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Hitting the Mark

You know that crushing feeling when the enemy has two health points left and it will take one hit to finish them, and then you MISS?  Welcome back to the tides, where we will now discuss accuracy in video games.

The Three Fundamentals of Accuracy

So what is accuracy? Accuracy describes a measure of success based on the quality of being precise or correct; that is to say, it is a measure of your ability to hit a target.  Before we get any further into this, we will first review three fundamental points of accuracy.

  1. Skill Shots
  2. Targets 
  3. Perecntage and Change

Press a Button and Pray for the Best (aka Skill Shots)

A skill shot in a video game is an ability that a player utilizes by aiming and then firing.  In this case, accuracy is determined by the player's own prowess and how good they are at predicted the movement of an enemy unit.  Some great examples of skill shots come from League of Legends.  The champions Ahri and Lux both utilize a kit of skill shots that the player must learn and become a master at, in order to successfully outplay the opposing side.  For Ahri, this means throwing out charms and orbs.  For Lux, a summoner must accurately toss binds, shields, and spinning lights of death around the map.  What this means, for this fundamental of accuracy, is that the accuracy of the skill itself depends entirely on the player. 

Don't Blink, Don't Even Blink (aka Targets)

The second fundamental of accuracy is that of the moving target.  Games that implement this sort of skill include Fable and Legend of Zelda.  Similarly to skill shots, targets in games require the player to focus and aim, and have the hand-eye coordination to be able to hit the target with their weapon.  The important thing when it comes to targets is to identify which targets need to be dealt with first, or which will earn you the most points.

 

Luck Be a Lady...please (aka Percentage and Chance)

 Finally, the third fundamental of accuracy is the concept of percentage and the chance of hitting a target.  Many games will offer you a shot at hitting a target, and inform you of the chance of you being successful in landing a shot. A painful example of this is X-COM, and the heart-wrenching way in which, even with a 98% chance of hitting the target that is right in front of you, you still miss. 

The sun must have gotten in his eyes...

The sun must have gotten in his eyes...

 

Accuracy plays an important role in keeping an edge of suspense in a battle, and can also force a player to adapt new strategies when dealing with enemies.

Strategy or Bust

In Iron Tides, accuracy factors into many different aspects of the game, including chance of blocking, and chance of hitting an enemy unit.  Both of these are made possible by the placement of your Vikings.  That is part of what makes our game strategic.  This orthogonal placement of your Viking determines other accuracy stats, depending on which direction the character is facing.  For instance, if your Viking carries a shield, he or she will have the chance to block incoming attacks, but only if their shield is facing the direction of the attack.

Orthogonal placement of your Vikings in Iron Tides is equally as important as strategic placement; where should each Viking be depending on their stats and abilities?  If your archer is placed further away from the target, the accuracy will decrease, the chance to actually land a hit will decrease, and then you will end up with that X-COM feeling as your arrow swishes by the enemy and the fatal words miss materialize near the ever-taunting scourge. 

Choice plays an important role when it comes to accuracy as well, especially in critical battles when your Vikings are outnumbered 5:1.  Take this scenario: there are two enemies you are deciding between attacking.  One has critically low health, the other one has a full HP bar.  The one with the full HP bar you have an 80% chance to land a blow.  The one who you could kill in one strike, however, you only have a 15% chance of hitting.  Which one do you go for?  Strategy would say that, when outnumbered five to one, it would be the most logical to take out the weaklings.  However, are you willing to bank on only 15%? Iron Tides will exploit this percentage chance, and force the player to make decisions that will then affect game play, and force the player to rethink their strategy.

In effect, Iron Tides takes in two of the three fundamentals of accuracy: targets and percentage.  The rest is up to the player to make good tactical decisions that will give the Viking the best chance of succeeding in striking or blocking an attack. 

Hope you enjoyed the read.  See you again in a couple of weeks, and remember...FOR GLORY!