is a modifier to the amount of unit’s strength bonus. 100 means it doubles their strength bonus (the massive Maul is deadly in the hands of Trog units). Shortbow’s negate the strength bonus entirely (you don’t get to use your strength bonus when using a bow).
Production- How much production time the weapon adds to the units train time. Improvements can decrease this time (having a weaponsmith in the city) and are a good idea when you are considering building large groups of units with advanced weapons.
Weight- Weight limits are used in FE. This is the big reason why you don’t simply want to put the best armor and weapons on all your units. At some point you will have to decide if you want that huge maul or tower shield or full suit of plate mail. Especially if you are playing as the Wraiths (base stats are faction specific in FE, so the Trogs can get away with more equipment than other races). Mounts also increase a units carry capacity so another reason you may want to invest in mounts (besides the increased movement) is to be able to use more armor and bigger weapons. As mentioned in an earlier designer journal you can give traits to units you design, so if you want to make heavily armorer unis with big weapons, prepare to add some traits for strength (as compared to the other cool things you would add with traits, it’s all hard decisions).
Combat Speed- In FE on each combat tick all units get to add their combat speed to their initiative. When they get to 100 initiative they get an action (this is all behind the scenes, in game players simply see a queue of units in the order they get actions). The higher the combat speed the more frequently the unit gets to act, and it allows us to be more granular about creature speed. The base speed is 12, but weapons can affect speed so that a unit with a dagger will get more (ie: if you are a heavy spell caster, carry a dagger or a staff, not a Maul).
Those are the base weapons, but that’s only the start. Now that we have more depth in what weapons can do we can really go wild with them for magical weapons. We are creating a dangerous world and we need reasons for the players to risk their units exploring it. One reason is to find magical equipment.
We added Staves that make spell casters more powerful, swords that do lightning damage based on the wielders level, bows that do more damage vs beasts, etc. We have a unique great sword that is stuck in one of our elemental lords (good luck getting that one). We have weapons that poison victims they strike, Slag Teeth that are like short swords with increased crit chances, the Druss Blade that ignores armor, etc.
There are common, uncommon, rare and unique weapons. There are a lot to find and we want players to be discovering new ones as they play and replay the game. We won’t have Diablo style drop rates (you won’t be swimming in magical equipment). Instead we want every magical weapon you get to be something special and interesting. You should have a few to spread around to your champions by the mid to late game, and you can share them with units that can use them best or pile them all on one champion so he becomes even more powerful.
And this is open to modding. There are a lot of bonuses to give, and they can be impacted by things like the wielders level (as in the sword that does +1 lightning damage per level of the wielder), only have their bonus apply against certain creature types (this is part of the conditional gamemodifier work we did for traits), vs damaged units, vs units with a higher or lower specified stat, etc.
But my favorite ability is that weapons can apply a spell when it strikes an opponent. This came out of the requirement to be able to have weapons that poison opponents. Instead of simply applying a poison effect the weapon applies a spell, so we have the capabilities of the entire spell system open to us for what weapons can do (more about all the new spell functionality later). Weapons can blind opponents they hit, they can weaken them, they can curse them, whatever the modder wants to make a spell to do, the weapon can apply.
So if you started reading this article and thought that 124 weapons was a lot of weapons, it’s only a fraction of what the game can do and the interesting things we can create.