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Character stats drive pretty much every aspect of a game. 

 

Personally, the DnD standard of Str, Dex, Con, Int, Wis, and Cha form a solid basis from which to generate other attributes. Depending on what version of DnD (or offshoot like Pathfinder) you're currently running the meta changes, but I think 5th edition has done a good job balancing most of it.

 

My least favorite have to me anything that implements a stat system where one stat fill some singular purpose and the others have multiple roles. This quickly creates a meta around cranking a specific stat for most benefit and ruins the ability of the player to play how they want to play.

 

What are some of your most/least favorite systems?

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Posted (edited)

🤔

Let me just say that systems where there are a lot of stats that all do different things are difficult to keep track of and I lose interest in them damn quick.

I can deal with eight, ten different stats, but too many more and then all bets are off.

However, my preference is for a small group of stats to have multiple roles. I don't really care for 'Luck', and prefer 'Dodge' or 'Cha' (or both). I also like linking one stat to MVP and another to MMP, as some do. My preference for any type of attack or defense or skill is for all stats to play some role; I prefer not to have one stat for determining physical damage and another for skill damage, come now that's silly.

The stat system I'm developing for Ramsey has a lot of multiple stat roles in mind and a.atk is going to be something you don't want very high (Aggression).

Addendum: FFVI Brave New World is one of my favorites for stat systems since ALL THE DAMN BUGS ARE FIXED LMAO

Edited by PhoenixSoul

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My most favorite stat system

I like the normal DnD stats, but I prefer the way Vx Ace/MV does it's stats. Only thing I didn't like was that DEF and ATK are innate stats where I liked XP where it had STR and ATK separated as well as DEF not being an innate stat in XP but locked to Armor.

 

I never played a game with a ton of stats though that is one thing that makes DnD overwhelming sometimes since you have to keep up with what armor you have, your dex bonus, your AC, your proficiency, all your modifiers, etc etc. I got used to it, but it was pretty daunting at first.

 

My Least Favorite
Despite what I said about DnD, it is not my least favorite. My least favorite is games who are obscure with their stats. A good example is DEF decreasing unknown damage or elemental resistances being integers.

+200 fire resistance but you still take fire dmg from weak spells. So what is the +200? Idk, it's just biggg nummmbbeerr. Or defense rating in games like Skyrim. You have 100 Armor Rating... what does that mean? Idk, it just big nummmbbbeerrrr. That's what I adore about games like DnD or Dragon Age where you know what numbers do. Its not a huge deal ofc because you do at least see and feel a difference, but that is one thing I dislike about some of these RPG games.

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1 hour ago, Lord Vectra said:

Or defense rating in games like Skyrim. You have 100 Armor Rating... what does that mean? Idk, it just big nummmbbbeerrrr.


As I recall, the formula is something like D / (AR * 0.67) or close to it. It's likely different between the various TES releases. Doesn't explain much, but yeah.

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Our elusive lord and master has made a thread in Theory and Development and I almost missed it? 😮 That won't do at all!

 

Anyway, I think it should be noted that there can be a big divide between DnD-style tabletop RPGs and most computer/video game RPGs. Loosely speaking a lot of DnD's gameplay revolves around a player going "I want to do this" and the DM going "Okay, but you need to pass x stat check to do it". The math involved is usually relatively simple, it's pretty clear how stats factor in to what you are doing at the moment, and a lot of it is improvised on the spot so your stats could effect anything and everything. For computer/video game RPGs on the other hand, while some try and emulate a kind of stat check most basically use them for combat and nothing else.  I think some of DnD's stats don't really get to shine that way. Cha in particular seems to be neglected.

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9 hours ago, Kayzee said:

  I think some of DnD's stats don't really get to shine that way. Cha in particular seems to be neglected.


In Ramsey, LUK is now Charisma. It has uses outside of combat.

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Posted (edited)

How much does LUK effect by default I wonder? I should search the scripts for it and see sometime. I might replace it too, though probobly not with Charisma. My game is mostly a dungeon crawler and I don't think Charisma would be that useful.

 

Also, I think something worth thinking about with stats is theming. For example, most computer/video games with an 'Intelligence' stat seem to use it mostly or entirely for magic. I would argue that in most cases it doesn't make very much sense because the stat isn't actually related to intelligence at all. For this reason I often prefer to name the primary magic stat 'Will' instead. DnD it's self actually uses Int, Wis, or Cha for spellcasting depending on the class and/or the spell. The stereotype of "intelligence = magic" is kind of an oversimplification created by treating all magic users as related to the DnD 'wizard' class archetype where magic is obtained through years of dedicated study by stuffy scholar types.

 

 

 

Edited by Kayzee

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16 hours ago, Kayzee said:

...by stuffy scholar types.


lolz
Reminds me of some humor I had written for one character's dialogue, in a very old project, calling a sentry a 'dried up yam'... 🤣

I believe LUK is responsible for dodging status effects and debuffs, so having high Charisma will be very effective against those...

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Er... Actually...

 

... Nevermind. I think it would be more worth it to go to the script list, right click on any script name, and select find and search for 'luk' instead.

 

(PS, why must you do this to me...)

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Balancing can be difficult. More stats or more complex formulas make it easier to fine-tune player-enemy interactions. That said, as a player, I also like to understand what each stat does. In my opinion, developers shouldn't make it easier for themselves at the cost of confusing the player with, for example, an 'Attack' and a 'Strength' stat which *somehow* (that is, combined in a convoluted damage formula) boost physical damage dealt. The player should have an idea how to maximise physical damage dealt without searching a wiki.

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Why would more stats and more complex formulas make it easier to balance things? It just seems to me like having to juggle more numbers could only make it harder to balance everything. After all, the more stats you have and the more they interrelate in complex ways the harder it is to crunch the numbers and the more mistakes or strange quirks will sneak in to the system.

 

That said, I kind of appreciate when figuring out how everything works is actually a puzzle in of it's self. Yeah, if the puzzle isn't fun or engaging to figure out people are just gonna look up how to do everything on a wiki, but honestly I think people are too quick to look at wikis sometimes. Just as long as I am not expected to have to perfectly build my character from the start of the game in order to not be trash... I hate that. If you are going to make me build a character perfectly, at least let me respec later without starting over after I figure out the system. And if you have skill trees don't make me waste skillpoints on a bunch of useless skills I don't care about to get to the ones I want! Gah! So frustrating! ...Okay maybe that was a bit off topic, but really is there that much difference between stats and skills?

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On 10/4/2020 at 5:35 PM, Kayzee said:

Why would more stats and more complex formulas make it easier to balance things? It just seems to me like having to juggle more numbers could only make it harder to balance everything. After all, the more stats you have and the more they interrelate in complex ways the harder it is to crunch the numbers and the more mistakes or strange quirks will sneak in to the system.

 

You can use additional stats or additional terms in your formula to fine-tune damage numbers without touching your basic construct. As a simple example, if your formula contains something like "Damage = Base Power * STR + ATK", you have two different stats to work with and get the damage just right.

 

Moreover, additional stats don't necessarily make things more complicated. Your additional stat could always be 100 except in situations where you need it to be just slightly higher or lower. You're just giving yourself another option.

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Well, in Ramsey...

Here's my basic attack formula for weapon skills (each weapon depending on which weapon slot it is assigned to has a different skill but they all eval the one note):
((((a.atk)+(a.def*2)+(a.agi*0.75))-(a.atk*0.75))-(((b.atk)+(b.def*1.5)+(b.agi*0.25))-(b.atk*0.75)))

Bear in mind that ATK and DEF are treated differently than in most other RM games; ATK is Aggression, DEF is Dexterity. A high Aggression is not likely to yield high amounts of damage UNLESS you're using Fury skills. Fury skills have a different damage formula.
((((a.atk*1.75)+(a.def)+(a.agi*0.5)))-(b.agi))

Fury skills are more likely to deal damage but there are other factors such as blocking and evasion.

You might be asking why I used a bunch of skills for attacking with different weapons. Makes it easier to arrange in-battle commands and replace them. I have one attack for primary weapon, another for secondary weapon, and a third for attacking with both at once. Of course, it doesn't perfectly separate the two equipped weapons effects; if one has a pistol with poisoned rounds, the dagger in their other hand can still inflict the effects of the poisoned rounds since I have the skills set to 'Normal Attack' for all effects.

Hmmm. Back to topic. I also changed 'LUK' to CHA.

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11 hours ago, Saireau said:

You can use additional stats or additional terms in your formula to fine-tune damage numbers without touching your basic construct. As a simple example, if your formula contains something like "Damage = Base Power * STR + ATK", you have two different stats to work with and get the damage just right.

 

Moreover, additional stats don't necessarily make things more complicated. Your additional stat could always be 100 except in situations where you need it to be just slightly higher or lower. You're just giving yourself another option.

 

Really. Okay lets look a this step by step.

 

Let's start with the most basic of basic formulas like "Damage = ATK". That's ridiculously easy to fine tune. You set the exact amount of damage you want. Done.

 

Now let's move it up one level and say we use "Damage = Base Power * STR". Now we have two whole terms! It must by your logic be even easier to fine tune! Except it's not is it? Oh you can do it, sure. It's not that hard. Just divide how much damage you want something to do by Base Power and you get the STR value you use. The STR value is not a whole number you say? Well if you wanted you could always make Base Power smaller so STR needs to be bigger, or just ignore the remainder. I mean it's not THAT much is it? Okay, still easy, but we needed more work to get there.

 

Ah now let's try "Damage = Base Power * STR + ATK". First of all... Do you know your order of operations? You know, "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally" and all that? Because interfix notation sucks and unless you know a bunch of silly rules like that there is at least a 50% chance you are going to get the order wrong. You know usually I would link to Wikipedia to explain what the hell I am talking about, but not this time. Because any confusion anyone has about what I just said can only reinforce my point. But okay lets assume grade school actually managed to teach math correctly (unlikely given the general crappiness of the education system) and have that in the correct order. Good news! No more having to worry about STR being a whole number because you can fiddle with attack to make up the difference! Only now you have to fiddle with attack to make up the difference, and if you want your ATK stat to be in the same range, you need to fiddle with the rest of the formula to figure out how to do that. Still more work.

 

So yeah. I really really don't see how involving more numbers in an equation would ever make it simpler to fine tune or balance. More stats = more terms = more to adjust = more to think about = more you are going to get wrong. So why does hardly anyone use the simplest of formulas then? Because that's BORIIIIINNNGGGG! Duh! Game designers and players both LOOOOOOVE to make things harder on themselves. I mean did you see @PhoenixSoul's post? Madness! Utter Madness! But it's interesting!

Edited by Kayzee

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I think a more simpler way of explaining it, @Kayzee, is let's take these 3 properties of a spell: Damage, Duration, and Range. If a fire spell does 50dmg for 4T and hits enemies within 4 tiles, if it's broken, you have options to balance it. You can decrease the damage per turn to compensate for the big range, decrease the duration if 4T is too long (especially if you have other skills/spells that have extra effects if person is burning), reduce the range to make it more of a single-target overtime burst damage, decrease the damage but increase the duration so it takes longer to do the same damage, and the list goes on.

Granted, this does make it more complicated, but I guess it depends on the player what is considered too complicated and what is considered a great addition.

 

@Saireau may also be referring to "ghost stats." It's stats that is in the background that the player is unaware of. An example is the variation. When you use the skill, you don't know the highest dmg and lowest dmg it can deal, so you kind of guess by using it a lot (if you're paying attention to the dmg dealt). Variance is the "ghost stat" in this case where the player does not need to keep track of it.


About LUK:

I always replace LUK and turn it into any stat I want, then I null out it's effect in the default script. In XP, I learned how to just create my own custom stats (and XP doesn't have LUK), but in VXA, for example, one project I was working on had it as "distance" which did not also decide what would hit you or not (depending on distance from others) but also decided damage of your gun (ex: Shotguns did more damage the closer you were). On my latest VXA proj that's on standby, I don't have LUK even show up in the menu because I couldn't think of anything for it lol.

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1 hour ago, Lord Vectra said:

I think a more simpler way of explaining it, @Kayzee, is let's take these 3 properties of a spell: Damage, Duration, and Range. If a fire spell does 50dmg for 4T and hits enemies within 4 tiles, if it's broken, you have options to balance it. You can decrease the damage per turn to compensate for the big range, decrease the duration if 4T is too long (especially if you have other skills/spells that have extra effects if person is burning), reduce the range to make it more of a single-target overtime burst damage, decrease the damage but increase the duration so it takes longer to do the same damage, and the list goes on.

Granted, this does make it more complicated, but I guess it depends on the player what is considered too complicated and what is considered a great addition..

 

Sure, all those things you said are true. But you seem to have missed the point of what I am saying. Yes you do have more options but that doesn't actually make the developer's job any easier. The dev can balance something in more ways, but in turn it takes more work figuring out the exact right balance between them. My point is you can't just add new stats and expect everything to suddenly be more balanced. That's just silly! I invite anyone to try adding any new major gameplay mechanic to a game and getting the balance right on the first try without needing to fiddle with things a bunch. More mechanics, more fiddling. It's worth it, but it still is a lot more work!

 

Also, in regards to having hidden stats or other attributes that only apply to some situations, it really doesn't matter one bit if they are hidden or usually don't apply or whatever. What I am saying still applies to them.

 

 

 

Edited by Kayzee

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On 10/11/2020 at 2:34 AM, Kayzee said:

My point is you can't just add new stats and expect everything to suddenly be more balanced.

 

You can simply introduce stats that are, by default, without any effect (like a 100% damage multiplier), but can have an effect where needed.

 

For example, you can add a damage multiplier that is 100% for all characters by default. You don't need to touch it, but you can if you want to. If you think your ranged characters are a little weak, you call it something like 'Aim' and raise it only for the ranged characters. If you think your tanks receive too much damage, you call it something like 'Endurance' and raise it only for the tanks.

 

That may be much easier than fiddling around with already existing stats. For example, what if your ranged characters can also use swords? You don't want to touch any of your swords again, since for the other characters, they are perfectly balanced.

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Maybe it might seem easier in the short term to some, but as a semi-experienced programmer I am going to have to insist that a lot of the time 'special cases' like that just end up being really annoying to deal with. Because you can't just 'simply' introduce stats like that. You have to jam them into formulas in awkward ways to get that to work, especially if you have a lot of them. Soon you will be left with formulas that are total messes of special cases and extra stats that are only ever used in a few places. And of course now when you want to re-balance something you are going to have to find all those special cases and change them too. Not saying this isn't ever done, but this is bad programming 101. People who do this are terrible coders and will make a ton more work for themselves sorting out their own mess in the long run. Trust me.

 

You know the thing is, we both agree this kind of thing is bad. Only you think it's because it's lazy, and I think it's because it's just stupid. Anyway being lazy is not necessarily a bad thing. I admire constructive laziness. Actually finding ways to save oneself the bother of doing work is only a good thing, as long as it's done properly. This is not that. This is just not knowing what you are doing and trying to solve the problem in the most brute force way possible. And that probably is a form of intellectual laziness of a sort, in the end brute forcing a problem is pretty much always going to be the least efficient way of dealing with it.

 

I guess what I am saying is, saying devs do this because they are lazy is an insult to lazy devs everywhere. And as an incredibly lazy dev, I take offence. :P

Edited by Kayzee

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