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Kest

RPG Mixer

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Kest    547
This is an expansion on an old idea I once had. A mixer system for gaining experience via actions in a role playing game. Its purpose is to encourage varied exposure against varied enemies that employ varied weapons and strategies while using varied offensive techniques, without permanently diminishing the usefulness of any of those elements. - The mixer holds an array of entry data, each represented by an ID (such as a name) and a quantity. - The mixer has a limited quantity capacity. An arbitrary number, such as 10. The number of entries is unlimited, but the total quantity of those entries is not. - The mixer's quantity is always full. It will start the game with one blank entry that contains a quantity to fill it. To add an entry to the mixer, a value representing it's quantity would be included with it. When it is added, the mixer will make enough free space for it. To do so, it will reduce ALL current entry quantities by an equal amount. So let's say the mixer has a maximum quantity of 10, and looks like this: + [Enemy] Sword: 2.1 + [Enemy] Goblin: 3.6 + [Self] Club: 2.2 + [Self] Run Attack: 2.1 By looking at it, one can see the player has been fighting a lot of goblins that were armed with swords, using some sort of running club attack. So now we want to add a new entry, since the player has just performed an action that is rewarded with experience, such as killing a goblin that was armed with a dagger. This is what we decide to add: + [Enemy] Dagger: 0.1 + [Enemy] Goblin: 0.2 So the mixer must make enough free space to store 0.3 more data. Just divide that by the number of entries and remove it from everything. Then add the new entries: + [Enemy] Dagger: 0.1 + [Enemy] Sword: 2.025 + [Enemy] Goblin: 3.725 + [Self] Club: 2.125 + [Self] Run Attack: 2.025 Each of the numbers in the mixer represents a penalty against earned experience for that item. So if we fight a goblin (-3.725) armed with a dagger (-0.1), we would be penalized by 3.825 experience. If we fought an ogre using a sword at this point, we would be penalized by just the 2.025. How these numbers are used to reduce experience is totally flexible. It could be subtracted, or used as an inverted scaler. The types of data included into the mixer can be ANYTHING. All it requires is some type of ID to match it up with actions in the game. For example, you could include the player or enemy's armor during a fight, or the location the fight took place in. For a lock picking skill, you could even include the brand of the lock. Anything that you want to influence learning with or encourage diversity for. Any thoughts, opinions, or suggestions?

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kingy    124
Overall I think this system will work, lowering the experience earned for repeat fights.

One thing I don't really understand though is including player action specifics in the matrix. Are you wanting to penalise the player for using a successful strategy?

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Kest    547
The types of elements included in the mixer are not vital to the system. Anything the designer wants to use will work.

To answer the question, though, it would be to promote a varied offense. The player learns more by using different techniques, rather than repeating the same one over and over.

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vs322    134
Nice idea. A exp penalty for repetitive successful strategy makes total seance to me, more so then what your fighting actual, as the player may not have a choice as to what his current enemy is.

If the only form of character advancement is exp then this system seems very useful and encourages varied game play. However if each skill, for example, is leveled individually you wouldn't want a player who is trying to lvl his ax skill be forced to use a dagger just to keep getting a reasonable amount of general exp.

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loom_weaver    321
This is a neat idea. I think you should tie it into the monster AI as well. If the player is using swords too often against goblins then they could start wearing armour that is resistant to slash.

Lowering the xp seems fine. The main thing to avoid is penalties to effectiveness that don't have a good reasons. E.g. you don't hit as hard. That would just be annoying.

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Kest    547
Quote:
Original post by vs322
However if each skill, for example, is leveled individually you wouldn't want a player who is trying to lvl his ax skill be forced to use a dagger just to keep getting a reasonable amount of general exp.

I think this could be fixed with a simple rule. If a specific element changes the type of experience the player earns, just ignore that element's data when calculating the penalty for that type of experience.

If the use of swords has its own unique experience, then ignore the "[Self] Swords" element when penalizing the experience gained into the sword skill, but use all of the others. The sword element could still be included as part of the penalty for other relevant types of experience.

Still, having an experience group for each action does complicate things. I think the system would be most ideal in an open-ended sandbox game with generic experience.

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Kest    547
Another thing to note is that the penalty can be as extreme or as mild as you decide. In my opinion, it won't take much to incite players to avoid repeating the same action again and again, becuase they won't really want to do that in the first place. I believe even the smallest recognizable penalty will persuade many players to be more diverse in their opponents and strategies.

And if its small enough, you leave some room for choice. If players really enjoy using a sword, they can accept the small loss of always using one, while still fighting varied enemies to be productive.

Also, the more elements you monitor and include, the less effect each individual element will have on its own, which is good. That means players will keep learning as long as enough of the situation continues to change. The type of enemy, their defense, the player's offense. Even something like the player's health could have an effect - fighting while almost dead is different than fighting with full health.

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loom_weaver    321
Quote:
Even something like the player's health could have an effect - fighting while almost dead is different than fighting with full health.

An interesting feature I saw during my diku mud days was that your character actually did more damage when you were about to die. Think of it as a last minute adrenaline rush. It allowed for some amazing comeback victories.

The opposite of this of course is making almost dead characters barely be able to do any damage. This is more realistic but I argue is less fun for the player as it only exasperates the odds and hastens the inevitable battle outcome.

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Edtharan    607
Quote:
An interesting feature I saw during my diku mud days was that your character actually did more damage when you were about to die. Think of it as a last minute adrenaline rush. It allowed for some amazing comeback victories.

The opposite of this of course is making almost dead characters barely be able to do any damage. This is more realistic but I argue is less fun for the player as it only exasperates the odds and hastens the inevitable battle outcome.

These are good examples of how feedback loops can effect the gameplay.

In the Diku mud example, this is a negative feedback as the character (PC or NPC) who is winning will end up facing a harder and harder time to defeat their opponent.

In the second example, it is a positive feedback loop, where the character who is winning has an easier time to defeat the losing character.

Now, what could be interesting is combining the two feedback loops.

First of all, make it a standard that characters get weaker as they become damaged.

But.

Give them an ability that they can activate that reverses this situation for a period of time (the mode damaged they are the more powerful they become). However it comes at a cost, it will actually hasten their demise (You could think of this as an adrenalin rush that causes the character to strain their injuries and make them worse).

It then comes down to a gameplay choice. Do they risk the extra damage and gain a power that might allow them to finish off their opponent before they are finished off themselves, or do they accept that they will become weaker but hope that they will survive along enough to take down their opponent?

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