Balancing a RPG is… one of the hardest things in game design ever. Even in MMORPG made by teams of 100+ people with multi-million budgets you see patches for months after the game is out to “tweak / balance the game”.
So I am sure that even my new RPG Seasons Of The Wolf very likely won’t be “perfectly balanced”, but to me the first goal is to make it fun. But I know that there are some very hardcore people who will dissect the game in details and find all possible weaknesses.
Let’s have a NIGHTMARE
Let’s start with saying that this time I’ve listened to the pleas about the difficulty:
Note the new difficulty level with that friendly name “NIGHTMARE”. Already the hard level will be… hard, but I expect the nightmare to be a real pain in the ass, requiring people to grind, fine-tune their equipment, and maybe even reload old savegames to try a different tactic/leveling up path.
You know, all those things that for normal human beings are annoying, but for those guys are the most fun thing ever!
I’m joking in case it wasn’t clear. No offense to anyone! Those hardcore RPG players are indeed the most useful testers since they usually find more bugs than anyone else, so an applause to them!
Loren’s attribute system was pretty simple: 3 attributes, Strength, Skill, Will. One of them particularly good for each of the 3 classes: Warrior, Thief and Mage. But even the other two would provide benefits.
This time in SOTW I wanted to have more attributes: six in total.
Let’s see each one in detail:
- Constitution – increases character’s durability in battles. Each point spent in this attribute will increase the HP amount by 10.
- Will – increases character’s ability to use special attacks or spells in battle. Each points spent in this attribute will increase the SP amount by 10.
- Strength – increases character’s physical damage in battle. Each point spent in this attribute will increase the Attack value.
- Skill – increases character’s ability to avoid or block physical attacks in battle. Each point spent in this attribute will increase the Defense value.
- Agility – increases character’s Speed value. Fast characters will move sooner and perform the same actions quicker than slower ones.
- Arcane – increases character’s Magical ability. A high value helps caster to cast more powerful spells, and also grants protection to magic attacks.
One of the rules for game design, is that each attributes should be at least useful to each Class. If there’s an attribute that gives absolutely NO advantage to any of the game Classes, you have “a problem”.
Currently, my only attribute with this problem is Strength. It works fine for Warrior and Thief since influences the Attack, but as you can imagine, Mages won’t have much use for it. Unless maybe I allow them to use Missile weapons too, or have strength influence some of the resistances.
Yes, because while the resistances will be the same as Loren, they’ll use a much better/more practical percentage based scale, so it’s not enough to have two armor items giving each Fire resistance to become immune. More like, each piece will give some percentage points.
So I have still to think better about it, I have some ideas already… (the attributes will surely change in the final version, but not by much).
Of course, there are plenty of RPG with unbalanced attributes that are still fun to play. Baldur’s Gate and Fallout comes to mind, just to name two very popular and fun RPGs
More news coming next week, about this game and the other one currently in progress!