The Force Rebalanced - A Dev Diary/Discussion

Started by Drozel

Drozel

I have not done one of these in a long time, but I do hope to do more as time permits. We have a problem here on LotS where there is a tier of characters that are tremendously unbalanced from the rest. In my experience(feel free to share yours), it goes Sith combats > Jedi combats > Sith > combats > bounty hunters > everyone else. The aim of this dev diary is to present some of the ways we plan to address these issues and to open discussion on other ways to fix.

The biggest issue by far is the Force. Forcers far outstrip non-forcers in power levels, Sith more-so than Jedi. This is because the Force has traditionally been added on top of a character's normal class. My solution to this is to introduce a number of additional classes that Force users MUST choose or opt to remove the Force from their character. These classes will more or less replace alignment and will not be able to be changed without expending 500 RPP. The current spells will be divided between these and the general Force class that we already have.

For light-siders, we will have Jedi Guardian, with combat buffs and attacks, Jedi Consular, with healing spells and similar abilities, and Jedi Sentinel which have a wide range of skills and spells that are more utilitarian, mostly non-combat. No membership in the Jedi Order is required.

For dark-siders, we will have Sith Warrior, the mirror of Jedi Guardian with powerful combat buffs and attacks, Sith Inquisitor, featuring a lot of the damage dealing spells, and Sith Alchemist, which will have several new spells: creating potions, poisons, and monsters. Likewise, these are open to all dark-siders, not just Sith.

The transition of current characters to the new system is not completely defined at the moment, but will see a lot of characters lose a significant amount of their current power. There will be RPP compensation for this.

For the other classes, we will be adding higher level skills to help bridge the gap between them and the mighty combat class, including fixes for currently broken hunter skills. I have had a lot of ideas thrown at me for these and I want them to keep coming, such as "uncanny dodge" for smugglers. Other such potential changes include a penalty to dodge for fighting 3+ attackers, to give a leadership main's mobs a chance.

Lastly, but definitely not least, is a proposed change to HP gains. Currently, every combat level up provides a gain between 25 and 25 + CON. The proposed change is to assign every class a hit dice(HD) and when a character increases his main class level, he would get an HP gain of 2*HD + CON. Current proposal for HD:

d12: combat
d10: bounty hunter, leadership, sith warrior, jedi guardian
d8: smuggler, jedi sentinel, sith alchemist
d6: pilot, slicer, jedi consular, sith inquisitor, diplomat, engineer

Using a human for example at max level:
d12: 3600-6600, avg 5100
d10: 3000-6000, avg 4500
d8: 2400-5400, avg 3900
d6: 1800-4800, avg 3300

Current human at various levels:
30: 750-1350, avg. 1050
60: 1500-2700, avg. 2100
90: 2250-4050, avg. 3150
120: 3000-5400, avg. 4200
150: 3750-6750, avg. 5250

As you can see, combat mains will have a comparable HP to the current system, but everyone else will be much more competitive. Again, there will be some pain with the transition, which we will compensate with RPP.

Now, this thread is open for discussion on the above topics as well as anything else that y'all can think of to help bring balance to our game.

UBS

This will definitely provide an ac advantage to combatants which will help immensely in balancing them against the other classes.
Can you provide a scale for that break-down?

Drozel

Currently, the formula for AC is fairly complicated, with different parts based on whether you're asleep and/or Defel, so I'll break it up a bit. The basic form is:

base_ac + dex_defensive_bonus - combat_level_bonus

base_ac is your base AC from equipment and skills/spells. This may not be entirely accurate at the moment due to the way some effects are applied, but that's on my list to fix.

dex_defensive_bonus is 0 if you're not awake, but otherwise dependent on your DEX:

  {60}, /* 0 */
  {50}, /* 1 */
  {50},
  {40},
  {30},
  {20}, /* 5 */
  {10},
  {0},
  {0},
  {0},
  {0},  /* 10 */
  {0},
  {0},
  {0},
  {0},
  {-10},  /* 15 */
  {-15},
  {-20},
  {-30},
  {-40},
  {-50},  /* 20 */
  {-60},
  {-75},
  {-90},
  {-100},
  {-110}, /* 25 */
  {-120}, /* 26 */
  {-130}, /* 27 */
  {-140}  /* 28 */

combat_level_bonus is your level in combat times 2. Defels get a +5 after the multiplication.

The changes proposed will only effect those whose classes will be changing due to Force; that is, current combat mains should not see a change for AC. For example, a human Jedi Guardian will have 60 combat; a human bounty hunter, 105 combat; and a human combat, 150. If all their equipment is the same and no buffs, the rest of the formula would come out to -170, -260, -350 respectively.

As you can see, without buffs, combat mains will hold an advantage over other classes in AC. Thoughts? Suggestions?

Drozel

Bumping this for more discussion as I'm really thinking about the force classes to bring some more balance into things. Mostly the three Jedi classes and the two Sith classes we have skills for, plus the current force class for the neutral skills. This will remove the high-level class skills from the non-force classes which should help a lot.

Drozel

So I'm working getting this working on the staging port (3004). I have not gotten it working 100% yet; I still have a few bugs to fix, but it will be ready for testing soon.

How it works

When you login on a forcer, that is, a character whose FRC stat is greater than their racial bonus, you will be confronted with the following:

NOTICE: The way we do ability classes for Force-sensitive
characters has changed. You are now requred to pick from a Force
ability class as your main ability class or opt to lose your
Force-sensitivity. Unfortunately, you will lose levels and
and skills from classes outside of your new max levels based
on your new main ability class. Each level will be converted to
one role-play point (RPP) and each ten percent in a skill to
1 RPP. In addition, your Force Points will be rerolled.
We will be accepting Roleplay Requests in the Player Portal
To restore specific skills for 50 RPP per skill.

Once you select a new ability class, you will be able to:
  help - to view any and all helpfiles available
  score - to look at your new character
  slist [ability class] - to see the updated skill list
  practice - to see what skills are now available to you
  quit - to undo your selection and quit without saving
  save - to save your changes


+-------------------------------------+------------------------------------+
|                             Ability Classes                              |
+-------------------------------------+------------------------------------+
| 0: Combat                           | 1: Piloting                        |
| 2: Engineering                      | 3: Bounty Hunting                  |
| 4: Smuggling                        | 5: Diplomacy                       |
| 6: Leadership                       | 8: Slicer                          |
| 9: Jedi Guardian                    | 10: Jedi Consular                  |
| 11: Jedi Sentinel                   | 12: Sith Warrior                   |
| 13: Sith Inquisitor                 |                                    |
+-------------------------------------+------------------------------------+

Class Levels

Jedi Guardian and Sith Warrior get a base of 10 combat levels; BHers get 45.

Due to lack of really useful spells, Jedi Sentinel's get higher max levels: base of 50 piloting (same as smuggler), 40 engineering (twice as pilot), 30 smuggling (same as slicer), 40 slicer (smuggler gets 45, engy 30).

In additional, all Force classes get a base 30 for each leadership/diplomacy. Jedi Consular gets a base 60 for each.

For completeness, the max levels are also modified as follows by attributes:

combat: con + dex + str
pilot: 2 * dex
engineering: 2 * int
smuggling: +36
leadership: wis + cha + int
diplomacy: cha * 3
slicer: (wis / 2) + 6 + (int / 2)

Skill Tree

"combat":
  "scan": 1
  "vibro-blades": 1
  "snipe": 2
  "blasters": 2
  "force pikes": 3
  "bowcasters": 4
  "throw": 5
  "kick": 6
  "mount": 7
  "rescue": 8
  "enhanced damage": 10
  "dual wield": 27
  "gouge": 30
  "punch": 30
  "disarm": 45
  "second attack": 45
  "bash": 47
  "dodge": 50
  "grip": 50
  "grenades": 61
  "berserk": 85
  "hitall": 87
  "mine": 90
  "third attack": 95
  "ambidextrous": 140


"piloting":
  "navigation": 1
  "ship systems": 1
  "starfighters": 1
  "weapon systems": 2
  "bombers": 15
  "space combat 1": 25
  "transports": 25
  "corvettes": 30
  "ship docking": 35
  "tractor beams": 35
  "midships": 40
  "space combat 2": 50
  "frigates": 65
  "space combat 3": 75
  "cruisers": 95
  "destroyers": 105
  "capital ships": 120
  "bombard": 130
  "carrier ships": 130


"engineering":
  "makecontainer": 1
  "makecomlink": 5
  "makeflashlight": 10
  "ship maintenance": 25
  "rebuild": 30
  "makeblade": 40
  "makeforcepike": 40
  "gemcutting": 50
  "spice refining": 50
  "makebowcaster": 55
  "makeholster": 60
  "makeshield": 60
  "refurbish": 65
  "makearmor": 70
  "makegoggles": 75
  "makejewelry": 80
  "makelandmine": 90
  "makeblaster": 95
  "makegrenade": 95

"Bounty hunting":
  "track": 3
  "backstab": 6
  "doorbash": 10
  "poison weapon": 30
  "acute_awareness": 50
  "see masking": 60
  "focus strength": 70
  "circle": 75
  "inner strength": 80
  "heightened accuracy": 85
  "limber": 90
  "acute_damage": 99


"smuggling":
  "beg": 1
  "dig": 2
  "search": 3
  "sneak": 5
  "climb": 7
  "hide": 15
  "peek": 20
  "steal": 20
  "detrap": 32
  "pick lock": 40
  "stealcargo": 55
  "makepipe": 60
  "disguise": 80
  "pick ship lock": 90
  "hijack": 95


"diplomacy":
  "first aid": 1
  "aid": 2
  "smalltalk": 10
  "bribe": 25
  "propeganda": 50
  "seduce": 80
  "mass_propeganda": 100


"leadership":
  "jail": 25
  "post guard": 35
  "add_patrol": 50
  "reinforcements": 60
  "elite_guard": 75
  "dominate": 80
  "special_forces": 85
  "torture": 85
  "gather_intelligence": 90
  "battle_command": 110


"force":
  "lightsabers": 2
  "detect masking": 10
  "force sight": 15
  "illuminate": 5
  "mask": 20
  "detect intent": 25
  "remove masking": 30
  "float": 10
  "create fire": 15
  "heightened awareness": 20
  "choke": 20
  "dispel force": 40
  "reveal_unseen": 30
  "lightsaber crafting": 25
  "parry": 25
  "alertness":
  "inner fortress": 35
  "aqua breath": 35
  "dream": 35
  "group masking": 45
  "cutdoor": 45
  "trance": 60
  "true sight": 70
  "detect force": 85
  "farsight": 100


"slicer":
  "makedatapad": 1
  "makecommsystem": 5
  "inquire": 15
  "commsystem": 20
  "checkprints": 35
  "codecrack": 38
  "makebug": 50
  "makebeacon": 52
  "plantbug": 56
  "checkbugs": 60
  "assignpilot": 63
  "plantbeacon": 68
  "showbugs": 73
  "checkbeacons": 76
  "removebug": 82
  "nullifybeacons": 90
  "showbeacons": 101
  "spy": 103
  "slicebank": 140
  "disableship": 150

"Jedi Consular":
  "cure light": 2
  "beauty": 5
  "refresh": 10
  "cure blindness": 20
  "cure serious": 20
  "cure poison": 30
  "cure critical": 40
  "sanctuary": 50
  "heal": 60
  "restoration": 70

"Jedi Guardian":
  "armor": 2
  "good fortune": 10
  "protection from darkness": 15
  "slink": 30
  "shield": 40
  "force shield": 50
  "force bubble": 60

"Jedi Sentinel":
  "know essence": 2
  "detect poison": 10
  "ventriloquate": 10
  "detect traps": 15
  "dispel dark": 20
  "sleep": 30
  "affect mind": 30
  "forethought": 40
  "remove trap": 50

"Sith Inquisitor":
  "force spray": 2
  "earthquake": 10
  "fireball": 20
  "flamestrike": 20
  "force bolt": 30
  "force funnel": 30
  "force blast wrath": 45
  "hand of Darkness": 55
  "scorching surge": 65
  "force lightning": 80

"Sith Warrior":
  "weaken": 2
  "release_hatred": 2
  "blindness": 10
  "invade essence": 20
  "poison": 20
  "shocking grasp": 30
  "invade_defenses": 40
  "harm": 50
  "drain essence": 55
  "shockshield": 60
  "fatigue": 65
  "unravel defense": 70
  "feebleness": 80

Feel free to submit your own in the same YAML format. I'm very open to suggestions.

Mihaku

I would mention 2 possible things as this seems to damage alot of non-min maxed players. 1st Your taking away a primary class because it is too overpowered and offering minor buffs in return. Other SWR muds that allow force as a selectable class also offer a secondary class that gives half the benefits to primary class. 2nd I feel the idea of picking a specific branch of forcer is nice but complete loss of other spells to your side is confusing, why would a Sith warrior not be able to use force lightning just because they focus on lightsaber combat? Per Legends Darth Vader would fall under Sith Warrior category and even he used Force Lightning, something unable for that class to do here, I feel the spells should be given a primary class where you get them at the normal or maybe slightly lower level and then for the other classes at a higher level IE Force lightning for Inquisitor may be 60 for them but for Sith warrior it would be maybe 100 or 110

Mihaku

Also if that is out of the question, Sanctuary should 100% be a jedi guardian ability, makes little sense to give a combat skill only to be used on ones self to a healer who should not be taking the hits themselves while the one tanking cannot