Author Topic: Starting Stats  (Read 2385 times)

Offline Aklyon

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Starting Stats
« on: August 28, 2013, 09:40:59 AM »
So, I've been messing around in rpg maker vx ace since it was on sale on steam a bit ago. I think its going reasonably (As in nothing is going terrible, but theres not much there yet anyway), but I'd still rather ask you guys about this part, since looking up various things about stats has led to helpful but chunky walls of text.
It hasn't helped me figure out where to start them at however, and thats what I'd like to ask you guys. Theres plenty about what to do with them, or how to scale them, but not much about where to start from. (Probably sorta a design question rather than a specific one now that I've looked at this in the post preview, but help is always good anyway)
Do you just pick a random number under 100 and go from there for each one as a starting point, or start evenly at something lowish, or just throw absurd numbers at the battles until you get close enough to what you want and then scale it down so you aren't doing 2 million damage at level 2? :)

Offline x4000

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Re: Starting Stats
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2013, 09:48:40 AM »
Generally speaking my approach is to start with the weakest monster/enemy in the game, or something close to that, and then set his stats to something in the low hundreds (often between 100 and 200).  I set it that high because that allows for more granularity of status effects on that stat without having to use floating point.  I.e, if something reduces your health 66%, that works better on 100 than on 10 or 5.

From there, setting the stats on the rest of the enemies/monsters is all relative.  How do they compare to the anchor enemy?  Then later on, as there are an increasing pool of enemies that are all "valid" in a general sense that they feel pretty correct, then you start balancing the new ones relative to that pool.  What is the role of this new enemy relative to all the rest?  What makes it different enough to be worth being here?  Etc.

In terms of stat scaling by level, that's a trickier question.  Generally speaking you will need to go with a low exponent if you have a fixed number of levels.  For Bionic Dues, we are using 1.06 as our scaling for up to 50 levels. 1.06^50 means that the end-game level stats are 18.42 times higher than the starting game stats.  So an enemy with 400 health at the start has 7,368 health at the end of the game.  You can obviously tweak that as you like. 

But it's very sensitive to small changes: going up to 1.1 and 99 levels leads you to a final-game stat that is 12527 times the starting stat.  So that enemy with 400 health suddenly has 5,011,131 health at level 99 and 626,350 health at level 50.

Generally speaking, open-ended non-capped leveling is an enormous pain and something that will really bite you hard, as we discovered repeatedly in Valley 1. ;)

Anyway, as you are figuring all this out, make a spreadsheet that projects the health at a variety of levels, to self-check yourself.

Hope that helps!
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Offline Aklyon

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Re: Starting Stats
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2013, 10:00:50 AM »
That is quite the difference at lv50 for only being about .05 apart ???
It sounds like a good place to start from though, thanks!

Offline x4000

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Re: Starting Stats
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2013, 10:02:40 AM »
That is quite the difference at lv50 for only being about .05 apart ???

Exponents are like that!  Just use increments of 0.01 or even 0.005 and see what feels best.

It sounds like a good place to start from though, thanks!

My pleasure!
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: Starting Stats
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2013, 10:20:57 AM »
The semi-rpg game I'm using uses a more linear form of leveling.

Originally stats were increased by level on a fixed cycle (every level gave you 1 hp, every 3rd level gave you 1 attack, every 4th added 1 defense, every 5th added 1 regeneration, etc.) but when I rebuilt it, I gave the player the choice of what they wanted every time they leveled up.  It's a little bit of a balancing nightmare, as my stats are so low, but the numbers are largely hidden from the player, so I didn't want it to start at 130 and go up by 12 every level, or whatever.

Balancing though is that "appropriately leveled monsters" should die in two to four hits.  Bosses are closer to 10.  The reason being that the player dies easily and should be avoiding taking damage at every opportunity.  Monsters that can't be attacked without taking damage won't work in the long run.

Offline x4000

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Re: Starting Stats
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2013, 10:24:59 AM »
The linear leveling is what we wound up having to do with Valley 1 in the end, but it leads to the changes between levels being way more meaningful at the start of the game, and fading to nothing later.

If your health is 10 and you add 2, suddenly you've added 20% to your health.  If it's 12 and you add another 2, it's only a 16% increase.  If you are at 90 and add 2, it's only a 2.2% increase.

So the linear leveling can work, but not with too many levels if you actually care about a level X object being substantially better than a lower-level one.  Unless you have figured out some way around the above?
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: Starting Stats
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2013, 10:51:44 AM »
So the linear leveling can work, but not with too many levels if you actually care about a level X object being substantially better than a lower-level one.  Unless you have figured out some way around the above?

I don't have level X objects. :P
Or any objects that care about level.

I probably could use an exponential system, but I'd have to mess with the math a lot, whereas I know that if Item Y adds 5 health, it will always add 5 health, doesn't matter when the player gets it.  Because so many variables are hidden from player view, having complex math gets dicey.

Anyway, its a fairly short game if one doesn't work too hard to find all the secrets.  I think it'll take about 40-60 minutes to get through the whole thing, given my test runs so far.

Offline x4000

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Re: Starting Stats
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2013, 10:54:29 AM »
If you're hand-designing enemies with various stats, then of course the leveling stuff doesn't apply; the first part of my commentary above was about the base-level stats on things, and then if you add in leveling that gets further on (applied to the base stats of every enemy type, whatever they are).  So we were saying basically the same thing for the first part! :)
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: Starting Stats
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2013, 10:59:31 AM »
If you're hand-designing enemies with various stats, then of course the leveling stuff doesn't apply; the first part of my commentary above was about the base-level stats on things, and then if you add in leveling that gets further on (applied to the base stats of every enemy type, whatever they are).  So we were saying basically the same thing for the first part! :)

Hehe, yeah :P
I'm hand tweakin' stuff.