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Taulin

Factors effecting Exp.

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Some some randome thoughts... Usually in CRPGs there are several factors that effect how much exp you get when killing something. A pretty big standard exists out there, and it usually just boils down to a relationship between your level and the opponents level. However, I was thinking about if what weapon you are using and what armor you are using should go into the equation. For example, AO has tons of clothing and armor you can wear. One guy was complaining people look stupid because they are wearing the best piece that is available to them (which can cause a jigsaw uniform) while he was making sure all his clothes matched and looked good. I agree, he was role playing pretty good, and I just let the statement go out my other ear. Then I noticed that usually the hero in animations usually wear customized, or very few, clothes while the stupid bad guys (the ones that die easily) are almost always rigg''ed out in armor and what not. This lead me to think that maybe, by not wearing armor, it would take more skill to kill a creature than if you were. Why? With armor on, you can be a little more careless and get hit more times without worrying. If you are wearing less, you have to use more skill. Using a skill is what brings experience. This goes hand in hand with the idea of the weapon you use. If you just sit there with a BFG that can kill in one hit, you should recieve less experience than the one who has a weaker weapon and is working their butt off killing the creature. What do you think?

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Sounds good.

You could acutally take it even further and each time the player kills a monster you could calculate the diffuculty of killing the monster and derive experience that way. To calculate you could use Weapon/Armour/Player level/Monster level/Player hit points remaining)/Monsters close to player/Number of Healing Potions player has/etc...

You just have to make sure the player knows that all that counts and if you make XP that important you might want to let the player know how much he got each time (even discretely) so that he knows.

The change in XP gained must be significant however. If there is only a +-5% difference that you can get then most people won''t care or even notice and its just uneccessary complexity.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Hmmm... i have been thinking of things semiliar to that, and its a realy good idea, all you write is true it takes more skill to bring down a monster without armor ... and people who does it should be awarded for it

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I think the idea isn´t bad, although it is probably just a small patch for a bigger underlying problem. Maybe we shouldn´t look to ways to make the traditional combat-based system more playable, but to find a better, integrated system of experience gain.
I don´t quite see why I´d gain more experience by using less armor. Don´t get me wrong, it´s a good idea, but in the end it´s just a number game. What you could say is that you gain more experience with the kind of armor you´re wearing - or not wearing. What you usually see in RPGs (of any kind) is that people max out on armor and weaponry (i.e. full plate of doom + two-handed sword of armageddon), something which is not very interesting, as well as unrealistic.
So how could this be implemented? I think for one armor and equipment would need more diversified stats (not necessarily more), effects on stamina, speed and other combat-related skills. It bothers me to see everyone run around with a full plate mail (ever tried *running* with 80 pounds of iron on your shoulders?), lugging around a sword that would make you sweat even if you weren´t carrying that armor.
So what would that (hopefully) lead to? People would find a combination of weapons and armor that would necessarily be a compromise between protection and flexibility. Some would probably do without armor because they want the full speed... and some would, at some times, practise with heavy armor, just in case... but it would put an end to the grossly overarmed RPG society.
As for the patchwork armor - just put social consequences into effect. Whoever wears mismatched armor (of course in varying degrees) gets mali for all kinds of social tests, reputation etc.

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I agree with you Taulin,

when we created our own pen&paper RPG we thought the same thing ...

What does bring the experience ?

We came to the conclusion that experience is gained through skill use. The "generally used, but VERY simplified" model of gaining the same kind of experience for ANY action you do just didn''t seem correct to us.

So we used the standard skill-based model, where the experience is distributed directly among many skills and not ONE value, that is then redistributed by the player to some skills.

Our model was rougly the following:

  • If you succeed using a skill, your "skill practice" (not your skill) increases by 2*N (N is explained below).
  • If you fail, your "skill practice" increases only by 1*N.


N is determined using all factors that modify the skill use as positive factors minus negative factors.
Those factors are:
+(on the positive side - helping you)
the value of the skill you use
any other skills, that may help you
conditions, that help you

-(on the negative side - hindering you)
the actual difficulty - the easier it is to succeed (in combat this is determined by the weapons and armour the combatants use), the lower the number (can even be less than zero)
the environment (the environmental effects, that influence the use of this skill)

And the result positive factors minus the negative factor is added to your "skill practice".

So the result is:

If you go against a superior oponent, you''ll gain more "experience" than if you fight a newbie.

In our game the value of experience gained can vary rougly from 0.1 to 20 (and more) depending on the factors I mentioned above.

... some random answer ...


Petr Stedry

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Just to add onto what Hase was saying about lugging around heavy equipment. That could taken care of with an Encumbrance system. The higher the weight ratio between what the player carries and his max carrying the less he can do and the slower he is. If the game is turn based then it might restrict how far he can move in a turn or how long he must wait between attacks. If its based on action points then higher encumbrance could mean fewer points to spend. If its real time then it might affect how fast he can strike ready his weapon and strike again. Then of course there''s the affect on dexterity(mobility) that the armor/ weapon has. How this would affect experience I''m not sure yet. But encumbrance could have some bearing on it.

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Interesting idea.

I would suggest you take a look into Front Mission from Square. It was for the SNES. It was a robot SLG, but I think it can be adapted for your purposes. Especially the battles in the colosseum.

The level of your equipment was inversely related to the experience you got. Also the level difference affected the amount of experience you got. This made possible some interesting plays in which you could attack units with lower level and still gain decent experience points by adjusting your weaponry.

The game also had an max carrying capacity that was dictated by the type of engine you used. Only downside to their system was that there was no negative issues with a higher power engine. So it basically became, get the most powerful engine on the market.

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I think one of the problems is that most RPGs don´t distinguish between weight in the backpack and weight on the body... and since heroes naturally *have* to carry a lot of loot the limit is pretty high... there are some systems with class restrictions, but I don´t particularly like those either...

Another thing about XP... the basic equation of OpponentsLevel/YourLevel is of course valid, and while I think that a modification of that by taking the fighers equipment into account isn´t bad we should focus on the bigger problem...

Can you think of a generic situation (your average random encounter), where you can award the same amount of experience, as long as the situation is resolved? The fighter kills the monster, gets his Fighting XP, the mage does some magic, gets Magic XP, the thief sneaks around, gets his stealth-specific XP... another player decides to talk things over, gets his social skills XP....
I´m not sure how far you can generalise this idea, but it´d be worth a try I think...

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A point I''d like to make is that it does not take more skill to bring down a monster if you are not wearing any armor. It does take more skill to avoid being killed while you are doing it. It should be easier to kill a monster while wearing no armor, or just a loincloth, because your movement would be unimpaired and you would be able to attack more quickly. Maybe your survival skill should get an XP bonus for fighting unprotected.
Also, with regard to encumbrance, do any RPGs give you an exercise bonus for lugging around a ton of stuff? If you load up with too much stuff you''ll suffer a mobility penalty, and you''ll get tired more quickly, but you should become stronger more quickly. It''s like going to the gym, all day, every day. Just think how buff you''d get!

Shawn

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