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Would like the proposed prices to be used in RCM?

Yes
6 (85.7%)
No
1 (14.3%)

Total Members Voted: 7

Voting closed: March 12, 2012, 06:36:37 AM

Author Topic: Combat Damage Model (RCM) - merged threads  (Read 429963 times)

Offline Ron Losey

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Re: Combat Damage Model
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2011, 03:53:45 AM »
I would have preferred to see item stat rebalancing based on the current (i.e. Native) stat sets and ranges. It worked for Native and other mods, it can work for TLD, "realism" or not.
However, all help is appreciated, even if we end up with two item file variants.
I guess that means we'll still need help with the normal item stats variant, or simply GA will tweak them as we go, and as players report errors and inconsistencies.

No, "Native" does not work at all with its stats.  Sticks effectively do more damage than swords, if the target has any armor at all.  Human heads are twice as hard as steel helmets.  You can put an arrow right through somebody's heart and absolutely nothing happens.  Axes the size of stop signs can be swung about like they're made of plastic, so there's no logic to using a more reasonable-looking weapon.  The Native stats work the way the damage model works on "Pac-Man" ... only within the assumptions of the game, with no correlation to any real-world events whatsoever.  Using those purely game-limited assumptions, you can put something together that will play ... but like the pen-and-paper D&D games, those numbers exist in a vacuum and only apply to the game.  The Native stats are inherently flawed to the point that tweaking them is just running the problem around in a circle.

If you're not familiar with the RCM mods, just wait and see what it looks like.  The combat is more intense, the equipment is more valuable (i.e. a little armor is not a difference of 4 hit points - it's the difference between minimal damage and getting your head cut off), and there is logic to selecting certain equipment for certain jobs.  Common sense comes into play - you realize that charging into battle naked is a bad idea, or that trying to use really massively huge weapons could actually work against you.  It's an all-around improved game experience.  It just requires that you quit thinking in terms of D&D dice rolls and try it.

Wait and see.  If you have any sense of realism or logic about your gaming, you'll like the change.  Pretty much everybody does, unless they were just trying for that Japanese-animation chop-sockey-flick swing-around-an-axe-the-size-of-a-stop-sign feeling.  Personally, that effect bugs the heck out of me, and I'm not the only one.

Some of the other guys know exactly what I'm going to do.  Triglav was actually one of the original testers when this was first developed for ONR (and could probably set it up almost as fast as I could).  Some of the others are veterans of other RCM-mod projects, including the optional package for TLD .808, and so know quite well where this is headed.  It's been assumed since the last .808 release that I would be doing the damage numbers for the next TLD version - I had that conversation with AW, then after he vanished, again with GetAssista.  Don't worry about it - we all know what we're doing, and this was already in the plan.

And as stated, the initial versions will no doubt be crude ... we will tweak them from there.  That's part of the process.  It's just debugging.  Don't anybody panic about that.

Offline MadVader

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Re: Combat Damage Model
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2011, 05:03:27 AM »
OK, please consult heavily with GetAssista, who has the most detailed ideas about what item stats  effects should be like. I do have my ideas too, but it's counter-productive at this moment to have another guy disagreeing with everybody else. :)
I'm sure more realistic or "realistic" combat tweaks make some players happy, but please keep in mind there are also thousands of players enjoying many fine mods that build on the basic Native setup. It is sad if some people can't play great mods because of minor battle damage inconsistencies, but luckily they are a small minority.
(Also, a more humble and open-minded approach always works wonders, and gets you less enemies-per-post. :))
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Offline GetAssista

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Re: Combat Damage Model
« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2011, 05:36:07 AM »
I'm sure more realistic or "realistic" combat tweaks make some players happy, but please keep in mind there are also thousands of players enjoying many fine mods that build on the basic Native setup.
I think we will do same feat as was done with TLD808, where RCM item_kinds + modile.ini were distributed in addition to classical edition, so that anyone can swap files if so desired and be able try both versions of damage model (new game required ofc).

Offline Ron Losey

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Re: Combat Damage Model
« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2011, 06:15:21 AM »
GetAssista:
Oh, please don't do the "optional" thing again.  It made the game impossible to balance.  If one version seems pretty realistic, and the other version has sticks doing more damage than swords and everybody has to carry an axe the size of a boat oar, then effectively there will have to be unique troops and economics for each... two complete mods, sharing graphics but little else.  Anything less, and one version or the other will be directly unplayable ... and somebody will be upset about that, too.  I would rather just forget it, and leave the stats generated by a sadistic random number generator, and just figure that I didn't need to ever play TLD, before dealing with all the nonsense that comes with an "optional" version.  That's just creating a nightmare of logistics.


----------------
Madvader:
Would you stop panicking, and just let me work?  When you see the finished product, you will understand where this is headed.  Until then, trying to explain in abstract terms what took a lot of refinement to finally build on other mods is a futile exercise.

I mean, dude ... you're trying to obstruct something that you've apparently never seen in action (as best I can gather from what you're saying).   Wait and see what all the hype was about, before you decide that many thousands of gamers playing Native are doing so out of a conscious decision to favor that damage model.  I think you will find that the model can be and will be substantially improved.

If, after seeing the finished project, you still want to go back to the old stats ... we'll find some way to do that.  Or just generate some random stats for everything ... that would have the same basic effect.  But I bet you will see the improvement, as the vast majority in previous conversions have.

Offline MadVader

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Re: Combat Damage Model
« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2011, 06:25:25 AM »
Hm, well, who said communication is easy.
And yes, any RCM should be optional and not force-fed to the public. That's not debatable. And I'm out of this debate...
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Offline Conners

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Re: Combat Damage Model
« Reply #20 on: November 04, 2011, 07:23:51 AM »
Once, there was a poll as to which people would prefer for TLD--RCM or Native stats? What was the result of that poll?

Offline Ron Losey

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Re: Combat Damage Model
« Reply #21 on: November 04, 2011, 08:28:55 AM »
Once, there was a poll as to which people would prefer for TLD--RCM or Native stats? What was the result of that poll?

Even in spite of the massive balance issues and obviously tacked-on nature of the optional RCM for TLD .808, the poll results were a massive landslide in favor of the RCM version.  I don't remember the exact numbers or the final tally (as I don't remember the poll ever being closed, officially), but the ratio was at least 4 to 1 in favor of the RCM stats.  The commentary that was attached to that thread also clearly indicated that, had the game been properly balanced around the new stats, the preference ratio would have been more than 10 to 1 (i.e. almost everyone that commented and voted for the original stats cited the troop, equipment, and economic balance issues - which did, in fact, make the RCM-version game unplayable long-term, but which were not an artifact of those stats).


MadVader:

So I hardly feel like this would constitute a "force-feed" of anything in particular.  If the poll meant anything, it said that using the Native-based specifications (any particular set of them, considering how drastically they randomly mutate between M&B versions) was offensive to the majority, when given a choice. 

I mean, you have to get the data somewhere, and I promise that no particular expertise was expended in the creation of the item stats for Native... so numbers based on anything at all are generally preferable to numbers selected totally at random and then mutated in equally random ways to create "balance".  And the effect of weapons on living things and/or armor materials is one thing that can be measured ... so I figure we fix that, and then set the skill levels and such (which are totally arbitrary numbers) to make that balance.  At least that workflow prevents us from chasing our tails trying to balance several complex variables at once - it nails one value down to a concrete external standard (although some variability and tweaking still apply), and then the others can be set accordingly to produce the desired result. 

But however you get the numbers, you either have to "force-feed" some set of numbers on all players, or create an infinite number of optional variations.  (The random mutations that come with each new version of Native are not quite infinite, they only seem that way.)  It's not a "normal" vs. "RCM stats" question - it's picking one set of numbers out of an infinite set of possibilities... and that's not a debate, it's just math.  If you have a case for a particular set of numbers being "good" or at least "better" than whatever, we would all love to hear your reasoning behind this decision.  However, if anybody decides to go for the "infinite number of optional variations" approach, then they can count me out.

Offline Northcott

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Re: Combat Damage Model
« Reply #22 on: November 04, 2011, 08:51:04 AM »
Ron: I'm familiar with your work, if the old RCM is your project.  My statements were made with that in mind.

Part of the problem with M&B is just the raw "physics" of it. I've watched my character take wounds from arrows that were 'stuck' in the air just above his shoulder, or pinned in the top of his shield. Raise your shield skill, and every NPC on the field somehow defends better. Flesh wounds don't seem to happen. And of course, all of this is without getting into the realism of fighting techniques: you seem quite familiar with such things, so I'm sure you realize how much more effective something as simple as a longsword/bastard sword is than the game presents: it's painted as a weapon somehow slower and only moderately more damaging than one-handed weapons that have similar dimensions. Different armours had advantages or disadvantages in dealing with various types of damage, but with M&B you get different damage types but one broad-spectrum armour rating.

I agree that re-balancing needs to be done with the weapons as they are. And yes, it's going to be a brutal job given how the weapon lengths don't match up in many cases (while testing TLD yesterday my character was somehow ganked by an axe that visually whiffed the air in front of him, while his sword tip passed through the opponent without causing damage). But my point is that realism is a precarious thing where a very basic engine like M&B's is concerned.

I also haven't run into some of the same problems -- like a head being harder than a steel helmet. Headshots tend to end my character while not wearing a helmet, but put one on and there's a survival chance.

None of this is to disparage your efforts: I'm just explaining the root of my perception. A different philosophy, if you will. :)

Long-winded musing aside, I'd like to offer a constructive suggestion where it comes to certain magic items: something like dragon scale armour (no idea whether or not it's in the game) might be better represented by not much more protection, but less weight. Protects like steel, but weighs significantly less. Mobility + protection for the win! (Unlike Ranger leathers, which are the opposite) ;)

Offline Triglav

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Re: Combat Damage Model
« Reply #23 on: November 04, 2011, 10:05:31 AM »
Well, I for one got so hooked on Onin-no-Ran's RCM, that I could hardly go back to native stats once I got used to it. Native afterwards just seemed so, err... yea, cheap, to shoot someone in the head 5 times and still they came at you. In pure gameplay terms, I enjoyed playing with RCM much more. It was more dynamic, more fun (aiming for the weak spots) and it made more sense.

However TLD has it's specifics, since it's fantasy. Nothing unusual for a boromiroid human to get riddles with orc arrows and still slay a few enemies. Illogical, unanatomical, but part of the LOTR experience. Or an uruk being run through with a sword and still shouting curses. Or a troll arrowed like a pincusion... All such must still be taken into consideration.

But, as the author of the look of many main factions' armours, I ask you, Ron, to pay attention to the meshes visual. For instance, we've given orcs of same tier several armours, so they look less uniformed, but if you'll make a great diff in value where some orc armour for same tier shows naked belly, other has a bit of metal tied accross it, that could unbalance that whole tier's troops. Study BRF's carefully before you attribute armour and weapon stats, they should reflect visual level/quality AS WELL as tier functionality. Most troop trees were actually equipped with looks in mind, some for achieved uniformity and class distinction (Gondor and Gondor feudals, for instance), others for the exact opposite (orcs, uruks, Rhun...), so re-equipping the troop tree to fit the RCM quite out of the question...

And thank you for the effort!
« Last Edit: November 04, 2011, 10:10:45 AM by Triglav »
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Offline TheMageLord

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Re: Combat Damage Model
« Reply #24 on: November 04, 2011, 10:29:16 AM »
Is there any way to get the autocalc battles to take equipment into consideration? I've never really looked into that, but this mod is on a huge scale where the player won't be everywhere at once - so it really needs good autocalc results. Right now if a player fights in a battle, elves and dwarves absolutely massacre any goblin force - even twice their number. If you let the battle work itself out automatically, the elves and dwarves get massacred.

Unless you can get the autocalc to take equipment (or at least a pseudo equipment strength number tied to troops themselves) into consideration, any balancing done in the direction of the different tiers of troops (elves>dwarves>men>uruks>orcs or whatever it's balanced to) is just going to throw off the campaign balance. It's really a game breaker if the player can walk in naked and alone and change the course of a battle just because the troops fight so much better in actual combat than calculated battles.

In one case I went and helped defend a Rohan city against an orc attack. It was still early in the game and I had crappy gear and only killed few dozen orcs out of 600, but me just being present allowed the 150 defenders to win. Loading the game and waiting a few days made the orcs win with minimal losses.

Offline Conners

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Re: Combat Damage Model
« Reply #25 on: November 04, 2011, 10:34:26 AM »
Quote
However TLD has it's specifics, since it's fantasy. Nothing unusual for a boromiroid human to get riddles with orc arrows and still slay a few enemies. Illogical, unanatomical, but part of the LOTR experience. Or an uruk being run through with a sword and still shouting curses. Or a troll arrowed like a pincusion... All such must still be taken into consideration.
Actually, aren't those things entirely possible? Certainly not normal, of course.

A cop was shot several times. He got angry, then, and chased the shooter for several yards, before apprehending him. The cop was fine.
Providing the sword didn't specifically cut into the wrong place, I think you would tend to shout curses, if you didn't go into shock (orcs are tough, after all).
Trolls being pin-cushioned sounds entirely reasonable, depending on how big the troll is meant to be. Also, it depends on the depth of the arrows... are they piercing most of the way through, so you can see the arrowheads poking out the other side? Or are they only reaching a centimeter into the gigantic troll's thick flesh?

Offline MadVader

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Re: Combat Damage Model
« Reply #26 on: November 04, 2011, 10:57:59 AM »
Is there any way to get the autocalc battles to take equipment into consideration? I've never really looked into that, but this mod is on a huge scale where the player won't be everywhere at once - so it really needs good autocalc results. Right now if a player fights in a battle, elves and dwarves absolutely massacre any goblin force - even twice their number. If you let the battle work itself out automatically, the elves and dwarves get massacred.

Unless you can get the autocalc to take equipment (or at least a pseudo equipment strength number tied to troops themselves) into consideration, any balancing done in the direction of the different tiers of troops (elves>dwarves>men>uruks>orcs or whatever it's balanced to) is just going to throw off the campaign balance. It's really a game breaker if the player can walk in naked and alone and change the course of a battle just because the troops fight so much better in actual combat than calculated battles.

In one case I went and helped defend a Rohan city against an orc attack. It was still early in the game and I had crappy gear and only killed few dozen orcs out of 600, but me just being present allowed the 150 defenders to win. Loading the game and waiting a few days made the orcs win with minimal losses.
No, more "realistic" autocalc would very likely disrupt the present balance. After doing one for another mod, I don't think it's worth the trouble. There are always battles that won't compute and (few) people who'll complain about it.
I don't agree that a different battle outcome if the player is present is a game breaker.

What is important for us as designers is to control the autocalc to make certain factions stronger in AI battles, and that's all there is to it.
You as a player have a choice to use it or not. The magical word being choice.
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Offline Northcott

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Re: Combat Damage Model
« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2011, 10:58:57 AM »
A cop was shot several times. He got angry, then, and chased the shooter for several yards, before apprehending him. The cop was fine.
Providing the sword didn't specifically cut into the wrong place, I think you would tend to shout curses, if you didn't go into shock (orcs are tough, after all).
Trolls being pin-cushioned sounds entirely reasonable, depending on how big the troll is meant to be. Also, it depends on the depth of the arrows... are they piercing most of the way through, so you can see the arrowheads poking out the other side? Or are they only reaching a centimeter into the gigantic troll's thick flesh?

You're absolutely correct. In fact, an FBI report on the lethality of gunshot wounds several years back confirms that even modern firearms are exaggerated in their lethality. Which is not to say they're anything but dangerous as Hell... but Hollywood and bad amateur historians have left us with pretty distorted notions of death rates, the effects of wounds, etc.

Then there's the notion of how much punishment a body can take. Any hunter will tell you that moose, bears, and other large creatures have a frightening ability to shrug off what we'd consider to be horrific damage. Some larger, fiercer bears have been known to take several rounds from high-powered rifles before going down. A black troll, who has armoured skin for all intents and purposes, shouldn't have much of a problem shrugging off most arrows.

As for humans: a biker in California a few years back took 22 (!!!) bullets from the cops before going down.  Going more archaic: Edward Teach, the infamous Blackbeard, suffered about a half dozen shots and 20 or so sword and knife wounds when they took him down. No armour, just thick cloth.

The human body's a funny thing. Sometimes the littlest things can kill us in a blink. Sometimes we can endure massive trauma and come back from it. It can't even be broken down into individuals: different situations seem to trigger different responses in individuals.

It's why I say realism's a tricky thing, particularly when broken down into basic numbers. "Realism" is highly subjective thing to begin with, it's not necessarily copacetic with fun game play, and the physics of it can't really be modelled anyway.  It's better to simply have an internally consistent logic within a game.

Offline Conners

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Re: Combat Damage Model
« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2011, 11:32:07 AM »
No, more "realistic" autocalc would very likely disrupt the present balance. After doing one for another mod, I don't think it's worth the trouble. There are always battles that won't compute and (few) people who'll complain about it.
I don't agree that a different battle outcome if the player is present is a game breaker.

What is important for us as designers is to control the autocalc to make certain factions stronger in AI battles, and that's all there is to it.
You as a player have a choice to use it or not. The magical word being choice.
That would be breaking one of the rules of game-design :-/.

An analysis of game design broke it up like this: You have Choices, and you have Problems.

Problems are simple: Which piece of equipment is the best, mathematically? How do I kill all the enemies in this room to get through the door?
Problems can have multiple answers. Killing the guys is possible with a machine gun or a shotgun, but if it is easier to do with the shot-gun, that is the prime solution to the problem.

Choice, in terms of video-game-design, means having more than one option, without any best option. Morality systems in games often fail, in that few people want to be the maniac who kills every kitten they see... especially not when they'd get the same reward for petting every kitten they see.

MMORPGs often give the illusion of choice with their skill-trees and the like. However, skill trees are a Problem, not a Choice. There is a best solution, depending on if you want to do PvE or PvP. Same with equipment in most games.

So, what this boils down to... is it isn't a "Choice", giving the players something abusable. It is the best option, the prime solution to the Problem of winning the game, to run as fast as you can between battles, pop in so that your allies fight ten-times better, and gets tons of renown, prisoners and so-forth. While the solution for the evil side would be to settle all battles with a high Tactics skill, and Auto-Calculate.

That is the matter. Forcing players to handicap themselves is not good design.*


You're absolutely correct. In fact, an FBI report on the lethality of gunshot wounds several years back confirms that even modern firearms are exaggerated in their lethality. Which is not to say they're anything but dangerous as Hell... but Hollywood and bad amateur historians have left us with pretty distorted notions of death rates, the effects of wounds, etc.

Then there's the notion of how much punishment a body can take. Any hunter will tell you that moose, bears, and other large creatures have a frightening ability to shrug off what we'd consider to be horrific damage. Some larger, fiercer bears have been known to take several rounds from high-powered rifles before going down. A black troll, who has armoured skin for all intents and purposes, shouldn't have much of a problem shrugging off most arrows.

As for humans: a biker in California a few years back took 22 (!!!) bullets from the cops before going down.  Going more archaic: Edward Teach, the infamous Blackbeard, suffered about a half dozen shots and 20 or so sword and knife wounds when they took him down. No armour, just thick cloth.

The human body's a funny thing. Sometimes the littlest things can kill us in a blink. Sometimes we can endure massive trauma and come back from it. It can't even be broken down into individuals: different situations seem to trigger different responses in individuals.

It's why I say realism's a tricky thing, particularly when broken down into basic numbers. "Realism" is highly subjective thing to begin with, it's not necessarily copacetic with fun game play, and the physics of it can't really be modelled anyway.  It's better to simply have an internally consistent logic within a game.
Yes. Movies have given the impression: "If a bullet touches you, you will die, or at least collapse!". Ironically, some people do collapse after being shot, or after thinking they've been shot, because that is what movies taught them to do... Sadly for police, not all criminals are that dumb do that...

I forget the numbers, but apparently grizzly bears - when American settlers were exploring - could take a RIDICULOUS number of musket balls before dying. And musket balls are BIG!

Once read an article about duels. Some people have been pierced through the heart, then survived to ripe old ages. One guy was stabbed 19 times with a dagger, "from neck to navel", but he proceeded to, "bite the chin off of" his opponent.... and they both lived to a ripe old age.

Not sure where I heard it, it may've been from that FBI report on gun-statistics, but, "If it can happen, it will happen" in the context of a fight... There've been so many millions of encounters throughout history, you name it and it has probably happened.

That is true in a lot of cases. Still, in the RCM's case, I do think it makes the game more fun, and thought-provoking. Sadly, even with the RCM, Native is boring... Those sieges especially. It becomes a chore, when all I can do is chop downwards on enemy heads for about an hour--then do the same thing on a hundred more castles!!

Offline Multiheaded

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Re: Combat Damage Model
« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2011, 11:39:22 AM »
Just wanted to say that I fully support Ron, applaud his efforts and CAN'T WAIT for the new RCM!
Rock on, Ron!