FRACTIONS and smooth stat progression

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Zombra
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FRACTIONS and smooth stat progression

Post by Zombra » November 9th, 2017, 2:30 pm

I'll make this quick.

Instead of silliness like "+1 Action Point per 2 points in Coordination", how about "+0.5 Action Point per point in Coordination"? Why make odd numbers a stupid choice? Do you hate odd numbers or something?
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Re: FRACTIONS and smooth stat progression

Post by sear » November 10th, 2017, 5:57 am

Thanks for the idea! While I can't yet say for sure if we'll be going that route, it's very likely that attributes will change for Wasteland 3, both in effects on derived stats, and their overall progression level-to-level.

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Re: FRACTIONS and smooth stat progression

Post by Grohal » November 10th, 2017, 7:55 am

sear wrote:
November 10th, 2017, 5:57 am
Thanks for the idea! While I can't yet say for sure if we'll be going that route, it's very likely that attributes will change for Wasteland 3, both in effects on derived stats, and their overall progression level-to-level.
I am very excited to see with what InXile will come up. :)
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Re: FRACTIONS and smooth stat progression

Post by Zombra » November 10th, 2017, 9:13 am

Grohal wrote:
November 10th, 2017, 7:55 am
sear wrote:
November 10th, 2017, 5:57 am
Thanks for the idea! While I can't yet say for sure if we'll be going that route, it's very likely that attributes will change for Wasteland 3, both in effects on derived stats, and their overall progression level-to-level.
I am very excited to see with what InXile will come up. :)
Me too! I want to make sure we don't see stuff like "7 INT and 4 INT are exactly the same." My computer can handle fractions, I promise! :)
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Re: FRACTIONS and smooth stat progression

Post by Gizmo » November 10th, 2017, 3:38 pm

Fractional bonuses that overlap; so for instance, the PC's intelligence and dexterity can (together) raise the PC's lock picking skill (by a whole number)... for having both the manual ability to control the tools, and the understanding of how best to use them with the lock.

Another for instance, the PC's strength might be low for a boxer, but their dexterity and charisma can make up for it (intimidation & retained stamina—for evading injury more often); leaving no disadvantage for their lack of sufficient strength.

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Re: FRACTIONS and smooth stat progression

Post by Stuurminator » November 10th, 2017, 3:44 pm

Zombra wrote:
November 10th, 2017, 9:13 am
Me too! I want to make sure we don't see stuff like "7 INT and 4 INT are exactly the same." My computer can handle fractions, I promise! :)
Funny enough, they're not exactly the same - you get bonus AP based on the sum of your strength, speed, and intelligence. This means that in this, and only this case, they do provide fractional bonuses. What I can't figure out is why that's not true for any other derived stat - even coordination, which also contributes to AP!

This seems to imply it was a deliberate choice, but I just don't know why.

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Re: FRACTIONS and smooth stat progression

Post by Drool » November 10th, 2017, 5:34 pm

Grohal wrote:
November 10th, 2017, 7:55 am
sear wrote:
November 10th, 2017, 5:57 am
Thanks for the idea! While I can't yet say for sure if we'll be going that route, it's very likely that attributes will change for Wasteland 3, both in effects on derived stats, and their overall progression level-to-level.
I am very excited to see with what InXile will come up. :)
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Re: FRACTIONS and smooth stat progression

Post by Mole204 » November 13th, 2017, 12:21 am

Fractions matter, yes, but they're also an insignificant amount. We need whole numbers, and those (have and will) require too much grinding anyway. And now you suggest a way to get even LESS?! Why do you hate your fellow players- no wait, he's Global Moderator, no wonder he hates all and everyone.

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Re: FRACTIONS and smooth stat progression

Post by Grohal » November 13th, 2017, 2:58 am

Mole204 wrote:
November 13th, 2017, 12:21 am
Fractions matter, yes, but they're also an insignificant amount. We need whole numbers, and those (have and will) require too much grinding anyway. And now you suggest a way to get even LESS?! Why do you hate your fellow players- no wait, he's Global Moderator, no wonder he hates all and everyone.
How is 0,5 per attribute point less that 1 per every second attribute point?
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Re: FRACTIONS and smooth stat progression

Post by sear » November 13th, 2017, 7:21 am

Grohal wrote:
November 13th, 2017, 2:58 am
How is 0,5 per attribute point less that 1 per every second attribute point?
Yeah, strictly speaking, any whole-number bonuses that get "+0.5 per level" would need to be treated as "every other level". That isn't the case for anything that can be a floating point value, of course.

In general, I want attributes to feel consistently rewarding for every point put into them. As a player, I should be able to feel the difference and have a reason to put my points just about anywhere, whether that's if I want to make a distinctly rounded, average character, or one that's munchkin'd to death.

A secondary goal of mine is to make the system intuitive and readable at a glance. The clearer the relationships between attributes and their practical, meaningful gameplay effects, the better. I should be able to look at a character's attributes and immediately get a sense of what they are good at.

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Re: FRACTIONS and smooth stat progression

Post by Drool » November 13th, 2017, 5:18 pm

sear wrote:
November 13th, 2017, 7:21 am
The clearer the relationships between attributes and their practical, meaningful gameplay effects, the better.
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Re: FRACTIONS and smooth stat progression

Post by Mole204 » November 20th, 2017, 10:40 pm

Grohal wrote:
November 13th, 2017, 2:58 am
How is 0,5 per attribute point less that 1 per every second attribute point?
I'll assume you meant "less than."
Anyway, they arn't even whole numbers. Programmers and other forms of DM usually find a way to smirk the stat threshold. You get 10 you need 150, etc. And using a 1 per second point-system just asks for clock tinkering, core clock tampering, and overclocking of something somewhere. Where there's a will there's a way, where there's a bill there's a counterfeiter. Keeping the points as whole numbers is easier on the math sub-program anyway.

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Re: FRACTIONS and smooth stat progression

Post by Lakstoties » November 22nd, 2017, 9:23 am

From my experiences, if you are having to contend with fractional amounts of anything, you need to take a serious look at the actual value of the wholes.

Instead of having fractions that just hang around and not do anything until there's enough for a whole... Why not just just change the value of the wholes?

For example if you have a 0.0 - 10.0 skill system based around a d10 roll, why not just have a 0 - 100 skill system based around a d100 roll? This way every little bit counts the moment you apply it.

Stop focusing on the number amounts and examine the contextual value of the numbers.

For the Action Points, just change the Action Point costs so that you don't need to do "1 for every 2" types of conversions. There's a number of other ways to get your derived stats from attributes. Just take the average of two base attributes to get one and round up, something I did in my own little system trying to figure out simple and easy to understand way to get certain derived stats. Simple enough, easy to figure out for someone glancing over the sheet, and all I had to do was make it so that the rounding up for the extra action point wasn't anything game breaking, but still a nice bit.

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Re: FRACTIONS and smooth stat progression

Post by Zombra » November 22nd, 2017, 10:08 am

Sure Lakstoties, there are a thousand ways to make sure every point counts. That's math for you. Moving the decimal a few places over - on both figured stats and conflict resolution - would be fine too, but there's nothing wrong with fractions in gaming. Many tabletop RPGs use them ... critically, RPGs that aren't moderated by calculating machines a thousand times better at math than the human brain!

Point is, there's absolutely no reason to have "break points" where a 4 INT is a thousand times better than a 7 INT. If inXile is confused about that this time around, I am here to explain fractions to them. :geek:
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Re: FRACTIONS and smooth stat progression

Post by sear » November 22nd, 2017, 10:33 am

Zombra wrote:
November 22nd, 2017, 10:08 am
Sure Lakstoties, there are a thousand ways to make sure every point counts. That's math for you. Moving the decimal a few places over - on both figured stats and conflict resolution - would be fine too, but there's nothing wrong with fractions in gaming. Many tabletop RPGs use them ... critically, RPGs that aren't moderated by calculating machines a thousand times better at math than the human brain!

Point is, there's absolutely no reason to have "break points" where a 4 INT is a thousand times better than a 7 INT. If inXile is confused about that this time around, I am here to explain fractions to them. :geek:
I'm generally in favor of bonuses that come with less frequency, rather than there being no benefit at all for multiple points invested until you hit a tipping point. Though ideally, every attribute should give you something useful each level.

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Re: FRACTIONS and smooth stat progression

Post by Lakstoties » November 22nd, 2017, 1:17 pm

Zombra wrote:
November 22nd, 2017, 10:08 am
Sure Lakstoties, there are a thousand ways to make sure every point counts. That's math for you. Moving the decimal a few places over - on both figured stats and conflict resolution - would be fine too, but there's nothing wrong with fractions in gaming. Many tabletop RPGs use them ... critically, RPGs that aren't moderated by calculating machines a thousand times better at math than the human brain!

Point is, there's absolutely no reason to have "break points" where a 4 INT is a thousand times better than a 7 INT. If inXile is confused about that this time around, I am here to explain fractions to them. :geek:
Well, I'm just of the opinion to start out with math that can be done relatively easily on paper and then move towards the aid computation devices. It's easier to start out simple and then increase the complexity as needed when you build upon the initial simpler systems... It's much harder to drop the complexity later when many systems have been built upon it initially, which usually causes a lot of weird refactoring, patching, and reworks that can grow to strange levels of bewilderment to the player.

As for the 4 vs 7 INT example, context and weight. I remember while designing, I actually counted the number of places attributes showed up in other parts of the system to help figure out if there was any kind of lopsidedness to the importance of all the stats. So, that might something to look at to make sure there's the right amount of things needing 7 INT vs 4 INT.
sear wrote:
November 22nd, 2017, 10:33 am
I'm generally in favor of bonuses that come with less frequency, rather than there being no benefit at all for multiple points invested until you hit a tipping point. Though ideally, every attribute should give you something useful each level.
Part of me really wants to poke hard with a "What's a level, really?" debate. Then again, I'm one for levelless systems that allow per component customized improvement.

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Re: FRACTIONS and smooth stat progression

Post by Zombra » November 22nd, 2017, 1:29 pm

sear wrote:
November 22nd, 2017, 10:33 am
I'm generally in favor of bonuses that come with less frequency, rather than there being no benefit at all for multiple points invested until you hit a tipping point.
I'm confused, those kinda seem like the same thing. Less frequency is "no benefit, no benefit, no benefit, big benefit!" which is how it was for some stats in W2. I want "small benefit, little more, little more, little more", so not only does every point count, every point for a stat matters equally. Tipping points of any kind only serve to discourage thoughtful character building.
Lakstoties wrote:
November 22nd, 2017, 1:17 pm
Then again, I'm one for levelless systems that allow per component customized improvement.
Kinda getting off topic, but I don't like character levels either. The only series that did them well in my opinion is Jagged Alliance, where "Level" itself had actual direct mechanics of its own (e.g. high Level guys had better perception, couldn't be interrupted as easily, etc.) but no direct impact on other stats.
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Re: FRACTIONS and smooth stat progression

Post by Dork Mage » November 22nd, 2017, 3:25 pm

Zombra wrote:
November 22nd, 2017, 1:29 pm
Tipping points of any kind only serve to discourage thoughtful character building.
I disagree. You have to decide at character creation that you are going to have a "skill mule" or who is the sniper. In so doing, you have to "give up on having other" stats to specialize. It makes it a very thoughtful process at creation time.

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Re: FRACTIONS and smooth stat progression

Post by Zombra » November 22nd, 2017, 3:36 pm

Dork Mage wrote:
November 22nd, 2017, 3:25 pm
Zombra wrote:
November 22nd, 2017, 1:29 pm
Tipping points of any kind only serve to discourage thoughtful character building.
I disagree. You have to decide at character creation that you are going to have a "skill mule" or who is the sniper. In so doing, you have to "give up on having other" stats to specialize. It makes it a very thoughtful process at creation time.
I don't see it. When stats only go from 1-2, your choices are
1 ST / 2 DX sniper
2 ST / 1 DX mule
and that is it. Those are the only two characters you can make. You pick one and you're done thinking.

If stats go from 1.00 to 2.00 and each decimal point matters, you might be tempted to make
1.50 ST / 1.50 DX well rounded fighter who can punch or shoot as circumstances dictate
or
1.23 ST / 1.73 DX gunfighter who doesn't shoot as fast but carries a few more extra clips
or any combination that adds up to 3.00.

Is 1.24 ST better than 1.23 if I can carry one extra bullet? If 1.72 DX means I am -0.05% slower than 1.73, what tradeoff am I willing to make?

In Wasteland 2, INT effectively went from 1-4 (1, 4, 8, 10), with no fractions in between. There was never a "Should I have a 6 INT?", because of course you shouldn't; it was a non-choice. You weren't thinking about 10 different meaningful things, you were only thinking about 4. That is limiting and outright eliminates nuanced thought, because there's nothing to think about in between.

When I assign a stat from 1-10, I'd better have 10 meaningful things to think about. Otherwise drop the pretense and make stats go from 1-2.
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Re: FRACTIONS and smooth stat progression

Post by Woolfe » November 22nd, 2017, 3:59 pm

Zombra wrote:
November 22nd, 2017, 3:36 pm
In Wasteland 2, INT effectively went from 1-4 (1, 4, 8, 10), with no fractions in between. There was never a "Should I have a 3?", because of course you shouldn't; it was a non-choice. You weren't thinking about 10 different meaningful things, you were only thinking about 4. That is limiting and discourages nuanced thought.
THIS.. THIS ... THIS.... This is the whole point of the topic.

I agree with Zombra. He and I have had arguments about stat distribution and synergies before but on this we agree. Every level should have an effect (preferably equal).

Also overall it doesn't matter if it is "simple" in the sense that it is whole numbers, or "complex" in that there are fractions. The concepts are the same.

In a way I probably prefer factions. Because it is harder to work out "at a glance" but when you want to sit down and do the math you can. So when making the choice in leveling up you can take the time to make the choice. But in a firefight where you have a decision between shooting or move then shoot, you will have an idea of which is better, but you won't know for certain(unless you do the math, which most of us couldn't be stuffed to do in an actiony bit).

Either way, we have these systems that can do amazing things. There should be plethora of variables affecting everything you do. And lots of small things add can add up to a big effect at times.
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