[suggestion/(demand?)][Gameplay] A rally against 1DN rolls

By on August 26, 2010 9:10:08 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Robbie.Price

Join Date 04/2007
+12

A lot of games use 1DN rolls,  they are quick, easy to implement, and WRONG.

Anybody played . . . any tabletop game, or sit down D&D ever, how many dice did you bring to the table . . . I'm going to guess more then 1.  (like a small bag of them).   Just one action on a tabletop game will take upwards of 5 dice easy. 
Why?  Because multiple dice = somewhat predictable behavior.

 

You're standard 1DN takes 2 operations, + Random # generation or lookup.
The generation of Gaussian Random numbers adds an extra 5 or 10 operations, more if you use a low efficiency algorithm, and then takes get this 2 operations. 

If you do your RNG in advance or during slow cycles with not much on the CPU. it's the same!!!

So you've got a epic dude of Epic-ness kickass sword, expert training, Years experience. This guy is made of win.

This guy encounters a spider in the woods.   Attacks,  Rolls for 0 - 85 attack.   gets a 3.  doesn't kill the spider.

Wait, What??

I understand there maybe should be some chance to miss. but then just say miss,  don't embarrass . . . everybody . . . with a hit of 3.

 

If your TOP hit is 85.  you aught be doing 60 - 65, reliably. 

that's 20 + 17D5.   which is a lot of operations, or   Gaussian(62.5, 5) which is 2, and a Gaussian look-up.

Same goes for Armour,   You're amour that gives 8 protection should almost never roll 0, unless the attacker has some special for a chance to ignore Armour.

 

1DN should be used exclusively when it is logically defensible that all possible outcomes aught be equally probable . . . which is in thermodynamics, or nearly never.

If anybody thinks  1DN rolls are a good idea,  Speak now, or rally behind me in this crusade against the misuse of random damage, and all other occurrences of 1DN.

Robbie Price

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Simsum
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August 26, 2010 9:15:50 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

or rally behind me in this crusade against the misuse of random damage, and all other occurrences of 1DN.

You have my Bow!

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August 26, 2010 9:25:57 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

While "demand" wouldn't be the word I'd use, rolling 0 to max does have to go. Weapons, armor, and spells should have a minimum roll, and the stat modifier should apply to it as well. It's reasonable to always expect to do at least 1/3rd of the weapon's max damage, so say if a club can do 6 max, then your rolls are 2-6. The STR bonus then applies to both the low and the high, so if 2-6 is with 10 STR, with 20 STR you might have 6-18. Same should apply to spells, they need a base damage and use INT and shards (though now less than 100% bonus) as a modifier. Right now if you have a bunch of shards it pushes your top end damage up, so you end up rolling 0 - 70 and fun stuff like that. Should work the same as weapons.

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August 26, 2010 5:53:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Was this ever changed in GalCiv2? I'd bet it's a design choice rather than laziness or 'efficiency'.

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August 26, 2010 5:59:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm definitely behind this.  The current system just doesn't work well.

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August 26, 2010 6:52:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Goodmorning all

Quoting syneris,
Was this ever changed in GalCiv2? I'd bet it's a design choice rather than laziness or 'efficiency'.

 

It wasn't changed in GC2,   But it was never defended as logical there either.  In fact i can't think of any situation where anybody has stated something resembling a reason why 1DN rolls are better beyond 'Gaussians are hard (to understand/to implement/both)'.  Neither of which are true.

 

I really would love to see a reasoning behind this choice. . . but i sense I will never get one.

Robbie

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August 26, 2010 7:03:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Check out my overhaul...

 

http://forums.elementalgame.com/393123

 

Though it doesn't exactly get rid of 1d rolls, it does address the problem in another way.

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August 26, 2010 9:03:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It's a design decision but I agree with the OP, I don't like it much.  It's way too ultra simplistic for a game of this complexity.

One way I look at it is like this.  If my troops or sov are leveling up, they should be getting better at what they're doing, so in terms of dealing damage, not only should they potentially deal more at the high end, but they should whiff less (ie, never hit rock bottom of the potential range of dmg values).

I was saying the same thing in a thread about magic being weak and about spell variety being lacking (maybe if most spells didn't just do up to INT in dmg, and some had higher min values, there'd be some variety!).

There are a ton of factors in a game like this (level, gear, spells, techs, buildings, commanders (sov/champ) that could shift the min values in random ranges that it's a damn shame none of it is being used.

PnP games like DnD are limited in this by dice and still manage to come up with creative ways to use different types of result ranges.

In a computer game - the sky is the limit - the only thing that holds you back is imagination.  This simplistic 1dn thing is totally lacking in imagination.  :/

 

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August 26, 2010 10:36:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting db0,


You have my Bow!

And my axe!

 

There's no reason to use 1dN unless:

1dN is your variance (STR + 1dN) 

You are using a result lookup table, like in a Hex-based Wargame (Str/Def = number of lookup table, table has 1dN possible outcomes)

You are doing a to-pass roll, where the target value is static and beatable (1dN > Defense, where Defense < N)

You are performing an opposed, modified roll (1dN + Str > 1dN + Def)

 

A 1dN roll without modification, is ridiculous.  I agree it is good to allow the user to understand the combat calculation, but we can add a number to a roll.  

And if you really want to make it easy to understand, remove random numbers from combat entirely (not that I recommend it here).

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August 26, 2010 10:52:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

What you want is some sort of minimum damage dealt and reduced? Dice are needed in real world situations, but it's pointless for a computer to roll dice. Adding the sums of 6 random numbers between 1 and 6 is the same result as getting one random number between 6 and 36. 0 to max gives any unit a chance to deal damage and allows no unit to be invulnerable. 

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August 26, 2010 11:05:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting syneris,
What you want is some sort of minimum damage dealt and reduced? Dice are needed in real world situations, but it's pointless for a computer to roll dice. Adding the sums of 6 random numbers between 1 and 6 is the same result as getting one random number between 6 and 36. 0 to max gives any unit a chance to deal damage and allows no unit to be invulnerable. 

 

Except with 6d6 there is only a 1/46656 chance of rolling a 6 (1/6 * 1/6 * 1/6 * 1/6 * 1/6 * 1/6) whereas with a random number between 6 and 36 there is a 1/31 chance of rolling a 6.

THAT is why people are complaining.

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August 27, 2010 1:05:09 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Oh my god yes. So tired of having my character with massive attack difference get killed because they rolled a 1, 2 and 3 on their attacks despite having over 100 attack against someone with 20 defence...

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August 27, 2010 2:49:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I would actually prefer to have to-hit chance differentiated from the damage done. Almost every RPG out there does this, because it makes an awful lot of sense.

Have that huge Lordly Hammer? Doing gazillions of damage? Well, try to hit a small and agile goblin with it. Chances are, the goblin will have chewed off your toe by the time you manage to hit it.

Or in more technical terms, let's have agility define how many damage rolls you get, and strength define how much damage you do, combined with the weapon strength itself.

Additionally, allow us to specify bonuses to AGI, STR or HP when training troops, at the cost of longer training times. This would add more sense to barracks, command post, etc.

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August 27, 2010 6:23:07 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

In some ways I like the combat the way it is.  I like the idea that a weak attack char could still damage someone with really high armor.  I also like the idea that combat is dangerous, and it's possible to get instakilled, even when you are decked out in godly armor.

 

The problem I have, and it sounds like other people as well, is the frequency of such occurrences.  I would enjoy it if the frequency was much lower.  It leads to being able to make better choices because of increased predictability.  It also means you have a reasonable chance of keeping a favored units alive.

 

I propose the following fix:  Keep the mechanics exactly the way they are now, but add in an option for how many times the dice are rolled.  The results would be averaged.  Ideally, the number of rolls would be a slider in the game options.  Say, ranging from 1-10.  Players could choose their preference.  For chaotic battles, they can leave it at the default of 1.  For people who like more predictability, they could set it closer to 10.  If the slider is too much, maybe it could just be a entry in a XML file somewhere.

 

If this sounds good to people, let's keep pushing this until they relent.  Hopefully there won't be too much resistance, because it seems like a pretty simple change.  (Assuming there is a "roll dice" function that could be changed)

 

The other bonus of this is that I don't suspect it would require much re-balancing of the equipment, units, etc etc.

 

Any thoughts?

 

 

 

 

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August 27, 2010 6:46:25 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Here is repost of my thoughts http://forums.elementalgame.com/393270

Basically why not to try to do what MoM did once, it actually worked - 

By  Posted August 27, 2010 2:21:34 AM

I think it's clear the combat is quite volatile. Let's suppose we have 4 def 4 attack guy fighting the same guy. I suppose each attack or defence roll will get 0-4 result, (if it's 1-4 result will be simmilar but with lower damage potential)

Next will go some statistics: chance to hit for 5 - 4%, 4 - 8%, 3-12%, 2-16%, 1-20%, 0 - the rest(40%), As you can see it's almost a linear increase

Let's look at another guy, 7 att / 2 def

7-4%(1/24), 6-8%(2/24), 5-12%(3/24) 4-12%(3/24) 3-12%(3/24) 2-12%(3/24) 1-12%(3/24) 0-24%(6/24) - Here we can see a linear dispersion for the most part.

That's to put it blunt is a very bad mathematic formula for damae calculation, since it tends to create spikes (ie high chance of a very high or very low damage) and limits any potential tactics. Hero can be oneshoted especially with high attack.

Now let's look what happens if elemental will adopt MoM formula, but let's say not 30% to hit chance but 50%. (to those who does not know each rank in attack has 50% chance to hit) now chance to do max damage is only 0.2%. We are getting typicall bell curve here with 2.5 damage as an average. I do think it's a much better damage calculation formula since it creates predictable result but still allows variation.

And frankly I don't think it's that hard to change dmg formula.

 

 

UPD: what it mean - for example guy has 7 attack, thus he makes 7 times to hit test (so in case of 50% to hit chance) 3.5 damage on average, same goes to defense calculation.  BTW MoM had to 30% to hit chance, this allowed for an interesting mechanics when one thing is to increase attack, which is useful for low attack mooks, but for powerful ones another +3 was not so great, but +1 to hit (+10%) was really cool

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August 27, 2010 7:10:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like this last idea, a sliding scale of how many rolls the player wants the game to make and average (1-10?)

 

the problem is that the game balancing should be focused on some prefered "base" value (say 5 rolls)

Do defense values get a roll too currently?
Are there any examples of this kind of mechanic in other games?  (Average of Offense rolls vs Average of Defense rolls)

 

also the game is highly exploitable at the current state by "kiting" (moving away from an opponent while shooting them with arrows)

Other games fix this by giving many units a (much weaker) ranged attack.  
Or give archers a finate ammount of arrow shots in a battle (10?)  then they resort to their hand to hand.  This would atleast reduce small number of fast archers from overwhelming huge forces.  (they would have to re-treat and try again later).  this allows for a psuedo guruilla type tactic.

 

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August 27, 2010 11:20:14 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ElradV,
Do defense values get a roll too currently?

Yes, and they work the same way. That's what compounds the problem so badly. You get situations where your 40 defense simply doesn't work for a hit, and you're eating whatever the attacker rolls. If he rolls high, the champion you just spent 100 turns powering up into a force is one-shot.

It makes combat feel very random, and very much like playing an FPS with headshots. Now and then in late game you'll have a unit just suddenly get flattened.

There's been a lot of suggestions to fix it. The one thing we all agree one is that straight linear distribution rolls for both attack and defense simply work badly as the numbers get bigger.

(They also worked badly in GalCiv 2, but it just didn't matter as much because everything was just another ship you build. It doesn't bug me so much when I lose a stack of guys I randomly trained. But when my sovereign gets one shot attacking a city despite being the strongest unit on the field simply due to a bad roll and that causes game over? NOT cool! )

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August 27, 2010 11:54:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I support this 100%, something needs to be done and it doesn't look like it would be difficult to do

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August 27, 2010 12:05:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

My understaning is that it is currently 1dN for attack less 1dN for defense, but my solution is simpler we use the system as it stands, but we just have multiple attacks in a turn - that will require an increase to base hitpoints - but that will acheive the same result (and is a much simpler fix)

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August 27, 2010 10:13:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Good news, or half good news,    

Apparently for magic at least they are seriously considering that 1DN is bad. see the recent post

http://forums.elementalgame.com/393532

 

now they just have to do Attack, Def, and anyplace else they've hidden 1DN (including in GC, but that's a different story.)

Partial Victory Robbie Price.

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August 27, 2010 10:29:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Just for reference, in Master of Magic, if you had 10 "attack" and 3 "to-hit", then it would roll 10 times, each with a 30% chance of hitting (before the defender's armor had its chance to absorb some hits).   Much more predictable, but still random enough.  And no noticeable delay even the machines of 15 years ago.  Works for me.

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August 28, 2010 12:25:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

/signed in a big huge way.  PARTICULARLY for aggregate units, a NdM model isn't just more fun gamewise, but even more thematically accurate.

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August 28, 2010 3:10:59 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lord Cobol,
Just for reference, in Master of Magic, if you had 10 "attack" and 3 "to-hit", then it would roll 10 times, each with a 30% chance of hitting (before the defender's armor had its chance to absorb some hits).   Much more predictable, but still random enough.  And no noticeable delay even the machines of 15 years ago.  Works for me.

Well if you had +3 to Hit that it would make 60% to hit, since 30% was base chance

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August 31, 2010 1:33:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You have my sword... 

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August 31, 2010 1:57:13 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Annatar11,
While "demand" wouldn't be the word I'd use, rolling 0 to max does have to go. Weapons, armor, and spells should have a minimum roll, and the stat modifier should apply to it as well. It's reasonable to always expect to do at least 1/3rd of the weapon's max damage, so say if a club can do 6 max, then your rolls are 2-6. The STR bonus then applies to both the low and the high, so if 2-6 is with 10 STR, with 20 STR you might have 6-18. Same should apply to spells, they need a base damage and use INT and shards (though now less than 100% bonus) as a modifier. Right now if you have a bunch of shards it pushes your top end damage up, so you end up rolling 0 - 70 and fun stuff like that. Should work the same as weapons.

But even that musn't be a 4 +1D6 roll ! It's still a uniform distribution !

It's not only about range ! It's about what you roll !

Not 1D20 but 4D5

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August 31, 2010 2:11:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't think anyone likes the current system. On the other hand I don't think the devs are going to change this. I have seen frogs post about this a few times and it seems that he is gunhoe about the 0-N system, though I really really don't see why. I would hope that after enough complaints and counter-arguments they will at least make it easily moddable, but there are some things a designer will not change no matter how much his patrons dislike it. Goog luck though!

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