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Random chance to miss in RPG (tohit%) - Really needed?

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Can we do without a percentage to hit chances? Instead build a game around 100% to hit all the time? Would this kind of game be fun? Are random misses vital to a RPG game? What about an MMORPG or Online RPG? I asked some players and all of them says that RPGs will get really boring if there was no randomn chance to miss. What do you guys think?

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Most RPG's and by extension MMORPG's are based on old formulas, even the most modern of RPG's can be traced back to D n D tactics, tactics based on rolls of the dice.

I commend people who take a step in the right direction by being more original with their RPG's, and removing the %hit chance would be a step in the right direction.

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Really high miss chances are stupid, frustrating, and alienate most players.

However, randomness is, to a certain degree, fun. Having the mega-super-boss that
delivers about a google of hyper-lethal damage with each hit MISS is a delightful experience, and I, for one, don't think it should be removed.

Theoretically, to maximize player fun, you could make a balanced game that had no miss chance for PCs (but a miss chance for mosters) and no critical hit chance for monsters (but a critical chance for PCs). I've considered this option myself, but my current conclusion is that the player will feel more gratified by the game's meta-world if all PCs and NPCs follow the same underlying set of basic rules.

Individual mileage may vary.

However, I think that a min-maxed-for-attacking character versus a min-maxed-for-dodging character should never have more than about a 10% miss rate. I would find a higher frequency of misses irritating if I'd worked that hard on my character's ability to strike accurately, and a lower dodge rate than that irritating if I'd worked that hard on my character's dodging abilities.

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Guild Wars doesn't have a chance to miss (except under special circumstances such as when the attacker has been blinded); it just has lots of damage reduction and ways to interupt attacks and spells. It is certainly possible to build a fun RPG combat system that doesn't have a chance to hit. However, whether having a chance to hit is a good thing or not really depends on the other features of the combat system. There is no universal answer to the question, and frankly I don't think its worth worrying about too much. If you like having a chance to hit then include it in your combat system, and if not, don't. It's the details, the level of complexity, and the balance of a combat system that determine whether it is good or not, not inclusion or exclusion of one specific mechanic.

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Original post by Timus
Most RPG's and by extension MMORPG's are based on old formulas, even the most modern of RPG's can be traced back to D n D tactics, tactics based on rolls of the dice.

I commend people who take a step in the right direction by being more original with their RPG's, and removing the %hit chance would be a step in the right direction.


Personally, I hate the tohit% chance because I don't know its purpose. What does it add to gameplay? Plus the annoying miss-miss-miss-miss-miss at 60% chance to hit that players might experience.

The responses I got from some gamers (with regards to turn based browser RPGs) were:

1) It adds excitement to combat.
2) Its like player poker with fate. If there is no chance to fail, there is no fun.
3) It allows you to use your ability to judge if you could take down a monster/player or not within the time limit or turns (for BBGs)
4) There is no fun when players know exactly if they are going to win a battle or not.

I don't know man, will i be making the biggest mistake of my life by not having tohit% chances?

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I don't know man, will i be making the biggest mistake of my life by not having tohit% chances?
No, of course not. Build your vision of fun in your mind and stick to it when you build it in the world. :)

'Sides, that's what testing is for.

Personally, though, I think that a >LOW< miss chance that's entirely dependent on defender's skill:

A. Is realistic
B. Rewards players who successfully dodge
C. Adds a gambling aspect to the game's battle system. And I think we all know how addictive gambling is, stupid though it may be on some level.

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Original post by sarahcovenant
Can we do without a percentage to hit chances? Instead build a game around 100% to hit all the time? Would this kind of game be fun?

Please, get rid of it. While you're at it, get rid of randomness altogether and make a game that actually requires some skill. Please for the love of god abolish yourself from all of the wrongdoings that D&D and Final Fantasy have done to games.

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It's almost been totally removed from my game. It's almost always 100, but some character's have it set to 0 so that the player can't attempt to kill them. Some people frown on that since it takes away some of the 'realism', but I'd rather avoid a case where the player could kill someone that is essential to the storyline (like in Morrowind.)

I agree with what has been said. It's quite annoying to have an awesome character and still miss 75% of the time.

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Guest Anonymous Poster

When you say you want to have to hit chances removed, are you making a distinction between hitting a target, and actually causing damage?

I always considered the D&D chance to hit percentage the ability for a character to hit and cause damage to a target. A better armor rating simply means someone is more difficult to hurt with a physical attack. Its a combination of agility, physical and magical protection, resistance to physical damage, parrying and blocking ability, etc.

For instance, a character's to hit chance against a brick wall may be rather low, but this would be because a brick wall is fairly hard to cause any significant damage to with a sword or fist, and not hard to actually strike. Someone with a high sword skill may also have a high armor rating, due to their ability to parry attacks.

Maybe the name just needs to be changed to something more indicative of what you want it to represent.

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Random hit points are like a swing and a miss with a punch. It can and does happen, and just as in real life, depending on the skill of your character, it may or may not happen often. The only way to combat this would be to change the entire combat system completely, but most current rpg players would not like that (for the most part, rpg players have slower coordination skills than gamers that play sport or fighting games that require quick reaction times). They are not really in it for the battles, but rather the storyline and character progession.

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Original post by sarahcovenant
Can we do without a percentage to hit chances? Instead build a game around 100% to hit all the time? Would this kind of game be fun?

Are random misses vital to a RPG game? What about an MMORPG or Online RPG? I asked some players and all of them says that RPGs will get really boring if there was no randomn chance to miss. What do you guys think?


Oddly enough, I think it mostly depends on the graphics and art. Oblivion has no dice roll chance to miss, mostly because the game is in first person and it looks silly to see your sword swing right through someone and have it count as a miss.

However, missing is really what real-life combat is all about. In actual sword combat, it's mostly a bunch of misses, and when you do finally stab someone, they die. RPG's with no misses tend to make sword combat about stabbing someone a thousand times before they finally keel over, which sort of looks more realistic if you don't have dodging animations, but actually isn't. It's more unrealistic in my mind to graphically show someone getting stabbed in the face a hundred times with a sword and not dying than it is to show the stab in the face but write the word "Miss" over his head.

Aside from the graphic/reality aspect, I don't think it matters too much whether you have dice roll misses or not; the dice roll misses usually mean there's an extra stat to deal with (like Agility to hit and Strength for damage rather than just Strength for damage), which can increase strategy options but can also increase micromanagement bloat. The two styles appeal to different sorts of players.

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Another problem of a 100% hit chance is the use of non-combat skills. If someone hits you, you are probably going to feel pain and drop whatever you are doing. This means that, if there's someone trying to hit you, you won't be able to do things like retrieve an object (they'd cut you to slices while your hand is in the bag), try to grapple someone (you'd be diced before you could get nearby), cast a spell (did you need those fingers?) or some other non-combat activity.

Because of this, in order not to imbalance people that are usually distracted by damage (such as wizards) you'd have to either increase their concentration (a bad idea because preventing a caster from acting would then depend on his concentration instead of your ability to hit him) or their efficiency once they do get a spell through (which turns into every combat into a "Didn't reach me? Power Word Disembowel!" situation).

Not to mention that it might very well imbalance the ranged vs. melee axis, since you'd either have to make ranged attacks hit 100% of the time (no cover for you, mister!) or let melee attacks be a show-stopper.

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Just curious, does World of Warcraft have tohit percentages too? Or are they auto-hit as well? (answered: they use tohit% too)

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Original post by ToohrVyk
Because of this, in order not to imbalance people that are usually distracted by damage (such as wizards) you'd have to either increase their concentration (a bad idea because preventing a caster from acting would then depend on his concentration instead of your ability to hit him) or their efficiency once they do get a spell through (which turns into every combat into a "Didn't reach me? Power Word Disembowel!" situation).


Or give Wizards a X% chance to lose their concentration every time they are hit. (which makes use of a random dice roll again...) Plus Shield spells that protect them from breaking concentration for X hits and a counter Shield ability for Warriors to dispel the Shield.

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You don't need (and infact shouldn't have) miss chances in an action RPG, as the characters "skill" should by definition be superseded by the players skill. Oblivion doesn't have a to-hit % for this very reason; it's an action RPG. In fact if you wanted a really good action RPG (and by really good I mean predominantly relying on skill from the player) then there should be no random chances at all. Oblivion fell a little short of this, for instance when you block an attack you have a random chance of countering - why not turn this into a skill test for the player where he automatically earns the counter if he blocks at just the right moment?

The other sub-genre that doesn't really need random chances is the strategy RPG. If your game is heavily reliant on strategy then there really is no need for random chances. Which is the better strategy game: Backgammon or Chess? Obviously chess since although backgammon contains many elements of strategy, it also involves a great deal of luck, whereas chess is entirely dependent on the players strategy. I've yet to see a strategy RPG that completely removes random chances though. This is probably due to the inherent progression system that an RPG must have - how does one make a battle balanced if when character is at a higher level than another without random chances?

In an RPG that has neither a predominant twist towards skill or strategy, the need for randomness is greater. For instance if you can't beat a boss, how are you to win next time you try if there is no alternate strategy or no skill tests you could have done better? In most RPGs you'd basically try the same thing again and hope that luck is on your side this time.

In short: if you want to remove all random chances from the game then you will need to implement the use of skill or strategy from the player in a considerable way. This is of course no bad thing, and should probably be done with all RPGs :)

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I think, yes, an amount of luck IS required otherwise stalemate situations occur and can go on for hours (whilst this may be amusing a couple of times, I daresay everyone will agree it's a bad thing to happen all the time).

You have to remember that in DnD a hit is actually a *damaging* hit, and a miss is a miss OR a non-damaging hit (since armour is a factor in the hit roll).

I do think, however, that the odds should definitely be stacked, and based on something quanitfiable - for example a comparison of skills between opponents.

Bloodspear's combat works on skills (just like everthing else) with difficulty being based on the defensive skills of the target. Armour soaks damage (it doesn't make you harder to hit, in some cases it makes you *easier* to hit).

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In my opinion luck is needed in Games.

In some games more, in some games less, but it is a fun aspect and could be an skill-factor too.


Luck should be implemented, but calcuable. This is an important part in Poker. In long terms you will win if you know how the game works, but in some situations you may lose. You just have to know how your chances are.

If your winning chances are at 51% and you have to invest $100 with the option to win additional $100 you should bet on it. If you play this bet 1000 times you should have more money then before. If you bet just 1 time you may have less. Thats the intressting calcuable-luck aspect.

Well as i said in some games this is very important and the only reason why it is fun to play (if your "skilled")
In some games this is not that important, an RPG could work without %toHit but it could be a fun aspect. Additionally it could be something more.

Example:
The first 10 points in dexterity give you +1.0% toHit
The next 10 points in dexterity give you +0.9% toHit
and so on

If your formula works like this. The player have to think about what Stats he want to raise. Is it better for him to invest the 90th point in dexterity or would it better to raise strengh to increase his damage?

Some people may say, hey I am very good at using the right pvp-ability at the right time so im very skilled and everyone who beats me just because i missed him had just luck and no skill.
But i think that someone who is not that good in stress situation, but who knows how to make the best out of his charakter could be skilled too. Just in a different way, thats the strategic component in those games.


just my 2 cents.

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Really easy answer. Instead of missing, reduce the damage to 1-5%, Making sure that at least 1 point of damage is always inflicted. Call it a blunder, near miss, or a mishap, instead of a complete miss.

That 1 damage can be the difference between extreme frustration and a little groan.

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Personally I'd rather see a miss as opposed to one side getting 100+/-50 damage and the other getting 75+/-75 damage every swing. Though to clarify, I'm not big on a miss but instead a dodge/parry. Having a massive level character miss its target every time is ridiculous but if the target has skill to dodge/parry the hit, thats fine.

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Original post by sarahcovenant
Can we do without a percentage to hit chances? Instead build a game around 100% to hit all the time? Would this kind of game be fun?

Are random misses vital to a RPG game? What about an MMORPG or Online RPG? I asked some players and all of them says that RPGs will get really boring if there was no randomn chance to miss. What do you guys think?


There were games that used allways to hit, and fixed damge methodology. This doesn't work well for one to one combat.

Look at ADnD, GURPS, FUDGE, White wolf games. These systems are wastly different, however they all use chance to critical hit, and miss. (Let say two actual ++ are critical hits in fudge dice)

BTW percentages are rather bad for a rulesystem, and they are bad for description as well.

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Original post by BBHudson
You don't need (and infact shouldn't have) miss chances in an action RPG, as the characters "skill" should by definition be superseded by the players skill.


Yeah, that pissed me right off in Secret of Mana.

Quote:

The other sub-genre that doesn't really need random chances is the strategy RPG. If your game is heavily reliant on strategy then there really is no need for random chances. Which is the better strategy game: Backgammon or Chess? Obviously chess since although backgammon contains many elements of strategy, it also involves a great deal of luck, whereas chess is entirely dependent on the players strategy. I've yet to see a strategy RPG that completely removes random chances though. This is probably due to the inherent progression system that an RPG must have - how does one make a battle balanced if when character is at a higher level than another without random chances?


Final Fantasy Tactics came to mind. They didn't remove random chances, but most of the time your chances to hit were pretty high. The random chance encouraged more strategy (or, tactics, I suppose) because to get this "nearly certain hit" you had to get around behind the enemy.

Quote:

In an RPG that has neither a predominant twist towards skill or strategy, the need for randomness is greater. For instance if you can't beat a boss, how are you to win next time you try if there is no alternate strategy or no skill tests you could have done better? In most RPGs you'd basically try the same thing again and hope that luck is on your side this time.

In short: if you want to remove all random chances from the game then you will need to implement the use of skill or strategy from the player in a considerable way. This is of course no bad thing, and should probably be done with all RPGs :)


I disagree. A lot of the fun in focusing on character skill isn't in the actual battles but in setting up your team for the battle. It's a cultivation thing. It's a "get them, my pretties" thing.

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Original post by Way Walker
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Original post by BBHudson
You don't need (and infact shouldn't have) miss chances in an action RPG, as the characters "skill" should by definition be superseded by the players skill.


Yeah, that pissed me right off in Secret of Mana.


Oh I'm not saying action RPGs can't work with random numbers, but that they can work without, like in Oblivion (most of it anyway). I don't want to take anything away from SoM or anything (it's actually one of my favourite games of all time), but it wasn't heavily based on player skill like some more modern games are. I mean you can't block an attack actively, so it makes sense that you get a random chance of blocking/evading etc.

Quote:
Original post by Way Walker
Quote:

The other sub-genre that doesn't really need random chances is the strategy RPG. If your game is heavily reliant on strategy then there really is no need for random chances. Which is the better strategy game: Backgammon or Chess? Obviously chess since although backgammon contains many elements of strategy, it also involves a great deal of luck, whereas chess is entirely dependent on the players strategy. I've yet to see a strategy RPG that completely removes random chances though. This is probably due to the inherent progression system that an RPG must have - how does one make a battle balanced if when character is at a higher level than another without random chances?


Final Fantasy Tactics came to mind. They didn't remove random chances, but most of the time your chances to hit were pretty high. The random chance encouraged more strategy (or, tactics, I suppose) because to get this "nearly certain hit" you had to get around behind the enemy.


Rofl, that's another of my all time favourite games :) You must admit FFT was much less dependent on random chances than your average menu based RPG. Since it was half and half with strategy and luck it did work well like you said, but in a system with a greater emphasis on strategy any random elements would become a real annoyance. Just thinking off the top of my head... for instance if moving a unit to a particular position prevents an enemy moving past adjacent squares, then you wouldn't want a random chance that the enemy could slip past, as this negates any plan the player has formulated. Like I said, it's like backgammon vs. chess; in a game where strategy is as key as it is in chess, you wouldn't want for instance a probability that your knight will fail in capturing a pawn. Of course I doubt anybody is ever going to create an RPG battle system as complicated as chess.


Quote:
Original post by Way Walker
Quote:

In an RPG that has neither a predominant twist towards skill or strategy, the need for randomness is greater. For instance if you can't beat a boss, how are you to win next time you try if there is no alternate strategy or no skill tests you could have done better? In most RPGs you'd basically try the same thing again and hope that luck is on your side this time.

In short: if you want to remove all random chances from the game then you will need to implement the use of skill or strategy from the player in a considerable way. This is of course no bad thing, and should probably be done with all RPGs :)


I disagree. A lot of the fun in focusing on character skill isn't in the actual battles but in setting up your team for the battle. It's a cultivation thing. It's a "get them, my pretties" thing.


I guess I can see that; character customization is one of the few things that modern RPGs do quite well IMO. Particularly in team vs. team settings, designing characters to cancel out the others weakness can get quite strategic, though in reality there is always a set of builds that will strongly counter your own, so really you are just playing a big game of Rock/Paper/Scissors. I'd rather see a system where the players have to outwit each other actually on the battlefield rather than off it - attacking in such a way to strike at your opponents weak spots while covering your own. Well, it's got to be better than *click* *click* *click*...

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randomness is what gives spice to your games. This can be done in little things such as hitrate, or in big ones, like gameplay (side-quests, mini-games).

-Stennu

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Original post by JBourrie
Please, get rid of it. While you're at it, get rid of randomness altogether and make a game that actually requires some skill.


I tend to agree. Randomness is a poor substitute for depth.

That said, randomness can encourage players to adopt risk management strategies that can have considerable depth. Typically in an RPG like game though, this comes across as min-maxing, and is kind of frowned upon as it detracts from the point of the game - which is to play a role, rather than to necessarily be the best at everything.

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Is it bad, when you are non dextrous enough, to let the only person that could made the task, character to finish that task?

It's always choice. Would you use brain, or your manual dexterity? Main developer of the Final fantasy decided it would be never about speed and manual dexterity. So any Final fantasy would wait for player with next action, as long as he will be main developer.

For example Dungeon crawl would be unplayable, putting aside if it's unplayable with current system, if they would use some type of real time system.

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Original post by BBHudson
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Original post by Way Walker
Quote:
Original post by BBHudson
You don't need (and infact shouldn't have) miss chances in an action RPG, as the characters "skill" should by definition be superseded by the players skill.


Yeah, that pissed me right off in Secret of Mana.


Oh I'm not saying action RPGs can't work with random numbers, but that they can work without, like in Oblivion (most of it anyway). I don't want to take anything away from SoM or anything (it's actually one of my favourite games of all time), but it wasn't heavily based on player skill like some more modern games are. I mean you can't block an attack actively, so it makes sense that you get a random chance of blocking/evading etc.


Oh, I was criticizing Secret of Mana (which was a great game). I would've much rather it didn't have the chance to miss/dodge. The levels were fine, but I would've preferred if that just affected numbers like damage and HP instead of chance to hit. Zelda:LttP had little you could do to actively block, but dodging was a large part of the gameplay.

Quote:

Final Fantasy Tactics came to mind. They didn't remove random chances, but most of the time your chances to hit were pretty high. The random chance encouraged more strategy (or, tactics, I suppose) because to get this "nearly certain hit" you had to get around behind the enemy.


Rofl, that's another of my all time favourite games :) You must admit FFT was much less dependent on random chances than your average menu based RPG. Since it was half and half with strategy and luck it did work well like you said, but in a system with a greater emphasis on strategy any random elements would become a real annoyance. Just thinking off the top of my head... for instance if moving a unit to a particular position prevents an enemy moving past adjacent squares, then you wouldn't want a random chance that the enemy could slip past, as this negates any plan the player has formulated. Like I said, it's like backgammon vs. chess; in a game where strategy is as key as it is in chess, you wouldn't want for instance a probability that your knight will fail in capturing a pawn. Of course I doubt anybody is ever going to create an RPG battle system as complicated as chess.[/quote]

Age of Wonders actually did this quite well. If you try to walk past another unit, they get a free swing at you. There's a chance your guy will dodge, but there's a chance he won't. I'd say that so far from removing strategy, it made you think deeper because you had more options that were more complex. And not just more complex, but more complex in interesting ways.

Or, like in FFT, the only way to be almost certain to hit was to get them fom behind, but that didn't mean you were invincible from the front. Yes, it'd've been much more like chess if everything was 100% certain, but it would've lost a lot of its nuance (not that chess doesn't have nuance, it's just a different nuance).

Quote:

I guess I can see that; character customization is one of the few things that modern RPGs do quite well IMO. Particularly in team vs. team settings, designing characters to cancel out the others weakness can get quite strategic, though in reality there is always a set of builds that will strongly counter your own, so really you are just playing a big game of Rock/Paper/Scissors. I'd rather see a system where the players have to outwit each other actually on the battlefield rather than off it - attacking in such a way to strike at your opponents weak spots while covering your own. Well, it's got to be better than *click* *click* *click*...


Well, even in games where most of the strategy is in the planning stages, you usually have some influence on the battle itself. Think like Magic the Gathering. A lot of that game is proper deck design, but that's not enough to win a tournament. Even in the FF series, where most of the combat decisions were in designing your team, you still couldn't just mash the fight button and expect to win (unless you were over levelled). I don't think your rock/paper/scissors comparison applies nearly so broadly as you think, because where setup rules, there's usually more than one way to skin a cat.

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