Bluddy

02-24-2011, 06:52 PM

OK guys,

After poring over excel sheets, I think I found the problem(s) Baki and others have complained about, and it's not the armor absorption formula. That formula is pretty close to the sweet spot. It could use a little more tweaking maybe to allow people to reach some higher armor values, but because armor values are so spread out, it does the best job it can.

Right now, armor absorption percentage can give you up to 65% at the VERY high end of plate. Since every hit gets reduced somewhat, we can translate that to an 'effective HP' of

1/(1-0.65) = 2.85x your real HP. That means that if you have armor giving you 65% protection, and you have 1000 HP, it's really like you have 2850 HP. It's really nice, especially for the warriors. The leather classes are stuck closer to 30% absorption which gives only 1/(1-0.3) = 142% HP, so they have 1420 effective HP. But they also have high dexterity to avoid being hit. Anyway, I digress.

So what IS the problem that causes the phenomenon Baki and others experience around level 50? To remind everyone, around level 50, as a warrior with heavy armor, you can kill nearly everything with 1 shot, and you can get killed very easily as well. There are 2 problems here: being killed too easily, and killing too easily.

Let's talk first about the first problem, being killed too easily. Monsters are assigned minimum and maximum damage lines. Those are nice linear functions, and they increase steadily. This is good, because the player's HP is also mostly a linear function of their vitality. Sure, occasionally you improve your armor significantly and therefore increase your 'effective HP' (see above) by x1 or even almost x3 as I mentioned above. But then, your HP continues to go up linearly, so it doesn't change things THAT much. Plus, it's very rare to find enough armor to give you such a big bonus.

Just to give an example, assuming a warrior who places 2 out of every 5 attribute points into vitality, the warrior will start with 68 HP at level 1 , have 296 HP at level 20, 656 HP at level 50, and 1256 HP at level 100. Quite linear, since you get a fixed amount of HP per vitality.

This is all fine and dandy. Where does the problem come in then? The problem is that while the monsters are given a set min and max damage values per level which are both linear (as we said above), they also get 2-4 points of strength per level (I think generic monsters get 2 and warriors get 4). This makes the damage curve of the monsters non-linear. Just to give an idea of the effect, assuming the warrior above and a monster strength per level of 2; at level 1, the player needs to be hit 37 times to be killed. At level 10, it's down to 16 times. At level 50, he only needs to be hit 8 times to die. At level 100, 5 times are enough.

These figures are moderated somewhat by good armor. If you have really really good armor, you'll get something like a 2.5x bonus to your HP, so you can multiply these figures by something like that. Except then you have to divide them by 2 for critical hits, which seem much more frequent at higher levels (though I can't find the stats for them for monsters.) And warriors don't have the high dexterity to dodge hits like rogues can... This results in many warriors being wiped out in a matter of seconds. The same obviously applies to the weaker classes but is much worse for them since they have much less HP and much worse armor. Some of them can save themselves with tricks like teleport or just keeping a distance from the monsters.

The non-linearity of the damage function is a good thing in general. It gives DC a serious difficulty curve. However, my recommendation is that it should probably be moderated by either reducing strength per level for the monsters, or reducing their damage multiplier per point of strength (currently it seems like it's at 1 which is very high). This will reduce the non-linearity, making the monsters less intense at higher levels, but still at least as intense (relatively) as they were in lower levels -- the linear part of damage growth takes care of that.

Now onto the 2nd problem: warriors killing monsters too easily. This is a very similar problem to the 1st one above. Essentially, DPS goes up extremely non-linearly for warriors. This is partially because they get the best weapons, and partially because they have the same strength multiplier that made the monster damage nonlinear. The problem is that the monsters' HP curve is very linear (just as player HP was above).

I don't have consistent data on DPS since it's so variable, but I'll give some examples out of sample characters I collected from the forum. A warrior-type character had a DPS of 32.4 at level 17. At level 17, warrior monsters have an HP of 168 and an effective HP of 207. It'll take roughly 7 hits to kill the monster, not counting critical hits and misses etc. At level 45, another warrior-type character had a DPS of 230. The monsters at this level have an HP of 468 and an effective HP of 591. 2-3 hits will do the trick, not including critical hits. By level 79 characters can have DPS values of 2000. This is more about twice the HP (and effective HP) that monsters can have at level 100!

This really strong non-linear effect is less desirable than the 1st problem. Warriors essentially get way too powerful, to the point that virtually all monsters are trivial to kill. The only thing stopping them is the first problem above, but the routine of 'kill a couple of monsters, die, kill a few, die' is not too exciting.

How do we reduce the power of warriors and high DPS? In particular, how do we reduce the power of high DPS while not destroying the chances of low DPS classes (wizards, conjurers) surviving the high levels (which are low enough as it is)? If we increase monster HP, we hurt everybody. Also, Shadow lowered monster HP specifically to help the lower classes.

One possibility is armor. Armor is severely underused by current monsters. ALL monsters are given 7 armor points per level. Using the current formula, that means that after a few weak levels, monster armor settles at absorbing 20%, and that's how it stays. Making monsters get more armor per level will hurt characters at the lower levels. But if we make it such that monsters get increasingly high armor levels (adding 10, then 15, then 20 etc), we can eventually get them to armor levels high enough to double or triple their effective HP... but only at higher levels, and only against physical damage! Elemental damage will stay as effective as it was before, which should make mages relatively more powerful in the higher levels (they'll still need the affirmative action program to balance out their skill set, regardless). Swords with elemental attacks will finally get the appreciation they deserve.

If there are other classes that can't get enough DPS in the late game (rogue?), they can be given more armor piercing weapons for balance.

I might have messed up reading some of the data, but hopefully not too much. Thanks for reading this far!

After poring over excel sheets, I think I found the problem(s) Baki and others have complained about, and it's not the armor absorption formula. That formula is pretty close to the sweet spot. It could use a little more tweaking maybe to allow people to reach some higher armor values, but because armor values are so spread out, it does the best job it can.

Right now, armor absorption percentage can give you up to 65% at the VERY high end of plate. Since every hit gets reduced somewhat, we can translate that to an 'effective HP' of

1/(1-0.65) = 2.85x your real HP. That means that if you have armor giving you 65% protection, and you have 1000 HP, it's really like you have 2850 HP. It's really nice, especially for the warriors. The leather classes are stuck closer to 30% absorption which gives only 1/(1-0.3) = 142% HP, so they have 1420 effective HP. But they also have high dexterity to avoid being hit. Anyway, I digress.

So what IS the problem that causes the phenomenon Baki and others experience around level 50? To remind everyone, around level 50, as a warrior with heavy armor, you can kill nearly everything with 1 shot, and you can get killed very easily as well. There are 2 problems here: being killed too easily, and killing too easily.

Let's talk first about the first problem, being killed too easily. Monsters are assigned minimum and maximum damage lines. Those are nice linear functions, and they increase steadily. This is good, because the player's HP is also mostly a linear function of their vitality. Sure, occasionally you improve your armor significantly and therefore increase your 'effective HP' (see above) by x1 or even almost x3 as I mentioned above. But then, your HP continues to go up linearly, so it doesn't change things THAT much. Plus, it's very rare to find enough armor to give you such a big bonus.

Just to give an example, assuming a warrior who places 2 out of every 5 attribute points into vitality, the warrior will start with 68 HP at level 1 , have 296 HP at level 20, 656 HP at level 50, and 1256 HP at level 100. Quite linear, since you get a fixed amount of HP per vitality.

This is all fine and dandy. Where does the problem come in then? The problem is that while the monsters are given a set min and max damage values per level which are both linear (as we said above), they also get 2-4 points of strength per level (I think generic monsters get 2 and warriors get 4). This makes the damage curve of the monsters non-linear. Just to give an idea of the effect, assuming the warrior above and a monster strength per level of 2; at level 1, the player needs to be hit 37 times to be killed. At level 10, it's down to 16 times. At level 50, he only needs to be hit 8 times to die. At level 100, 5 times are enough.

These figures are moderated somewhat by good armor. If you have really really good armor, you'll get something like a 2.5x bonus to your HP, so you can multiply these figures by something like that. Except then you have to divide them by 2 for critical hits, which seem much more frequent at higher levels (though I can't find the stats for them for monsters.) And warriors don't have the high dexterity to dodge hits like rogues can... This results in many warriors being wiped out in a matter of seconds. The same obviously applies to the weaker classes but is much worse for them since they have much less HP and much worse armor. Some of them can save themselves with tricks like teleport or just keeping a distance from the monsters.

The non-linearity of the damage function is a good thing in general. It gives DC a serious difficulty curve. However, my recommendation is that it should probably be moderated by either reducing strength per level for the monsters, or reducing their damage multiplier per point of strength (currently it seems like it's at 1 which is very high). This will reduce the non-linearity, making the monsters less intense at higher levels, but still at least as intense (relatively) as they were in lower levels -- the linear part of damage growth takes care of that.

Now onto the 2nd problem: warriors killing monsters too easily. This is a very similar problem to the 1st one above. Essentially, DPS goes up extremely non-linearly for warriors. This is partially because they get the best weapons, and partially because they have the same strength multiplier that made the monster damage nonlinear. The problem is that the monsters' HP curve is very linear (just as player HP was above).

I don't have consistent data on DPS since it's so variable, but I'll give some examples out of sample characters I collected from the forum. A warrior-type character had a DPS of 32.4 at level 17. At level 17, warrior monsters have an HP of 168 and an effective HP of 207. It'll take roughly 7 hits to kill the monster, not counting critical hits and misses etc. At level 45, another warrior-type character had a DPS of 230. The monsters at this level have an HP of 468 and an effective HP of 591. 2-3 hits will do the trick, not including critical hits. By level 79 characters can have DPS values of 2000. This is more about twice the HP (and effective HP) that monsters can have at level 100!

This really strong non-linear effect is less desirable than the 1st problem. Warriors essentially get way too powerful, to the point that virtually all monsters are trivial to kill. The only thing stopping them is the first problem above, but the routine of 'kill a couple of monsters, die, kill a few, die' is not too exciting.

How do we reduce the power of warriors and high DPS? In particular, how do we reduce the power of high DPS while not destroying the chances of low DPS classes (wizards, conjurers) surviving the high levels (which are low enough as it is)? If we increase monster HP, we hurt everybody. Also, Shadow lowered monster HP specifically to help the lower classes.

One possibility is armor. Armor is severely underused by current monsters. ALL monsters are given 7 armor points per level. Using the current formula, that means that after a few weak levels, monster armor settles at absorbing 20%, and that's how it stays. Making monsters get more armor per level will hurt characters at the lower levels. But if we make it such that monsters get increasingly high armor levels (adding 10, then 15, then 20 etc), we can eventually get them to armor levels high enough to double or triple their effective HP... but only at higher levels, and only against physical damage! Elemental damage will stay as effective as it was before, which should make mages relatively more powerful in the higher levels (they'll still need the affirmative action program to balance out their skill set, regardless). Swords with elemental attacks will finally get the appreciation they deserve.

If there are other classes that can't get enough DPS in the late game (rogue?), they can be given more armor piercing weapons for balance.

I might have messed up reading some of the data, but hopefully not too much. Thanks for reading this far!