Framework Sneak Peek

Discuss the sequel to Planet Stronghold here
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Anima_
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Re: Framework Sneak Peek

Post by Anima_ » Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:07 pm

Let's talk about status effects.

The first change to Loren is that effect duration is independent of turn order. All effects have their own internal clock and will end at a fixed point in time.
In addition effect strength only depends on the effect itself. The users and targets attributes only change the duration.

Effects can be supplied by the ammunition or the action itself. Permanent effects and supplying the effects from other equipment and skills is also possible.
Effects of the same type do not stack. Adding an effect if an effect with the same stacking class already exists will only leave the strongest effect in place. Though there is one benefit to casting the same effect twice, the dispel resistance of the remaining effect is increased.

Which leads us to dispelling itself. The current dispel model simply reduces the effects duration by it's strength minus the effects dispel resistance. So to get rid of an effect you have to reduce it's duration to zero. A dispel goes against a whole category of effects. Which is determined by the dispel action.

A feature that's not implemented yet are exclusive effects. Those effects will work as a dispel using up their own duration on effects that share the same exclusive category. For example "thermal" which would be shared by Burning and Freezing effects. If you cast a Freezing effect on someone who is on fire the Burning effect will be dispelled instead If the Freezing effect is stronger it will be added with a lesser duration. Exclusive is of course only applied if the effects don't share a stacking category.

I think that were the most important new bits about effects. Regarding the modability of XML definition files I can't really say that much. Chances are that we can leave the files modable, but how user friendly and safe that endeavour will be is an open question.
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Re: Framework Sneak Peek

Post by Seloun » Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:14 am

Effects model seems pretty well-designed, though couple of concerns -

First is regarding the scaling of effects. Based on the description, it seems like effects aren't going to scale with attributes (besides duration, but duration is generally a pretty weak bonus), which seems like it'd be difficult to balance throughout the game. That seems to suggest that effects should probably be things that self-scale - i.e. percentage based damage, a speed penalty, a silence effect or something similar rather than flat damage effects.

Second issue is how transparent dispel resistance would be - I could see that as being a difficult to understand mechanic if not explained well. It's a nice mechanic though because it allows for categories of effect strengths and dispels that generally work better when matched against the right tier of effect (e.g. tier 1 dispel isn't effective throughout the entire game at the same rate); seems like dispel resist and perhaps dispel strength might be reasonable things to allow attributes to affect.

Lastly the exclusive effect categories are interesting. It seems somewhat difficult to come up with natural exclusive categories though, besides the thermal example, unless you consider buff/debuff combinations instead of just debuffs.

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Re: Framework Sneak Peek

Post by Anima_ » Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:09 pm

Seloun wrote:Effects model seems pretty well-designed, though couple of concerns -

First is regarding the scaling of effects. Based on the description, it seems like effects aren't going to scale with attributes (besides duration, but duration is generally a pretty weak bonus), which seems like it'd be difficult to balance throughout the game. That seems to suggest that effects should probably be things that self-scale - i.e. percentage based damage, a speed penalty, a silence effect or something similar rather than flat damage effects.
For most effects that's true. Some would remain static, for example a shield effect. Though some of these might be tradeoffs, since static modifier are more powerful as long as the base values are low. Relative modifiers get more powerful as the values go higher.
Though I disagree with your statement about duration being a weak bonus, since it's depends a lot on the situation. And an effect that wore off before it was needed is more then useless.
Second issue is how transparent dispel resistance would be - I could see that as being a difficult to understand mechanic if not explained well. It's a nice mechanic though because it allows for categories of effect strengths and dispels that generally work better when matched against the right tier of effect (e.g. tier 1 dispel isn't effective throughout the entire game at the same rate); seems like dispel resist and perhaps dispel strength might be reasonable things to allow attributes to affect.
Dispel strength will be calculated the same way damage is, just with different keys. Dispel resistance will be static though, since the attributes already determine the effects "hitpoints". How intuitive the system will be, depends mostly on the design of the actual effects and skills. That an antidote gets rid of all poisons is easy to understand (Even if not very realistic...), a technique called "Clear Mind" would get rid of mind affecting effects and "Reposition" would get rid of situational effects. Of course there is always the question how much details of the frameworks inner working should be displayed and how much should be abstracted away. And of course how successful the abstraction will be.
Lastly the exclusive effect categories are interesting. It seems somewhat difficult to come up with natural exclusive categories though, besides the thermal example, unless you consider buff/debuff combinations instead of just debuffs.
True. Debuff/buffs are an obvious application. Sleep and Berserk would be two standard status effects that come to mind. Some other would overlap with the stacking rule, or more present a alternative to stacking. Interfering instead. For example elemental shields could be exclusive. That way it would be hard to change a shield before it's gone.
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Re: Framework Sneak Peek

Post by Seloun » Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:45 am

Well, the reason I say duration is a weak bonus is due to the way it scales. Effectively, duration translates into additional turns (since you have to reapply the buff less frequently); but the number of turns you get suffers quickly from diminishing returns (e.g. 50 turn fight with 5 round duration implies ~10 turns of buffing, +5 duration essentially buys you 5 rounds, but the next +5 only gets you 1 or 2); you also end up running out of meaningful bonuses (if the duration is already close to half or more of a given fight, more duration is almost useless). Clearly duration can be very valuable at lower values, but it quickly loses value as the duration increases. Longer duration does make maintaining it easier (since you can refresh when there's a break) but conversely in many cases you don't actually need full coverage of the buff.

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What I mean by transparency is essentially feedback to the player about whether or not the dispel had any effect, or why a X dispel only removed Y. It's not necessarily a huge issue, but it seems like this is a mechanic which could easily be confusing. Might be addressable just with good descriptions (e.g. 'is hard to dispel', 'can dispel hard to dispel effects').

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Interfering effects is a pretty cool idea, but that seems to make a duration boost potentially even less attractive, though one could argue the bonuses are likely to cancel out. Almost seems like you could have something like 'stances' in that manner - like a buff that improves some aspect in return for decreases of something else, and have a bunch of those that interfere with one another (like a choice of hit, damage, defense, or speed buffs).

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Re: Framework Sneak Peek

Post by Anima_ » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:10 pm

@ Duration
The same can be said for all kind of value increases. A 30 pt damage increase can be as weak/strong as a 5 pt one if you only need 3 points more to kill the enemy.

@ Transparency
The prediction in the target selection screen shows which buffs will be weakened and which will be removed. (That's actually already implemented.) Do you think that will help enough?

@ Effect interference
True, haven't thought about using it for a complete stance system. It would probably need a slightly different form since stances should simply be displaced not interfered with. A displacement flag should be enough for that though.
Duration will have an important effect since the displaced effects duration will reduce the new effects duration. So if your buffer is not strong enough he might not even be able to change the effect.

@ Other news
The effect system is complete so far. We also have (influenced by Jacks idea for SotWs enemy definition) a template system for character definition. It's pretty much under the hood, so not that interesting for you. But it allows for faster enemy creation which should lead indirectly to more interesting and varied enemies. And a faster release of course.
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Re: Framework Sneak Peek

Post by jack1974 » Fri Nov 22, 2013 6:00 pm

Anima_ wrote: @ Other news
The effect system is complete so far. We also have (influenced by Jacks idea for SotWs enemy definition) a template system for character definition. It's pretty much under the hood, so not that interesting for you. But it allows for faster enemy creation which should lead indirectly to more interesting and varied enemies. And a faster release of course.
/ME APPROVE THIS! :mrgreen:

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