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How does Speed factor work in this game?

See a long sword has a speed factor of 5, and a dagger has a speed factor of 2. A round is six seconds, or 10 segments. Within a turn, if I attack with a long sword it should start at the fifth segment, halfway through a round? Then from there can you follow up with a dagger attack at the 7th segment?

What if I attack an enemy with a long sword on the first round, then on the second round can I make two dagger attacks before my opponent strikes? Since 2 + 2 equals 4 which comes before 5 (long sword)?

The combat seems a bit random, like sometimes my opponent will strike first on the second round, when I attacked first on the first round. It'd be nice if combat was more consistent.

Comments

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,527
    The speed factor determines WHEN an attack will be made in a round. With the lower number going first. So the dagger will attack, and then the longsword.
    JuliusBorisov
  • ThanderThander Member Posts: 1
    Speed factor only determines when in the round the attack roll (and potential hit) will occur. It doesn't give you more attacks per round. Attacks per round is 1 for each weapon equipped plus more if you have high weapon proficiency in that weapon type (2 or more pips, warrior classes only) or magical effects (haste, improved haste, magical items). Lastly, animations by default do not line up or sync with attacks per round. Many times characters swing their weapons but are not actually attacking. This was done in the original games to make combat look more interesting rather than a character just standing there doing nothing until the next round. In the Enhanced Editions there is an option in Gameplay Options -> Feedback called "No Cosmetic Attacks" you can enable if you want animations to only appear during actual attacks.

    You can read more about speed factor here: http://baldursgate.wikia.com/wiki/Speed_Factor
    Overall, speed factor is not that useful. Sometimes it is good do quick damage to mages early in a round to disrupt their spellcasting, but otherwise, it usually won't have much impact. Maybe during the very early levels high speed factor might allow your party to kill weak monsters early in the round before they can attack. As levels increase and tougher monsters are faced, combat will usually go more than one round, and limiting the effect of speed factor.
    JuliusBorisovAerakar
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 1,820
    edited November 2
    JCPheonix said:

    The combat seems a bit random, like sometimes my opponent will strike first on the second round, when I attacked first on the first round. It'd be nice if combat was more consistent.

    you can do something other than attacking within your round (one action such as gulping a potion) and you can also attack afterwards but then this attack will be delayed by the first action. the next attack will not be delayed. this looks inconsistent but it's not.
    ThacoBellJuliusBorisovAerakar
  • wsnavigatorwsnavigator Member Posts: 15
    High speed factor could be useful in rare cases where you need to hit the enemy, and then run to avoid being hit. This approach works for characters with low AC equipped with fast weapon, for example a thief with a dagger, or a monk with fists. Such a character could hit first, pause after hit, run, wait for the round to end, then repeat. While it might not look funny, fighting this way might mean winning a battle in a couple of rounds instead of losing it in the 1st or 2nd round.
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 2,194
    I agree with @Zilber - weapon speed is more important in the game than generally reckoned. If you have a weapon with a special effect (like hold or stun), then getting the chance for that to trigger first in a combat could easily make the difference between life and death. Even with no special effects the chance in a final round to kill your opponent before he attacks will significantly reduce the damage you take. Also, as @wsnavigator says there are lots of enemies where it's possible to attack the enemy and retreat without retaliation before coming in for the next round to do it again.

    However, be aware that weapon speed is not the only thing that affects when attacks are made in a round. There's also a random initiative factor. I've never seen a reliable account of how this works, but my working assumption is that it assigns up to +/- 2 to the weapon speed each round. Thus if your weapon speed were 0, an enemy will always attack after you each round (and you have the chance to retreat before he could do so). However, if the enemy had a weapon speed of 3 then every now and then he would attack first (as his initiative could give a bonus of 2, for a net speed of 1, while yours could give a penalty of 2, for a net speed of 2).

    Also be aware that following how all this works during a fight is very difficult. It's far easier if you're playing solo and only have one character to keep an eye on, but in a party fighting with several opponents keeping track needs a lot of patience and experience and most people would not even try. Part of the problem is that the game has no general system of combat rounds - every character (both party and enemy) has their own individual round counter. Thus, even if you're carefully monitoring one of your own characters and are confident they are about to start a new round (and thus you know roughly when they will attack) you can easily be caught out by an opponent who attacks apparently immediately despite having a slow weapon speed (as a result of being part-way through a combat round when you came into range).
    AndreaColomboJuliusBorisovThacoBellAerakar
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 1,212
    Not sure about the implementation, but in PnP, you roll a d6 for initiative, add weapon speed, and lower score hits first (assuming an equal number of attacks per round).
  • ArnebArneb Member Posts: 10
    tbone1 said:

    Not sure about the implementation, but in PnP, you roll a d6 for initiative, add weapon speed, and lower score hits first (assuming an equal number of attacks per round).

    Pretty much correct, but it was a d10. At least in 2nd edition, don't know about other ones.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 2,194
    edited November 15
    Adding weapon speed was a optional rule and there were lots of other optional adjustments as well. In the basic rule each side rolled a single d10 to determine initiative and then all the attacks of the side with the lower roll took place before all of the attacks of the other side. A more complicated rule still used a single initiative roll for each side, but then adjusted that roll for modifiers applying to each person (weapon speed, spell use, positioning, terrain etc). Actions then took place in relation to each person's modified roll. A further step was to roll initiative separately for each person, but that was strongly discouraged for practical reasons (difficulty for the DM in managing - though that's not an issue for a computer game). There was also the possibility to avoid initiative rolls entirely by gaining surprise.
    tbone1 said:

    Not sure about the implementation, but in PnP, you roll a d6 for initiative, add weapon speed, and lower score hits first (assuming an equal number of attacks per round).

    The initiative roll for a first attack was done independently of how many attacks each person had. Subsequent weapon attacks were only made after all the first enemy attacks had been completed (if the enemy also had multiple attacks they took place in the same order as the original initiative roll). If monsters had multiple attacks as a result of using different body parts, e.g. 2 claw attacks and a bite, those weren't treated as multiple attacks for the purpose of initiative - they all took place at once in accordance with the original iniative roll.
    Aerakar
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