My concern about trait mappings and why it HAVE TO be changed

For reference about the main trait mappings :

I was for a long time a heavy mmorpgs player and fortunately, Aavegotchi saved me from this plague :rofl:

But with this long experience, I also have a real passion for game design, in video games but also in board games.

Now, I think there is going to be a real problem with what you propose in the Bible chapter 2.

To see what it is possible to do with theses traits, let’s talk about the build we can make and what we generally observe in a good PVP focused game.

Builds we can make
Let’s go straight to the overpowerd build that can ruin the game : The Tanky Mage Warrior.

  • :arrow_up: NRG : Fast
  • :arrow_down: AGG : Tanky
  • :arrow_down: SPK : Fast HP Regen
  • :arrow_up: BRN : High Ranged Damage

This build can go faster or as fast as melee players and even if you can hit him, he can tank damage and regen hp. The only drawback is that he will have a slow attack speed but he don’t care because he is almost unkillable with Armor + Regen.

Now, let’s make a melee gotchi : The Melee DPS

  • :arrow_up: NRG : Fast
  • :arrow_up: AGG : High Melee Damage
  • :arrow_up: SPK : High Evasion
  • :arrow_down: BRN : Fast Attack Speed

This build can fast attack in melee and try to kill other gotchis like this. His advantages are that with High Melee Damage and Fast Attack speed combined, he can have a higher damange per second than a mage.

So what is the problem?
The main problem is that you can make like a “rogue” class but mages have no drawbacks with their high armor and high hp regen. So there is balancing problem because if a melee gotchi can’t go faster than a mage, it will never be able to kill him. If he reach him, the mage will tank the damage and then regen. And because mage are playing the “hit and run” game, they will probably become overpowered.

What should a good PvP focus game?
In a good PvP game, there are some game design that are almost mandatory. Some games had the idea to change this holy trinity but rarely lasted. Also, by trying to leave theses fondamentals, we increase the risks of creating imbalances. I guess in a game based on smart contracts and with a DAO, the best thing is to first build on solid foundations and only then propose paatches that are a bit more creative.

So for a PvP game to work well, a balance between melees and ranged have to be found. A lot of times, melees have hard times to have fun and ranged rule the world. Why? Because melee have to go to contact and a lot of ranged players can just pew pew them. With an army of ranged players, it can even become impossible for melees to do anything. A lot of play test looks good and then, when the game start we discover that melees players can barely play because players go naturally with the easiest gameplay: the ranged one. So there is more ranged players and less melees. Then players complain about melee and they get upped and ranged get nerfed… and we enter in a loop of hell, because ranged players can just win with more ranged players and melee can’t because of placement.
Also, we have to keep in mind that there is no heal in Aavegotchi, or at least, not yet. And without heal, melees are even more exposed.

Sooooooo, what we can change with low risk of creating overpowered ranged players against just good melee players ? There is one answer : make the melee looks overpowered and not the ranged because of the “more risk = more reward” rule. And going melee is exactly that : taking more risk.

So first, ranged should not be able to have high armor. They must be squishy. The drawback of having a high DPS should be to be less tanky, easier to kill. We often call that a “glass canon”.
Next, the ultimate Tank should be possible. A gotchi that can take a lot of damage but barely make any DPS.
And last but not least, melee DPS must always be more hard to kill than ranged. It can be because they are faster, they have more HP, they have more evasion. Often in game, they are wearing leather armors.

What could be a good change
So here is a proposition. Or my proposition.

Note: An even better proposition, which respects the lore and have one less change, is available at the end of this post. The descriptions below have been modified to reflect these new proposed changes.

Change Attack Speed to Armor (AGG)
You can’t become a ranged with armor anymore. You could have evasion (see below) but you can’t have both anymore. Also, if you want to play melee, you can choose to also have high armor, like a warrior.

Change Ethereality to Attack Speed (SPK)
You can regen your HP or attack fast. That way, you can become a glass canon (no hp regen but high damange output), but also a well suited tank with Armor + Health Regen.
If you are ranged, you can also choose the safe way by having hp regen.

Change Attack Speed to Armor (BRN)
Now you have to choose if you want to become the ultimate tank and have a very boring life or become a real warrior. Ranged would probably prefer to have evasion (with AGG) but it’s not mandatory. They also can want to damage in melee.

Merging all together, there is no bad build or trash gotchi. You can have any combination and it will be good. The only meh build would probably be Ranged Damange + Health Regen Speed + Melee Damage.

Now about new builds we can make
This new way to see the trait mappings open new builds that can be very addictive.

The Carrier
Carrying Capacity + Armor + Health Regen Speed + Evasion
You can’t DPS but you are very hard to kill. And now with Carrying Capacity, tanking become a fun way to play! PROTECT THE CARRIER!!
Drawback: no DPS. Will probably put all his points in HP/Armor.

The Glass Canon
Movement Speed + Ranged Damage + Attack Speed + Evasion
You kill everyone but sometimes you get hit… and die.
Drawback: very squishy. Will probably put no points in HP/Armor when leveling up

The Melee Warrior
Movement Speed + Armor + Attack Speed + Melee Damage
See what I said before ? You probably do the same damage as the ranged but you can tank more to have time to go to contact. Higher Risk, Higher Reward.
Drawback: No HP regen. Time is counted when you go in combat. Will probably put Armor and Damage in points while leveling up.

The Hybrid Tank
Movement Speed or Carrying Capacity + Armor + Health Regen Speed + Melee Damage
You are tanky but can also do damage. You don’t attack fast but you can retreat and regen. It’s a good solo build I guess. With carrying capacity (like 50 in NRG), you can also carry Alchemica but not die on the first encounter.
Drawback: No Evasion can be put you in trouble against glass canon because you will probably not regen fast enough.

The Classic Mage
Movement Speed + Ranged Damage + Health Regen Speed + Evasion
You can do a nice DPS and when you get hit, leave the fight to have the time to regen
Drawback: No drawback. It’s a very classical balanced build I guess.

Edit: Further analysis
After further reflection and with the excellent point of @roxiano below, he suggested that AGG is more melee and BRN more ranged and that completely make sense (I was just writing about game balance and didn’t look at lore). So by changing nothing, we can just reverse AGG and BRN to stay more suitable with traits names.

  • There is one less change (3 instead of 4).
  • AGG = Melee Damage, BRN = Ranged Damage
  • Low Aggressivity = Better evasion
  • High Spookiness = faster attack speed
  • Low BRN = Smol intelligence but STRONK

Edit 2: Class names ideas

With 3 main traits that affect combat, we could try to find classe names that we could give to the different combinations.

image

These archetypes make much more sense to me than archetypes like armor + ranged damage + whatever without the possibility of cumulating armor and combat in melee.

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Sorry for my english frens <3

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this is well-thought. i’m familiar with MMOs and there are definite things melee and ranged should / should not be able to do. Although, it makes more sense for AGG to be melee and BRN to be ranged. I would support changing the others for fairness purposes tho.

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Thanks for reassuring me I am not mad :sweat_smile:

You are true about that AGG makes more sense if it’s melee damage.
Would probably also make sense to have this then:

  • Low AGG = Evasion (not aggressive)
  • High AGG = Melee Damage (Highly Aggressive)
  • Low BRN = Armor (No Brain but STRONK)
  • High BRN = Ranged Damage (I can damage with my spirit!)

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i think that although melle and ranged stat balancing can be important it should be remembered that we as community game developers have many tools by which we can alter the game.

a lot of these things can be balanced through other metrics. or mechanics such as
-lunging melee attacks
-casting time for spells where movement is lowered/disallowed
-staggering events from getting hit with attacks ( perhaps melle staggers more or ranged not at all)
-availability/relevancy of cleave.

I do see potential problem with too much dps throughput and not enough drawbacks at it stands. wondering what you all would think about having people pick between
brain size
-high = higher damage(ranged and melle)
-low = higher attack speed
aggression
-high = higher stagger (cc effects)
-low = higher armor

-and changing spookiness to another hybrid trait like energy, to allow for more diversity of playstyles, maybe its like mana regen which is for castable events and also for crafting events. so you can be most efficient at sprinting around for alch or good at spamming crafting but not both. also in combat you would choose from more actives or more mobility/survivability would either be from regen or more cc casts.

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Thanks for your answer @Angst

It’s important to mention that people doesn’t pick between stats but live with what they get from their portals. So, my suggestion is more about having more viable builds. I know there will be plenty of other ways to optimize the gameplay but what is fundamentally problematic is to propose archetypes that do not fit with the state of the art.

And about your suggestion:

brain size
-high = higher damage(ranged and melle)
-low = higher attack speed
aggression
-high = higher stagger (cc effects)
-low = higher armor

The important thing is balance. Although I think it brings more complexity to this discussion (my proposal is just to reverse 3 traits effects, rather than changing them all like you are suggesting), let me try to answer.

If you’re proposing to choose between armor and CC, that’s a real problem. Players with a lot of armor (and therefore ideally less damage) should better resist crowd control and instead have skills of this kind in their arsenal. Because usually, what is commonly called a tank plays the role of a free electron that annoys and prevents ranged players from performing properly. If players with high damage (especially ranged) can also add crowd control effects to their attacks, this is the end of fun for everyone.

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Is it really PVP though? It’s PVE and resource farming. It seems to me that the PVP part is going to be very minor, as opposed to the resource part, unless we are talking about griefing people for lulz(not that this is not a valid gameplay style)

When you talk about risk reward, well, if your goal is to get someone to drop some alchemica that you can steal, then sniping them with a glass cannon is not very useful, unless you have good teamwork. For a solo player, a mugger is quite appealing. Just lurk around corners and gank people…

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I think the PvP will be small at first but develop into something big. We have people already going nuts battling for portals using just the VRF rolls. Imagine open skill-based tournaments with big prizes, guild wars, racing, capture-the-flag type games…

The ultimate vision is to have so much engagement and traffic that companies are paying us to advertise on our parcels or hold events there. If we manage to get there, every aspect will be major.

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PvP will be a big part of the game. Remember that liquidators will be played by humans. In the future, guilds should be able to fight. We don’t know yet if the PvP experience will be implemented directly in the Gotchiverse or if it will be in special places and events though.

But let me refocus the topic. The problem is not related to PvP (not only), nor to the fact that many adjustments can be made in the future. The issue is about fundamental balance and game design.

So I repeat, to roughly summarize the topic, a ranged player should not be able to have the same armor as a melee player. And because gotchis can both be melee and ranged (there is no class mecanisms), we have to find a way to be sure that it’s the case. And that’s why my suggestion is to have armor and ranged damage on the same attribute and why I also suggest to not let melee players have less damage by allowing them to accumulate attack speed and damage, like ranged players. And beware, this suggestion also implies that the defense factor of a gotchi with armor will also have to be much higher than the defense factor of dodging with Ethereality.

The idea of separating ranged and close combat is an excellent idea that needs to be implemented by preventing ranged players from having too much armor.

To give you an idea, I think the order of magnitude is something like x4 more resistant for a melee player against a ranged player. Or the melee player must be able to hit extremely hard in a short time. And I think the difficulty in a 2D game is even higher since the shooter has one less dimension to aim.

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We should not forget that mapping was introduced without telling us about the items utilities yet, so we might rush with this changes.

My thoughts:

Low aggression - health regen
Low spook - hight armor

Everything else keep the same.
But actually i think original mapping is not OP, and i steel feel like we r rushing about it.

Prob we will need a tests before the real PvPs

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impossible to know if something is op or not without testing and actual numbers. i think the most important part of this phase is making sure we have good expectations for diversity of gameplay style down the road.

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At the risk of repeating myself, my opinion does not concern the adjustments that can be made during testing or after the release of the gotchiverse. My remarks are about the game design and the fundamental needed for a solid base in a video game that doesn’t exist yet.

The past has shown that it has been very difficult to adapt. The wearables and traits prove it because it has been necessary since then to create the WTF to avoid the problems that can hinder us for the rest of our adventure in the Gotchiverse.

My goal is not to balance the game but to avoid nonsense that will be extremely difficult to change unless you completely annihilate the effect of a trait.

It would be nice to have people, like those 11 who liked my topic to also answer and help explain these inconsistencies.

I love Aavegotchi and wish him the best. That’s why I’m spending time explaining this to you and I’d like to have real arguments that contradict my analysis rather than answers that just say “we don’t know, so we don’t alert to the potential problem to devs”.

But I’m not done yet

Further analysis and class names proposition

With 3 main traits that affect combat, we could try to find classe names that we could give to the different combinations.

image

These archetypes make much more sense to me than archetypes like armor + ranged damage + whatever without the possibility of cumulating armor and combat in melee.

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The core of what I see you expressing is that there are combinations of strengths that are inherently overpowered. Everyone would agree that you wouldn’t want a setup where some gotchis had high armor, high HP + regen, high speed, high damage, and high attack speed. right? That’s the most obvious, but what are the other “poisonous” combos?

Another way of saying that is that for any class we include in the game, we should be able to explain its weakness and how it will be defeated. We’re basically making an extremely complex version of rock paper scissors with these traits. Not all classes must be equally easy to play (esp. for noobs), but experienced players should be competitive with any and all of them.

I also agree that it’s better to change these fundamentals sooner than later. The more we wait the worse off we are.

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Thank you for your answer which seems to me very relevant.
It’s not exactly that, but it’s close. The main problem is precisely the poisonous aspect of some combos. And theses combo are not about theirs basic characteristics but about theses combinations plus the fact that some gotchis will have to hit with a sword while others will be able to shoot at a distance out of danger. And this is a real weakness.

You are completely right about the rock, paper, scissors example. I should have mentioned this in my first post so people would understand. My proposal attempts to avoid this imbalance.

  • Having Armor + Melee Damage, your weakness is mostly to have to go melee to fight
  • Not Having Armor if Ranged Damage, your force is mostly to be able to fire bullets

About fighting one on one

As I am also a fan of 2D versus fighting games, I can also give you some comparison criteria that are not applicable to Aavegotchi but will demonstrate the issue for people who do not understand.

In theses games, fighters who have a lot of ranged attacks also have the weapons to prevent the opponent from getting too close. On the other hand, fighters who fight a lot of hand-to-hand usually do a lot of damage in return. The difference is often very high with 4 hits to kill against plenty for the ranged fighter.

This kind of game rarely contains defensive fighters who can take a lot of damage because you don’t want the fights to last too long but you get the idea.

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Thanks a lot for the detailed analysis, I fully support your point of view. Chapter 2 has the status of “confirmed but not immutable”, so it is the best time to review potential conflicts and prevent game unbalances at the very core.

Some additional things that should also be taken into account are the current wearable traits and meta. For example, the new Plate Shield has AGG -5, it would be strange that such object increases ethereality (as suggested). On the other hand, we already seem to have some inconsistencies with the proposed trait mapping for some wearables. For example, the Spirit Sword from the same set also boosts negative aggression (AGG-3 and NRG+2), improving the armor level, while all other (apparent) hand weapons improve +AGG. It feels almost impossible to find a good solution to this problem without knowing more about Chapter 3 and wearable traits, but it is great to highlight the weakness of the current mapping model and keep the discussion going.

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i think that its important to recognize that your tending to the assumption that making this game fun from a gotchi fight gotchi perspective. while ignoring that there can be different objectives. from farming, to gathering as much alch as possible safely in potentially dangerous zones.three things that matter most
diversity of possibility
fairness of outcome
access to opportunity (including upward mobility)

i guess it depends on how much these traits matter right.

what if for example aggression could .5x or 2x your melle dmg and your armor can either be .8x or 1.2x.

and your ranged dmg could be .75x or 1.25x while your attack speed could be likewise 1.25x or .75x

maybe your ranged attacks already hit slightly weaker than these melle ones. i think that whats most important is that a good user experience is viable from any gotchi no matter how much access to content they have. so if some gotchis can wreck other gotchis there should be enough other options for fun. i think if gotchis traits have a mid range variance of efficacy it would make the most sense. like its a personality but not a fate decider. 5-20% range in efficacy. then when compounded with potential wearable effects of similar ranges we would end up with a product that can remain available and rewarding to lots of different cash pile sizes.

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Glad we got some experienced people thinking about balancing the game. I do not know much about this aspect but I am glad people are putting time and effort into it. Hope we can get a fair and fun game together

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I agree, and I’d also like to add that range weapons (up until the DeFi RPG stuff) all boosted AGG:
MK2 Grenade: +1 AGG
M67 Grenade: +2 AGG
Aagent pistol: +3 AGG
Fireball: +1 AGG
Energy gun: +3 AGG +2 NRG

If AGG translates into +Melee DMG -Defense, then a range weapon boosting AGG, is not just useless, but is actually hurting your stats.

How about:
+AGG → +Base DMG
+BRN → +Ranged DMG Boost
-BRN → +Melee DMG Boost

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Introduction

To be able to build up a traits system such as the one PC have presented to us in Chapter 2 is no small task. A huge congratulations to the team for giving our community such exciting mechanics to mull over and discuss! I have no doubt PC have spent far more time (and with far more game information) than us deliberating over these traits and greatly appreciate what they have presented.

Great analyses @Caacao and as you have pointed out it is very much worth discussing potential tweaks to the trait mappings prior to immutability to ensure our community has a game that we enjoy playing for the next 30 years. So far it appears you have split the correlation between “Health Regen Speed” and “Ethereality” for SPK. I highly support this as these traits, although very different in mechanics, are both defensive traits. The potential trade-off between the two is not as consequential as it could be. E.g. it is less likely a player would be concerned where exactly they sit in the SPK range compared to NRG, AGG and BRN.

If we instead alter the mappings for AGG, SPK and BRN so that each contain an attacking trait vs. a defensive trait our spectrum of character play styles from Ultra Aggressive to Ultra Defensive is much further widened. This greatly increases the unique play styles available and means that players are more likely to intensively study and critique their chosen Aavegotchi to best decide how to utilise them in the verse.

In addition, the Gotchiverse’s best chance of success is to become a community and guild driven experience that focuses on good communication and strategic deployment of members throughout the verse. As we all know, this style of gameplay is what has made MMO’s so hugely immersive. The more play styles we can introduce for individual gotchis, the better the chances we have of driving communication and co-operation between players.

The Proposal

Below I have attached another potential trait mapping that I believe gets us a bit closer to aligning with current wearables and sets. Again, regen and ethereality have been split and are the key to creating more play styles.

These traits will lead to the following potential archetypes and you can see exactly which builds are the most aggressive/defensive.

I have also noted a few of the existing and rpg wearable sets that would correlate to these archetypes if implemented.

Important note: At this stage it is near impossible to perfectly match all sets and wearables to any given trait mapping. This is both evident in what I have attached above and in the current trait mappings proposed by PC in chapter 2. As a community we are going to have to accept that there will be some oddities between items and the traits they affect (e.g. bow’s reduce AGG which increases armor? But archers are usually light armored?). However. I have great faith that PC will be able to minimize these discrepancies in eventual roll-out due to the item specific mechanics they implement.

Trait Change Reasoning

Now for a brief description of the correlations I have suggested above and the reasoning behind each:

NRG = Carry Capacity vs. Movement Speed
Unchanged

AGG = Armor vs. Attack Speed
The main driver for this change was that a Citaadel Knight should still be strong! Physically, it makes sense that the more armor a character is wearing the less mobility they have which is why I have paired it with Attack Speed. Heavily armed knights favour slow swinging broadswords and this (arguably most classic) knight archetype is still possible with this change.

SPK = Ranged Damage vs. Ethereality
This change was largely driven by the need to split health regen from ethereality. Physically though, ranged weaponry and spells often lead to less evasive capabilities. e.g. a mage concentrates and stands still when casting a spell, a mortar team or archer stabilize themselves prior to firing.

BRN = Melee Damage vs. Health Regen Speed
Brain vs. Brawn is a classic trade-off throughout stories, film and video games. An Aavegotchi with a smol brain makes up for it with raw brute strength. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Aavegotchis with high brain power are more likely to be medically trained or have knowledge of healing spells.

Conclusion

Regardless of the trait mappings being modified or not I have great faith that PC and our community will build out a completely new and immersive experience with the Gotchiverse. These discussions are part of what already make Aavegotchi the gem it is! Where else could we as a community actually have as much impact on the final product as here?

Any and all constructive feedback is greatly appreciated. Let’s keep the discussions going :slight_smile:

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Kudos to Caacao and many others that had excellent insights into the game play and very excited about some tweaks to be made based on these great analysis.

I do want to add (as I mentioned on Discord) that we would want to allow all ppls to at least modify the points spent one time after the traits are finalized (after PC either makes some changes or declines any modification). Whether further modifications are allowed or not is discussed in another forum post. But I really want that all ppls have the opportunity to adjust their spent points to align with their own goals based on traits mapping, which came out much later.

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