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Balance and progression (Skills and items)

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by Atmey, Dec 24, 2014.

  1. Atmey

    Atmey

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    Nov 3, 2012
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    This questions pops out to me in many genres, in single player games progression seems more appreciated by the user, while in multiplayer games balance is more important.

    What I am working on now is a single player game, but I want to incorporate the sense of balance in it as well, I don't want to have a linear system; a bronze sword is always worse than a steel sword, hence there no reason to use it ever after 10 minutes into the game, and will always be in your inventory, this system seems popular in most RPGs where 90% of weapons and armor are plain useless around the time you clear the game, so I came ended up with balanced:



    Each weapon has it's strengths and weaknesses which can make trying new combinations of builds more exciting.
    Now the problem with this method is when the play will find a new weapon in many cases it would be weaker than the current one, because if current build stats, hence the under satisfaction of lack of progression (Finding starter armor for another class in Dark Souls series), I thought of giving a weapon find late game +1 or +2 for better base stats, but this would fire back as the play could already have a +3 weapon.

    Feel free to discuss the subject even if not directly related to my case.
     
  2. GoGoGadget

    GoGoGadget

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    That sort of nonlinear item progression reminds me a bit of Fallout 3/NV, where weapons that could be found early on in the game were still very usable/effective later on in the game, like the Hunting Rifle.

    I think F3 struck a good balance with that - it had enough weapon & customization variety to make sure that you didn't get 'fully geared' too early on in the game (with rare one-of-a-kind weapons and certain perks that only became available later on).

    Translating this into your more standard medieval RPG might become a bit trickier though - with a lot less values to tweak, and the fact that most weapons will be melee-only, you'll probably have a hard time giving the player enough viable, balanced choices. I do like this approach in general though, without it there's the danger of combat turning into statistic wars, which is just boring.
     
  3. Atmey

    Atmey

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    I played Fallout 3, it didn't have much equipment slots, if I recall correctly a weapon, outfit and a hat, I didn't play NV much, crashed on me too many times, while it was somewhat balanced between the weapons, there are some that are left behind, and around 10~15 hours in (30% of the game?) you rarely change the armor.
    But I gotta admit, the permanent buffs from some side quests were pretty cool idea.

    Speaking about shooters, what do you think about Destiny? I played till I got around level 27, the thing I hated the most was how obscure/misleading the given stats, I guess the same goes for games trying to "simplify" things for the player like Diablo 3. While simple calculations aren't bad (loved the old paper mario series), clear complex calculations with less randomness are the way to go (LoL/Dota2). Bethesda's games lacked that.
     
  4. GoGoGadget

    GoGoGadget

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    Haven't played Destiny, but I've watched a fair amount of streamers playing it - I'll always prefer games that give you detailed values over basic stats. I wouldn't say the recent Fallout games lacked that, maybe the weapons could've shown a bit more about how much armor they were effective against, but overall it was pretty well done. Games like BF4, where the weapon stats (for MP) are arbitrary generic sliders, with no values on them annoy me.