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Lisa Chau



Joined: 2003.06.02 00:00:00
Messages: 590
Location: Kalaheo, Kauai, HI
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Starting another thread so maybe they won't get so deep.

Just something else on my mind about imbalances.

I'm into playing Thieves lately because it's fun to deal with the built-in Thief problem -- Thieves require a lot of dex. So when you create one with good dex you have to rob other attributes. Which ones? Both of mine are weak, and one has very low wiz.

That's the fun. I have to figure out how to compensate for these "imbalances" between dex and other attributes. Different characters try it in their own ways. Now at higher level my two Thieves are really different in their attributes.

IMO that's the fun of Warriors too. They need to up their energy. You can do it with a big con number at character creation (and then you rob other attributes). Or with con eq at level (but then you rob your practices if you don't have enough int). Or with ebony/ivory/titanium eq, or with energy shoes. There are probably more ways. Your choices are what make your characters different.

This is good! This the essence of character development.

Why would I want these differences smashed by the game system? I like them! They're where the fun is!

Over to you!

Chiensha, Moorea, Vicodin, Xanax, Zoloft.
Mark Phillips


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Hi Lisa:

I wonder if the differences in approach between you and Sascha might be because you're used to the MUD tradition? It seems to me that you're looking at things from a MUD-like point of view, while perhaps the others aren't.

This is great! Just pointing it out.

TC is trying to be 'wider' than traditional MUDs and also wider than MOOs or MUSHs or other types of role-playing games we're familiar with. But it shows its roots in Diku and CircleMUD.

For example the 'magical' items which raise or lower attributes. That's a pretty non-realistic concept which comes from D&D.

I'm thinking that maybe you're more comfortable than some with this 'magical realism'. Sascha and Michael seem to me to be advocating a form of character growth which devalues this MUD-like legacy.

I don't really have any point here! LOL! Just looking at it from this point of view and finding it interesting.

--Mark

Bartle quotiet: E80, A67, S47, K7. TriadCity characters: Mark, Poobah, Occam, Abelard.
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Sascha Lecours



Joined: 2003.10.24 00:00:00
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Well, I really enjoy D&D and I have no beef with items boosting attributes - heck, if I wanted to play a game without magic, I'd go play baseball or something. But drawing on my D&D roots, in D&D a character at a given level is intended to have equal power to another character of the same level and same attribute total - wearing con-boosting items benefits you as long as you wear them but it doesn't particularly matter what if anything you were wearing at levelups. Now no-one is going to accuse all D&D characters of being identical, especially in the more recent editions, and yet the system is built on the fundamental premise that two characters at the same level will both be equally powerful. obviously this is not always true, but it is a very strong general rule. I hadn't realized it until now, but I guess D&D and similar game systems are what have shaped my attitudes regarding the level/power issue, so I hope that I don't seem overly partisan. So in effect I say up with magic items, up with level customization, down with level customization through magic items.
Sascha Lecours



Joined: 2003.10.24 00:00:00
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I totally agree re: choosing attributes at character creation, and deciding wether to sacrifice strength or wisdom or dex and to what degree and so on - well and good. But one of the main reasons that I agree with this system is that all characters are guaranteed the same number of attribute points at creation - they are hypothetically 'equal' without being identical. now sure a character is also hypothtically equal even after their creation - I mean, there is a non-zero chance that a newbie will gather a complete set of ruby and cobalt gear before reaching 100 xp. But I think it shouldn't be counted on. Perhaps at levelups characters should simply be given a number of points which can be turned into either health/energy OR into practices... and the number remains consistent from chracter to chracter, level to level. In this way, people can customize themselves as they see fit, but without the expense or invconvenience of the items necessary to do so now. As I say, difference is fantastic - imbalance is not. Since you suggest that new playters should find ways to acquire full suits anyway, simply giving everyone that amount of points to distribute as they choose goes one step further. Is this practical or mutually satisfactory for anyone?
Lisa Chau



Joined: 2003.06.02 00:00:00
Messages: 590
Location: Kalaheo, Kauai, HI
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If you follow the logic of this suggestion in practice, assuming I understand it, the consequence is to make con and int attributes less important. That's about it, I think.

Example. A new character is created with really high dex, low everything else.

Now at level this fellow receives a pool of points to do with as he likes. So he sticks them all into health and energy. Woo-hoo! He's Superman! He's got amazing dex and still really good health/energy.

There's no longer as much point to worrying about int. He'll want to raise his int while practicing, but his intelligence no longer has an impact on how many practices he receives.

There's no longer any point at all to worrying about con. Well, you'll regen faster, but that's not really super interesting.

So basically what we've done is to eliminate con as an interesting attribute and make int less important. And that's really about all.

I don't see how this leads to less "imbalance" between characters.

Chiensha, Moorea, Vicodin, Xanax, Zoloft.
Lisa Chau



Joined: 2003.06.02 00:00:00
Messages: 590
Location: Kalaheo, Kauai, HI
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I'm not sure I understand. Is this what you're saying, Sascha?

Characters have attributes measured by numbers. I think this is the list: int, wiz, con, str, dex, cha, max health, max energy, practices, dinars.

So we can add these numbers together and arrive at a sum.

You're advocating that every character in the game should have the same sum of all numbers as every other character at the same level.

If I got that right. Why have levels at all? Oh wait, I see why. They're just moments during game play when characters have their sum of all numbers increased by an identical number which the character can distribute as it likes.

OK. This means that "level" is a short hand for "the sum of all numbers".

I'm sure this only reflects our different interests (what I mean is it's no big deal), but I don't care what the sum of a character's numbers is. I've never thouht about trying to measure characters against each other in this numerical way. Levels to me are the moments when new skills can be learned, that's about it. Well -- and when your health/energy goes up.

Anyway if I got all this, I'm against it. Forcing all characters to have the same numbers makes them too much alike for my taste. It'll hold players back who could do better. And it just seems like a really pedantic thing to worry about anyway.

I don't mean to be mean! From other posts I think what you want is to make things easier for newbies. That's a great goal. I just really feel that worrying about equal numbers isn't a good way to do it.

Chiensha, Moorea, Vicodin, Xanax, Zoloft.
Sascha Lecours



Joined: 2003.10.24 00:00:00
Messages: 446
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Okay, you got it right except for one detail: The int and con that a character spends at character creation is automatically put toward practices (int) or energy/health (con) and the bonus points which they recieve can be spent freely. Int and con are still exactly as important as they would be if all players had access to a full suit of ruby and cobalt, which is what I believe you were trying to advocate when you suggested that players pool their resources. The amount of free points is exactly equal to the amount of points that it is possible to gain currently by wearing a full suit of cobalt or ruby or any combination thereof - thus, in this system, the equpiment which provides the bonus is simply replaced with an automatic bonus of equivalent value which does not require equipment. I don't understand how this is different from what I think you've been supporting except that it removes the hassle of gathering and sorting the equipment, and it gives all players (yes, even newbies) a fair shot at having the character they want to have, and not the one they can afford to.
Sascha Lecours



Joined: 2003.10.24 00:00:00
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First off, let me say, don't worry about offending me - despite how many posts I've made, I'm not taking anything personally - long live a good debate!

Now, in response to your post, I'm not advocating some universal sum of attributes which is precisely calculated and monitored, but I believe that the spirit of the game should be to assure that two characters of equal level will always be equally strong. I view the level as a measurement of a character's advancement in TC, and an important yardstick to compare different characters at a glance with a fair degree of accuracy, not merely a time to increase one's stats. If levels were really just times for increases in one's attributes, then there would be no objection if, say, all warrior skills could be learned at level 10 instead of being staggred out? I believe that the reason that skills become available to various roles at staggered levels is because the skill system is attempting to ensure that higher-level characters will have more impressive talents than lower-level characters of the same role, and be comparable with other of equal level, etc. i.e. balance. However, this trend is reversed in the current practice/energy system wherein a character's level is almost irrelevant regarding their power when compared to the factor of what they happened to be wearing at levelups, something that I think is not only unfair but even silly. A character should be customized according to their player-selected stats (whatever those may be, i.e. not necessarily just the six basic attributes), role, and current equipment - not the equipment the scavenged together for at the times of their level increases.

Like I said, customization yes, customization through equipment at levelups, no.
Mark Phillips


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FYI, including worn items when calculating practice/energy increases at level is common in the MUD tradition. Diku/Circle does it. TC inherits command syntax and a lot of 'look and feel' from those sources; this too.

This doesn't make the objection wrong! Just noting the existing tradition.

Bartle quotiet: E80, A67, S47, K7. TriadCity characters: Mark, Poobah, Occam, Abelard.
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Sascha Lecours



Joined: 2003.10.24 00:00:00
Messages: 446
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Okay, I understand. I just have to say that I disagree with that system - it strikes me as being a bit counter-intuitive in the long run, perhaps better suited to games where a character's loot is intended to be a large measure of their power...
Zatch Mort
TriadCity Character
Actually, I've played DND some, and am struck by the fact that, at least for the first 10 levels or so, characters of identical race and class ARE pretty identical. Personalities might differ, but the system does tend to make abilities the same or similar. I think we're trying to avoid that in SM.

of course, this thread is over a year old, so probably this won't get read...

Characters: Salus, Luralp. Optasne fricta cum illo?
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