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RPG => Colony Ship: A Post-Earth Role Playing Game => Topic started by: Vince on May 29, 2018, 08:06:04 am



Title: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Vince on May 29, 2018, 08:06:04 am
"My THC was 70% but I missed 3 times in a row, which can only mean one thing – the game is horribly broken" is one of the most popular complaints, so let’s talk about it. Let’s start with what 70% THC really means. If you attack long enough, you will reliably hit 70 out of 100 times. It does NOT mean that you’ll reliably hit 2 out 3 times, but that’s what many players expect.

Overall, the phenomenon of player’s expectations vs actual probabilities is well documented:

https://www.pcgamer.com/the-gollop-chamber-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-of-rng/ (https://www.pcgamer.com/the-gollop-chamber-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-of-rng/)

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I now understand that human beings are not very good at evaluating probabilities. In particular when an RNG generates repeated sequences a human will cry foul. For a human, randomness usually means ‘evenly distributed without any detectable pattern or repetition’. This is basically how random numbers are manipulated in many games to meet player’s expectations. One poor result immediately results in a bias towards a better result.

Players without any board game or pen-and-paper roleplaying game experience tend to be a lot more hostile to the explicit use of RNG in video games. They do respond well, however, to the more subtle psychological manipulations of randomness which developers and publishers employ these days.

https://www.nexusmods.com/xcom2/mods/482 (https://www.nexusmods.com/xcom2/mods/482)

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Ever do all the work getting your soldiers into position, flanking the enemy, making all the right moves to set up the perfect shot, one your soldiers just can't miss then BAM, that 95% chance to hit misses wide? But no big deal, you planned for this and still have another shot, except, holy crap the next 90% shot also misses! You played perfectly, made all the right decisions but now you are out of actions, your turn ends and the enemy proceeds to wipe your entire squad on their turn. That's it, mission failed, all that work for nothing. How UNFAIR does that feel?

Well then this mod is for you! To put it simply, it aims to make the Random Number Generator and the resulting combat rolls "FEEL" more fair. You're going to miss those 95% shots less often, about as much as you'd naturally expect. Double-extremely-low-chance misses should come up so rarely that you hopefully won't be as upset by them. Basically this mod aims to change the RNG to make it feel and play much more FUN!

REASONING

OK, first of all I'll address the obvious, the RNG in XCOM is already fair, it's been proven to be mathematically accurate many times.  So why this mod and why this name?

For many people who have played this game and previous in the serious, you quickly realize that despite the mathematical assurances, it sure doesn't FEEL fair. Missing a 90% shot twice in a row, is like a punch to the gut, especially after all the work maneuvering to set it up in the first place. And depending on the difficulty level (especially in this sequel XCOM 2, which seems more punishing), what those key misses might mean to the missions success/failure. Yeah sure, it's technically accurate, it's "Good" mathematics and statistics, but it's also BAD game design.

The solution seems to be simple: rig the RNG to deliver what the player expects (or at least avoid what everyone hates – missing 3 times in a row despite seemingly high THC), so I have two questions for you:

1)   Should we rig the RNG to meet players’ expectations?
2)   If yes, how? Meaning what should we aim it? What outcomes should never ever happen when your THC is 70-80%?

Keep in mind that both your party and the enemies will use the same system. Remember that awesome turn when your enemy missed you 3 times in a row? Well, if you won’t be able to miss 3 times in a row, neither would your enemy.  Choose wisely.

While you’re thinking, here is how our RNG works. It draws numbers like cards from a deck, meaning you can’t draw the same card twice until the deck is out of cards and reshuffled. We round up, so if you draw 17, for example, you cannot get numbers 11 to 20 until the deck is reshuffled. This approach ensures that if your THC is 70%, you’ll miss 3 times and hit 7 times. If it's 63% though, you're not guaranteed to get 63 out of 100. Each 10 rolls you'll get 6 guaranteed hits, 3 guaranteed misses and 1 can go either way.

Ideally, your misses would be spread out evenly but as bad luck would have it, sometimes you’d line up your 3 misses in a row and then hit 7 times in a row. Nobody ever complains about hitting 7 times in a row, but missing 3 times does tend to agitate some folks.

To be fair, nobody wants to miss 3 times in a row IF your skill is high enough –  this simply isn't fun, especially if the enemy hits you every time. So we can count consecutive misses and once you hit 3, the next roll is on us and it's a hit! The hit card will still be removed from the deck, so you won’t be able to draw it twice, i.e. we will simply spread out your misses evenly but won’t give you free hits or help you win.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Fed on May 29, 2018, 09:50:19 am
Well... You don't have to exactly rig it. You can redefine what random is.

Say, instead of rolling a d20 each time - make a sequence of numbers from 1 to 20. In random order. When you need a random number - take the first one in the sequence. Then - the next one. When the sequence is done - generate a new sequence.
It's fair - more or less - in both ways. You don't artificially change the actual results to make them more even. At the same time you don't get thee ones in a row.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Vince on May 29, 2018, 10:48:34 am
Well... You don't have to exactly rig it. You can redefine what random is.

Say, instead of rolling a d20 each time - make a sequence of numbers from 1 to 20. In random order. When you need a random number - take the first one in the sequence. Then - the next one. When the sequence is done - generate a new sequence. It's fair - more or less - in both ways. You don't artificially change the actual results to make them more even. At the same time you don't get thee ones in a row.
Unless I missed your point entirely, you can easily generate 3-4 misses in a row with this system too. There's no real difference between generating a sequence of numbers once and generating a sequence one number at a time, provided you don't generate the same number twice, which we don't.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Wrath of Dagon on May 29, 2018, 11:03:34 am
True RNG is better if you reload, worse for Iron Man, so just depends what's the higher priority. Personally I reload.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Kirov89 on May 29, 2018, 11:13:51 am
Considering the fact that no RNG could ever account for all the variables of RL combat, if the system gives you 7 hits out of 10 attempts for a THC of 70%, then it does it's job right. As for several consecutive misses, heck, even a sharpshooter can have a bad day or a yokel get lucky. I say leave it the way it is.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Etelvino on May 29, 2018, 01:31:39 pm
I don't think it would be a good idea to rig the RNG, mostly because it leads to unresonable expectations and messes with the game balance.

Also, in my experience, the issue with XCOM and other RNG-dependent games is not the sequence of failures or successes, but rather that a single sequence of 3 or 4 failures could doom you altogether. What I mean is that the battles are very prone to swings, with the possibility of eliminating a character in a single turn if he's been focused or an almost certain victory turning into a crushing defeat because no shots hit their mark on the previous turn.

I think that countering these swings is actually more important to make the player feel like tactics and skill are more important than the RNG. This could be accomplished by reducing how much damage an attack does, relative to the target's total health, or making damage mitigation matter more than damage avoidance (which is actually something AoD did fairly well).

Edit: formatting and typos


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: MF on May 29, 2018, 02:36:06 pm
That's just the way RNG works. Fiddling with the knobs won't change the core problem: uncertainty. I think the only solution that caters to every player is to use a deterministic system. I used to be on the fence about deterministic systems until I played and enjoyed Hard West.

The downside of deterministic systems is that, when optimal paths emerge, those paths will always be optimal and so encounters can be 'solved'. This trivialises non-multiplayer gameplay in the long run.

The downside of RNG is that, no matter how well you play, sometimes you just lose. Risk the boardgame is probably most notorious for this out of all gaming systems because attacking players overestimate their advantage, where, in reality, they should expect six losses for every seven wins with a 3:2 die advantage. In RPGs, people usually overestimate their odds in the same way, except it's a bit more obfuscated there.

Anyway, I don't think a deterministic system is an option for TNW, so I'll refer you to a common option for reducing ragequit-inducing losses on good odds in Risk: If the attacking player has an overwhelming advantage, he or she gains an extra die for every standard deviation away from an even match. For your example, that would translate to  anything above a certain threshold (could very well be 70%) getting a free reroll on a consecutive fail. It's an easy and generally applicable enough rule that you could make it a menu option or something.

Edit: I forgot about the usual way this is dealt with in RPGs: The Dungeon Master decides to fumble some of his own rolls to compensate. You could emulate this by causing the AI some grief after the player suffers some RNG hardship.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Wrath of Dagon on May 29, 2018, 03:42:09 pm
Hard West has chance to hit, so how can it be deterministic? (Except for a some special abilities where THC is 100%. But that only works because you're usually heavily outnumbered, and tends to be a win button anyway).


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Sparacul on May 29, 2018, 07:02:16 pm
I prefer non-rigged rng. It's more fun when its random. Maybe tweak some edge cases here and there.

To be fair, nobody wants to miss 3 times in a row IF your skill is high enough
Ignore first miss (on good chance to hit) per combat if weapon skill maxed?


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: MF on May 30, 2018, 02:10:26 am
Hard West has chance to hit, so how can it be deterministic? (Except for a some special abilities where THC is 100%. But that only works because you're usually heavily outnumbered, and tends to be a win button anyway).

Hard West's chance to hit depends on the enemy's luck stat. If your 'chance to hit' is 50%, your enemy needs 50 luck points to not get hit. If he doesn't have 50 luck points in the bank, he gets hit for the weapon's determined damage and his luck points are replenished. If he does have enough luck, he dodges the bullet and 50 luck points are substracted from his total. Exception: 100% always hits and sub-20% shots are not allowed.

It's fully deterministic, there is no RNG involved whatsoever.

But like I said, it's probably not very relevant to TNW.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Judge Mental One on May 30, 2018, 12:37:35 pm
Can leave the rng alone IMHO. Having played rpgs (p+p as well as computer) I know that unlikely things happen, like 3 or 4 1s in a row on a d20. Allowing the 3rd miss to be re-rolled (still not a guarantee) as suggested above when over 80% might be nice.

Still as long as we can save frequently, it should be fine.

 


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Pladio on May 30, 2018, 03:31:18 pm
Actually, some games use an RNG but smooth it out differently.

Battle for Wesnoth for example has a chance to hit, but most units have multiple attacks per hit.

For example:

THC 50%, but instead of having only one attack, you have 3 attacks of 3 damage each at 50% THC each.
This differs from XCOM whereby you have 1 attack with 9 damage for THC 50%. The average is the same, but you end up having a higher chance to hit at least something.

The reasoning behind this is to avoid players complaining about just that, but actually also adds an additional dimension to the combat.

In a futuristic games with guns, this can easily be translated into burst mode with 5 attacks at lower accuracy or damage for example.
This could be done in any game though as we are talking about TB combat anyway...

The view would be that stronger attacks can either have lower accuracy and/or number of attacks for higher damage whilst you could have a weaker bunch of attacks.

I suggest playing the tutorial in Battle for Wesnoth to understand what I mean if you haven't yet.
I also believe Phoenix Point is using a similar system in their beta version from what I saw in their demos.

Hope this makes sense.



Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Dewey_Master on May 31, 2018, 12:08:34 am
Here is a sample case from the real world:

Kansas City QB Alex Smith completed 67.5% of his passes in 2017, averaging 33 attempts/game. That corresponds with about three shuffles of the AoD deck.

Game-by-game percentages fluctuated within a fairly small range. 15 single-game completion percents from highest to lowest:

80, 78.4, 76.7, 76.2, 75, 73.5, 73, 69.4, 67.5, 64.1, 63.9, 58.8, 57.6, 55.9, 45.2

These values mostly vary within +/- 10% of the season average:

12.5, 10.9, 9.2, 8.7, 7.5, 6, 5.5, 1.9, 0, -3.4, -3.6, -8.7, -9.9, -11.6, -22.3

*************

My takeaway from this is that actual performance should remain pretty tight to the predicted average while still admitting better and worse games. You accomplish the first part by using a 10 card deck. However, I think your system could be improved by shuffling after 8 draws rather than all 10.

With 10 draws, not only does Alex Smith complete exactly 70% of his every 30 throws, but you will regularly run into scenarios where the next outcome is predetermined.

With 8 draws, Alex Smith completes:
5/8 (62.5% completion or 7.5% lower than expected) on 47% of his shuffles
6/8 (75% completion or 5% higher than expected) on 47% of his shuffles
7/8 (87.5% completion or 17.5% higher than expected) on 7% of his shuffles.
Moreover, virtually every draw will still be undetermined before selection.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Black on May 31, 2018, 12:29:41 am
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1)   Should we rig the RNG to meet players’ expectations?
No, never. You should never negotiate with people who don't understand how probability works.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: puppyonastik on May 31, 2018, 03:19:47 am
Are you guys planning on a combat demo? I think that was a genius move for AOD. I think it would be wise to follow suit for TNW. If not, I trust in the teams' judgement.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Fed on May 31, 2018, 03:37:13 am
Unless I missed your point entirely, you can easily generate 3-4 misses in a row with this system too. There's no real difference between generating a sequence of numbers once and generating a sequence one number at a time, provided you don't generate the same number twice, which we don't.
Misses - sure. This is why I called it not rigged.
Just not 20 in a row... And not 3 misses in a row with a 95% probability to hit (on a d20).
It's more of a soft cap on how unlucky you can get and how hard is it to get there.
I think it might be enought to smooth things to a point where RNG doesn't seem so unfair.

P.S. If you would consider going down that road - you'll probably want a "personalized" random sequence for every entity (or at least Player and world). And a reshuffle on loading a savegame.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Vince on May 31, 2018, 01:11:12 pm
Are you guys planning on a combat demo?
Combat demo - by the end of the year, full demo - 6 months after.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Pladio on May 31, 2018, 01:13:57 pm
Any views on people's suggestions/comments at present - especially mine  >:D?


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Vince on May 31, 2018, 01:53:54 pm
Still processing. Leaning toward handling it via options (i.e. choose whether or not you want missing streaks limited, which applies both to you and your enemies).


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: GarfunkeL on May 31, 2018, 03:42:21 pm
More options is always good, allowing players to customize their playing experience is great.

I voted for the rigging because yes, missing 90% chance is painful, and several in a row is just nuts. It comes down to how often do we get to fire per turn. In JA2, a single miss usually isn't a big deal, because you have 6+ mercenaries who can all fire three, four or even five times. With smaller squad sizes (the nuXcom are limited at 4 soldiers?) and fewer firing opportunities (once or twice a turn), the perceived "value" of each shot grows much larger. AFAIK, The New World is leaning towards very small "squads" and with very limited AP for combat, which is why I'm definitely voting for rigging the system.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Ga1us on May 31, 2018, 03:57:28 pm
1)   Should we rig the RNG to meet players’ expectations?

This completely depends on what you aim to achiev in the game. However I really don't think you should.

Sometimes when I play a non-killing machine character in AoD and still want to kill through some tough fights my only chance to do this is to ~~ get 3 hits (and 1 crit) in a row at THC 60% and avoid being killed in 2 turns with 4 dodge. Of course this is only achievable via multiple save and reload and it is always MY choice whether to do the save/reloads or not. If you tweak the mechanics it will be much harder for a player to get thorough as save and reload will be much less effective and is likely to de facto lead to another instance of content gating. 

2)   If yes, how? Meaning what should we aim it? What outcomes should never ever happen when your THC is 70-80%?

If you still will decide to tweak, you can consider using a pseudo random distribution

Quote
Example
Slardar Slardar's Bash of the Deep has a 25% chance to stun the target. On the first attack, however, it only has an ~8.5% probability to bash. Each subsequent attack without a bash increases the probability by ~8.5%. So on the second attack, the chance is ~17%, on the third it is ~25.5%, etc. After a bash occurs, the probability resets to ~8.5% for the next attack. These probabilities average out so that, over a moderate period of time, Bash of the Deep procs nearly 25% of the time.
https://dota2.gamepedia.com/Random_distribution


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: aratuk on May 31, 2018, 07:31:06 pm
It would also be a good option to use a predetermined seed for the RNG, so that reloading a save could not, by itself produce different results in combat, when picking a lock, et cetera. The player would have to try different tactics or increase their skills.

I remember this being available in Xcom, Basilisk's Eschalon games, and others. Maybe it should be a hard-coded, non-optional aspect to prevent save-scumming. It's kind of nice, a relief to play a game where cheap shortcuts are not even available to you. Lead me not into temptation…

It's easy to say you're in favor of pure randomness in theory, far removed from actually experiencing its results, but the "deck of cards" approach you describe sounds like a fair representation of the odds. Maybe there should be more than ten cards in the deck, though, or players will count them and outcomes might be too predictable. A shoe of 1d10 decks of 10 cards each, maybe. Or was ten cards just an example by way of simplification?

Could also have the option of employing a natural phenomenon, like data from a camera with the lens cap on, to derive true true randomness that no algorithm can provide.  :P


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Wrath of Dagon on May 31, 2018, 09:52:46 pm
If you save the seed then a particularly unlucky sequence will always repeat, thus making the fight impossible to win (assuming it was tough to begin with). Or you'll have to game the fight to try to get a different sequence to take place (not that most people would know to do that).


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: aratuk on May 31, 2018, 11:57:10 pm
No, you would just have to try different tactical approaches until you find one that works. Lead the attack with a different party member, use a different configuration of weapons and/or spells & abilities (as applicable). Or even go and do something else first and come back to the fight later.

I feel like figuring out solutions like these is more satisfying as a player than save-scumming until the RNG aligns adequately in your favor.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: menyalin on June 01, 2018, 02:09:02 am
I think the possibility of missing streaks should depend on the current hit chance, not on hardcoded number like 3 (may be to easy to exploit). It's really strange when character misses three times in a row with the 70+ to-hit chance, but if it's 20, then very long missing streak is totally correct. Maximum consequent misses count can be depended on skills, also, to prevent exploiting it with saveskumming on low skill levels.

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So we can count consecutive misses and once you hit 3, the next roll is on us and it's a hit!
May be its better not to make guaranteed hit, but adjust hit chance or instantly reroll the attack. Say, if your third attack rolled to miss, then game instantly reroll it, so you still have the chance to take such bad luck, but it whill be much lesser and not so deterministic. Compromise option.

Also, you can use miss limitation not for all attack types. Say, unlimited misses for snap-shots, strongly limited for aimed shots, and moderate for regular attacks.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Fed on June 01, 2018, 02:45:31 am
To my previous posts I would add one more point.
Maybe with the percieved unfairness of RNG the actual problem is not a streak of several misses.

Maybe the actual problem is "my chance to hit is 90%. that means i hit 9 times of 10. I just missed 3 times. So it's fair to expect that I will hit ~27 next times."
And that's not how it works with the true RNG.
Maybe the actual problem is not in the possibility of the player to get extremely unlucky. But in the fact that the world, fate or "honest" RNG does not "compensate" this with a lot of luck later.

This could also be solved with the sequences I proposed earlier.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: 0wing on June 01, 2018, 07:01:25 am
Am I late for "deterministic systems > RNG" joke?


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Vince on June 01, 2018, 10:25:41 am
Update:

1) We'll make limiting consecutive misses optional. It seems to be the best way to handle it. This limit will apply to enemies as well, so it won't make the game easier.

2) What's left to determine is whether or not your THC is merely a roll modifier or does 80% THC actually guarantee you that you'll hit 8 out of 10 or 16 out of 20 or 24 out of 30.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: DorkMage on June 01, 2018, 11:07:31 am

My takeaway from this is that actual performance should remain pretty tight to the predicted average while still admitting better and worse games. You accomplish the first part by using a 10 card deck. However, I think your system could be improved by shuffling after 8 draws rather than all 10.

With 10 draws, not only does Alex Smith complete exactly 70% of his every 30 throws, but you will regularly run into scenarios where the next outcome is predetermined.

With 8 draws, Alex Smith completes:
5/8 (62.5% completion or 7.5% lower than expected) on 47% of his shuffles
6/8 (75% completion or 5% higher than expected) on 47% of his shuffles
7/8 (87.5% completion or 17.5% higher than expected) on 7% of his shuffles.
Moreover, virtually every draw will still be undetermined before selection.

I like this... outcome isn't predetermined.
It prevents the : I have THC of 70, missed three times, now for a killing spree....


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Scott on June 01, 2018, 11:09:27 am
Quote
1)   Should we rig the RNG to meet players’ expectations?

Can't believe you're actually asking this. It's like asking, Since the latest batch of children are having trouble learning to read, should we switch to a purely phonetic version of the English language?

Or more precisely, Since an incredibly vocal and relentless 10% of children are complaining, should we change it for everyone?


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Wrath of Dagon on June 01, 2018, 11:52:12 am
No, you would just have to try different tactical approaches until you find one that works. Lead the attack with a different party member, use a different configuration of weapons and/or spells & abilities (as applicable). Or even go and do something else first and come back to the fight later.

I feel like figuring out solutions like these is more satisfying as a player than save-scumming until the RNG aligns adequately in your favor.
May be you already figured out the best approach, but it's nullified because the seed you happened to get causes you to be hit in the head 3 times in a row. So now not only do you have to figure out the best approach, you also have to figure out how to change the RNG sequence, which is something you shouldn't have to worry about at all. A fight you never have to reload and retry is a fight that's probably not hard enough.

On another note, everyone's talking like missing 3 times in a row with 90% THC is a huge issue. The chance of that happening at any particular time is 1 in a 1000! So if it happens that rarely, why worry about it at all? That's simply how randomness works.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Vince on June 01, 2018, 12:20:35 pm
Quote
1)   Should we rig the RNG to meet players’ expectations?

Can't believe you're actually asking this. It's like asking, Since the latest batch of children are having trouble learning to read, should we switch to a purely phonetic version of the English language?

Or more precisely, Since an incredibly vocal and relentless 10% of children are complaining, should we change it for everyone?
Well, to be fair, we aren't changing THC to accommodate the player but spreading the misses a bit to avoid long streaks. We won't make you hit more often or make the game easy for you.

As for %, I'd say that at least 50% (if I have to guess, I'd say 60-70%) of people who posted reviews or impressions mentioned RNG negatively, even in otherwise glowing reviews. We can ignore it, of course, but that would be unwise.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Scott on June 01, 2018, 01:50:53 pm
How many games see many many threads complaining about RNG? By my count every single game using RNG. TNW isn't exactly going to stand out as a game where people complain about RNG. Make a sticky thread about RNG at the top of the forum and let the 50% who complain argue with the other half who explain how confirmation bias works. That's what every other game does. I can't see how bowing to ignorance is the answer.

Also have to say you draw a really hard line on a lot of the things that make RPGs great, which of course is why fans of Iron Tower's games love them so much. Can't see why this would be a point to compromise on.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: AbounI on June 01, 2018, 02:52:26 pm
I would like to add that TNW will be a party based system, so even if PC will miss 3 times in a row, there are few chances for the whole party (and allies too) to miss 3 time in a row, so I guess this complaint will be lower than expected. Imagine every characters in the party missing all their attempts three time in a row, that would be a terrible lack of luck.

More than that, why not add a critical miss system (gun jammed, loss of balance,..)? After all, we got a critical hit, it would be fair to have the reverse side, no? Why not make this critical miss happening at the third miss in a row?  :lol:

Vince, how many of the same kind of complaints did you receive concerning Dungeon Rats? Is it comparable with AoD?


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Vince on June 01, 2018, 03:06:59 pm
Also have to say you draw a really hard line on a lot of the things that make RPGs great, which of course is why fans of Iron Tower's games love them so much. Can't see why this would be a point to compromise on.
It's not really about compromising or pandering. We review all complaints, dismiss nothing, and never assume that we know something better. While we'll never deviate from the core, we're always looking for ways to improve the core design.

I believe that raising your combat skill from 6 to 7, for example, thus raising your THC by 10 points, should make you better in a measurable way, give you a kind of certainty that your points weren't wasted. So I agree that 70% THC should feel like it because it's about your skill investment paying off not about probabilities. Just like I don't think that you shouldn't hit too often with a 10% THC, no matter what you roll, you shouldn't miss too often with 70-80% THC.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Vince on June 01, 2018, 03:10:31 pm
Vince, how many of the same kind of complaints did you receive concerning Dungeon Rats? Is it comparable with AoD?
Being a much simpler game, DR gets less reviews and impressions, but the complaint IS there. Many people say that the RNG can make the same fight too hard or too easy and that's too random for my taste.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: AbounI on June 01, 2018, 03:23:28 pm
Quote
Many people say that the RNG can make the same fight too hard or too easy
But are they right? I don't have the impression the RNG can make the same fight too easy or too hard, as we must also look at the tactical approach. Keep the same approach and tactic for the same fight, chances are low to get a radically different result.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Vince on June 01, 2018, 03:40:44 pm
This claim has been fairly consistent. We can argue over it and say it isn't so or we can take a look at the RNG and ensure that you get results appropriate to your THC.

The way I see it, it's all about the size of the 'sample'. If you attack 1,000 times your results WILL reflect your THC but you can easily get a much higher or lower average in the course of one fight because the sample is too small. So we can tie our RNG to smaller fights and thus increase consistency, without helping you win or lying about your THC.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: dogwaffler on June 01, 2018, 08:35:24 pm
For what it's worth - "accuracy" is really something that can be subject to a perception bias. Me personally, I enjoy the random wonky rounds that throw a wrench into your plans, but it's definitely not the same for everyone; I've had some friends who would get really angry during a bad string of luck in say, Xcom: UFO defense-- of course it's not a problem when your rookie troops make a bunch of impossible shots in a row. Of course it's a pain when a lucky shot takes your character down in spite of your best planning and execution, but those are the stakes.

There was a mod on page one of the AoD mods thread:
Here's an alternate balance mod. Basically, increases both AP and HP for you and enemies, making more combat actions possible while keeping the same pace, stabilizing the RNG output.
...

I obviously don't know the win/loss tolerances of combat in TNW, but the gist I get from the updates here is that it will be quick, dangerous, and somewhat unforgiving. That said, my thought would be to have a default setting with a rounded/corrected RNG curve, for more casual players who don't like to poke around in the game options, and just want to chill out and play for a few hours without getting shut down every time combat come into play. The raw/natural RNG could be places in a gameplay setting somewhere, perhaps in an articulated difficulty settings tab.
I did appreciate the difficult combat in AoD, which took some getting used to (even with the warnings); it made the "fight everything you can" playthrough that much more satisfying.

PS - A further thought for another thread - perhaps more difficulty settings for things like skill check values and shop item availability could work in a setting like this, it might add a little replay value.

As always, thanks for the great content.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: aratuk on June 01, 2018, 11:41:16 pm
No, you would just have to try different tactical approaches until you find one that works. Lead the attack with a different party member, use a different configuration of weapons and/or spells & abilities (as applicable). Or even go and do something else first and come back to the fight later.

I feel like figuring out solutions like these is more satisfying as a player than save-scumming until the RNG aligns adequately in your favor.
May be you already figured out the best approach, but it's nullified because the seed you happened to get causes you to be hit in the head 3 times in a row. So now not only do you have to figure out the best approach, you also have to figure out how to change the RNG sequence, which is something you shouldn't have to worry about at all. A fight you never have to reload and retry is a fight that's probably not hard enough.

On another note, everyone's talking like missing 3 times in a row with 90% THC is a huge issue. The chance of that happening at any particular time is 1 in a 1000! So if it happens that rarely, why worry about it at all? That's simply how randomness works.


In your example, the "best" approach wouldn't be the one where you're shot three times in the head. You can't alter the situation to suit your theoretical "best," no matter how many times you reload, so you are forced to figure out a different "best" approach to suit the situation.

And, by the way, approaching the situation differently will probably cause the AI to behave differently, potentially not resulting in those three headshots. The only way you'd be guaranteed the three headshots would be if you did everything along identical routes, in identical order, but hoping for different results.

The predetermined seed simply forces the player to try different tactics on reload, instead of hoping to get lucky trying the same thing all over again. It is more fun to be forced to adapt my tactics and behavior, than just to hope for better luck, in my opinion.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Dewey_Master on June 02, 2018, 01:46:03 am
So we can tie our RNG to smaller fights and thus increase consistency, without helping you win or lying about your THC.

I absolutely agree, but hardcoding a maximum of three consecutive misses to certain high THC attempts doesn't actually address this problem.

As I understand your miss limit, it doesn't actually stop triple misses from happening at 70% THC, it just stops the fourth miss from happening. If you have a deck of ten cards, there aren't even four misses in the deck. The only way to get four consecutive misses is to stretch across the reshuffle. What is the probability there? Something like once in every 100 shuffles or once in every 1000 attacks (could be wrong; discrete math was ages ago)? A hard coded limit seems like a solution in search of a problem.

On the other hand, what your miss limit would do by fiat, cards would accomplish organically. Card draws ensure that each NFL game (30 attempts) is played by an NFL level quarterback. Decks not being drawn to exhaustion mean that there remain better games and worse games within a realistic range (about +/- 10%).


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Wizard1200 on June 02, 2018, 04:47:50 am
I think that the problem is the binary effect and not the RNG: If you have a THC of 70 % and you 'roll' a 64 you inflict full damage, but if you 'roll' a 71 your attack has no effect.

I guess that your grazing hits will partially solve this problem, but this solution is probably better:
- THC should be called Accuracy
- Your attack result is determined by 'rolling' a d100 and adding your Accuracy to the result
- If your attack result is 100 you inflict 100 % damage
- Every point of your attack result above 100 increases the damage by 0.5 % >>> Critical hit
- Every point of your attack result below 100 reduces the damage by 0.75 % >>> Grazing hit

Accuracy 30 and a 'roll' of 1 would result in a damage reduction of 52 %.
Accuracy 30 and a 'roll' of 100 would result in a damage increase of 15 %.
Accuracy 70 and a 'roll' of 1 would result in a damage reduction of 22 %.
Accuracy 70 and a 'roll' of 100 would result in a damage increase of 35 %.
Accuracy 100 and a 'roll' of 1 would result in a damage reduction of 0 %.
Accuracy 100 and a 'roll' of 100 would result in a damage increase of 50 %.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Vince on June 02, 2018, 08:40:20 am
So we can tie our RNG to smaller fights and thus increase consistency, without helping you win or lying about your THC.

I absolutely agree, but hardcoding a maximum of three consecutive misses to certain high THC attempts doesn't actually address this problem.
Different problem. Basically:

Question #1: should your THC represent your hitting average during any given fight?
Question #2: should we limit consecutive misses to 3 regardless of your answer to question #1?

Plus not hardcoding but making it optional.

Quote
As I understand your miss limit, it doesn't actually stop triple misses from happening at 70% THC, it just stops the fourth miss from happening. If you have a deck of ten cards, there aren't even four misses in the deck. The only way to get four consecutive misses is to stretch across the reshuffle. What is the probability there?
Very low. I don't recall it happening to me ever and I have over 400 hours on Steam alone. 3 in a row - yes.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Wrath of Dagon on June 02, 2018, 01:58:04 pm
Missing 3 in a row at 70% THC will happened 2.7 times out of a hundred. Missing 4 in a row will be .81 times out of a hundred (that's with true RNG).


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: geezer on June 03, 2018, 12:26:35 pm
Please use a TRNG method like RDRAND/RDSEED for collecting your random numbers. Either use the random bits directly or whiten them (https://sites.google.com/site/astudyofentropy/background-information/whitening) to smooth and spread out the anomalies or give the user the option as to whether to whiten the raw random data or not. This will work for anyone with an Ivy Bridge or later Intel CPU or an AMD Ryzen. For the rest try autodownloading hotbits (https://www.fourmilab.ch/hotbits/) to a container and just refill it as needed with an internet connection. For anyone who doesn't have a newer CPU or an internet connection they could buy a TPM module for their motherboard if it is new enough or a USB device like OneRNG ($40).

Simulating dice rolls can really only properly be done with a TRNG and not a PRNG (unless seeded with a TRNG first). If you start with a good foundation of true randomness I think the combat will always seem more fair and balanced, particularly if you whiten the data as well so that it seems even more random. I'd suggest maybe even using more than one whitening algorithm and letting the user decide which one he likes best. Also giving people a choice of how much the combat relies on randomness might be interesting, although most people will probably converge on a particular amount of randomness vs skill/experience as being the most fun to play. Of course if someone doesn't have a newer computer or an internet connection and they haven't bought an external TRNG you'd have to default to a software PRNG like Mersenne Twister.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: anubioz on June 05, 2018, 02:53:46 pm
Path of Exile already did RNG for evading right: https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Evasion

Quote
Evasion is not purely based on chance in the sense that each hit is independent. Instead, it uses a system of "entropy" to ensure that enemies won't get long strings of hits or misses by chance. To summarize, these are the calculation steps in each attack:

    1. If it is first time an entity is attacked or if the time between the last attack and this one is larger than 6 seconds, randomise the entropy from 0–99.
    2. Calculate chance to hit of the attacker using the above formula, and add this integer to the entropy counter.
    3. If this is 100 or greater, the check counts as a hit. Subtract 100 from the entropy counter. Otherwise it is a miss and the entropy counter doesn't change.
    4. A critical hit is evaded on a separate random roll and will not affect this entropy value.

This system is designed to evenly spread out hits and misses such that players always evade an average number of times according to their ‘chance’ to evade. It is still based on chance because of the entropy counter's randomization in the first step. Note that if multiple mobs are attacking one character, all of the mobs' attacks share the same entropy counter. Also note that the chance to evade calculation on the character page is based on the average accuracy of a monster at the player's level.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: old_school_gamer on March 07, 2019, 02:16:30 pm
1)   Should we rig the RNG to meet players’ expectations?
2)   If yes, how? Meaning what should we aim it? What outcomes should never ever happen when your THC is 70-80%?

I don't know how to vote exactly since I'm in a demographic that loves plain old RNG that isn't rigged, but if I find fault, it's in the way and context in which RNG is used.  :lol: Used correctly in a setting like combat, I see it as a way to expand on the uniqueness of an experience and the freedom of a player as well as expanding on the variety of outcomes that can unfold instead of looking at damage numbers and misses all day. It is not interesting to me to take a few turns on a repeat of a battle and the AI does the exact same thing and the exact same thing happens, and I never liked the idea of moves being strictly "correct move" vs. "blunder" and prefer to think in terms of "risk vs. reward" and especially avoiding the moves that maximize risk while minimizing reward.

One of the reasons I love tactical combat with a positional factor and a grid/board is because it tends to favor a shorter but more lethal type of combat where every turn counts. I'm not spamming attack/heal/revive/buff/debuff over and over in such a repetitious way, and instead putting more thought into each move. I like when every turn feels important. And such games make choices like melee vs. ranged and AoE vs. single target so much more interesting and meaningful. If every move feels very meaningful and not repetitious and requires very careful thought with every single turn (especially in challenging battles where my characters are outclassed), then I tend to be a happy camper. If I feel like I'm just spamming the same sequence of actions repeatedly and eager to get the battle over with, then I tend to not be as happy.

I also don't mind missing several times in a row with 70% chance to hit. That's not so improbable from a mathematical perspective (almost 1/30 times), and the analogy of weighted dice (ex: something which produces a bell curve instead of a horizontal line when graphed) could risk making the experience feel a bit more "static" if it's taken very far. I think we're psychologically biased to thinking that happens more than one in thirty times even if gathered statistics would reveal this to be the case, since we tend to associate more emotion to unlucky events and recall them more vividly than when we luckily hit an enemy 3 times in a row with 30% chance (something I imagine would also no longer be possible if the RNG used an algorithm which avoided multiple consecutive numbers in a row).

What I actually find tedious and frustrating is not because I missed several times in a row, but because I'm bored just exchanging damage numbers and hit points with an enemy repetitively (and I was rarely ever bored in AoD combat). If a particular game lacks interesting events that could happen beyond hit/miss, like a game that lacks a variety of criticals, or criticals are so bland and just do double damage each time and nothing else, then I'll easily get bored more easily with more heavy RNG involvement because I just want to get to the next part of the game. Meanwhile when a game is so random that it has such a wide range of things that could occur, however improbable, I find myself constantly amused while adjusting my whole tactics to what happened. In particular I especially enjoy games where losing in the most unfortunate way is entertaining in itself (ex: Blood Bowl where my opposing team managed to throw a halfling halfway across the field and score a touchdown one turn before the game ended). I can't help but laugh at that astronomically improbable situation even though I'm a bit frustrated at the same time.

This idea is at risk of frustrating certain demographics even more but one way to mitigate the repetition of staring at misses and damage numbers for lengthy periods of time is to actually make combat even more lethal in nature, where a single hit or two could take down even the most powerful character. That would shorten the experience and make it more gripping and tense, but for those who base fun factor on their ability to win as consistently as possible, it would probably frustrate that demographic even more. For me it'd likely heighten the amusement and tension of every single move and make it so I'm thinking even more carefully about every single move I make.

Another that involves tackling elements around the RNG rather than the RNG itself is to put more emphasis on the strategic elements of gameplay being around the types of moves made where no RNG is involved (putting emphasis on allowing many risk-free moves before taking a risk). I learned very quickly from Blood Bowl that trying to do things that risk causing me to waste an entire turn like running to grab a ball which is subject to RNG is a terrible beginner mistake. Meanwhile positioning my units involved no RNG (unless they were moving away from a tackle zone). So the deep element of strategy in that one in spite of its incredible involvement of RNG is tactically positioning your units into an ideal position which isn't subject to any chance before taking any chances, and that's where the heavy skill factor comes in where skillful players can start to win far, far more consistently than lucky players. X-Com is similar that way but doesn't take the idea quite as far as Blood Bowl.

Yet another that could make even easy battles more interesting is to have more varied outcomes than black and white "win vs. lose". I vaguely recall some in AoD which were like that where I was a fairly good fighter but a very fragile NPC was involved, for example, so even if I easily won the battle, I might have failed to save the NPC and that becomes something unique and interesting. Jagged Alliance and Darklands had that sort of thing where wounds were very difficult to heal even outside of battle, so even an easy battle that lead to heavy wounds was interesting and somewhat costly to the player even if he won. X-Com had that somewhat as well since the loss of squad members or even the entire squad didn't lead to game over but was a costly setback. Fallout had some permanent damage effects (I remember permanently losing an ear to a fighter who curiously resembled Mike Tyson in a boxing match). That makes victory/loss more gray and not strictly black and white, and that grayness might help players more readily accept their fortunes and misfortunes.

What I'm trying to get at (forgive my verbosity) is that I tend to feel like complaints about RNG might have to do more with surrounding factors than the nature of the RNG itself. It is like if players complain that an RPG lacks a respec option, perhaps the game lacks a sense that every choice the player can make is interesting and worth accepting and living with the consequences.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: menyalin on March 12, 2019, 07:32:17 am
Reading previous post and come to some thoughts about RNG badness. What RNG situation deal the biggest pain? I'd call two types:
1) RNG wall, when you need to repeat something again and again to progress.
2) Really long engagements when you fall near end just because of bad luck.
So if you making some hard RNG balance, it can be better to make shorter engagements or possibility to save\load somewhere during it. Maybe add posibility for save-load during battle on medium to low difficulty? It will ease the life or intermediate player on one side and hardcore gamers not so picky about RNG hardness on other side.

What I'm trying to get at (forgive my verbosity) is that I tend to feel like complaints about RNG might have to do more with surrounding factors than the nature of the RNG itself. It is like if players complain that an RPG lacks a respec option, perhaps the game lacks a sense that every choice the player can make is interesting and worth accepting and living with the consequences.
Completely agree.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Wizard1200 on March 14, 2019, 08:11:26 am
Another that involves tackling elements around the RNG rather than the RNG itself is to put more emphasis on the strategic elements of gameplay being around the types of moves made where no RNG is involved (putting emphasis on allowing many risk-free moves before taking a risk). I learned very quickly from Blood Bowl that trying to do things that risk causing me to waste an entire turn like running to grab a ball which is subject to RNG is a terrible beginner mistake. Meanwhile positioning my units involved no RNG (unless they were moving away from a tackle zone). So the deep element of strategy in that one in spite of its incredible involvement of RNG is tactically positioning your units into an ideal position which isn't subject to any chance before taking any chances, and that's where the heavy skill factor comes in where skillful players can start to win far, far more consistently than lucky players. X-Com is similar that way but doesn't take the idea quite as far as Blood Bowl.

A game can be interesting without RNG in my opinion. Two examples:

Invisible Inc.:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbK5en356RY

Tactical Breach Wizards:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYJR4Ts-ylE


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Scott on March 14, 2019, 10:42:10 am
I don't have an issue with "long" engagements. All out, room-clearing brawls are some of the most memorable fights of all. OTOH, drawn out exchanges between low-talent or high-defense fighters can be a drag. Vince may already have addressed this, but what about scaling aim bonuses after multiple misses. For example: two misses, give the next swing/shot +5% and additional stacks until a hit is made and the counter is reset. This would apply to player and enemy of course, and isn't that farfetched. I assume someone firing at a stationary target is eventually going to come at least slightly closer after several shots.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Wizard1200 on March 14, 2019, 02:31:31 pm
Vince may already have addressed this, but what about scaling aim bonuses after multiple misses. For example: two misses, give the next swing/shot +5% and additional stacks until a hit is made and the counter is reset. This would apply to player and enemy of course, and isn't that farfetched. I assume someone firing at a stationary target is eventually going to come at least slightly closer after several shots.

I would go one step further:
+ 5 % THC for every attack after the first against the same target. Stacks up to 3 times (5 times with a feat) and resets as soon as you attack another target or reload a weapon. This would make fast weapons more useful, melee weapons more useful, Perception less powerful and larger groups more dangerous.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: old_school_gamer on March 23, 2019, 03:55:51 pm
A game can be interesting without RNG in my opinion. Two examples:

I have to check those out. They look very interesting to me but one of things I found somewhat unsatisfactory in general for my personal preferences when RNG is eliminated outright is when I repeat the same battle starting off with the exact same move before, and the AI does exactly the same thing in response because there's no RNG involved. That level of knowing exactly what the AI will do in response to my moves starts to make it feel so much like a puzzler to me.

I think the reason is because I start to feel heavily constrained in terms of player freedom. There is no longer choices like, "That was a good move -- low risk, high reward, but it failed. I would repeat that move again if I had to repeat the battle because it was a good move even though it failed. Now let's think of plan B for this battle in response to the fact that it unluckily failed." Instead it's like, "That move failed, therefore it is a bad move. In subsequent playthroughs, I will no longer make that move ever again," and that feels so black and white -- I like something more fuzzy and grey.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Wizard1200 on March 23, 2019, 04:03:19 pm
Invisible Inc. is a tactical puzzle in my opinion, but the the risk vs. reward management is very important and i have lost many games, because i was too greedy :D

Tactical Breach Wizards is currently in development.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: old_school_gamer on March 23, 2019, 04:10:45 pm
Vince may already have addressed this, but what about scaling aim bonuses after multiple misses. For example: two misses, give the next swing/shot +5% and additional stacks until a hit is made and the counter is reset. This would apply to player and enemy of course, and isn't that farfetched. I assume someone firing at a stationary target is eventually going to come at least slightly closer after several shots.

I never played Hard West but from what I've gathered of videos watching it, it has a system like that to discourage players from taking cover in one spot indefinitely. It makes a whole lot of sense in that one that ducking under one piece of cover indefinitely would eventually make you more and more susceptible to enemy fire due to your stationary nature, and instead encouraging the player to take cover temporarily in one spot and then move to another in an intuitive way.

I think it's trickier to make that as intuitive in one that has a lot of focus on melee combat in a turn-based grid format. In that case it might not actually make as much sense for a stationary target to become increasingly easier to hit the more attempts are made (unless the target is becoming fatigued), since a stationary target isn't really stationary as I gather. The animations and nature of the pieces on the board might not show it but I assume they're dodging and weaving and constantly moving even though they're standing on the same grid cell, otherwise it makes no sense that anyone would ever miss. So I assume there's a lot of things being simulated behind the scenes, so to speak, in those. In general I think it's much more challenging to make melee combat nearly as interesting as ranged in such turn-based tactical games, since they tend to diminish the importance of positioning, line of sight, terrain, cover, etc.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: old_school_gamer on March 23, 2019, 05:04:24 pm
Invisible Inc. is a tactical puzzle in my opinion, but the the risk vs. reward management is very important and i have lost many games, because i was too greedy :D

I have to give it a try. I developed some strong thoughts in favor of the RNG somewhat in response to reading blogs from game designers who thought it was horrible, to which I half-agreed initially, tried their games completely absent RNG, and felt like it wasn't my cup of tea... then I swung around in the opposite direction adoring the most chaotic use of RNG like Blood Bowl and X-Com (though always with some underlying structure and skill factor involved for those who can navigate probabilities), and came to realize that most of my favorites tended to use the RNG quite heavily (though in more interesting ways than variable damage and hit/miss).

Mostly I've come to develop the odd thought that the RNG is a way to expand on player freedom -- there's more freedom to navigate choices when they aren't black-and-white "right vs wrong" but instead "risky vs safe". As a most simplistic example, take a lock which requires 7 lockpicking skill to open. That's black and white. Either your character has the adequate skill to access that content or he doesn't (say he has lockpicking at 5) and it's impossible for him to access unless there's another way to get there. Meanwhile if we throw in the RNG, we might make it so the lock is difficult and you need lockpicking 7 to have a very good chance of opening it, but lockpicking 5 might suffice to have a coin toss chance of opening it still but at the higher risk of the lockpick breaking (and perhaps lockpicks are very expensive). Now it becomes possible for that player with moderate lockpicking skill to open the lock, but he's taking a bigger risk than someone with higher lockpicking skill... and now it doesn't feel so black and white, and I feel like player freedom is enhanced and not quite as constrained to doing things such a certain way or building such a specific build as a result.

I like thinking about things in terms of risk vs. reward that way. Feels closer to my daily life where nothing I do is guaranteed to succeed, not even typing this response (I might fall out of my chair, knock myself on the head and die at any moment). So I like thinking about risk vs. reward constantly and estimating, if not being given, the probability of succeeding vs. failing at something, as well as trying to arrive at backup plans for when actions don't succeed.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Wizard1200 on March 24, 2019, 06:23:20 am
I never played Hard West but from what I've gathered of videos watching it, it has a system like that to discourage players from taking cover in one spot indefinitely. It makes a whole lot of sense in that one that ducking under one piece of cover indefinitely would eventually make you more and more susceptible to enemy fire due to your stationary nature, and instead encouraging the player to take cover temporarily in one spot and then move to another in an intuitive way.

A character could be encouraged to move if he gets an evasion bonus of 1.5 % per tile of movement. With the current movement cost of 1 AP per tile a character could get an evasion bonus of up to 30 % if he has a Dexterity of 10 and uses 20 AP for his movement.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: old_school_gamer on March 25, 2019, 02:19:48 am
A character could be encouraged to move if he gets an evasion bonus of 1.5 % per tile of movement. With the current movement cost of 1 AP per tile a character could get an evasion bonus of up to 30 % if he has a Dexterity of 10 and uses 20 AP for his movement.

I love that idea and it makes a whole lot of sense to me for ranged exchanges, perhaps combined with an evasion penalty that accumulates to some extent if the player is stationary to address the frustrations of those who miss many times in a row.

The stumbling block to me is opportunity attacks. I think opportunity attacks make a whole lot of sense in games like these to counter those who might otherwise kite with ranged and max AP indefinitely if not for it. When we want to start making melee vs ranged more viable, it starts to become desirable to have more ways for the melee unit to be able to pin the target to one cell on the grid with heavy risks for moving in those cases. One possible way to counter that might be to make ranged attacks and reloading really costly in terms of AP but more devastating in terms of the damage they deliver; that might prevent the kiting strategy without involving an opportunity attack system.

So it's like on the one hand we want to discourage stationary exchanges, but on the other we want to encourage it, and it might be difficult to find a happy medium there. The reason I think they effectively do those evasion penalties for being stationary for long periods in Hard West is because it is predominantly about ranged exchanges. It's not the type of game that's trying to make charging at someone with a machete who is firing at you a viable way to fight (it's generally completely suicidal).

In general I think trying to make melee viable vs ranged is tricky like that. Line of sight might help sometimes since it could allow a melee unit to sneak up to a ranged unit by staying out of their line of sight. A party/squad-based system can also make that a bit more viable than ones that make playing solo viable.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: Fed on April 05, 2019, 02:42:29 am
I think it would be a fair model - to improve your current THC on the same target, on a miss, basing on your base THC.
When skilled people miss, it's often not a complete waste. The next try does not come as if there was nothing before.
They probe the defence, adjust their aim, guide their target in a aposition where it's harder to defend.


Title: Re: Design Topic #2: RNG
Post by: dogwaffler on April 10, 2019, 03:21:11 am
in reply to OP:

I think that there is a market for unforgiving seeds, but they tend to require constant moderation.