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Slime Knight
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Of random encounters and over-levelling... 
 PostSat Jul 16, 2011 7:10 pm
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I was thinking the other day about this, and I don't see why random encounters shouldn't be variable--as in, you get less random encounters in a certain area the higher your party's average level is. (the higher the level of the lowest leveled character in the party, maybe?)

The more I think about it, the more this makes sense. When you are low level, monsters have a fighting chance and would attack all the time, but after seeing you kill tons and tons of other monsters... well, feral creatures are not that dumb, they wouldn't just walk right into their death.

This way, there's a much more natural way of making sure the boss is hard than some kind of hardcoded level cap. I am not a fan of hardcoded level caps. They kill some of the immersion, I think. Plus, random encounters get less frequent as you get more annoyed with them.

Thoughts?
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostSat Jul 16, 2011 7:54 pm
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- Keep track of a general "threat level" for each enemy formation. Give experience with a script, handing out less experience for enemies that really shouldn't be worth your time anyway.

- Make most enemies flee if they detect a big enough disparity between the party and themselves; HP is the benchmark I've seen used for this most often.
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Metal Slime
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 PostSun Jul 17, 2011 4:15 am
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If you really wanted to, you could also do the inverse - that is, have an increased random encounter rate when you're below the intended level range for an area. But honestly, that'd be kinda cruel, and almost a waste of your time and the player's [especially if they're trying to low-level things, or scout ahead or something].

Something like this would be trivial to script if there was a 'set formation set frequency' command; since there isn't, however, I'm not really sure how one would go about this, other than lots of duplicate encounter sets (which is hardly an elegant solution).
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Slime Knight
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 PostSun Jul 17, 2011 7:16 am
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the easy way would be an each step script. the easier way would be an instead of battle script, but that would lend you less control.

either way it wouldn't be hard to do, and nathan karrs idea of having enemies run away would be even easier (if possibly annoying for players)

or the earthbound way, where you just straight up win instantly. thats one that makes you feel good hahaha
Slime Knight
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 PostSun Jul 17, 2011 9:05 am
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Check the exp charts after 33 and tell me again about over-leveling. V

Before trying something fancy first one must master the statistics and gains of the system as it is IMO.
Metal Slime
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 PostSun Jul 17, 2011 2:30 pm
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I agree that hard-coded caps (or hard-coded anything that creates case-by-case differences in the gameplay of a game) takes away from immersion. I really like the idea presented here; this is bacially what fairy water did in Dragon Warrior, and what Holy Water does in my Tales of the New World 2, but making it automatic would probably be better.

For implementation purposes, if you're interested, I have the Holy Water in Tales 2 set a tag and timer, and then an instead of battle script that (if the tag is on) calculates the sum of the heroes' levels, and compares this against the sum of the enemies' levels. This sum is NOT computed on the fly, but is rather stored in a large lookup table indexed by formation number. If the enemy level sum is greater, the battle occurs as normal. If the hero level sum is greater, the difference is used to create a chance that the encounter is ignored. I think I set it so that if the hero level sum is twice that of the enemy (or greater), the battle has only a 25% chance of occurring...?

I guess the reason I'm pointing this out is that an instead of battle script is, in my opinion, quite flexible enough to accomplish what you are describing.

EDIT:
Nevermind, I found my script (I was being an idiot looking in the totally wrong place a minute ago). How it actually works is if the Hero level sum is twice the enemy level sum (or more), the battle is avoided. Otherwise, the %difference of the hero sum from the enemy sum is the percent chance of avoiding the battle. However, there's also a hard coded 25% chance of avoiding the battle just for having a sum higher than the enemy sum.

Thinking about it now, this seems a pretty terrible formula. I should double or triple the %difference, because otherwise the effect is going to be pretty miniscule for a most of the game unless the player overlevels.
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Metal Slime
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 PostSun Jul 17, 2011 6:24 pm
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One other way to discourage overleveling would be to make the characters' stats go up slower. If grinding a level or two only gives you a couple of extra stat points rather than a dozen or more, you'll need to do a lot more overleveling to actually make a difference. If that doesn't stop somebody from overleveling, you'll probably need to use a system that reduces random encounters if your level is too high, or even stops random encounters entirely after a certain point.
I also like the idea of having enemies run away if you're much too strong for them. It just makes sense for most enemies (aside from maybe mindless insects, undead, robots, etc.) to run away from somebody who's already killed a bazillion of them.

Caps on HP can help with this, too--if your HP maxes out at 255 or 999 or something like that (rather than going into the thousands) and you can get close to that number at a relatively low level, it'll be impossible for someone to just grind for hours to get so much HP that nothing can hardly scratch them. Also makes it easier for people to play through the game at a lower-than-normal level if they want--if the later parts of the game aren't cranking up the damage to ridiculous extremes to try and balance out characters with thousands and thousands of HP, somebody with much lower HP might actually be able to get through without it being frustrating (though it'd still be harder than if you were at a normal level for that point.)

Also, I don't see the problem with level caps as long as it's a level cap that applies throughout the whole game. "You can't be above level X at this point in the game" type caps, I can see those being a little screwy... but just setting the overal maximum level to 30 or 50 or something instead of 99 could work without causing any problems.

Quote:
Check the exp charts after 33 and tell me again about over-leveling.


...in a lot of OHRRPGCE games, just getting to the lower/mid-30s would require some overleveling. Unless the game is very, very long or throws out MASSIVE amounts of experience (or most likely, both), that's usually the kind of level you might see around the very end of the game, if at all.
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Metal Slime
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 PostMon Jul 18, 2011 12:46 am
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Here are some alternate (and easier to implement) ideas to prevent over-leveling.

1) Have leveling only increase HP and MP (or increase statistics very little). Then provide big stat boosts through equipment that must be purchased or found. Or you can have the characters increase stats via purchasable items and then be very stingy about doling out money.

2) Place the players in a position where grinding is difficult. For instance, they have access to a finite amount of healing items and don't have a way to completely restore their HP (such as an inn). In that way, the player must move through areas relatively quickly in order not to run out of resources.
Slime Knight
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 PostMon Jul 18, 2011 1:52 am
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Well, if you don't need levels, why level? If levels don't do much why level? If levels scale why level? And if any of these why fight monsters other than the bosses? (No; Items are not enough, especially if you can buy and find them).

I'm just saying, you can't really *improve* the norm with one change; you have to rethink it entirely.
King Slime
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 PostMon Jul 18, 2011 4:16 pm
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Quote:
...in a lot of OHRRPGCE games, just getting to the lower/mid-30s would require some overleveling. Unless the game is very, very long or throws out MASSIVE amounts of experience (or most likely, both), that's usually the kind of level you might see around the very end of the game, if at all


In my game, Grayscale, I have level achievements until level 99. In my game, when a player hits level 20 (The minimum achievement) I hop to implement an arena they can access. There would be different level challenges for each achievement level.
Liquid Metal King Slime
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 PostMon Jul 18, 2011 4:34 pm
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Because of the lousy default experience formula, it is virtually impossible to reach level 99.

In fact, if you want your characters to even be able to reach level 50, you better plotscript your own alternative level-up system :(

...or wait for me to add a better built-in experience system, but who knows how long that will take :)
Liquid Metal King Slime
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 PostMon Jul 18, 2011 4:40 pm
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'twil be my HotOHR2 request. ...or maybe my 48hr game contest request, who knows.

On the subject of the thread, it seems like there's 2 main points. Making Random Encounters less annoying, and making grinding harder/impossible to do.

A solution to both of them would be to simply not do random encounters. One can easily set up npcs to act as the encounters for their game. (no scripting required) In this way, the player has a limited number of fights in the game. So their level will be maxed at some point, because they won't have anything else to fight. While at the same time, the player will want to level because it will still give them rewards in doing so.
King Slime
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 PostMon Jul 18, 2011 4:40 pm
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A vote that James makes a better one. Or at least, lower the amount of EXP required to level up, and increase maximum award exp.
Liquid Metal King Slime
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 PostMon Jul 18, 2011 4:50 pm
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I disagree with making a new table completely because that wouldn't be backwards compatible with a lot of older games. That goes for lowering the amount of exp required too.
I'd agree with increasing the max amount of xp rewarded, but I'm pretty sure that number is a built in max for the programming language and would be terribly hard to overcome.

No, we need a custom level up formula, that or just a chart we can edit.
Liquid Metal King Slime
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 PostMon Jul 18, 2011 4:58 pm
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Actually, I take back what I said about it being nearly impossible to reach level 99.

I was just looking over the current crappy formula, and experience to next level caps out at 1000000 per level starting with level 55. From that point on, with a team of 4 heroes fighting formations of 8 enemies, each giving the max of 32000 experience, you would gain one level roughly every 15.6 battles, meaning you would reach level 99 after about 690 or so battles.

So not impossible, just excruciatingly boring :)

See also:
http://rpg.hamsterrepublic.com/ohrrpgce/Plan_for_customized_experience-to-next-level
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