Behind the Scenes - Development

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Behind the Scenes - Development

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:51 am

Hey folks, just thought I'd share a little laugh with you. If you've ever wondered why it sometimes takes us a while to come out with new material or revise old material, here's a window into what the development process looks like when we do the balancing of things that I refer to as, "polishing".

This is the chat log between Kindulas, Nehiel Mori and I - the three main designers and developers of the system partially dealing with one combat talent, the popular Wild Abandon.


Chat Log:
[10:55:57 PM] Dan Felder: hey folks
[10:56:05 PM] Dan Felder: let's fix Wild Abandon
[10:56:33 PM] Kindulas: huh wut
[10:56:50 PM] Dan Felder: it's unbalanced right now with multi-attacks
[10:57:07 PM] Kindulas: Vrai
[10:57:12 PM] Kindulas: Didn't you make it 1/round?
[10:57:17 PM] Dan Felder: no
[10:57:19 PM] Dan Felder: just talked about it
[10:57:25 PM] Kindulas: in the board version?
[10:57:27 PM] Kindulas: maybe?
[10:57:34 PM] Dan Felder: didn't change either as far as I know
[10:57:36 PM] Dan Felder: maybe
[10:57:57 PM] Kindulas: you did
[10:58:02 PM] Kindulas: [-9] Wild Abandon - Standard Attack
Range: Melee
For the rest of the battle you may deal +3d6 damage on one melee attack each round and you suffer Vulnerability 3. Deal 2d12 damage to target creature and the creature deals 1d8 damage to you.
[10:58:19 PM] Dan Felder: huh
[10:58:22 PM] Dan Felder: okay then
[10:58:25 PM] Dan Felder: is that balanced?
[10:59:13 PM] Chad Weeks: Lets see. +3 to 7. +2 to 9. Without items you get it out on turn 3.
[10:59:52 PM] Kindulas: M, gather energy + Trance is turn 2
[11:00:05 PM] Dan Felder: in 3 turns it pays itself back
[11:00:16 PM] Dan Felder: and vuln 3
[11:00:48 PM] Dan Felder: you also get 2d12 damage though
[11:00:53 PM] Dan Felder: which is huge
[11:01:06 PM] Dan Felder: and get hit for 7.5 damage
[11:01:09 PM] Chad Weeks: If you get it out on turn 2, three turns is a perfect payoff. If you get it out on turn 3 its one turn to late.
[11:01:28 PM] Dan Felder: that's not factoring in the 2d12 hit it gives you though
[11:01:29 PM] Chad Weeks: Though I see you didn't count in the 2d12 for getting your pay off.
[11:01:33 PM] Dan Felder: yes
[11:01:37 PM] Kindulas: Don't you deal 2d12+3d6? It does get the bonus right off
[11:01:41 PM] Kindulas: right?
[11:01:44 PM] Kindulas: on it's own attack
[11:01:51 PM] Dan Felder: yep
[11:02:00 PM] Dan Felder: I'm counting the first round as it paying off
[11:02:07 PM] Dan Felder: so from when you activate it
[11:02:19 PM] Dan Felder: at the end of your turn after next, it's all upside
[11:02:30 PM] Dan Felder: but let's just look at upside, so I'll factor in the 2d12
[11:03:09 PM] Dan Felder: huh
[11:04:51 PM] Dan Felder: that's about equivilent to a -6 power
[11:04:59 PM] Dan Felder: a little worse
[11:05:09 PM] Dan Felder: and add the 3d6
[11:05:31 PM] Dan Felder: wow
[11:05:58 PM | Edited 11:06:04 PM] Dan Felder: -3 is 2d12
[11:06:16 PM] Dan Felder: so that should shave this down to a -6 power
[11:06:38 PM] Dan Felder: then you get the damage boost every round, including this one
[11:07:19 PM] Dan Felder: which is 2.5 less than another 2d12
[11:08:14 PM] Dan Felder: which really mean you're almost paying 3 pips or so for the future 3.5 damage bonuses
[11:08:24 PM] Dan Felder: 10.5 to total em up
[11:08:28 PM] Dan Felder: which is kinda nuts
[11:08:31 PM] Dan Felder: thoughts?
[11:09:04 PM] Dan Felder: because now we have to factor in the backlash of the attack
[11:09:06 PM] Dan Felder: and the vuln 3
[11:11:05 PM] Chad Weeks: I don't quite understand. Gimmie a moment
[11:11:38 PM] Chad Weeks: okay, in a way you pay -3 pips to get 10.5 damage.
[11:11:50 PM] Chad Weeks: and 2d12 is worth 6 pips? or 3?
[11:12:10 PM] Dan Felder: 3 pips plus a standard action
[11:12:17 PM] Dan Felder: or 6 pips on its own
[11:12:53 PM] Dan Felder: not *quite* because the 0 is 7.5
[11:12:56 PM] Dan Felder: and a d12 is 6.5
[11:13:03 PM] Dan Felder: but close enough
[11:13:20 PM] Dan Felder: and 3d10 cuts things dows even further
[11:13:56 PM] Chad Weeks: So, lets take this apart. -3 for 2d12 which has an average of 6.5 right?

then -6 for a future 10.5

hmmmm...
[11:14:15 PM] Dan Felder: it's almost another it's about another 4.5 pips discount
[11:14:57 PM] Dan Felder: closer to 5 pips
[11:15:10 PM] Dan Felder: so this thing actually looks like a +2 standard
[11:15:29 PM] Chad Weeks: the future 3d6 part?
[11:15:36 PM] Dan Felder: not even factored in yet
[11:15:47 PM] Chad Weeks: ...okay, I've lost you.
[11:15:48 PM] Dan Felder: just the, "3d6 extra on THIS turn's hit"
[11:16:04 PM] Dan Felder: it's 10.5
[11:16:14 PM] Dan Felder: which is about 80% of 13 (2d12's value)
[11:16:33 PM] Dan Felder: 80% of 6 pips is 4.8
[11:16:36 PM] Dan Felder: so about 5 pips
[11:16:39 PM] Dan Felder: worth of damage
[11:16:47 PM] Chad Weeks: okay.
[11:16:56 PM] Chad Weeks: I am following you again
[11:16:58 PM] Dan Felder: we're currently at -3
[11:17:05 PM] Dan Felder: due to the -6 reduction of 2d12
[11:17:12 PM] Dan Felder: this reduces to +2
[11:17:16 PM] Dan Felder: when we want it to reduce to 0
[11:17:21 PM] Dan Felder: to show that we're still dealing average damage
[11:17:38 PM] Chad Weeks: Got it. Somehow
[11:17:43 PM] Dan Felder: and we haven't even factored in the future 10.5
[11:17:44 PM] Dan Felder: each turn
[11:17:47 PM] Dan Felder: HOWEVER
[11:17:53 PM] Dan Felder: we also haven't considered the drawbacks
[11:18:08 PM] Chad Weeks: (my spanish homework was less confusing)
[11:18:36 PM] Dan Felder: so we need to figure out what the initial drawback (1d8+3) costs
[11:18:53 PM] Dan Felder: that's only 7.5 damage, which is basically what you get when you use healing salve
[11:19:32 PM] Dan Felder: that's a +2 power and a standard action, so it has about a -1 cost if we were to change it to a minor action (which is free)
[11:19:37 PM] Dan Felder: so we lower the cost by 1
[11:19:46 PM] Dan Felder: we're now at a +1 combat talent
[11:19:49 PM] Dan Felder: this is good
[11:20:04 PM] Dan Felder: and being a bit over the curve is fine on expensive powers, you get what you pay for
[11:20:18 PM] Chad Weeks: Buying in bulk, so they say.
[11:20:29 PM] Dan Felder: exactly
[11:20:33 PM] Dan Felder: now we just need to figure if +10.5 damage 1/round is equal to vuln 3
[11:21:11 PM] Dan Felder: you need to be getting hit 3 times to equal the damage, and monsters will love chewing on you
[11:21:37 PM] Dan Felder: 3.5 times actually on average, so 3-4 each round
[11:21:38 PM] Chad Weeks: Image if PC and Christopher had Vuln 3 during the rusty blades fight
[11:21:42 PM] Dan Felder: so that seems a bit obscene
[11:22:00 PM] Dan Felder: unless you're fighting minions, you probably won't get hit 3-4 times
[11:22:20 PM] Chad Weeks: Don't use this against minions Razz
[11:22:34 PM] Dan Felder: so I'd say the +10.5 damage is a bit more powerful
[11:22:43 PM] Dan Felder: any input kindulas?
[11:25:18 PM | Edited 11:25:30 PM] Kindulas: Um, well we've been calculating with the expectation that a player will be hit ~ 1 time/round, though this would bump up the proc on whoever uses this, but really, Vuln 3 is generally not = 10.5 dmg
[11:26:16 PM] Dan Felder: yeah, the only reason this is close to balanced is because it draws attention to the vuln 3 player
[11:26:47 PM] Dan Felder: we could make this easier to balance and just have it deal damage to you every turn
[11:26:59 PM] Dan Felder: but dealing 10 damage to you is nuts
[11:27:03 PM] Dan Felder: and not as flavorful
[11:27:07 PM] Kindulas: indeed
[11:27:19 PM] Dan Felder: seems we have to...
[11:27:20 PM] Kindulas: the flavor is important, really. It's reckless fighting.
[11:27:22 PM] Dan Felder: 1) lower the damage
[11:27:25 PM] Dan Felder: or
[11:27:28 PM] Dan Felder: 2) up the pip cost
[11:27:29 PM] Dan Felder: or
[11:27:38 PM] Dan Felder: 3) up the vuln
[11:27:41 PM] Dan Felder: that is all
[11:27:43 PM] Kindulas: ... wait what are we at right now?
[11:27:47 PM] Dan Felder: -9
[11:28:02 PM] Kindulas: What if you take and deal 2x damage?
[11:28:25 PM] Dan Felder: *shakes head* limited upside is easier to balance
[11:29:19 PM] Kindulas: I thought that would be the case
[11:29:28 PM] Kindulas: up the vuln!
[11:29:45 PM] Dan Felder: vuln 4 then?
[11:29:56 PM] Kindulas: would that work?
[11:30:00 PM] Chad Weeks: VULN 5 (devil)

Or 4...
[11:30:06 PM] Dan Felder: considering vuln 5...
[11:30:15 PM] Kindulas: 5 was my initial thought
[11:30:25 PM] Kindulas: buuuuut I'll aim for 4?
[11:30:46 PM] Dan Felder: would you print this
[11:31:31 PM] Dan Felder: [0] Blazing Awesome - Minor Action
You gain +3d6 damage 1/round and suffer vuln 4 until the end of your next turn.
[11:32:17 PM] Kindulas: Getting attacked twice with 5 is almost as much as the increase, and we might expect this power to double the average incoming attacks from what we normally calculate for. However, 4 vuln would be 80% at incoming attacks
[11:33:05 PM] Dan Felder: vuln 5 drops players so fast...
[11:33:07 PM] Kindulas: Well let's see, is -4 minor action 3d6 damage printable?
[11:33:28 PM] Dan Felder: hmm
[11:33:54 PM] Kindulas: is standard action -1 3d6 doable?
[11:34:15 PM] Dan Felder: it's fine
[11:34:19 PM] Dan Felder: I was doing math
[11:34:23 PM] Kindulas: then there we go
[11:34:25 PM] Dan Felder: both the -4 and the -1
[11:34:34 PM] Dan Felder: well, minor and standard respectively
[11:35:07 PM] Dan Felder: why did you ask abobut that?
[11:35:24 PM] Dan Felder: just wanting to add a new combat talent to the system?
[11:35:43 PM] Dan Felder: oh
[11:35:46 PM] Dan Felder: I get it
[11:35:52 PM] Dan Felder: comparing to the vuln 4 standard
[11:35:56 PM] Kindulas: it's like simplifying in algebra
[11:36:03 PM] Dan Felder: clever
[11:36:03 PM] Kindulas: comparing it to Trance
[11:36:12 PM] Dan Felder: ha, I was a second ahead of the explanation!
[11:36:23 PM] Dan Felder: this assumes trance is balanced of course
[11:36:32 PM] Dan Felder: but I'm okay with that assumption
[11:36:37 PM] Chad Weeks: Same here.
[11:36:41 PM] Dan Felder: actually... wait
[11:36:52 PM] Dan Felder: that assumes using a standard and a free action
[11:36:58 PM] Dan Felder: (I know it's a minor but same thing)
[11:37:17 PM] Dan Felder: and weren't we estimating to see if it worked on a free action on its own?
[11:38:03 PM] Kindulas: uh
[11:38:13 PM] Dan Felder: I think we were
[11:38:57 PM] Kindulas: define "it"
[11:39:03 PM] Kindulas: the entire talent?
[11:39:05 PM] Dan Felder: no
[11:39:08 PM] Kindulas: or the 3d6 bonus?
[11:39:13 PM] Dan Felder: the 3d6 + vuln 4 bonus
[11:39:14 PM] Kindulas: with the vuln
[11:39:17 PM] Kindulas: yeha
[11:39:18 PM] Kindulas: that
[11:39:45 PM] Dan Felder: so in that case, that indicates the tradeoff isn't fair
[11:40:12 PM] Dan Felder: though...
[11:40:20 PM] Dan Felder: trance also lets you hang out in the back rows
[11:40:46 PM] Kindulas: vrai
[11:41:17 PM] Dan Felder: whereass you need to melee to benefit from the damage bonus
[11:42:09 PM] Kindulas: indeeeeeeeeeed
[11:42:19 PM] Dan Felder: is that worth a standard action?
[11:42:23 PM] Dan Felder: probably not...
[11:42:27 PM] Dan Felder: but close
[11:42:34 PM] Dan Felder: we could make it vuln 5 and lose all doubt
[11:42:52 PM] Dan Felder: but at this point I'm going to pull the INFLATION trigger
[11:42:55 PM | Removed 11:43:00 PM] Kindulas: This message has been removed.
[11:43:02 PM] Kindulas: woot
[11:43:08 PM] Kindulas: powercreeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!
[11:43:12 PM] Dan Felder: nope
[11:43:45 PM] Kindulas: inflation?
[11:43:45 PM] Dan Felder: inflation trigger - because it's delayed results AND because I've been considering rolling a d12 the same as rolling a d14 (the 0 pip is 7.5 damage remember when it comes to melee), we have some under-the-curve stuff
[11:44:05 PM] Dan Felder: so I'm just going to fill in the blank and say, "okay, this is overpowered here but it's got underpowered elements too"
[11:44:08 PM] Dan Felder: and call it a day
[11:44:19 PM] Kindulas: got it
[11:44:40 PM] Kindulas: with 16 minute to spare
[11:44:53 PM] Chad Weeks: Victory?
[11:44:54 PM] Dan Felder: this effect is overpowered by a narrow enough margin that we can trust the gap we built into this analysis to take care of it
[11:44:56 PM] Dan Felder: yep
[11:44:59 PM] Dan Felder: all that work...
[11:45:00 PM] Kindulas: VICTOLY
[11:45:01 PM] Dan Felder: to up the vuln by 1
[11:45:03 PM] Dan Felder: lol
[11:45:05 PM] Kindulas: lol
[11:45:08 PM] Kindulas: indeed
[11:45:23 PM] Chad Weeks: /Alucardclap
[11:45:42 PM] Kindulas: and now to fix the skype version?
[11:51:41 PM] Dan Felder: yep!
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Re: Behind the Scenes - Development

Post  Ramsus on Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:08 am

Skype/PbP version, limit it to once per round, call it a day? Iirc thematthew and I designed some alternate versions of wild abandon in response to that idea and they're floating around there somewhere. Particularly there was one meant to aid Punishing Blow/Slashback type builds.
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Re: Behind the Scenes - Development

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:16 am

Once we got the above balanced we've been playing around with how to simplify it. Here's the current idea for the Skype version.

[-9] Wild Abandon - Minor Utility
For the rest of the battle you may deal +3d6 damage on one single-target attack each round and you suffer Vulnerability 4.


Last edited by Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Behind the Scenes - Development

Post  Xel Unknown on Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:19 am

You mean Minor Utility...
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Re: Behind the Scenes - Development

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:27 am

Good catch. Fixed. Cool
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Re: Behind the Scenes - Development

Post  Ramsus on Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:03 am

I don't know how to feel about that. Giant.... minor move. Numbers crunch out nice enough though.
Edit: Must say I do like it a lot more than the proposed tabletop version that was like half utility, half attack, half self damage, half machine though.
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Re: Behind the Scenes - Development

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:05 am

Yeah. The idea is, instead of complicating the combat talent by adding an attack in, we might as well just make it a minor action so players can use their standard actions to use whatever attack they like with it. Also it's another minor action in the system, and an interesting one. Plus, there's some precedence. The conjure weapon talents are [-7] minor actions.
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Re: Behind the Scenes - Development

Post  Azureink on Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:56 am

The only problem I see with this is that since summoned weapons are [-7] and they tend to do quite a bit of damage themselves, what incentive do most have to fork over another 2 pips, and potentially another turn, to get the move off?

EDIT - If you lowered the damage by 1d6, so it was only +2d6, would that make it a [-7]? I would rather have that version.
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Re: Behind the Scenes - Development

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:18 pm

Azureink wrote:The only problem I see with this is that since summoned weapons are [-7] and they tend to do quite a bit of damage themselves, what incentive do most have to fork over another 2 pips, and potentially another turn, to get the move off?

The extra 1d6 damage on each turn is a pretty significant incentive. It's worth as much as a trait.

Azureink wrote:EDIT - If you lowered the damage by 1d6, so it was only +2d6, would that make it a [-7]? I would rather have that version.

Possibly. I'd have to calculate that, and I'm sadly constricted by other responsibilities atm. We can definitely take a look at both options though.
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Re: Behind the Scenes - Development

Post  thematthew on Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:36 pm

Honestly I'm fine with this version, it gives you 1d10 +3d6 damage on turn 3 without items or Gather Energy, Turn 2 with GE and Trance. It also actually combos very well with the GE -> Trance + X plan for turn 1 without being broktastically good. While the traits given by the weapons are themselves nice, this doesn't preclude them in a truly crazy build of epicness at a risk.

Gather Energy
Trance
Wild Abandon
Granite Axe
Defensive Fighting

Add Ritual Knife

Turn 1: GE [+1] (pips: 5)
Turn 2: Trance [+4], WA [-9], DF [+2] (pips: 2)
Turn 3: RK [+3], DF [+2], GA [-7] (pips: 0)
Turns 4+: Laugh...
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Re: Behind the Scenes - Development

Post  Azureink on Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:37 pm

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:
Azureink wrote:EDIT - If you lowered the damage by 1d6, so it was only +2d6, would that make it a [-7]? I would rather have that version.

Possibly. I'd have to calculate that, and I'm sadly constricted by other responsibilities atm. We can definitely take a look at both options though.
I would be very appreciative if both versions were available so that people could choose whether they wanted the higher cost/damage version or the slightly lower cost/damage version.

We can convert Standard actions to Minors right?
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Re: Behind the Scenes - Development

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