No, more "realistic" autocalc would very likely disrupt the present balance. After doing one for another mod, I don't think it's worth the trouble. There are always battles that won't compute and (few) people who'll complain about it.
I don't agree that a different battle outcome if the player is present is a game breaker.
What is important for us as designers is to control the autocalc to make certain factions stronger in AI battles, and that's all there is to it.
You as a player have a choice to use it or not. The magical word being choice.
That would be breaking one of the rules of game-design :-/.
An analysis of game design broke it up like this: You have Choices, and you have Problems.
Problems are simple: Which piece of equipment is the best, mathematically? How do I kill all the enemies in this room to get through the door?
Problems can have multiple answers. Killing the guys is possible with a machine gun or a shotgun, but if it is easier to do with the shot-gun, that is the prime solution to the problem.
Choice, in terms of video-game-design, means having more than one option, without any best option. Morality systems in games often fail, in that few people want to be the maniac who kills every kitten they see... especially not when they'd get the same reward for petting every kitten they see.
MMORPGs often give the illusion of choice with their skill-trees and the like. However, skill trees are a Problem, not a Choice. There is a best solution, depending on if you want to do PvE or PvP. Same with equipment in most games.
So, what this boils down to... is it isn't a "Choice", giving the players something abusable. It is the best option, the prime solution to the Problem of winning the game, to run as fast as you can between battles, pop in so that your allies fight ten-times better, and gets tons of renown, prisoners and so-forth. While the solution for the evil side would be to settle all battles with a high Tactics skill, and Auto-Calculate.
That is the matter. Forcing players to handicap themselves is not good design.*
You're absolutely correct. In fact, an FBI report on the lethality of gunshot wounds several years back confirms that even modern firearms are exaggerated in their lethality. Which is not to say they're anything but dangerous as Hell... but Hollywood and bad amateur historians have left us with pretty distorted notions of death rates, the effects of wounds, etc.
Then there's the notion of how much punishment a body can take. Any hunter will tell you that moose, bears, and other large creatures have a frightening ability to shrug off what we'd consider to be horrific damage. Some larger, fiercer bears have been known to take several rounds from high-powered rifles before going down. A black troll, who has armoured skin for all intents and purposes, shouldn't have much of a problem shrugging off most arrows.
As for humans: a biker in California a few years back took 22 (!!!) bullets from the cops before going down. Going more archaic: Edward Teach, the infamous Blackbeard, suffered about a half dozen shots and 20 or so sword and knife wounds when they took him down. No armour, just thick cloth.
The human body's a funny thing. Sometimes the littlest things can kill us in a blink. Sometimes we can endure massive trauma and come back from it. It can't even be broken down into individuals: different situations seem to trigger different responses in individuals.
It's why I say realism's a tricky thing, particularly when broken down into basic numbers. "Realism" is highly subjective thing to begin with, it's not necessarily copacetic with fun game play, and the physics of it can't really be modelled anyway. It's better to simply have an internally consistent logic within a game.
Yes. Movies have given the impression: "If a bullet touches you, you will die, or at least collapse!". Ironically, some people do collapse after being shot, or after thinking they've been shot, because that is what movies taught them to do... Sadly for police, not all criminals
are that dumb
I forget the numbers, but apparently grizzly bears - when American settlers were exploring - could take a RIDICULOUS number of musket balls before dying. And musket balls are BIG!
Once read an article about duels. Some people have been pierced through the heart, then survived to ripe old ages. One guy was stabbed 19 times with a dagger, "from neck to navel", but he proceeded to, "bite the chin off of" his opponent.... and they both lived to a ripe old age.
Not sure where I heard it, it may've been from that FBI report on gun-statistics, but, "If it can happen, it will happen" in the context of a fight... There've been so many millions of encounters throughout history, you name it and it has probably happened.
That is true in a lot of cases. Still, in the RCM's case, I do think it makes the game more fun, and thought-provoking. Sadly, even with the RCM, Native is boring... Those sieges especially. It becomes a chore, when all I can do is chop downwards on enemy heads for about an hour--then do the same thing on a hundred more castles!!