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I've been putting off the battling system for my game, but it has gotten to the point where it needs to be worked on. Math makes my head hurt and I'm having the hardest time trying to figure out how to balance my players and enemies/bosses (weapons and armor being an extension on how to balance as well). I don't want it to be too easy, but I also don't want to make the player grind low-level minions just to progress. In my game, there are four castles the player has to go to and beat the boss of that area.

I was thinking of trying to make it so that each boss was 5 levels stronger than the last (ie. Boss 1 is level 5, Boss 2 is level 10, etc) and the minions of that boss being a couple of levels lower to help get the player ready.

I was looking at Yanfly's enemy levels plugin, but I'm not sure if it would be easier than my original plan.

Does anyone have thoughts or tips that might help?
 

Tiamat-86

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enemy levels is harder to balance then hard stats.
if still relatively new to this and this isnt your 5years of development dream project...
i would just stick to the original plan.

player gets 3attack and defense per level, enemy gets 3 attack and defense per level,
whats the point of even having level if only real change is from better equipment.

player gets 3atk/3def per level, enemy only gets 2atk/2def per level.
you have to go up 10 levels just to feel the same difference in stats as would from going up 1 level normally. the player doesnt want to be fighting the same thing on every map so only have this enemy in 1st dungeon and appear again in 4th dungeon. but by 4th dungeon not only are you 10 levels higher but also have better gear, this enemy might as well be stabbing you with a wet noodle.

player gets 3atk/3def per level, enemy gets 4atk/4def per level,
cant just play around and "happen" to go up a few levels because constantly need better equipment just to keep up with the lv1 goblin that now slaughters you at lv10, but havent progressed to next town to acquire said better gear.

when i use enemy levels i go with the enemy having better stat growth then the player, but i also have each map with set level range (can never run into a lv10 goblin in lv1-3 map)
but then can use the same goblin later on in lv10-13 map after hit the next town and got better gear,
instead of making a whole new database entry for same enemy.
but then also run into issues of subspecies or higher ranks,
how to make goblin raider noticeably different from goblin chieftain, better stats?
then RNG goes and makes the chieftain appear as lv10 while the raider is lv13 (so much for the stats)
new skills? but you can just make the goblin raider able to use a new skill if over X level.
only good solution i found was playing around with enemy AI.

doing all this turns 3 days of work balance testing into a 3month ordeal of balance testing + AI reprogramming. and thats only for 1 race with 5 subspecies to that race
 
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Milennin

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No, there are no shortcuts to balancing combat. You start by coming up with character stats, make a damage formula that works for you (doesn't have to be anything complex, just make sure it scales with level-ups and boosts). Determine how long you want enemies to last in combat and set their stats accordingly. And playtest LOTS. Never think you did just fine after setting numbers and believing it'll all work out by itself. You playtest everything - every enemy, every encounter, at various player party levels - until you are sure it is exactly as you wanted it.
 

Andar

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Math makes my head
No, there are no shortcuts to balancing combat.
contrary to what Milennin wrote there IS a partial shortcut to balancing, but you already tried to nix that one:
the number of playtests needed drops drastically if you use math to give a good starting point to testing out the values, as opposed to starting with completely arbitrary values and then hoping to find the balanced numbers by testing.

and unfortunately unless you completely disable variance in your project, you'll need to fight each battle combination at least ten times to really see if it was as strong as you hoped or too weak or too strong, because a single combat might go differently based on luck and variance.

Or in other words: there are good reasons why professional games do most of their balancing in updates after getting the feedback of thousands of players playing their games - no one can pay playtesters enough for the massive amounts of balancing tests needed, that would completely make games no longer commercially viable.
and it is also the reason why most independent games aren't balance-tested, only playtested for errors, and why a lot of people here say that playtesting is as much work as developing the entire game.
 

TheoAllen

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Make the math simple.
You have 100 HP and 20 attack stat.
You want to kill the enemy in 2 attacks.
So, you need to give the enemy 40 HP.
In reality, you would need to kill the enemy by 2-3 attack, because of the variance.

Since you have 100 HP, you want to make that you died if you are being attacked 10 times.
So, you need to give the enemy 10 attack stats.
Done.

What is the perfect damage formula for this? --> "a.atk".

"But, what about defense stat?"
Adding defense stat into the damage formula will make the formula even more complicated.
Since you said you're bad at math, you don't have to include a formula factor that makes it even more complicated.

"What about skill?"
Simple, you have two options to make skill scaled with the player stats.
- "a.atk * 1.5" --> deals 150% damage
- "100 + a.atk" --> deals 100 damage + attack stat

This is all you need. HP and ATK.
 

Tiamat-86

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1st enemies in the game pretty much is as easy as @TheoAllen describes it.
but repeated playtesting only real way to do most of the monster and equipment database.
battletest is ok for trying to balance a bosses stats and just making sure a skill works correctly.
or if you made a system to get full restore after every fight.
but ALOT of playtesting full dungeon runs is the only way to know for sure,
and should playtest with 2-3 mindsets:

the perfectionist: do every quest, open every box, you know 1st dungeon has a longsword and helm in it, and 2nd town has better body but same shield, so buy the shield.

the grinder: go up 1 extra level for each inn/healing area and buy the body the perfectionist skipped.

the minimalist/speedrunner, you need to be both a S and a M to truly balance test this mindset.
enjoy torturing yourself lol
 
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Thank you guys for all the tips and such!! I will definitely keep them all in mind and refer back when I push through to do the battle system in my game!
 

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KenKrath wrote on RPGMakerWeb's profile.
Nevermind.
I found a book about game localization. It costs R$708,00 on Amazon. ;_;
I really wish my game was far enough along for it to be actually playable beyond certain aspects. I think I've crafted a really fun battle system thanks to ATB, fighting game, and Boost point mechanics.

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