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Pet balancing, legacy to expansions

- - - - - balancing expansions legacy pet

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29 replies to this topic

#1
Baldguy

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I would want pets balanced between:
races (Cu and reptalon)
sex (unicorn and ki-rin)
taming difficulty (Rune beetle versus WW)

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#2
Vepl

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Baldguy since balance is very subjective. Would you mind posting a more detail explanation of what you are wanting?

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#3
kitiara

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I don't have enough experience with the various types of pets to have an opinion here. All I could really say is, don't take my pups! And maybe make polar bears the most powerful pets in the universe.

It does seem that the elves got the better end of the deal in terms of their specific pet (cu sidhe). The human pet (reptalon) seems way underpowered compared to the cu. Not that my elf is complaining!

#4
Baldguy

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Equality of difference.

I think that each pet should be unique, but that opposing pets for the same race / sex / taming skill should be equal in intensity AND function.

Therefore, if the female gender pet has immunity to poison and casts cure once per day on the owner, then the ki-rin should have an immunity, and a healing type ability for the male.
Instead the ki-rin has an ability that does minimal damage to attackers, causing the fleeeing, almost dead tamer to be targetted by even more enemies.

If the CU has a healing ability, and a damage over time special move that does not interrupt attacl, so should the human pet. Additionally, if they are going to be race specific, then ONLY that race can tame a pet. (Did you know that an elf can tame and ride a reptalon with no eqipment, but a human can't?)

Taming skill level. All pets of the same taming difficulty should have the same total number of stats, resists, skills and special abilities. These can be weighted so that additional skills can be converted over to special abilities, or stats.
Currently, the best three slot pet is a rune beetle, with a taming difficulty the same as a dragon. ALthough it's stats are lower, it has 3 special abilities, and amazing stats. The white wyrm is outclassed, even though it is much more difficult to tame.

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#5
Vepl

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And I thought petals, potions and pouches was interesting :) .

So that I am sure to be on the same page as you are. Let me ask a few questions. When fixing pets: if two pets have the same minium requirement to tame they should have similar stats/resists/abilities? If a pet is gender or race specific the other gender/race specific pet should have similar characteristics? If two pets are similar in taming but one is three control slots and the other is four would they have similar stats/resists/abilities? And last but not least. When starting to change pets would you start with the fire steed (highest minium taming skill),as is, as the top end pet and work everything down from there or from what is now the high end pet (stat/resist/abilities) and work up and down from there?

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#6
merth

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If I understand correctly the higher the number of slots depends on the stats/resists/abilities of the pet therefore the harder to tame. Equal slots should mean equal overall stats/resists/abilities and therefore equally hard to tame. In addition should 2 2-slot pets equal the damage/ability of 1 4-slot pet? Fire steed is without question the most overlooked pet as far as ability based on taming difficulty. Mainly just to say "hey guys look what I got!", but no real fighting worth.

#7
Baldguy

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You have restated the problems well.

I started development on this idea in the tamer thread a while ago.
As to your question on control slots. All 4 slot pets are rideable atm. This would count as an ability, hence the extra slot.

For balancing, you would use the most recent expansions (UOSE and ML) as benchmarks. The Firesteed has been ignored since it's inception, as it was purposely developed to be eye candy (paraphrase of the developer Fiery Ice). As you pointed out, it has the highest taming, so should / could in theory be given the abilities of a three slot pet (-1 ability for being ridable).

Why NOT rebalance to the legacy standard? Because it takes months to get to legendary taming, where as a necro/bushi/chiv warrior can be completed in 5 days and kill just as effieciently as a tamer with the pets we have now. Take that away, and taming is put into instant obscurity.

For best balance results, we could/would use the best creature of each control slot category / taming difficulty. Rideable counts as an ability. Skills not normally belonging to pets is an ability. As is magic, firebreath, special moves, pack attack, etc.
For resists, skills and stats, we would use as a bench mark the MAX and MIN (vetmaster as source) TOTAL stats, skills and resists for post tame of the best creature in each taming category. This way, they can be divided among the categories to better suit the design view of the pet.

Things I am not sure about. Should skills over 100 be counted as an ability, part of the skill total, or both? Should skills over 120 count as 1 or 2 abilities, part of the skill total, or both? (since 120 is max skill that we are used to.). Does the ability to gain over 100 skill count as an ability ( reptalon, hiryu can). Is flying REALLY an ability? It causes more difficulty than advantage. I count it as a disability really.

First, we would construct a table showing current balance. Then make a new table showing our suggestions.

You will be SURPRISED at how unbalanced the Rune Beetle is compared to other 3 slot pets of same taming difficulty (93.1!!!!!!), especially if you count each skill over 100 as an ability. By comparison, mare, uni, ki-rin are 95.1.
Rune beetle breakdown:
poisoning skill over 140 (+2), mage/eval/med/resists skill(+4), poisoning (+1), bleed (+1), magery ability (+1), corrode (+1), partial poison immune (+1/2). Total ability of 10!!! This is the most of any creature.)
Total abilities 10 1/2

Total resists 320

Total stats 1080

Max HP 360.

damage range 55-80

By comparison, the old favorite, the WW (taming 96.3) has:
Total abilities 1

Total resists 280

Total stats 1,315

Max HP 456

damage rng 77-114

The table would look something like:

Title: Two Slot Pets

Taming range / # Total Abilities / # Total Max Stats / # Min stats / Total max resists/ Total min resists / Total max skills /Total min skills / Damage range / Max HP / Min HP.[/HTML]

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#8
merth

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Sorry should have thought more before finalizing post, but in my opinion taming used to be something you had to really dedicate yourself to in order to reach gm status. Therefore high end pets were exactly that high end. I have rethunk (I know :)) and would have to say pick a midline pet and go up or down from there. This would give a good baseline to start from.

#9
merth

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Sometimes eye candy isnt a bad idea!!!! Maybe those pets that are exactly that such as the fire should not take up a stable slot? In addition it could be coded where you can only have 1 attached to your acct at any time to avoid the temptation of taming in quantity for resell at a ridiculous price?

#10
Vepl

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Baldguy for consistency sake. I find a flaw in your four slot thinking. If I understood you correctly. Because you can ride it it is four slot. Otherwise it would be considered a three slot. Then does that make my mare (kirin or unicorn) really a one slot pet instead of two because I can ride it?

I know most of us are just thinking about the high end pets. But the idea is to make it where we fix all pets no matter what the level. That includes but not limited to mongbats, imps and frenzied ostards :-/ . So the idea of starting with a midway pet and working out the fix is a maybe good idea. If so which one would you suggest?

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#11
Baldguy

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Baldguy for consistency sake. I find a flaw in your four slot thinking. If I understood you correctly. Because you can ride it it is four slot. Otherwise it would be considered a three slot. Then does that make my mare (kirin or unicorn) really a one slot pet instead of two because I can ride it?

I am quite confused. I dont think I ever compared three and four slots, or even one and two slots.Even the table I rough drafted treats control slotted pets as different quantities. The only exception I made was for the fire steed, which COULD be treated as a class all its own.

I think you might be mixing the definition of ABILTY and CONTROL SLOTS.
An ability is an extrinsic perception of an extra function of a pet aside from combat damage. In this sense, a rideable 4 slot pet loses one abilty.

A control slot means the pet is capable of having MORE abilities, thus requiring greater focus on the part of the tamer to tame and control.

I know most of us are just thinking about the high end pets. But the idea is to make it where we fix all pets no matter what the level. That includes but not limited to mongbats, imps and frenzied ostards :-/ . So the idea of starting with a midway pet and working out the fix is a maybe good idea. If so which one would you suggest?
Vepl

Perhaps it might help if we were to compare slotted pets as different types of potions. We have four different types of potions (control slots) and three different intensities of each type (ability to tame).

The solution for purple pots is not the same as the solution for cures. Why do they have to be the same for pets?

In your objection above, you compare a mongbat ( think of it as a lesser cure pot) to a frenzied (greater cure pot) then to a mare (greater purple pot). SUrely the "balance" applied does not have to be the same?

Before I adress the question of where to start, we need to consider the tamer as a profession. This takes us to the crux of the matter. Should tamers, in a PvM sense, be able to handle
a) more
B) less
c) the same
as a warrior, mage or bard?

In order of difficulty to attain mastery of a skill, we have Taming, Bard (other than peace), magery, and warrior. However, thanks to current warrior abilities and overfavoring, the WARRIOR can currently handle more than a tamer OR a bard can.

I would suggest the rune beetle as the benchmark for 3 slot pets. You might think this is overpowered. Again, if we choose a lower ability three slot, we run into metagame issues. Class relative to class, you would eventually have to nerf the 4 primary PvM classes, THEN nerf all the monsters.
For two slots, I would use a Mare as the benchmark for it's relative difficulty.

Or we can choose a suitable pet and balance around that, relative to control slots AND taming ability.

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#12
Vepl

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Sorry for thinking you intended three and four slots to be treated basically the same :( .

I have to agree that there needs to be a decision made on the crux of the matter. Now I might be partial on this but I feel that tamers and bards should be able to handle more then a warrior or mage. Actually a lot more. Main reason being is they use pets that are/should be more powerful then players. I included the bard because of provo and discord. Those two skills (unless nerfed) are very powerful just like pets.

I think the idea of taking each slot requirement and taming difficulty individually. Is a good way to look at the each class in an apple to apple type comparison.

So if we go with the idea that tamers should be uber then starting with the rune beetle for a bench mark in the three slot category would that work? If we don't think tamers should be uber then would it be to high of a standard?

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#13
Baldguy

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I worked out a sample statement on the way home that may clarify my intent here. Using the rune beetle as the bench mark, I reached another conclusion. In order to retain the rune beetle as a benchmark, without altering it's current profile, it is NECESSARY to increase it's taming ability to 96.1 (equal to a White Wyrm).
Furthermore, among 3 slot pets, for each tier below the Rune Beetle, I suggest lowering the below bench mark by 25% for each taming area. THis is of course open to discussion.

3 slot pet benchmark, 96.1 taming

A three slot pet that requires 96.1 skill to tame has:

Total abilities 10 1/2

Total resists 320

Total stats 580

Max HP 360.


Where I am completely stumped ( my match is lacking) is how to forumulate a weighting of abilities to stats to resists to HP.
For xmple, if i want to realign the white worm, and want to convert an ability to resist points, how many resist points would one abilit point be worth?

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#14
Vepl

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Would you prefer to add to resists/stats in exchange for abilities or just give the pet that is lacking a new ability?

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#15
Baldguy

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(more thought time passes)
Okay, now that we have established

1) 96.1 is the highest of the 3 slot pets

2) The rune beetle "package" as the benchmark for this skill/slot mix

3) a need for parity


we need to establish:

1) total weighting for the highest skill / slot mix

2) a decreasing scale for each same slot / lower skill pet

3) a individual weighting for stats/skils/resists/hp/abilities/damage

4) and establish parity between the highest like pet that is the same mix


SO, in the instance of the WHite Wyrm we have to establish partiy between it and the rune beetle. This will help us establish the weighting.

White wyrm stats are above, so we should compare the rune beetle to the white wyrm in total differences. Then, we have to discuss what exactly the wyrm is lacking that makes the white wyrm obsolete in today's UO.

The white wyrm is

Total abilities -9.5

Total resists -40

Total stats + 235 stats

Max HP + 96 HP.


Clearly, the white wyrm has and edge in the stats department. How many ability points is this difference worth? Once COULD argue that abilities make the pet more than stats, all else being equal.

Here is where we need to establish the weighting.

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#16
merth

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*wonders if coding is same for ww and rune beetle* as in does ww attempt to cast as often or vice versa. Is one coded to continually cast while other is coded to cast every 4th attack for example? Wouldnt this allow a discrepancy in abilities, same goes for cu sidhe how often does he attack with bleed attack or is it a random chance of occuring? And in reference to above clearly resists and abilities is far more powerful than stats!

#17
Baldguy

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(after even more thought)
I think I know WHERE we want to go, but gonna need help getting there (math again).

I propose a pet point system. It will be based on our chosen benchmark, the rune beetle. There are some pitfalls, but I feel sure we can get past em.

A pet point system would be an overall weighting of points, which when assigned to an ability, stat, resists, hp, or damage will be converted to the approptiate unit.

To derive the initial point system, we have to:
1) Agree on the summary I have made of the Rune Beetle (http://vm.or.tp/ve/631/a3runb.htm)
2) Do some math. and more math. Gotta make the rune beetle stats into a point system, so when we re-divide into the rune beetle, we get a close facsimilie of it.
3) the apply the same weighting to the WHite wyrm
4) then bacwards rengineer the other three slot pets to test the 25% reduction for each tier.

I feel that the value of each point will NOT change between different pet slots, only the amount of the total points. Once we have each top tier done, we again backwards engineer each tier.

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#18
Baldguy

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As to casting, from what I have been able to derive on the pet AI, main source the old pacific rangers site, casting is determined by agressiveness. This is determined by whether it is a fire breather or not. Poisoning type pets are considered as fire breathers. Therefore, the Rune Beetle casts more than the WHite Wyrm.

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#19
Ziggy Stardust

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Going to throw my two cents or so in....



I truely dont see a need to balance out pets to the degree your trying to do.. tis why we have up to 14 stable slots...

I will agree that the taming needed for some critters is way out of whack for what it can do compared to other existing pets... those should be adjusted...

Fire Steed... 106 taming needed and even with it being able to be had with over 100 magic resist and its Pack Instincts the critter sucks the big oscar meyer compared to the Nightmare. The Fire steed also suffers with the lowest physical resists of the Horse based mounts (Mare, Unicorn, Ki rin, Fire steed)

Unicorn - 95.1 taming needed.. same as a Mare.. yet its max hps is 210.. 88 less than the lowest Mare hps (298), the unicorn comes with zip for tactics and anat.. which makes training more involved, it does come with higher magery and EI but thats nothing to train up anyways so its not a BIG deal.. its ability do what cast a cure on the owner once in a while? woot! aka its not something that is a killer anything on anything.. All it needs is more HPs.. least on par with a mare if not a bit more due to its double low skill deal with tactics and anat...

Ki Rin.. 95.1 with a max hps again of just 210... its calling down a lightning bolt? yet again big deal... nothing thats omg it rocks.. it also suffers from the low tactics/anat and all it really needs is as with the unicorn.. more HPs..

All three (mare, unicorn, Ki Rin) are fairly close in resists.. unicorn being slightly better over all..well better in all compared to the mare and Ki...The fire steed as stated about totally blows in physical resist as its 40 at a max if found

All magic casters should have the code in their AI to cast heal/greater heal on its owner... they should beable to cast cure/arch cure on their owners..

btw I assume you are aware that the magery skill level of a pet does not govern what circle spells the pet can cast....

The Bake Kitsune is only... Only 80.7 to tame... It exceeds a mare all across the board.. hps, resists stats... not even going near the specials and its a non rideable 2 slotter...as it is... 100ish taming should be the level needed..

Add the cure/heal to the casting pets AI will do alot to bringing the old pets up to speed with the new fangled jobs..

One last thing... It would be nice if (depending on the tamers level) that we could
1. Set the spells we wanted the casting pets to beable to cast...
2. Train the pet in a special ( a group of speciials the tamer could pick from)
maybe at 100 just one special, at 110 two and at 120 three specials and or maybe instead of specials a new skill... which would mean removing some spells and or specials associated with the skills that players can use...or not...

just a quick post... might come back on the others...

#20
Baldguy

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good ideas and observations.

Your comparison of the horse steeds points out the need for some sort of balancing. What I am aiming for is a reliable, reproducible weighting system that allows quick and easy design of new pets (for upcoming SA), and a possible retro fit of existing pets.
I fully agree that many of the newer pets need to be raised in taiming difficulty. They done it before, should do it again.

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