Framework Sneak Peek

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

Post by Seloun » Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:24 am

Anima_ wrote:
Scouts could generally start with lot of Fortitude, and have abilities to boost other characters' fortitude (they can get an early jump on the enemy, or can prepare their allies). It also provides design space for abilities that remove Fortitude points, as well (marking laser? suppressive fire?) or abilities that interact in a unique way with Fortitude points (perhaps an attack that consumes Fortitude points for greater effect).
I'd rather not have Scouts with a lot of Fortitude. They shouldn't be long on the frontline, which Fortitude helps to regulate. But having a way to actively spend Fortitude is a good idea in general. That would probably be more the domain of soldiers though.
Well, what I was suggesting is that Scouts would start at the beginning of the fight with a good amount of fortitude (perhaps only in a relative sense, i.e. scouts generally start close to their max), or whatever class is supposed to be ambush-y. They'd presumably regenerate it slower than Soldiers and Guardians (and possibly with a lower cap ) - but they would start with more of it filled than the other classes.

E.g. scout A has a maximum cap of 5 fortitude, but starts the fight with 80% (4 points), and regenerates 1 fortitude per turn in cover; guardian B has a maximum cap of 10 fortitude, but starts the fight with no points, and regenerates 2 points of fortitude per turn in cover (whether recovery in cover should be constant is another question - maybe ramping up would make more sense; e.g. two turns in cover may be more useful than one turn in, one turn out, then one turn in)

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Re: Framework Sneak Peek

Post by Anima_ » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:31 am

Seloun wrote: Well, what I was suggesting is that Scouts would start at the beginning of the fight with a good amount of fortitude (perhaps only in a relative sense, i.e. scouts generally start close to their max), or whatever class is supposed to be ambush-y. They'd presumably regenerate it slower than Soldiers and Guardians (and possibly with a lower cap ) - but they would start with more of it filled than the other classes.

E.g. scout A has a maximum cap of 5 fortitude, but starts the fight with 80% (4 points), and regenerates 1 fortitude per turn in cover; guardian B has a maximum cap of 10 fortitude, but starts the fight with no points, and regenerates 2 points of fortitude per turn in cover
Yes, that would depend on the Speed attribute. Something which scouts should be good at.
(whether recovery in cover should be constant is another question - maybe ramping up would make more sense; e.g. two turns in cover may be more useful than one turn in, one turn out, then one turn in)
I don't really see the benefit in that. Sure you would disencourage cover hoping, but the added complexity and implementation overhead would far outweight that benefit.
Actually I'm thinking about assigning a Fortitude cost for Position changes. It would achieve the same result, a different amount recovered between Cover Open Cover and Cover Cover Open. It has some more far reaching implications, so I'm still thinking it over.
Last edited by Anima_ on Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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jack1974
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Re: Framework Sneak Peek

Post by jack1974 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:22 am

Yes I agree with Anima here, I wouldn't overcomplicate it too much. When I was younger I used to like very complex games with many rules, but recently I've played some (like XCOM) that managed to be much more fun by simplifying things (of course is not always easy to do it from the game design point of view).
Anyway as always there's this disclaimer: every single suggestion is welcome, and if in the end we decide what to use (Anima in particular since he's coding it) your help is always appreciated. I have suggested privately several ideas myself to Anima that he rejected explaining why (in most cases too much trouble coding it and not really worth it in term of extra gameplay fun).

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Re: Framework Sneak Peek

Post by Seloun » Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:36 am

Anima_ wrote:In the first draft I actually had it as always reducing hits to glancing, but changed it after sleeping over it. The problem would be the invulnerability of characters who still have enough Fortitude. Instead of modifying how combat works we would simply introduce two different combat phases per enemy. First strip him of Fortitude, then of Health. That's not my intention with this mechanic.
Changing the depletion from delta Accuracy to delta AccuracyLevel on the other hand is something I can agree on. Probably with costs depending on the level that is reduced. So reducing a crit to direct would be more expensive then reducing a glancing to miss. That way higher accuracy is still more effective against Fortitude and we have a cleaner depletion progression. (The problem was the step to the next level where Fortitude depletion was reset.)
I think making the reduction cost against crit higher than for other levels is probably a bad idea, mainly because it tends to widen the variance of results more. The relative drop between a crit to a direct hit is smaller already, and it feels like the 'good against lots of poor attacks' design space is already covered by armor. In general I think high variance or things that increase variance is a bad idea; anything which increases the value of reloading a save is potentially unfun.

Simply directly lowering variance doesn't necessarily make things more fun, either - so I would suggest sort of built-in or easily obtained bad-luck insurance. In this case, it might be a relatively easy talent that, if you take an unmitigated crit, you get a good amount of fortitude. This indirectly lowers variance by evening out the damage over time, but still makes crits relevant (this talent would have to be relatively overvalued, to make it more attractive versus risking not taking it and reloading). Having fortitude provide a consistent drop also helps with reducing variance without making it completely boring, too, which is really why I think the mechanic in general is a really good idea.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the interaction between multiple attacks and fortitude - would fortitude be spent on each one? In that case, we can sort of see a dominance triangle forming, where burst attacks are good against fortitude (by stripping it quickly), but poor against armor and/or cover, while sniper/single strong shots are weak against fortitude, but good against armor and better than burst against cover (cover should never really be bad). So burst attacks force you into cover more, while snipers might be better dealt with by being out of cover more (presumably there is some kind of offense opportunity cost of being in cover); if Alertness or Awareness is conceptually what fortitude is, those relationships seem to make sense.

I don't know that the original implementation would really cause the 'two phase' effect simply because the amount of damage done even with glancing hits is probably not really trivial, though this does depend on the relative amounts of fortitude versus health as well as damage versus regeneration effects (the latter of which for balance purposes probably should be rare). It seems like you could pretty reasonably balance combats so that the general flow is that you're expected to have fortitude 'cover' if you aren't in real cover, and being out of that state is the outlier.

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Re: Framework Sneak Peek

Post by Anima_ » Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:15 pm

Seloun wrote: One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the interaction between multiple attacks and fortitude - would fortitude be spent on each one? In that case, we can sort of see a dominance triangle forming, where burst attacks are good against fortitude (by stripping it quickly), but poor against armor and/or cover, while sniper/single strong shots are weak against fortitude, but good against armor and better than burst against cover (cover should never really be bad). So burst attacks force you into cover more, while snipers might be better dealt with by being out of cover more (presumably there is some kind of offense opportunity cost of being in cover); if Alertness or Awareness is conceptually what fortitude is, those relationships seem to make sense.
Yes it will be spent for each hit in an attack.
I'll reply to your other points after Easter, there is simply no time right now to go trough it in deep.
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Re: Framework Sneak Peek

Post by Anima_ » Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:33 pm

Technically it's still after Easter, right?
Sorry for the long delay. The problems with my ISP took way longer then expected to solve, but I finally have Internet again. Hopefully this will be the last time.
Anyway, I've been rethinking the basic action resolution algorithm a lot this past month. The result where a few very complicated approaches and a new one that I'd like to present right now.
Image
Green: High values are good for the attacker, Red: High values are good for the defender.
As you can see in the graph accuracy does not modify damage directly any more, it changes the maximum damage that can be caused instead.
Random element are reduced as well. The basic effectiveness will be an interval, so a weapons damage could range from 2 to 18 or from 8 to 12. Also there will be a separate critical hit chance.
Critical hits ignore all defences and deal automatically maximum damage. Additional effects will probably available via perks. I haven't worked out the details yet but we probably have the option to prevent critical hits if the character has enough fortitude, either as a basic or learned ability.

The system reinforces the dynamic Seloun already spotted in the old mechanic. Multiple weak attacks are not very effective against armoured targets, while strong single attacks have problems with evasive characters.
We also have a static cost for the fortitude defence bonus, and the cost must still be paid for every attack. This keeps the prevention of early kills as well as the peeling defences away effect of burst type attacks.

About the opportunity cost of cover. At the moment being in the open gives a significant accuracy bonus. I'm also considering increasing the execution time for all actions under cover. That is probably the harshest penalty we can add.

With this new core mechanic I hope to simplify the combat system without sacrificing complexity. On the opposite, I think this system allows for more complex gameplay. The main incentive was to have effectiveness and accuracy affect damage in a fundamental different way. While before both increased it in a pretty similar way. It also makes heavier single shot and leaner auto weapons behave very different, hopefully enough that you will seriously consider the option to equip a character with both types of weapons.
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Seloun
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Re: Framework Sneak Peek

Post by Seloun » Fri May 03, 2013 4:51 am

Interesting scheme. Looks like the real key to the new mechanic is the min() between the accuracy-evasion axis and the effectiveness-reduction axis; no amount of accuracy makes up for having a low effectiveness against a high reduction target, and likewise effectiveness is ineffective (ha) against a high evasion target.

min() is an interesting choice - it provides a similar sort of diminishing returns as a multiplication, but it's a lot harsher on mistakes. (Consider the relative progression of min(x, N-x) versus mul(x, N-x) ). This seems like it'll favor someone who knows a lot about the mechanics very strongly, which may or may not be a good thing.

Regarding the opportunity cost of cover: Thematically, it seems like being out of cover should be something rapid-fire types would prefer over sniper/heavy weapon types; that would seem to suggest that the cover penalty should probably be against effectiveness, as it would affect the performance of rapid-fire types more.

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Re: Framework Sneak Peek

Post by Anima_ » Mon May 06, 2013 7:41 pm

Glad you found it interesting. The system is changed now to this new model in the prototype as well.

You are right that min has similarities to multiply, for example both have the best performance if the operands are the same.
The main difference is that min is easier to scale. If n,m : 1 - 10 then n(X)m is 1-100. While min(n,m) remains 1-10.
That way resulting values share the range of their parents values.

Regarding system mastery, I think it's a good idea to have a bit more in the game then we had previously. As long as we can avoid creating trap choices, that should be okay.
Regarding the opportunity cost of cover: Thematically, it seems like being out of cover should be something rapid-fire types would prefer over sniper/heavy weapon types; that would seem to suggest that the cover penalty should probably be against effectiveness, as it would affect the performance of rapid-fire types more.
Actually we don't have any penalties, instead being in the open provides an offensive bonus.
I think you are right, effectiveness would be the better attribute to modify.
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Re: Framework Sneak Peek

Post by Anima_ » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:29 pm

That was quite the long interruption, thanks to me being busy with university courses and being sick. Now that summer break's beginning work will resume.

Yesterday Jack okayed the ammunition system, so I'll try to give an outline here.
Ammunition comes in different types which modify the weapons damage type as well as having some other modifiers. The handguns, SMGs, assault rifles and MGs will share the same ammunition, while energy weapons, sniper rifles and heavy weapons will requite special ammunition.
Every weapon has an ammunition capacity. It's not possible to mix loaded ammunition, it's always of the same type. (We don't track individual bullets.) Some actions like cover fire will require a lot of ammunition, while other like sniping won't.
To change the loaded ammunition or reload the weapon in the middle of an encounter you can equip magazines in the characters item slots. The magazines will come in different sizes and like the weapons will accept only one ammunition category. While all magazines take one item slot smaller magazines will require less equip capacity.
Ammunition that is not stored in a weapon or magazine is stored in a container inside the inventory. Each type having it's own container. At the end of an encounter the equipped weapons and magazines are automatically reloaded from the container.
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Lonestar51
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Re: Framework Sneak Peek

Post by Lonestar51 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:19 pm

I am sad to read you were sick. Hope all is well now.

Question about the Ammo: Will Ammo be in limited supply, or will it be plentyful?

In the first case one would have to play the sidequests which give net ammo, and avoid those which do not. It would also give lots of tactical problems for super-weapons with three bullets available for it - when to use these three bullets?

If it is plentyful, it would still serve a purpose: If any char has say 10 slots, and 5 of the are used for ammo, this limits the number of medikits etc. the char can take.

There are many possible shades between the two states - including the possibility that in the Colony Sim ammo can be manufactured if the correct building is there. They are just there to highlight which issues the game design may throw at the player.

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