Thinking about Damage Equations

My Bad … This should be in Gameplay / Balance not General Discussion.

… Moving it now

[quote=“Noetherian, post:1, topic:4016”]There were some issues with the initial Siralim 3 damage equation and as a result, Zack is testing some adjustments to the damage equation today (See Patch 0.024).

This got me thinking about damage equations in general. It seems that a damage equation has two competing goals:

  1. Make stat increases “feel” awesome (this is afterall a stat-based game)
  2. Make one-shots rare (the game is less fun if either my creatures are dying instantly, or I am annihilating enemies in one hit)

So I am going to start with the premise that it is okay to have enemy max health affect my damage. (This is potentially controversial, but it is a useful premise if one wants to minimize one-shots).[/quote]
Stat increases can’t feel awesome if my damage output has a ceiling limited by something not in my control (ie, enemy HP).

If your damage per hit has a ceiling, the natural progression will be to use abilities that cause multiple hits, or damage that doesn’t rely on hits at all. When that happens, you leave big, single target abilities and spells in the dust, because they’ll hit the ceiling cap easily.

It also devalues the entire Tome system.
If I increase my HP, I’m not actually increasing my survival. Enemies will simply hit harder because I have a higher health pool.
If I increase my Attack/Intelligence, I’m not actually increasing my damage because I’m hitting damage caps.

That just leaves Defense and Speed; Speed is unreliable as a defense mechanism, except to say you get to go first. Defense is likewise lacking. Defense simply doesn’t do enough to mitigate incoming damage.

I don’t have a solution; but the game even with damage caps still revolves around getting the first turn and one-shotting the enemy party. It’s just now instead of relying on a single cast, you rely on a multicast spell or ability. It’s one of the things making Sorcery Mages extremely powerful right now.

Everything else is very RNG which means eventually, you will lose that RNG roll. Put all the enemies to Sleep? They can wake up at the start of their turn. Same with Snare and Frozen.

Personally, I loved the old damage formula (the one with the harder cap).

[ul][li]Using a normal team against high-level enemies would mean there is no cap, because you would never reach the kind of damage needed for that.[/li]

[li]Using a ridiculous team would mean the damage cap does not matter because you would still oneshot anything (you can reach absurd damage multipliers in these games).[/li]

[li]But most importantly, it allowed us to play in a balanced way, without turning into rocket tag like S2, as well as making a lot of subpar creatures much more useful.[/li][/ul]

Yes, multihits and DoTs and other things needed to be tweaked a bit (like AoE vs Single-Target having different caps), but the base was great imo. I wouldn’t want this to be another S2.