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Re: DS2 Balance and stuff.

From: "Oerjan Ohlson" <oerjan.ohlson@t...>
Date: Mon, 1 May 2000 14:12:29 +0200
Subject: Re: DS2 Balance and stuff.

Anthony Leibrick wrote:

>Just after I sent my orginal message I realised that my comparisons
>were slightly questionable, so I checked it against an HVC with
superior >FC and one with basic. In the old way the HVC with superior
costs 70 >points, with basic 50 points. 1.4 times as much.

And since the upgrading of the FCS improves the value of the entire
*vehicle* by some 30%, a 40% increase of the cost of the *weapon* is
way too cheap for game balance. The cost of the main gun and the FCS on
a DSII tank (in the current system) seems to be somewhere round 25-30%
of the total cost of the tank (unless the tank is *very* low-tech, in
which case it can be as high as 50%), making a 40% increase of the
*weapon* cost a mere 10-15% increase of the *vehicle* cost. At most
20%, which still doesn't reflect the actual value of the upgrade.

>In your way they would be;
>HVC 5 x 8 x 3 = 120 points
>HVC 5 x 8 x 1 =  40  points
>the weapon with the superior FC cost 3 times as much so it still looks
>like it's unbalanced compared to it's chances of hitting.

Depends entirely on how nasty your tank was to begin with - you're
still trying to look at the weapon+FCS separate from the rest of the
vehicle, and that will lead you astray.

Using Brian's system, a very low-tech tank (Size-4, CFE power, Slow
Track, HVC/5, Basic FCS) costs 90 pts + various minor additional
systems like extra APSWs, APFCs etc but not ECM, PDS or Stealth. The
final cost for this tank is likely to be 100-130 points range. Assuming
that this points value is reasonably accurate (itself an iffy
assumption, but let's make it for the sake of the example), upgrading
to a Superior FCS should cost 30-40 points to balance (not just 20,
which the current DSII system makes it). The 80 points increase caused
by Brian's system is a too high *for this primitive tank*, because it
doesn't have the supporting systems (read: expected life span)
necessary to make the upgrade worthwhile.

However, assume instead that you equip the tank with Fast Tracked
mobility, two levels of stealth and Enhanced ECM (but keep the HVC/5
and Basic FCS). It is now 50% faster in all types of terrain as well as
quite a bit harder to kill, so it will probably get to fire quite a few
shots more than the primitive version above would. The current DSII
system with Brian's modification makes this new tank cost 287 points.
Assuming that this value is accurate, an upgrade to a Superior FCS
would be worth about 287*0.3 = 86 points, which is pretty close to the
80 points Brian's system makes you pay for it.

In one of today's replies to Brian I mention points values which
balance weapon/FCS comboes for specific mobility types only,
influencing the players to conform to the design styles the game
designer had in mind when he did the points-balancing. Although I don't
believe this was Brian's intention his suggestion has just this effect
- in the example it makes the Superior FCS quite overpriced for a HVC/5
on a slow, poorly defended (ie, low-tech) tank but correctly priced for
a better-protected, faster (ie, mid-tech) one. The HVC/5+Sup.FCS
combination would in this case be rather underpriced for a heavy grav
tank, but for that type of tank more advanced and more powerful types
of gun (MDC, DFFG, HEL...) would be in their "correct" price range, and
since they outgun the HVC/5 quite drastically they'd be preferrable.

This is one way of creating a points system, and it works - but only
for the specific combinations you designed it to work for. If someone
steps outside those particular combinations the result can be either
very over-powered designs (aka "cheesy" or "beardy") or very poor ones
(HVC/5 with Basic FCS on a 400+-point Grav tank, anyone? <g>), but
they're unlikely to perform close to how their points value suggests
they should. This will either cause players to complain about the
faulty points system, or force them to use the "correct" combinations.
Or both :-/


Oerjan Ohlson

"Life is like a sewer.
  What you get out of it, depends on what you put into it."
- Hen3ry

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