why balance for an existing (bad) system when you're just going to change the system soon anyway? i'd rather they got on with implementing something fun now instead of tweaking Attack values in a way that will quickly be made redundant in a few versions time?
They're part of the same system. If you have a combat system that takes stats and then uses a RNG result along with those stats to determine the result, how you come up with the number is a fairly important detail of the whole system.
If it gets changed, it'll likely get changed at the same time as the stats themselves get looked at.
The version that most (probably 75%) game systems use is AF -DV + a random roll, in *very* simplified terms, with a seperate attack roll (or effect) for sucessful hits.
So, for example, if this method was applied in this game you'd have, say, attack value of 20 - defense value of 40 results in a modifier of -20 (20-40 = -20) now both players get a random roll to add to their attack or defense, some games use 6 sided die, others 10 or 12 whatever. say we used 12 sided dice, attacker rolls 12 and defender rolls 1: 12-1 = 9 add the -20 modifier calculated above and you get: 9-20 = -11, negative number would still indicate a "miss." the final possible range of results would be -9 to -31 (a 22 point possible spread using 12 sided die as RNG: impossible to hit without a CH component: if a hit "was" possible it would do "weapon" damage plus a random roll: say 4 for a mace + die 12 roll or 5 to 16 possible point spread range of damage for "normal" hits). In the system we now have, using this same example, we have a range of 20 to -40 point spread (or a 60 point spread where attacker hits roughly 1/3 the time silmulataneously doing from 1 to 20 damage when hitting). What a difference!!
The difference with the most "common" system is that you're guaranteed the full effect of both your attack and defender's defense rating, making the results much more "predictable" as Tidus noted in the other post. That gurantee doesn't hold in the system now. The downside is that it would be impossible to hit (or miss) if the difference between atk and defense was too high. Most games add the possiblility of CHs to always insure the attacker a small chance, some games use "open ended" rolls like Dominions III, so for example if you roll a 12 you get to roll again and sum the rolls. Usually there's not such a disparity between atk and defense ratings (at least in most games I play).
Probably a good idea would be to add the attacker's and defender's combat levels as modifiers too, which would be a realistic modifier that takes into account experience. Of course, there could be a whole slew of ways I could add mods & make melee more realistic, but at a very basic "simple" level the first paragraph with the "common" method (adding CH possibility) would be preferable to the way it is now. Also, magic resistance needs to be separate from physical defense, that's a 200% necessity. Other rock/paper/scissors factorizations are needed to equalize macemen/archers/2-handed swordsman/magic users. 3guys attacking one guy in melee should get some kind of multiple attack "to hit" bonus, that's a given in pretty much most games like this. Guys attacking someone from behind should also get an attack bonus. It should also be possible to negate a shield defense for some probability range or multiple attack/rear situation, which would also be highly realistic. Auto-adding a shield defense against two guys attacking from both front and rear silmultaneously is just silly.
But who knows? 1.1 is supposed to overhaul everything, so who knows how Tac Combat will be affected. It can only improve from my perspective.