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Making a choice, easier to understand

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X3M
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I refined 2 mechanics for my war game.
But I would like to have players understand these 2 mechanics.
How can I make it easier for them to understand?

I tried making super simple choices. And put them in a list.
A choice out of 4 different weapons, regarding the 2 different mechanics. A 2x2 effect, if you will.

However, somehow I get the feeling it is a bit to hard to understand.

The 2 game mechanics:
Cool Down: The player pays the required Action Points and the weapon fires.
Charging: The player pays 1 Action Point each turn. Once the required amount is met, the weapon can fire. If there is nothing to fire at, that round, the Action Points are lost either way.

And these are the choices that I offered:

Rifle:
Charging=0
Cool down=1
Damage=1

Laser:
Charging=2
Cool down=1
Damage=6

Sniper:
Charging=0
Cool down=3
Damage=2

Grenade:
Charging=1
Cool down=2
Damage=4

I allowed them to fight against 3 health units, 6 health units, 12 health units and finally units with 36 health.

While the differences are obvious. And there is an optimum for each weapon against a certain amount of durability. My players simply do not see the basic logic behind it.

Is this a downside to hidden RPS mechanics?

X3M
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I guess, the choice isn't that simple

Title.

Hmmmm...

How can I make the choice simpler?

X3M
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I adjusted the first post

Since there where some balance changes:

- Sniper with a cool down of 3, went from 1.8 to 2.0 damage.
- Sacrificial units went from 3 to 4 damage.

I guess, you need to know the game to make a proper choice.

X3M
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Bonus damage rule

I used to have a bonus damage rule.
Which brings balance to the game. By increasing damage on the winning side by a margin.

It is very fluent and fair, when in effect. But it needs a lot of calculating.

The cool down rule is influenced badly by this. It makes peashooters stronger against durable units, but also against sniper types.

So I need to either remove or change the rule.

As choices for a change.
1. The bonus is less to begin with, but still can reach 100 percent.
Instead of 3/6 and 6/6, this has become 2/6, 4/6 and then 6/6. Which only complicates things more.
2. No matter what difference there is. The bonus is always a fixed number. I have yet to try all posibilities here.

Lets just say, all 4 examples above should benefit from the bonus rule.

questccg
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Something doesn't make sense

Usually the more "spread-out" the more damage a weapon is. Your laser being 6 Damage is illogical. And you have a rifle, so what the heck does "sniper" have to do with it. I think part of it is "terminology" and another part is really a question of logic.

Like a Grenade should cause more Damage than a laser.

And instead of "sniper" which means nothing, replace this with Missile. And the order would be: rifle, laser, grenade, and missile.

The damage that a laser does isn't worth "cooldown" and "charging". And I've already said that the "damage" is wrong too.

Maybe something along the lines of:

Rifle:
Charging = 0
Cooldown = 1
Damage = 2

Laser
Charging = 1
Cooldown = 0
Damage = 2

Grenade:
Charging = 2
Cooldown = 0
Damage = 4

Missile:
Charging = 0
Cooldown = 3
Damage = 6

These are just "preliminary" results... Because the "options" you were presenting IMHO didn't work. Obviously the COST to "acquire" Missiles is greater than Grenades. I wouldn't force BOTH options either. To me, it seems a bit illogical. Obviously everyone will WANT "missiles" but the cost to acquire them might be more that 2x (Factor).

These are just my personal thoughts. You can ignore them if they don't work for your game. I just felt like requiring both options seemed a bit harsh and not "simple" enough.

You did say that you wanted it to be "simple", right???

questccg
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Then you can ADD a LAYER

Sniper Rifle:
Charging = 1
Cooldown = 1
Damage = 4

Laser Pistol:
Charging = 2
Cooldown = 0
Damage = 4

Concussion Grenade:
Charging = 4
Cooldown = 0
Damage = 6

Heat Seeking Missile:
Charging = 2
Cooldown = 3
Damage = 10

Something like this ... And you can BUILD upon it to make MORE weapons with all kinds of options.

It took me a while to understand. But I actually LIKE what you are proposing... Just felt like it needed to be SIMPLER to be better and offer the chance to UPGRADE to stronger weapons...

Warklaxon
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Intuitive, visual, articulate

When I am offering a choice of weapon, action, or event I try to make it one of three or all three below:

Intuitive: Something that people know in science or can research that is true. A laser has a thin beam dealing specific damage to a single target or multiple targets in a row.

Visual: if a concept is abstract I try to use art to illustrate it in an educational but fun way. For example, my current game prototype Galactic Ryft has ‘Ryfts’ which are unknown holes in the fabric of space, the art helps pull together the concept and deals with the unusual spelling.

Articulate: if a concept is abstract I use keywords that are repeated throughout the rules and defined in a glossary at the end of the rule book. Simplifying and being consistent seem to help. Your keywords are good, they have stated effects and are easily understood. If you need to put a visual example in the rule book to demonstrate the difference, that may help some people with the concept.

It sounds like you’re on the way to balance. Keep in mind your target audience. I think they (strategic sci fi board gamers) will have little issue understanding this approach.

X3M
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How did my logic go?

Terminology might be the problem then.

Charging? Sniper? "Sniper"? Cool down?
Seems not everyone understands this.

For starters.
the hobby game is based on RTS like c&c. A laser is 99% of the time (in RTS) a weapon that needs to power up. Often a weapon that spreads heat too.
(Sorry, but as a scientific person, I know that a hot target contains a lot of heat after the laser hit)

Heavy lasers that are strong and need a charge:
Beam-Cannon(TW), Obelisk of Light(TD,TS and TW), Prism tower(RA2), Prism tank(RA2),

The instant lasers that are very weak, no charge, low cool down:
Laser turret(TS), Laser rifle (Renegade), Laser cannon(Renegade), Shock Rifle(UT), Pulsegun (UT)

***

The given examples are equal in cost. And proven to be balanced. The main problem was that players don't see this,... yet...

***

Terminology?

A sniper is different than a "Sniper".
But they work in the same way. One target receives a lot of damage. Then it takes a while for the weapon to reload.
RTS players use the word, sniping a lot. Even between tank battles. Especially when targeting big objects. I hear "sniping" the most in Starcraft 2 commentary, by officials.

Charging???
I think this is wrong here.
Powering up is the description. The weapon needs to gather energy. Then if any target is in sight the weapon releases.

Cool down?
Most RTS users use the word ROF.
I stay loyal to the balanced Starcraft terminology. Where cool down is a simple pause between shots or salvos.

***

The ammount of damage combined with the names is only by oppinion.
What I am wondering about is, how can I make new players see the benefit/weakness of higher cool down and a charging time.

PS. I did not include RPS here. Lasers are often higher tier weapons. Simply cheaper due to charging and cool down.

I'll provide the formula to determine the costs of a weapon later on.

X3M
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Warklaxon wrote:When I am

Warklaxon wrote:
When I am offering a choice of weapon, action, or event I try to make it one of three or all three below:

Intuitive: Something that people know in science or can research that is true. A laser has a thin beam dealing specific damage to a single target or multiple targets in a row.

Visual: if a concept is abstract I try to use art to illustrate it in an educational but fun way. For example, my current game prototype Galactic Ryft has ‘Ryfts’ which are unknown holes in the fabric of space, the art helps pull together the concept and deals with the unusual spelling.

Articulate: if a concept is abstract I use keywords that are repeated throughout the rules and defined in a glossary at the end of the rule book. Simplifying and being consistent seem to help. Your keywords are good, they have stated effects and are easily understood. If you need to put a visual example in the rule book to demonstrate the difference, that may help some people with the concept.

It sounds like you’re on the way to balance. Keep in mind your target audience. I think they (strategic sci fi board gamers) will have little issue understanding this approach.

Thanks.
Than perhaps it truly is a different understanding of terminology.
The 2 guys that come from the Westwood series, clearly understand charging.
Funny enough, cool down is harder for them.
The 2 Starcraft guys understand cool down perfectly clear. They also know "Sniping". Yet have trouble with charging. I tell them Yamato. Now they understand.

I should include examples, yes.

questccg
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Hmm... Guess you chose to ignore my comments

questccg wrote:
Sniper Rifle:
Charging = 1
Cooldown = 1
Damage = 4

Laser Pistol:
Charging = 2
Cooldown = 0
Damage = 4

Concussion Grenade:
Charging = 4
Cooldown = 0
Damage = 6

Heat Seeking Missile:
Charging = 2
Cooldown = 3
Damage = 10

Something like this ... And you can BUILD upon it to make MORE weapons with all kinds of options...

I just wanted to "BUMP" the concept of starting weapons (normal) and then "modified" weapons which cause more damage than their normal counterparts.

For example the difference between a "Missile" and a "Heat Seeking Missile" is that a normal missile DOESN'T need "Charging" just "Cooldown" after the weapon is fired. But it's "Heat Seeking" variant requires "2 Charging" and causes more damage.

This is an improved version of the "Missile" for sure.

I don't think "Sniper" should be a TYPE of weapon. You have a "Rifle" and the keyword "Sniper" should be an ATTRIBUTE to the "Rifle". Ergo "Sniper Rifle" (with it's OWN stats that BUILD upon the normal "Rifle"...)

That's why I think there is CONFUSION. I've proposed a REVISED list which is: Rifle, Laser, Grenade, and Missile. The missile are like "Bazooka" men in C&C or Tanks with more firepower, etc.

Anyways I thought I did a lot of work making the "terminology" clearer.

X3M
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no, i did not choose to

no, i did not choose to ignore
.
o well, negative attitudes should be avoided., bye

questccg
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I just wanted to know...

X3M wrote:
no, i did not choose to ignore
.
o well, negative attitudes should be avoided., bye

What you thought about my suggestions. I'm not asking you to adopt them...

And BTW there are no negative attitudes either. I just "bumped" the thread because I wanted to hear from YOU.

Anyways the bottom line is that having "core" weapons and then UPGRADED ones could be beneficial. Sure "upgraded" ones cost more to produce or take time to upgrade... But in the end it's a question of better balance and more intuitive design.

Cheers!

Note #1: You could even develop a Tech Tree with various upgrades to the various weapons. Instead of having too many different units, you can have a minimum and vary the weaponry instead.

X3M
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The weapon balance follows

The weapon balance follows the following formula.
Range is not included here due to avoid confusion.

Cost weapon =
3*Damage / (CoolDown + Charging)
+
Damage

The total is then divided by (4*(Charging+1))

The 3 and 4 are based on the health/damage ratio and health/damage ratio + 1.

***

Basic weapons, ALL had a coolDown of 1, no charging.

Stronger weapons, simply did more damage.
Let's take a look at your suggestions. (That I ignored by your assumption)

questccg wrote:
Sniper Rifle:
Charging = 1
Cooldown = 1
Damage = 4

Laser Pistol:
Charging = 2
Cooldown = 0
Damage = 4

Concussion Grenade:
Charging = 4
Cooldown = 0
Damage = 6

Heat Seeking Missile:
Charging = 2
Cooldown = 3
Damage = 10

Your suggestions would cost:
Sniper = 1.25
Laser Pistol = 0.8333
Concussion Grenade = 0.525
Heat Seeking Missile = 1.333

Which is fine, I guess.
Although, soldiers needing 4 turns to throw a concussion grenade? Is a tad too much if you ask me. So I think you don't understand my charging just yet.

1 turn to "charge" or better said, aim with a sniper.
I can see that one happening.

So, the terminology for charging seems to not entirely work for you.

As said before, I only opted "equal" choices for example.
In the game, the grenade is probably going to be tier 3. And perhaps a combination with tier 1.
The laser could be anything, tier 1 against infantry, 3 against vehicles and 6 against tanks.
The sniper is certainly going to be anti infantry, thus cheap. Tier 1.
And the missile is tier 3 or 6 or both.

Tier 1=infantry
Tier 3=vehicle
Tier 6=tank
Could name them 1,2,3 but the weight still follows 1, 3 and then 6.

X3M
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A normal missile doesn't need

A normal missile doesn't need charging. That makes sense.

Edit:
Wait, when did I say that missiles need to charge?

questccg
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Ah I see your point now!

X3M wrote:
A normal missile doesn't need charging. That makes sense.

Edit:
Wait, when did I say that missiles need to charge?

Actually we said "missiles" don't need to charge. In my (unbeknown to your equations) said that "Heat Seeking Missiles" may take 2 turns to charge. Because you must "acquire" a target first.

It's good that you shared that FORMULA! I didn't know that you had such a formula for the various weapons. I just went on the basis that you explained... Which seem to be some various weapons and their mechanics.

But now I see that the formula doesn't work with all weapons. Yeah 4 turns to "charge" a concussion grenade to deal 6 damage seems a bit excessive. But in turn you can make it a CHEAP/inexpensive weapon that can be used in certain situations where infantry is battling larger units.

The "concussion" could have a BONUS against vehicle and tanks...

Just a thought. Thanks for explaining... I did not have all the information to me yet... But now I understand a little better!

Cheers.

X3M
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With cool down and charging I opened so much more

Doesn't matter which weapons take which statistics. The statistics on themselves are balanced. I got that one going for me :)

Yes, there are various other ways to go with this.

When infantry are hiding in the bushes. They could get ready to throw grenades. While charging/preparing their attack, they will not do anything else to alarm the enemy.
So the charged weapon can even be used as a surprise.

A charge of 1, then firing in the second turn. This is more than enough, to have another player. Move out of the way. Infantry can effectively guard an area of 1 to 2 range. While hiding. :)
With a cool down of 1 on the grenade, the damage would be 3.2 times the basics.
With a cool down of 2, it will be 4 times the basics.
Depending on the target armor, this might be a difference of destroying the targets or not.

If the targets, can't move, they are dead.

X3M
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I am not there yet...

Weapon A has 4 damage and a cool down of 2.
Costs 2.5

Weapon B has 1 damage for each cool down, up to 4.
Costs 2.5625

For RTS, it seems that the second weapon is even better than the costs difference.
Except for the third second, where weapon A is ahead.

But for my board game. Weapon B is actually very bad.

Players can choose how many cannons they like to fire.
Paying 1 AP, means 1 damage.
Paying 2 AP, means 2 damage.
Paying 3 AP, means 3 damage.
Paying 4 AP, means 4 damage.

Weapon A needs only 2 AP for 4 damage.

Choices that players can make with weapon B?

Firing 1 cannon. If it gets the job done. The attack costed only 1 AP.
Firing 2 cannons? This costs 2 AP, might as well use weapon A.
Firing 3 or 4 cannons? This costs more AP. Weapon A is always a better weapon in these instances.

The continuous attacks, like in RTS games. Does not exist in my board game. I need to change my formula.

Starting with cool-down first again:

Cost weapon =
3*Damage / CoolDown
+
Damage

The total is then divided by 4

Obviously, this formula is still valid for RTS. But not for my board game.
At the moment, I am at a complete loss.

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