Thursday, July 29, 2010

Size Testing

I did some preliminary testing of the Size equations from last post. What I discovered was disturbing. It's going to be hard to go into in a short blog post--but what it amounts to is this:

1. In the current "Normalized Herds" there are 16 Opponent Characters and 4 Test Characters. Each of the 16 Opponents is 30% Offense and are armed with sword, gun, punch, and blaster (with various combinations of defense), 70% Defense (calibrated for a 3-4 Round fight). The Test Characters are 50% Offense, 50% Defense and will have whatever weapon is being tested. One Test character has FULL armor, one has FULL DP, one has half armor and half DP and one has a Force Field.

2. When I tested the Size Equation with Armed Size (1 STR = 5 BLD = 5 DP, character does PEN damage) I got, for the 16 AP Herd (being 8 AP investment in Size and 8 AP investment in defenses) a 50% battle-win for all four characters at 4 STR, 20 BLD, 20 DP.

That would be good: except that the issue is that our current pricing gives 20 DP by itself for 8 AP. This would effectively mean that the offensive power (STR and BLD) was free. As I was doing "Armed STR" the damage dealt by the character was expensive PEN damage ... so making it "free" wasn't good.

3. Worse: the spread across 4 characters sucked. The FULL ARMOR guy was winning like 75% of his battles while everyone else was around 40%. The FULL DP guy was only winning like 30% of his fights. This spread was technically 50% but the numbers aren't good (well, they're good if you're the FULL ARMOR guy but otherwise Size is a sucker's game).

Now, I hadn't factored in the +'s TBH for being big--or the extra reach--but at the 8 and 16 AP levels these aren't so much. Not enough to make a real difference anyway.

What Was Going On?
Well, first things first: we determined that  for the FULL ARMOR guy the fights were taking like 6.5 Rounds which was damn long. We also figured out that the mix was ... problematic. When we were putting 8 AP of Size into a test character the character had: 8 AP of Defense, 4 AP of DP (also a defense) and 4 AP of Damage. This made the character a "Low Damage" character.

What Does "Low Damage" Imply?
Well, for starters it means that characters who elect to have at most 1/4th of their AP in offense usually get some kind of special deal for it (such as being fast for a lower cost). In our case the characters were coming out as LD characters but weren't getting anything (well, technically they were getting attacks for "free" but that made things even worse).

Secondly, when they were facing a herd of 70% Defense characters they were seriously under-gunned compared to the 50% characters I'd been testing with.

What we determined was that the herd itself was not a good test for a power that split offense and defense.

Final Issue
The final issue is that we've determined that characters without armor should probably get extra DP when they buy DP--like maybe double. Our builds don't come with armor and we're not currently testing them with double DP. Size doesn't imply armor so if we were to invest a full 16 AP in Size (which, at this test rate would give +8 STR, +40 BLD, +40 DP) the character would have no armor but would be approximately 50% of his AP in offense.

I'm not certain what to do with that. For a 16 AP character do I test 12 in Size (6 in Offense, 6 in Defense, approx) and then put 4 in a second defense? Or do I do 14 in Size and 2 in defense? Which is "more likely" as a PC build? Maybe both?


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