Attack range terminology

ShinRyuuBR

First Post
So, I've been thinking, perhaps the terminology for attack ranges could be a little better. And by better I mean simpler and clearer. Nothing huge or fancy, just a bit of simplification.

So, we've got Melee :melee: and Close :close:, which do not provoke opportunity attacks, and Ranged :ranged: and Area :area:, which do. "Area" is a somewhat deceiving term, since Close attacks always (as far as I've seen) affect an area (though some do not affect EVERY target in the area). A Close attack can be a blast, a burst or a line; an area attack can be a burst or wall. Melee and ranged attacks are always targeted, with either a fixed range, the weapon's range, or touch (melee only); they might have more than one target, like Split the Tree, but these tend to be limited and exception-based.

So, Area attacks are always ranged. Both ranged and area attacks provoke OA's. "Area attacks" is an unfortunate term. So, they could both be called Ranged. Then, instead of having "Ranged 10", "Ranged Weapon" and "Area burst 1 within 10", we would have "Ranged 10, Targeted", "Ranged Weapon, Targeted" and "Ranged 10, Burst 1". The ", Targeted" clause could even be omitted, as there will be a "Target: One creature" entry ("Target: Each creature in blast" for blasts).

In the same line, melee and area attacks do not provoke OA's and have a range based on where you can make a direct physical strike. They could both be Close, or Direct. So, instead of having "Melee Weapon", "Melee Touch", "Close Blast 3" and "Close Burst 1", we could have "Direct, Weapon", "Direct, Touch", "Direct, Blast 3" and "Direct, Burst 1".

Of course, this could be refined a bit. I can see the point of origin being mistakin in a Direct attack as proposed above: an area attack would have origin at the character, but a weapon attack would be adjacent or have reach. So perhaps this is not the best way. We do, however, have the Personal range, though it is not for attacks (apparently, only for utility powers). A Close Burst would probably fit best as "Personal, Burst X" than "Direct, Burst X". Same for blasts and lines.

So, we would have Melee, Personal and Ranged attacks. Area attacks would fit in Personal (blast, burst or line) and Ranged (burst or wall). Only Ranged attacks would provoke OA's, which simplifies the learning process.

So, there you go. Just some cents tossed as a mental exercise. Please share any thoughts.
 
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BeauNiddle

First Post
What about feats / powers that trigger off melee or ranged keywords expecting them to be weapons but now you've applied them to spells as well.

Or conversely metamagic style abilities that trigger off Area spells which now would apply to Ranged attacks?

And what about Auras :)

I agree WotC are bad at naming but I'm guessing they've simplified the keywords as much as possible AND NO FURTHER.
 

Melee :melee: , Ranged :ranged: , Close :close: and Area :area: work fine for me. I think it just takes a little bit of getting used to. This is another one of those things that 3 months from now we won't even think about anymore.
 


ShinRyuuBR

First Post
Well, if it triggers off a Ranged attack, it is not necessarily a weapon attack, so that would have to be stated anyway. If it triggers off a single-targeted ranged attack, this is how you specify it.

AFAIK, auras do not fit in these attack ranges. I believe they are by definition close bursts that are always active, not requiring an action.

I'm guessing they've simplified the keywords as much as possible AND NO FURTHER.

I do see how they would want do separate things enough, but it really bugs me that a range category was called Area while there are other area attacks. And I see no reason why they shouldn't be included in the Ranged category.
 

ShinRyuuBR

First Post
I think it just takes a little bit of getting used to.

Yes, well, since I usually have to teach my friends how to play, I'd rather it be less confusing. This Area category was poorly named and I don't see why it should be separated from normal Ranged attacks to begin with. I can live with it, but I'll probably change their names in our sheets and day-to-day usage.
 

Voss

First Post
I agree with the big evil weasel, I like them better this way. Once familiar, they tell you exactly what they do, rather than have to parse it out from ranged, XXX or whatever.
 

ShinRyuuBR

First Post
Once familiar, they tell you exactly what they do, rather than have to parse it out from ranged, XXX or whatever.

I don't get your point. What is the "parsing" difference between "Area burst 1 within 10" and "Ranged 10, burst 1"?
 


ShinRyuuBR

First Post
jedrious said:
'First word' recognition perusal

Still don't follow. Area or :area: says nothing about the shape, range or radius of the effect. Neither does Ranged or :ranged: say if it is a fixed range or keyed to a weapon. You don't lose anything calling both Ranged, because in both cases, you must elaborate further to find out what the power really does.
 

abyssaldeath

First Post
ShinRyuuBR said:
Still don't follow. Area or :area: says nothing about the shape, range or radius of the effect. Neither does Ranged or :ranged: say if it is a fixed range or keyed to a weapon. You don't lose anything calling both Ranged, because in both cases, you must elaborate further to find out what the power really does.


Well :area: tells me that it is a ranged attack and that it is either burst or blast. If I am purusing the monster manual for a ranged burst attack for the new creature I am creating then all I have to look for is :area: . Also what if the monster you are pitting against the PC's has several ranged powers? It is much easier to find the power you are looking to use by only scanning for :area: or :ranged: .
 

ShinRyuuBR

First Post
Actually, :area: tells you it is either a burst or a wall. Blast is only :close:. Well, I suppose that would be a small convenience, if that's what you're looking for.
 

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