Critical Hit Question(s)

Frostorm

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QUESTION #1:
So, I currently have my project set up where Critical Hit DAMAGE, not Crit%, scales with ATK/MAT (for physical/magical). Basically, every point of ATK or MAT increases Crit Dmg by 1%. Now, my issue is that characters have a very low Crit Multiplier at lower levels. Imagine a lv1 character with 10 ATK. This unit's (physical) Critical Hits would deal 110% of normal damage. Pretty lackluster wouldn't you say? At higher levels, with say, 100 ATK, would result in Critical Hits that deal 200% (double) damage. This is much more appropriate. In short, the discrepancy between min and max level is way too large. Anyway, I see 2 possible solutions. I could either increase the "starting point" of the Critical Multiplier by an arbitrary amount (e.g. +0.5) or I could make it so each point of ATK/MAT increases their Critical Multiplier by 2% instead of 1%.

Before Changes:
Lv1 (10ATK) = 1.0+10/100 = 1.1 = 110%
Lv50 (100ATK) = 1.0+100/100 = 2.0 = 200%

Method 1:
Lv1 (10ATK) = 1.5+10/100 = 1.6 = 160%
Lv50 (100ATK) = 1.5+100/100 = 2.5 = 250%

Method 2:
Lv1 (10ATK) = 1.0+10/50 = 1.2 = 120%
Lv50 (100ATK) = 1.0+100/50 = 3.0 = 300%

QUESTION #2:
My other question is in regards to unit positioning and how it affects Critical Hits. Basically, PHYSICAL attacks made against a target's backside (as in both the attacker and defender are facing the same direction) are automatically Critical Hits (+100%). This mechanic can be found in several Tactical RPGs, including the recently released Triangle Strategy. But for some reason, most games I play with this mechanic don't allow MAGICAL attacks to be a Critical Hit. Such is my dilemma. Should spells adhere to the same rules/mechanics as melee attacks? See, the problem is the inconsistency. I've already chosen to allow spells to Critically Hit in general. If I make it so that spells DO NOT gain the +100% Crit chance bonus against back-facing targets, then physical attacks would disproportionately be more likely to result in a Critical Hit (due to melee units being incentivized to attack from behind). What should I do about this issue?

QUESTION #3:
Lastly, I wanted to ask about 2 specific base stats and what they currently do vs what they ought to do. Currently, I have it so that ATK (Strength) increases Critical Multiplier while AGI (Dexterity) increases Critical Hit chance. Also, keep in mind that attacking a unit from behind results in a guaranteed Critical Hit. Now, consider a unit with high Strength but low Dexterity. Such a unit would likely want to attack from behind as often as possible in order to capitalize on its high Crit Multiplier, right? This "incentivization" results in a unit whose playstyle is akin to a Rogue, not a Warrior like its stats suggest. Next, consider the opposite...a unit with high Dexterity but low Strength. Such a unit would have less incentive to attack from behind since its Crit Multiplier would be rather low due to the below-average Strength stat. However, the high Dexterity score allows for a greater chance to land a Critical Hit regardless of facing. This results in a unit that moves more like a Warrior than a Rogue. What do??

copy-pasted from post #3:
  1. Should Crit Multiplier start at 150% at lv1 and end up around 250% at lv50 or should it start at 100% at lv1 and end up around 300% at lv50?
  2. Should MAGICAL attacks be a guaranteed CRIT on back-facing targets?
  3. Units with high STR but low DEX play like Rogues instead of Warriors. Units with high DEX but low STR play like Warriors instead of Rogues. What do?
 
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caethyril

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In my mind, a crit is a hit on a weak point, so:
  1. Stat contributions to crit chance depend on what those stats represent. I'd be inclined to make a speed/finesse stat (e.g. AGI) affect crit chance, but a power stat (e.g. ATK) just increase damage across the board.

    It makes sense for an inexperienced fighter to have low crit chance, unless that's their specialty (e.g. rogues). For the crit multiplier I'd suggest making the value depend on AGI ("finesse") instead of ATK ("power").

    In terms of balance, ATK * (1 + CRI * crit mult) may give a rough estimate of (physical) damage output. E.g. if a character has +20% CRI and crit multiplier of 3x, this formula gives (1 + 0.2 * 3) = 1.6, i.e. they have effective damage output 1.6 times higher than their ATK suggests.

    [Edit: actually I think it'd be ATK * (1 + CRI * (crit mult - 1)) because otherwise it's counting every crit as a normal hit as well. This change reduces the example's result from 1.6 to 1.4.]

  2. Magic crits depend on whether magic is capable of hitting a "weak point". I feel like that depends heavily on what the magic is doing, e.g. a big fireball's just going to hit everything, unlike a precisely-aimed beam. It's probably simpler to assume that crit chance is governed by the same skill for magical and physical stuff.

  3. Maybe make rogues "faster" in some way, or give them skills to let them get behind their targets more easily than a warrior?
 
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Frostorm

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Hmm, should I just remove the "Crit Multiplier scaling with the ATK stat" mechanic and let Critical Hits be a flat and all-encompassing 150% or 200% damage? That would instantly resolve Q1 & Q3, which only leaves Q2. But then again, I really like the idea of Strength increasing a unit's Critical Multiplier. It just makes sense thematically.

On the other hand, if I retain the "Crit Multiplier scaling with the ATK stat" mechanic, should I lean towards Method 1 or Method 2? (plz refer to OP)

tl;dr for Q1-3:
  1. Should Crit Multiplier start at 150% at lv1 and end up around 250% at lv50 or should it start at 100% at lv1 and end up around 300% at lv50?
  2. Should MAGICAL attacks be a guaranteed CRIT on back-facing targets?
  3. Units with high STR but low DEX play like Rogues instead of Warriors. Units with high DEX but low STR play like Warriors instead of Rogues. What do?
 
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Another Fen

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Only an online randoms oppinions, but...


1)
Not sure if it makes sense here, but maybe you could try to include the enemy level in balancing critical damage, so the difference between level 1 and 50 would be reduced (like some games do with chances)?

Of course I still wouldn't mind seeing the differences grow over the course of getting stronger.

2)
I mean, depends on what you think works best for your game. Every universe can have their own spin on magic, but generally I'm used to seeing spells that are a lot more contactless than physical strikes (classics like a fireball aside) and thus would probably be averted differently?

I mean, if you suddenly burst into flames, get hit by lightning or find yourself in the middle of an earth quake, does it really help whether or not you are facing the person holding the remote?

If you choose to not give magic this bonus, you can always balance your spells around having a higher critical hit chance or base damage by default. A lot of games I am used to have multiple spell ranks for each magic with increased MP cost, if your game works similarly you could reflect the increasing damage bonuses from physical crits this way maybe?

Alternatively, depending on the stat range this may not turn out to be a huge problem if magic ends up slightly better if your party is underleveled/-geared and physical attacks pull ahead with more stats?


3)
Personally I would argue critical damage could as well fit into dexterity as characters get more precise and can exploit weak spots more effectively, whereas I would associate strength more with general brute forcing through defenses. But that would be me.

Coming back to your other thread about critical effects, you could maybe give your rogue more abilities with alternative critical effects that benefit less from raw damage, and your warrior maybe some "Shield Breaker" abilitiy(ies) that have a static bonus on critical hit chance, making sneaking behind the target optional.


That would be my immediate thoughts at least.
 
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My random 2 cents.

1) There is no "right answer". I would just adjust the following formula until I found what feels best to me.

Crit Damage = Flat + Per Level Increase + Per Attribute Increase

In this case I might suggest something like:

Crit Damage = 150% + 0 + .5% per Str

That would lead to actually starting at 155% crit damage for 10 str and reaching 200% crit damage at 100 str.

Basically, if you want the curve to be flatter, adjust the flat value up and lower the others. If you want it to focus more on levels, then adjust the per level up. Ditto for per attribute increase.

My overall suggestion depends on how base damage in your game is implemented. If you want the power in your character to come from having more powerful skills and spells, it makes more sense to have just a flat critical damage multiplier and make the base damage values for high level skills and spells much higher.

The method I am using to implement it in my game is that I have a completely separate attribute in my game for crit damage. Since I am allowing the player to allocate stats when they level up, that means the player will have to choose between putting points into the attribute that increases their damage or how much their critical damage is.

2) I actually like your implementation and don't see it as an inconsistency as long you've implemented the following in lore: where you stab someone matters, but where you hit them with magic does not.

3) I mean, there really isn't a good way to incentivize a specific playstyle for specific classes other than to give them more benefits for playing the way you want them to. For example, it could be that only certain classes benefit from performing a back attack. Or it could be that the benefit for attacking the back differs for class.

I would consider fighters getting a +50% critical hit chance (rather than an auto crit) and rogues getting a +100% crit damage bonus.
 

Frostorm

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What if I make it so that MAGICAL attacks have a flat 200% Critical Multiplier? At the same time, I'd have PHYSICAL attacks start at a lower Critical Multiplier value of 150% which also increases by 1% per point of Strength. In addition, spells cast from behind a target would NOT trigger the auto-crit mechanic. Would the non-symmetry between magical and physical bother people?
 
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What if I make it so that MAGICAL attacks have a flat 200% Critical Multiplier? At the same time, I'd have PHYSICAL attacks start at a lower Critical Multiplier value of 150% which also increases by 1% per point of Strength. In addition, spells cast from behind a target would NOT trigger the auto-crit mechanic. Would the non-symmetry between magical and physical bother people?
In terms of asymmetry, it really just depends on the player. I personally would not be miffed by that at all. Basically, the thematic difference between magic and physical allows for there to be a substantial mechanic difference as well. Although, I would recommend explaining the difference to the player either directly or through in game dialogue.

In terms of the critical multiplier... it depends on how you're treating crits in general. You have to look at the overall damage of skills and spells. Skills and spells would have to be approximately equal in terms of base damage (and here I mean the total amount of damage before crit) in order for the difference in critical multiplier to actually feel different.
 

Villhelm

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1) I would start with a flat bonus of 50% or so critical damage and scale it up from there at a lower rate.

2) I’m fond of the idea of certain spells (i.e. single target and ray type spells) critically hitting. You wouldn’t have to take an all-or-nothing approach here, but could specify in skill descriptions which are capable of doing so.

3) Another option for the bonus for striking an enemy in the back could be to double the critical chance, instead of guaranteeing it.

If your AGI stat/gear bonuses can get your rogue-like characters to ~50% generally, then they’re incentivized to strike from behind for guaranteed critical hits.

The warrior-like classes still benefit from it but you don’t end up in a scenario where they’re guaranteed critical hits for 3-4x damage.

Another benefit of soft-capping what the AGI-based characters can achieve in terms of crit chance through progression alone is that any temporary crit chance bonuses from skills remain relevant into the late game.
 

Frostorm

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3) Another option for the bonus for striking an enemy in the back could be to double the critical chance, instead of guaranteeing it.
I really like this idea actually, but it would make the whole back-attack mechanic more RNG dependent. Since I'm working on a Tactical RPG, I've been systematically removing/revising mechanics to reduce RNG in general. For example, instead of Counters being RNG-based via the CNT sub-stat, I made it so that a Counter will always trigger if the defending unit has a higher Speed stat than the offending unit. The auto-crit mechanic on back attacks follows a similar philosophy. It vastly emphasizes the importance of positioning. But in any case, this idea is worth trying out. If not double the Crit%, then perhaps a flat +50% Crit for back attacks? But I really hate it when you have a fairly high Crit% but still end up not landing a Crit...

In terms of asymmetry, it really just depends on the player. I personally would not be miffed by that at all. Basically, the thematic difference between magic and physical allows for there to be a substantial mechanic difference as well. Although, I would recommend explaining the difference to the player either directly or through in game dialogue.
Well, if people really aren't bothered by the asymmetry between Magical and Physical attacks then I suppose I can allow the 2 to have even more mechanical differences. Up until now, I designed my Magic system to be somewhat of a parallel to the Physical attack mechanics. Any amount of asymmetry would irk the **** out of me, due mostly to my OCD I suppose. But since I'm going to forgo this symmetry, I might as well change up a few more things as well.

For instance, I currently have it so that MAGICAL attacks utilize the Hit/Acc mechanics like their PHYSICAL counterparts. The formula I use is simple: Accuracy = userHitRate - targetEvadeRate

For PHYSICAL attacks...
userHitRate = user.hit + user.agi / 100
targetEvadeRate = target.eva + target.luk / 100

For MAGICAL attacks...
userHitRate = user.hit + user.mdf / 100
targetEvadeRate = target.mev + target.mdf / 100

Btw, in my project...
LUK = Speed
AGI = Dexterity
MDF = Willpower

Anyway, since I'm going all-in regarding the Magical/Physical asymmetry, I'm thinking of reverting Magical attacks back to the RM default of having 100% Hit chance instead of the setup illustrated above. Basically, spells currently use Willpower (MDF) for both their Hit & Evade chances. It just made sense to me thematically.

*Cue Harry Potter magic/wand struggle or DBZ Kamehameha beam struggle*
 
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MarxMayhem

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Now, my issue is that characters have a very low Crit Multiplier at lower levels. Imagine a lv1 character with 10 ATK. This unit's (physical) Critical Hits would deal 110% of normal damage. Pretty lackluster wouldn't you say? At higher levels, with say, 100 ATK, would result in Critical Hits that deal 200% (double) damage. This is much more appropriate. In short, the discrepancy between min and max level is way too large. Anyway, I see 2 possible solutions. I could either increase the "starting point" of the Critical Multiplier by an arbitrary amount (e.g. +0.5) or I could make it so each point of ATK/MAT increases their Critical Multiplier by 2% instead of 1%.
I'd choose to increase the base multiplier myself. No one's gonna critfish if the incentive is not high enough.

I've already chosen to allow spells to Critically Hit in general. If I make it so that spells DO NOT gain the +100% Crit chance bonus against back-facing targets, then physical attacks would disproportionately be more likely to result in a Critical Hit (due to melee units being incentivized to attack from behind). What should I do about this issue?
Forgive me if this question was answered already, but how does HIT and EVA work in your game? If they still function traditionally, you can shift strengths around with those in mind: Magic skills have better accuracy, but have lower crit damage formulas. Physical skills have better crit damage formulas, but must take into consideration accuracy, and the likelihood that these skills are almost always done in melee, and all the risks involved in it.

This results in a unit that moves more like a Warrior than a Rogue. What do??
You'll have to remember that, statistics alone, Rogues would have more AGI-related bonuses than Warriors because they would have naturally higher AGI. Warriors can move in and try to get a crit, but their lower AGI means they are less likely to evade, making them prime targets to catch on their own.

Furthermore, you can give the Rogue more abilities that sell the fantasy of high-speed critfishing bastards that they are. For example, you can give them a small bonus to EVA that is independent of other factors, or independent crit DMG bonus as well. Since you're making a tile-based SRPG, you can give them an extra tile of movement. Of course, this benefits should come at a cost: Rogues are no Warriors, and they have lower defense parameters to prove it, and they must wear lighter (and therefore weaker) armor to benefit from their talents.

As long as you also define what makes a Warrior "a Warrior and not a Rogue", and give distinct strengths and weaknesses to other AGI-prioritizing classes, you will not have issues.

What if I make it so that MAGICAL attacks have a flat 200% Critical Multiplier? At the same time, I'd have PHYSICAL attacks start at a lower Critical Multiplier value of 150% which also increases by 1% per point of Strength. In addition, spells cast from behind a target would NOT trigger the auto-crit mechanic. Would the non-symmetry between magical and physical bother people?
This could work, and I don't think people who value the strategic aspect of this decision would mind.

I like to think of magic like technology: A fire bolt aimed at one target is like a homing missile, and a fireball is a ball of fire being dropped into an area like a bomb. If it happens to hit a weaker area of the target, then it's expected do more damage, but that damage would always be the same regardless of how many times that scenario is imagined, assuming everything else is equal.

Meanwhile, while you can wildly swing your sword around like a headless chicken running, there will be those who want to strike with their weapon with the intent to deal lots of damage in one swing- such moments is when "critting" could happen.
 

Frostorm

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I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone for sharing your opinions. It has been very insightful, to say the least.

Forgive me if this question was answered already, but how does HIT and EVA work in your game?
Formerly, I had Magical attacks go through a separate hit/evade calculation that pitted MDF vs MDF. But since it's still fundamentally an RNG-based mechanic, I've decided to ax it. Now Magical attacks simply have a 100% hit chance all the time, unless the target has their MEV parameter adjusted, ofc. This should be like default, right? I honestly don't even remember what default settings are like anymore, lol. As for Physical attacks, the formula I use is very simple:
(skillHitRate - 1) + (user.hit - target.eva)


Oh, I also have a question regarding positioning. Side, specifically. Basically, I'm torn on whether "Side" attacks should be a sort of middle ground between Front and Back attacks, or should "Side" have its own mechanic? "Back" attacks have the auto-crit mechanic. "Front" attacks can trigger a Counter (determined by Speed check). So what should "Side" attacks do? Nothing?

Alternatively, I could allow both Front & Side attacks to trigger Counters but also add a -10% Hit chance penalty for Front attacks. Thoughts?
 
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MarxMayhem

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This should be like default, right? I honestly don't even remember what default settings are like anymore
More or less. lol Unless the target has MEV and/or the skill itself has less than 100% accuracy, magic skills do not miss.
Oh, I also have a question regarding positioning. Side, specifically. Basically, I'm torn on whether "Side" attacks should be a sort of middle ground between Front and Back attacks, or should "Side" have its own mechanic? "Back" attacks have the auto-crit mechanic. "Front" attacks can trigger a Counter (determined by Speed check). So what should "Side" attacks do? Nothing?

Alternatively, I could allow both Front & Side attacks to trigger Counters but also add a -10% Hit chance penalty for Front attacks. Thoughts?
The FFT games kinda already does the alternative method you suggested, and it's not a bad model to emulate. It makes sense, after all.
 

Frostorm

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I just had an epiphany regarding Spell Crits! I'm thinking of taking a page out of Fae Tactics and how their Elemental system affects Spell Criticals. So instead of using %-based Crit chances, each unit is assigned an element with its respective strengths and weaknesses. Casting Lightning Bolt on a Water-type target would automatically result in a Critical Hit, for instance. I think this would be in line with the non-RNG philosophy I've been pursuing. I hope I'm not oversimplifying my mechanics now. Thoughts?

Edit: Hmm, it may have actually been a different game... My memory's kinda hazy rn, lol.
 
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Frostorm

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The Elements thread that just popped up raised another question for me, but I don't want to derail that thread or anything. Basically, Spell Crits are a thing in my game, but unit typing in the Pokémon sense is not.

Each actor will have an elemental affinity, which dictates that unit's "Element Class". For example, let's say an actor's element is Fire. That unit would gain an entire skill tree, the Pyromancer's skill tree specifically. However, just because this unit is a Pyromancer, doesn't mean their elemental rates are changed in any way.

My idea was to make spells automatically inflict a Critical Hit if the target is elementally weak to the spell's element. However, this means I'd have to adhere to a Pokémon-style elemental typing system. However, I specifically DON'T want units in my game to have elements be a binary resistance/weakness kind of thing. But I DO want spells to be guaranteed to Critically Hit if the target is "weak" to the spell's element.

Unfortunately, everything > 100% element rate is considered "weak". Even 101%. Is there a good way to utilize the "spells auto-Crit on elemental weakness" mechanic w/o resorting to a Pokémon-esque typing system?
 

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