Damage formulae and alternative stats

Warpmind

Twisted Genius
Veteran
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
933
Reaction score
575
First Language
Norwegian
Primarily Uses
So, been thinking a bit lately.

The "normal or magical damage" arrangement can get a little... two-dimensional at times. You either use physical attacks that use the attack stat against the defense stat, or magical attacks that use the magical attack stat against magical defense. But you know, it would be deceptively easy to shake the whole thing up drastically; if you turn the "Attack" stat into simply "Martial", and make damage formulae for physical attacks some variation on "a.Martial - b.Martial", and the Magic Attack stat into "Magic", to make damage formulae for spells some form of "a.Magic - b.Magic", you'd have two whole stats that could be used entirely for different forms of combat or interactions entirely.

For example, you could turn "Magic Defense" into, say, "Confidence", and create skills like "Charm", "Persuade", "Intimidate", and other similar things to convince people and monsters to stop fighting you, or "Defense" into "Debate", creating skills like "Rhetoric", "Compromise", "Ad Hominem", and so on...

Obviously, some forms of combat won't work on some enemies; the common slime will likely not be very receptive to your clever debate techniques, for example, but those wolves might be intimidated by a confident stare.

Thoughts?
 

KakonComp

Lucid
Veteran
Joined
Jun 16, 2020
Messages
156
Reaction score
1,066
First Language
Ostinato
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
It's nice to think outside the default in regards to the damage formulas. Thankfully we have the means to change it inside of each skill.

One thing I remember doing in the past for someone's Ace project, was making a simple atk - def and mat - mdf, but adding luck to all damage and recovery values, so the stat was more useful beyond a small state resistance. Giving the MC access to a luck boosting spell actually boosted everything from attacks, recovery, and the defenses. It was such a small change, but added a lot to it.

That's small potatoes stuff, but was fun to make at the time. There's a lot more you can add other than the main stats, like variables, switches, special parameters...
 

AfroKat

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Feb 4, 2017
Messages
74
Reaction score
43
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
What I've done/doing is just a expansion on that.
Phys Atk - Phys Def
Mag Atk - Mag Def
Dexterity - Reflex (dex+ref = agility which determines turn order) (also is used for poison effects)

so three different damage types. Tanky slow units still take damage from dexterious units. high speed and high Mag Def enemies still take damage etc etc etc.
 

Zerothedarklord

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jun 25, 2013
Messages
234
Reaction score
48
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
In my game, I renamed Luck into Dexterity, and Dexterity increases your critical hit chance at a rate of 1% per 5 Dex. you start with 25 baseline, for 5% chance to crit, and it never increases by level up.
I created another unique stat called "Special", which functions differently for every single character.
I also use the YEP Armor plugin, so that all damage formulas don't need to be a.atk - b.def, you can just write it as a.atk and their defense value automatically reduces incoming damage, it's a really nice plugin imo.
 

velan235

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Dec 7, 2014
Messages
70
Reaction score
36
First Language
Indonesia
Primarily Uses
It's cool on paper but technically it's "one stats that does all" in practice. I might need to see it in action to determine if it's actually good or not.

the new buzzword like Confidence and Debate tend to be ignored, except if the whole game mechanic pushes those stats to be mandatory
 

Warpmind

Twisted Genius
Veteran
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
933
Reaction score
575
First Language
Norwegian
Primarily Uses
Obviously, Confidence and Debate were only suggestions off the top of my head, for other *kinds* of combat - basically, the Debate skillset uses the Debate stat, and anything charisma-oriented, such as persuading or intimidating others fall under Confidence.

Just renaming the stats like that would be pretty pointless if debate and charm/intimidation mechanics weren't implemented.

But it shouldn't be too hard to let characters use arguments in combat to convince the more human opponents of the error of their ways, or scare off less confident opponents, or have the debate arbiter cry foul of a party member decides to lop the debate opponent's head off mid-sentence... ;)

But yes, the value of a non-violent encounter solution should be impressed on the players early on, as well as the value of considering the situation and choosing the correct approach.
 

Warpmind

Twisted Genius
Veteran
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
933
Reaction score
575
First Language
Norwegian
Primarily Uses
Refining the idea further.
So, for a basic system, (and keeping numbers low), we can do it like this:

You have the Martial Stat, dealing and defending against weapon/unarmed damage, with damage formulae such as "Math.randomINT(a.atk+1) - Math.randomINT(b.atk+1)".
This would be the normal attacks, as well as any special combat techniques like double or triple attack, or even elemental sword strikes or what have you.

You have the Sorcery Stat, dealing and defending against magical damage, with damage formulae such as "Math.randomINT(a.mat+1) - Math.randomINT(b.mat+1)".
This would be all spells - fireballs, healing, thunderbolts, etc.

You have the Confidence Stat, dealing and defending against mental and emotional damage (I'm thinking of using MP damage for this, if I can find a neat and tidy way of making enemies pass out or scarper at 0 MP, essentially turning MP into a Willpower or Stress tracker instead of mana), with damage formulae such as "Math.randomINT(a.def+1) - Math.randomINT(b.def+1)".
This would be things like charming, intimidation, or rationally arguing why the opponent is in the wrong - note that I am also setting up the Elements of "Morale" and "Reason" to facilitate this better; virtually any creature can be scared or even tamed, but it's a fair bet that a hungry wolf won't be able to understand a reasoned argument, however good it is. (In other words, animals and language-less monsters will be immune to Reason damage, much like the Karens of the modern world.)

And then there's the Alchemy Stat, dealing and defending against alchemical damage, with damage formulae such as "Math.randomINT(a.mdf+1) - Math.randomINT(b.mdf+1)".
This would be things like grenades filled with poison gas, Greek fire, acids, and so on. I'm also adding in the Poison Element in the list for such fun things.

This could be elaborated on for the narrative parts of the game, too, allowing to check against the party's Confidence stats in dialogue options in a public debate, or see if the party's alchemist manages to concoct a medicinal remedy, and so on.

Could probably combine the Martial and Alchemy Stats into things like envenomed weapon strikes, too. Temporary buffs that replace the default attack, perhaps?


It's cool on paper but technically it's "one stats that does all" in practice. I might need to see it in action to determine if it's actually good or not.

the new buzzword like Confidence and Debate tend to be ignored, except if the whole game mechanic pushes those stats to be mandatory
So as you can probably see, it's most definitely not a "one stat does all" scenario, but a vastly more diversified system. Yes, the brawny Fighter with high Martial skill is going to be more likely to cleave an enemy in half, but he might equally be demoralized by a cunning adversary, and the party Mage might find themselves at a disadvantage against a gas grenade...
 

kairi_key

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Sep 14, 2013
Messages
109
Reaction score
61
First Language
thai
Primarily Uses
But wouldn't that make people who have less Martial stat have a harder time doing damage to a higher Martial stat?
Imagine you have a character who has high Martial stat of 5 (let's just say everybody else has less than 5) up against an enemy with a higher Martial stat like 8. Out of all 70 possible outcomes, there's only 21 outcomes that you'll successfully land any productive hit and that's only 30% (conversely, you'll hit 0 damage 70% of the time). Even with 5 against 5 it'll still be 21 out of 49, which is 42.8571...% and that's still low. With 6 against 5 then the odd is at 50%.

If that's the mood you're going for, then I think one character would need to have multiple skills that use different stats.
 

Warpmind

Twisted Genius
Veteran
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
933
Reaction score
575
First Language
Norwegian
Primarily Uses
But wouldn't that make people who have less Martial stat have a harder time doing damage to a higher Martial stat?
Imagine you have a character who has high Martial stat of 5 (let's just say everybody else has less than 5) up against an enemy with a higher Martial stat like 8. Out of all 70 possible outcomes, there's only 21 outcomes that you'll successfully land any productive hit and that's only 30% (conversely, you'll hit 0 damage 70% of the time). Even with 5 against 5 it'll still be 21 out of 49, which is 42.8571...% and that's still low. With 6 against 5 then the odd is at 50%.

If that's the mood you're going for, then I think one character would need to have multiple skills that use different stats.
Yes, this is intentional; it should greatly increase the tactical depth of combat, having to determine what approaches work best against a given enemy, and subtly nudge the player to shore up weaknesses rather than just raising the strongest stats for each character, too.

Also, a character wouldn't necessarily have a wide array of, say, Sorcery skills along with a high Sorcery Stat, but would have a comfortable defense against spellcasters all the same.
 

Dororo

Gespenst MKII pilot
Veteran
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
257
Reaction score
903
First Language
Italian
Primarily Uses
RMMV
To me, sound just like elemental weakness/affinity.
Great fire affinity == more damage to water creatures, less damage from fire creatures.
Change fire with Martial and that is.
 

Frostorm

[]D[][]V[][]D aka "Staf00"
Veteran
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
1,148
Reaction score
820
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
The "normal or magical damage" arrangement can get a little... two-dimensional at times. You either use physical attacks that use the attack stat against the defense stat or magical attacks that use the magical attack stat against magical defense.
Physical/magical usually just dictates the defensive stat used in the dmg calculation (DEF/MDF respectively). Also, MAT could be used for the offensive portion of a physical skill just as ATK can be used in a magical skill. There's no limitation on what formula you can use (e.g. skills that utilize AGI).

But you know, it would be deceptively easy to shake the whole thing up drastically; if you turn the "Attack" stat into simply "Martial", and make damage formulae for physical attacks some variation on "a.Martial - b.Martial", and the Magic Attack stat into "Magic", to make damage formulae for spells some form of "a.Magic - b.Magic", you'd have two whole stats that could be used entirely for different forms of combat or interactions entirely.
So basically you just want both damage and mitigation to be calculated off the same stat? (i.e. "Martial" or "Magic")
 

Warpmind

Twisted Genius
Veteran
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
933
Reaction score
575
First Language
Norwegian
Primarily Uses
To me, sound just like elemental weakness/affinity.
Great fire affinity == more damage to water creatures, less damage from fire creatures.
Change fire with Martial and that is.
Not exactly, since elemental weaknesses/affinities would affect post-roll numbers. Skills would determine which attacks under a given attribute you could use, but you might still have high stats without a particularly good repertoire to use those stats offensively.

A Wizard might have piss-poor Martial skills in terms of attack options, but still have a decent base stat with which to soak damage, or have spells that boost the Martial stat for defense.

Physical/magical usually just dictates the defensive stat used in the dmg calculation (DEF/MDF respectively). Also, MAT could be used for the offensive portion of a physical skill just as ATK can be used in a magical skill. There's no limitation on what formula you can use (e.g. skills that utilize AGI).


So basically you just want both damage and mitigation to be calculated off the same stat? (i.e. "Martial" or "Magic")
Essentially this. Increased diversity in tactical options.
 

Dororo

Gespenst MKII pilot
Veteran
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
257
Reaction score
903
First Language
Italian
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I'm again sure is the same thing.
I can rise my Fire affinity without having any way to use Fire actively, and that soak Fire damage. In the logic of combat (management of HP), receiving less damage is equal dealing more damage to opponents.
You can simply change the damage formula and add elemental affinities to everything and voit-là, system done.

What you're debating doesn't add tactical options, if not by having the fighter deal more damage to non fighters and the mage deal more damage to non magicals (the quick to slow, the nice to ugly and so on). Hardcoding the thing even more.

Probably solving combat another way than managing HP is the best idea, but you don't need to mess the default engine for that. Just layer on top of it, like for Megami Tensei.
 

CraneSoft

Filthy Degenerate
Veteran
Joined
Apr 16, 2016
Messages
248
Reaction score
371
First Language
Not English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Stats are in the end, just variables to be utilized by the damage formula, which developers are free to manipulate them in a way that suits their game's combat system, but since the default engine doesn't allow you to actually add additional stats values if you need them, I don't see how this is more viable than let's say, simply make use of elemental affinities to achieve the same results in a more effective way without limiting yourself to the default 5 or 6 stats the engine provides, and if you are not using the post-roll numbers approach, it can easily become a stats number game.

I also do not see how this adds tactical depth, if an enemy have high Martial, it basically translates to just "enemy resistant to physical attacks" - in any normal RPG, what you would do in this situation is simply switch your offensive to magic, or any other tactic that works better.
Mechanic-wise, it is functionally identical as (elemental) damage type resistances that a player is going to work around for the most effective strategy, regardless of how you code your stats.
 

jonthefox

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
1,426
Reaction score
585
Primarily Uses
I think about this a lot too; for me, the problem is that in order to make things a bit more sophisticated and strategic, I think it would require more than 6 stats. Combining attack and defense into one stat and magic power and magic defense into one stat is just another form of the reductionism / simplification that you're trying to avoid or expand out of. Sure, you'd have 2 more stats to work with, but to what end? You've now lost the ability to differentiate, stat-wise, between someone who can attack powerfully and defend powerfully, for both physical and magical attacks. Might be more optimal depending on the mechanics of your game, but in a general sense at the end of the day, I think this only achieves a trade-off at best.


One idea that I play with a lot, is simply scrapping the DEF and MDF stats (or replacing them with other things). This is because I find that it's hard to balance DEF when it scales with level and also increases from equipment; I view and fold "innate defense" ability as part of HP, and then I just let equipment give percentage bonuses to defense. I also don't see the point in having a second, distinct magic defense stat except in rare cases, so for anyone with innate ability to be resistant to magic, again I give this as a trait bonus, or as a bonus that comes with specific equipment.
 
Last edited:

Basileus

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Oct 18, 2013
Messages
308
Reaction score
445
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
Doing something like a.Martial - b.Martial just reminds me of Gen I Pokemon when the Special stat was used for both offense and defense. It was pretty imbalanced since it meant that anything strong in special attacks was also automatically strong in special defense, which led to the most powerful offensive types also being the best tanks. Splitting offense and defense into different stats is done to allow to different builds/archetypes like glass cannons, tanks, mixed, etc. so nothing is the absolute best.

If you want to add additional stats and damage types though, I think this can still be done with variables and/or states. If you are willing to call common events for basically everything, then you can probably ignore most of the default stats entirely really.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Latest Threads

Latest Posts

Latest Profile Posts

I get scam calls all the time so today I gave them a piece of my mind. They hung up on me. Sweet revenge.
There’s a beehive in my wall
Just finished my midterms! Freedom! Alright, back to gamedev!
I confirmed my train ticket yesterday. I'll be heading to Orlando on the 29th... last time I went, I found this little treasure!

Forum statistics

Threads
104,311
Messages
1,005,468
Members
135,835
Latest member
SpunkySpade
Top