Your Devs Ask You

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Your Devs Ask You

Postby Consultant » Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:22 am

We're having a discussion among our dev team. Without predjudicing the discussion, We'd like to ask our very knowledgeable community a couple of questions and hear your answers:

1. In COH, when Rikti invaded, any player of any level could successfuly fight the Rikti. A level 1 and a level 30 could attack the same invader, without being on a team, and both do real damage. The enemy might con orange to both. What do you think was happening in terms of hit points and damage from each character when this happened? Has anyone ever seen a written description of what was going on to make two characters of such different levels somewhat equivalent?

2. Similarly when a low level player was teamed with a high level player, the lowbie was elevated in terms of hit points, damage, etc. What mechanism do you think the COH devs used to achieve this? Again, was this written down anywhere officially?

3. Combining the two cases; suppose a level 1 scrapper and a level 30 scrapper were both attacking an invading Rikt boss. The level 30 invites the level 1 to his team and the level 1 accepts. How are the level 1's hit points and damage changed from moments earlier, relative to the rikti boss?

Thanks for the help. This should be interesting.

Pyrion
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Re: Your Devs Ask You

Postby Pyrion » Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:47 am

I am not sure how CoH did it, but intuitively i think they just made it possible for low levels to hit the invading mobs, damage wasn't scaled. So low levels *could* contribute, but you needed some actual high levels in order to do enough damage. And that's how i would like to have it.

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Re: Your Devs Ask You

Postby GladDog » Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:08 am

They built a scaling level into the mobs. In effect, your level 1 saw something completely different from the level 50 next to you. I was utterly fascinated with them being able to do this. One of the devs said it was related to the sidekicking code. So the level 1 was seeing a level 1 boss with 200 hit points, and the level 50 was seeing a level 50 boss with 10,000 hit points. I understand WHAT they did, just not HOW they did it. There was the potential for all kinds of latency problems. but somehow they figured that out. They said it was a pain to do, because each mob had to be tailored to work with the scaling system. That's why the GMs were the only baddies with this scaling at first, and then others were added later.

Using this code did create some level related discrepancies. For example, that level 50, besides the fact that he had enough powers for a proper attack chain, was likely decked out in high end IO sets, and had at least the first incarnate level done. The level 1 MAYBE had 2 atttacks and 3 TO's slotted. So the level 50 was doing 1200 damage with a big hitter (12% of the total hit points), and the level 1 was inflicting 14 (7% of total hit points). The level 50 was mitigating 70% of a 1000 point hit (hit for 300 damage out of 2300 total, about 13%), while the level 1 was mitigating 20% of a 50 point hit, being hit for 40 points out of 105, or 38%. They may be seeing the same boss on paper, but the level 50 has far more resources to fight with, so he does more damage, and takes less damage relatively, compared to the level 1.

Percentages were everything against these scaling enemies. If the level 1 hit the boss for 14, or 7% damage, and the level 50 hit for 1200, or 12% of the bosses health, both the level 1 and the level 50 saw the bosses health go down by 19%. To the level 1 that was 38 points out of 200, and to the 50 it was 1900 out of 10,000 damage.

One thing I noted with GMs was that you had to be careful of spawns. In one fight I was in King's Row tanking a Snow Beast, and the mobs it was spawning were level 8 - it was KR, after all! I was using a decked out level 50 Incarnated Inv/ SS tank, and the mobs could not even scratch me. Whenever Foot Stomp recycled, they all died. But the regular King's Row combatants had plenty to deal with with those mobs! I told the melee to just get behind the GM and avoid AoEs, my agro was unbreakable in that situation, Since there were more than the mandated 17 in the group around the GM, If they did use an AoE, one or two of those mobs would often peel off and attack them.
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Re: Your Devs Ask You

Postby Golden Ace » Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:41 am

back in the day I was living in Hawaii, so my time zone was less populated. back story done.

The first winter the winterlords first came out (2004/2005?) I was able to solo one in atlas park when I was level 40 ish. I got 10,000 xp. the next one I tried in atlas park a low level got one hit in before I was able to kill it. and I only got 9,800 xp.

funny the things you remember.

If I were in a high level zone I couldn't even dent a winterlord but in the low zones I could take one out without fear (for the same xp in the higher zones).

I think they fixed the scaling thing for later years because I could never solo one again.
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Re: Your Devs Ask You

Postby Dying Breath » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:12 am

Pre-post caveat: Much of this post is pure speculation based on anecdotal evidence and/or logic. I have no clue what the CoH devs did or how.


Contrary to popular belief, all critters in CoH had levels, including giant monsters and Rikti invaders. In the case of GM's and RI's the level was obfuscated and unavailable either in the target box or in the info panel. Critter level controlled the HP and resistance levels of the critter, which is why the Kronoss Titan (level 45, I think) was so much tougher than the Hydra (level 10).

Player Characters had two levels: Security Level (actual) and Combat Level (effective). Security level controlled the number of powers and slots you had as well as the contact you could access on your own, and Combat level controlled your damage, hit points and other combat stats. When solo, your combat level and security level were the same. On a team (at least with super sidekicking as we had at the end) if you had higher security level than the team leader your combat level was scaled to +1, and if you were lower combat level was scaled to -1.

I suspect that when fighting either GM's or RI's, your combat level was scaled exactly as if you were in a team lead by the GM/RI, so that lower level combatants would do damage as if they were -1 level, and higher level combatants at +1. I do seem to recall the floating text damage numbers being on par with my current level so perhaps the scaling did not affect the display or perhaps it happened afterwards. I am quite certain that a team of low levels could take down a GM, as I remember defeating Babbage during a Synapse TF around Issue 16 with no debuffers, and no outside help.

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Re: Your Devs Ask You

Postby Odee » Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:50 pm

We're having a discussion among our dev team. Without predjudicing the discussion, We'd like to ask our very knowledgeable community a couple of questions and hear your answers:

1. In COH, when Rikti invaded, any player of any level could successfuly fight the Rikti. A level 1 and a level 30 could attack the same invader, without being on a team, and both do real damage. The enemy might con orange to both. What do you think was happening in terms of hit points and damage from each character when this happened? Has anyone ever seen a written description of what was going on to make two characters of such different levels somewhat equivalent?

2. Similarly when a low level player was teamed with a high level player, the lowbie was elevated in terms of hit points, damage, etc. What mechanism do you think the COH devs used to achieve this? Again, was this written down anywhere officially?

3. Combining the two cases; suppose a level 1 scrapper and a level 30 scrapper were both attacking an invading Rikt boss. The level 30 invites the level 1 to his team and the level 1 accepts. How are the level 1's hit points and damage changed from moments earlier, relative to the rikti boss?

Thanks for the help. This should be interesting.
  • 1. I have not seen the code, but it sounds like the event was special written for this. Maybe something that made everyone the same, regardless of level difference.

    2. What was that called again? I'll use Mentoring. Mentoring worked both ways. A low level could bring a higher level down, and vice versa.
    Going from low to high, the lowby could only use what powers they already had. The other way, locked out the higher players powers that were above the mentors level. The powers themselves, would be altered to match the corresponding level matrix.

    3. Citing 2 above, I can see the hitpoints being the only real change for the lowby, as they would rise to match the higher level. Similar case in reverse.
I'm not a coder today, but it sounds logical, from what my experiences were in CoH during the Raids.
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Re: Your Devs Ask You

Postby Blaze Rocker » Sat Feb 02, 2019 4:25 pm

Though I have no knowledge of how they actually did things I always assumed that the base of things like DMG, ACC, ToHit, etc. were based on percentages derived from unenhanced powers used against enemy classes. This was my figuring for "level-less" confrontations.

Power 1 does T% damage against level-less Underling class foe with no resistances to the DMG of Power 1
Power 1 does U% damage against level-less Minion class foe ...
Power 1 does V% damage against level-less Lieutenant class foe ...
Power 1 does W% damage against level-less Boss class foe ...
Power 1 does X% damage against level-less Elite Boss class foe ...
Power 1 does Y% damage against level-less Arch Villain class foe ...
Power 1 does Z% damage against level-less Giant Monster class foe ...

If all things were equal outside of the players' respective levels, such as a level 50 with all the powers but no enhancements compared to a level 1 with two powers and no enhancements, and there were no earned or outside buffs in play then the level 50 with Power 1 will do the same damage percentage-wise as a level 1 upon a successful hit with Power 1. This way it didn't matter how many hit points the foe had at the start of the fight. The differences were just the powers' effectiveness from slotted enhancements and the availability of powers from the player's level.

Does this make sense?

Also, I could totally be wrong about that so if I am then please educate me on where I went wrong.
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Re: Your Devs Ask You

Postby Odee » Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:24 pm

Makes sense to me, and far more eloquently stated to boot!
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Re: Your Devs Ask You

Postby Blaze Rocker » Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:34 pm

Odee
Makes sense to me, and far more eloquently stated to boot!
Thank you for the kind words.

I tried to read the reasoning/explanations of the others but nothing was really "clicking" with me. It was when GladDog said, "Percentages were everything against these scaling enemies." that I knew he knew the key to it all, even though I felt that he didn't have an accurate grasp of how it all worked.

I may actually be wrong but my crude system is the only way I can even begin to imagine how it was done in CoH. Nothing else makes sense to me.
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Re: Your Devs Ask You

Postby A1fighter » Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:24 pm

Never played COH, so I will be of no help.

Yes to scaling.

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Re: Your Devs Ask You

Postby Consultant » Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:48 am

There's always an issue withcomparing levels. Suppose a level 1 has 100 hit points. Then his peer-enemies need to do about 20, 30, 40 points of damage per hit, and so does he, at least in that range. Suppose a level 50 has 10,000 hit points. then peer level damage needs to be 100 times as high.

Enhancements (in COH) or similar items have to accounted for, of course, and so do buffs.

But as both Blaze and GladDog said, the teo characters need to see a completely different set of stats from the sme character.

Just think about the level 1 for a moment. Does he do more, less, or the same damage on his own, or sidekicked to level 49 on a team with the level 50?

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Re: Your Devs Ask You

Postby Odee » Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:25 am

1. There's always an issue with comparing levels. Suppose a level 1 has 100 hit points. Then his peer-enemies need to do about 20, 30, 40 points of damage per hit, and so does he, at least in that range. Suppose a level 50 has 10,000 hit points. then peer level damage needs to be 100 times as high.

2. Enhancements (in COH) or similar items have to accounted for, of course, and so do buffs.

3. But as both Blaze and GladDog said, the teo characters need to see a completely different set of stats from the sme character.

4. Just think about the level 1 for a moment. Does he do more, less, or the same damage on his own, or sidekicked to level 49 on a team with the level 50?
1. Hit Points should be no less than the equivalent of 1 level lower than the Boss Raider.

2. Not a popular idea, but can artificial enhancements, like slotted power buffs, be toned down, (their effect lessened/weakened), or ignored completely in the Raid?

3. Not sure what TEO & SME means. But in a Raid such as mentioned initially in this thread, I would think the stats would be set to at least 1 level below that of the Boss Raider, across the board.

4. On a power for power basis, they would be doing the same damage.

Not sure how all that can be coded, but the idea, if I read the original question correctly, is to have a parity between Players of largely differing levels/ranks
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Re: Your Devs Ask You

Postby Parabola » Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:00 am

As a thought experiment I'm wondering what the game would look like if this approach was taken to all enemies in the game rather than just in a specific event. Instead of mobs having levels they would be stronger or weaker based on the powers they had access to in much the same way as characters are. You could even have mobs with variable 'conning', so a mob set to con yellow would fight at that strength relative to both a level 1 and a level 50 character. It would certainly make sidekicking and exemplaring simple as you wouldn't need those systems at all.

I'm not saying I'm convinced it's a good idea but it strikes me as interesting. What is the major benefit of having levels anyway?

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Re: Your Devs Ask You

Postby Actjcksn » Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:27 pm

My thoughts on this subject combine the 2 types of levels from Dying Breath and the percentages from GladDog. It also pertains to the sidekick/exemplar system, invasions and giant monsters.

1) I believe the combat percentages for things like damage out, heals, buffs and debuffs should be based on a combat level.

2) The combat level would be based on the following:
a) Sidekick - one level lower that the leader you're leveling up to.
b) Exemplar - one level above the leader you're leveling down to.
c) Invasion - Use the invasion mob level as the leader for sidekick/exemplar
(if your level is the same as the mob level, your combat level doesn't change)
d) Giant Monsters - Use the monster level as the leader for sidekick/exemplar.

3) The security level defaults to your current level and only lowers to one level above the leader if you exemplar. For invasions and giant monsters, the security level stays at your current level so you can use all your available powers.

This way, if you're in an invasion, you are always able to be effective. Giant monsters would have a level but would have extreme HP and superior resistances.
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Re: Your Devs Ask You

Postby Odee » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:06 pm

As a thought experiment I'm wondering what the game would look like if this approach was taken to all enemies in the game rather than just in a specific event. Instead of mobs having levels they would be stronger or weaker based on the powers they had access to in much the same way as characters are. You could even have mobs with variable 'conning', so a mob set to con yellow would fight at that strength relative to both a level 1 and a level 50 character. It would certainly make sidekicking and exemplaring simple as you wouldn't need those systems at all.

I'm not saying I'm convinced it's a good idea but it strikes me as interesting. What is the major benefit of having levels anyway?
Leveling your character would be meaningless, so you do away with the levels, and go with Ranks of your Powers instead. Is that correct?

So the new question would be; How do I gain new powers in SoH?

1. Story progression for the Archetype, where the reward is a new power on completion?

2. Subscription Reward for time subscribed? This would have to be picked up, or continued if you lapse, and resubscribe at a later date, placing your character(s) in limbo until the subscription starts again.

3. Game clock of actual playing/login time? To address going AFK as a hack, you time out after 5 minutes.

What did I leave out?
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