Making A Balanced Level Progression

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Making A Balanced Level Progression

Post by ZeroManArmy on Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:39 am

Introduction
The reason that I am re-making this guide is because I decided to help the original creator out and instead of giving him a re-vamped version, I decided to re-do it for him and make things easier to understand. The original guide by mithos can be found here. Re-created with permission from mithos.

Contents
I. Why This Was Created
II. Basic Stats
III. Enemies
_A. Basic Enemies
_B. Leveling Enemies
IV. Items & Armors
V. Skills
VI. Gold
VII: Experience
IIX: Customization
IX: Questions & Answers


I. Why This Was Created
Balancing enemies, items, and characters, in your game can be extremely time consuming, especially if your method is based on battle testing every item, enemy, and character in and or out of battle. This guide helps you to make your game much more balanced with the use of simple math.
  • Note: The characters you create with this method will be fairly uniform. That may not be a bad thing, but try it out and decide for yourself.



II. Basic Stats
The first step is to make a standard character. This character will be the base of all your other characters (This one will not be used for any in-game purposes). For each stat use the generate curve, with middle speed. Enter the following values into each section.

MaxHP – [Level 1 Value: 100] -> [Level 99 value: 9999]
MaxMP – [Level 1 Value: 10] -> [Level 99 Value: 999]
Attack – Same as MaxMP
Defense – Same as MaxMP
Spirit – Same as MaxMP
Agility - Same as MaxMP

The reason the stats are like this will become apparent in the next section. All you need to know right now is that (approximately) the stats are 10 Times the characters level, except for HP which is 100 Times the characters level.


III. Enemies
A. Basic Enemies
This is really simple, all you have to do is, give each enemies the stats of the level of the character(s). Meaning that if your characters are supposed to be level 5 in one area, then the enemies stats should be like the character(s) at level 5.
Example: Level 5 character(s) would have stats roughly around 50 for all stats but HP, which would be 500. So your enemies should have roughly around those stats. Normal attacks do (roughly around) 2 Times the characters attack when the stats are set like this. This means that an average monster at any level should be killed in about 5 hits. So should the average character.

B. Leveling Monsters
Often you won't know exactly what level your characters are going to be at when they encounter a particular enemy (They could train up and be a slightly higher level than expected). To fix this slight problem you can use a script made by Yanfly. First things first you are going to need the script which can be obtained here. Once you have that script you need to insert into your game. A simple and easy guide on how to do that can be found here. Once that’s done you need to setup your monsters for a level 1 party. Then using the notetag boxes inside the enemy database, you will have to customize every individual monster. You can put a cap on the enemies level, make them gain a certain amount of HP per level up, and many other features not mentioned here but in the script itself.


IV. Items & Armors
Items play a gigantic role in a RPG’s. You will need healing items, fighting items, and defense items. An equipable item should increase the stat that it affects by about 50% of the stat at which the level the item should be obtained.
Example: Using 5 again, a sword should increase attack by 25, where as if your character(s) find a sword at level 30, it should increase the attack by 150. The same applies to other weapons and armors.

What is stated above is for 1 defensive item, not multiple. If you decide to make a split set of armor (Gloves, helmet, breastplate, boots, ECT.), the split should still equal out to 50% stat increase of the level the set should be obtained.
Example: Armor +20%, Shield +15%, Helmet +10% and Gloves +5%.


V. Skills
Skills are possibly the most complicated part of RPG making so please pay attention. Skills that damage should have Attack F set to 100 or Spirit F set to 200. This will make them do the damage of a normal attack plus what you enter for the bas damage. The base damage value should roughly be equal to twice your attack at the level the skill is obtained. This makes it so that skills are twice as powerful as regular attacks to begin with, but limiting them to an almost negligible difference at a much higher levels.
Example: At level 1, and extra 20 damage is a lot to a enemy with roughly 100HP, but at level 50, when the enemies have roughly 5000 HP, and regular attacks do roughly 1000 damage, the extra 20 won’t be as much help.
  • Note: That to do any damage to an enemy, the base damage value must be at least 1. Similarly making the base damage negative makes healing spells.


This method actually makes it so that skills are about the same strength as a standard attack. This means you can add status changes, multiple enemies, and extra hits without having to alter the level of the spell. If you’re going for an all enemy skill, a suggestion would be to half the damage for it.

MP is a bit more open for skills. As a basic rule, skills should be usable about 4 - 5 times in battle when the skill is obtained and between using a recovery item.
Example: Using 5 again, when the skill is obtained at level 5 (MaxMP = 50), the skill should cost about 10 MP per use. This also means that extra uses are gained every level, making the most powerful skills infrequent, while the weaker ones become more useless. Making the Mid-power skills the default choice for the player.


VI. Gold
Gold is quite a bit more open to customization than the other sections. Gold mostly depends on your game, but this method will bring gold in line with the other sections and make it seem more balanced.
Enemies: They should give gold equal to 1/10 (1 tenth) of their experience gain. Less if they have a chance to drop an item. The decrease should be chance that they will drop the item (as a percentage) multiplied by the value of the item.
Weapons & Armor: These should cost 10 times their total stat increase. A little bit extra if they have other effects, such as adding more than the set amount of attack.
Potions & Consumables: Items that have a set change amount, should cost as much as the set amount. Other items should be valued on a case-by-case basis.
Example: An item that revives characters from death is much more useful than one that just heals a set amount of HP. So the revive should cost more than the item that heals a set amount.
Inns: These should be cheap and easily findable/accessible, and should cost about the same as an item(s) that
heals half of the MaxHP for one character.


VII. Experience
The default experience in the Game Editor is not very friendly and customizable. I have a script below that makes the numbers much easier to manage.
  • Note: These changes are made the experience data in-game. The basis and inflation settings in the database will have no effect and will show up the same.


In the script editor insert a new script in the Materials section and call it Exp_Fix. Then paste the below code into it. A simple and easy guide on how to do that can be found here.
Code:

#--------------------------------------------------------------------------
# * Fix Experience Calculation
#--------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
class Game_Actor
  def make_exp_list
    @exp_list[1] = @exp_list[100] = 0
    m = 2000
    for i in 2..99
      @exp_list[i] = @exp_list[i-1] + m
      m += 2000
    end
  end
end


If you are using KGC's LimitBreak Script
Spoiler:

If you are using KGC's LimitBreak Script as well as using this script, use the experience script below, and install it below the LimitBreak Script. A simple and easy guide on how to do that can be found here.
Code:

#--------------------------------------------------------------------------
# * Fix Experience Calculation
#--------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
class Game_Actor
  def make_exp_list
    @exp_list[1] = @exp_list[final_level + 1] = 0
    m = 2000
    (2..final_level).each { |i|
          @exp_list[i] = @exp_list[i-1] + Integer(m)
      m += 2000
    }
  end
end

This means that it will take 2000 Times the current level of experience to reach the next level. Now set the experience gain for each enemy to be equal to its HP. This will make it so that it will take 20 enemies of the correct level to reach a level up (Less if they are above the recommended and more if they are below). This means that the characters should balance out fairly well. Make sure that the correct monsters are appearing in each area. If your player trains on weaker enemies they will level up slower than if they trained on the approximate or higher level enemies. Your player should not be able to move on until they are able to successfully able to defeat enemies without much loss.


IIX. Customization
This entire guide is merely used for guidelines and should be altered for your game. Want an enemy with a high defense (Golem)? Make the stats the standard way explained in this guide, and then change certain stats around. Lower the speed and raise the defense. Want your characters to be stronger earlier at first, then gradually slow down? Change the curve of the stats. Give a Magician more MP than Attack, a Warrior more Attack and less MP, ECT. You may also want to give some enemies skills that would be appropriate for their level. Bosses are a little harder to customize; they should be stronger and harder than normal monsters, but not overwhelming. The main point is to give the Bosses high HP and a little higher than average Defense, so that the fight will take longer than a normal battle. Using the Battle Test feature inside the database will be helpful for Bosses, though the Boss battles should be between 15 – 20 minutes at max.


IX. Questions & Answers
Q: How do I get a question put into the Q & A section?
A: Ask a question and if it seems like it should be put here for all other readers to see, I will make it one of the Q & A's.



Please comment on this guide. Even though this is not formally mine I would like you to point any mistakes from grammar to spelling to miscalculations.
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Re: Making A Balanced Level Progression

Post by Dezz123 on Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:10 pm

This is pretty good, ZMA.
Good job.
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Re: Making A Balanced Level Progression

Post by ZeroManArmy on Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:18 pm

Thanks! It only took 2 days to re-do.
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Re: Making A Balanced Level Progression

Post by Dezz123 on Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:43 pm

Ouch. That's a pretty long time.
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Re: Making A Balanced Level Progression

Post by ZeroManArmy on Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:46 pm

Well 1 if you dont count me asking for his permission.
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