I think this idea has a lot of potential. As you can probably tell, I really don’t like tech-trees, so it would be better if this was implementable in a way other than a tech-tree, as they feel somewhat constraining, but even if it was in the style of a very convoluted and elaborate tech-tree, it’s still WAY better than a regular tech-tree. so, yeah.
ALSO I was thinking a bit and I think that at least the tribal tech-editor might not be as complicated to do, as nothing in the tribal stage is really going to be an intricate mechanism. For example, when creating a spear, you will have certain things available as a spear handle (e.g. a bone, a stick), and then you add the actual ouchie thingies, making them go through the handle, poking out from the other side (e.g. sharp rocks, bones, large “canine” teeth), using these resources in the process (so you actually need a stick to have a stick handle, you have to have some bones if you want to use bones et cetera). You can also assign a certain thing to a certain members of your tribe based on the hierarchy (spiky spears, clubs, daggers… to warriors, decorated staves to shamans and so on), which brings me to another thing - decorating. It might seem like a trivial thing nobody will use, but putting some skulls or feathers (? given that there will be creatures with them) using threads might give this kind of technology just the right feel.
Also, the first problem with this system might arise with the introduction of metals, but there might be a way to do it. As I mentioned in my last post here, there might be a “skill” system based on your experience with the given material. When you are first introduced to metal, the parts to your disposal might be just weird, irregular pieces of metal or weak plates with holes in it, that could be applied to any handle in the same manner as the previous materials, but as you gain mastery of the process, you get better and better shapes as your slap-on parts, until you have like 50 different shapes of edges, blades, plating and so on. This could lead to infinite possibilities, but that’s something we’ll discuss in the next paragraph.
So, we have our slap-on parts, we have our materials, but how will we determine what kind of weapon you have created and how does it work in practice. Well, each piece of material might have some properties, such as weight, sharpness, fragility, or hardness (again, partial credits to @Solitarian ). What would also be taken into account would be the size of the handle. And for each of these properties, there would be an effect. Is your weapon heavy? It’s slower, but probably powerful. Is the handle long? Probably has a big reach of damage. Is it sharp? Probably can penetrate better. Is it blunt? Probably can do more bone-crunchy damage. This would give us the typical stats you see in RPG’s and stuff without actually having to have categories for the weapons. Things that would be similar to daggers are probably really fast and can penetrate quite well, but the reach is VERY small. Spear-like things are a bit slower and harder to operate, but can reach way further. Heavy things similar to maces are probably very slow, but can cause some serious fractures. I think you get the point.
One last thing before I go, also, I should credit @Solitarian again. If the thing you are attacking has some stats better than your weapon, it might lead to your weapon taking more “damage” when used. So, for example, if you have a wooden handle and attack something with a very thick and durable hide/armor, the wood’s “fragility rating” might be too low (or too high as in “too fragile”? You get the point), the wooden handle might snap in two, if it has taken enough damage. Or if you have a metal blade, but the metal has not high enough “hardness”, it might bend, lowering the damage it deals.
Okay, sorry for such a long post, I just wanted to get all the ideas out there. What do you think? In my opinion this might give birth to a pretty interesting designs of weapons, where players try to design the weapon with stats as good as possible, everyone having a different approach. I think that the combat system also makes sense and would not need neither buffing, nor nerfing. Also, it would create an absolute creative freedom, while also being fairly realistic and probably even easy to implement. The worst part about implementing this would be THE UTTER [REDACTED] TON of 3D meshes and texturing it would need to allow for such a creative freedom. If anything is unclear, feel free to ask. Thank you for your patience and sitting through my BS today.
EDIT: Here’s a very, very crappy illustration of what might the editor look like. Imagine having dozens of the assets with a lot of different shapes, giving you the ability to create basically any melee weapon you can imagine. The green thing is where it connects to the handle, but maybe that’s BS. Might require threads. I think you get the point. Challenge me to describe how would you make ANY melee weapon, I’ve got everything figured out. dabs
Also warning, I’ve been using Paint, so it’s REALLY CRAPPY.
What do you think?