Initiative, Speed and Delay

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Anima_
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Initiative, Speed and Delay

Post by Anima_ » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:39 pm

There are several posts about these topics scattered across the board already. But no central post that explains the changes the new framework will bring with it. Hopefully that will be a useful reference post that can be linked when the next questions about it arise. Delay is the time between a characters turns. Duration is the time a status effect is active for.

The old framework was using ticks for delay and turns for duration, resulting in severe duration differences for fast and slow actions. To fix that the new framework measures both delay and duration in ticks. So when you weaken someone with a duration of 90 ticks and your delay is only 80 ticks you can be sure that the target is still weakened on your next turn. (Not accounting for dispells of course.) The time scale is global so events like turns or status effect expiration can be given in absolute values as well. At tick 3570 Lorens turn will come up, at tick 3590 Elenors Barrier will expire, at tick 3605 Mesphits turn will come up, ... This is mostly important for events or victory conditions. Surviving for 2000 ticks would be a possible victory condition. Of course expressing longer durations in ticks is cumbersome so we'll probably define 100 ticks as a round or something like that.

In the old framework delay was reduced by speed. Since speed values tended to get higher as the game went on delays got obviously shorter across the board. In addition high speed didn't make much of a difference for high delay skills. To combat the first artefact speed is no longer an attributed. Instead it's the difference between the attackers skill attribute and the defenders avoid attribute. So using the same skill on a different target can drastically change the speed value. For the second problem we changed our perspective a bit. Instead of changing the delay directly we introduce a new characteristic: the speed-class. It's definition is actually quite simple it's actions/1000 ticks. So a speed-class of 1 means that you can use the action only once in 1000 ticks. A 10 means oncer per round and with a 20: a whooping two times per round.
The speed value would then modify the skills basic speed-class. Probably as base speed-class + speed/10. It won't be rounded so the actual speed-class can be between two classes. Of course the actual delay differences are not constant between different classes. Increasing a 1 to 10 will reduce the delay by 900 ticks, while 10 to 20 will only decrease it by 50.

Like in SotW the duration of status effects will be variable. Actually it will be calculated in the same way as damage for attacks, just with a multiplier to scale it to the tick scale. With that several oddities from the old framework should be gone.

Hopefully all that makes some semblance of sense. If not ask away. I'll try to keep it up to date when things change.
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Re: Initiative, Speed and Delay

Post by Troyen » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:17 am

The debuff tick change will be immensely helpful. Also think it'll help with timed mechanics and more interesting scripted fights ("a wave of guards shows up on tick 2000", etc).
Anima_ wrote:To combat the first artefact speed is no longer an attributed. Instead it's the difference between the attackers skill attribute and the defenders avoid attribute. So using the same skill on a different target can drastically change the speed value.
I assume there's a set range for this, or a curve?

I'm picturing an end-game boss fight where the boss has a move that does a large amount of damage to a random target (a mechanic that exists in WW RPGs today). If you get unlucky and he picks your caster, it sounds like you get walloped twice - casters have less health so they now have a much higher risk of death AND casters tend to have low avoidance so the boss gets his next turn faster. If you get lucky, he picks one of your warrior tanks, which sort of brush off the damage and make the boss's next turn come up later. Seems like this could cumulatively add a lot of randomness to the difficulty of a boss fight.

Also, since bosses tend to have significantly higher stats than the party - especially on higher difficulties (almost out of necessity under the old system), the pace of combat in a boss-fight seems like it would feel much slower (for your team) than your standard average fight.

Any thoughts on what you might do to mitigate this? Is it even considered a problem?

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Re: Initiative, Speed and Delay

Post by jack1974 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:52 am

Troyen wrote: Any thoughts on what you might do to mitigate this? Is it even considered a problem?
I don't know if Anima has some solution about this, but honestly if the boss battles are a bit slower (like SOTW battles) it shouldn't be a problem. A problem is when ALL battles are slow :)

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Re: Initiative, Speed and Delay

Post by Anima_ » Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:00 am

Troyen wrote:The debuff tick change will be immensely helpful. Also think it'll help with timed mechanics and more interesting scripted fights ("a wave of guards shows up on tick 2000", etc).
Anima_ wrote:To combat the first artefact speed is no longer an attributed. Instead it's the difference between the attackers skill attribute and the defenders avoid attribute. So using the same skill on a different target can drastically change the speed value.
I assume there's a set range for this, or a curve?
Yes, I should have added that. It's not final in any way of the word but the speed-class is in {1,...,20} and the (linear) speed modification in [-5,+5].
Troyen wrote: I'm picturing an end-game boss fight where the boss has a move that does a large amount of damage to a random target (a mechanic that exists in WW RPGs today). If you get unlucky and he picks your caster, it sounds like you get walloped twice - casters have less health so they now have a much higher risk of death AND casters tend to have low avoidance so the boss gets his next turn faster. If you get lucky, he picks one of your warrior tanks, which sort of brush off the damage and make the boss's next turn come up later. Seems like this could cumulatively add a lot of randomness to the difficulty of a boss fight.

Also, since bosses tend to have significantly higher stats than the party - especially on higher difficulties (almost out of necessity under the old system), the pace of combat in a boss-fight seems like it would feel much slower (for your team) than your standard average fight.

Any thoughts on what you might do to mitigate this? Is it even considered a problem?
That's an interesting observation but it's a feature not a bug. It was my intention to make the target selection more important. If selecting a different target wouldn't make much of a difference in outcome the choice becomes meaningless. The random behaviour comes entirely from the random target selection. Removing that will make the whole situation completely deterministic. Every time the boss targets your undefended caster you're screwed and they do it every time.
Though I can't say anything about the boss stats, it's far too early for that. But it's certainly an aspect we'll have to pay close attention too.
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Re: Initiative, Speed and Delay

Post by Troyen » Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:51 am

jack1974 wrote:
Troyen wrote: Any thoughts on what you might do to mitigate this? Is it even considered a problem?
I don't know if Anima has some solution about this, but honestly if the boss battles are a bit slower (like SOTW battles) it shouldn't be a problem. A problem is when ALL battles are slow :)
I didn't mean in terms of length. I meant the party's speed/reaction capabilities will be slower on boss fights than on non-boss fights because instead of being roughly on-par stat-wise, each member of the party will be at a disadvantage against the boss, and will take fewer turns/have longer delay on moves etc. If the gap is too big then instead of feeling like you're fighting a stronger enemy, it'll feel more like your characters just got weaker and more frail. Sure, it makes the difficulty stronger, but if care is not taken, there is a risk that people will feel like they're trying to fight with one hand behind their back, rather than trying to fight a sophisticated and advanced foe. The difficulty would feel punitive rather than challenging, if that makes sense?

In general I think the system will be okay, and there will be plenty of time to test it out. I just am a little concerned about late-game boss fights after seeing the stat explosion that happened with bosses on hard/nightmare in SotW and trying to translate those experiences here.

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Re: Initiative, Speed and Delay

Post by jack1974 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:00 am

Troyen wrote: In general I think the system will be okay, and there will be plenty of time to test it out. I just am a little concerned about late-game boss fights after seeing the stat explosion that happened with bosses on hard/nightmare in SotW and trying to translate those experiences here.
Yeah I understand what you mean. It's still too early to worry about this obviously - I think also a stat system with lower values will help. I'm going to try this on QoT, where +1 or -1 will actually mean something :)
Also if you remember because of bosses where single-enemies, it was really hard to balance it on SOTW (or Loren too, indeed Fost was split into pieces). I had to cheat like crazy giving them super skills like Deceit! :lol: I think this new system could balance the fights of several people vs single bosses, if done well.

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Re: Initiative, Speed and Delay

Post by kadakithis » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:50 pm

jack1974 wrote:
Troyen wrote: In general I think the system will be okay, and there will be plenty of time to test it out. I just am a little concerned about late-game boss fights after seeing the stat explosion that happened with bosses on hard/nightmare in SotW and trying to translate those experiences here.
Yeah I understand what you mean. It's still too early to worry about this obviously - I think also a stat system with lower values will help. I'm going to try this on QoT, where +1 or -1 will actually mean something :)
Also if you remember because of bosses where single-enemies, it was really hard to balance it on SOTW (or Loren too, indeed Fost was split into pieces). I had to cheat like crazy giving them super skills like Deceit! :lol: I think this new system could balance the fights of several people vs single bosses, if done well.
Aw man deceit XD I remember how hard that was, not because Deceit was actually hard to hurt or dished out a lot of damage, but because every time it was his turn he healed all the damage done previously to him, for basically no SP and also replenished his SP. I fought that battle for 2 hours before I declared him unbeatable, and switched grinded to oblivion. I even had Shea have that one spell which shortened the duration of negative effects by 3 turns, and it was knock him down to half health in 2 rounds, him heal to (almost) full health, use first round to free my guys with mages walloping on him, everyone all in and he is taking major damage annd... He heals up (almost) to the same amount as last time. It was pretty tough.

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Re: Initiative, Speed and Delay

Post by Anima_ » Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:05 pm

Troyen wrote:In general I think the system will be okay, and there will be plenty of time to test it out. I just am a little concerned about late-game boss fights after seeing the stat explosion that happened with bosses on hard/nightmare in SotW and trying to translate those experiences here.
You're right, that's definitely a pitfall we need to avoid. Hopefully the brutally simplified attribute calculations will make it easier to arrive at sane stat values. At least I'm cautiously optimistic in that regard.
jack1974 wrote:Also if you remember because of bosses where single-enemies, it was really hard to balance it on SOTW (or Loren too, indeed Fost was split into pieces). I had to cheat like crazy giving them super skills like Deceit! :lol: I think this new system could balance the fights of several people vs single bosses, if done well.

Actually the problem is more that the system is designed with party vs party combat in mind. For example area of effect doesn't matter at all if there is a single enemy. Repositioning is also worthless. And so on. Single enemies need to be used with great care.
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