How large is considered to be "Too large" when it comes to numbers?

DarkFrost

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Something that's been mentioned in a few prototype vids I've done is how large the numbers can get. This has me wondering if I should dial back numbers a bit.


For example, a Level 1 Character might have 800 to 1,100 HP but by Level 300, it can range from 8,900,000 to 9,999,999.

And enemies can get even further with it ranging from 900 to 999,999,999,999.


While I am trying to balance things accordingly, It makes me wonder if the huge numbers seem rather discouraging. What are your thoughts?
 

Tsukihime

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It works in some games, and people strive to hit those ridiculous numbers lol

1595871920723.png
(random pic off google, I don't know who that is)

I personally don't get discouraged by big huge numbers on the screen.
 

HumanNinjaToo

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I think the numbers matter in a couple of ways: 1) Is the player able to make sense of the numbers and understand how they all interact with each other, and 2) Can the player take in the numbers showing up on the screen easily.

As long as the numbers make sense to the player, I don't think it matters how big they get. However, if you're talking about throwing numbers up on the screen during a battle, then they need to be small enough for the player to see them and make sense of them. Sometimes too many digits popping up fast and then disappearing just as fast will make some feel as though they missed it. When you feel like you continually miss something, then you begin to stop caring and may lose interest.

So I mean this is one of those topics that can be very subjective with no real hard answers I think.
 

Milennin

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When you can remove digits without losing out on anything, really. But both large and small numbers opposite pros and cons.

Bigger numbers let you finetune much preciser, but make them too large, and players can find it difficult to keep up with what's being shown to them.
Small numbers are easier to process for players, but get tricky to balance since even a single digit change can make a big difference.

I think the safest is working in the 100's, giving you enough room to balance around smaller increments, but is still easy for the player to note at a glance. In the end, it all depends on the type of game you're making too (as always). Some games work fine with single or double digit numbers, while other games benefit from going into the 1000's and up.
 

ATT_Turan

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I would start with your premise, just the fact of having 300 levels in your game is pretty ambitious.

There's a reason the vast majority of well-received games use a standard of 50-100 levels (plenty of things are even lower than that, anything based on Dungeons & Dragons is only 20 levels), and it's because of character progression. It will get boring if your only method of progression is gaining levels - you want to have skills, magic, some other kinds of things that you're accruing as you level.

If you're going so huge as 300, then you have a few problems to think about:
- are you going to get new abilities every couple of levels? If so, that's a ton of stuff to design and code in.
- if you're not, then why bother? Instead of 300 levels where you get a new ability every 10 levels, make it 100 levels and you get an ability every 3 levels.
- If you truly have, whatever, 150 abilities for each class, how on earth is the player going to keep track? How will you make them meaningful and different and useful?

There are very few exceptions to that basic system. One notable one is the Disgaea series, which is made for people to grind up the characters into high levels and do ridiculously meaningless amounts of damage, and that already has a very niche market compared to the SRPG genre as a whole.

I would encourage you to consider exactly what you're trying to achieve, and presuming your end goal is to give/sell your game for other people to play, how are you going to entice them?
 

Frostorm

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I generally think of it this way... If your numbers are doing 250,000 damage, for example, you might as well just have it say 250k instead. And if you're doing that, then you might as well just have it do 250. On the matter of balancing, it would only be relevant if fine-tuning down to <0.01% accuracy for those numbers.

There are very few exceptions to that basic system. One notable one is the Disgaea series, which is made for people to grind up the characters into high levels and do ridiculously meaningless amounts of damage, and that already has a very niche market compared to the SRPG genre as a whole.
I actually had an argument with a friend who wanted me to make my game more Disgaea-like cuz he loves grinding levels. He advocated a 999 lv cap and damage numbers like in OP's post. So maybe that demographic isn't as niche as people think. I still wouldn't design it this way though lol.
 

ATT_Turan

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I actually had an argument with a friend who wanted me to make my game more Disgaea-like cuz he loves grinding levels. He advocated a 999 lv cap and damage numbers like in OP's post. So maybe that demographic isn't as niche as people think. I still wouldn't design it this way though lol.
I'm not claiming this to be any kind of exhaustive research, just a quick point of reference...an article about Disgaea 5 surpassing all expectations said it had sold 200,000 copies. Call of Duty: Black Ops sold 31 million. All of my friends can say they have one friend who likes Disgaea, too, that doesn't make it not niche :p
 

Frostorm

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I'm not claiming this to be any kind of exhaustive research, just a quick point of reference...an article about Disgaea 5 surpassing all expectations said it had sold 200,000 copies. Call of Duty: Black Ops sold 31 million. All of my friends can say they have one friend who likes Disgaea, too, that doesn't make it not niche :p
Well, Disgaea does have its own anime... That's got to make it at least pretty popular, by JRPG standards at least. FPS games are definitely more mainstream overall but are also a totally different audience. I still wouldn't use Disaea's damage system though... I don't mind the potentially infinite grind, but that's something I would reserve for a NewGame+ mechanic imo, not the main gameplay.

Uber/infinite grind RPGs are kinda niched overall, I agree. But I think within that niche, Disgaea is one of the more popular if not the most popular one.
 

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After about four numbers for stats or five numbers for damage and HP, I start having a bit of trouble immediately processing them in my head. If you really want that feeling of enormous, monumental growth or epic damage amounts, though, you can solve this by adding abbreviations to numbers that get too big, in order to chop off the myriad of numbers at the end that are basically meaningless (anything after 3-4 significant digits). For example, instead of 1,723,448, you could write it as 1723K.
 

Tai_MT

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Here's the problem you face with "numbers" at all.

They're meaningless.

Here's what your players are going to notice in combat:

1. It takes less hits to kill enemies.
2. Spikes in damage output.

If you have a game of large numbers, then player isn't going to care any more about what those numbers actually say unless it serves one of the above two points. 1,000,000 damage doesn't mean anything to a player unless the usual amount of damage they're used to doing or seeing is 200,000. The same is true if you remove some zeroes here and use 10 damage when a player is used to seeing 2.

In short, how big or small your numbers are doesn't matter at all. Big numbers only seem and feel impressive when they're measured against smaller numbers in the same game. If the baseline damage for a hit is 50,000,000 damage... what does that even mean? Is 50 million damage even impressive if that's the regular amount of damage you do?

Likewise, what does 50 Attack even mean in a game where all the characters have a baseline Attack of 50 or slightly less? Is that impressive? How so?

Players simply notice two things about your numbers:
1. Does this number going up result in fewer hits to my enemies to kill them, and thus faster resolving combat with less resource usage?
2. How big of a jump in defense, speed, damage, hits I can take does this stat increase give me?

I mean, sure, really huge numbers LOOK cool to someone not familiar with your game and are comparing it to "the average" across every other game they've played. But, if 50 million damage is really just equivalent to hit 1 of 25 hits it takes to kill the boss... Then you have to wonder why you have so many zeroes tacked on there to begin with.

My personal philosophy on "big numbers" is as follows:
1. It's easier to balance smaller numbers than larger numbers. Multiplication and Division are tricky to balance and you're going to do a lot more playtesting to ensure challenge than someone using small numbers and addition/subtraction. Even then, you're still probably going to screw it up since large numbers have the biggest problems hitting a "reasonable target damage". Think of it like trying to kill a fly with a flamethrower. You'll probably kill it, but it's going to be messy, inaccurate, and going to be difficult to JUST hit the fly.
2. Why use large numbers when small numbers can accomplish the same thing? If an enemy is meant to take 4 hits to die, there's not much difference in it having 40,000 HP and you doing 10,000 damage or it having 4 HP and you doing 1 damage. Same outcome.
3. If you're using smaller numbers, you have more "room to grow" with characters. If a character is only getting 10 HP a level, but you can top that out with engine limitations at 9999 HP... the character can have a lot of level ups, equipment, content, etcetera, to get them from 20 base HP to 9999 HP. With larger numbers, you're going to hit the "engine cap" far quicker and have no way to do much more with stats.
4. After so many digits, numbers become worthless. There is functionally no difference in 1,234,567 damage and 1,236,000 damage. It's not even going to shave an extra hit off the enemy to be doing almost 1500 more damage. How this works is: If you have two digits, they both matter. If you have 3 digits, only the first two digits matter. If you have four digits, only the first three matter, if you have 5 or more digits, only the first three digits matter. You're really just putting up insanely masked fractions at that point.
 

Trihan

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Here's the problem you face with "numbers" at all.

They're meaningless.

Here's what your players are going to notice in combat:

1. It takes less hits to kill enemies.
2. Spikes in damage output.

If you have a game of large numbers, then player isn't going to care any more about what those numbers actually say unless it serves one of the above two points. 1,000,000 damage doesn't mean anything to a player unless the usual amount of damage they're used to doing or seeing is 200,000. The same is true if you remove some zeroes here and use 10 damage when a player is used to seeing 2.

In short, how big or small your numbers are doesn't matter at all. Big numbers only seem and feel impressive when they're measured against smaller numbers in the same game. If the baseline damage for a hit is 50,000,000 damage... what does that even mean? Is 50 million damage even impressive if that's the regular amount of damage you do?

Likewise, what does 50 Attack even mean in a game where all the characters have a baseline Attack of 50 or slightly less? Is that impressive? How so?

Players simply notice two things about your numbers:
1. Does this number going up result in fewer hits to my enemies to kill them, and thus faster resolving combat with less resource usage?
2. How big of a jump in defense, speed, damage, hits I can take does this stat increase give me?

I mean, sure, really huge numbers LOOK cool to someone not familiar with your game and are comparing it to "the average" across every other game they've played. But, if 50 million damage is really just equivalent to hit 1 of 25 hits it takes to kill the boss... Then you have to wonder why you have so many zeroes tacked on there to begin with.

My personal philosophy on "big numbers" is as follows:
1. It's easier to balance smaller numbers than larger numbers. Multiplication and Division are tricky to balance and you're going to do a lot more playtesting to ensure challenge than someone using small numbers and addition/subtraction. Even then, you're still probably going to screw it up since large numbers have the biggest problems hitting a "reasonable target damage". Think of it like trying to kill a fly with a flamethrower. You'll probably kill it, but it's going to be messy, inaccurate, and going to be difficult to JUST hit the fly.
2. Why use large numbers when small numbers can accomplish the same thing? If an enemy is meant to take 4 hits to die, there's not much difference in it having 40,000 HP and you doing 10,000 damage or it having 4 HP and you doing 1 damage. Same outcome.
3. If you're using smaller numbers, you have more "room to grow" with characters. If a character is only getting 10 HP a level, but you can top that out with engine limitations at 9999 HP... the character can have a lot of level ups, equipment, content, etcetera, to get them from 20 base HP to 9999 HP. With larger numbers, you're going to hit the "engine cap" far quicker and have no way to do much more with stats.
4. After so many digits, numbers become worthless. There is functionally no difference in 1,234,567 damage and 1,236,000 damage. It's not even going to shave an extra hit off the enemy to be doing almost 1500 more damage. How this works is: If you have two digits, they both matter. If you have 3 digits, only the first two digits matter. If you have four digits, only the first three matter, if you have 5 or more digits, only the first three digits matter. You're really just putting up insanely masked fractions at that point.
This. The issues with multiplication become apparent once you factor in variance:

20% variance on an attack with base damage of 50 results in 40-60. On an attack with base damage of 50,000,000, it'll be 40,000,000 to 60,000,000. So if you're dealing with numbers that high, you'd better have something in place to make dealing 10 million less damage something that won't completely screw up battle balance.
 

MZFan

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Disgaea is the perfect example.
Ot is possible to use absurd high number but they should be easy to read :
0-999
1K-999K
1M-999M
and so on
 

Schlangan

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Since my game has several chapters, each chapter being a regular RPG maker game, I reduce the stats in between games. The characters complain once that their stats are reduced, but the author explains to them why; to avoid the numbers to become ridiculously huge. For a simple reason... after a while, they'll take too much space to write, and we don't want that.

However at some point, while our hp range to 6000 - 7000, we temporarily play a character we huge figures up to millions, only to show the player that, the character is waaaay stronger than us. But, by the time we reach the power of that character, the values may be at 6000-7000 still. However, the player will know how powerful we've become, without changing the values, we may still be at 6000 or less.
 

TheoAllen

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Enemy's HP doesn't matter if your damage can keep up. Seven digit damage, no problem. Your enemy has nine-digit HP. It feels awesome to deal higher number when u start from small.

However, for your own HP that would be different. Your own HP must be in the number that is easy to track. If you have 900.000.000 player's hp, when you still have 1.000.000 it feels like it is still a lot. when actually it is not. You're about to die.

I'm not going to argue about level. I don't like the hard cap when it comes to level. I like to grind forever. However, if your concern is the player HP, again from 1 to 300, the increase could be just linear. 2 HP per level, that would be 600 increase. 5 HP per level, that would be 1500. And then tune the enemy's damage dealt to the player to that number. What kind of curve that would bring you from 1.100 at level 1 to 900.000.000 at level 300 though?
 

Wavelength

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They're meaningless.

Here's what your players are going to notice in combat:
1. It takes less hits to kill enemies.
2. Spikes in damage output.
While they are functionally meaningless (I completely agree with you in that regard: 20 HP out of 200HP is the same exact thing as 200,000 HP out of 2,000,000 HP), somehow big numbers don't feel meaningless, and that's why I tend to be a proponent of medium to big numbers, more than most designers are.

I think it has to do with the way our brains understand and parse numbers. We have different names for thousands, millions, billions, etc., and we even separate our large numbers with commas to indicate those levels of scale. The transition from hundreds to thousands, thousands to millions, and millions to billions feel really significant. I know that when one of my characters finally lands a hit that crosses the 1,000 damage mark (and to a lesser extent the 10,000 damage mark) and I get to see that 4 (or 5) digit number, it feels really, really good. It also has to do with our language for numbers - it feels so much better to say I did "56 THOUSAND" damage (56,000) than it does to say I did "Five-sixty" (560).

There's also the concept of growth - while balance can be a real issue if you're growing stats (and damage) to hundreds or thousands of times their original values, if you as a designer have a way to control that balance tightly, it can be very rewarding as the player to think back to when you were dealing 38 damage per hit and now you're unloading 6,248 on that same unfortunate Slime. I think this is different than "spikes" (a very useful thing for the player to notice when landing Crits, finding Weaknesses, etc.), and is just a matter of "scale" (which is something the player might not notice moment-to-moment, but can appreciate in a long sense).

And just to illustrate how hard player psychology can be to nail down: this is different across cultures! - for example, the Japanese counting system makes a distinction by ten-thousands ("man", pronounced as in mantra), so what Westerners generally think of as "one million" (an aspirational number - Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?) is more often thought of as "one hundred ten-thousands" to the Japanese. 1,000,000 vs. 100,0000. "One hundred million" (a less aspirational number in the West) is an important, round "ten-thousand ten-thousands" to a Japanese ear.

And yes, I'm aware I'm niggling with a very minor point here! :guffaw:

4. After so many digits, numbers become worthless. There is functionally no difference in 1,234,567 damage and 1,236,000 damage. It's not even going to shave an extra hit off the enemy to be doing almost 1500 more damage. How this works is: If you have two digits, they both matter. If you have 3 digits, only the first two digits matter. If you have four digits, only the first three matter, if you have 5 or more digits, only the first three digits matter. You're really just putting up insanely masked fractions at that point.
This is very true. Those last few numbers on a seven-digit stat are just completely worthless and probably won't feel that good to increase - and when there are too many insignificant digits tacked on (that aren't zeroes or abbreviations), it becomes harder and harder for the mind to parse what it needs to notice. (This is why I'm a proponent of medium-to-large numbers rather than extremely large ones!)

As a designer I tend to think the first three digits on any given amount (whether it's a three-digit number or an eight-digit number) are significant and worth considering, although I have a feeling that a lot of players only get excited about the first two.

This. The issues with multiplication become apparent once you factor in variance:

20% variance on an attack with base damage of 50 results in 40-60. On an attack with base damage of 50,000,000, it'll be 40,000,000 to 60,000,000. So if you're dealing with numbers that high, you'd better have something in place to make dealing 10 million less damage something that won't completely screw up battle balance.
Seems like a wash to me. If you're dealing base damage of 50 against a boss (let's say you want the boss to go down in about 30 hits), you're chipping away at a 1,500 HP boss, and that variance of 10 damage will mean +/- about 0.5% of the boss' HP (a small fraction of a single hit granted to you or robbed from you by Variance).

And if you're dealing base damage of 50,000,000 against a boss, well, I'm assuming you don't want the boss to die in a single hit, so assuming 30 hits again that boss should have about 1,500,000,000 (one billion, five hundred million) HP. That seemingly-massive 10,000,000 variance is, again, a difference of about +/- about 0.5% of the boss' HP or a single fraction of a single hit. The large scale shouldn't affect the balance nor the battle dynamics at all.
 

TheoAllen

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Seems like a wash to me. If you're dealing base damage of 50 against a boss (let's say you want the boss to go down in about 30 hits), you're chipping away at a 1,500 HP boss, and that variance of 10 damage will mean +/- about 0.5% of the boss' HP (a small fraction of a single hit granted to you or robbed from you by Variance).

And if you're dealing base damage of 50,000,000 against a boss, well, I'm assuming you don't want the boss to die in a single hit, so assuming 30 hits again that boss should have about 1,500,000,000 (one billion, five hundred million) HP. That seemingly-massive 10,000,000 variance is, again, a difference of about +/- about 0.5% of the boss' HP or a single fraction of a single hit. The large scale shouldn't affect the balance nor the battle dynamics at all.
Agree that variance wouldn't affect the large number. The variance will only affect low numbers because just the computer deals with the floating number.

In a similar number but now we are dealing with 5 damage. There's a lot of rounds up and down to the number. When you get 4.8, then the computer would just round it down to 4, typically. So you get 4. Maybe you round it up back to 5. Except if you want to keep the floating number so it will deal 4.8 damage. However, at this point, you might as well as just start to use more digit.

Personally I would go with this
- 1 digit damage = if you want everything to be predictable. Such as a card game in which attack and damage deal is just using one-digit stat and damage. Occasionally they went up to 2 digits.
- 2 digit damage = the lowest you can go if you still want randomization without the computer interfering your number by rounding up/down.
- 3 digit damage = my personal favorite
- 4 digit or more = only good if it's for power creep, not for the base/lowest damage you could do.
 

Frostorm

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And just to illustrate how hard player psychology can be to nail down: this is different across cultures! - for example, the Japanese counting system makes a distinction by ten-thousands ("man", pronounced as in mantra), so what Westerners generally think of as "one million" (an aspirational number - Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?) is more often thought of as "one hundred ten-thousands" to the Japanese. 1,000,000 vs. 100,0000. "One hundred million" (a less aspirational number in the West) is an important, round "ten-thousand ten-thousands" to a Japanese ear.

And yes, I'm aware I'm niggling with a very minor point here! :guffaw:
Psychologically speaking, this is actually pretty major. The Japanese aren't the only ones to use this "10,000" number format, the Chinese, Korean, and other East Asian cultures use it as well. In addition to having words for 10,000, they even have words specifically designated to mean "ten-thousand ten-thousands" (100,000,000). It would be "億" (oku) in Japanese, "亿/億" (yì) in Simplified/Traditional Chinese, and "억" (eog) in Korean, while we (English) clumsily call it "hundred million". Due to this, it is annoyingly difficult to verbally explain lottery jackpot numbers to Asians lol.

(This is why I'm a proponent of medium-to-large numbers rather than extremely large ones!)
I'm definitely with you on the medium-to-large numbers camp! Though maybe I lean more towards just medium. The numbers in my games only go up to 4 digits at most, which is only seen in rare circumstances.
 

Tai_MT

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While they are functionally meaningless (I completely agree with you in that regard: 20 HP out of 200HP is the same exact thing as 200,000 HP out of 2,000,000 HP), somehow big numbers don't feel meaningless, and that's why I tend to be a proponent of medium to big numbers, more than most designers are.
They are also practically and psychologically meaningless to a video game player as well. Video game players have their own culture, as you describe with the Japanese. So, while dealing with regular Western Culture, you would be correct...

We have to make a distinction between Western Culture and what I'd call "Player Culture".

Players become "desensitized" to things after a few hours of gameplay. Your beautiful graphics you worked years on to make as realistic as possible? Players don't even notice them anymore after 3 hours of gameplay. It becomes "background noise" to the gameplay.

This same thing happens to Numbers. You even illustrate this point yourself with:

"I know that when one of my characters finally lands a hit that crosses the 1,000 damage mark (and to a lesser extent the 10,000 damage mark) and I get to see that 4 (or 5) digit number, it feels really, really good."

This statement here assumes you're doing damage lower than 1,000. Probably significantly so. So, when you finally do hit 1,000 damage, you feel pretty good. However, that's the context of "useless". If you started out the game doing 1,000 damage a hit, you'd feel "less good" about doing that much damage or even about doing 10,000 damage.

The human brain tends to "look for patterns" as well as "tune out noise". If you've been doing battle for a while in an RPG and land 443, 478, 503, 489, 462, 455, 491, 437, 324 hits... Which ones immediately stand out to you? Even in just this series, your brain immediately picks out the highest number (503), and the lowest (324). It does this through pattern recognition. Now, as a video game player, if you're used to seeing 440-480 damage on a hit, you're probably going to tune out numbers between there or close to there. That's because the game itself provides no functional difference between 440 and 480 damage. What players tend to gravitate towards is "killing monsters in one hit". They don't tend to worry about what the numbers say, as long as the enemies are dead in a single hit. The numbers can matter more against a "boss monster", but the concern is the reduction in amount of hits it takes to defeat the boss.

"Player Culture" tends to demand this sort of context. You can even see it prominently in MMOs and the way those players interact with the game. They avoid as much combat as possible (probably because it's better to not waste time than to see large numbers, which leans heavily towards players caring how quickly they can kill something rather than how big the numbers are while they kill it), they really only care about "DPS" damage against Raid Bosses (high level content where the game rewards as big of numbers as you can possibly get as players are expected to land hundreds of hits, if not thousands, before it dies), and players who can't output a lot of DPS because of their class restrictions (like healers) worry about their numbers being too large in context of their characters (there is such a thing as "overhealing", which is effectively wasting HP restored for MP spent if you heal too soon).

The game itself teaches the players the "context" for the size of numbers and what they mean. The problem is that in games... the size of the numbers doesn't matter. Except in relation to each other. While $10,000,000 is impressive to have for a US Citizen... Having 10,000,000 Gold, Zenny, Pokeyen, Gil, Col, etc isn't all that impressive... in fact, that's pretty common even by midgame in most RPG's.

In games, Numbers are effectively meaningless. They are disconnected from the culture of reality because they exist within their own culture.

A player really only cares how many hits something dies in. Namely, if it dies in one hit. If it doesn't die in one hit, why not? Is that number significantly lower in context to what that number has been for the 20 fights? Or, has that number suddenly spiked above "normal variance" for a boss fight? Is that a critical hit? Did it just shave off one hit I needed to make against a boss?

It actually works this way across all numbers in an RPG or a video game. Unless the game itself rewards small increments in those numbers going up, the player isn't going to care about those small increments. Likewise, the size of those rewards for numbers going up has an effect on how much the player cares about it as well.

There is a much easier way to explain this as well.

People don't value things very highly that they have in abundance. Especially if they didn't have to work very hard to get them (or at all). $10,000,000 to someone in the US is significant to most of the population because most people won't ever earn that much money in their entire lifetimes, even if they work until the day they die. It's an almost unheard-of amount. But, in a video game, that large number is very easy to attain within a few days, or a month at most. Maybe even in some extreme circumstances (and MMO's) that number is attainable within a year or two. But, the number is valued far less in a video game because of how easy it is to attain and how abundant the resource is.

1,000 damage means very little unless you had to work hard to get there, go through a significant amount of the game to attain it, or couldn't reach that number through any normal means. 1,000 means less if your Level 1 squishy healer using a dagger does that much damage in the first fight of the game.

Numbers are effectively meaningless because in a video game, they require context that only the game provides. So, 1 damage can be equal to 1,000,000 damage across video games. 5 damage can be equal to 50,000,000,000,000,000 across video games. The size of the number doesn't matter for anything except your damage formulas. It doesn't even matter for most players.

This is very true. Those last few numbers on a seven-digit stat are just completely worthless and probably won't feel that good to increase - and when there are too many insignificant digits tacked on (that aren't zeroes or abbreviations), it becomes harder and harder for the mind to parse what it needs to notice. (This is why I'm a proponent of medium-to-large numbers rather than extremely large ones!)

As a designer I tend to think the first three digits on any given amount (whether it's a three-digit number or an eight-digit number) are significant and worth considering, although I have a feeling that a lot of players only get excited about the first two.
Most players do only care about the first two digits as most RPG's only care about those first two digits. You aren't likely to have to take fewer hits to kill a boss or an enemy by having that third digit go up or down. Games just aren't designed that tightly controlled where 455 damage results in one less hit to kill than 454 damage... and 456 damage is also one less hit to the enemy you'll have to make. The larger the numbers you have in terms of damage, the less that third digit and every digit afterwards even matters. Those numbers only tend to matter in "slogs" of fights where you're meant to land so many hits that those numbers actually add up to something significant and DO shave hits off the enemy.

This is why I tend to prefer smaller numbers. I have no intention of trying to design a game in which battle lasts so long that I need a third digit... much less a fourth... and then have to make those numbers actually matter, rather than be a glorified "fraction" (when 432 damage would be no different than having 43.2 damage, it's a glorified fraction. It exists for the sake of itself).
 

Frostorm

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They are also practically and psychologically meaningless to a video game player as well.
...
You can even see it prominently in MMOs and the way those players interact with the game. They avoid as much combat as possible...
I don't feel they're psychologically meaningless. Back when I was playing WoW's Warlords of Draenor expansion, I had a Death Knight fully decked out (as in there wasn't much left for me to do in the game). However, I did NOT avoid combat as much as possible. My Obliterate crits averaged ~95k damage, so sometimes I would see it go for 100k due to dmg variance. I pretty much lived for those moments. I would PvP all day long just to see that 100,000 number. That extra 5k definitely didn't shave off an extra hit required to kill the target. But the difference between seeing 99,999 and >100,000 was huge psychologically. No matter how often it happened, I never got tired of it. It was pretty much the only reason I logged onto that character, just so I can hit something and see "100,000". Sure, it might be meaningless practically, but I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who experienced the psychological effects of those big numbers. I'm a pretty math-oriented guy as well, so I was keenly aware that extra 5k damage wasn't really doing anything when player HP could easily hit half a million (literally 1%). Top tier tanks could even hit 1 million HP, and you can bet they felt awesome going from 999,999 -> 1,000,000 HP, even though it was functionally irrelevant.
 
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