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Design Topic #2: RNG

Discussion in 'Iron Tower Studio' started by Goral, May 30, 2018.

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Should we adjust the RNG to represent THC probability more accurately?

  1. Yes

    20.6%
  2. No

    79.4%
  1. Goral Arcane Patron The Real Fanboy

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    http://www.irontowerstudio.com/forum/index.php/topic,7561.0.html
     
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  2. agentorange Arcane Patron

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    Keep it random as is. Any rigging and it would feel like I only won a battle because the AI decided to throw the game, which does not make for a satisfying win. As for players that get aggressively frustrated by this, they can get over it.
     
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  3. Goral Arcane Patron The Real Fanboy

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    My first reaction was "WTF? Decline!" but then I thought that it is strange that a trained soldier (not an elite but a trained one) would miss 3 times in a row a target that is rather close. It's especially ridiculous for melee when you're in point-blank range (there is a reason why knife attacks are so dangerous, for big hammers it's might be a different thing but not for lighter weapons, hence shit-skins knife attacks are so deadly in Western Europe even when their skills are amateurish and their IQ is lower than monkey's). Not impossible but very improbable unless you consider it as a pure event which I don't think is true because there are more factors in there which aren't considered by the formula. Although for guns it's much more probable than for melee so...

    My proposition: change nothing internally but obfuscate numbers a bit, instead of giving percentages go with low chances, medium chances, high chances and only after you would click on a "low chance" label you would see the percentages but labelled as "estimated percentage". Or you could give an interval and instead of saying 70% you would err on the side of caution and say 50-70% so even if one would miss 3 times in a row it wouldn't feel as random.


     
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  4. agentorange Arcane Patron

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    I've always just taken it as video game abstraction. Say you have a 95% chance to hit. For me that means your character has a 95% chance to hit based on predictable factors such as training, hand stability, calmness, distance, etc. But not including outside, unpredictable factors, all those minor details that can't be adequately taken into account or shown in a video game. So say your highly trained marksman is lining up a shot and it's an almost guaranteed hit, but then the target suddenly bends their head in a way that wasn't expected, or some sweat falls into the marksman's eyes, or they hesitate for just a split second, or any of those million things that could take place during a heated battle.

    Edit: Here's a film analogy as an example. The Jackal is basically a max level marksman character with a sniper rifle, 99% chance to hit, but his target just happens to crane his head at the worst moment possible, causing a miss.

     
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  5. lukaszek Arcane

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    Path toward greatness starts here.


    Vault Dweller are you familiar with path of exile?
    https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Evasion#Mechanics
    To allow evasion being viable, they introduced entropy: Basically successful hit raises failure and vice versa. It makes longer chains less likely.
     
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  6. Blakemoreland Hybrid Boss Magister Patron

    Blakemoreland Hybrid Boss
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    It happens in real life all the time. See this scene:



    The shooter from BOPE, braziliam special ops, is close to the kidnapper, but misses the shot. He shoted the guy in the fucking face with a giant rifle and missed. BOPE kills more than malaria in Rio's favelas. They are trained to kill. But the guy missed the easiest shot possible, in close range.
     
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  7. Blakemoreland Hybrid Boss Magister Patron

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    It is decline. One of the problems with Age of Decadence is that battles become too predictable after you achieve a certain level. One of the few things that make them interesting is a series of bad rolls. You remove this and you are making the game even more predictable and boring. Your enemies can't compensate all your experience acquired with multiple quests and your tactical knowledge.
     
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  8. Blakemoreland Hybrid Boss Magister Patron

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    Pretty much. First, they decide to implement storymode for retards who hate combat. Now this.
     
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  9. Parabalus Arcane

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    I think must multiplayer games use some form of pseudo-RNG, like Xcom on easy but unbiased, stuff like this:

    [​IMG]

    Not sure how much it'd add to a single player game, some RNG can feel great and since it's against an AI you can always reload when you get screwed over, but continue on highs.
     
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  10. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    We did?

    Now what? First, we're discussing RNG and getting feedback. No decision has been made yet. Second, we're talking about not changing your actual THC but tying the number of consecutive misses to your THC. If your THC is 70%, you'll still hit 7 out of 10 and miss 3. The only question here is should you be allowed to miss all 3 in a row?

    It all depends on what 70% THC means.

    It can mean that out of 100 attacks you hit 70, so it's ok to miss even 20 times in a row. It's all good, man.
    It can mean that out of 10 attacks you hit 7, guaranteed, so if you miss 3 times in a row, you KNOW that you'll hit the next 7 even though your THC still says 70% not 100% (which is how it works in AoD).
    Etc.
     
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  11. Blakemoreland Hybrid Boss Magister Patron

    Blakemoreland Hybrid Boss
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    From the "Taking care of business" thread:

     
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  12. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    Agreeing with MRY in general and stating that Realms of Arkania's autoresolve feature didn't make the game any less hardcore is not an indication of intent. I really don't see how you jumped from that post to "they decided to implement storymode". IF we ever consider going with 3 difficulty modes - and so far we haven't even discussed the difficulty modes internally - I will post open another design topic, present our thoughts on the subject and see what everyone has to say about it. Right now I have other things to worry about.

    Skipping or autoresolving combat is not something we'd consider, ever.

    How does giving an option to hide the skill tags and show skill-check values become a story mode?
     
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  13. lukaszek Arcane

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    Vault Dweller having rolls being a shuffled deck does sound odd and encourages counting.

    What exactly are you looking for when you ask for solutions to your problem? Are you willing to go away from shuffled deck approach or it is staying and you can at most iterate?
    You didnt answer to pathofexile approach of dynamically changing odds based on past failures/successes.
    Alternatively you could introduce some sort of resource that would flatten failures/successes, fate points if you will. Build them on failures, lose on successes, spend to avoid critical failure. Add luck stat to the mix to help manage it. Not saying to do it like in Hard West, but...

    While we are on topic of deck shuffling: is it global? When is it reshuffled?
    For example: if I just had a fight and used cards 1-10, will I see only 11-20 cards in next fight?
    I can not wait for tutorials written like: this is last fight before the boss. Do save scumming until you use most 1-10 cards. Then proceed to boss and enjoy those critical successes.
     
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  14. Blakemoreland Hybrid Boss Magister Patron

    Blakemoreland Hybrid Boss
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    Phew! Thanks.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    Not that simple. 70% means that if you play long enough eventually you'll hit 70% of the time. The question is how long. 100 attacks? 1000? If it takes a 1000 attacks to achieve that 70% probability, then missing even 100 times in a row is perfectly fine. Bad rolls, what are you gonna do? Needless to say, if a player misses even 20 times in a row with a 70% THC, he will rage quit and will never ever believe that the system worked as advertised (i.e. 70% THC).

    We don't fudge rolls (and it's not news either, I explained how our RNG works many times before), we merely reduce the size of the sample to achieve a more or less even distribution of hits and misses. And still way too many people, including those posting on this prestigious site, bitch about missing 3 times in a row, holding that as the ultimate proof that the system is broken.

    We're willing to consider any alternative that works and doesn't make things worse. Our main goal isn't to help or hinder the player but represent the to-hit chance probability in a consistent and reasonable way. If my THC is 50% I want to hit half of the time, preferably not long term over the course of the entire game but over the course of a fight.

    It's a very different direction, more suitable to a diablo-like than a slow-paced TB RPG.

    Before a fight and when you run out of 'cards'.
     
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  16. lukaszek Arcane

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    i guess important question is... how many actions do you expect to be made by each combatant over course of 1 battle? Quite general question, I know, but then I assume you dont fill your game with fights that resolve after 1 round, nor you have many full scale battles. As such you should be able to give some number.
     
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  17. Infinitron I post news Patron

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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
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  18. Grampy_Bone Savant

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    What THC means to players is, "what is the chance my turn will have a productive outcome?" When the odds are over a certain threshold (51%+), the player feels it is worth a gamble. When the player gambles three times and loses, it feels like they've been "cheated" because their turn was wasted. They would have spent the turn more productively.

    The solution is to make failed shots still productive in some way. Examples:

    -Expeditions Vikings adds the "harried" status to targets who've been shot at. I don't even know what it does, but it feels like something.

    -I can't remember what game specifically but I know I've seen systems where missed shots make the next shot more accurate ala "zeroing in"

    -Battletech removes Evasion pips from targets for each shot.
     
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  19. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    Means meeting reasonable expectations in regard to your THC. If my THC is 70% I expect to hit more often than not, say 6-7 out of 10. I don't expect to miss 5 times in a row even though it's more than possible.

    Too early to say as it's a question of balance. We don't have any particular target in mind at the moment.
     
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  20. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

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    As the Wormtongue of decline, I would normally endorse something along these lines, but too many of my favorite game experiences have been the result of strings of good or bad luck. (The first, and most formative, being when a single archer defeated a full squad of archers when defending a fort in The Ancient Art of War. It was the first "emergent narrative" I encountered as a wee lad of 6, and it stayed with me. Obviously, the point-blank spray fire miss on a Chryssalid in X-Com, which then obliterated my squad through a series of mishaps, is another classic.)

    Anyway, it is definitely true that people get sad when a series of bad rolls loses them a match. But I think you can mitigate this in various ways. The simplest would be to have bad-luck achievements, and have the highest of these achievements set relatively high thresholds ("Missed 100 shots with >80% likelihood of hitting." "Lost 20 battles in which you missed at least 3 shots with >80% likelihood of hitting."). Because there is significant overlap between "person who gets mad at missing and posts a negative review on Steam" and "achievement harvester," I suspect that if you calibrate these right, you will be able to eliminate a lot of the hard feelings. I realize this kind of stuff enrages the Blakemoreland Hybrid Boss folks of the world, but I really think it's the best approach. (Just as I still believe that allowing players to autoresolve combat, a la Master of Orion 2 or Realms of Arkania, is a reasonable accommodation.)

    Another, gamier solution would be to have outrageous misses accumulate some kind of "golden die" option (a la Frayed Knights) where you can get a critical hit if you've missed X number of times. This feels possible mood breaking, but I like it more than your proposed solution because rather than just smoothing things out, it makes the eccentricities of random chance fun in both directions.

    Grampy_Bone's examples seem okay as well, but they may not really work. For instance, missing a Harried target when you have 90% chance to hit will just amplify the annoyance. Turning evasion into a shield generator (which is what I gather evasion pips basically would be) would significantly change combat, possibly for the worse.
     
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  21. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    In AoD we merely draw numbers without making any streak adjustments. We don't reset the deck when you change attacks.

    In The New World it all depends on whatever parameters we'll set. Let's say, if your THC is less than 50%, you can miss as much as you want. If it's 50-64%, you can't miss more than 3 times in a row (i.e. after the third miss you automatically draw a hit card, but it's not a freebie as this card is now removed from the deck). If it's 65-80, you can't miss more than twice, etc. These are random ranges for discussion purposes only.
     
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  22. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    We didn't adjust the streaks but we used the deck of card design (i.e. can roll the same number twice until the deck is reshuffled), so it's not True Randomness either.

    And that is precisely what I want to. If my THC is 70% I want to know what to expect. If I have to make a hundred attacks to get that 70% chance, it might as well be 30 or 50%. These numbers would be equally meaningless in a short fight. I want the player to know that if his THC is 70%, he can expect to hit 7 out of 10. The only question is whether to allow long missing streaks, both for the player AND the enemies.
     
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  23. deuxhero Arcane

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    Why not make it a character trait (Focused: You're really good at things you're good at but really bad at things you're bad at. Chances shown at 50% or higher are even more likely to occur for you, but chances 49% or lower are even less likely.) or options tick box? Shouldn't be too hard to have an option "Use two random numbers" with a tooltip that says "When a random number would be generated, roll twice and average the result. Improves likelihood of succeeding at 50% chance or higher, but increases chance of failure at 49% chance or lower .". It's a fairly simple way to "rig" an RNG that a few games have used (the most documented being a few of the Fire Emblem games.). Math wise it means likelyhoods 50% above increase exponentially (55% is still less than 60%, but 75% is actually 87.75%), but those under similarly fail, which rewards high investment and punishes going for low chances which designwise serves an actual purpose compared to just making sure 20 d20s result in different numbers every time.
     
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  24. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

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    As per my prior post, I really think that "I want to know what to expect" is really the wrong route here. The whole reason to have an RNG is permit the unexpected -- there are at least three things it provides (the ability to gamble on a high-risk, high-reward option when it's the only hope you've got; the thrill of an unexpectedly good result [e.g., enemy missing you with a point-blank burst, critically hitting and killing your foe]; the panic of a well-laid plan going awry due to chance). It's true that the frustration of missing your own point-blank burst is extraordinary, but the idea that the frustration stems from an honest belief that the game is cheating seems implausible to me. Instead, I think "CHEATER!" is simply an emotional reaction to the fact that something bad unexpectedly happens to the player for no good reason -- e.g., the player took a conservative, low-risk, low-reward option to finish an opponent off and still missed. As long as there is any random chance, there is a chance of such a thing happening, and the player's reaction will be resultingly foul if the consequences are high enough.

    The only ways to address this are: (1) remove bad RNG results for player (yikes); (2) remove RNG entirely (losing the upsides described above); (3) give the player something when he has a bad roll. As my prior posts indicates, I think #3 is the way to go. But what to give? IMO, an achievement is the simplest answer because it's totally extrinsic and can't break anything. Because TNW is a serious setting, I wouldn't recommend in-lore options (e.g., early on you meet some guy from Lady Luck's Jilted Swains who mentions that his elite club's benefactor makes a point of letting in those cursed with a string of unfortunate events, and then in the Habitat you find the club and can get in if you have enough unlucky die rolls), but you could do some kind of extrinsic thing (like the golden die option). But I think having it "outside" the RNG is the key. Trying to adjust the RNG itself just feels weird. It's better to have the game acknowledge you got screwed and offer some offset.
     
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  25. Blakemoreland Hybrid Boss Magister Patron

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    is to acknowledge that this is a pointless discussion because a player that has this frustration doesn’t have a clue what ITS games are about. You either streamline the whole game, or forget about it.
     
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