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Game Mechanics Any ideas for a balancing system for enemies?

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by CrackedGamer§, May 22, 2019.

  1. CrackedGamer§

    CrackedGamer§ Member

    Oct 12, 2018
    So I need a multiplier for hp & damage dealt by enemies so that the game will always be a challenge. At the moment I feel like I want it to be skill based, so maybe "DmgDealt / DmgTaken"? I could use the levels of the player's weapons (swordlvl & knifelvl)? I ain't very good at balancing generally...
  2. Widget

    Widget Member

    Jun 21, 2016
    Info on what the game actually is like would be helpful. It it a shooter? Are most attacks melee? How many enemies are typically present at once?

    This is something that should be decided during testing, it's nearly impossible to guess the exact damage calculations you need before you've got a combat system ready to test out.
  3. EvanSki

    EvanSki King of Raccoons

    Apr 17, 2018
    EnemyLvl = playerLvl * EnemyDifficulty
  4. Danei

    Danei Member

    Mar 23, 2018
    Take care not to scale enemy challenge to match player level TOO smoothly. What I mean is, if enemies all level up at the same rate as the player such that they're always similar in difficulty, it can cause an existential crisis about the meaningfulness of the leveling, and depreciate the incentives in the game loop. Consider increasing challenge levels in other ways too, such as harsher terrain considerations, number of concurrent enemies, and introduction of new, harder enemies, and let players see the positive impact of their power.
    dapper likes this.
  5. NightFrost

    NightFrost Member

    Jun 24, 2016
    Level curve is a thing. I remember playing games where it's been very well designed (like some Final Fantasies), and it is at its best when the player doesn't really notice it working. Take the expectation of how many encounters and enemies the player will on the average encounter when working through a zone, and let that level-up inform the difficulty of next zone. The EXP gain should be starting to turn from a flow to a trickle when encounter difficulty becomes low, to avoid over-leveling too easily for next zone. Then there's the separation to trash mobs and bosses. Trash is what the player sweeps from the floor when a zone is easy, and the boss gives the challenge through sheer power / abilities / special tricks.

    (For example, in Xenogears the boss in the wreck of the Eldridge. Its special attack halves everyone's HP, including its own. The winning tactic is to let it spam the special while healing so its normal attacks don't kill you, then go all out when its HP is low enough to kill it quickly. The game's final boss Deus is surrounded by four Pillars - Harlute, Marlute, Sundel, Metatron - that grant it extra abilities. You can either deal with them first and take the consequences of up to four extra battles, or go straight for Deus at its peak power.)
  6. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

    Jun 20, 2016
    As some people brought up, if the player never feels they're getting stronger, you're balancing your difficulty TOO hard. So rather than making enemies just get stronger to match the player's level, it'd be better to introduce new enemy types and have every enemy type be ROUGHLY the same strength level.

    Some things you could do:
    • Enemies with shields would have more HP, but otherwise have the same attack power. Enemies with high attack power and low normal HP (e.g. wizards, snipers) could get a LOT more dangerous if you can't kil them in one hit anymore.
    • You could make enemies bigger as a way to make them stronger, they'd have more HP and attack power (and more REACH since their sprites are bigger!) but they're also a bigger target. If you make them move slower and attack slower when they're bigger, you could make them MUCH stronger without breaking the balance too much - the player would have to learn being cautious and wait for a proper opening to fight back.
    • Likewise, you could make enemies smaller, weaker, faster and spawn groups of them that overwhelm the player but are easy to fight off if you're just careful.
    Basically, you don't just want your enemy balancing to challenge the player more all the time... you want enemies to give the player a DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE so they feel like they're doing different (and more fun!) stuff all the time instead of getting bored. Try to come up with more ways to make enemies act DIFFERENTLY, not just make them stronger...

    Other ideas:
    • Have enemies have elemental weapons (glowing red, green, blue etc) that have special effects, e.g. the fire weapon / fire bullets creates fire after the attack animation finishes so you need to be careful when fighting those enemies in close range (or when fighting them at long range, be careful to not go to close to where their bullets hit). Ice shots could slow you down on hit, making ice enemies dangerous when there's also fast enemies around, etc.
    • Recursion is fun too, enemies that spawn other enemies on death (e.g. parasite hosts that explode into a bunch of worms or insects when killed) or bullets that explode into more bullets after a set time. You can completely change up the optimal strategy for an encounter if you need to worry about something even after you've dealt with it ONCE, having the player think about in what order to do things.
  7. GM029

    GM029 Member

    Feb 6, 2017
    I have to admit, I miss old RPGs where you were free to level up beyond your current competition as much as you want. For me part of the fun of grinding was getting much stronger than my opposition. I hate new RPG systems that either scale your enemies to meet your level or put a cap on how much you can level up in a given area.
    Yal likes this.
  8. Rob

    Rob Member

    Jul 12, 2016
    I like the grind too. In a demo I'm making, you can assign stats however you see fit and gradually get stronger as you beat down on enemies. I'm hoping to have at least some challenge with enemies that have different strengths and weaknesses so that if you pump a certain stat/style of fighting it's not always OP.

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