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3 Step Grapple
Yet another grapple refactor!

So, Grapple. It's a contentious issue that has been dealt with repeatedly over the years.

It's a popular topic for Townhalls and we've been doing a lot of noodling about the right answer. This is what we've come up with.

3 Step Grapple

1. Setup - the aggressor moves into position according to the rules of held weapons and combat distances (i.e. a person with a firearm is trying to keep distance, a person with a knife is trying to close distance, etc). Distance between aggressor and victim play a role in the victim noticing something is about to happen. Recent combat makes the victim wary, boosting their ability to get the head start they need.

2. Closing the Distance - the aggressor needs to move across the room from whatever distance they're at in order to grapple their victim. If the victim noticed the aggressor's movements previously, they'll be able to act sooner and likely evade the grapple.

3. Overpowering the Victim - much like the old grapple system, your ability to overpower depends largely on your physical strength and your potential skill at holds.

Over all of these, fatigue, aiming, stealth, encumbrance, are all now being factored into the algorithm too.

We've written all this on a new object and rewritten the master grapple code so we can better support future modifications:

* more nuanced messaging (why you evaded, overpowered vs out-finessed, etc)

* more variables affecting the outcome

* reverses / counters

* shit I can't even think of right now.

So we're almost done with the new grapple system and its ready for you to help us test it out. This requires opt-in right now. You must type @options grapple to enable the new grapple system. The new grapple system will be used when the person being grappled (Bob, not the person typing 'grapple bob') has enabled this option. If you like to grapple people, beware that you will be subjected to the victim's preference, not yours. This new system will become what everyone uses when all the kinks are worked out. Try it out in the course of your RP (wanna spar at the gym?!) and let us know your feedback.

Game on!

Cool.

This makes more sense.

Awesome!

I'm really impressed by what I have seen so far! Grapple felt pretty dynamic and balanced in the very basic tests I ran with it. The test saw an agility based character in a grapple off between the older more sterotypical 'grapplemaster' type character. Without going into too much detail one character had significantly more trouble putting the other character into a hold buuuut when they did manage the other character had serious trouble getting out of the hold and vice versa.

Exciting stuff! Thanks for all the hard work you guys've put into this. Hopefully this should help keep combat more fluid and exciting and now there is a sense of 'oh shit' if and when you see it coming.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Johnny you are great, thank you.

For those who cannot appreciate why this is important, it used to be that grapple relied on too few skills/stats to be evade-able, making it an instant combat ender for anyone who didn't focus on that one aspect.

With this change, as Johnny as described, there's more checks involved, which give people the opportunity to defeat grapple not with one aspect of themselves, but given the whole of their relevant skills and stats. This means if you do get grappled, it's because the person really is faster/stronger/luckier/whatever than you are, and that means people who focus on areas other than just that one aspect stand a fighting chance in combat.

The new grapple is no longer optional. It applies to everyone now.

Woo =D

Fleeing combat while grappling someone now causes the grappled person to be released.

You want to flee? Fine choice - you just decided to prioritize your own skin over hanging on to that other baka.

People who want to save someone else from getting pummeled can still try to drag them away from their attacker, because you don't use the "flee" command for that. This only applies to grapplers who are getting actively attacked and trying to leave.

There were a some large issues around grapple and lift of objects that were not players.

1. you could lift something that someone was grappling (IE: a corpse) and walk away with it.

2. you could grapple something someone else was grappling and you would both be grappling it instead of you breaking their grapple and taking the thing.

The code has been fixed, but I need to refactor the entire set of grapple verbs to better account for all of this and be more clear, sadly.

For now, please report any issues with grapple you encounter.

To clarify further, this should hopefully resolve all the issues with grappling something and then you release it and it's not there. Or lifting something and having the same result.

These systems were not playing nice with each other or abiding the rules that get checked when a player is grappled.

You bastards are putting in overtime!