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Would be an absolute balance a build killer?


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#1 Osidlus   Members   -  Reputation: 638

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 03:57 PM

Just a thought ...

 

So what is the build? Would you agree its a set of values x1, x2, x3 .... that produces additional value Y1, Y2... /and so on/ 

thanks to "synergy" among xs? Thus it makes character stronger as Ys occurs?

 

 

But then the characters that are no build are naturally not balanced against the builds.. Should be "no builds" balanced to each other? Maybe that is important for the newbie level players. 

 

How about balancing the system with builds possible. Should then be all the builds identified and make the balancing to each other? Even if done (caping Ys or make them logaritmic - artificially or by perfect design).Would not be the fun of experimenting and searching the build worn off?

 

I think partially yes, but what could it brought is character build design to counter the other build minimasing its Ys or so. Is it necessary to make this always possible (each build have their counter) to make the creation of the build conditioned by some weak Xs?



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#2 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4578

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 04:09 PM

How would an absolute balance even be possible?  If one class can run faster and dodge a higher % of incoming damage, but their own attacks don't hit very hard, how would you have an absolute balance between that class and the slower, harder-hitting class?


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me.

#3 Osidlus   Members   -  Reputation: 638

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 04:43 PM

thx for the reaction, I dont find the case difficult to balance...

 

lets assume for the simplification they both have same life pool (if not the damage of the opposal character would be adjusted by their life ratio) and are meelee (now the range and movement speed would play a role). So than all you need is to carry about is DPS. Oh the faster character has a dodge x% ? Not a problem that mean his life pool should be taken as adjusted by 1/(1-x/100) and therefore the damage of the slow character rises based on the life ratio.

 

For a measurement how the system is doing I think it would be nice to construct a probability density curve based on the survival's % rest life. On left from the center there can the fast guy on the right there can be the slow guy. So from the measurement the variable would be 0 to 100%. And over it (as a Y axis) occurence(occurence/number of tests =probability). Balanced system should have same weight under the curves (fast guy's curve and slow guy's curve). And those systems that that have lots of density or occurence close to zero are race to death systems.


Edited by Osidlus, 23 August 2013 - 05:09 PM.


#4 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1845

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 05:15 PM


So what is the build?

 


it makes character stronger

 

 

 

 

 


no build are naturally not balanced against the builds

 

obviously.

 


Should be "no builds" balanced to each other? Maybe that is important for the newbie level players. 

 

games should always attempt to provide the "correct" level of challenge (AND reward) to the player. not too easy, not too hard. not too stingy, not too monty haul.

 

this is irrespective of how powerful the player has become in the game (or hasn't yet).

 


Should then be all the builds identified and make the balancing to each other?

 

there should be no dominant strategy. if there is, then the non-dominant strategies are meaningless features.

 


Would not be the fun of experimenting and searching the build worn off?

 

no dominant strategy just means don't make any one path too powerful with respect to others. the joy of exploring all "paths to glory" will be unaffected by this, if its done correctly.

 

 


Is it necessary to make this always possible (each build have their counter)

 

absolutely not!                    

 

its just an easy was to introduce combined arms tactics into the situation. each unit has its counter, and in turn can counter some third type of unit. like rock-paper-scissors,

you can't win all the time with just one unit type. In an RTS type situation, this provides incentive for unit diversification. In an RPG type situation, it provides incentive for co-operation between different character types and party member diversification in general. 


Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1988"

 

rocklandsoftware.net

 


#5 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4578

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 05:20 PM

thx for the reaction, I dont find the case difficult to balance...

 

lets assume for the simplification they both have same life pool (if not the damage of the opposal character would be adjusted by their life ratio) and are meelee (now the range and movement speed would play a role). So than all you need is to carry about is DPS. Oh the faster character has a dodge x% ? Not a problem that mean his life pool should be taken as adjusted by 1/(1-x/100) and therefore the damage of the slow character rises based on the life ratio.

 

For a measurement how the system is doing I think it would be nice to construct a probability density curve based on the survival's % rest life. On left from the center there can the fast guy on the right there can be the slow guy. So from the measurement the variable would be 0 to 100%. And over it (as a Y axis) occurence(occurence/number of tests =probability). Balanced system should have same weight under the curves (fast guy's curve and slow guy's curve). And those systems that that have lots of density or occurence close to zero are race to death systems.

Well, what if as an opponent we have a mage, whose spellcasting is delayed when he is hit.  Then, the faster-attacking class would have an advantage against the mage even if it's balanced with the slower class according to your math.

 

Or, if any one of these three classes can kill monsters faster, they can earn money faster than the other two classes and they are thus economically unbalanced even if they are balanced in combat.


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me.

#6 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8667

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 05:37 PM

So what is the build? Would you agree its a set of values x1, x2, x3 .... that produces additional value Y1, Y2... /and so on/ 
... But then the characters that are no build are naturally not balanced against the builds.. Should be "no builds" balanced to each other? ... but what could it brought is character build design to counter the other build minimasing its Ys or so.


I'm familiar with one meaning of the term "build" in the game industry, but I'm unfamiliar with the meaning of the term "build" in this context. Can someone enlighten me?
-- Tom Sloper
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Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#7 Osidlus   Members   -  Reputation: 638

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 06:04 PM

Sunandshadow wrote:

Well, what if as an opponent we have a mage, whose spellcasting is delayed when he is hit.  Then, the faster-attacking class would have an advantage against the mage even if it's balanced with the slower class according to your math.

 

 

 

Still its DPS so the fast guy could be more sensitive to magic (worse armour accesible). Higher DPS characters against environment- first all they can get for their money is caped. 2 nd for example poison can raise they death ratio against environment as their are naturally lower life pool.

 

I think that stun is interesting stuff. Excuse me that I will put it to the previous comment.

-sorry I cannot get to it untill Monday...


Edited by Osidlus, 24 August 2013 - 01:22 AM.


#8 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4578

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 06:42 PM

 

So what is the build? Would you agree its a set of values x1, x2, x3 .... that produces additional value Y1, Y2... /and so on/ 
... But then the characters that are no build are naturally not balanced against the builds.. Should be "no builds" balanced to each other? ... but what could it brought is character build design to counter the other build minimasing its Ys or so.


I'm familiar with one meaning of the term "build" in the game industry, but I'm unfamiliar with the meaning of the term "build" in this context. Can someone enlighten me?

 

In an RPG with stat and ability points, build refers to the pattern of spending those points, resulting is a character that is very effective for some specific task (tanking, healing, dps, soloing, stealth), though possibly ineffective at other tasks.  Gear that gives stats can also be included in builds.  There are usually one or two agreed upon "best builds" per class in a game with predetermined classes.  It's common that a fighter class can be built as a tank (all points in defense, health, and aggro) or a dps (all points into attack).  It's common that a magic class can be built as a healer or a dps.  A pet-user class is by default a hybrid specialized for soloing, by they can be pushed more toward attack or defense.  Build is important to how well a character can fill a team role in either a dungeon party or team pvp.


Edited by sunandshadow, 23 August 2013 - 07:05 PM.

I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me.

#9 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8667

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:04 PM


In an RPG with stat and ability points, build refers to the pattern of spending those points, resulting is a character that is very effective for some specific task (tanking, healing, dps, soloing, stealth), though possibly ineffective at other tasks. Gear that gives stats can also be included in builds. There are usually one or two agreed upon "best builds" per class in a game with predetermined classes.

 

Cool, thanks!  I learn something new every day (actually, several somethings new).


-- Tom Sloper
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www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#10 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4578

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 09:35 PM

 


In an RPG with stat and ability points, build refers to the pattern of spending those points, resulting is a character that is very effective for some specific task (tanking, healing, dps, soloing, stealth), though possibly ineffective at other tasks. Gear that gives stats can also be included in builds. There are usually one or two agreed upon "best builds" per class in a game with predetermined classes.

 

Cool, thanks!  I learn something new every day (actually, several somethings new).

 

Always fun to discover something new about game design. :)  One thing I forgot to mention is that builds are not limited to MMOs and wRPGs/rogue-likes, but can also occur in pokemon-like games, tactical combat games and racing games.  Any game where the player can customize units or vehicles for particular combat roles, driving styles, or combat/race conditions.  An edge case would be building a deck in a CCG/TCG, or a game like FF7 where the materia equipped onto a character customizes their abilities; these might not be considered builds because they are easy to change.  Builds are a major strategic point in MMOs and as part of the strategy it is usually made impossible or difficult to reset a character's build; players are encouraged to make a new character instead.  (I'm not personally a fan of this, but oh well.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me.

#11 Osidlus   Members   -  Reputation: 638

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 12:31 AM






Osidlus, on 23 Aug 2013 - 11:57 PM, said:


Would not be the fun of experimenting and searching the build worn off?




no dominant strategy just means don't make any one path too powerful with respect to others. the joy of exploring all "paths to glory" will be unaffected by this, if its done correctly.

 

hey Norman after while, in fact I am not much different with Sunandshadow's opinion... what is instictively felt is that balance can be held up to some amount of variables for the character adjustment. But this rich pool of xs' is needed to have certain amount of builds possible. And probably if someone can bind more variables to his build it becames less linear than the other builds and thus will probably become unbalanced...

 

So the question is isn't rich variety of builds possible higher value for the player than the perfect balance?


Edited by Osidlus, 24 August 2013 - 12:33 AM.


#12 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4578

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 12:42 AM

 

So the question is isn't rich variety of builds possible higher value for the player than the perfect balance?

 

That one's easy to answer: yes.  Collectible card games are an example - there rich variety of builds is what people play for.  People don't like if single cards are really unbalanced, but it's considered correct and good for a well-built deck to be three times as powerful as a random pile of cards.  Also you can have cycles - Deck Archetype A beats B, B beats C, and C beats A.  Or, if you have an RPG where the players purchase skills with skill points, personally I'd rather have access to but all skills on one character, not be limited by that character's class to only 10% of all skills (like in Dofus).  So many combos I can never try that way...

 

BUT.  If you are making a game which is not intended to be replayed, it is ok to have only one predetermined build.  It can still be a good game if building the character isn't part of the gameplay.  If everyone has the same build, then it is perfectly balanced.


Edited by sunandshadow, 24 August 2013 - 12:45 AM.

I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me.

#13 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 27638

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 02:06 AM

Always fun to discover something new about game design. smile.png  One thing I forgot to mention is that builds are not limited to MMOs and wRPGs/rogue-likes, but can also occur in pokemon-like games, tactical combat games and racing games.

It's also core terminology in RTS games -- whether you build a factory to increase tank production first, or build the harvesters to increase economic growth first, etc, is a different "build", or a "build order" (in a game where you end up getting every ability/technology eventually, a "build" will dictate what capabilities you have at what points in time).

#14 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1845

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 08:51 AM


There are usually one or two agreed upon "best builds" per class in a game with predetermined classes.

 

in more open ended rpg character development systems such as elder scrolls (lots of character classes + create your own custom classes), build can also be construed as being "the combo of skills, stats, race, birth sign, equipment, henchmen, familiars, etc to 'build' a certain type of character with specialized abilities ( strong attack, strong defense, stealth, healing, personal interactions [charisma, speech, and trading skills], etc).


Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1988"

 

rocklandsoftware.net

 


#15 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1845

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 09:34 AM


But this rich pool of xs' is needed to have certain amount of builds possible. And probably if someone can bind more variables to his build it becames less linear than the other builds and thus will probably become unbalanced...
 
So the question is isn't rich variety of builds possible higher value for the player than the perfect balance?

 

absolutely.

 

variety is the spice of life.

 

true "perfect balance" can only be achieved when all competitors are identical - like in chess, each side gets the same type and number of units - just one "build" possible for your "army" when you play chess.

 

one should not reduce the number of types of builds possible to ensure balance. only when the build is way overboard, like having a nuke option in Oblivion, "Someone drop us the bomb!" <g>.  a class that can use tactical and strategic nuclear weapons in a fantasy rpg would be even more unbalanced than having guns.

 

But its possible to twist things so even guns and bombs and magic can be relatively balanced. i once expanded the AD&D rules from +5 to +10 magic, then expanded the Traveller rules from tech level 13 to tech level 24, then combined the two into one huge rpg game. the D&D world was just one planet in the Traveller universe where magic happened to work. A pc version of that game would be wild! the custom rules on top of the traveller and ad&d rules was a stack of papers a foot and a half tall! once the conversion rates between the two gaming systems (how many traveller hit points = how many d&d hit points, etc) were determined, it was all easy.

 

so go for the maximum possible number of "parts" to create "builds" from.   this gets you maximum variety.

 

then just do a sanity check so that no builds are too strong or weak. buff up the weak ones, tone down the strong ones. but keep the naturally weak somewhat weak, and the naturally strong somewhat strong.

 

perfect balance is not the goal.   the goal is to avoid excessive imbalance between a wide variety of builds which are inherently of different strengths to begin with.

 

different builds will be inherently better most of the time, when there are many to choose from.

 

a strong combat build will be good most of the time.

 

a "merchant" build will naturally be weak, but can get rich more easily.

 

as a result, things are like in reality. a merchant would never confront a fighter, he'd hire an assassin! <g>.  a perfect example of the dynamics of three different builds there (merchant, fighter, assassin).


Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1988"

 

rocklandsoftware.net

 


#16 Osidlus   Members   -  Reputation: 638

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 01:53 PM




That one's easy to answer: yes. Collectible card games are an example - there rich variety of builds is what people play for. People don't like if single cards are really unbalanced, but it's considered correct and good for a well-built deck to be three times as powerful as a random pile of cards.

 

Pleasure to my ears ;-). Maybe a gate thats allows this empowering should be something like a difficulty to achieve the build ...

 

 


But its possible to twist things so even guns and bombs and magic can be relatively balanced. i once expanded the AD&D rules from +5 to +10 magic, then expanded the Traveller rules from tech level 13 to tech level 24, then combined the two into one huge rpg game. the D&D world was just one planet in the Traveller universe where magic happened to work. A pc version of that game would be wild! the custom rules on top of the traveller and ad&d rules was a stack of papers a foot and a half tall! once the conversion rates between the two gaming systems (how many traveller hit points = how many d&d hit points, etc) were determined, it was all easy

 

Thats interesting I wonder what is the motivation for such a deed (expansion of D&D rules in powers which would mean a setting change). Is it technical challenge or you had the vision of such a setting or something else?

 

Hit points per level approach is imho crazy inflation of damage. This something like useslesness of low level characters directly engineered (and imo one of the reasons for griefing in MMOs). And causes that two advanced fighters cannot beat each other by one slash. Its maybe just me but I like the phase of preparation- like make each part of the armour perfectly fit, find the right approach for the fight, take meditation  and then when it comes to fight be it swiftness of your blade, quickness of your feets and sharpness of your mind that keeps you unharmed.

 


a "merchant" build will naturally be weak, but can get rich more easily.



as a result, things are like in reality. a merchant would never confront a fighter, he'd hire an assassin! . a perfect example of the dynamics of three different builds there (merchant, fighter, assassin).

 

That reminds me yours combat and parley topic. Are you going to have this feature in Caveman? Excuse me my curiosity, but it deals with some elements (emotions), that I am using in my system. Actually I am wondering if someone would like to play a charater who is horrible fighter, crafter, mage but is just great negotiator, inter-personal structure builder and information dealer...

 

 

Oh I promised to put something about stun, hopefully tomorow, it is going to be something about chaos as I see it.



#17 wodinoneeye   Members   -  Reputation: 666

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 07:06 AM

Alot depends on the game mechanics, what trade-offs are built into it

 

Rock -paper- scissors  systems  wheer you cannot max out all solutions

 

random impulse vs automatic results  (risk of surviving till you get that killer strike success)

 

Limitations of different actions within certain situational factors.  (versatility vs specialization)

 

 

ex - Supder-dude who can do great at one thing can be beaten by a weaking who is a little good at everything and can steer superdude away from his chose environment

 

 

 

 


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#18 Mysteria   Members   -  Reputation: 234

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 08:53 PM

I believe that absolute balance may only be achieved by having only 1 build as Norman Barrows described (chess).  

 

However, I personally prefer the option of creating builds even though not all builds are created equal.  For me, the fun of creating a build is comparing it to other builds in terms of effectiveness.  



#19 Osidlus   Members   -  Reputation: 638

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 03:52 PM


However, I personally prefer the option of creating builds even though not all builds are created equal. For me, the fun of creating a build is comparing it to other builds in terms of effectiveness

 

Thats same for me and apparently the other guys here, which is quite surprising for me. I believed that it is balance what is worshiped before.

 

 

 

As for the chaos raise using stun: I don't want sound like a professed teacher so just briefly, all what is needed is to check property of chaos system called topological mixing and apply it on the curve of rest life in time from the combat start. It has impact on what is probably called boring ala race to death and frustrating ala fight of the equals where one leaves with full life and what to do with that...



#20 Mattkancode   Members   -  Reputation: 128

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 11:06 AM

 




That one's easy to answer: yes. Collectible card games are an example - there rich variety of builds is what people play for. People don't like if single cards are really unbalanced, but it's considered correct and good for a well-built deck to be three times as powerful as a random pile of cards.

 

Pleasure to my ears ;-). Maybe a gate thats allows this empowering should be something like a difficulty to achieve the build ...

 

 

 

 


But its possible to twist things so even guns and bombs and magic can be relatively balanced. i once expanded the AD&D rules from +5 to +10 magic, then expanded the Traveller rules from tech level 13 to tech level 24, then combined the two into one huge rpg game. the D&D world was just one planet in the Traveller universe where magic happened to work. A pc version of that game would be wild! the custom rules on top of the traveller and ad&d rules was a stack of papers a foot and a half tall! once the conversion rates between the two gaming systems (how many traveller hit points = how many d&d hit points, etc) were determined, it was all easy

 

Thats interesting I wonder what is the motivation for such a deed (expansion of D&D rules in powers which would mean a setting change). Is it technical challenge or you had the vision of such a setting or something else?

 

Hit points per level approach is imho crazy inflation of damage. This something like useslesness of low level characters directly engineered (and imo one of the reasons for griefing in MMOs). And causes that two advanced fighters cannot beat each other by one slash. Its maybe just me but I like the phase of preparation- like make each part of the armour perfectly fit, find the right approach for the fight, take meditation  and then when it comes to fight be it swiftness of your blade, quickness of your feets and sharpness of your mind that keeps you unharmed.

 

 

 


a "merchant" build will naturally be weak, but can get rich more easily.



as a result, things are like in reality. a merchant would never confront a fighter, he'd hire an assassin! . a perfect example of the dynamics of three different builds there (merchant, fighter, assassin).

 

That reminds me yours combat and parley topic. Are you going to have this feature in Caveman? Excuse me my curiosity, but it deals with some elements (emotions), that I am using in my system. Actually I am wondering if someone would like to play a charater who is horrible fighter, crafter, mage but is just great negotiator, inter-personal structure builder and information dealer...

 

 

Oh I promised to put something about stun, hopefully tomorow, it is going to be something about chaos as I see it.

 

This is an interesting concept. Allowing players to take advantage of the interactive aspects (such as in an mmo) by specializing in fields like negotiation, communications or information dealings. I find it intriguing because, as a young teen, I dabbled in runescape (about 6 years ago) and while playing I gained the trust of a few different clans. At first I was merely looking for a social group to play with but I essentially went turncoat and was payed by "clan A" to get information from "clan B" and upon arriving at clan B i would be paid for information gained while i was at clan A. A mere level 5 character was making 100s of thousands of gold without trading or grinding enemies or resources. Effectively, I was thriving on a new resource provided by other players. This could be done in a single player gam, Im sure. Although difficult. Could we create a counter class to combat that is specifically non-combat?


Student.




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