Possibly underused balancing approach

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Re: Possibly underused balancing approach

Postby The Avatar on Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:10 pm

Vicious or just normal game. It's like a fun aftergame thing, as most people don't beat gold before Horratio. Or maybe I have a twisted view of fun...
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Re: Possibly underused balancing approach

Postby Lujo on Sat Aug 18, 2012 11:00 pm

I guess were both guilty of that one :D

But do give the new GT a shot and let me know how it went.
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Re: Possibly underused balancing approach

Postby The Avatar on Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:09 am

I will ASAP. I'm still kind on confused about how it works, but I've gathered it's hell so I'm sure I'll enjoy it ;)
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Re: Possibly underused balancing approach

Postby Bloggorus on Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:16 am

This seems like more of a question like...

"Is it possible to introduce dynamic difficulty into dungeons based on class and race?"

This game doesn't have that because of the array of dungeons on offer- at least one class has a dungeon where they kick ass, and one where they fail miserably.

The issue is that everyone is crying out for the tower to be difficult for every class equally.

Trying to encapsulate the whole game into one tower is going to be difficult, but if you do it right, then no class is going to have a good time in there.

So we get a situation where balancing the tower right is an amazing feat, but COMPLETELY at odds with the rest of the game.

So the devs have a choice;

Accept that some classes are stronger than others in the tower, just like in the real game OR go against their design philosophy and tailor the tower for each and every class.

if players genuinely have a problem with certain classes being better than others in the tower, this is a possible solution:
Instead of dynamically adjusting the tower to each class, force the player to walk in with NO class- a tourist. No abilities, standard stats, conversion generates gold and shops. Stock the shops with items that effect stats.
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Re: Possibly underused balancing approach

Postby q 3 on Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:31 am

A post-storyline vicious challenge for the Guard class could be kind of cool (it could also be kind of bland). Putting it in a special version of the Tower might be a fun "coming full circle" moment since that's how you started. Then again, at this point I think the Tower has been remade even more times than the Transmuter, so maybe big changes aren't the best idea.
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Re: Possibly underused balancing approach

Postby JonahHollow on Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:28 am

Bloggorus wrote:This seems like more of a question like...

"Is it possible to introduce dynamic difficulty into dungeons based on class and race?"

This game doesn't have that because of the array of dungeons on offer- at least one class has a dungeon where they kick ass, and one where they fail miserably.

The issue is that everyone is crying out for the tower to be difficult for every class equally.

Trying to encapsulate the whole game into one tower is going to be difficult, but if you do it right, then no class is going to have a good time in there.

So we get a situation where balancing the tower right is an amazing feat, but COMPLETELY at odds with the rest of the game.

So the devs have a choice;

Accept that some classes are stronger than others in the tower, just like in the real game OR go against their design philosophy and tailor the tower for each and every class.

if players genuinely have a problem with certain classes being better than others in the tower, this is a possible solution:
Instead of dynamically adjusting the tower to each class, force the player to walk in with NO class- a tourist. No abilities, standard stats, conversion generates gold and shops. Stock the shops with items that effect stats.


That gave me a really really weird idea, what if what if, there was a dungeon where you went in as no specific class, with no traits at all, but whatever race you wanted, and the shops instead of selling items, sold class traits for whatever gold, and it was just like a regular dungeon besides the fact your classless and the shops sell different class traits.
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Re: Possibly underused balancing approach

Postby Lujo on Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:34 am

These are all radical ideas, but, yes, my question can be rather accurately summarized as:

"Is it possible to introduce dynamic difficulty into dungeons based on class?"


Not for the tower, I'm... sort of happy with the tower. And I'm qute certain it's not a matter of choice between accepting some classes are stronger than others and making the challenges dynamic - if all classes were balanced, there would be no need for this.

All classes aren't balanced, and probably can't be. I don't really believe this, but I took it as a starting point. The ony reason to ad dynamic slots (related to this issue) would be to adress this issue while keeping the classes as they are instead of changing them.

And the mechanic IS allready half way in the game with class unlocks also unlocking a monster type. By unlocking a class you unlock a monster which is supposed to challenge that class (sometimes viciously). I can't tell if the in dungeon spawn slots are guaranteed to spawn a number of things which challenge each particular class allready.

And I've also had a bit of fun with the mechanic by selectively unlocking classes in order to get an advantage in form of getting "easy" spawns in "random basic monster" slots - not unlocking the warlord and the bloodmage allowed me to play the game without seeing goos and golems, and an even more selective approach let me get more goats, gorgons and bandits for a very easy lvling every dungeon.

The reason I'm unhappy with this is that if the slots are really random, then a run can be affected by the RNG because you can get a really easy run if you don't spawn any "natural enemies" but you can get a really hard run if the game spawns whatever is supposed to give your class nightmares. I mean, I don't mind it too much, but if there are alternatives to this, why not?

And on a more constructive note: I was also wondering wether this could be used in cojunction with the VICIOUS tier difficulty to create flavourfull quests and quest chains and encourage players to play the sub-VICIOUS game a bit more before tackling VICIOUS, that's all. If only VICIOUS dungeons had dynamic slots, or simply specific dynamic features (like minibosses or bosses), then it could tie up storylines and give tackling VICIOUS a more "campaigny" feel.
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Re: Possibly underused balancing approach

Postby Sidestepper on Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:48 am

I don't think there's anyway to really make this idea work. The issue of 'hard' versus 'easy' monsters isn't one of number, it's one of level. The most important non-boss monsters on the board are the 9s, 8s, and 7s. These are the monsters that can almost never be used as popcorn, and also contain a disproportionate amount of the dungeon's xp. There are a total 9 such monsters, which is a small number that is always going to be vulnerable to sampling swings.

A priest that walks into a dungeon to find that all the level 3 and below monsters are zombies isn't going to have a significant edge, but that same priest that finds a dungeon with no undead at all except for 2 zombie-9s is going to have an easy go of it.

I also think that DTD isn't a game that has very strong counters for classes. There are a lot of easy matchups, but no hopeless ones. Between preps, shops, and boons, you can usually kill your 'countering' monsters from one or two levels below. 8s and 9s can be a bit of a problem because by the time you can take on 'hard' 8s and 9s you usually want to already be engaging the boss. Even this isn't so bad if you're willing to attack the boss at level 8 instead of the more typical level 7.
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Re: Possibly underused balancing approach

Postby The Avatar on Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:53 am

I don't know. Somethings have obvious counters (curse and bandits), but things like extra attack or hp are almost impossible to counter.
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Re: Possibly underused balancing approach

Postby Bloggorus on Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:56 am

I think we;ve got to a point in the beta where the devs are happy enough that classes are relatively balanced in their difficulty of use in all dungeons.

They will never be COMPLETELY balanced; that would be like balancing Starcraft with eighteen factions instead of three, and everyone agrees that balancing those three was very impressive.

The main issue is that in scenarios like the Tower, tiny differences in survivability between classes gets magnified by a thousand.

For example, the difference in a regular dungeon might be that a warlord has a few extra attacks and potions left over after killing the boss, whereas a tinker has gone down to the wire. In the Tower, you have to fight a hundred bosses, and those tiny differences add up very quickly.

This is okay in the regular game, because you can recognize a hard combination of dungeon and class and just get better.

I'm not sure if the devs have commented on this, but they seem completely opposed to any kind of dynamic difficulty.

They like their mismatched dungeons, they provide variety, and it seems they've been committed to that for a long time. I also like this approach, so maybe I'm biased, but a lot of the recent changes have been made to highlight the built-in 'dynamic difficulty' of using mismatched classes through the PQI.

Using the Tower as reason for balancing the game is a little like using an atomic clock to tell your sundail is a bit slow; it's true, but it't not really applicable.
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