Damage in MM8BDM, like in other games, is a numerical value inflicted to an actor (player, shootable objects, etc...), decreasing his/her/its health when the damageable actor's hitbox touches the damaging actor's.
In ZDOOM coding language, a "projectile" (or "missile") is an actor that deals damage when getting into contact with something, or someone solid, disappearing in the process. Unlike its name reads, "projectile" doesn't always refer to a distance weapon shot. For instance, Top Spin creates a continuous series of damaging hitboxes around the user to give the impression the player's body twisting hurts, but these hitboxes are still called "projectiles" around coders. In general, any actor causing damage is a missile, or projectile. Even the Centaur Flash's invisible attack is actually a large hitbox called projectile !
Damage and frags
A player starts with 100 health (assuming he or she didn't set any handicap). When the player receives damage, the health lowers. As soon as its health hits 0 or less, the player dies : if it was killed by an enemy player, the killer earns a frag and this killing process is called fragging. Frags act like points for different game modes. If it was killed by an environmental hazard such as the fire traps in Fire Man's stage, the crushers in Dust Man's stage, the glacial water of Blizzard Man's stage, or the death pits in Bomb Man's stage, for instance, this will count as a suicide. Committing suicide takes away one frag from the player's frags (if it hasn't any, the player will have -1 frags, and this number can still reduces for more suicides).
Mega Man 8-bit Deathmatch of course, provides ways to restore the lost health caused by damage. The main one is to collect items scattered around the stages such as the small health capsule (restores 15), the health capsule (restores 40), or the E-Tanks or M-Tanks, refilling 100 health, which corresponds to a full recover. Plant Barrier is also a rare, healing weapon.
Damage can be caused in several shapes. The most recurring categories of damage are the following :
- Normal damage : The projectile attacks the victim's health and then vanishes of the World (the World is the environment where actors evolve and have relations with others). Simply, it's a missile that disappears on contact. Examples of such damaging attacks are the Silver Tomahawk, Search Snake, Hard Knuckle, Crystal Eye, Gyro Attack, Spark Shock...
- Bouncing damage : The projectile bounces on solid surfaces : level layout, but some projectiles even rebound off players. While the most common reason for them to disappear is hitting a player, like Gemini Laser, some can also disappear with time, or when the maximal amount of bounces is reached (for instance, an uncharged Noise Crush mixes both of these conditions. The sonic wave can rebound one time one a wall, ceiling or floor, disappearing on the second contact. Through, if it travelled far enough, it'll vanishes because of time. Gemini Laser, on the other hand, has no bouncing limit before disappearing, but only a time limit). Examples of such damaging attacks are the Crystal Eye's shards, Gemini Laser, Ring Boomerang, Rolling Cutter, Mega Ball, Hyper Bomb, Wild Coil...
- Ripping damage : The projectile constantly causes its damage amount to the victim's health, as long as its hitbox penetrates his/hers : thus, the missile doesn't disappear when hitting a player and continue moving on its own, so one missile can rips through several opponents. It will disappear by getting into contact with something that can stop it : a wall, floor, ceiling, or some actors that have the ability to block the travel of ripping projectiles. If the victim and the ripper projectile move in the same direction, it'll cause more damage since their hitboxes will stick together for a longer time than if the victim and the missile go in the opposite direction. Examples of such damaging attacks are the Ice Slasher, Knight Crush, fully charged Laser Buster, Metal Blade, Ring Boomerang, Rolling Cutter...
- Explosive / splash damage : When the projectile enters its "blasting" phase, it triggers radius attack(s). At this moment, the projectile's hitbox is completly unrelated, and a new radius range of the blast is defined. At the core of the explosion, the damage are maximised. The damage fades with distance, and so, deals 0 damage if the victim is located further than the maximal range, or if a wall blocks the blast. The advantage of this type of damage is that it can hurt several players at the same moment when exploding. Examples of such damaging attacks are the Astro Crush's meteor impact, Ballade Cracker's blast, Centaur Flash of Flash Stopper's AoE (area of effect), which act as a large exploding radius, Drill Bomb's explosion, Hyper Bomb's detonation, Oil Slider's surrounding radius when sliding...
- Piercing damage : Not to be confounded with ripping damage, a projectile dealing piercing damage will ignore Junk Shield's protection. Junk Shield reduces damage taken, but piercing weapons won't be affected by this damage loss and keep their actual power. Examples of such damaging attacks are the Thunder Beam, Thunder Bolt...
- Homing damage : Homing projectiles target opponents and follow them. Some have better homing skills than others. Any homing projectile in MM8BDM is based on a same code basis, which contains a small glitch : the homing missile will instantly kill any actor other than a player and rips through this actor. For instance, if a Magnet Missile is fired into an oil tank canister in Oil Man's stage, which have 100 health each, it'll instantly explodes and the magnet will still fly toward an eventual target. Hopefully, players take the correct damage value from them. Examples of such damaging attacks are the Super Adaptor fist, the Homing Sniper, the Dive Missile...
- "Internal" damage : This doesn't relate to a projectile's damage value. These damage are caused by the victim to him/herself, after he or she has been hit by a projectile with additional effects, such as Time Slow's area of effect (the code of Time Slow's projectile forces the victims to trigger themselves the code that slows them down for some time) or Wind Storm (the code of Wind Storm's projectile forces the victims to trigger themselves the code that thrust them randomly upward). Also, the Wily Capsule's fire orbs for instance deal damage, and then force the player to trigger a burning effect code on him/herself, which slows down and cause some more damage, like a short poison. These secondary effects and damage aren't caused by the enemy's projectile itself, but by the victim's code that establishes a reaction following a hit by some kind of projectiles. Examples of such damaging attacks are the Crash Bomber (about the stronger stunning effect it deals), Gravity Hold (since the downward thrusting appears in reaction to being hit by Gravity Hold's AoE), Slash Claw (forces the victim to play a ripping sound if Slash Claw hits it), Spark Shock (which forces the victim to trigger the code causing a stunning to itself)...
Notice that some of these damage categories can be combined. Thunder Beam both pierces and rips, and Rolling Cutter both rips and bounces. On the Wiki, these damage categories are referenced right after the damage value of a projectile (in the damage part of the table). The caption is the following :
>> : ripping damage
/\/ : bouncing damage
--]--> : piercing damage
<*> (range) : explosive damage
[+] : homing damage
If it only does normal damage, then there won't be any caption next to the damage value. Internal damage are usually discussed in the weapon's description itself, so it hasn't any caption.
In the formula calculating the damage amount, there is also the armor factor. Armor increases or decreases the damage taken. In vanilla MM8BDM, the armor is equal to x1.0, so damage received to players are multiplied by 1 (the damage values don't change). Through in some modifications, like Class Based Modification (By Yellow Devil), a mod that aims to allow playing with the Robot Master's attacks from their original games, Guts Man or Hard Man take half damage because they have higher armor (x0.5), while Quick Man takes more damage because he has a lighter armor (x1.5). But they still all have 100 health. This means the recovery is more important for a high-armored class than light one.