RMN ROUNDTABLE: RPG BALANCE

A bunch of cool guys get together on IRC to discuss balancing issues in RPGs, including examples from their own projects.

For a full transcript of this chat log, please click here.

Introduction and Mission Statement
<@Brickroad> I feel like we need a trumpeter or something. Or maybe I should bang a gavel.
<Emirpoen> *LET THE DISCUSSION BEGIN*
<@Brickroad> GENTLEMEN. We are here today to discuss the issue of game balance.
<@Brickroad> Specifically in the realm of RPGs. (For obvious reasons.)
<@Brickroad> Game balance is by far the most requested article topic people have asked of me, and it's one that comes up quite frequently on IRC and on gaming message boards. It can get pretty hotly debated at times.
<@Brickroad> I sat down to write an article on the subject, but the topic is so broad and so subjective that I kept losing my focus. So I decided to hold this discussion instead, to get some outside input on it.
<chaos> Where to begin?
<@Brickroad> I figure the best place to start would be to try to define what we mean by game balance.
<ChromaTrigger> The difficulty, or lack thereof, of the battles, and striking the perfect medium level?
<chaos> Not just battles.
<chaos> Item prices, experience curves, and skill learning rates.
<@Brickroad> I've always felt that the RPG genre never really gets "difficult", in the same sense as, say, an FPS or a platformer can get difficult.
<@Brickroad> In most RPGs you can overcome any challenge by investing time in it (leveling up, grinding money, etc.)
<@Brickroad> I think we can all agree that grinding XP/AP/Gold is tedious, yes? =)
<@DFalcon> Grinding is tedious. Amen.
<@Brickroad> Here's my proposed definition of a perfectly balanced RPG: the perfectly balanced RPG is one that provides a decent challenge without requiring the player to ever, ever grind.
<@DFalcon> Granted.
<Emirpoen> Thats pretty reasonable
<chaos> That should work as a definition.
<@Brickroad> So to start off with tonight let's talk about some ways we as designers might attain that goal.

Reward vs. Progression
<Blitzen> eliminate the leveling system
<Blitzen> and focus on creating more novel ways of overcoming adversaries
<chaos> Those become her new "Levels".
<Blitzen> reward is not important
<Blitzen> progression is important
<chaos> ...
<@Brickroad> What's the difference between reward and progression in an RPG, Blitzen?
<Blitzen> Progression is inherently reward, being that the intent of the player is to beat the game, or at least, play the game.
<Blitzen> To progress to the end of the planned ludology.
<Blitzen> Reward, however, are unnecessary but possibly helpful incidents which could enhance or make easier this progression through the game design.
<Blitzen> don't eliminate progress, the player has to go through the game
<Blitzen> but what you do is you minimalize the ludology
<Blitzen> you don't NEED a level system
<Blitzen> because it gives the player a reason to grind
<Blitzen> to exploit it
<Blitzen> if you want to avoid that
<chaos> Most players enjoy watching their avatar grow in power, though.
<Blitzen> true, but think about it as a game mechanic
<Blitzen> you have to present the player with other problem-solving alternatives
<Blitzen> ie in FPSs, there are parts where you have to know to do things in a certain order
<Blitzen> and avoiding failure while you navigate that puzzle is the challenge
<@Brickroad> So you're suggesting shifting the challenge of the game from battles (where the player can grind to succeed) and putting it into other areas of the game where grinding is not an option.
<Blitzen> well, in my opinion the battles and teh game are not separate in the view of the ludology
<Blitzen> its not like "well here are the battles and here is the rest"
<@Brickroad> What do you mean by ludology?
<Blitzen> because its all one game
<Blitzen> ludology = game design and rules
<@Brickroad> Well Blitzen, you're then just shifting the problem of game balance from one aspect of gameplay to another. If you decide the challenge of your game is going to be in its puzzles/exploration/social interactions/whatever, you're then just faced with the problem of balancing those things.

The Pleasures of Grinding
<@DFalcon> I tend to think the attitude of "set more difficult challenges versus the same set of stats" works better when there's some twitch involved, where you're likely to get a little bit more skilled just by practice.
<@DFalcon> When you set up an abstract system like most RPG battles you can reach a point where you're just bashing your head in without a clue what to do.
<@Darken> Has anyoing considered making grinding...fun?
<@Darken> instead of trying to remove it?
<@Brickroad> I think it takes a certain kind of mindset to enjoy grinding.
<@Darken> Well yeah, its a hardcore thing to do
<Dolph> well, I enjoyed grinding to some extent in, say, ABL
<@Brickroad> I've played games where I've enjoyed it, and games where I haven't. I'm not sure I could quantify the difference between the two.
<chaos> Hrm. Maybe enforce that mindset?
<Emirpoen> Its a bit out there, but i am curious if it is possible to make grinding more fun.
<@DFalcon> Some people have considered it seriously, measuring the frequency of rewards and stuff like that.
<@Brickroad> I find grinding is most fun if I'm doing it for the sheer pleasure of it. For example, maxing out all the classes in FF5 or leveling someone to L99 just because I can.
<@Brickroad> It's much less fun when grinding is a required aspect of the game. (Ex: you can't beat this boss until you learn Heal 3, and you don't learn Heal 3 until L40.)
<@Brickroad> In the first case, like chaos says, I'm grinding to grind because I find the grind pleasurable. In the second case I want to kill a boss, and grinding is essentially a separate action from killing the boss.
<Emirpoen> perhaps less battles with more strategy involed?
<Emirpoen> -with
<Emirpoen> *but
<@Brickroad> "More strategy" is easier said than done.
<@DFalcon> Well, I think this one we can run in circles on too. If the game has managed to get your battles fun enough that you want to fight more, the game designer has succeeded - but that's not exactly a how-to.

Increased Challenge
<ChromaTrigger> How about a game in which every battle is as challenging as possible, and the player must use every strategy at his/her disposal, but the party's HP/MP is completely refilled after each battle? (Examples: Live A Live, SaGa Frontier 1, Romancing SaGa 3)
<@Brickroad> Chroma: Such games still require balancing.
<@DFalcon> Chroma, are those all going to be boss battles?
<chaos> How would bosses differ from normal encounters?
<@Brickroad> In Chroma's example, SaGa Frontier has some pretty deep balancing issues while also heavily rewarding mindless grinding.
<@Brickroad> So clearly simply changing the style of battle doesn't address the problem of balance.
<@DFalcon> As a practical matter, games I've played where the party heals fully after each battle tend to make dungeons and less-than-boss encounters pretty pointless.

Example: Balancing a Monster Group
<@Darken> well we need a direction
<@Brickroad> Okay. Chaos had some stuff he wanted to say before he left, so I'll open the floor to him to start.
<chaos> Basically, how I make my games interesting in battle is by forcing the player to recognize the largest threat one the battlefield.
<chaos> This isn't always clear.
<chaos> Who's the larger threat:
<chaos> The monster that berserks PCs or the one that's immune to physical attacks?
<@kentona> what do past encounters teach the player?
<chaos> The base movesets of monstertypes.
<chaos> Which evolve as the player progresses.
<chaos> The berserker is more threating in that example, since it makes you auto-attack the immune creature. Sure, that kills the berserker, but leaves the immune one free to pummel without a care.
<@Brickroad> Okay, but how is the fight balanced?
<@Brickroad> Ex: if the immune monster doesn't deal enough damage per attack, he's not a threat even if your party is berserked.
<@Brickroad> Or, if it deals too much, the party is going to be overwhelmed whether or not they are berserked.
<chaos> Well, depends on how much is "threating" in a given game.
<chaos> Let's assume, maybe 1/3 of PC's HP.
<chaos> Per hit.
<@Brickroad> Is this a battle you've actually built, tested and played?
<chaos> Yes.
<@Brickroad> What were some techniques you used to make sure the battle worked properly?
<chaos> Four immunes, who buff all allies' Attack as their opening action.
<chaos> Two status-casters, who attempt to berserk the party (~50% chance per PC.)
<chaos> This is very late-game, so mass status cures are cheap.
<@Brickroad> Define "berserk" for us.
<chaos> Automatically attacks foes, x2 Attack, 1/2 Defense and accuracy.
<@Brickroad> Does it ever wear off?
<chaos> Yes, given about 10 2k3 turns and a 75% thereafter.
<chaos> Also 100% from physical damage.
<chaos> However, the halfed defense, along with the enemie's attack buffs, result in about 1/2 Max HP per enemy attack.
<chaos> Attack debuffs, Wind mass-attacks, and mass-status cures make the fight trivial.
<@Brickroad> I'm assuming all those numbers needed quite a bit of tweaking during design.
[<chaos> All sorts of tweaking.
<@Brickroad> So, to keep it on the subject of balance, the question is not "how does the fight work" but "how did you know the fight would have to work that way"?
<@Brickroad> What problems did you see come up in earlier versions of the fight, before you tweaked it?
<chaos> Enemies hit too fast, resulting in instant-game, along with tweaking Berserk's duration.
<@DFalcon> So you balanced this against some particular-level party?
<chaos> Yes, using the enemies' average level as the party's.
<@Brickroad> Which means you had to have known the player would be Level X by the time they encountered Monster Party Y, right?
<chaos> Brick: I achieve that through LM-Experience.
<@Brickroad> What's LM-Ex?
<chaos> Level-modded, as earlier.
<chaos> The curve is really sharp.
<@Karsuman> If you are weaker than the enemy, you get more EXP.
<@Brickroad> So you, as the designer, control how much Exp the player gets.
<chaos> Yes.
<@DFalcon> By "the curve is really sharp" you mean that you can expect any player at that point to be very close to your test party.
<chaos> Yes, within 2 levels of it generally. If they aren't, they will be very shortly.
<chaos> Usually with a battle or two.
<chaos> Of course, lower-level foes yield pitiful experience.
<@kentona> the strategies that I see the player using for these monsters would be to somehow prepare themselves from being berserk
<@Karsuman> Berserk-immune accessory thinger.
<@kentona> or an item that heals it
<@Karsuman> Or status cures.
[<chaos> Which the berserk-caster drops.
<Dolph> And to be able to prepare for it, he has to know what he's up against. Do these foes come separately at first so the player gets to see their tactic and then combines the two?
<chaos> Dolph: Yes. The player also gets treated to lesser versions.

A Spreadsheet
<@Brickroad> chaos, I'm going to hand the floor over to kentona for a bit since he's apparently still here.
<@Brickroad> Because I have a few questions I'm dying to ask him.
<@kentona> ask away
<@Brickroad> How the heck did you balance all 670 of the classes in Hero's Realm? Or are they, like, not balanced?
<@kentona> ever seen one of my excel spreadsheets?
<@Brickroad> There's so much information involved you had to use a spreadsheet? =)
<@kentona> what I do is map out classes that I want
<@kentona> then I decide, per stat, which one would have the lowest, and which the highest
<@kentona> then, I map out the rest of the classes on a scale between those numbers
<@kentona> I usually start with a 1 to 7 scale, 7 being awesome
<@kentona> then transform it to whatever engine numbers I want to use
<@Brickroad> Thanks kentona. =)

Balancing in Strategy RPGs
<@Brickroad> DF, you must've had some unique experience with balancing stats and characters while working on Aurora Wing.
<@DFalcon> Aurora Wing is kind of funny in that certain characters are unapologetically better than others.
<@DFalcon> My first focus when creating a character was to get some variety in combat roles.
<@DFalcon> That usually entailed something like "high-defense low-evade" plus maybe a combat skill.
<@DFalcon> Getting the numbers right at the beginning involved a lot of trial and error. Later characters and enemies I could start off by comparing to earlier ones and tweaking.
<@DFalcon> So granted that I accepted some variation in character power, I wasn't too concerned about a character only being somewhat useful if I could get the team through.
<@Brickroad> So it was more about balancing the team as a whole, rather than individual members of the team.
<@DFalcon> Right.
<@Brickroad> Were there any characters that just flat out sucked? =)
<@DFalcon> There are characters who are flat-out awesome. The bottom tier is more gradual.
<@DFalcon> I should say that because of the way experience is granted, some characters can really be in trouble by midgame.
<@DFalcon> It's based on damage with a bonus for making a kill or going up against a higher level.
<@DFalcon> So if a low-tier melee character like Martin or Rupp falls behind (particularly if he dies in a battle and misses out on experience there) he may not be useful for much.
<@Karsuman> I don't recall Martin or Rupp being particularly bad.
<@DFalcon> Guess I did one thing okay, then!
<Jude> I've always believed in XP distribution for tactics games. It averts the power-levelling syndrome poeple fall into where they just let one guy get all the kills.
<Jude> You end up putting less focus on how to appropriately use your units rather than keeping them on the same plane of power.
<Jude> Or more importantly, diffuses the "winner keeps winning" problem, where the strong get stronger while the weak fall into disuse.
<@DFalcon> FFTA2 gives exp to everyone in a battle evenly, that's nice.
<@DFalcon> AW gives the player a certain limited number of "revives". Once you run out of those dead characters are permanently dead.
<@DFalcon> You get more at a few points during the game.
<@DFalcon> It's certainly possible to use up your revives and start to get in trouble. But this is probably only going to occur on a higher difficulty level, and you can drop (though not go up) in difficulty.
<chaos> Should dead characters get EXP?
<Jude> If they get XP while dead, there should be a different reward for taking fewer losses.
<Jude> You need to encourage a strong victory, to foster better critical thinking from the player.
<chaos> How about not spending precious resources on healing after battle? That's a nice reward.
<Jude> That's not a reward, that's a non-punishment.
<@Brickroad> Does that about wrap it up for DF?
<@DFalcon> Think I'm done unless there are questions, yeah.
<@Brickroad> Cool. Thanks, DF.

Transparency and Familiarity
<@Brickroad> Karsu, what can you tell us about the balance in Visions & Voices?
<@Karsuman> Haha
* @Karsuman snorts
<@Karsuman> 'balance'
<chaos> Tell him about the shuriken, kars.
<@Brickroad> The shuriken was not only mad overpowered, it was the only thing that kept me sane while playing.
<@Karsuman> Hahaha.
<@Karsuman> The shuriken is pretty much the best weapon.
<chaos> Regularly putting out 30 damage three times is OP.
<@Brickroad> Well let me ask you this, Kars.
<@Brickroad> V&V is very literally a game where combat gives no rewards whatsoever, and where grinding is VERY counterproductive.
<@Brickroad> Did you balance the game so the player would be at a certain power level on certain days in the story?
<@Karsuman> The major problem with balancing V&V is the emphasis on optional content, combined with a) our lack of time and b) actually assuming the player will do things that are productive for killing enemies.
<@Karsuman> Like, getting characters.
<@Karsuman> Or finding the uber weapons.
<@Karsuman> Or picking stats that somehow magically don't suck for the protag.
<@Brickroad> So it's fair to say you would have done things different if you had had more time.
<@Karsuman> God yes. =)
<@Brickroad> Care to elaborate on that a bit?
<chaos> Making enemies that don't have 150 HP?
<@Karsuman> Hey, that shuriken kills enemies with 150 HP in one attack well there is a more serious problem at work. =)
<Kaiterra> Sounds like a case of "I know how to play it and I balanced it based on that."
<@Karsuman> Probably Kait but even we couldn't predict some of the balance problems.
<Kaiterra> It's very difficult to understand the balance of your own game because you know it intimately.
<@Karsuman> Yeah, and with V&V knowledge of the mechanics is pretty much everything.
<Kaiterra> The player will be flailing around instead though.
<@Brickroad> That's a pretty hefty sack o' truth you're luggin' around there Kait.
<@Karsuman> The stats are really important, but no one knows what they do besides the vaguest of things.
<@Karsuman> (Like, 'perception makes shurikens awesome'.
<@Brickroad> Which is chaos's problem from earlier: "The player has to do X, but he doesn't know to do X."
<@Karsuman> I'd say it's worse than chaos's
<@Karsuman> At least with chaos's we can make basic assumptions.
<@Karsuman> "I'm not doing any damage. I must be doing something wrong."
<Dolph> also, to learn how to do x, he must do y (battle) but since y is, "counter-productive" the learning will be slow, if it even takes place at all
<@Karsuman> Dolph's point is also correct.
<@Karsuman> Fighting is usually counter-productive, so no one really learns the combat anyway!
<@Brickroad> So okay, let's say you're going to put together V&V: Platinum Edition. What's the first thing you do to address some of these balance issues?
<@Karsuman> I'd make stats transparent. You'd know exactly what they do and how they link to the various attacks and special abilities.
<@Karsuman> I'd probably fix the various 'multi-attack' abilities.
<@Karsuman> Which are ridiculously powerful.
<@Karsuman> (If anyone found Shooting Stars they know what I mean.)
<@Karsuman> And if we were talking about retooling the basic functions of the game...
<@Karsuman> I'd have made it 7-10 days instead of 14.
<@Karsuman> And probably played up the 'puzzle' content of it all more, while giving an actual incentive for fighting monsters (though I do not know a solution to this)
<Dolph> I'm thinking; what's the point of balancing and fighting if there's nothing to be gained or motivationg th player to do so? I mean sure, fighiting for the heck of it might seem appealing to some, but most of us want to get on with the major part of the game, which in my opinion was the atmosphere/myster/character thingy going on
<@Karsuman> I know Dolph.
<@Karsuman> It's not that we didn't try to make incentives. It's just they weren't worth it.
<@Brickroad> Is that about it for V&V Kars?
<@Karsuman> Unless anybody has any questions, sure.
<@Brickroad> Thanks, Kars.

Ancient History
<@Brickroad> Does anyone else have some hands-on experience with balancing their game, that they'd like to share?
<@Brickroad> How about you Jude? Tough balancing Vampyres Kiss? =P
<Jude> Ha. You really want to know what I ran into early on?
<Jude> I didn't learn from FF8's mistakes.
<Jude> The primary skill-up system in the game was based on draining "blood points" from your enemies.
<Jude> By taking turns to bite, you're sacrificing opportunities to actually whoop ass and use a spell.
<Dolph> were those "blood points" useful for anything
<Jude> They were distributed for stat/skill upgrades.
<@Karsuman> So it was an issue of tedium?
<Jude> The tedium wasn't the problem. You were reducing your performance in combat in order to gain strength.
<Jude> If you want to powerlevel then it's tedious, but spending a battle biting is no different than running in circles killing monsters for four hours.
<@Brickroad> So you're comparing it to FF8's Draw system, then.
<Jude> In a way. There's not a parallel but a similarity.
<Jude> Draw system was even worse, in that casting the spells after you've drawn them further weakens you.
<Jude> So not only were you drawing and not killing, but killing sets you back on drawing even.
<@Brickroad> Looking back on it now Jude, how do you think you could have fixed the system to work better?
<Jude> The system is inherently flawed and can not be fixed.
<Jude> To give it a boost I made all abilities draw a certain amount of blood points and also award blood points just for winning.
<Jude> But instead that just encourages you to maximize skills that provide the greatest blood points gain, rather than on what is most effective. I don't think you should ever be punished, or not rewarded as well, for using the most effective strategy.
<Jude> I suppose I could somehow attach the blood points reward on how well you use skills.
<Jude> But that would be pretty complex.
<Jude> But, obviously there's nothing tangible at this point for anybody to have perspective on this other than my own, like, decade old memories.
<@Karsuman> How about if you badly use skills you lose blood points?
<Jude> I don't like punishment, Karsuman.
<Jude> I prefer to design around reward.
<@Brickroad> Thanks for sharing some VK with us Jude, that shit be oooooldschool.

The Importance of Playtesting
<@Brickroad> Shifting gears a little bit, I want to talk about something that came up during the V&V discussion.
<@Brickroad> That is: the designer's bias. Your game is always going to seem easier to you than to anyone else. In many cases way, way easier.
<@Brickroad> And I'll be a buffalo nickel this is one of the biggest problems RM* peeps face when making games.
<@Brickroad> So let's talk about some ways to get around this hiccup. Playtesting being the obvious first choice.
<@SFLaValle> Having people test the game for you seems obvious
<@Brickroad> Are there other methods though, SFL?
<@SFLaValle> Brickroad: In my opinion, having a clear definition of what constitutes as challenging in one's own game is a start
<@SFLaValle> For example, is challenge created by enemies that hit really hard and have high HP? Or is there s certain strategy required to kill the monsters you design?
<@SFLaValle> It doesn't have to pertain to the whole game
<@SFLaValle> Even one single enemy can have its own definition of challenge
<@Darken> watching someone test the game without telling them anything is the best testing
<@Brickroad> Not many RM* guys are in a position to be in constant contact with their playtesters. That is, their testers might be spread out all over the country or the world.
<@Brickroad> Ex: Darken's method wouldn't work for me, because I don't know anyone IRL who would play an RPGMaker game.
<@Brickroad> My method while working on KC was to give myself a handicap while playing. Like, I would purposely skip battles, use sub-optimal equipment, or not use shops.
<@Brickroad> I figured if I could easily get through a battle or an area with a large handicap, a reasonable player without my bias could do it too.

Fake Challenge
<@Brickroad> One last topic I wanted to discuss was the concept of "fake challenge". Things that exist in the game that don't ADD anythign to the game, and only exist to make life harder for the player.
<@Brickroad> Specifically, in RPGs, I think the biggest example is withholding save points.
<chaos> I was guilty of this in 1873.
<Jude> In fact, I'm not even a fan of savepoints except that they're good indicators of "Be Prepared!"
<Jude> In spite of my love for the game, save tokens in Dragon Quarter were stupid.
<chaos> Jude: you don't like saving your progress?
<Jude> I like my progress to be automatically saved, preferably.
<Jude> I've gotten to the point where if a game is bad about autosaving, I will lose three hours of my time when I die.
<@Brickroad> See, Jude, save points with their big "Be Prepared!" signs have me so well trained that if I play a game without them (even if it's a "save anywhere") system I usually get caught off guard and lose progress unfairly.
<@Karsuman> Well that means they would need to untrain you.
<@WIP> Save anywhere is the best feature around.
<@Brickroad> The obvious drawback to "save anywhere" is the player might be able to save themselves in an unwinnable state.
<Kaiterra> <@Brickroad> The obvious drawback to "save anywhere" is the player might be able to save themselves in an unwinnable state. <- I did that in SaGa Frontier 2.
<Jude> Problem with save anywhere is you end up saving before every dialogue tree or closed door.
<Jude> Every second you spend saving is a second you're not immersed.
<@WIP> That's why you make save anywhere fast and seamless, Jude.
<@Brickroad> And yes, Jude's thing too. Why yes, I lockpicked every door and pickpocketed every NPC in Oblivion without ever getting caught!
<@DFalcon> Yeah, I did that in Oblivion too.
<@SFLaValle> How do you feel about a "Would you like to re-try the dungeon?" option after a game-over?
<@Brickroad> I love that option, SFL.
<@SFLaValle> Which takes you to the entrance, but resets the puzzles
<@SFLaValle> I think it's an option that people won't actually abuse
<@SFLaValle> Because I can see it taken only if a person truly feels they are out-classed
<Kaiterra> <@SFLaValle> How do you feel about a "Would you like to re-try the dungeon?" option after a game-over? <- You should definitely have the option to continue without losing experience.
<@Karsuman> I have played a few games where if you lose you get a retry option and you a) keep your experience b) make the enemies weaker.

Difficulty Scaling
<Jude> Something that isn't done a lot is boss scaling.
<Jude> They do it with puzzle games, where if you fail a lot you get hints.
<Jude> If you die a lot, why not make the boss weaker?
<Jude> I see no real advantage to making a game undefeatable. It only rewards the hardcore and gives them bragging rights.
<@Brickroad> Do any RPGs actually do that, Jude?
<Jude> Some do it in a way.
<Jude> Think of Mega Man when they actually restored your weapon meters when you died.
<Jude> Not all of them did.
<Jude> It's not directly making hte boss weaker, but similar idea.
<@SFLaValle> I hate that system
<chaos> I don't like it at all when a game asks if I want to drop the difficulty.
<@Karsuman> I agree with chaos. I never choose those options. but making the game impossible for some players is no fun either.
[<Jude> But something very common in games are difficulty spikes, which are pretty tough to avoid as a designer.
<Jude> So a built-in balancing system alleviates that a bit.
<Jude> Just think about a few games you've played where you died a dozen times just to get past one spot, when everything up until that was easy or just right.
<Jude> It's not uncommon for me to get aggravated enough that I just put it down and try again tomorrow.
<@Brickroad> Usually when I hit difficulty spikes like that, that's the end of the game for me.
<Jude> I think it is for a lot of people.

Two Hours? Really?
<@Brickroad> Well we've been at this about two hours now. Any other topics we need to cover on the subject of game balance?
<@SFLaValle> Probably lots more, Brick =)
<@SFLaValle> Did you get what you need you think?
<@Brickroad> Oh, I'm sure I could go all night on this subject. I didn't even get through half my notes on the topic. =D
<@DFalcon> Yeah. Game balance is almost a million different things you have to avoid rather than one thing you can accomplish.
<@Brickroad> DF, that's probably the best summary of game balance ever.
<@Brickroad> Alright, I'm bangin' mah gavel then, guys. Thanks everyone for participating.

Posts

Pages: 1
This was so much fun to take part in. I really hope you have another one soon.
Wow, just read the full log. I quit, discussion ends. I'm flattered.
tardis
is it too late for ironhide facepalm
285
There's some very, very helpful stuff in here. Good job, all. I took away some good info from this mighty wall of conversation. God damn, that speed reading course just paid off.
kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
21237
For anyone who's interested in the files I used to keep track of HR's development, here it is:

http://rpgmaker.net/users/105/locker/hr_planning.rar

This includes that magical spreadsheet I mentioned to Brickroad, as well as 19 text documents. It's a big info dump, but sometimes I find that looking into the developer's mind is interesting! Let me know if anyone wants me to explain anything or have a question.

Good lord... this is insane.

What's up with the DWSpells tab?
kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
21237
It was a source of inspiration. I used it as a model early on for spells, spell names and spell damage/MP ratios.
I should have known.

Now I'm wondering why you took the time to make it all pleasing to the eye. Surely it could have remained purely functional?
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9219
This was magically delicious (educational).
kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
21237
RTP is rather functional. Or are you talking about the spreadsheet? The use of color is VERY useful for large datasets. It helps distinguish columns and data.
Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
13715
I don't use spreadsheets but I have notebooks and index cards absolutely smothered in... info.
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