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Old February 4, 2019, 23:26   #11
luneya
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Weapon weights have never been a measure of real-world weight, but rather of how awkward an object is to carry. The easiest fix is to just remove the labels "weight" and "pounds" and instead report that "carrying this object takes n units of encumbrance."

Small weapons like daggers have the least encumbrance because of their compact design. A dagger can be stowed almost anywhere amongst a person's gear, and can be held in hand almost indefinitely without any special effort. By contrast, a sword or battle-axe can really only be secured to a belt-scabbard or a baldric worn on the back, and it's harder to carry one in hand for an extended period than the difference in weight would suggest, because these weapons are not only longer than daggers, but have more of the weight distributed to the end away from the hilt. The really big weapons like polearms are actually somewhat easier to carry in hand over time, as you can just treat them as walking sticks, with the weight of the weapon resting against the ground, but it's nearly impossible to wear them across the body rather than carrying them.

It also makes good physical sense that this notion of encumbrance would affect attack speed and damage. In the real world, you can deliver multiple stabs with a dagger about as quickly as you could land multiple punches. With a larger weapon, the leverage effects cause each strike to hit with more force, but also to require more recovery time between strikes. So in a sense, the current Angband model is accurate.

The problems are that the combat model overvalues the speed benefits of a smaller weapon as compared to the force benefits of a larger weapon, and that all weapons have a fixed minimum striking speed. In the real world, an unathletic bookworm like the average mage would probably be slow with a dagger--perhaps as slow as a fighter would be with a maul--but would be even slower than that with a polearm. The game can't capture this, as no character ever drops below 1 blow per round.
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