Before reading my outline for this new combat system, please bear in mind that I tried to approach this from an objective point of view. I happen to like both the current combat and the old combat, so I designed this system to incorporate features from both systems, in addition to some completely new features.
This is by no means a complete system, and some areas may not be completely fleshed out. However it is at the point where I am ready to share it with the community. I am fully ready to receive criticism as I believe this system is not perfect, although I think it is better than both the current systems we have. Please be honest with what you think, and help me build on my ideas. I would love to have (parts of) this implemented into the game, so to have more people collaborate on it would only make it better.
Now onto the meat of this post!
My combat system
Composed of light and heavy attacks. Light attacks are like 1.8 combat (spam clicking). Heavy attacks are like the current system (timed attacks). Heavy attacks are charged by holding left click. This adds a percentage increase in damage on top of light attack damage. Light attack damage is the weapon’s base attack damage.
Weapons no longer have attack speed, instead they have weight. Weight determines time taken to fully charge a heavy attack, and this determines how strong the increase in damage is. Therefore, heavier weapons scale better with heavy attacks. An axe may do less damage than a sword with a light attack, but because it is heavier it may do much more damage with a heavy attack than a sword’s heavy attack. All light attacks are the same speed (identical to that of 1.8, with a max CPS of 10). Non-melee weapons/tools don’t deal any extra damage with a heavy attack as they have no weight.
Critical hits work as they do in the current system: applying a fixed amount of additional damage regardless of the type of attack.
Light attacks do not degrade shield durability, although heavy attacks do. Armour loses durability depending on the damage of the attack.
True melee weapons are swords and tridents. Other tools (axe, pickaxe and shovel) may be used in the same way but are not technically weapons (even if they are effective as weapons).
Other weapons include the bow, arrows, shield and upcoming crossbow.
The sword, tools and trident all have special abilities:
Sword: a fully charged heavy attack while sidestepping or standing still will perform the sweep attack. A fully charged heavy attack whilst moving forwards deals increased knockback.
Swords now have a right click function. Holding right click with a sword (in either hand) will perform a block (like 1.8 blocking). Holding block reduces your movement speed. If you receive a melee attack while blocking you parry the attack (nullifying the attack as if you didn’t receive it). This starts a long cooldown for you, preventing you from using the sword’s right click function in that hand (however you can dual wield swords and parry with either one regardless of if the other is on cooldown. Essentially the hand is on cooldown and not the sword). Your enemy also receives a very short cooldown on their hand, preventing them from attacking (although they can still use items and mine blocks). If you are moving as you parry you will move quickly in that direction for a very short distance (essentially performing an evade of sorts). You are also able to block-hit a parry, meaning you can quickly attack straight after parrying (playing that satisfying animation from 1.7), although this will only be a light attack.
Axe: a fully charged heavy attack moving forwards will disable an enemy’s shield temporarily.
All tools: a fully charged heavy attack deals bonus knockback in the direction the attacker is moving (except backwards, which deals no extra knockback).
Pickaxe: a fully charged heavy attack will deal increased damage to armour (reducing the armour’s durability even faster).
Trident: a fully charged heavy attack will perform a thrust attack. A thrust attack deals some damage through armour. Tridents can be thrown with right click as they can currently.
Shield: Shields are used to block incoming damage. Blocking a light attack will result in no knockback or damage received. Blocking a heavy attack will block all damage and reduces knockback taken by 50%.
Projectiles and armour
Arrows can be deflected both by shields and armour. A critical bow shot cannot be deflected and is stuck in the armour or shield. A shield can deflect a non-critical bow shot and will not lose durability doing so. Armour has a chance to deflect a non-critical bow shot, this chance increasing with projectile protection. If the arrow is deflected, then the armour doesn’t lose durability. Projectile protection also reduces the durability armour loses to a projectile attack. Tridents cannot be deflected by armour, but damage is reduced by projectile protection.
Armour is classed into 2 categories: light armour and heavy armour (these are NBT tags, so custom armour is possible). Light armour is cheap to make and does not reduce movement speed, however is not as durable and protective. Heavy armour is more durable and protective but is more expensive to make and reduces movement speed slightly. Light armour includes leather and chainmail armour, as well as the turtle shell. Heavy armour includes iron, gold and diamond armour.
Armour weight is per piece of armour (so you can mix and match light and heavy armour to find a balance of movement and protection). Heavy armour all weighs the same, so there is still a reason to upgrade to diamond from iron and gold.
Chainmail armour can now be crafted from iron nuggets.
All the combat mechanics are editable via datapacks. All damage, chances, durabilities and other stats are completely customisable. Other toggleable options include disabling light/heavy attacks, weapon exclusive attacks, parries, evades etc. This allows players and servers to use their own combat system (even being able to recreate 1.8 combat) without too much effort. Servers can also have different gamemodes with different combat systems.
This concludes the outline of my combat system. Please leave your thoughts below, and add any features you would add/change. Thanks for taking the time to read this, please share this with anyone you feel would be interested.
I will add to the OP if/when new revisions come around. I will try my best to quote and credit anyone as necessary.