What's the point of balancing weapons when ...

By on September 7, 2010 3:42:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

vieuxchat

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... the combat system is flawed ?

Please, change the uniform 1DN attack and defense, the casters that cast faster with swords than with bare hands, the attack and damage in only one stat.

At the moment you can't have a weapon that has few chance to hit but do a lot of damage, or the weapon that hits easily but do really few damage. At the moment, if you can hit easily you'll hit hard. At the moment you can have 300 in defense. Too bad you rolled a 0.

With such flaws, weapons can't be balanced.

 

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September 7, 2010 3:45:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Improving the combat system will require a rebalance of values no matter which way you slice it. It also takes longer than a rebalance of values. With the right changes, tweaking weapons/armor will make the current system less frustrating while they work on improving it (which I do hope they are).

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September 7, 2010 3:55:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Two letters: AI

 

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September 7, 2010 3:57:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

EDIT: FrogBoy posted too fast for me

 

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September 7, 2010 3:59:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Two letters: AI

 

So does it mean you'll be changing the combat system once the AI will be good enough in evaluating the usefullness of weapons ?

 

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September 7, 2010 4:02:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Two letters: AI

 
*head explode*

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September 7, 2010 4:03:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Supposedly 1.1 is the first major update, where they'll be incorporating feedback and such. Everything up until then is bug fixes/minor tweaks.

So yeah, I agree that the system needs to be completely reworked, but if that happens it won't be until 1.1 anyway. In the meantime balance passes to the numbers are relatively easy to do (you can even do this yourself in XML), so they might as well.

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September 7, 2010 4:03:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't understand how AI will fix a dull choice lacking combat system...

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September 7, 2010 4:04:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

AI !!! 

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September 7, 2010 4:06:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Sarudak,
I don't understand how AI will fix a dull choice lacking combat system...

I think what he meant is more of that re-working the combat system will mean that they have to make sure the AI knows what to do with it, which will take time to do.

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September 7, 2010 4:57:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I can't see what ai has to do with the extraneous randomness of combat. When you have to wait 6 turns for your 20 attack unit to kill a 1 hit point 5 defense guy, it's just painful. How can ai change anything to that?

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September 7, 2010 5:09:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

"The reply that you tried to make got all jumbled on the way to our server. Please wait a moment and try again."

 

I was writing up a big post with bullet points on why i think the current combat system just needs tweaks, and how a better AI would smooth out a lot of issues. But the forum ate it.

 

Better AI = More reactive in battles which means you will need to think out more things ahead of time.

Rebalance of Weapons = Should help normalize the combat system a bit more. I dont think the current system is a wash at all.

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September 7, 2010 5:35:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The system works fine, it just needs the numbers tweaking.

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September 7, 2010 6:01:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Archonsod,
The system works fine, it just needs the numbers tweaking.

 

a hell of a lot of people in these threads

http://forums.elementalgame.com/393547

http://forums.elementalgame.com/395308

don't agree.

 

you say that the AI can't handle too many stats. fine then. in that case use a system that makes sense AND only uses 4 stats, and replace combat speed with more generic Action Points (effectively what combat speed is half-way to being now, and what it clearly wants to be).

i want this game to succeed, and i don't mean this as an ultimatum, but i don't think it will ever be truly fun without some rethinking of the stats at the heart of the combat and magic systems. sorry.

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September 7, 2010 6:14:09 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

One thing I would like to see is a more complex to hit roll and a % chance of hitting when you hover over a target like in X-Com. For bows at least range / Cover should count.

I also have to agree I think to hit chance and damage should be seperate.

 

One particular gripe I found when playing today and otherwise enjoying myself; Obsidian Golems have low attack but such high defense and hits that fight with them can get dull and be very long too.

e.g. MISS, MISS, MISS, MISS, MISS, MISS, -1, MISS, MISS-7,MISS, MISS, MISS.

I found my powerful party with comat rating of 350, taking 30 minutes to beat a 66 combat rating golem they where never in danger of losing just took a long time watching MISS scroll up the screen because they had average to good attack scores and only massive attack ratings could have shortened the battle even most spells kept missing.

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September 7, 2010 6:38:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Sarudak,
I don't understand how AI will fix a dull choice lacking combat system...

 

So which had better tactical combat MoM or Elemental?

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September 7, 2010 7:00:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think the fundamental problem with a lot of Elemental's issues is the simplistic Attack / Defense mechanic.  It doesn't allow for much diversity at all, and boils unit design to simply choosing higher numbers.  If we separate Attack values and Damage values like every other gaming system, it allows for much more interesting tactical dynamics to form, and allows a lot more diversity in unit design.  Defense should be further split between Defense and Resistance. or Defense and Mitigation.  Heavy armor would be easy to hit, but soaks up a ton of damage, so you need to use low attack high damage weapons against it.  Lightly armored troops are more nimble and have higher defense, but much less mitigation, so you can use high attack low damage weapons against them.

 

The world of tactical possibilities increases exponentially with separation of these values, and Elemental will be a much more strategically rewarding game if the combat moves in this direction.

 

This has been discussed ad nauseum, but we haven't really gotten a firm and directed response, so I will ask directly: Brad, is this a possibility?  Is it being considered seriously?

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September 7, 2010 7:05:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I only hope they'll change the system and introduce actual TACTICS into the matter. Things like flanking, thrown weapons, counterattacking, different unit speeds, improved combat between squads of units, stats changed by the terrain, etc.

All we do now is just make units go foward and attack mindlessly. It doesn't matter if one unit is a spearman or a cavalryman, a swordsman or a maceman, it's all the damn same. Weapons and armor should be more than stats modifiers, and units shouldn't be determined by their equipment only.

Come on Stardock, you're great at making strategy games... I know you want to focus this on RPG, but you should focus on what you're really good at.

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September 7, 2010 7:12:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

GalCiv had the rock/paper/scissors mechanic, of different attack/defense combos. Elemental has a rock/hardplace mechanic. No choices or subtlety or countering.

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September 7, 2010 7:21:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Guys, I'm pretty sure Brad is saying that the weapon balancing pass they are doing is so that he can re-prioritize what the AI research and builds, and thus makes for a better AI overall. You might not like the simplistic 1 dice rolls, but at least it's fair (you and the AI uses the same system). It's more important right now to make the AI realize that they should not be wasting all their resources building squads of soldiers armed with war staffs or boar spears, especially when a couple of turns up the war tech gives them something much more useful. It's not a magical fix for combat, and won't solve all the AI problems, but it would be an improvement.

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September 7, 2010 7:23:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Just adding my vote that the combat system would be improved by having both to-hit/attack as well as damage, as seperate stats.

Also wondering if this is something modifiable by the community.

Maybe just take MoM as an example for unit and tactic diversity and build on that?

I'd be very excited if we were taking a page from that book. Here's hoping.

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September 7, 2010 7:26:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm still pushing for the elemental based resistances to be added if they are not already.

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September 7, 2010 7:31:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Rolling chance to hit and damage together into one stat is silly and unbelievably stupid.  Separate them or you tac combat will always suck.

 

I hate to say it because it's bandied around so much on this forum, but in this case you absolutely should have copy/pasted the core principles from, well, Age of Wonders, or Heroes of Might and Magic, or King's Bounty, or Master of Magic, or any other 4X I can think of right now, or every RPG that I can think of right now:

 

Attack = Chance to hit.

Damage = Damage dealt when an attack lands.

Defense = Chance to avoid getting hit.

Resistance = Chance to avoid getting hit by spells.

 

These are the freakin' amino acids of RPG tactical combat.  You can derive all kinds of fun sub-mechanics from them... but, at the bare minimum, you need these four stats on every unit.  Your combat will suck and make no sense without these basics.  

 

Aside from ruining your mechanics and making your tac combat a laughable boring chore, leaving these out breaks the suspension of disbelief harder than sneaking a peek at the Christmas presents in your mom's closet and later having them given to you from "Santa."

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September 7, 2010 7:44:05 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I have a good idea for the combat system. In the manual, I read references to how stabbing and blunt force weapons can affect units differently depending on their armor.

I recommend something similar to the Gal Civ2 attack and defense types, except perhaps more than the square root if you're defending with armor that doesn't correspond to the attacker's weapon type.

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September 7, 2010 7:49:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

1Dn damage vs. defense is stupidly broken. But changing that takes time and coding resources. Making a balance pass on the weapons and in doing so enhancing both the player experience now and the intelligence of the AI now takes a couple hours and a guy with Excel.

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September 7, 2010 7:53:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think splitting defense into

Defence = chance to avoid being hit

Armor = Amount of damage negated

And if there's room for another, Resistance = Magic Defense

 

Splitting the defense up this way would really add a lot.  I don't care as much about spell resistance as I do about defense/armor.

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