History Main / DiminishingReturnsForBalance

25th Apr '17 12:13:43 AM Schismatism
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* This is a common point in ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'', where almost everything - damage resistance, elemental resistance, combat frequency, you name it - eventually hits a point where diminishing returns kick in hard. Unlike many massively-multiplayer games, ''Kingdom of Loathing'' didn't ''start'' with many of these: they were added later on, in order to create a balanced situation.
6th Feb '17 11:02:56 PM SandroTheMaster
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** It is useful to note, however, that when you are decreasing something by an absolute percentage, every extra percent becomes more powerful. By taking the provided example, when you increase damage reduction from 30% to 40%, you're not increasing the defense effectiveness by 10%. In practice, you've increased your damage reduction by 14.3% (60/70 = 0.857, calculating from the damage you'd receive from a 100 damage attack.) Likewise, increasing damage reduction from 81% to 87% you are effectively increasing your defense by 31.6% (13/19 = 0.684, calculating from a 100 damage attack, again). Look at it this way, if you had 10 000 HP, it'd take 143 attacks at 100 damage each at 30% reduction to kill you, but 167 attacks at the same strength at 40% reduction, and that's about 14.3% more attacks total needed to kill you. Likewise, it'd take 527 such attacks at 81% reduction, while at 87% this number is 770, a 31.6% increase. Another way to look at it is that if you are at 99% reduction and increase it by another single percent, you are increasing your defenses infinitely, as you are now ignoring 100% of all damage. Some games call this "effective health". At 50% reduction, you have 100% extra effective health. At 66%, only a 16% increase in total reduction, you already increased your effective health by 200%. At 75%, your effective health increased by 300%. At 80%, it is increased by 400%. At 83.3%, it is increased by roughly 500%. 600% at 85.7%. 700% at 87.5%. 800% at 88.8%. 900% at 90%. And so on. This is a lot of math to basically say that diminishing returns in damage reduction percentages are warranted, otherwise you'd easily reach invulnerability and later be HEALED by each attack.
4th Dec '16 8:27:40 AM Exxolon
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Of course, diminshing returns has its troubles. First, it's a lot more work, and takes a lot longer time to playtest and get just right. Second, if it's done poorly it just makes the game mechanics confusing; explaining to the player that, above a certain point, each point of Dexterity only provides 36.74% of the benefit of each previous point makes your game sound arcane and confusing. And if you don't explain it to them, astute players will feel cheated when they realize that they pushed all of their points into Strength and are getting no appreciable benefit from half of those stat points.

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Of course, diminshing diminishing returns has its troubles. First, it's a lot more work, and takes a lot longer time to playtest and get just right. Second, if it's done poorly it just makes the game mechanics confusing; explaining to the player that, above a certain point, each point of Dexterity only provides 36.74% of the benefit of each previous point makes your game sound arcane and confusing. And if you don't explain it to them, astute players will feel cheated when they realize that they pushed all of their points into Strength and are getting no appreciable benefit from half of those stat points.
17th Oct '16 2:29:57 AM Morgenthaler
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* Similarly, the ''NewWorldOfDarkness'' tends to encourage evening out one's portfolio past a certain level -- each new dot in a category typically costs its new rating multiplied by a flat rate, so buying the fourth dot in an Attribute from the third costs twice as much as buying the second dot in an Attribute up from the first. Similarly, the character-creation rules make the fifth dot in a Trait (out of a normal maximum of five dots) cost twice as many of starting points to buy.

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* Similarly, the ''NewWorldOfDarkness'' ''TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness'' tends to encourage evening out one's portfolio past a certain level -- each new dot in a category typically costs its new rating multiplied by a flat rate, so buying the fourth dot in an Attribute from the third costs twice as much as buying the second dot in an Attribute up from the first. Similarly, the character-creation rules make the fifth dot in a Trait (out of a normal maximum of five dots) cost twice as many of starting points to buy.



* Skills in ''{{GURPS}}'' start to give noticeably diminishing returns around level 14 (90% chance on normal tasks) and additional levels become a total waste of points at level 24 (90% chance on "impossible" tasks) except in the most extreme settings where techniques can have penalties of -30.

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* Skills in ''{{GURPS}}'' ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' start to give noticeably diminishing returns around level 14 (90% chance on normal tasks) and additional levels become a total waste of points at level 24 (90% chance on "impossible" tasks) except in the most extreme settings where techniques can have penalties of -30.



* ''[[ProseDescriptiveQualities Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies]]'' employs similar ability improvement to the aforementioned ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' video game series: you only gain points to improve your abilities when you ''fail''. Characters who max out an ability and then focus exclusively on it are going to advance very slowly, if at all, while those who dabble in many things or throw themselves into scenarios where they've got no real skill are going to develop faster.
* SeventhSea has an unusual version of this. Each game session a player starts with a number of hero points equal to their ''lowest'' stat. If unused, these hero points become experience points at the end of a session. Depending on your sessions this can increase your net gain somewhere between 50 and 100%. So the character who put two in all his stats will gain experience points faster than the person who has a wit of 1 and a finesse of 3. (and this lets him earn his third points faster, causing the divide to grow even faster)

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* ''[[ProseDescriptiveQualities ''[[TabletopGame/ProseDescriptiveQualities Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies]]'' employs similar ability improvement to the aforementioned ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' video game series: you only gain points to improve your abilities when you ''fail''. Characters who max out an ability and then focus exclusively on it are going to advance very slowly, if at all, while those who dabble in many things or throw themselves into scenarios where they've got no real skill are going to develop faster.
* SeventhSea ''TabletopGame/SeventhSea'' has an unusual version of this. Each game session a player starts with a number of hero points equal to their ''lowest'' stat. If unused, these hero points become experience points at the end of a session. Depending on your sessions this can increase your net gain somewhere between 50 and 100%. So the character who put two in all his stats will gain experience points faster than the person who has a wit of 1 and a finesse of 3. (and this lets him earn his third points faster, causing the divide to grow even faster)
3rd Oct '16 4:35:45 AM Morgenthaler
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* ''[[ERepublik [=eRepublik=]]]'' skill training works like this, in the case of strength when you start out you gain .5 every time you train, by the time you hit 4 strength this is down to .04 every time you train.

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* ''[[ERepublik [=eRepublik=]]]'' ''VideoGame/ERepublik'' skill training works like this, in the case of strength when you start out you gain .5 every time you train, by the time you hit 4 strength this is down to .04 every time you train.
16th Sep '16 10:43:34 PM xenol
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** This is a problem with computer systems as a whole: just because you increased the performance of one part doesn't mean you'll see the same gains. For example, if going from a dual core processor to a quad core processor cut 10 seconds out of a job, adding four more cores may only cut out 5 seconds, while costing 4 times as much.
28th Aug '16 12:20:57 AM NeoChaos
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* In contrast to ''[=TF2=]'', ''VideoGame/{{Overwatch}}'' actually accounts for this at the hero selection screen - it will warn a player when their team is has too many of a class (especially snipers) and point out roles that may be lacking (such as a support character). Since it's a push-based game like Team Fortress 2, this can be valuable information for a player who wants to help turn the tide of battle for their team.

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* In contrast to ''[=TF2=]'', ''VideoGame/{{Overwatch}}'' actually accounts for this at the hero selection screen - it will warn a player when their team is has too many of a class (especially snipers) and point out roles that may be lacking (such as a support healing character). Since it's a push-based game like Team Fortress 2, this can be valuable information for a player who wants to help turn the tide of battle for their team.
25th Jul '16 3:28:32 AM Morgenthaler
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* ''DragonSaga'''s archer classes have a skill that lets them juggle enemies in the air by holding down the 'Z' key. Predictably it quickly became one of the most hated exploits even after more broken ones were found. One attempt to fix it saw its damage gradually decrease to 30% over consecutive hits... with no other change, meaning that the only 'improvement' was that the victim survived longer in a helpless state.

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* ''DragonSaga'''s ''VideoGame/DragonSaga'''s archer classes have a skill that lets them juggle enemies in the air by holding down the 'Z' key. Predictably it quickly became one of the most hated exploits even after more broken ones were found. One attempt to fix it saw its damage gradually decrease to 30% over consecutive hits... with no other change, meaning that the only 'improvement' was that the victim survived longer in a helpless state.
29th Jun '16 5:54:14 PM nombretomado
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* Multiple damage or defense upgrades in ''EveOnline'' employ Diminishing Returns. The first such module has full effect, the second approximately 80%, and after the third a fourth becomes near-pointless.
** Somethign similar happens with skills. Each skill typically gives a 5% increase per level to it's relevant modules, but the training times increase exponentially for each level, so you may need only an hour to train the skill to level 1 and unlock the first 5% boost, but it will take a month to train it to level 5 and unlock the final 5% increase.
* ''WorldOfWarcraft'' uses this for the duration of stuns and similar effects on other players to prevent "stunlocks". Defensive stats also use them to encourage tanks to invest in all forms (if available to them) rather than just one. Hard caps are also in effect in some cases, but Blizzard is trying to get rid of those or change things around so they cant be reached.

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* Multiple damage or defense upgrades in ''EveOnline'' ''VideoGame/EveOnline'' employ Diminishing Returns. The first such module has full effect, the second approximately 80%, and after the third a fourth becomes near-pointless.
** Somethign Something similar happens with skills. Each skill typically gives a 5% increase per level to it's relevant modules, but the training times increase exponentially for each level, so you may need only an hour to train the skill to level 1 and unlock the first 5% boost, but it will take a month to train it to level 5 and unlock the final 5% increase.
* ''WorldOfWarcraft'' ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' uses this for the duration of stuns and similar effects on other players to prevent "stunlocks". Defensive stats also use them to encourage tanks to invest in all forms (if available to them) rather than just one. Hard caps are also in effect in some cases, but Blizzard is trying to get rid of those or change things around so they cant be reached.
27th Jun '16 6:05:42 PM VeryMelon
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* ''VideoGame/Fallout4'' has Armor rating (Ballistic Defense and Energy Defense) give diminished returns damage reduction. For example, 60 Armor rating gives 30% damage reduction, but about 93 Armor rating turns into 40% damage reduction. And the difference between 560 Armor rating (T-45 Power Armor) and 1280 Armor rating (T-60 Power Armor) is 81% and 87% damage reduction respectively.

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* ''VideoGame/Fallout4'' has Armor rating (Ballistic Defense and Energy Defense) give diminished returns on damage reduction. For example, 60 Armor rating gives 30% damage reduction, but about 93 Armor rating turns into 40% damage reduction. And the difference between 560 Armor rating (T-45 Power Armor) and 1280 Armor rating (T-60 Power Armor) is 81% and 87% damage reduction respectively.
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