# The numerical balancing for a mmorpg (or diablo like arpg) is very complex

I think such topic is rare in this forum or gamasutra.

I am still learning it, and get some understandings. The calculation is complex, because tons of data have been linked togher.

The core of balancing is stable. So which thing should be stable? Fighting cycle time not genius should be stable.

For instance, there is a base charactor, and has HP, MP, AD (physical attack), AP (magic attck), MD (physical defence), PD(magic defence), Hit, Miss, Cri. The player has 60 levels and 4 careers, and different crarrer has different skill ( so different cooldown time)

fighting cycle time = equivalent HP / equivalent DPS
Equivalent HP = charactor HP / ( (1 - damage avoidance rate) * ( 1 - evasion rate) )
You can find many formulars on how to calcualte equivalent DPS.

By far the process is not easy. And equipments and skills can change equivalent HP and equivalent DPS greatly. In MMORPG, equipments always play the bigger role on attributes contribution.

There are 11 types of equipments, such as helmet, necklace, ring, armorâŚ
Each equipement has 60 levels (or more or less), and each level has five or more colors ( or more, color stands for norma, rare, lengdaryâŚ), and each color has 11 qualities ( biigger quality means more enhancement).

Some types contribute to HP, and some contribute to ADâŚso on so on.

Spreadsheets have been used for these data heavy calculation. You need to make sure the playerâs fiighting cycle time maintains stable in different level with different equipments and skills.

You have to make more than 50 worksheets to cover above calculations. Finnaly you use VBA to get a simulation.
You choose two careers from 4, and set level, then make simulation. The fighting cycle time should be stable.

I think it is really hard. I feel difficult on how to organize it. And there a lot of details in the process I donât cover, such as how to set the inital data, and how to define the data of euipqments and skills. Maybe somebody can explain more clearly than me.

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So weâre back to this? and an mmo no lessâŚ

I really thought you changed direction with your last thread, oh wellâŚ where the popcorn?

3 Likes

Here we are. I like how this will go.

@hongwaixuexi Where are you stuck? 50 spreadsheets itâs a piece of cake.

I think it will be more fun if you add some Graphic (for example the Flag for this faction) in the Faction column.

@hongwaixuexi I appreciate your threads. They actually get people talking. (I say this tongue in cheek but also seriously)

I agree that balancing levels, XP, and skills is a very complicated process and it seems that most games do it over time with an intuitive approach (buff this, nerf that). Iâm looking forward to what others think about this.

As for leveling up with XP, you want to have ONE spreadsheet page, with ONE formula, and keep things as simple as possible. The KISS principle.

In MMOs they keep fiddling even after the game ships. No matter how much developers try to plan ahead, I guess itâs difficult to predict how people will play.

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Create graphs. Visual aids are far more effective for the human brain than a column of numbers.

Dang, I really hoped I was going to agree with the OP on this one. I agree with the title only. Yes it is very complex, but not for the reasons stated.

The problem is a balanced game is a boring game. Balance weakens the impact of player choice. If everything is balanced then there are no unexpected strategies, no real surprises. Youâll either have everything able to handle everything (meaning your choices donât matter at all), or a ârock, paper, scissorsâ approach. With the latter, the player isnât really making choices though anyways. They see rock, they bring more paper, they see scissors, they bring more rock. Boring boring boring. Players will enjoy the game for a while, then once they have quickly mastered rock, paper, scissors, they walk away.

What you really want is to purposely make the game out of balance. Let the players figure out which tactics, which items, which anything, are overpowered. Let that sit for a while until the players have it basically figured out, then you release new content which reshuffles the balance. At that point the players are still playing the same game, but they are somewhat starting over at figuring out how to min/max the game, figuring out what is overpowered.

For example, maybe you have some ship which is objectively better than all others in many common situations. Players figure that out, lots of players focus on that ship, and just when they start to get bored you add a new ship which is a direct counter to the overpowered ship. This starts a whole new cycle of experimentation. Is the old overpowered ship still good at anything? Is any past content in conjunction with the old top dog a good counter to the new ship? Months of debate on what the best strategies are to counter this new threat. When the players finally figure it out, and the game starts to get stale againâŚ you reshuffle the deck once more, rinse/repeat.

The game is never balanced, the players are always learning the game, and the game doesnât get boring.

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HP calculation as an example.

First you need two inputs. The startingHP and growthHP per level.
Starting HP 360
Growth per Level 18

A base model is calculated.

``````Level    Base
1    360
2    378
3    396
4    414
5    432
6    450
7    468
8    486
9    504
10    522
11    540
.........
60   1422
``````

Then you need inputs again. You need to set how much HP contriuted by different color equipments. 60 levels multiply by 5 colors. So you need to input 300 numbers (%). Inputs always need double check, because they are intuitive.

Then reaplce % with real numbers.

We get HP contribued by equipments. Then we can assign this HP to different equipments.

You need inputs how many equipment can affect HP and how much proportion for each equip(total should 100%).
Suppose only shoulder protection and belt contribute to HP.

Then
We get shoulder protection and belt value on HP. The equipment numbers are linked HP system this way.

The equipment also has enhancement quality, and they can increase HP as well. So you need to input how much promotion due to enhancement.

``````Equip Quality    Promotion
0    100%
1    105%
2    110%
3    120%
4    130%
5    150%
6    170%
7    190%
8    220%
9    260%
10    300%
``````

Itâs obivous shoulder protection has 60 x 5 x 11 = 3300 different values. Even every 10 level, we sill get 6 x 5 x 11 = 330 different values.

Finnaly you can get a HP vs level graph like this.

Then you need to input career multiplier for HP. Wizard has less HP than Solider is a common sense.

Then you get HP for different careers.

``````Level    Base    Solider    Wizard    Pastor    Assasin
1    360    360    306    317    324
2    378    378    321    333    340
3    396    396    337    348    356
4    414    414    352    364    373
5    432    432    367    380    389
6    450    450    383    396    405
7    468    468    398    412    421
8    486    486    413    428    437
9    504    504    428    444    454
10    522    522    444    459    470
11    540    540    459    475    486
12    558    558    474    491    502
13    576    576    490    507    518
14    594    594    505    523    535
15    612    612    520    539    551
16    630    630    536    554    567
17    648    648    551    570    583
18    666    666    566    586    599
19    684    684    581    602    616
20    702    702    597    618    632
21    720    720    612    634    648
22    738    738    627    649    664
``````

Now HP system is OK, and can be used later.

1 Like

In China, there are some game designers working on numberical balancing, and they have their own title - numerical designer.

I want it simple as well, but unforunately it is still complex.

Could you give some examples? Which unbalanced game is interesting?

In RPG keep balancing is very hard. If you donât do balancing calculation, then it will be out of balance automatically. So purposely is not necessary.

But is it due to the number having a real meaning? Or is it merely that they believe in it and want to prove to themselves that they werenât mistaken in their belief? There is a healthy belief in a concept and then there is an unhealthy one where you seek out ways to justify it when no evidence exists.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_numerology

Confirmation bias is an example of a bias where you seek out proof where none exists.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

Weird tangent we got onâŚ

Tyrian was a very well received topdown shooter from the time before Windows. You had a great variety of weapons but they were the most unbalanced mess you could ever imagine. Some were borderline worthless while others were way too powerful for the ease of acquiring them. Yet the game was and remains very popular with people who like that genre.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrian_(video_game)

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Numercial designer wonât care 13 or 4, and they focus on mathematical model of their game.

Youâd be surprised. There are days that Asian companies wonât ship a product because the number is linked to something else in a negative way. That Chinese numerology link from earlier provides an easy example. The number four is unlucky because the way it is pronounced is almost identical to âdeathâ.