Home » MODDING HQ 1.13 » v1.13 Multiplayer Development & Bug Reports » Balancing Suggestion
Balancing Suggestion[message #242638] Wed, 27 January 2010 17:38 Go to next message
redgun

 
Messages:190
Registered:March 2007
Location: Austria
Balancing all the Weapon Systems in 1.13 MP would be really hard work and I'm not sure if it could ever be done correctly. While this is not so important in COOP i think the issue is quite big in any PvP game.

I have been thinking about these issues quite frequently so finally I came to the conclusion that using an statistics system to balance the items could actually work. The idea is to keep logs of all the items and weapons bought in PvP games and to modify their prices accordingly.
So if weapon system 'A' offers way better performance/price ratio and therefor is more used than all other weapon systems, then 'A' will get expensive very quickly and will be less attractive.
Weapons and items that don't get bought often, will become cheaper and thus more attractive.

Advantages:
+ Weapons and items will get balanced over time
+ Players will be encouraged to use all available things

Disadvantages:
- Needs changes in the code
- Needs a public source of information that stores all the prices (i.e. a XML-file on a server) -> see comment
- Needs some kind of application that keeps track of all the statistics and calculates the prices accordingly

Comment:
The public source of information could be easy if it is possible to set the 'MP sync' directory to a web-space or to a certain location in a network (for LAN-Game compatibility).

Questions:
1) Do we need better balance?
2) Is this idea actually feasible?
3) If yes, how much work would it take? (which could be invested somewhere else)
4) Please post your opinion and discuss Smile
Re: Balancing Suggestion[message #242642] Wed, 27 January 2010 17:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anonymous
That is an awesome idea, but honestly who is willing to send in a report every time they play?
Re: Balancing Suggestion[message #242647] Wed, 27 January 2010 18:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
redgun

 
Messages:190
Registered:March 2007
Location: Austria
the idea is that you dont send in a report. The ja2mp.exe does it all for you. So as soon as you enter tactical screen the ja2mp.exe sends data about your equipment and the money you used to a server that will somehow (I haven't figured out how exactly yet) convert this info to changes in the prices of the items.
Re: Balancing Suggestion[message #242648] Wed, 27 January 2010 18:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
the scorpion

 
Messages:1839
Registered:September 2004
Location: CH
To me it sounds like this "report" would have to be automatically generated by popularity.


1) I think so.

2) regulating it through price? Don't you think if all "popular" items become more expensive, hosts would simply increase starting money so they can get their favourite items?
what about Mercs? make cheat-mercs like shadow more expensive the more often he's picked?

3. Can't comment on that, don't know.

4. IMHO, people playing unmodified 1.13 MP should develop balancing they like and use it in their mp_sync_directory when they host the game. Might be enough if 2-3 players develop such individual balancings and then spread it through file transfer etc.
Also IMHO, if you look at mods like Wildfire/ AIM or FFF-MP, they sometimes have rather detailed merc loadouts that come without having to scroll bobby rays for a long time. Admitteldy, 1.13 default loadouts are horrible. So a good custom loadout for both OIV and NIV might drasticly reduce some issues at bobby ray's, for example you could get enough good items through fewer orders.

One issue that seems striking to me is that weapons without attachments, even if fired by a good marksman, just don't hit a damn thing. 1.13 massivly nerved weapons without atatchments because of the overpoweed attachments it introduced. That's a thing to adress IMHO

Another things is the level differences between mercs in PvP. I mean you can effectivly use only a few mercs especially when playing with small squads. I think merc balancing should be redone for MP as well. Again, hosts could have a custom prof.dat in their mp_sync directory.

Re: Balancing Suggestion[message #242652] Wed, 27 January 2010 19:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
redgun

 
Messages:190
Registered:March 2007
Location: Austria
In order to get everything balance sufficiently I would need to evaluate the performance of nearly 1500 Weapons. Different types of ammo, grenades etc not included.
Theres no way I can get that fair by just tweaking the XML manually. Some manual tweaks are definitely necessary but I don't think it is possible to do a fair balance manually.

The starting money will always be an issue: If the host sets the money to 1000000000000, they can always buy 6 mortars with 1000 rounds and take the entire map back to the stonage.... :/

I agree on the issue with standard load-out but i think it should either be the same for all mercs or it should be empty Smile
Re: Balancing Suggestion[message #242669] Thu, 28 January 2010 00:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
the scorpion

 
Messages:1839
Registered:September 2004
Location: CH
well, in order to balance 1500 weapons you start by balancing weapons in classes and groups. Weapon type and caliber basicly. Then you balance them inside the group. This comes pretty naturally especially given how many weapons are functionally almost identical.

Balancing by price only isn't real balancing. I mean balancing by gameplay value of a weapon or item, the price only one factor out of many to consider.


there's two basic approaches for PvP balancing: everything the same or pros vs. cons. I find the former extremely uninteresting but it's a valid approach.

Then there tons of way how to add thematic elements to the entire thing. It speaks volume so many people would want to play entire campaigns together. They may need a host that takes up a more active role in setting up scenarios. I'd love to design custom MP scenarios but i'm really at full capacity when it comes to projects.
Re: Balancing Suggestion[message #242706] Thu, 28 January 2010 15:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
redgun

 
Messages:190
Registered:March 2007
Location: Austria
I don't see how you can get 1500 weapons balanced manually. That would literally require years of testing. Sure you can make pros and cons but that doesn't solve your problem how they compare against each other.

Take this simple example:
Pistol: + APs to Draw, + APs to fire, - Range, -Damage
Sniper: + Range, + Damage, - APs to Draw, - APs to Fire

So they both have 2 cons and 2 pros, but still the pistol is (more or less) worthless and the sniper rifle is an extremely effective weapon. So obviously we can't use pro and cons to bring all weapons to the same level of usefulness (unless we rewrite all the stats and throw realism completely out of the window). That brings us to the conclusion, that somehow we have to find a way to evaluate the efficiency of each weapon and item and change the price accordingly (we could also change the weapons efficiency, but i don't think that is a good idea).

If somebody thinks they can get a good, playable and fair balance by changing the XMLs manually please feel free to step forward and present them. I will gladly help to test Smile
Re: Balancing Suggestion[message #242707] Thu, 28 January 2010 15:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
the scorpion

 
Messages:1839
Registered:September 2004
Location: CH
You don't need to test 1500 weapons in the game. You test maybe 15-20 "prototypes" for a specific function and derive the others from there

also if you only look at PVP, you can completely ignore pistols, shotguns and smg's.

that leaves you to compare 1-5 assault rifle types, a battle rifle type, 2-5 machine gun types and 5-10 sniper rifles (and a few heavy weaposn stuff)

after these 2-3 weekeends of testing are through, you can derive the values for other item relative to these prototypes and the classes and the check again.

Btw, Pistols make only sense as sidearms. Reasonable balancing doesn't make Pistols as useful as Sniper rifles and machine guns, Ja2 isn' a first person shooter, it's a tacticl game that includes knowing for what purpose an item is useful and for what purpose it isn't.

for RR, we balanced 400 weapons, we added hundreds of maps, rewrote the story, recorded dozens of npcs and rpcs, redesigned dozens of intertwined quests, remade dozens of tilesets and added a few completely new tilesets... not to forget keeping u with 1.13's frequent changes at that time.

balancing most guns is certainly doable for somebody with a bit of commitment beyond the "somebody else gonna do it through magicks code" consumerism.
You have to think of the fact that the devs are already fighting on various fronts to improve MP. I'm not so sure whether we can, in fact, burden them with doing detailed balancing as well.

I mean starwalker, hate him or loathe him, has done quite a thorough job to make balancing consistent. So this means for rebalancing that there is a starting point. And if it just so happens that you find certain types of weapons to be well balanced by default, then you can derive the fixes for poorly balanced other items from that reference point.

[Updated on: Thu, 28 January 2010 16:02] by Moderator

Re: Balancing Suggestion[message #242737] Thu, 28 January 2010 19:29 Go to previous message
the scorpion

 
Messages:1839
Registered:September 2004
Location: CH
the scorpion

balancing most guns is certainly doable for somebody with a bit of commitment beyond the "somebody else gonna do it through magicks code" consumerism.
You have to think of the fact that the devs are already fighting on various fronts to improve MP. I'm not so sure whether we can, in fact, burden them with doing detailed balancing as well.



This wasn't intended to imply, by any means, that i don't value the tremendous efforts you put in for the testing, improvement and development of ja2's MP. Ja2 MP might have been dead without your efforts. And the players would be very bad off without your advice.

what i meant is that you shouldn't discourage people from balancing the mod by saying it can't be done. Poor balancing isn't a god given fact and with a bit of patience and the xml editor, every player can achieve quite a lot in terms of improving the balance of his game and using file transfer and server sync features, can share it with other players.

We didn't even have a really working xml editor back when working on RR, so it's actually cooler and more accesible now than it was then.


(I mean i have applied a few balancing specialities for FFF-MP, not that much, just a few details, but i think when you play FFF-MP with us, you probably notice a bit of a difference, not always in a convenient way, but "different".)
So maybe we have to talk about "different" balances first and then players have to find a way to deice which one they prefer. On the very extremes, you can have arcade-ish balancing, extremely tactical one, tacti-cool ones and quite a selection of in-between concepts.
Previous Topic: New Multiplayer
Next Topic: Question for RoWa about new feature in v1.5
Goto Forum:
  


Current Time: Sun Sep 23 00:20:21 EEST 2018

Total time taken to generate the page: 0.00982 seconds