What is a fair formula to calculate NPC combat exp rewards?

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Tarax the Terrible
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What is a fair formula to calculate NPC combat exp rewards?

Post by Tarax the Terrible » 14 Jun 2011 23:15

With all our other balancing efforts I am surprised this hasn't come up before.

Lets assume that each npc has a combat exp number associated with it.
You kill it you get that exp.

So this can look at a number of factors.
Obviously the npcs stats and skills.

But if you were going to write the formula for a balanced system of combat exp reward what would it be?

What else should be taken into account.

What bonuses should be available?
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Re: What is a fair formula to calculate NPC combat exp rewar

Post by Booger » 15 Jun 2011 00:55

I believe there is no such thing as an exp number attached to the npc:s now. The xp they give is based solely on their stats. So to put an xp number on each creature would probably be quite a bit of work.
Might help to just try and add the skills into the xp formula, if you want it more balanced.
Right now, going for the most unskilled npc:s seems to be the most efficient way for fast and easy xp.
Adding special attacks into this formula would help even more, but is probably a lot harder. But special attacks seem to play a much bigger part than stats and even skills, when it comes to how tough an opponent is.
Other things to concider could be whether or not they hunt, they have assisting friends, they're in a hard-to-get-to/hard-to-get-out-of area, etc. But that's even harder to bring in, I believe.

Another thing that might be of interest, is whether alignment could be a factor. Some muds give a bonus if you are evil and kill good, or good and kill evil, while you get a penalty for killing npc:s of the same alignment. Except for neutral people, who then get no bonus and no penalty. This might be better connected with guilds. Maybe nazgûls should be rewarded a bit extra for killing holy paladins, and get less xp if killing Balrogs? And similarly penalizing paladins for killing holy creatures and reward them a bit extra for killing demons and devils... but perhaps they already have other things that prompts them to go for their "natural enemies"?, and if so it might be pointless to add this?

My statements here are just guesses, of course. Not known facts.
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Re: What is a fair formula to calculate NPC combat exp rewar

Post by Onton » 15 Jun 2011 16:52

I've thought about this before too. Trying to come up with a "logical" explanation for the whole experience system, etc., doesn't really work, it seems. That's pretty much the case for most RPG systems though. What your "experience"/"level" reflects is literally that; the amount you've experienced as an "adventurer". "Bigger" - ie more dangerous (theoretically) - opponents give more experience. It's a pretty rough system, but it's what we have.
Anyway, I would say, the amount of experience you gain from repeatedly killing the same enemies should gradually decrease. Or the other way round, fighting unfamiliar enemies should give you a bonus, until you become familiar with them. Why? Simply because you'd become more familiar with the combat techniques etc. of anything by fighting it (not necessarily killing, but that's another story), you'd get to know "how to fight" them, even if the actual doing of it wasn't necessarily easy. On the other hand, an unfamiliar enemy would behave in new ways, and fighting them would "teach you" more, even if defeating them was very easy.
I would also say the reverse should apply to your combat effectiveness against the enemy. As your level of familiarity increases, so should your effectiveness. So either you'd get a bonus for fighting familiar enemies, or a penalty for fighting unfamiliar enemies, until you were familiar with them. The more you "have yet to learn" from something, the less at your peak efficiency you are. But, that's a different issue really.
So perhaps something along the lines of... The game keeps track of the number of times you kill a certain thing, and your experience gained is scaled accordingly. But only to a certain point, after which you'd be completely familiar with them. This point could be higher for the "bigger" enemies, perhaps. The current experience value could be in the middle of the scale, or at one end, depending if the idea is to give a bonus, a penalty, or a mixture.
This could be in addition to any changes/improvements to whatever currently determines experience values.

Long post :twisted:

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Re: What is a fair formula to calculate NPC combat exp rewar

Post by Zar » 15 Jun 2011 17:04

As far as I know about lpc.
There is default formula of xp. but it can be overridden by monster code.
So if some troll has huge stats it is not nescessary that it will give good xp and opposite.

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Tarax the Terrible
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Re: What is a fair formula to calculate NPC combat exp rewar

Post by Tarax the Terrible » 15 Jun 2011 17:15

It could be a set number, or calculated on the fly.
The formula for arriving at either of those numbers should be what?

Theoretically we do not have to differentiate one player and their guilds from another as that is what they guild tax system is there for.
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Re: What is a fair formula to calculate NPC combat exp rewar

Post by cotillion » 16 Jun 2011 19:07

It should be based on the time required to kill the monster with a modifier for the risk in fighting it.
We're in general awarding way too much experience for kills where there was no risk at all to the killer.

Arcon

Re: What is a fair formula to calculate NPC combat exp rewar

Post by Arcon » 16 Jun 2011 21:06

cotillion wrote:It should be based on the time required to kill the monster with a modifier for the risk in fighting it.
We're in general awarding way too much experience for kills where there was no risk at all to the killer.

Risk, not time. Or people would just start healing their enemies or unwield to make it take longer time.

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Tarax the Terrible
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Re: What is a fair formula to calculate NPC combat exp rewar

Post by Tarax the Terrible » 16 Jun 2011 22:12

The ideas about reducing exp for repeated kills of the same mob since you learn that mob may seem logical but are not going to be popular. A bonus for first few defeats versus a penalty for later is more likely to be welcomed.

I am not sure about the formula updating to each player and player size, even if it would reward smaller it would heavily penalize larger. Which may be fine if we were starting from scratch but we aren't. So if a drastic change happened now it would demoralise a lot of the large but not as big as X population.

Funnily
I have seen other muds give experience for damage done during the fight then a bonus on the kill.
It would be funny if that was implemented in Gen because teams could spend hours grinding Tom Bombadil :lol:
Something like that would not be very newbie friendly however. Since they can gain exps (vast amounts of exps fast) when invited to a team just by watching myths grind.

Say you have 4 hours to play.
You already have good gear (enough for your usual grind spot)
It would be cool if you could spend those four hours going round gathering a team, killing dragons and the yeti etc and get as much exp if you had sat semi watching the screen scroll by repetitive grinding.

Yes its a cool idea, but there is also the balance question for the type of killing we have already been doing for years. For example why is the wayfarers guild in Kabal which may be on a par with guards in Gont not as good experience.
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Tarax the Terrible
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Re: What is a fair formula to calculate NPC combat exp rewar

Post by Tarax the Terrible » 16 Jun 2011 22:32

My thinking was it one approach be an effort at a calculated formula.

Calculated formula would look at
Core formula items (these should apply to every single npc that can be attacked and killed)
The npc's combat stats
The npc's combat skills in weapon, unarmed, defence, parry
The npc's combat natural damage ability (claws etc which cannot be disarmed)
The npcs weapon stats
The npcs use of armour slots (since unarmoured areas can provide bonuses with items/specials)
The npcs worn armour class
The npcs natural base armour (armour that cannot be got around by other means, specials which ignore AC, breaking armours etc)
The usual number of comparable classed npc's which will assist it (are there 5 in a room all who help each other)
Is the npc aggressive. (this may not be a big deal in gont, but is a huge deal with the likes of a Krynnish dragon who can paralyze foes on entry)
The npcs mental stats (since they provide resistance to certain effects)
If the area is dangerous (think outdoors in icewall, inside Isengaard etc)
Did I miss any???

Bonus formula items (These are the things which come into play with the non vanilla npcs out there.
There are too many to list but here are some common ones.
The npc has a special damage attack.
The npc has a disruptive special.
The npc has a defensive special.
The npc helps stop itself from bring bounced! (Arlen smacks you on re-entry)
The npc trys to make sure it is soloed (Orc capt, moira Ururk-hai)
The npc hunts those who flee.
The npc or its set location helps prevents fleeing (Viridian, Yeti etc).
The npcs has an increased healing rate.
The npcs calls others to its aid.
The npcs hides behind others prolonging the fight time at the maximum number of foes.
The npc flees.
The npc flees and is likely to run into other who will assist/protect etc it.

So I think that this is looking like it would be a very complicated formula!


The other approach would be a practical one.
We know Petros has a lab for torturing npcs and guild set-up clones
(sorry I meant researching)
Create a npc with max weapon skills and best non magic equipment set-up (ie get them a full set from bubba)
See what minimum combat stat size flat across all 3 they need to beat the npc in question.
Multiply that size by 1.25 and time the fight.
That in seconds time the minimum stat give you a difficulty factor.
Compare that factor across different npcs and adjust exps accordingly.
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Re: What is a fair formula to calculate NPC combat exp rewar

Post by Targun » 18 Jun 2011 14:45

It seems reasonable to have modifiers for calculating XP formula. Too many variables though create lots of space for a fraud or a simple mistake. Tarax core list seems to be a pretty good one. I would however, replace the 'Bonus list' with a 'Risk modifier', which would multiply the xp gain from the monstern by a fixed amount and be capped for example at 1.25. Which would effectively mean that no matter what sort of additional abilities the npc had, the xp gained from the 'core' may be increased by a maximum of 25%.

Perhaps it would be also rational to place the 'special attack' in the core function. Yet, at the same time, it could prove to be quite tricky, as there is no standard for npc specials. Therefore it might be difficult to properly calculate the bonus XP from it. For instance- a special attack may hit very hard, but after reaching a certain lvl be dodgeable at 90% rate.

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