weapon design: the sharpest sword?

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by Countyoungblood, May 15, 2018.

  1. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    A formula would require you to decide your ATK curves first, and what damage you want them to do at what DEF values. Otherwise that is an impossible request. But once you have that much decided you can use excel and interpolation to get a damage curve that does close to what you want (I say close as no interpolation formula is 100% perfect, so some compromise is needed).

    Or...you could go the D and D route, where all weapons do fixed damage. For instance, a Long Sword is 1 - 12 damage on the old Gold Box D and D games. A high STR can boost that a little, but otherwise, it will always be 1 - 12 damage. Though they did let you find + weapons which added a little more damage. So a +1 sword did 2 - 13 damage, a +2 sword was 3 - 14 damage and so on.

    In that system, it is still possible to win with a standard Long Sword*, but a Long Sword +5 (the best they had) makes it go a little faster.

    *: Assuming you don't need a magical weapon to even hurt the enemy, that is.
     
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  2. Countyoungblood

    Countyoungblood Sleeping Dragon Veteran

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    Why would i need to do any of the above if the formula was intended to curve the output when i could just assign the weapons attack values in a curve in the first place? Seems like extra work to say a sword has 200 attacking power just to nerf it down because its in the upper portion of the curve. Why not just say it has 160 or 180 or whatever the weapon would perform at without being nerfed?

    Whats the point of complicating the damage calculation when the monsters are designed to be at a challenging power level in relation to the player anyway?
     
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  3. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Well, you need a damage formula, else you will do nothing. So you will have to set one. And much of what you are talking about here is due to how many damage formulas are set up as well.

    And yes, you could just drop it to 160 instead to nerf it, but that is part of the balance. But you need to remember you have two moving targets though as you design your game, your ATK curve, and your damage formula. Neglecting one while you deal with the other will usually cause problems.
     
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  4. Countyoungblood

    Countyoungblood Sleeping Dragon Veteran

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    Interesting but i dont think im seeing the whole picture. How is the damage formula a moving target? Either linear or curved wouldnt that be more of a one time setup?
    Or doyou mean to use multiple?
     
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  5. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    What I mean is as you tinker with your ATK stats, how much it affects your game depends on how you set up your damage formula. If you use the default you'll get a linear change, but if you edited it then you will get other kinds of change. And if you use this utterly silly formula a.atk / 1000, then even a 1000 points of ATK will do little to affect your game.
     
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  6. Countyoungblood

    Countyoungblood Sleeping Dragon Veteran

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    Ah, well since the default is linear then there is no reason to modify that since changing it in the way youve described would just make things unpredictable, tough to balance, and ultimately be the same thing as assigning weapon strength with a quadratic equation on a graphing calculator except that would be more controlled.
     
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  7. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Not if you set up the math well. But linear is easier to work with, though it has it's share of problems, one of which is what you mentioned in your post. See with a linear formula you need the power of weapons to go up, else the player is never going to feel like they are getting more powerful as the game progresses.

    However...I can think of two ideas that might help.

    1: Make it so that most of their power gain is from leveling up. Weapons are a minor factor. This means that you could do something like set it up so that the player has 20 ATK at level 1 and 140 ATK at level 30, but the weakest weapon has 20 ATK and the best weapon has 40 ATK. The difference between the two is only 20 ATK, and compared to what they get from leveling up they could make up that difference in 3 - 5 level ups or so (I didn't run the exact math so don't quote me on that). Ff8 kinda did this, where the difference in ATK between the worst and best weapon wasn't that much, and the power gain came from leveling up and their junction system.

    2: Have you ever played FFX? I think the way they did things might be what you are looking for. There they set it up so that most monsters have 1 DEF and 1 MDF, unless they are to be resistant to one attack (the numbers are per the strategy guide). But they used an exponential power curve for damage, which goes up really fast late game/post game, and they had weapons that only had small stat boosts, like +5% ATK, +10% ATK, and so on. I think the last time I played that game the best I ever had was +10% ATK. And, people have beaten FFX without ever changing their starting weapon, so it isn't a dealbreaker in beating the game if you miss a weapon or two.

    Basically both ideas though seem to come down to you need to make the difference between your best and worst weapon not that much. At least that is what I take away from what I see in those two systems.
     
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  8. Countyoungblood

    Countyoungblood Sleeping Dragon Veteran

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    Well making weapon power close is a pretty easy answer but im more interested in how this math works. what formula do you use yourself?
     
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