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Metal King Slime
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Formation Stats and Enemy Usage menus 
 PostSun Apr 07, 2019 5:46 am
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I was making good progress on fixing bugs for Fufluns, until I hit another distraction bump (after hearing Fenrir talk about all the number crunching he's doing for rebalancing Vikings of Midgard!)

In nightlies you will find two new info-packed menus: the Enemy Usage menu in the enemy editor and the Foemap Statistics menu in the map editor.
Even the Enemy Usage menu shows plenty of statistics.



(Enemy Usage help page)


(Gosh those trolls are mean)

(Foemap Stats help page)

Of course, you can jump to all those other editors from these.

There's certainly more that I can add to the foemap stats menu, but suggestions welcome. I want to count on-death and when-alone spawns in the rewards too; it's inaccurate without them.

And I'm going to add more usage and analysis menus, though probably not before Fufluns.

Also, a small extra detail: there's now a preview to work out those confusing rare item drop and steal chances:
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostSun Apr 07, 2019 7:32 am
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Wow, TMC! This is a feature I never would have thought of but it's insanely useful. Being able to analyze a game's statistics from a high level like that is great. And you can jump between editors? Brilliant.

So, this is a purely informational menu in Custom? That sounds like a good thing to have more of. What about attack statistics, hero statistics, etc.? Maybe even textbox stats, like word/character count. Are those on your mind as well or was this just an aside related to Fenrir's endeavors?
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Metal King Slime
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 PostSun Apr 07, 2019 9:28 am
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You may have noticed the Stats section at the bottom of the General Game Settings menu. I'm planning to move that to its own submenu and show a lot more information, like the numbers of maps/textboxes/scripts/attacks/NPC definitions/NPC instances/etc. I could show textbox word count. More interestingly I could add tables like average battle XP and gold rewards for each map; tables of items by equip slot, equip bonuses, spells learnt, etc; attacks sorted by things like target stat, bonus damage percent, damage type, bits like cure, absorb, spread, etc. I would want to have these things linked in a more obvious place too, like a button in the attack/item/etc browsers.
Is that what you meant by attack statistics?

There's basically unlimited scope for adding usage, stats and tabulation menus, so I need to balance it against other features.
These sorts of menus are also a good example of a significant feature someone can implement without needing any familiarity with the codebase or even with FreeBasic. Just copy-paste the outline of the code for the enemy usage menu and refer to the data type declarations (e.g. attacks)
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 PostSun Apr 07, 2019 6:39 pm
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I like this feature very much, so much that I wish it had been in place since the beginning. This is great for people who struggle with balancing.

Another useful feature that might be a challenge but not impossible to add would be a "likelihood of progress" detector that can determine how much experience, loot, damage, etc. a player is likely to take from one route to another (basically from one door to another). The designer could mark out a path on the map between the two points that he wants to test through a special type of "statistics zone." This zone would take data similar to how the map does it but would focus on progression and the likelihood of victory, defeat, level-up, etc. in the space between the starting line and the finishing line. It could use all of the same values that the map already shows, but contain the information to that one zone and add the likelihood of progression information to help the designer decide whether the path is too easy, too hard, too repetitive, etc. I hope that makes sense. For good measure, you could also calculate an estimated location within the zone where the player might experience defeat if he runs out of power-ups. The likelihood of progression would also factor in HP/MP restoration rules on level-up. If the game does not restore HP/MP on level-up, then the likelihood of defeat may appear closer to the starting point. You could also allow the designer to set a third rule that checks for NPCs that trigger battles instead of foemaps and measure any NPC that defaults to within five tiles of the zone. On that note, you may also want to check for NPCs that trigger battles on the entire map.

The only other thing I'd like to see at this time is an export feature that sends the information to a text file. I really think the OHR needs stronger data exporting support. Some people prefer to print this stuff out on paper or have it open in another document while designing the game for faster reference.

You could also record tileset and zone information at some point, but it would be better at a time when we can cluster tiles together and name them, like "tall trees" or "mansions," for example.
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Metal Slime
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 PostMon Apr 08, 2019 5:36 am
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Oh man, the drop/steal rate statistics is a feature I never even thought of requesting! Looks super useful.
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Metal King Slime
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 PostMon Apr 08, 2019 12:58 pm
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Oh yes adding an option to export the contents of the menu to a text or csv file is a good suggestion.

I was considering a way to preview in the foemap editor how many battles would trigger as you walk between two points. But pathfinding for that seems pretty overboard. Straight-line distance measurer, maybe? A little "X steps per battle" reminder in the corner of the screen would already help.

It would be wonderful to support battles triggered by NPCs too. As long as you have a one-time use NPC attached to a textbox that immediately starts a battle that would be doable. (Arguable any battle that you arrive at via a textbox chain is not a random encounter.)
The problem is that if you have battles triggered by NPCs they're very likely triggered by scripts so that you can use 'delete npc' instead of having every copy of the NPC on the map disappear.
Oh well.

I definitely do want to provide some tools for balancing battles; that was the original motivation. The attack editor badly needs a way to preview how likely an attack is to hit and how much damage it will do if used by X against Y. But even that is very non-trivial: you have to specify stats for both parties. Ideally, by selecting an enemy, or a hero, level, equipment, maybe buffs. Then some really complicated calculations. Not to mention externals like recorded damage, last damage, etc which would be missing. And attack chains are right out.
If that's available the next step could be to show how many hits an enemy would take to defeat, and how many attacks it would do in that time (for active time battles).
But no, simulating whole battles is not feasible.
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