***Development Offer***

Developers, want feedback? Ask the players here.
Brumm
Posts: 2339

***Development Offer***

Post#1 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:23 pm

Hello everyone!

Like some of you guys might have noticed I stopped the development of new content which could affect the game mechanics. The reason was and is that I don't want to spend my time on arguing about stuff in the unfriendly manner I have encountered in the past anymore. In general I want to stick with that route because I value my freetime too much for all the hassle. But one thing has happened that convinced me that I at least wanted to offer the players my work as a developer one more time:

Naamarikala - a player from the old days and a very talented c++ programmer - came up with a new version of his plugin with which he already fixed a lot of engine related issues in the past. The new version offers a lot of things like functions to retrieve more data from creatures (AB, AC by Type, TouchAB, SaveMods) and a revised version of the damage calculation engine fixes. These fixes make character/creature applied damage bonuses resistable and let damagetypes crit reliably whenever they are supposed to crit. Furthermore the plugin comes with some performance improvements. This plugin would finally allow us to do two things we had on the list in the past already:

1. The first thing is fixing the broken damage calculations. The result of this is hard to predict but in general you can probably expect a lowered damage output from set users (due to their damage being subject to immunity then) and an increased damage for non set users (because all critable damage types crit now instead of just the first 3). At the same time the damage players receive will be lower because their immunity would work reliably. The final impact is not foreseeable of course and it is pretty obvious that the introduction of the plugin would mean a lot of follow up work to get things in line again (like reducing casters damage). Though, the introduction would come with a lot of advantages. One advantage would be a more fair balance between non set users and set users and hereby more balanced content for non set users / non powerbuilders because we would be able to make monsters a bit weaker. Furthermore we could reliably balance creatures with immunity so hitpoints would play a lesser important role. In my opinion this would make things better because it would make spells like Avasculate and Drown relatively weaker; they got to their current level of dominance just because of the hitpoint inflation. And finally the biggest point would be a more constitent game rules. You would finally be able to trust the immunity you have. No more death by fire while you should be immune to fire.

2. The second thing we could do with the plugin is creating a function that calculates the real challenge rating a creature should have. Without bothering you too much with the technical details this would mean that the CR of a creature wouldn't be set by a developer arbitrarily anymore but would be set by the system automatically based on the stats of the creature. That way the challenge rating would always reflect the real difficulty you are facing. This could be also used when the stats of a creature change though EX mode. The code could than recalculate the CR based on the new stats of the creature. That would assure that the system always recognizes the real powerlevel a creature has. Having such a reliable criteria for CR would finally allow us to tie all the reward mechanic we currently have (which nobody really understands) to CR. So if you want to know what a creature is capable of dropping you would just need to know the CR.

So, why am I writing this? Like I said, I don't want to waste my time anymore. But since I think the brilliant work Naamarikala made deserves to be used I wanted to offer you my work as a developer to introduce the plugin and do the followup work. The question is if people want me to do that. If that is the case, we can of course talk about the details in a civilized way and I am willing to take as much feedback and wishes into account as poossible. But on the other hand people need to realize that these changes can have an impact on existing characters and that we can't take all wishes into account. It's up to you, guys.

Brumm

Samyx
Posts: 720

Re: ***Development Offer***

Post#2 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 6:59 pm

Hello
I believe this could be great and I'm ok in advance with all changes. I really appreciate the attempt to restrain the power inflation.
Samyx

Aenain
Posts: 23

Re: ***Development Offer***

Post#3 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:46 am

Brumm,

I am good with this.

addict-ant
Posts: 703

Re: ***Development Offer***

Post#4 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 7:48 am

Personally, I'd like to give a big, fat, YES PLEASE! to Brumm's incredibly generous offer and Naam's highly skilled hard work. Huge thanks to both of you for all the time, effort and commitment you give Trinity.

I would like to clarify something if I may: as this has the potential to require a rebalancing of some mobs/areas, would you confirm you're willing to do that for all areas & mobs on the server that might require it? I'm specifically thinking of those Lith My'athar areas and event mobs made by Randomwiz, FalconTamer, JWM and Mortis.

I appreciate no developer is keen to work on another developer's code/work (precisely because it is very difficult & very frustrating), so I thought it prudent to be clear on that from the get-go.
Image

bsb5652
Site Admin
Posts: 2877
Contact:

Re: ***Development Offer***

Post#5 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:44 am

I am totally open to helping with all of my available time to get it done. I am done making new story content at this point and is a perfect time to jump in with the rest of the dev team.
Brian Bloom

Realms of Trinity Executive Producer & Game Creator
http://www.realmsoftrinity.com

Brumm
Posts: 2339

Re: ***Development Offer***

Post#6 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:12 pm

addict-ant wrote:Personally, I'd like to give a big, fat, YES PLEASE! to Brumm's incredibly generous offer and Naam's highly skilled hard work. Huge thanks to both of you for all the time, effort and commitment you give Trinity.

I would like to clarify something if I may: as this has the potential to require a rebalancing of some mobs/areas, would you confirm you're willing to do that for all areas & mobs on the server that might require it? I'm specifically thinking of those Lith My'athar areas and event mobs made by Randomwiz, FalconTamer, JWM and Mortis.

I appreciate no developer is keen to work on another developer's code/work (precisely because it is very difficult & very frustrating), so I thought it prudent to be clear on that from the get-go.


Of course this would also include mob updates if they become neccessary.The good thing about that is that I already gave Fraggle the tools to do mob changes. And since he is a very skilled player with an eye for details he could help with that a lot.

And as an answer to some questions on Discord: If the introduction of Nams plugin really makes melees much weaker in comparison to casters we'll also bring casters back in line. That does not mean though, that we want to shift the balance between classes. A top tier class now should stay a top tier class in future. But we don't want to make things worse.

dew1960
Posts: 2
Contact:

Re: ***Development Offer***

Post#7 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 3:10 pm

Sounds good and necessary to me.

Nice going!

Thanks, Bro!

Itaasi
Posts: 804

Re: ***Development Offer***

Post#8 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 3:16 pm

I am super glad to hear, you are willing to spend your time on this, Brumm.
I have always and will always appreciate the time and effort, you and all the other devs spend on RoT.
Thank you!!

As for the proposed change, I'm all for it!
The thought of being able to rely on my resistances/immunities and having all my critable damage actually crit is thrilling to me :)

kc2345
Posts: 730

Re: ***Development Offer***

Post#9 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:56 pm

I think these changes are definitely a step in the right direction to make character building more consistent and intuitive, and to aid in future conyent development.

It definitely will be a lot of work, as simply turning on the plugin without any content adjustment would cause multiple problems.
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Brumm
Posts: 2339

Re: ***Development Offer***

Post#10 » Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:14 am

A little update about the state of things.

Since nobody did object so far we started with the development and the first thing we started with is the recalculation of correct challange rating. Let me explain what we did so far, what kind of impacts we expect and how we plan to test things:

1. What did we do so far?
We created a database with most stats the creautures on our server have. The values are real values based on the stats the creature has when it is spawned without EX mode. So even if some scripts modify the stats of a creature during the spawning process, we take that into account. So our data represents what you really face in game.

Using this data we plotted the relation between several stats and the CR and generated formulas for these relations. I am probably bad at explaining this in english so here in other words what that means: We generated a forumla which tells us the average CR a creature with a given stat on our server has. You can see an example of such a formula in the screenshot below. The AC is on the x-axis and the CR is on the y-axis. So a creature with 40 AC has roughly a CR of 25.

AC.PNG
AC.PNG (20.5 KiB) Viewed 1389 times


Based on this information we can now calculate the CR that is justified for a given AC. We've run similar calculations for HP, AC, BAB and (Total) Saves so far. Based on these four stats we can now calculate the real CR a creature should have by calculating a fair CR for each stat seperately and than take the average CR from that. We will soon add AB into the equation. Caster level and spell DC will be also added as soon as we get the tools for that from Nam.

2. Impacts
a) Advantages
We will be able to provide a fair scaling of rewards based on the real power a creature has and this includes EX-Mode-Sacling. Lets take Iron Axe Lord (Axe Thrower from Iron Claw) as an example. Currently the Axe Lord starts with a CR of 7. Based on our current formula a fair CR for him would be 9.93. Turning on EX would modify that as follows:

EX1: 12.04
EX2: 13.63
EX3: 14.77
EX4: 15.61
EX5: 16.27
EX6: 17.24

Since all rewards will be calculated on CR in future, you can always tell how worthy a creature is to fight (you can see the CR of a creature if you right-click it and hit examine). And like already said we will tie every kind of reward to the creatures CR. No unpredictbale bullshit anymore but full transparancy.

b) Foreseeable complaints
Having a fair CR in future will probably come with some sideeffects some people will probably - at least at first - not be happy with. The reason is that current top level grinding spots are most likely spots where creatures are heavily overpriced which means that their CR is much higher than its is justified by their stats. At least that is what you would expect because people normally figure out pretty quickly where they get the best rewards with the lowest amount of risk/time invested. Some tests I've run seem to confirm that. For example the Flesh Forgers from Cannibal Quest sit at a CR of 31 while their stats justify a CR of something in the mid to high 20s (don't recall the exact value right now). So killing them would be less rewarding in future.

I strongly believe though, that this route does more good than harm. It might be that the top level grinding spots will shift. But in the best case we'll just open up many more different areas for grinding because with the new scaling just the real stenght of the creatures you are fighting counts. So in theory you should get similar rewards for playing a high level area on EX 1 in comparison to playing a lower level area on EX 6. This should open up a lot of possibilities and hereby make leveling less tedious than running cannibals again and again. So give it a try before you chase me through the streets with pitchforks and torches.

4. How do we plan to test this?
Brian and I worked out a way how we can turn the new mechnic on and off on the fly without rebooting the server. This will allow us to do tests on production and we can instantly shut the new mechanic off whenever it causes too much trouble. My plan is that I am online during the testing period so we can test the results together and instantly discuss it. One major part of the testing process will be to determine what a fair amount of XP will be because the new pure CR based system will have some effects on XP. Probably the most important effect will be that you get diminishing returns for fighting weaker creatures as as you level up. The reason is that the former EX XP rewards don't reward you a percent bonus to the gained XP - as it was supposed to be - but a static bonus. That way you always get very solid baseline XP even if you are fighting pretty weak creatures. This probably changes under the new system. We can of course modify the reward rules and add a static XP component based on the CR for example. But this is something we need to test. We will probably be able to add such a bonus XP component on the fly though so we should be able to figure out a fair balance pretty quickly. I'll announce the testing here and on Discord. Please join us if you can so we get as many feedback as possible.

Greetings
Brumm

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