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Point systems

From: Mikko Kurki-Suonio <maxxon@d...>
Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 23:08:24 +0300 (EEST)
Subject: Point systems

Another pointless ramble, vaguely related to Örjan's quest for DS2

There are basically two kinds of points systems -- competetive and

The aim of a balansive point system is parity. You know, that "any given
Sunday" stuff. 100 points of X works as well as 100 points of Y, given
equally competent players.

The aim of a competetive point system is just to give a level playing
ground. E.g. Car Wars (I used to play it a LOT, until I got tired of the
arms race) has a competetive points system. They never claim one $10000
car is as good as another -- in fact quite the opposite. Getting more
for your buck (i.e. minmaxing) is an important part of the game. As it
in design of real race cars etc. In fact, the game can be literally won
the drawing board.

Balancing that is easy -- you don't. All you have to do is provide 
*some* reason to buy any given thing. E.g. the AT gun in Car Wars: it's
heavy, it's inaccurate -- but it IS the cheapest multi-shot 3d weapon in
the game.

Now, this is probably not what we want for DS2. Unfortunately I don't
think a totally balansive system is possible for any non-trivial game.
(This is kind of a paradox -- if any braindead hodge-podge is just as
as something selected with care and knowledge, how much effect can said
selection have on the game?)

What CAN be done, though, is always erring on the side of caution. This
will make some combos not worth the cost. Somebody wants lo-mob wheeled
with short range guns? BAD CHOICE! Eliminate from gene pool, move on to
next candidate. 

Heck, that's what we already do with FT: Design a ship and forget to put
in a FC -- all you get is an expensive target (or a very dedicated

In a game like DS2, terrain means a lot. You'll just have to accept that
some things are better in some terrain (with an extra pricetag for
that are good in any terrain). If you're fighting on a waterworld, no
price multiplier (bar zero) is going to bring a tracked tank up to par
with a grav jeep.

Ok, maybe this does not help much, but I think you should concentrate on
balancing the "reasonable" stuff, and them making sure everything else
overpriced ;-)

-- (Mikko Kurki-Suonio) 	  | A pig who doesn't
GSM +358 50 5596411 Tel +358 9 8092681		  | is just an ordinary
Länsimetsä 3B1 02300 ESPOO FINLAND   Hate me? Try |	      - Porco
Rosso      hateme.html  |

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