Combat Part 1: Shields

One of the things we wanted to do with Starbound was give the combat a lot of depth and flow. We’re aiming to rival the depth of combat you’re used to seeing in huge modern RPGs like Skyrim or Amalur.

Weapons in Starbound can be placed in either the left or right hand (which correspond with the left and right mouse button). Some weapons are two handed, others (like shields) are one handed. Picking two weapons or tools that compliment each other is a big part of being combat effective. Will you choose two daggers? A sword and a shield? An axe and a gun? It’s up to you.




The combat system in Starbound spans many different tools and weapons, far too many to mention in a single post. So I thought I’d start with one we haven’t really discussed yet. And that’s shields.

Touching (most) enemies in Starbound won’t damage the player directly, instead enemies must go through an attack animation to damage the player. This opens up the gameplay massively to blocking and counter attacks. And that’s where shields come in.





Once equipped to the left or right hand, shields are brought out by holding the corresponding mouse button. If the player is attacked during this period they take a small percentage (depending on the level of the shield) of regular damage that’s applied to the players health bar as white “recoverable” health.



Once combat is over this health will regenerate, however if the player is hit they’ll lose all of their white health. If the player strikes an enemy shortly after blocking an attack the player gets a “counter attack” which is a guaranteed critical hit. We’re experimenting with increasing the counter attack damage further based on the amount of white health the player currently has. Block many attacks and your next counter attack will be devastating.. but slip up and lose it all. Major risk/reward gameplay.






On top of all of this, it won’t just be you making use of shields. Humanoid enemies will use them too and some creatures may have natural shields.

More on combat later!


Let me know what you think