On the subject of race balancing

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On the subject of race balancing

Postby Nightwing » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:02 pm

Following the rather heated discussion earlier, I'm going to make this thread to politely discuss the balancing of all races in general. Since I have their pros and cons ready, I'll post Prometheans here first. However, don't feel like this is purely for the "OP" races. If there's anything you don't like about any race, hell even tajarans or unathi, then this would be the place to discuss it. All I ask is that your posts clearly make a POINT, EVIDENCE, AND EXPLANATION, followed by a SOLUTION. P.E.E.S. Shouldn't be hard to remember.

How do I PEES?
[+]
Point: A trait about a race you feel is unbalanced
Evidence: Point out an example in which this affects gameplay and why it's bad, preferably but not requiring being backed up by values from the code and/or wiki
Explanation: Explain exactly why this feature is being brought into question and why you feel it's broken to keep the way it is
Solution: How would you fix this issue without breaking the balance of the rest of the mob's pros and cons?


Promethean balance
These values are cross-referenced with the wiki. I won't be making any grand judgements on what's overpowered and needs to be changed or removed, but a broad statement about which subjects give me alarm bells, as a starting point for discussion.

Pros:
- Can't get shocked
- 50% reduction in brute
- 50% bonus movement speed
- Can store electrical charge and electrocute people
- Regenerate external limbs
- Auto-heal internal organ
- Can't slip
- Can't get hurt by ground items (shards, etc)
- Doesn't need air
- Immune to phoron
- 20% extra health
- Regenerates faster than humans, 0.2 health per tick

Cons:
- 2x burn damage
- Can't be cloned
- Gib on death
- Reduced chance to disarm people (updated to match wiki)


Now, just looking at this list? There are a LOT more pros than cons. And there's quite a few that are somewhat ludicrous by themselves. I'm mostly looking at their electricity-based abilities, and their immunities and damage reductions. We have other races who're able to do some of those things (like spacewalking dionas) - but other races have more "accessible" cons. Diona, for instance, have a flat speed nerf, which is an actively inhibiting drawback in and out of combat scenarios. Prometheans' biggest con is that they take double burn damage. Burn damage is only one of many kinds of damage. Chances are that a foe will be using a laser to fight, but that's only one small scenario in which their biggest drawback applies. So, discuss as you will. I'm interested to hear whether people agree with me on these and why, and what you propose to do about it.
Last edited by Nightwing on Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:13 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: On the subject of race balancing

Postby Molenar » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:10 pm

Storing electricity is cool and all but, seems somewhat pointless here. it's something you could accomplish similarly just being sec with equipment. immune to phoron also seems a bit pointless.

the immunity to electricity seems alright I suppose, since they are made of something other than flesh, it could conceivably react differently to a charge.

as for the gib on death/ unable to clone, do they still have the revive by injection into the core thing like old slimes did?
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Re: On the subject of race balancing

Postby Nightwing » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:13 pm

Molenar wrote:Storing electricity is cool and all but, seems somewhat pointless here. it's something you could accomplish similarly just being sec with equipment. immune to phoron also seems a bit pointless.

the immunity to electricity seems alright I suppose, since they are made of something other than flesh, it could conceivably react differently to a charge.

as for the gib on death/ unable to clone, do they still have the revive by injection into the core thing like old slimes did?


You see, my main problem with them storing electricity and then releasing it to shock other people is... Well, firstly I don't quite know what "shock others" entails. If it's a taser effect, that's great and all. If it's actually dealing the large shock damage to another person, then that's not on. Further consider that they're taking protection that usually only engineers get and only with items (insulated gloves) and then weaponising it into something security might use (or worse), all while not actually having to equip any items, let alone possess the access necessary to obtain those items in the first place. While conceivable, it's not necessarily balanced.
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Re: On the subject of race balancing

Postby Molenar » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:18 pm

so this is more of an argument on balance than making it more probable in lore. though i feel mechanics need a balance with lore regardless.

Should take a bit and test what the extent is on the charge damage, if it's a taser that's not terrible, just a dick move that we can slap if needed. If it is massive damage, nerf it down to something reasonable. And sec can have Promethians on a watch list for behavior, as i believe they likely would regardless since they are essentially experiments, or most of them are I think.

what if instead of an immunity they only took a partial damage from electrical shock... though that super burn effect would toast them anyway if that was done I suppose.
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Re: On the subject of race balancing

Postby Arbon » Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:43 am

On their own each of these different bonuses could be balanced out. Diona being the perfect example here, they have ridiculous and amazing bonuses that are balanced out by their vulnerability to darkness and just how slow they are. The speed reduction being even worse on a station this large, where it literally takes an hour to walk from one side of the station to another. Weird that wheelchairs don't seem to speed them up though. While at the same time they still have fast movement/escape options at the cost of completely crippling themselves to break up into a nymph. Benefit. Then cost. Thats the balance we should be looking for here.

With Promethians when I tested one I thought the only cool ability was the fact they can shapeshift from the abilities menu. Take off your clothing, change colors to match the floor, shapeshift to look like whatever race you want but don't get their bonuses because you aren't actually the race. Was a neat concept, excellent for role-playing, very slight robust applications if you put effort into that sort of active camo and happen to go against blind people. Where does all this other stuff come from?

Can't be cloned isn't a drawback until you actually die, and is probably the reason they are so hard to kill in the first place. Once they're down, they stay down, and it takes the player out of the game for good. Heck, it takes the CHARACTER out of the game for good if you want to get picky with the lore. If they can't be cloned at all, they can't be cloned. So all of the different health bonuses appear to be a way to balance this weakness, you aren't going to die accidentally. Gibbing on death is one thing and sort of neat.

Keep the inability to disarm people, obviously. Too slime. Nothing solid.

And. .. uughhh thats such a massive list of Pros. Honestly you could split this list in half and make two separate races out of it, one focused on the electricity aspects and fast movement that acts like a glass cannon with specific immunities. And the other as a blobby tank with lots and lots of immunities and high health but nothing to increase damage dealt.

Pros:
Can't get shocked
+50% movement speed
Store electrical charge and blast it back out as harmful touch
Immune to Phoron
^
That is an entire race line-up right here. Add in cons that make them less capable or easier to kill, maybe have them take slow but constant damage for as long as they are holding a charge. Or just change flat immunity to a massive 70%-80% reduction of electricity damage. Vulnerability to fire extinguishers, extra pain from burn damage so that a lethal laser outright stuns you the way a taser should. Could even apply that to all damage types except electricity? Stun weapons do nothing, but every other type of damage acts like a stun weapon and takes you down quickly without outright killing you.

Make a mouse race with these stats and you've got yourself a pikachu.

Pros:
-50% reduction in brute
Regenerate external limbs
auto-heal internal organs.
+20% extra health
Regenerates faster than humans
^
Again, you have the stats for a complete race here, something blobby and shifty and designed to play tank, and unless you can use promethians as a power source to charge up APCs and give borgs a boost to their power cells I thiiiiink this is what you'd want to settle on for the actual race. The electricity things are neat and could be a thing quite easily, but not when paired up alongside ALSO being a tank. Their existing Cons should be enough to handle this with the exception of the fact fire extinguishers do nothing, maybe also apply extra pain from various damage sources so they are easy to stun if hard to kill.

Pros:
Can't slip
Can't get hurt by ground item (shards)
Doesn't need air.
Immune to Phoron.
Can't get shocked.
^
Yet again, these bonuses could be an entire race onto itself, all of them in some way mobility related here. Things that are dangerous should not be BOTH tanky and mobile. Things that are tank should not be BOTH dangerous and mobile. Things that are mobile should not be BOTH tank and dangerous. There's three major options here when you ignore the pure fluff of their shape shifting, so it's like that old business proverb. You can have it Fast, Cheap, or Good. Pick two.
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Re: On the subject of race balancing

Postby EmoxNeko » Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:21 am

Just gonna put this out there.

Can't be shocked. + https://github.com/VOREStation/VOREStation/issues/346 + Autoclicker would end the server.

Also gonna put this out here. https://wiki.vore-station.net/Guide_to_ ... Edition.29

Use that as you please. I'll contribute to this later. Just have some reference materials to sway yer choices.
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Re: On the subject of race balancing

Postby Scree » Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:24 pm

Adminchat has been talking about some of the racial stuff and bringing back the "are genetic traits viable as a thing" as a possible solution for pointbuy mix-and-match races.

This may involve the base races being toned down a bit.
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Re: On the subject of race balancing

Postby Arbon » Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:00 pm

If Aronai's actually capable of making that happen then this entire problem quite literally goes away. Require sum 0 in all instances and have at least some selection of neutral options, then suddenly we aren't arguing for the races themselves or even the usefulness of the power, we'll just be arguing the cost of the abilities. At the same time it means any new sort of ability we can think of and code (vox's jumping at people for example, an active stealth that makes you semi-transparent, "High strength" so all grabs instantly start as aggressive grabs, can drain blood for nutriment, ect) then suddenly the ability can be applied to any species and you just need to slap on a cost for it. The list of options and diversity can expand incrementally with each new option, letting the mechanics match the playerbase.
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Re: On the subject of race balancing

Postby rikaru19 » Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:03 pm

Pros:
- Can't get shocked
- 50% reduction in brute
- 50% bonus movement speed
- Can store electrical charge and electrocute people
- Regenerate external limbs
- Auto-heal internal organ
- Can't slip
- Can't get hurt by ground items (shards, etc)
- Doesn't need air
- Immune to phoron
- 20% extra health
- Regenerates faster than humans, 0.2 health per tick


Okay, I can point out three things here that just make this race basically xeno 2.0. movement speed, brute resists and extra health, and even faster regeneration? Why?

The no clone on death or burn weakness doesn't even make up for it! If this race was used in any actual robusting situation, barring a fight with sec or an antagonist with a energy weapon of some sort, they would have absurd advantages here.

Say a bar brawl with a Promethean starts getting to dangerous territory. Said Promethean could basically kill someone with a broken bottle with relatively little injury due to the resist. Granted it's an RP server and this would be shitty, but an average crewmate in the same situation would be fucked barring Sec intervention. Arbon has the right idea though, tone down these advantages a bit, make them not able to do as much damage to further compensate, and the electric touch is pretty neat too.

These are just my thoughts though.
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