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Instanced Dungeon Que System

#1 Jan 10 2013 at 8:17 PM Rating: Good
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IKickYoDog wrote:
I keep seeing everyone go back and forth on this class balance issue and Kachi I like the thought of your idea with combos, but how would you make something like this work on a day to day basis? Are we saying that, in a class v class balanced system, any combination of classes will work for any encounter?

For example: I want to fight Bahamut and it takes an alliance of 18 players. I've found 15 DD, a tank and 2 BLM and no whm seeking to group. Now, in a system like FFXI this would be impossible since there isn't a single true healer and way too much hate coming off the tank. If we're running your proposed system of class balance, how would you try to make this work? Would that setup be impossible and would I then have to find a WHM? If I do, then aren't we back to the trinity in a way?

I really am asking out of curiosity, as I'm not quite able to wrap my head around the alternative.

I have to get back to work here at some point, but let me try to address your example at least.

It all comes down to the numerical balance in this HP race. Let me put forth a hypothetical scenario. Your tank jumps in and starts doing his thing. You don't have any healers, so he's probably screwed, but he knows that he plays a valuable role in preventing your party from losing as much HP as he possibly can, so he dies valiantly. Several of your damage dealers also have a first aid skill. Every once in a while, they can chip in a bit of healing to revive the tank. Numerically, he'll make the most benefit of that healing. And maybe before he dies, he uses a combo kamikaze attack with a fellow DD... a Berserker who throws him at the enemy. They're using teamwork to turn that little bit of his remaining "party" HP into a significantly bigger loss of "enemy" HP. Your two BLMs have decided to combine their Wind spell and Ice spell to create a powerful Blizzard. Your other DDs are doing similar combos, really not entirely different from Skillchains and Magic Bursts in FFXI, but with a lot more variety. Maybe some of those combos have crowd control effects and other status effects. People are cooperating to execute attacks of all types. Some require positioning, timing, and communication. But no one is simply swinging away solo... everybody is cooperating to activate these benefits, and the party becomes more than the sum of its parts.

And of course, in that, you can have secondary objectives and such as well. But the bottom line is that if the team works together and manages their resources wisely, they win the HP battle... in this particular case, by creating as much damage as they can as quickly and sustainably as they can. If they don't, they lose. Throw a single healer in the mix instead. In a lot of games, that single healer could restore thousands of HP for the tank and keep him alive for a very long time, maybe for the entire battle. But this healer is balanced to contribute roughly the same as any damage dealer does.

****, let's even look at some basic math:
Let's say the average endgamer has 1000 HP. So we want to balance Bahamut against this alliance of 18; let's give him 18000 just for arguments sake. We'll just forget about defense algorithms for now and use a direct damage system where attacks do a set amount of damage.

So let's say we balance the average damage dealer so that, head to head, Bahamut is going to do 1000 damage to him via AOE in the time it takes him to do 800 damage to Bahamut. All other things being equal, Bahamut will win this race because he'll have a few thousand HP left by the time he kills all the DD's.

Some game's answer to this problem is to make the healer recover 5000 HP... PER HEAL. This way, those damage dealers can stay alive and swinging as a healer spreads out that 5000HP among the group, allowing them to win the race... with this special brand of "teamwork". But we're not going to do that. We're going to look at the damage dealers and say, "Hey, if they can only contribute 800 points in the HP race during this amount of time, let's make the healer ALSO contribute 800 points of HP healing to the race."

So that's our starting point for balance. And we know exactly what kind of numbers a full alliance is bringing to the party because we made them the same. And that means we can easily balance the monster for any group of players.

Now in reality, we're going to want to create a skill differential. This is where we turn a race that is numerically pretty even into a situation where players might win and might lose. This will be a sort of statistical procedure where we try to peg down what level of player skill is needed to win. We've figured out Bahamut's baseline, but we're going to make him MUCH stronger to account for players doing an excellent job, racking up damage bonuses and healing bonuses with artful execution of teamwork/combos, crowd control, and personal performance. Now, the HP race is no longer on rails, but it's what the players do more than the numbers that determines if they win.

Er, hope that suffices. Back to work.

Edited, Jan 10th 2013 6:19pm by Kachi
Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
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