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 What is the basic algorithm for a hero? 
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Bottle Cap
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Joined: December 11th, 2015, 1:17 pm
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Hey all,

I've been working on a custom SDE variant for the holidays, and have been trying to make characters—heroes specifically—that are neither OP nor weaksauce. It suddenly occurred to me that I'm probably trying to reinvent the wheel here. So...

Has anyone worked out the basic algorithm for an SDE hero? That is to say, what would be necessary to keep these heroes more or less balanced?

This has probably been addressed somewhere else and my searchfu is just week.

Thanx much,
-DrQ


November 16th, 2018, 6:57 pm
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Ninja Corps
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Joined: March 25th, 2012, 9:44 pm
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It's really hard to say. There are some patterns. But a lot depends on the heroe's role, focus (or lack there of), and where they derive their strengths from.

If I had to form a "hero baseline" it would be something like 3 blue dice in each "main" stat (attack and defense). Two two action point abilities, one red and one blue. A potion ability. And one ability keyword. This is less an algorithm and more an average of everything though. Most heroes are not this. In fact probably almost none.

It may be a good place to start, then adjust accordingly from the get go. Then playtest, and adjust again. Until it does what you want it to do, without doing it too well from the start. :P


November 16th, 2018, 11:11 pm
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Mini-Boss
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Joined: October 29th, 2012, 8:56 pm
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DrQ,

There has not been a lot of formal analysis. The balance of heroes in SDE is unfortunately inconsistent and exacerbated by the changes in SDE 2.0 compared to FK (SDE 1.0 balance I think is moot b/c 1.0 stats do not exist for the majority of released and/or planned heroes from SDL). There has been slight power creep with the masterclass heroes (primarily the Tusk Raider in terms of stats and abilities compared to existing heroes and some of the NAS SDE heroes primarily by ways of how they combo with other heroes). A lot of the homebrew that is produced/shared tends to be very overpowered regardless of the ruleset you use (but the point of homebrew is to have fun so most folks aren't interested in being balanced so much as having someone support their creation/justify their decisions).

The 'average' stat as stated by SPM during the FK KS is 3B. This is an average of 2 stars, max 6, access to hearts, no access to potions.

There has been changes with new heroes in that heroes that focus on dex or will no longer have a basic melee attack along with some melee heroes having mid range (e.g. range 4) attacks.

Anyways, so a typical 'baseline' hero you'd typically 'add to' would be:

Race (some have semi-consistent stats associated with them - dark hero races can interact with traits that typically help attack monsters, e.g. dragon spite vs kobolds, holy vs. undead)
6 move (elves usually have 7 move, Centaurs 7-8 move, Walruses 5 move)
3 actions (extra attacks are often in the form of trait/ability based e.g. Proficient, Berserk, support actions that may cost 2 actions, but allow you to do 3 basic attacks)
Primary attack stat - minimum 3B, but can be greater (3B > 2R > 2B1R > 1B1G)
Primary defense stat - minimum 3B, but can be greater (3B > 2R > 2B1R)
Other Stats - usually 2B > 1B1R > 3B
Basic attack usually uses primary attack stat. melee range 1-4. dex range 3-8. magic range 3-8.
5 hearts (dwarves usually have 6 hp, walruses have 7 hp)
1 potion capacity (only heroes focused on potions will typically have higher potion capacity, but typically at the cost of lower baseline stats, be a support hero, or less effective actions)
Crystal affinity (usually based on a combination of primary attack and assumed hero role - generally considered minor game impact, but sapphire = tank/defense, citrine = melee, ruby = will/magic, emerald = dex/ranged, amethyst is not generally used for heroes. Exception is Princess Amethyst/Midnight queen)
Traits (dwarves are immune to knockdown, centaurs have surefoot,
1-2 attack/support actions
1 potion action
Small base (large base heroes are centaurs, walruses, shapeshifts, and dark heroes - large base benefits aoe/aura/template abilities, ability to block LoS, see over small enemeies, but generally reduce mobility and increase probability of being impacted by terrain and/or surrounded, etc. -- it's not clearly better or worse - for example, Surefoot can negate the mobility issues (e.g. Centaurs)).

For creating actions, my opinion is to base it off existing heroes, but accept that some heroes are already horribly overpowered compared to others.
Attack actions - most attack actions cost 2 actions and choose between either adding AOE *or* increasing offense and/or dealing status effects. There are some attacks that deal AOE AND increase offense (these are typically on the OP/stronger heroes), but I don't think any that do all 3 and the ones that deal AOE rarely also deal a status effect.
Massive Damage - a lot of people like to use this in homebrew. These are usually 3 action, +1G, Massive damage melee range 1 attacks. There are a few exceptions like starguild sapper that has a 2 action +1R, Massive damage melee range 2 attack, which is why he is one of the stronger melee heroes as he ALSO comes with AOE. The balance is a bit off with SDE 2.0 with critical success since intrinsically adding offense can make it easier to achieve a critical success and it stacks with Massive Damage, but Massive Damage attacks tend to be expensive action wise so it'll typically be better to do basic attacks and/or 2 action cost attacks that increase offense.

Support actions - these tend to be harder to balance if you don't just take them off existing heroes, but they often help balance out the 'whole package'.

It's rare to have a support action outright inflict a status effect. Most have a stat vs stat check.

Potions - Heal potions tend to be green heal 2 or blue heal 2. Regenerate potions (which I think are terrible) are 2 potions for Regenerate.

Attack Potions are usually balanced around being equal to a 2 action attack, so again, tend to be AOE or increase offense and/or deal status effects.

Support potions that outright inflict status effects are more common, but you will still sometimes find stat vs stat.

Status effect actions and potions are currently overbudgeted for heroes on SDE 2.0 since monsters remove the status effect at end of activation rather than it persists forever. Since Arcade 2.0 all monsters activate every turn, it can be expensive to reapply and thus it moves the value of actions to AOE to bypass expendable and kill elites directly rather than chew through the minions. Previously in FK you could just debuff everything and ignore them (e.g. slow).

So...that's the basic info/feedback I can provide based on my experience. If you're interested in having more folks look at your characters for feedback, the SDE discord may be a good place to share. It'll ultimately be up to you to decide if the hero meets your needs/desires.


November 16th, 2018, 11:20 pm
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Dungeon Boss
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It does seem like it is much more complex. Stats can be used for basic attacks, defenses or special attacks only.

If a hero uses the same stat for both attack and defense, he/she/it is broken.

Hero active stats are usually either a red and a blue, three blue, two red or a red and two blues. Two blues is a seriously weak stat, and I don't think it has been used on an active stat since 1st ed Candy.

Almost no hero uses green dice from the start- expect a serious negative trait to go along with this, and probably a really wonky hero.



I believe the top tier/overpowered heroes are:

Ninja Cola
Princess Malya
The Tusk Raider
Hanzo

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November 16th, 2018, 11:25 pm
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Mini-Boss
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Joined: October 29th, 2012, 8:56 pm
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The original ninja cola for sure. The rebalanced one that came with NAS KS removes his basic dex attack so he’s more balanced. Tusk Raider and Hanzo are clear stat inflation and Hanzo can be broken with certain hero combinations.

Malya is not too bad like rebalanced Cola bc they do not have basic dex attack so it limits the wounds they can deal but they are still strong.


November 17th, 2018, 2:54 am
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Ninja Corps
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sleepy_laughter wrote:
The original ninja cola for sure. The rebalanced one that came with NAS KS removes his basic dex attack so he’s more balanced. Tusk Raider and Hanzo are clear stat inflation and Hanzo can be broken with certain hero combinations.

Malya is not too bad like rebalanced Cola bc they do not have basic dex attack so it limits the wounds they can deal but they are still strong.


I can attest to the Malya perspective. I have a player that basically refuses to play anyone but Malya, like, ever. Because once it worked out and he was able to have a really good defense and reliable attack that killed a lot of stuff...like...5 years ago. In general, putting all your eggs in the "all dex" basket for Malya is not wise. It's almost always the weakest link of the hero groups he plays in.


November 17th, 2018, 3:16 am
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