Home » MODDING HQ 1.13 » v1.13 Modding, Customising, Editing » v1.13 Time Capsule (How-to Library) » "How does it work?" Part 3: Experience Level
"How does it work?" Part 3: Experience Level[message #195604] Mon, 01 September 2008 17:37 Go to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1795
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
There are many speculations about what effects our Experience Level has on our merc's capabilities. Some of the effects are so obscure that they are hard to discern. But, thankfully, we can read the code and find out for ourselves. So the third part of my research will uncover the mystery about Experience Levels.

The following is a list of all (or, hopefully all) of the effects of higher experience levels. Once again please note that the actual calculations are often very complex, so ExpLevel factors in differently with each effect.



  • Increases Doctoring rate.
  • Increases Repair rate.
  • Increases Militia Training rate.
  • Increases priority for character's items to get repaired first in the squad.
  • Decreases chance for the squad to be ambushed by enemies.
  • Increases chance of merc to go on another assignment, or to get another contract before his service to you is done.
  • Increases chance of merc to gain points in skills, through experience or practice.
  • Decreases chance of merc to improve his skills while available for hire (I.E. not working for you or for someone else).
  • Decreases chance to get killed while working for someone else.
  • Decreases chance to fire unwanted "extra" bullets in autofire mode.
  • Increases the difficulty level of this merc's planted bombs/mines.
  • For enemies and militia - increases chance to carry Heavy Weapons (like rocket launchers, mortars, GLs).
  • When the merc dies or is captured, a higher Experience Level means a more severe hit to the player's reputation.
  • Above level 3, the merc's hearing range is increased by one tile.
  • Helps reduce noise made while moving.
  • Increases resistance to Suppression Fire.
  • Increases chance to pick locks (both electronic and normal).
  • Increases chance to succeed in planting bombs.
  • Increases chance to succeed in disarming traps.
  • Increases chance to notice an enemy firing (silent) darts at the merc (assuming you haven't been hit and passed out! Very Happy ).
  • Increases chance to succeed in attaching together electronic items (Not sure which items those are).
  • Increases chance to detect traps.
  • Increases base APs to spend per turn.
  • Decreases noise made when screaming due to bomb explosion. Means the enemy is less likely to hear you stepping on mines Very Happy
  • Increases medical skill when bandaging wounds.
  • When using the Soldier Tooltips - increases the range at which you can view enemy soldier tooltips.
  • Increases chance to interrupt enemy.
  • Increases chance for merc (if holding the robot remote control) to make the robot interrupt enemies.
  • When attacking an NPC that is not currently hostile, helps your merc be able to shoot first.
  • Increases CTH with rocket-launchers.
  • Increases maximum attainable aiming bonus from extra aiming APs.
  • Increases chance to Dodge Bullets (Yes, dodge bullets. This effectively decreases the CTH of the attacker... but not by much).
  • Decreases enemy's chance to dodge bullets (Errrr....)
  • Reduces the penalty to CTH caused by injuries. (That's a good thing)
  • Increases base damage with Melee attacks.
  • Increases CTH with Melee attacks.
  • Increases chance to dodge Melee attacks.
  • Increases chance to steal.
  • Increases chance to prevent stealing.
  • Increases CTH with high-arc launched weapons (Mortars, high-arc Grenade Launchers)
  • Reduces the penalty to CTH of Thrown/Launched weapons caused by injuries. (That's a good thing)
  • Increases profile - enemies will want to shoot at a higher-level merc first.


Enjoy!

[Updated on: Mon, 27 April 2015 23:41] by Moderator



Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #195609] Mon, 01 September 2008 18:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Blue_Fox

 
Messages:592
Registered:September 2006
Location: Netherlands
Nice Job... Smile
Instand kill throwing knives in combination with high Dex?

BTW...Increases chance to interrupt enemy.
Was in Cambria G9, Hamous spotter, IMP level 9 waiting at the corner of a building, not seen enemy before.
Didnt get interrups, enemy just shoot or try to knife me.

[Updated on: Mon, 01 September 2008 18:20] by Moderator

Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #195613] Mon, 01 September 2008 18:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1795
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
It's randomal... So you don't always succeed even if the odds are in your favour.


Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #195616] Mon, 01 September 2008 18:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
deknegt

 
Messages:132
Registered:June 2007
Location: Doetinchem, Netherlands

where you aiming your weapon or not?
when your aiming you get a bigger chance to interrupt.
Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #195617] Mon, 01 September 2008 18:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Blue_Fox

 
Messages:592
Registered:September 2006
Location: Netherlands
I aimed of cource Very Happy
Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #195623] Mon, 01 September 2008 19:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wounded Ronin

 
Messages:79
Registered:August 2006
Wow, thanks for all your meticulous research, man.

Those guys at Sir Tech sure believed in making things as complex and nuanced as possible, didn't they? I can't believe they had this sort of thought and detail going into their game but at the same time had glaring errors like the 2% min chance to hit, which is really a major hiccup in the game engine.
Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #195624] Mon, 01 September 2008 19:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Blue_Fox

 
Messages:592
Registered:September 2006
Location: Netherlands
> When using the Soldier Tooltips - increases the range at which you can view enemy soldier tooltips.

Wenn you using "2", the default settings?
Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #195648] Mon, 01 September 2008 22:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1795
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
Quote:
when your aiming you get a bigger chance to interrupt.


I wouldn't be too sure about that. Are you sure about that?

Quote:
Those guys at Sir Tech sure believed in making things as complex and nuanced as possible, didn't they?


I think a good part of it goes to the modders of 1.13 and older versions (like JA2.5). People have changed a ton of stuff, and added a ton of stuff, and much of it has made things far more complex (I'm going to publish a similar article about Chance-to-Hit sometime soon, so be ready for some brain-warping complexity introduced by 1.13).

Quote:

Wenn you using "2", the default settings?


No idea.


Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #195691] Tue, 02 September 2008 11:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Starwalker

 
Messages:769
Registered:October 2005
Location: Hannover, Germany
Headrock
  • Increases chance to Dodge Bullets (Yes, dodge bullets. This effectively decreases the CTH of the attacker... but not by much).
  • Decreases enemy's chance to dodge bullets (Errrr....)

Actually, it is a Dexterity&Level of the shooter versus Agility&Level of the target comparison that makes for a CTH-change of the shooter.
Basically it means you need to be dextrous to follow a nimble target's movements, the designation 'dodge' is somewhat misleading, I agree Wink

[Updated on: Tue, 02 September 2008 11:17] by Moderator



Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254292] Sat, 19 June 2010 06:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
DakaSha

 
Messages:50
Registered:June 2010
How "powerful" is level? Thats the most important thing for me right now.

When i look at the wildfire mercs you have mercs that cost MUCH more then mercs with better skills/atttributes.. but they DO have a higher level.

Now im trying to change the merc profiles to my liking and i just dont know how powerful the experience level is.

Is Somebody like Lynx (level 4) with 99 Marksmanship and decent physical attributes worse then someby like Len (level 7) with pretty crappy attributes and (i think) 83 marksmanship???

Obviously lens role is more for teaching etc.. But still the price difference is huuuuuge.

Another example would be Magic with extremely good attributes/skills all around. But hes only level 5. Is that worse then somebody like Henning who has overall crappier attributes but is level 7?

[Updated on: Sat, 19 June 2010 06:55] by Moderator

Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254294] Sat, 19 June 2010 10:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
P.Val

 
Messages:72
Registered:May 2010
@DakaSha: For higher exp levels, there is always a bonus to nearly every chance check, and minor bonuses to other things like AP costs and CTH. The exact values can be found in the other "How does it work" topics, where exact formulas are given. From my personal experience, I use the high exp level nearly only for getting interrupts in close combat: when I have to storm a building or a covered position, I send in the high level merc equipped with quick carbines, PDWs, SMGs or pistols, while the rest of the team supports them from afar.
So far, as I've noticed, the most noticeable impact of a higher exp level is the higher chance to get interrupts.
Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254296] Sat, 19 June 2010 10:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
DakaSha

 
Messages:50
Registered:June 2010
If anybody would take the time to look ill show you what i mean. These are 2 mercs from wildfire:


Lynx

Health: 81
Strength: 77
Agility: 82
Dexterity: 86
Wisdom :78
Marksmanship: 99
Explosive: 50
Leadership: 46
Medical: 14
Mechanical: 32
ExpLevel: 4

Daily: 3600
Weekly: 22000
BiWeekly: 38000

Henning:

Health: 79
Strength: 78
Agility: 86
Dexterity: 82
Wisdom :96
Marksmanship: 92
Explosive: 42
Leadership: 76
Medical: 28
Mechanical: 32
ExpLevel: 7

Daily: 8800
Weekly: 58000
BiWeekly: 111000


Henning is arguably the better merc stat wise.. But barely (also with HAMSTOMP im giving lynx the Sniper trait which will make him an even better shot.) But does the 3 level difference in experience level REALLY warrant that absolute huge price increase?

with my current understanding (which is extremely rusty) it really does not. Ill take the way cheaper better shot (at least attribute wise) any day. In fact i could buy almost THREE if him for the same price!

Im trying to "balance" the mercs of wildfire. And this is pretty crucial ^^


[Updated on: Sat, 19 June 2010 10:33] by Moderator

Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254301] Sat, 19 June 2010 14:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
silversurfer

 
Messages:2038
Registered:May 2009
I prefer mercs with good stats over high level mercs too. Experience will come from training and battles. Experience is good especially for interrupts but for me it is not good enough to justify such an extreme increase in price.

I created a spreadsheet some time ago with all the mercs and their stats and a formula to calculate the price for each of them according to their stats and experience level. This price was used in Proedit to alter the salary to a more realistic value. Some mercs became cheaper, especially the expensive ones but even some of the already expensive ones got even more expensive because they had such good stats.

After this exercise I had a much nicer experience from the game because I was able to chose mercs which I never used before because of their exaggerated salary. Len is pretty cool by the way. Wink

Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254309] Sat, 19 June 2010 15:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
DakaSha

 
Messages:50
Registered:June 2010
heh do you still have the calculations/spreadsheet? It would save me ALOT of work ^^
Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254316] Sat, 19 June 2010 16:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
silversurfer

 
Messages:2038
Registered:May 2009
Unfortunately no. It had data from the original Wildfire game not 1.13 so it wouldn't be of much use anyway except as a framework to start with.
I deleted the file since I will never play Wildfire again. I only play 1.13 with WF maps now because that is much better. Smile
I don't even downloaded the complete Wildfire mod I only use the maps.

Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254319] Sat, 19 June 2010 16:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
DakaSha

 
Messages:50
Registered:June 2010
yeah im going to try hamstomp + only maps now.

Still gonna have to see how the mercs are balanced though Razz
Im guessing better in any case
Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254321] Sat, 19 June 2010 17:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
silversurfer

 
Messages:2038
Registered:May 2009
Hey I just created a new spreadsheet very easily. I used a freeware tool called XML2CSV -> http://www.a7soft.com/downloads/xml2csv.zip

With that tool and the help of this small file for field definitions:

uiIndex,zName,zNickname,bLifeMax,bStrength,bAgility,bDexterity,bWisdom,bMarksmanship,bExplosive,bLeadership,bMedical,bMechanical,bExpLevel,bSkillTrait,bSkillTrait2,sSalary,uiWeeklySalary,uiBiWeeklySalary


this command line:

xml2csv.exe mercprofiles.xml profiles.csv fields.txt


I could import the profiles.csv to Open Office and got this:

http://www1.picfront.org/picture/NveGdloIrS8/thb/spreadsheet.png

Isn't that cool and easy? Smile
With that data you could do anything to balance the mercs more. You could easily add more information to the spreadsheet or leave something out which is not interesting to you. Most important - you can add formulas to calculate the salary for you!


Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254322] Sat, 19 June 2010 17:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
DakaSha

 
Messages:50
Registered:June 2010
ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Awesome thank you Smile

I definitely prefer the character of the vanilla mercs but i think they still need some tuning. One big annoyance is that ALL the snipers have Night Ops.. That HAS to be changed. First off thats a very very powerful combo and second where is the variety Razz

While were on the topic do you know where i can edit the bios?
Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254339] Sat, 19 June 2010 23:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
silversurfer

 
Messages:2038
Registered:May 2009
Why would you want to edit the bios of your PC? :confused:

Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254341] Sat, 19 June 2010 23:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1795
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
The bios are probably inside an EDT file. Those are editable, but I can't tell you which file nor whether that's even true. I doubt they're hardcoded though.

These should be externalized. AFAIK it would be pretty easy too.


Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254344] Sun, 20 June 2010 00:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Never Darktide

 
Messages:88
Registered:July 2009
One thing I noticed awhile ago: with the exception of Ivan and maybe a few others, the mercs from JA1/DG maintain the exact same stats. You'd think that even if they didn't go to Metavira or fight the DFK that they would have taken some assignments and gotten some experience. I haven't played with stats at all...but I might. Smile
Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254349] Sun, 20 June 2010 02:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1795
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
Well, the real problem is that if you push the stats too high, JA2 goes out of whack. If anything, I would've liked to set everyone back a couple of notches. And decrease stat improvement. The current average starting skill level of all mercs is 75 (taking all 10 skills and attributes into account). IMHO it should be closer to 60 if not less, given the skill system as it works in JA2. Enemy skills should be reduced proportionally, to keep it sort of balanced, but seriously - mercs are just too good at the start, even the cheap ones.


Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254350] Sun, 20 June 2010 02:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
DakaSha

 
Messages:50
Registered:June 2010
I was actually worried about that too...

The problem is that the system itself is flawed. You would think that a trained merc WOULD have good skills from the get go (but that they improve slower). Of course in game terms thats not as interesting sadly.

Perhaps the Experience Level should have a more profound effect on game play. That way there really would be a nice difference between a merc with alot of experience and just a merc with some decent stats..

Do you recommend raising the points needed to gain in attributes/skills/level?

Right now its: 50,25,350

Should double it?

Anyways just in case anybody is interested what im trying to do now is make every single merc "interesting" (except maybe some of the MERC mercs). This means balancing costs and providing more variety. I think STOMP helps here as it makes mercs more specialized by default

currently it seems to me like some mercs are "must gets" while others are "get if you just want to use somebody else for a change"

Again.. Things like all sniper having night ops is really sad to me

[Updated on: Sun, 20 June 2010 02:59] by Moderator

Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254351] Sun, 20 June 2010 03:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1795
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
Quote:
Do you recommend raising the points needed to gain in attributes/skills/level?


Well, like all my other features, I externalized those values for personal use first, public use second, so you can imagine that I don't play with the default values Wink

Quote:
Right now its: 50,25,350

Should double it?


I use different levels for each skill and attribute. I actually sped up improvement on some things (like health) which are way too hard to raise, and slowed it down on others (like marksmanship) where it usually goes up too fast. If you want I'll see if I can post the exact numbers I use. However, do note that I haven't actually finished a campaign in at least a year, so I don't know how well these numbers hold up past 3 cities or so.

Quote:
currently it seems to me like some mercs are "must gets" while others are "get if you just want to use somebody else for a change"


Very true.


Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254355] Sun, 20 June 2010 06:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Never Darktide

 
Messages:88
Registered:July 2009
Nice job on the XML -> CSV thing by the way silversurfer, I used it to figure this next part out.

After the whole discussion about hired mercs being too powerful, I decided to analyze with the spreadsheet. I added a few extra columns: physical (hea, str, agi, dex, wis), skill (mrk, exp, ldr, mec, med), and total. I'd post the spreadsheet but have no real place to put it, but here is an overall estimation of what I found:

- Most mercs have high physical stats. The average total physical score among 69 mercs (AIM, MERC plus UB mercs, and all RPCs) was 378/500, which is a little less than 80% progression. Magic had a score of 464 and Scully a score of 454 (over 90% progression), with Thor, Ivan, Trevor, Danny, and Shadow having scores of 439 or more. Shank had the lowest score of 263 (is anyone surprised?) being one of only three mercs in the 200s (Flo and stoned Larry).

- Skills are a lot lower. The average total skill score among the 69 mercs was 194/500, just under 40% progression. Gus is king here, with 404 points and 80 points over the next closest: Scully with 325 and Biggins with 323. Trevor was the only other merc in the 300s, and it's worth noting that most mercs' skill scores are boosted by the fact that they have high marksmanship. Flo, Razor, Shank, Haywire, and Biff were the worst in that order, having a score below 100. Poor MERCs.

- Overall, the average total skill for the 69 mercs was 573, although the total skill for AIM (where many of us get our mercs from) is undoubtedly higher. In addition, we have pros like Flo (353) and Shank (352) bogging down the numbers, but I guess you always get outliers. The "top" mercs, on the other hand, were Gus (804), Scully (779), Trevor (748), Magic (716), Thor (700), and Len (697).

So what can we learn from this? Some mercs probably should be toned down a bit, although I hardly think it'd stop some people from still going all out and destroying everything. Trevor and Thor come to mind for skewed mercs, though; I think level should be a lot more indicative of your skill. While your mercs' skills will limit you somewhat, in the end, it's going to depend a lot more on the skill and intelligence of the player, your equipment, and (unfortunately) luck. Keep in mind that a highly trained merc, depending on their armor, etc. may only take a few more shots to kill than a rookie (and the rookie will last longer if it's Steroid, hahaha).

Interesting fact: I did see a thread on, I believe, a German board where somebody started with six IMPs with very low stats (like 35 in everything, I think) and had them incredibly powerful by the end. Finding it would be a pain in my Firefox history, but if anyone does happen to find it...

I would like to see the progress of your work DakaSha, as I've started gaining interest in a similar project (whether or not I go through with it is another matter, though...) I agree that STOMP is a very useful mod, as the traits in the original game just didn't have much flavor or usefulness to them (well, they probably did, but I rarely noticed the difference).
Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254357] Sun, 20 June 2010 07:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
DakaSha

 
Messages:50
Registered:June 2010
I will make a separate thread for this some time today. Of course it would be great if we could get the "community" interested in this to get general views sorted out. Of course i will want things "done my way" but I think the best route would be to get a general consensus... mod it and then individual players can tweak to their liking (as that's how everything is with 1.13 which is great)

Youve already done quite a bit of work with those numbers and i will build on that.

Like i said i will create a new thread when i have thought it out but my (current) general goals are:

1. Salary Balance (Top tier mercs dont make THAT much of a difference)

2. General Balance (ie. ALL (non-merc) Mercs should be valuable in their own way. No more "useless" mercs. Deciding on which mercs to choose should be FUN and exciting)

2. Variety (ie. More varied snipers for instance.. yes it get to me that much Razz )

3. Specializations more important. (ie. A doctor like spider who is not that great as a grunt should be much more valuable as a doctor. I think mercs like doctors should be "expensive" and a greater emphasis put on their importance. Its quite hard for me to explain what I mean.. Ill try to elaborate in the new thread)

4. More realistic/varied rpg progression (ie. No more level 9, 99 Marksmanship mercs just because you were a bit more patient. I dont know exactly how I would go about this *yet*. Skills increase slower for instance)

5. Having said all that i think the general flavor of the mercs should stay the same. Sir Tech did a great job with the different personalities and my(our if anybody else is interested) changes would be purely for balance etc... Spider will always be a doctor. Trevor will always be the whiz kid.. Steroid is going to stay the somewhat "overpowered" if slow, dumb and alcoholic ex firefighter Wink )


Thats it for now (off the top of my head btw so my bad if its not a perfect list). Two things to note:

1. To do this perfectly there might be a need for some source code changes. I know headrock is working on a new CtH system which is absolutely great. It will be a big step. I think STOMP needs to be upgraded to newer versions but that is out of my control. Either way the mod i have planned would be for vanilla 1.13 and STOMP. I CAN code but I'm only decent with c# and dont think i want to start teaching myself c++ just for a balance mod ^^

2. STOMP is great for this "project" (if it actually turns into one) but it too has its faults. One example would be the way lock picking is mixed in with the technician skill. I agree that a technician would be more able to lockpick but this is the scenario i imagine that causes problems:

Reaper is an assassin. Hes the most assassany( Razz ) assassin in the game (And will prob stay that way for what i have planned) but there is a problem with stomp: Hes not a dang mechanic. To make him a really good lock picker i need to give him the technician skill... But I dont imagine reaper repairing the squads weapons Razz

Again this is actually out of my hands but i thought id mention it Razz



[Updated on: Sun, 20 June 2010 07:10] by Moderator

Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254360] Sun, 20 June 2010 10:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
P.Val

 
Messages:72
Registered:May 2010
I hope this will be only to correct the huge imbalance introduced by Wildfire mercs (never played them, just read the description of level 6-7 mercs costing over 8000 daily), and not a full redesign of mercs in a normal game. What you find "useless" might be very useful to others, and the standard mercs are already very well balanced. The small unbalances add to the atmosphere of the game: why would the choices matter if everyone were equally powerful?
Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254361] Sun, 20 June 2010 10:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
DakaSha

 
Messages:50
Registered:June 2010
Nah I mean the vanilla mercs. Im only planning this for myself and if anybody is interested they will be free to join in or use the mod.

I dont think the vanilla mercs are set up very well at all (although not as bad as the wildfire mercs)
Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254363] Sun, 20 June 2010 11:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
DepressivesBrot

 
Messages:3728
Registered:July 2009
Never_Darktide
Interesting fact: I did see a thread on, I believe, a German board where somebody started with six IMPs with very low stats (like 35 in everything, I think) and had them incredibly powerful by the end. Finding it would be a pain in my Firefox history, but if anyone does happen to find it...

Are you referring to Grasyls 'experiment' where he had 6 IMPs with every attribute (except health) starting at *ONE*?
Link to thread
Note: The last post on page 12 contains the final stats.


Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254420] Mon, 21 June 2010 04:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
DakaSha

 
Messages:50
Registered:June 2010
PVal
I hope this will be only to correct the huge imbalance introduced by Wildfire mercs (never played them, just read the description of level 6-7 mercs costing over 8000 daily), and not a full redesign of mercs in a normal game. What you find "useless" might be very useful to others, and the standard mercs are already very well balanced. The small unbalances add to the atmosphere of the game: why would the choices matter if everyone were equally powerful?



Btw my goal isnt to make everybody equally powerful.. I dont know how you get that idea

[Updated on: Mon, 21 June 2010 04:47] by Moderator

Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254422] Mon, 21 June 2010 06:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1795
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
The problem is that currently, many mercs ARE equally powerful, or at least largely indistinguishable. One reason for this is the fact that the skill system is screwed up - most skills go up very quickly, especially since they can be freely trained up, the effective difference at high levels is negligible, and most mercs start with many high attributes. The result is that most mercs are relatively on par with one another when it comes to field performance - except the ones who are specifically terrible or specifically good at something. That has more to do with traits, rather than attributes.

Unfortunately, there's no real easy solution to this, especially not one that could satisfy both realism and gameplay at the same time. But in the meanwhile, going for gameplay benefits by adjusting skill levels downwards across the board could work.

I'll drop one idea before I go to sleep:
Attributes (STR, WIS, DEX, AGI, HLT) are set on a scale of 0-100. In theory, this should mean that the average attribute for humans should be 50. In JA2, using this scale most mercs are basically superhumans, with elevated levels across the board. In other words, if you study current merc backgrounds compared to their stats you'll find that the average for humans would be around 65-70. The solution would be to normalize all attributes towards 50. Or perhaps find an individual average for each attribute.

Note that increasing the number of sub-points required to level up in these attributes would also be necessary - otherwise it won't take long to raise a merc back to his/her original stat levels.


Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254423] Mon, 21 June 2010 06:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
DakaSha

 
Messages:50
Registered:June 2010
Well the skill system seems to work like Video game magazine rating systems. A score of 50 would be the middle of the spectrum but would you ever in your right mind by a game that gets a score of 50?

I skill of 75 (or 7.5 Razz ) is an average game. One that is either flawed (bugs etc) or will only appeal to fans of the genre.

I agree that 50 should be middle ground.

Although this would require some fundamental changes (if 50 agility were average, then with the currant system everybody would be so slow it would prob get on peoples nerves. The pace right now is very good IMO)

Also if everybody shot as bad as a merc with (current) 50 the mercs would def not seem like trained mercenary's. The game would turn into a game of attrition (if thats the right word).

But you mentioned this with the fact that realism and game play are two different thing.

[Updated on: Mon, 21 June 2010 06:49] by Moderator

Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254425] Mon, 21 June 2010 07:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Never Darktide

 
Messages:88
Registered:July 2009
Well, the rule of most RPGs is that your heroes tend to be above average, if not a bit more than above average, which often slides up to outstanding...heh.

I tried to come up with a scale for each particular attribute earlier tonight, what each trait would mean if you had it, etc. Didn't get very far. Sad

Bear (haha, bear, bear's pit, haha) with me while I explain: I think the baseline for physical attributes would probably fall around a 60, meaning anything much below that would indicate serious deficiency in that area (or lack of conditioning, whatever - it's possible to run around all day and have no arm muscles, or to do nothing but lift weights but break a horrible sweat if you go for a jog). On the other hand, physical attributes in the high 80s-90s would mean you conditioned every day (which I can see the hardcore guys like Magic and Scully doing). Skills would be a bit different, as some people obviously don't train in them; below 35 would indicate "no significant training in this general area". High marksmanship would mean, in the words of Ivan, "gun, all gun, like finger on hand" and the accuracy to match. High aptitude in other skills would indicate a great deal of training and focus on the activity in question.

Traits (and I'm thinking STOMP here, because ever since I started using that mod, I can't give it up) open up a whole other bag. (Side note: I actually went through and modified a few STOMP traits based on what I thought was more appropriate for some mercs; if anyone wants to confer, I would be happy to.) Now, you've got the people who train a lot with guns, and you've got the people with the patience, calm, and steady aim to pull off good headshots - marksmen, and, even better, people who can perfect that - snipers. You also have the people who just "know" how to deal with weapon kickback - machinegunners. Looking at different skills, there are people who study medicine and know how to apply it in the field; this would mean a high medical skill. There are also people who take it to the next level with their own innovations, getting specialized training at the exclusion of other opportunities, which are paramedics and doctors. I could go on here for awhile...heh...but I can totally understand why some people (myself included) would be interested in changing things up, to provide a more unique gameplay for each merc, hopefully not at the cost of balance.

Or something like that.

Fun facts, the average stats among the 69 recruitable mercs (correct me if I'm wrong in this number, but I think I got everybody) are as follows:

Level: 3(.26)
Health: 81
Strength: 73
Agility: 73
Dexterity: 76
Wisdom: 75
Marksmanship: 76
Explosives: 33
Leadership: 25
Medical: 27
Mechanical: 33

Edit: Headrock, I would like to see your progression settings for each attribute as well. Thanks Smile

[Updated on: Mon, 21 June 2010 07:13] by Moderator

Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254427] Mon, 21 June 2010 07:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
DakaSha

 
Messages:50
Registered:June 2010
I to playe with stomp and have also edited the skills heh.

The way i see it (currently) is that something like a high medical skill rating means experience in the field. You have helped many wounded people or practiced your "own" version of medicine (Dr Q.. ancient chinese secrets Razz Maybe Thor also falls into this category)

when somebody has the paramedic or doctor skill i see it as actually being trained (Or at least very self taught)

I needed to do this for mercs like Dr Q.. He NEEDS martial arts but that removes the possibility of giving him a doctor skill...

Again stomp has some flaws. Lockpicking being one (i have an example in an earlier post). If there wasnt to be a whole extra skill for lock picking i would like to see it merged partly with stealth (for lack of a better idea)

But if stomp were just made a bit "better" i can see it being a huge boon to making mercs more varied/interesting.

I ended up giving Lynx only the marksman skill and gunslinger skills (and removing that damn night ops) Since I dont imagine him as a sniper but as a true "Marksman". Scope is right next to him and is almost the exact same thing otherwise.

as said everybody has their own idea of what should be right but if we could get a "system" down then people would be free to tweak to their exact liking

[Updated on: Mon, 21 June 2010 07:34] by Moderator

Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254450] Mon, 21 June 2010 14:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
silversurfer

 
Messages:2038
Registered:May 2009
People already ARE free to tweak the mercs to their liking. They could even do this in original JA2 or Wildfire for example. My guess is that most people take JA2 1.13 as it is and play with the defaults, maybe activating a few options here and there.

If there really is a need to change the mercs stats then I would say that the difficult part is to chose the defaults and that is the point where almost everybody seems to have his own ideas about. For example I wouldn't agree that the default or average attribute for a merc should be 50. This could be ok for a normal human but not for a trained professional.

Good mercs (those from A.I.M.) are somewhat like soldiers. They are trained to have good physical stats. They should be stronger and faster than the average human and also have higher stamina. Too bad that stamina is not implemented. Steroid wouldn't be the one with the best value I bet. Very Happy
But he would be strong and probably a good heavy weapons guy and/or machine gunner.

To balance mercs we would also have to look at the dependencies between skills, traits and physical stats. For example can you imagine a skinny merc who is an expert machine gunner? Probably not because he would be knocked over by the recoil of his weapon. How about a medic with low dexterity? Certainly not.
Also we would have to decide which trait system to choose, vanilla or STOMP.

When those dependencies are sorted out we could think of a good mix of mercs and also put the mercs in certain level ranges with appropriate stats.
That will be the complicated part.

We have 40 mercs from A.I.M. now and 11 from M.E.R.C.

The vanilla traits are distributed as follows at the moment:

Lockpicking 7
Hand-to-Hand 7
Electronics 8
Night Ops 12
Throwing 5
Teaching 15
Heavy Weapons 7
Auto Weapons 8
Stealthy 8
Thief 0
Martial Arts 3
Knifing 7
Rooftop Sniper 1
Camouflage 1

Looks like we have a lot of teachers. Who will be the one to chose merc - skill combinations? :whistle:

Also all hireable NPCs would need adjustment as well as enemy soldiers, civil guards and so on.

Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254452] Mon, 21 June 2010 15:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1795
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
Quote:
Although this would require some fundamental changes (if 50 agility were average, then with the currant system everybody would be so slow it would prob get on peoples nerves. The pace right now is very good IMO)


Meh, I think people have become too pampered Wink
I wanna see the average merc moving 50APs per turn, with only the best of the best doing 100.

Quote:
Also if everybody shot as bad as a merc with (current) 50 the mercs would def not seem like trained mercenary's. The game would turn into a game of attrition (if thats the right word).


LOL well, with HAM Suppression turned on, that is already the case - lots of bullets fired, and you either need to close the distance to get a kill or use a marksman.

Also NCTH will have roughly the same effect - more shots, less hits.

So, reducing the marksmanship would fit right in with everything else. Wink Razz :vader:

Also, most of our mercs aren't supposed to be great shots. They just know how to operate a gun, and probably have a little experience with shooting, but that doesn't make them marksmen. And in this game, 80 MRK (just a bit over the average) is deadly accurate. We need more mercs with "bearable" shooting skills, like 30-60ish. As with everything else, if all mercs have high MRK, then the difference between their shooting skills is minimal. Diversity would be more interesting.

Quote:
Well, the rule of most RPGs is that your heroes tend to be above average


But here most characters aren't supposed to be "heroes", they're supposed to be a ragtag band of misfits, many of whom are specialists rather than seasoned combatants.

Quote:
Headrock, I would like to see your progression settings for each attribute as well.


Here:

HEALTH = 25 (note that some facilities in HAM tend to reduce health)
STRENGTH = 60
AGILITY = 40
DEXTERITY = 75
WISDOM = 65

MARKSMANSHIP = 45
EXPLOSIVES = 35
LEADERSHIP = 45
MEDICAL = 50
MECHANICAL = 45

EXP_LEVEL = 500

That's the settings I used for my latest game. Again please note that I haven't actually gotten very far in the game with these, since I tend to have to restart my campaigns often for testing purposes.


Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254453] Mon, 21 June 2010 15:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
DakaSha

 
Messages:50
Registered:June 2010
silversurfer
People already ARE free to tweak the mercs to their liking. They could even do this in original JA2 or Wildfire for example. My guess is that most people take JA2 1.13 as it is and play with the defaults, maybe activating a few options here and there.

If there really is a need to change the mercs stats then I would say that the difficult part is to chose the defaults and that is the point where almost everybody seems to have his own ideas about. For example I wouldn't agree that the default or average attribute for a merc should be 50. This could be ok for a normal human but not for a trained professional.

Good mercs (those from A.I.M.) are somewhat like soldiers. They are trained to have good physical stats. They should be stronger and faster than the average human and also have higher stamina. Too bad that stamina is not implemented. Steroid wouldn't be the one with the best value I bet. Very Happy
But he would be strong and probably a good heavy weapons guy and/or machine gunner.

To balance mercs we would also have to look at the dependencies between skills, traits and physical stats. For example can you imagine a skinny merc who is an expert machine gunner? Probably not because he would be knocked over by the recoil of his weapon. How about a medic with low dexterity? Certainly not.
Also we would have to decide which trait system to choose, vanilla or STOMP.

When those dependencies are sorted out we could think of a good mix of mercs and also put the mercs in certain level ranges with appropriate stats.
That will be the complicated part.

We have 40 mercs from A.I.M. now and 11 from M.E.R.C.

The vanilla traits are distributed as follows at the moment:

Lockpicking 7
Hand-to-Hand 7
Electronics 8
Night Ops 12
Throwing 5
Teaching 15
Heavy Weapons 7
Auto Weapons 8
Stealthy 8
Thief 0
Martial Arts 3
Knifing 7
Rooftop Sniper 1
Camouflage 1

Looks like we have a lot of teachers. Who will be the one to chose merc - skill combinations? :whistle:

Also all hireable NPCs would need adjustment as well as enemy soldiers, civil guards and so on.


The system is inherently flawed (IMO). Yes you can mess with the mercs but you wont make the system any better.

The base of 50 would be the base of mercs.. since thats what you use.. It is a game after all Razz

But that point is certainly up for debate

And what do you mean there is no stamina? What do you think that blue bar is Razz
Of course its prob the same for everybody so yeah.. Razz

[Updated on: Mon, 21 June 2010 15:28] by Moderator

Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254456] Mon, 21 June 2010 17:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
silversurfer

 
Messages:2038
Registered:May 2009
DakaSha

And what do you mean there is no stamina? What do you think that blue bar is Razz
Of course its prob the same for everybody so yeah.. Razz



That's what I meant. If there was a stamina value for each person then you could have someone like Steroid who would probably drop to the ground after jogging 100 meters and others who would be exhausted after a much longer distance. Of course it also depends on the weight that someone has to carry... Wink

Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254461] Mon, 21 June 2010 18:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1795
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
Well, AFAIK stamina is based on Health, so for that result you'll need to reduce Steroid's health.


Re: "How does it work?" Part III: Experience Level[message #254464] Mon, 21 June 2010 19:18 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
silversurfer

 
Messages:2038
Registered:May 2009
But that wouldn't bring the desired result. I imagine Steroid to be the usual body builder type - lots of muscles but not much stamina. That's the complete opposite of a marathon runner who has much less muscles but much more stamina. It's about the way the muscles are "conditioned" (is that the correct word for what I mean?).
That doesn't mean that one of them is healthier than the other. In game terms lowering his health would mean that he would die from a single bullet while someone like Blood or Buns will survive almost anything.

Naa, we better leave stamina out of this discussion unless something like this is implemented as a separate value. Wink

Previous Topic: "How does it work?" Part 7a: Levelling Up
Next Topic: Ham InI Setings.
Goto Forum:
  


Current Time: Fri Mar 24 21:45:28 EET 2017

Total time taken to generate the page: 0.01216 seconds