Rebalancing between games

AuthorTopic: Rebalancing between games
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #0
So, after being inspired to start up another G3 game, I was poking around the scripts, looking at how the game balance has changed. I didn't realize just how widespread the changes have been. It's not just melee weapons that were weakened. Here's a list of damage per level across games:
G1 G2 G3

1-6 1-4 1-3 Firebolt, Fiery Wand (Fyora)
1-6 1-6 1-6 (Drayk)
1-7 1-5 1-4 Searer (Artila/Roamer)
1-5 1-6 1-5 Ice Spray, Icy Crystal (Cryoa/Cryodrayk)
1-8 1-4 1-5 Searing Orbs, Spray Crystal (Drakon)
1-8 1-6 1-6 Diamond Spray, Swarm Crystal, Jeweled Wand (Ur-Drakon)
1-5 1-5 1-5 (Vlish)
1-12 1-10 Kill (Gazer)
1-12 1-10 Aura of Flames (Eyebeast)

1-8 1-8 1-4 Regular melee attack
1-3 1-5 1-4 Vlish melee attack
1-5 Alwan's melee attack

1-5 1-6 1-3 Thorn Baton
1-6 1-6 1-3 Venom Baton
1-8 1-5 1-3 Acid Baton
1-10 1-7 1-3 Submission Baton
1-14 1-10 1-12 Reaper Baton
1-6 1-5 1-4 Javelin
1-16 1-12 1-8 Discipline Wand
1-5 1-4 1-4 Terror Wand
1-5 1-4 1-4 Ensnaring Crystal, Null Wand
Spells and creation attacks were also weakened (especially compared to G1), though melee weapons took the worst hit.

This brings up a few interesting points. For one thing, whatever effect the weakening of melee has had on guardians, it's completely nerfed most battle creations. If you look at their stats, Clawbugs and Battle Alphas are pretty much complete crap next to comparable Magic and Fire creations, despite being more expensive -- and that was much less true when physical attacks hit harder. Thahds get a HP bonus that's noticeable early and Rotghroths get bonuses to strength and quick action, though they still don't impress me.

This also reveals just how Vlish became so overpowered. Originally, all their attacks were noticably weaker than those of a Fyora of comparable level; that was to make up for the powerful slowing effect. Now their melee attack is on par with a Clawbug's, while their missile attack is stronger than a Roamer's, and as good as Ice Spray with a more consistent crippling effect. Drayks have also gotten somewhat better.

Reapers are spectacularly good in G3. I knew that, I just didn't realize how good.

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #1
It's an attempt to balance out the game to counteract whatever great ideas players come up with. After the thread on Bullseye Shaper you can expect that missle weapons will be less effective.

Players were dealing out too much damage so the weapons are weaker. I think crystals will go next since they have high damage and low action points. You can get two attacks without hasting and even more hasted and with action point bonus items get up to 5 attacks, Pile them on and even a shaper can clear the field like a high level agent.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Apprentice
Member # 7152
Profile #2
The list is very interesting, particularly since I thought that firebolt had increased in power. Perhaps what's happened is that it's easier to upgrade it to level 3, and the increased spell strength is what's giving me the boost. Do you know what determines your hit rate with a given spell? I was certain that I hit more often with spells in G2 and G3. I used to miss like crazy in G1, even with an agent with points put into her battle magic skill.

To me, it looks like G3 has made most attacks have similar damage, with a few key exceptions. That would mean that I can choose what I want to attack with based on what I pesonally favor, rather than what's most powerful in the game. (Well, at least until those things that are now comparatively overpowered become available to me, which is frequently "never", between my play style and general ineptitude.)

I've always felt that games become easier to play as the new versions come out. Rebalancing seems to make things much easier for me. Maybe it's because I have an odd playing style. I thought that melee and missile were overpowered in G1, and that melee was still too powerful in G2. I mean, if you read the tutorial, it'll advise using magic if you're a shaper or an agent, whereas the truth was, no matter what your character, you ought to be using javelins (or maybe a knife, but the fyoras have a ranged attack and you might not be able to get close enough). The G3 tutorial gives the same advice, but it is now no longer such a blatantly bad idea. That sort of thing makes me happy.

Maybe it's a newbie thing, because I totally admit that I play like a newbie, but I don't think that games should cater exclusively to power gamers.
Posts: 18 | Registered: Monday, May 22 2006 07:00
His Mighty Tentacle
Member # 627
Profile #3
One shudders to think of what a Discipline Wand from G1 would do in G3's missile damage system. The results would be... Sickening. I bet you could clear 400 to 500 damage... Egads.

Batons don't make much sense. They do more damage than ever before...

Neat though.

Edit. How is missile damage applied any how? I know there is the missile skill, but dex also applies damage?

Do you roll one die for missile and another die level for dex? If so, even with cut numbers, it explains why missiles do so much damage now.

And something doesn't seem kosher about that list.

Battle Creations do in fact, do more damage in G3. Battle Alphas and Betas do considerable damage. I know strength adds to damage now differently... If the die roll for damage is x number of damage, doesn't strength also add a die roll for damage? I know if you jack up strength on a Fyora it turns their firebolt in to a mini tactical nuke in the beginning of the game. Strength does funny things with the damage rolls of creations, even the missile aspects of it.

[ Wednesday, May 24, 2006 20:05: Message edited by: Delicious Vlish ]

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If I could make just one wish, I would want a tasty vlish.

Geneforge IV. Still no tasty vlish.
Posts: 1104 | Registered: Tuesday, February 12 2002 08:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #4
The formulas for damage and hit rate for ANY type of attack made by any character are very simple.

Base hit rate is determined by type of attack and has mostly stayed the same throughout G1-3. Basic rule of thumb: 60% physical, 60% fire, 70% magic/acid, 80% ice. Then add 5% per point of attack bonus. Enemy ability to dodge can affect this, I believe reducing it by 5% per point of Dexterity -- not sure.

Base damage is attack specific, with an additional amount per level of attack bonus. In G3, Firebolt has a base of 1-4 and gets an additional 1-3 per level of attack bonus. The enemy's armor or resistance is then applied to the total amount rolled.

To get your attack bonus:

PC Melee attacks:
Bonus = Strength + Melee Weapons + Level of equipped weapon

PC Missile attacks:
Bonus = Dexterity + Missile Weapons + Level of item used

PC Magic attacks:
Bonus = Spellcraft + Battle Magic + Spell Skill

Creation attacks (melee OR missile):
Bonus = Strength + Appropriate attack Skill

Attack skill is a hidden stat, but it is generally in line with creation power level. Not always, though -- Fyoras have a better melee attack skill than Plated Bugs do.

Note that the descriptions for many of the stats involved are inaccurate in both the manual and the game. Strength and Dexterity come to mind.

Also, note that the attractive thing about missile weapons is that they tend to have higher base levels compared to spell skill. They won't be scaled back anytime soon, though. They are -- at best -- mildly more powerful than magic, but they have the huge restriction of being limited to what items you collect and save. Reapers are nice, but even they are typically weaker than a Gazer.

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Apprentice
Member # 7152
Profile #5
quote:
Note that the descriptions for many of the stats involved are inaccurate in both the manual and the game. Strength and Dexterity come to mind.
!!!!!!

All right. Now I'm mad. No wonder I'm so bad at this game.
Posts: 18 | Registered: Monday, May 22 2006 07:00
Agent
Member # 6581
Profile Homepage #6
quote:
Originally written by chibi kaie:

quote:
Note that the descriptions for many of the stats involved are inaccurate in both the manual and the game. Strength and Dexterity come to mind.
!!!!!!

All right. Now I'm mad. No wonder I'm so bad at this game.

:D

Hmm... Why Dryak and Vlish don't decreased?

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Posts: 1310 | Registered: Tuesday, December 20 2005 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #7
quote:
Hmm... Why Dryak and Vlish don't decreased?

Jeff's saving that for GF4 after reading Delicious Vlish's use of Terror Vlish to stun opponents. Drayk will only decrease for PC's creations if we get them.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
His Mighty Tentacle
Member # 627
Profile #8
I use regular Vlish for that. Terror Vlish are broken in G3. BROKEN!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!

Ahem, sorry.

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If I could make just one wish, I would want a tasty vlish.

Geneforge IV. Still no tasty vlish.
Posts: 1104 | Registered: Tuesday, February 12 2002 08:00
Agent
Member # 2759
Profile Homepage #9
Actually I prefer the GF3 form of terror vlish. Terror attack irritates me because you spend half your time running trying to catch up with the fleeing enemy. I prefer the GF3 terror vlish poison attack, which is very powerful.

Edit: However, terror was useful against Lord and Lady Rahul.

[ Thursday, May 25, 2006 21:59: Message edited by: Micawber ]

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"I can't read this thread with that image. But then, that's not a complaint." -Scorpius

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Posts: 1104 | Registered: Monday, March 10 2003 08:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #10
The poison attack isn't that powerful. The poisoning is comparable to a Venom Baton, and the attack itself is comparable to a regular Vlish attack -- except it doesn't slow.

The real problem is that Terror Vlish cost three times as much as regular Vlish. They are a few levels higher, but they also have a reduced attack bonus, so they aren't really any more powerful.

The one thing they have going for them, IMHO, is that their attack does poison-elemental damage -- it's not just a physical attack that also poisons. This is useful against a few enemies, like mages and gazers, that resist most forms of attack, but not poison.

[ Friday, May 26, 2006 00:45: Message edited by: 84,000 Stupas ]

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 6754
Profile #11
Instead of changing PC stats, enemies should be made stronger. Stunning you beyond resistance if need be, etc. I think if you don't focus on a skill, it should be your weakness. It's this lack of necessary player weaknesses that brings up such debates.

What about some unreasonably tough enemy? A test, or something you don't have to do. Like the Golems at the Testing Grounds in GF3, but harder than anything else in the game. The challenge would help players decide on the best class/strategy.

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One of these words is mispelled.
Posts: 284 | Registered: Tuesday, January 31 2006 08:00
Warrior
Member # 5161
Profile #12
However, I've noticed enemy HP has also decreased, from 19 HP for Fyoras to 16 HP. Not a big difference, but it could be more noticable for higher-level enemies.

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blah blah blah
Posts: 78 | Registered: Thursday, November 4 2004 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7557
Profile #13
I think this thread deserves to live, as it's useful and not very large.

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Jeran Korak-Triad Minds
Posts: 942 | Registered: Sunday, October 8 2006 07:00