The balance formula thread - Page 5

The balance formula thread

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Saktoth
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Re: The balance formula thread

Post by Saktoth »

Llamadeus wrote:Man, no wonder CA balance is so backwards.
Llamadeus wrote:Thinking about it, the rock-paper-scissors example kind of shows how every unit is balanced by having a counter. The more expectation (or perceived expectation) the unit has over the field, the more ubiquitous its counter becomes.
It was cute watching you slowly come to the realization Llam.
But statistically,after all the mind games(assuming the oped unit has a very clear counter that when built renders the unit useless but is weak against other units),you'd still be building X more than others.
Yes, DESPITE the fact that rock is flat out 5x better than scissors, you'll still be using scissors! Wow! Just goes to show that balancing your counter mechanics properly is so much more important than just ensuring that units have equivalent cost/power relationships. The range of situations in which a unit is good (and the range of situations in which the unit it can beat and the units that beat it are good) is what determines whether a unit is used or not.

Antinuke is a classic example of a '$1' unit. Its utterly and completely useless in all situations except one, which can lose you the game, which makes it essential. Id like to see you balance antinukes with a DPS/HP/cost formula or something- you just cant.

Read Sirlin for some good stuff on RPS in games. A lot of what ive said is in that article (I can thank Slek for pointing me to Sirlin :P).
Last edited by Saktoth on 26 Mar 2009, 17:47, edited 1 time in total.
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KingRaptor
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Re: The balance formula thread

Post by KingRaptor »

[quote="Saktoth"][quote="Llamadeus"]Man, no wonder CA balance is so backwards.[/quote]
It was cute watching you slowly come to the realization Llam.
[/quote]
I think that quote was about you saying having a mental slip and saying "scissors counters rock" >_>
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Saktoth
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Re: The balance formula thread

Post by Saktoth »

KingRaptor wrote:[quote="Saktoth"][quote="Llamadeus"]Man, no wonder CA balance is so backwards.
It was cute watching you slowly come to the realization Llam.
[/quote]
I think that quote was about you saying having a mental slip and saying "scissors counters rock" >_>[/size][/quote]
LOL

Oh, sorry.

Its actually totally irrelevant though which way you go. You can have a network which looks like this:

Image

You'd still get interesting dynamics (though bacon is OP). You can even have complex payoff matrices (Chicken makes $5 against Bacon, 10$ against cheese). Then you start getting something that begins to resmble an RTS.
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Sleksa
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Re: The balance formula thread

Post by Sleksa »

Saktoth wrote: Read Sirlin for some good stuff on RPS in games. A lot of what ive said is in that article (I can thank Slek for pointing me to Sirlin :P).
Yes, sirlin is a man you should atleast know about when talking balance, even if you disagree with his ideas.
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Gota
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Re: The balance formula thread

Post by Gota »

Well he didnt do anything revolutionary with street fighter 2 hd...
He didn't do anything beyond tweaking it based on stuff he thought were oped and under powered...and what do you know?yes HD has balance issues(and he admits to them)exactly cause of that reason...
Sure its more balanced now cause it has been played so much but he still couldn't even make it balanced enough so that balance flaws are only revealed when looking at a huge amount of games...
HD still has glaring balance issues...
And he totally accepts the idea of officially having several tiers of characters,each worse or better than the others.
He couldn't balance a roster of how many?13 fighters?

I don't know enough about it but Maybe you should refer to starcraft's balancers in future posts...

It seems that none has actually made any real research into the matter.
Funny thing is that balanced games are so rare yet game balance is completely undervalued relative to other aspects of a game...
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rattle
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Re: The balance formula thread

Post by rattle »

Image
I think you are trying to summon a greater food demon
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Sleksa
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Re: The balance formula thread

Post by Sleksa »

Gota wrote:Well he didnt do anything revolutionary with street fighter 2 hd...
He didn't do anything beyond tweaking it based on stuff he thought were oped and under powered...and what do you know?yes HD has balance issues(and he admits to them)exactly cause of that reason...
Sure its more balanced now cause it has been played so much but he still couldn't even make it balanced enough so that balance flaws are only revealed when looking at a huge amount of games...
HD still has glaring balance issues...
And he totally accepts the idea of officially having several tiers of characters,each worse or better than the others.
He couldn't balance a roster of how many?13 fighters?

I don't know enough about it but Maybe you should refer to starcraft's balancers in future posts...

It seems that none has actually made any real research into the matter.
Funny thing is that balanced games are so rare yet game balance is completely undervalued relative to other aspects of a game...
i didnt know you were a professional fighting game dev
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Gota
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Re: The balance formula thread

Post by Gota »

Sleksa wrote:
Gota wrote:Well he didnt do anything revolutionary with street fighter 2 hd...
He didn't do anything beyond tweaking it based on stuff he thought were oped and under powered...and what do you know?yes HD has balance issues(and he admits to them)exactly cause of that reason...
Sure its more balanced now cause it has been played so much but he still couldn't even make it balanced enough so that balance flaws are only revealed when looking at a huge amount of games...
HD still has glaring balance issues...
And he totally accepts the idea of officially having several tiers of characters,each worse or better than the others.
He couldn't balance a roster of how many?13 fighters?

I don't know enough about it but Maybe you should refer to starcraft's balancers in future posts...

It seems that none has actually made any real research into the matter.
Funny thing is that balanced games are so rare yet game balance is completely undervalued relative to other aspects of a game...
i didnt know you were a professional fighting game dev
I just read what he wrote and how he replied to comments about the balance of hd...
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KDR_11k
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Re: The balance formula thread

Post by KDR_11k »

Obviously balancing is hard since you can't even know all possible situations the system permits, much less treat them all so it's no surprise that even Sirlin can't make a game 100% balanced. Remember that the fighters in a fighting game are not like units in an RTS, you cannot change them on the fly to deal with different situations and cannot have counter mechanics between them, each fighter is pretty much a faction in an RTS.
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Gota
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Re: The balance formula thread

Post by Gota »

right...>_>
Last edited by Gota on 27 Mar 2009, 21:24, edited 1 time in total.
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Eman
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Re: The balance formula thread

Post by Eman »

I imagine fighting games provide a dimension of nightmares we do not see in RTS games. "Situational" events are something it is very hard to qualitatively analyze - speed vs distance vs time vs counters vs reflection ... nanoseconds.

Still, we have all those issues too and a few more in RTS games.

I think there is a reason Sirlin chooses to talk more about fighting games and some of the more clean examples of RPS. Even though he seems interested in RTS's, he very rarely says anything that is not vague about them.

While I must admit I have and will continue to follow his works and writings, I see his perspective as being an awesome blend of a competition mentality with an impressive logical mind. I think these attributes may color his ability to see some things - as our perspectives are all limited as much by our strengths as our weaknesses.
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Forboding Angel
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Re: The balance formula thread

Post by Forboding Angel »

I recently found a pic of sirlin that was taken a few years ago.

Image

Sirlin got nerfed at birth.
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CarRepairer
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Re: The balance formula thread

Post by CarRepairer »

Fighting games are simple.

parry beats punch

grab beats parry

punch beats grab

RPS FTW OMG WTF BBQ!!11
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Gota
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Re: The balance formula thread

Post by Gota »

I really do think Fighting games are much easier to balance.Especially 2d fighters.
Sirlin's comments about the HD balance all look similar to...
"that thing seems very strong compared to to others so i decided to nerf it.."
He is either using a more complicated method to balance things out and just does not want to divulge his secrets or he balanced street fighter in the exact same way BA was balanced.
If the later is true his only advantage over just somebody is the fact he is a top player himself.
Another thing is that he did not build the game from scratch he tweaked an existing balance that has been explored greatly.
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Argh
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Re: The balance formula thread

Post by Argh »

Another thing is that he did not build the game from scratch he tweaked an existing balance that has been explored greatly.
Yup, that's, um, a little easier.



I have a more serious idea, if you math-heads want to explore it.

Instead of analyzing balance of a RTS in terms of sterile unit / unit interaction, perhaps the more accurate way is by modeling probability spaces.

What do I mean by this term? Well, it's very complex, I could probably write a whole book about it at this point... but here's a non-mathematical way to describe it:

Within X minutes, most RTS games worth playing are at a critical junction in time. X is a variable that's going to be hard to pin down, without adequate mathematics for any one game.

In P.U.R.E., for example, on the maps that shipped with the game, it's between 6 and 8 minutes. It depends on the faction and the map. That's the most accuracy I can give anybody.

At this critical junction point in time, certain things have happened, or not happened, that tend to have profound effects on the outcome of the matchup. These factors include, but aren't limited to, the following:

1. Resource income, both ramped (i.e., delta change / time) and total (how many units of XYZ have been available).

2. Unit income- a description of what units are available within timespace X given the resource income. I think it's a more accurate treatment of units to treat them as a form of "income" that derives from the total units of Resources available, instead of looking at them merely as chunks of combat power. That they remove resources from the pool is irrelevant- if you aren't spending those resources on units, you're effectively not using your resource income, and you're going to lose.

3. Spacial control, defined in strictest terms by how much map area can be accurately described as defended against a higher cost in unit income. Usually, this is a surprisingly-small surface area.

4. Spacial sprawl, defined by how large of a surface area must be "in use" to ensure resource income or unit income.

5. Total overhead, or the costs of all unit income over time. In *A games, this is rarely relevant anymore, but it used to be a bigger factor in OTA, and in P.U.R.E., it's a big part of the macroeconomics of it all. How much Power does a unit income eat, really? Well, you need to apply each unit to the current income in as it occurs. There's a point where further unit income is eating into resource income. This is an entirely separate issue from "choke", which is basically improper use of the given resource income trading for unit income.

When you look at things this way, you can see where things get really complex, when we try to apply them outside some sterile math.

For example, you'll never see ideal numbers. This isn't Chun Li vs. Guile- there is nothing like that level of sterility in a RTS environment.

Even perfectly played, you won't ever see the theoretical ideals. Which is a good thing, generally speaking, because the ideals are surprisingly large, and the difference between a theoretically-ideal economic curve and typical curve is pretty big.

Moreover, this kind of analysis, while it can never be perfect (it's always an estimate because the real world is rarely going to allow for more than 75% efficiency or less, depending on the game design and time constraints), is a more accurate way to look at real play, as opposed to unit / unit matchups, assuming that no one unit has combat power that is unattainable by any others (i.e., it's just obviously OP and can do all real jobs).

IOW, focusing on what units are OP today is fine and good. But it's not a good way to balance an entire game design.

The growth of economies is "fungal math"- it's complex, may include chaotic elements (such factors outside player control as pathfinder choices, etc., which have subtle effects throughout the outcome IRL vs. a model), and most importantly... it may be interrupted by a number of factors that cause the model to run into serious problems.

For an example of "serious problems", here's one from P.U.R.E.. Power growth over time, theoretical time-hack vs. reality, can take several non-linear curves, depending on player choices (and there's no way that I can tell you what's ideal atm, that's a difficult thing to answer conclusively).

But weapons fire in P.U.R.E. is never free. All of it costs Power. This was done for several reasons, mainly economic, and are really difficult for people trying to analyze a game strictly using DPS methods to appreciate.

So, in my model, if you get into heavy combat, you're trading Power with your opponent. Depending on the frequency of events on each side, you may be losing more, or gaining some, every time the relevant unit income becomes involved- an additional complexity.

I hope that this little example shows you where your attempts to model things break.

It's not possible to just do unit analysis and arrive at definitive answers. I've already shot that one down, and I don't see the point in returning to it, unless you'd like me to shoot more of it down, and prove to you guys that you can't really arrive at better than a fuzzy approximation. But your attempts to model anything aren't going to be worth much if they are outside the economic circumstances that deeply influence the real outcomes.

You may win a given battle, given unit / unit dichotomies, but you're probably losing the war due to mechanics that aren't even included in your models. I suggest that if any of you are serious about this stuff, you might want re-examine your assumptions, and maybe build better models. I know modeling economic curves (and where they increasingly become chaotic and unpredictable, because it certainly happens) isn't fun or sexy, but that's far more serious game-design.
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bashar
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Re: The balance formula thread

Post by bashar »

1v0ry_k1ng wrote:you guize just wait, my formula is going to be the knees bees
still waiting IK, tho your new avatar still rockz ^^
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1v0ry_k1ng
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Re: The balance formula thread

Post by 1v0ry_k1ng »

The formula is proving harder than I initially expected, technically all Ive really done is watched http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... 6122501685 about fifty times
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SwiftSpear
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Re: The balance formula thread

Post by SwiftSpear »

1v0ry_k1ng wrote:The formula is proving harder than I initially expected, technically all Ive really done is watched http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... 6122501685 about fifty times
I can't see how you can possibly fail :/
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BaNa
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Re: The balance formula thread

Post by BaNa »

Goodness Argh, I wish I could channel your ego-inflating bullshit powers for they are truly legend.
perhaps the more accurate way is by modeling probability spaces.

What do I mean by this term? Well, it's very complex, I could probably write a whole book about it at this point... but here's a non-mathematical way to describe it:
I like the way you use subtle but unmistakable highlights to call our notice to a better thought-out delicacy, some clever phrase you proceed to ignore in the rest of your text. You get an extra star for this little stunt:
I have a more serious idea, if you math-heads want to explore it.
...
What do I mean by this term? Well, it's very complex, ... but here's a non-mathematical way to describe it:
But you stray from your true path, and lay down some math, thats M.A.T.H. on us:
The growth of economies is "fungal math"- it's complex, may include chaotic elements (such factors outside player control as pathfinder choices, etc., which have subtle effects throughout the outcome IRL vs. a model)
"fungal" ? I was going to jump on our friend (may include) chaotic elements here, but FUNGAL? I am humbled by your mastery. How do you do it? This is mayor-league bullshitting my man. Your callous disregard for reality is a true talent, one that I fear cannot be learned: The secret to it must lie somewhere in the information-space of your genome.
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SwiftSpear
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Re: The balance formula thread

Post by SwiftSpear »

Stop stealing my Maths®
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