The Dink Network

Balance

December 15th 2018, 10:08 PM
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MsDink
Peasant Female New Zealand
Tag - Umm.. tag, you're it? 
Over summer i want to finish the dmod i started way way back because rabid did some amazingly super sexy coding for me and the only thing that stopped me was the graphics for what i got him to do were sooo hard to make (cause i draw each sprite separately for animated sprites) so im gunna simplify those (baby them down lol) and just do eet - Sooooooo......

my question is, how do you guys balance your dmods - as u know i haven't done one where u hit and level up or find anything like potions etc and i wondered how u make sure dink isnt too powerful for the end boss so its not a cakewalk??

December 16th 2018, 01:17 AM
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LeprocHaun
Peasant Male Japan xbox steam bloop
Responsible for making things not look like ass 
The simple answer is you test it. If it's too easy you can up its health/defense/damage accordingly. Another thing you could do is adjust the frequency to which the boss uses any special moves. Alternatively you could add stuff like the boss regaining health each second to force the player to feel rushed(which can cause them to make mistakes.) Make the boss summon minions or something. If it's too easy just add more stuff to it.
December 17th 2018, 10:29 AM
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Rabidwolf9
Peasant Male United States steam
twitch.tv/rabidwolf9 
Perhaps some controversial opinions, but you can modify the levelup script to remove the player choice. That will ease balance on your side and remove player confusion on what stats are actually useful in your particular DMOD.

Secondly, it's not a bad idea for the end to be at least somewhat easy for players that have grinded out extra levels and top tier items and every powerup. There are no doubt players of varying skill levels and a challenging fight for some will be impossible for others.

Lots of playtesting is going to be key though. Try the best case scenario and worst case as far as being levelled and geared with finding all bonuses.

You can always adjust things post release as well after players have gotten their hands on it. In the end you can probably count on struggling players to cheat anyways so there is that.

As always let me know if you need help/testing. I don't think I've forgotten everything yet
December 17th 2018, 04:08 PM
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metatarasal
Bard Male Netherlands
I object 
Perhaps some controversial opinions, but you can modify the levelup script to remove the player choice. That will ease balance on your side and remove player confusion on what stats are actually useful in your particular DMOD.

Yeah, I did that in the Scourger because I found out that the way I had balanced things the defense stat would always be the best choice, by quite some margin. I often also like to remove magic from the level-up anyway, as it seems to be very hard to balance with strength/defense (magic will almost always feel weaker in my experience).

Generally speaking the exact way in which people will level up their stats isn't too problematic though, the player will always be limited by the required XP for the higher levels so that eventually power-ups and items are much more important than levels. The issue is mostly if players always choose one stat, will the game still be balanced? Try figuring that out, and also try figuring out if one stat is always more powerful than another, this is especially true for the balance between strength and defense. Generally speaking if you feel strength is too powerful, increase baddy hitpoints and reduce their defense. If defense is too powerful do the opposite. Also watch out with giving the player very powerful weapons as it often means that leveling strength means going from 59 to 60 and leveling defense means going from 12 to 13. Guess which choice is almost always going to be the better option in that scenario...

Try playing through the DMOD with different leveling strategies and see if it all feels roughly equally difficult overall. It is a good thing if some sections feel harder than others with a certain leveling strategy (it means you have variety in your monsters), just make sure it's sorta balanced overall. If you're really struggling you can add more power ups which also removes some player agency over how their stats are distributed without making them feel mad about it. (When your stats are 60-25-20 a level-up isn't going to make nearly as much of a difference as when they are 15-9-11 for example)
Note that you don't have to play through the entire DMOD completely with different strategies, using scripting you can easily switch between an all strength/defense/magic strategy so you can play through a specific portion you're testing.

When balancing assume players will find the vast majority of power ups, unless you're making them very, very hard to reach/find. In terms of levels, try playing through it yourself at a relatively fast pace and assume that level. The player will usually not be more than a level or two ahead which is a fair bonus to them.

Luckily, even if you're off by quite a bit the DMOD is usually still enjoyable enough. Even if your number of hit points is off by say 50%, this isn't enough to bridge the gap between a challenge and a walk-over.

EDIT: Also, if a defense-only strategy feels a bit boring to play because you do so little damage... That's not something that necessarily needs to be fixed, it's a choice!
December 17th 2018, 04:27 PM
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Skurn
Peasant Male Equatorial Guinea xbox steam duck bloop
can't flim flam the glim glam 
make dink ridiculously overpowered
December 17th 2018, 04:31 PM
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MsDink
Peasant Female New Zealand
Tag - Umm.. tag, you're it? 
Thanks so much for the comprehensive answers guys - really appreciate it. I really do have to relearn windinkedit- i cant remember much so its not going to be an overnight thing... now to find the last back up i did, remove a heap of maps and condense it some - i had so many half finished quests if i dont make it smaller i will get overwhelmed again heh
Thank you!!
December 17th 2018, 06:20 PM
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SlipDink
Peasant Male United States bloop
2nd generation. No easy way to be free. 
@ MsDink:

... now to find the last back up i did, remove a heap of maps and condense it some - i had so many half finished quests if i dont make it smaller i will get overwhelmed again heh

Good thinking! It is better to release at least one small dmod than work forever on several large dmods that are never released!
December 17th 2018, 07:27 PM
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toof
Peasant Male
I disagree. 
i had so many half finished quests
Recycling never hurts. Jam them into one big quest

PS
I like dmods that focus less on violence, and more on the endless blah blah blah

PS PS
The Dink network is dying... Yeah... Right...
December 18th 2018, 09:38 AM
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SlipDink
Peasant Male United States bloop
2nd generation. No easy way to be free. 
@toof:

Recycling never hurts. Jam them into one big quest

Well, that sounds interesting, but you might have to "work overtime" to come up with a coherent story line.

I like dmods that focus less on violence, and more on the endless blah blah blah

IF I understand what you are saying, then I can say that I enjoy a good story too! I prefer a dmod that is more than just "hack and slash", but instead is a tale that holds my interest that gives me a reason to help Dink fight his enemies and the beasts that confront him, or complete whatever quests and sub/quests are before him.

Now, that does not mean that I might not find other dmods enjoyable for different reasons. But it does mean that a good story is something that always makes a dmod more fun (for me).
December 22nd 2018, 07:05 PM
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MsDink
Peasant Female New Zealand
Tag - Umm.. tag, you're it? 
hmmm... sits in the corner and strokes her chin, not a bad plan to condense...in this dmod i had bunnies stealing carrots (popping up out of holes and dink had to bonk them on the heads to pass that screen), gypsies sending to a cave for mu... no, i will keep that ... grass that kills u as u.. no, keeping... rabids awesome new scrips.. K E E P I N G hehe, talking sa... keeping,

oh dear

this is gunna be hard hehe starts to sing a culling we will go A CULLING WE WILL GOOOOO... sigh soo many new graphics in this hehe so much work now i like the idea of adding all together... cackles and wrings hands, eyes all shiney bright hmmm.....
December 23rd 2018, 03:13 PM
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SlipDink
Peasant Male United States bloop
2nd generation. No easy way to be free. 
IMHO you don't really need to completely cull any elements of your game. Just make them weaker, if you are concerned that they are too dangerous to Dink, or boost Dink with some extra goodies he can find and use before he must face these dangers.
January 4th, 03:07 PM
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SlipDink
Peasant Male United States bloop
2nd generation. No easy way to be free. 
So, when can we expect this dmod to see the light of day? Sometime early this year perhaps?
January 4th, 04:54 PM
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MsDink
Peasant Female New Zealand
Tag - Umm.. tag, you're it? 
im back culling screens and condensing for now - seeing if the story plays thru and then will add monsters and see how long lol I made some weird rooms in weird shapes so im simplifying, it adding dialogue, altering some graphics - u know playing with the bones before i know how long it will be.