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=KoO= Guide of Suggesting: Balance, Innovation, Creation

 
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5/26/2005 17:02:53   
CaelCryos
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Hello folks! My name is Cael and I'm here to give you a few pointers on how to do your suggestions. Our lovely Mods, Archknights, and Grand Councilors give you lots of usefull one-on-one feedback and plenty of stickies (Which everyone should read of course!) on what not to do, but there's scarce few posts instructing you on what you should do. That's what this guide is for, to educate you on exactly what the Mods and Councilors are looking for.

I suppose I should mention my credentials... I'm not just some nutcase here to tell you what to do and how to do it, my primary objective is helping YOU! I see beautiful ideas every day. Ideas that, with a little polish, could become beautiful suggestions, but people forget the most important things and the ideas get wasted. So a little about me... I've been a member of AQ for around a year and eight months or so, I own three characters, all over L70 and of various builds, I've served with the Grand Council and I'm currently a member of AQ's balancing team, the Knights of Order. My suggestion thread is currently one of the top five most viewed and responded to threads in the Suggestion forum and possibly contains more suggestions than any other thread here at AQ. I've had one thing placed in the game thus far, but I do have hope for the future. ^_~ But more important than my own suggestion ability, is that I know a good suggestion when I see one and I know what makes one. This knowledge I'm going to attempt to give to you.

So then... If we're all convinced I'm at least worth hearing out, we'll start at the very beginning...


I. The Beginning

In the Beginning there was an Idea. And that Idea became a Suggestion and the Suggestion was good. Or was it? Well, every good suggestion comes with an idea. Ideas are relatively easy to come up with but they're essential! Ideas are very common, but good ideas are much rarer. So we'll start with the phase of suggesting that has nothing to do with your actual suggestion! There is a series of steps one must go through before actually even making said suggestion, to make sure your idea will be well received.

- 1. Is my idea possible?
Yes, sad as it may be not every idea is possible. Ranging from the the very difficult (Reprogramming every armor to make your suggestion work for instance), to the impossible (Player vs. Player), to the downright illegal (Put Cloud in the game as an Enemy!) All these will get your ideas killed before they've even begun. The Grand Council has a lovely sticky on what is absolutely not going to be made, take a look at it, save yourself the time of writting up a hopeless suggestion and move on to a new idea instead.

- 2. Has anyone suggested my idea already?
It's entirely possible someone else had your idea already and better! Take a look at the two pages of most recent suggestions at the very least before posting anything new, nobody wants to see Werepyre Form suggested for the eighteenth time. Now this may not really kill your idea outright, but you may need to adjust it to give it its own individuality. Make it better than the person who posted before you! Learn from their mistakes and make your own completely original and obviously superior idea! But no ripping off other peoples ideas either, that's just mean. =P

- 3. What does my idea add to the game?
Now obviously YOU love your idea, otherwise you wouldn't bother turning it into a suggestion. But remember, you're not the only one who plays the game of course! Think to yourself before posting, what does this do for the game that isn't already done? For instance, Axes are fairly rare in the game, with no Water or Ice Axes currently existing. So that would make a great suggestion! However, suggesting something which is kinda pointless, such as the Ice Wakizashi, which is the exact same thing as the Ice Katana, just shorter, doesn't really have a purpose and isn't likely to be made. Give your idea something you really feel the game needs, some sort of innovation. There is only one permanent Dark Ranged weapon, suggest one of those! Got an idea for a new status ailment? Perfect! An armor which doesn't attack, but regens MP every round? Genius!

II. Fleshing your Idea into a Prototype Suggestion

"What?" you say, "We're not doing a real suggestion? What's a Prototype Suggestion?" I'm glad you asked dear friend, lovely question! See, many people just dash off willy-nilly once they have a good suggestion and type it up without thinking it through. It's better to sit back a minute, look at your suggestion and rethink it before posting it. This suggestion is your Prototype Suggestion, if you're luckier and smarter than me, your Prototype will be exactly the same as your regular suggestion, but it's worth it to take this time to look at it. So now, on to making your idea a suggestion!

- 1. Starting the Item
A yes, the easiest phase of making an item, thinking up what it is! Now there are two primary methods of doing this... I'll look at either one independantly, it's a little easier that way.

-> 1a. Top-Down Method
Top-Down is a term refering to the method of creating an item based on appearence, legend, or flavor. Basically, you're taking a real world item you have in mind and giving it game applicability. So, and this is the only time you will ever hear me say this, throw balance to the wind! Forget it! it has no place in a top-down suggestion! ...At least for now any way. You didn't think I'd actually let you do that, did you? See, Balance gets in the way of giving an item its flavor. Thus it's easier to go back and tone it down or make it better later than it is to apply it while making the suggestion. So for now, ignore it. Now, when designing a weapon this way, imagine how the physical shape and abilities of the weapon would take hold in the game world. You have a really, REALLY heavy hammer? Well, that's going to fairly powerfull, but it'll be hard to swing, so it should be innaccurate. You want to design Ghost Form? Well, Ghosts are rather weak in the physical realm, so it wouldn't be great at attacking, but it'd be hard to hit. This is top down. Look at your item, figure out exactly what would be important when fighting with it or against it in the real world and see how this applies to the game.

-> 1b. Bottom-Up Method
The exact reverse of the Top-Down Method. You have a game idea, but you need to figure out what it looks like, how it'd work, etc. to fill the hole or create the effect you want. For instance, you want to create a Dark Ranged weapon, for low level players. You've got an idea for stats and how strong you want it to be, but those are just numbers, not an actual weapon. So look carefully at it and think about what a weak dark weapon is. Perhaps Throwing Daggers, a Small Bow, a Blowgun, whatever. But make sure it fits what you're trying to make. If you want a 3-12, L10 Dark Weapon don't make it a Giant Bazooka that fires and Evil Demon who blows up half the world, that doesn't make sense. Strong weapons tend to look strong, weak weapons tend to look weak.


-2. Numbers for the Madness
Okay, by now you have some idea of how you want to construct your item. You look at your idea and it's perfect, everyone will love it! Well, maybe. If you're like me, this is the part where we do research. You know basically what you want to make, but how do you know what exactly to place the numbers at? You know you want a weak dark weapon, but what makes a weapon weak? In this section we'll look a bit at each catagory of item and think about how to design it and make it fit in with the AQ world.

-> 2a. The Wonderfull World of Weapons
Everyone loves weapons right? They're the thing we all need in battle to win things and probably the second most suggested thing behind monsters. As a result, we see more horrible-horrible weapons than anything else actually. So what do you do? You don't want a horrible weapon, your suggestion doesn't deserve that! So look at it carefully. You can assumble it in any order you want, but there are tricks to it. So let's take a look, shall we?

Name: Names of weapons should always have something to do with the weapon. Don't name them randomly, remember that the name is the first thing any one will know about your weapon, keep that impression in mind. Soulcarver immediately makes you imagine some sinister, twisted blade which cuts a man's soul! A good name is priceless for a well-loved item. Also, remember the setting of your world. Guns will not be named AK-47.5, AK-47s don't exist and neither does that naming convention. Try "Meteor-Hail Gun" or something better, just make sure the weapon's name fits the World.
Level Requirement: An important thing many people forget. Level requirements are one of the most powerfull balance methods in the game. However, they're not that intuitive, making things difficult. To properly place your weapon you'll have to keep in mind its strength and its price. We'll revist how those interact later. But for now, keep in mind who you want this weapon going to. Golden Axe should not have an L5 requirement. Similarly, Fire Throwing Knives should not have a requirement of L65. Do a little research, go to the Encyclopedia Forum of Ultimate AQ and look around at what weapons are in what level requirments. Notice the strength curves as level requirement goes up. Also notice no weapon has a requirement of higher than L85. Not to say that if you place it higher than L85 it will never get made, but the higher you go, the less likely your suggestion will be made.
Price: Ah, pricing. Everyone hates to lose their gold, but there it goes. Pricing is a little tricky and this catagory will never be filled with anything more than your best estimate. But there are a couple factors to figure out. Do you intend for it to be a One-Day Rare? A One-Month Rare? A Temporary Item gained through battle? A permanent item? All this effects the price. War Rares and One-Day rares tend to be cheaper than they should be and temporary items are obviously free as they are unbuyable. For pricing of items one method is to look at weapons of similar power and availability and look at how they're priced. Price yours somewhere in the same vicinity as those.
Element: I would assume you already have this in mind as to not overlap with another existing weapon, but if not make sure once you decide on one, that your weapon is not redundant with something preexisting. Deciding an element is tricky, if you don't have one in mind, but there are a couple tricks. Does your weapon have an ability that seems to be aligned with any particular element? MP Regen tends to be Water for instance. Light does Healing of any kind, Dark tends to prefer HP or MP draining, and so on. Think about what kind of element you ability would fit into. Element can be flavor driven or it could just be to fill a hole in the shops, where no weapons of that element exist. Take a look at the Weapons forum of the Encyclopedia and see what has come before, it's a big help. Also, ELEMENT X WEAPONS CANNOT EXIST. It's not because we don't want them, it's just impossible to designate a weapon as Element X in the shop. If you want a Element X weapon, make it a Fire weapon that always deals Element X damage.
Damage Range: Ah, more people mess up here than with anything else. Again, look at the existing items! Precedent is a marvelous thing. No weapon that can do 10-30 is going to come out with less than a L70 requirement, unless it has a severe drawback. However, something many people forget, don't allow your weapon to get too weak. Make sure someone is going to want to use it at some point. An important thing to remember is damage averages as well. A simplified version is to just look at the regular attack and take a look at the average damage. Golden Axe's average is 20 for instance. Dragonhand has an average of 17. Averages are a good way of simplifying damage to gauge the power of it. Really, 20 Average is the highest you should ever see for a non-temp weapon. If your average is consistantly higher than that, it needs to be toned down. Conversely, no weapon has an average of lower than 5. I wouldn't bother even creating one that does.
Damage Type: The age old question: Melee, Ranged, or Magic? Many of you Bottom-Down folks are already filling a hole, so you know what you want it to be. But keep in mind something the Top-Down folks need to know, damage type is controlled by the shape of the weapon and vice versa. Bows are always Ranged for instance. Spears tend to be either Ranged or Melee, with an occaisional Magic Spear. Swords and Axes can be Melee or Magic, but Axes tend to be Melee. Staffs are always Magic. A good rule of thumb is just to make sure it makes sense. An axe really isn't going to be Ranged, unless it's a throwing axe. A sword with a glowing aura tends to be Magic, but a normal sword would just be Melee. This is all pretty flexible so don't worry too much.
Number of Hits: Multi-hit Magic and Melee weapons are pretty much all gone now, but it is still a possible design approach. Ranged weapons use this much more often. Keep in mind though, when giving this to a weapon, it will override the normal attack of the armor. It's essentially attacking with a Special, so all Armor modifications have no effect. Plan the strength of the weapon accordingly.
Special: Ah special. Specials are complicated. There are a lot of things to consider. Remember, specials can either be strong and make a weak weapon better or they can be weak and make a strong weapon weaker. This will effect how you can price things and at what level requirement you can sell things. A strong weapon can be even stronger with a weak special, such as Bonecrunch Ocean Mace, which has great stats but a horrible special to keep it balanced. Special element is also important. Off element specials are often regarded as a drawback, in the case of Bonecrunch or Eye of the Sphinx for instance. And Damage type is too! Remember, how the enemy blocks is controlled by the damage type. If it's something different than the weapon, this can either hurt or help the accuracy of the weapon, but it will always make it more versitile. Keep this in mind. Now how to design the damage of the specials? Special damage rarely actually deal flat number ranges like weapons do anymore. Gone are the days of specials that deal 15-45 damage. Most specials now deal damage based off the weapon amounts, such as 300% of the Base and Random damage of the weapon itself. Multipliers rather than flat amounts. Also keep in mind that specials now must mention whether they use stats or not, with the creation of Zargosa and the Hammer of Unity. Using stats for a special is tricky when it comes to balance, so it's worth thinking about. It's often simpler to just not use stats.
Appearence: Describe the weapon as best you can. Be as detailed as possible. Better yet, include a picture. Not much more I can say.
Description: Last step. Phew! It was a long trek. Description should usually be reasonably short and sweet, describing some history or some obscure ability of the weapon. Descriptions are your chance to be informative or entertaining, have fun with it! It's your chance for a one to three sentance fanfic or if you prefer you can tell people of the greatness of your design and how it's nifty against Dragons! Rawr!
Special Abilities: Certain weapons have abilities which change based on key modifiers, such as the Dragonblade, Zardbane, Crescent Blade and many more. These are all perfectly viable for your suggestion material, just be wary of overpowering and bad interactions between other items. +3 base and +5 random is very reasonable as far as situational weapon boosting goes and even more is fine, if the situation allows. Remember that his will boost the price or level requirement of course.

-> 2b. Armory of Armors and the Armors who love them...
Phew! Weapons sure was long! I commend you for reading this far. Sad to say we're not even half done! And you thought suggestions were easy. Armors are similar in many ways to Weapons (Silly? Perhaps. But for suggestions, it's true) but also fundementally different. For this, it'll be a little shorter. I'll be only elaborating on the differences. If you're only reading this part, because this is all you want to design, I suggest you go back to Weapons and read the parts about Name, Appearence, Description, Level Requirement, and Price. All those apply here. I'll merely be focusing on the things which are directly relevant to Armors here.

Melee/Ranged/Magic Blocking Values: Blocking is potentially the most powerfull defensive ability in the game. High resistance means you take low damage, blocking means you take NO damage. As a result, it kinda has to be approached carefully. A good starting point is to give your armor 25/25/25. Few armors are worse than this and when they are, it's because they're sacrificing something to make something else better, while preserving balance. Remember to keep in mind the armor you're making. If you're making the "Catch Arrows Armor" you'll probably have great Ranged defense, but poor Melee and Magic defense. Also, you'll rarely have an armor with better than 45 in one blocking. And the other two will be pretty low as a result. Higher than 50 is virtually forbidden, it just won't happen. Also, remember than blocking can be negative in extreme cases, but this tends to make armors pretty bad, so use it with caution. But you can use that as rationale for having other parts of the armor be really good!
Number of Hits: A very important point. Does your armor hit once, twice, or three times? Rarely do armors hit more than three times, but there have been a couple times when they do, such as the Giftbox Armor or the Vamp and Lycan forms. Keep in mind when designing a armor, when they have multihit compatibility, they usually modify the strength of your weapon, due to the fact they get stat bonuses on each hit, making them significantly stronger. Werewolf Form for instance, get 100% base on each hit, but only 60% Random damage. Meaning overall it get 300% Base, 180% Random, and 300% stats. Good offensive armors for higher levels are usually multihit, but defensive armors don't need to be. Also keep in mind level requirement, no good multihit armors come before L40, when you get Guardian Plate's double hit. The best all come at L65. Just keep that in mind when determining how many hits you want it to be.
Elemental Resistance: Elemental Resistance is largely flavor based in how much it changes, but there are a few limits. No armor EVER has a negative elemental resistance. Absorbtion armors have never existed and probably will never exist. For the same reason, no armor will ever have lower than 25% to a certain element as the best shields can reduce one element down by -25%. 0% to an element is also not allowed. Really, the lowest you could really place your armor's resistance to one element is about 40%, 50% is more realistic. Also, another good rule is to make sure your armor centers around 100%. If you make one element 50%, make another one 150%. Lower one element by 35%? Raise the others by 5% each. This is not a binding rule, but unless you make something else really worse, you should stick to it.
Element: Armors must be of either one of the eight elements or of the Neutral element, which is not an element at all. (Confused yet?) Armors are usually designated by the element they protect most against, but not always. Neutral armors tend to protect against several elements equally, but not all armors that protect against several element equally are Neutral. Shinobi Shozoku for instance, which protects against Earth and Dark, but is Dark armor. I personally tend to try to stay away from Neutral unless it show no elemental affliation at all, like my Quickblade Form, which is just a guy with a lot of knives. I tend to try to assign an element even if protects against several elements equally, based on its flavor. Such as my Blood Mage Class, which protects against Dark and Water, but I label it as Dark, because it... Well, feels Dark. This really gives you a fair amount of breathing room, so just use common sense and have fun.
Special Abilities: Some armors have special abilities, such as Canine Warrior which boosts the damage of Puppies and Wolves. Now keep in mind these are perfectly allowable, within reason of course. Feel free to make an armor that gets stronger against undead, but it will require a price or level hike that's appropriate. Use the same judgement your would with weapons and shield which have similar abilities. See the Offensive Shields section of the Shield chapter for some of the ranges that are acceptable, but feel free to push the limits and have it apply to pets or guests or all other kinds of things.

-> 2c. Shield me from this crazy person's rambling! I can't take anymore!
Ah shields. The forgotten item. From this point on, I'm not going to split them into individual catagories. Shields are essentially mini-armors most of the time, so I'll be making a few comments about that, but mostly focusing on the utility side of shields, which is big right now. Besides that, Pets/Guests are relatively simple and don't require splitting and monsters will just be confusing if I split them into catagories. So from now on, we'll be going in paragraph format. Fun, eh? Alright, enough discussing syntax, Shields!

Shields fall into two groups. Defense and Offense. Bear with me...

Defense shields are the oldest kind of shield, existing from the very beginning. These are the Miniarmors I was talking about. Defense shields do the exact same thing as armors, just less so. Shield rarely get higher than +25 in a single blocking and never more than +20. Similarly they rarely get better than -15% to a single resistance and never better than -25%. These shields are basic and fun. Follow the same rules as armors and you'll be fine.
Offense Shields are items like Undead Terror, Nighthunter, Dragon Slayer Shield, and Azru Stone. The boost your base damages, but don't do much for defense or even hurt you defensively. Offense shield are not designed to be defensive, although they do sometimes help in that area, they're designed to make you kill things faster. Usually by some percentage amount, such as +20% base and random damage. These shields are more versitile and interesting, but still have their limits. Keep in mind that this is mostly untested and the limits aren't well known, so basically just use common sense. +20% Base and Random is about the most you could ever expect.) I've designed a few other offensive shields which have hidden abilities. Who knows? This is what innovation is for, breaking the mold. This catagory is also for shield which perform standard modifications, like special abilities of armors. Shields are perfectly capable of similar things.

Remember that shields are usually pretty darn cheap for their value compared with armors or weapons, mainly because they have less usefullness than either of the others. Something to keep in mind when making suggestions.

-> 2d. Cute Little Fluffly Vorpal Bunny... Also known as The Pets and Guests Section
Ah, pets. I love them. They're a lot of fun! But just like anything, there are issues. Follow the same basic rules for pricing and naming and such as with weapons and armors, of course. Pets are really a lot like weapons that do things on their own. Keep that in mind. Pets have been getting more powerfull as of late, which is a good thing! But there is still such a thing as overpowered pets. So let's cover a few rules...

Pets should never be stronger than the player. Sad, but true. Untill Beast Master comes out or pets become a viable alternative stat protocol than Weapons, pets should be weaker than the player they accompany. Set your power and level requirements accordingly. Remember also that pets tend to be pricy the stronger they are, so if you want a cheap pet, it's gonna have to be weak. Like I said, pets are weapons with legs.

Multielemental = Bad? Not necessarily. Multielemental pets are risky and rarely liked, but you shouldn't let that stop you, just make sure to adjust its power accordingly to make it well liked. Raptor Duck was less liked because it was trielemental, but moreso because it's rather weak. Truffle on the other hand is quadelemental, but liked a lot because it has near uber power. Remember, more elements means you can make it stronger than a similarly leveled monoelemental pet, but it may be less useful. try to make sure your elements go well together, like Light and Fire or Dark and Water. It's not necessary, but if they have conflicting elements like Ice and Fire, you may find yourself designing a worthless pet.

Pets = Guests? Well, yes and no... Pets and guest fill almost the same function, but there are major differences. Guests are uncontrollable, you can't tell them to not attack or not perform their function. Also they're temporary, once they're gone, they're gone. Guests can actually be more powerful than a pet as a result, due to the fact that you remove that element of player control. The guest may help, it may hurt. Who can tell? But also remember that most guests are available to everyone. So unless you put some limiter on it like a battle or a level requirement, you may have to tone them down.

How strong is strong? Well, pets almost never get better than 10-30 damage a round and that's at L85. Keep that in mind. 10-30 is considered VERY good. Also, pets frequently have side effects, like Vampragon Draining or Fairy Godmother healing. you can essentially consider these to be the best in the healing department. Meaning no better than +10 total regen or +3% of HP or MP every other round. Also, pets don't necessarily need to be strong to be good. Look at Poelala, no damage, but she makes you insane. Utility pets are quite nice actually.

-> 2e. Spells. S-P-E-L-L-S. Spells
Nothing is off limits. Nothing. Go nuts, it's fun. ...Alright, not seriously, even if FBZ makes it seem that way sometimes. Spells are pretty easy really, but I'll be discussing them more as they should be, rather than as they are... Spells tend to be cheap, powerfull, and versitile. Multielemental spells tend to be stronger than monoelemental spells. Spells tend to cost roughly an equal amount to the damage they do. Not exactly, but there abouts. A spell which deals around 90 damage to a 100% resistance monster, will cost about 90 MP. It's not foolproof, but it's a good guideline. Adjust things slightly as you see fit, just attempt to keep it more balanced than the Spell Scrolls. Or at least put it in a more difficult quest. Spells should never be more than eight hits without being multielemental, due to stats, and the more hits they deal the lower the damage should be per hit, again due to stats. Prices for spells are irrelevant as they're invariably cheap, around the same pricing as shields, capping at around 30000 Gold. Just pick what seems about right. =P (Seriously though, just look at what exists and price it relative to that. I dunno if I've said this enough, but research into the existing is VERY valuable.)

-> 2f. He's a MONSTER! How can he ask us to read all this?
Because I'm crazy, that's why. It's for your own good too. Besides, I'm tired too. But Monsters are important! However, there is a lot more of the same. For stats, attempt to follow the same rules with 5 Points for each level. These isn't required however, you do have a lot of room to play with stats, but for your average RA fodder, it works well and it set some limits on your creation. For level and damage the most important thing to remember is what players will be fighting it. Remember the ranges in RA. When a player first encounters it, the monster should be VERY hard to beat, wheras right before it leaves RA range it should be quite easy. A player of equal level to a monster should be roughly equal to it, perhaps slightly superior.

Another thing to remember with monsters is the important HP/Damage/Defense triangle. A monster can be balanced by being exceptionally strong in any one of those and weak in the others, or be a more balanced mix, or being a combination of any two. See there are good examples of all three. Ultra Akriloth, Dragon has giant HP, but compared with his level, his damage and resistance are miserable. Megogg has giant damage, but his HP and defense are horrid. Croaker has amazing defense, but low HP and damage. Xyfrag has amazing defense and HP, but his attack really stinks. And then there are enemies with a good balance of the three like Ziragat and Thunder Troll. The trick is to balance them between the three. High elemental modifiers (Say 150%+) are usually offset by good blocking or HP and vice versa. Low HP and resistances are usually made up for by really high damage. Remember to always adjust your monster for the level range though, look at the weapons and armors that are available when you fight them, look at the RA range, think about stat changes. All this should factor into a good monster.

On the issue of rewards. A good guideline is to give 10 XP for each 1 level or 1 XP for every 1 HP, although this is dependent on how tough they are as well. So a L60 monster would reward with about 600 XP, roughly, and a 600 HP monster can ideally have 600 XP reward. Adjust this up and down based on difficulty, remember HP does not make a monster tough. So if your monster hits for 1 HP a round but has 10,000 HP, don't give him a 10,000 XP reward. For that matter, let's just say never go above 5000 for XP rewards. Tis a good rule of thumb.

Also, gold can be sacrificed at a 1 Gold for 2 XP ratio. So you could do a 500/200 monster, or a 900/0 monster with the same difficulty. Or alternatively, a 0/450 monster. All at L50, without much problem. Gold should be given at around a 3-5 Gold for every 1 level or HP ratio, again adjusted for difficulty. As rule of thumb, let's say never reward your monster with more than a 2000 Gold giveaway. It's not a rule, but it's still good to follow.

This said, all this starts to break down around L70. The levels start becoming very slow going and monsters start to be rewarded better. So here you're going to have to use your best judgement and look at the monsters in the range you want yours to be in. Then make your best guess. Keep in mind, once you get to the L95+ level range you have more freedom to make tougher monsters for more rewards, leaving these simple curves behind.


-> 2g. Well, as psychotic as he is, he's got Class
Ah classes. The craze of yesterday. Classes I don't have a lot to say, but I figure I should comment on everything. Everything that applies to armors applies to Classes as well, of course, but there is a progression element involved as well. So far the trend is that most of them are useless as armors before doing the class quests, so keep that in mind when designing your own class. You don't need to take the same route, but it couldn't hurt. Class levels have a certain pattern if you look at the existing armors, the best abilities tend to be around L5, L6, and L10 but that's just a trend, so again it could be ignored, just something to be pointed out. Class abilities don't need to get progressively better at higher levels, but again, it couldn't hurt.

Let's talk abilities... A good rule is if it wouldn't be allowed as spell, it's not going to be allowed as an ability. But thankfully abilities offer a little more creative freedom. There are weapon techniques, charge abilities, and pet summoning without upkeeps. All this is fair game and more, come up with new abilities and get them balanced as best you can, what you can do with classes is as limitless as your imagination. It's had to say something about balance, when the field is as wide as this, but just do your best and attempt to follow the same rules you would with spells.

Remember to make sure your class isn't too niche either. Bartender isn't likely to be made. Nor is Hydrak Trainer. Make sure it's something reasonably useful and keep in mind what earlier classes it's going to be based on. Is it going to be a standalone class? Maybe based off of Rogue and Knight? All this is important, if you make a Fourth level quest it may be a while, since we don't have any second or third level classes.

Devising your own Class quest is a big help as well and improves your chances. Make sure to try and make the difficulty of your class quests fit the strength of your abilities. One of my classes, Solid State Class Quest, is designed as a Golden Set replacement and has abilities to match. As a result the class quests are designed to be rather hard, even with the Armor. Also try to be original with your class quests, most of the class quests so far have been the same, which means its fine to base yours around that model, but devising an original quest makes your idea more likely to stand out.


III. Finally! An actual suggestion!
Yes, my young padawan, you're finally ready to make a suggestion. All that work and thinking has paid off, you have an awesome idea, you have numbers, you have balance, you have all the criteria completed, you've followed this guide to the letter! Now head off and post, right? WRONG! No soup for you! Now you head back to Step 1. ^_^ Now, now, don't kill me yet, let me explain. During the process of making your idea into a suggestion a lot of things can change... You may have gone off on a wild tangent and violated one of the criteria made earlier. Go back, double check, make sure you're still okay. If not, try to go back to Step 2 and fix the problem. Once you satisfy Step 1 and 2, come back and continue here.

Now then, you've finished Step 2, you're still okay with Step 1, now the meat of Step 3. You need to put your beautiful numbers into the proper form. A well made suggestion looks even better when put into the proper template. Now since I am really lazy (Oh come on, typing for four hours straight does not make me not lazy) I stole borrowed these from Azurelink. Don't tell him, they're mine now. Admittedly, I don't use this style myself (Mine is older. Bwa!) his style is probably better than my own. More than that, I don't need to type it! Now I'll quote all the stuff made by him.

quote:


Originally posted by Azurelink

Weapons

Name:
Element:
Appearance:
Description:
Type:
Damage:
Special Animation:
Special Damage:
Special Chance:
Price:
Sellback:
Level:
Bonus to Hit:

Name: The name….
Element: The element damage it deals
Appearance: What the weapon looks like. Picture can be included here. Be descriptive.
Description: The history, or other information about the weapon
Type: Range, Magic, Melee
Damage: The minimum should never go above 10 and max, never above 30… ever….
Special Animation: The animation of the Special. What happens.
Special Damage: The damage it deals. Also element here and type. Do not make too high….
Special Chance: The chance of the special. Don’t make too high….
Price: The Cost
Sellback: How much you get when you sell the item
Level: The Level Req
Bonus to Hit: The bonus chance to hit. Should not go above 10…..


Pets:

Name:
Element:
Appearance:
Description:
Type:
Damage:
Number of Attacks:
Price:
Sellback:
Level:

Everything is the same as a weapon, but it is usually weaker then weapons.


Shields

Name:
Element:
Appearance:
Description:
Defense Modifiers:
-----Melee:
-----Range:
-----Magic:
Elements:
-----Light:
-----Dark:
-----Earth:
-----Energy:
-----Fire:
-----Ice:
-----Water:
-----Wind:
Price:
Sellback:
Level:

Name: The name
Element: The element…
Appearance: Same as weapon,
Description: Same as Weapon
Defense Modifiers: Should never do a lot. This is a shield.
-----Melee:
-----Range:
-----Magic:
Elements: Same as defense modifiers. With negatives, there should be positives as well, to balance it out.
-----Light:
-----Dark:
-----Earth:
-----Energy:
-----Fire:
-----Ice:
-----Water:
-----Wind:
Price: …..
Level: …..


Armor:

Name:
Element:
Appearance:
Description:
Defense Modifiers:
-----Melee:
-----Range:
-----Magic:
Elements:
-----Light:
-----Dark:
-----Earth:
-----Energy:
-----Fire:
-----Ice:
-----Water:
-----Wind:
Price:
Sellback:
Level:

The Armor is basically the same ideas, but with more defenses.
Elements…. Never below -50
Defense: Shouldn't all be above 40.


Classes:

Class Name:
Prerequisites:
Armor- Look up for the format…
Ten Skills: o for permanent effect (the defense upgrades)
One: (name goes here)
-----Mana Cost:
-----Damage:
-----Appearance
Two: (name goes here)
-----Mana Cost:
-----Damage:
-----Appearance
Three: (name goes here)
-----Mana Cost:
-----Damage:
-----Appearance
Four: (name goes here)
-----Mana Cost:
-----Damage:
-----Appearance
Five: (name goes here)
-----Mana Cost:
-----Damage:
-----Appearance
Six: (name goes here)
-----Mana Cost:
-----Damage:
-----Appearance
Seven: (name goes here)
-----Mana Cost:
-----Damage:
-----Appearance
Eight: (name goes here)
-----Mana Cost:
-----Damage:
-----Appearance
Nine: (name goes here)
-----Mana Cost:
-----Damage:
-----Appearance
Ten: (name goes here)
-----Mana Cost:
-----Damage:
-----Appearance

Quests:
Bosses:
1-4:
5-7:
8-9:
10:

Stat Needed:
Happening: (What is happening along quest)

Optional:
NPC:
Name:
Appearance:
Text:

Shop:
Weapons:
Shields:
Armor:
Pets:
All Formats Above….


Monsters:

Name:
Element:
Appearance:
Description:
Attack 1 Animation:
Attack 1 Damage: (Element, Damage, Type, amount of hits)
Attack 2 Animation:
Attack 2 Damage: (Element, Damage, Type, amount of hits)
Attack 3 Animation:
Attack 3 Damage: (Element, Damage, Type, amount of hits)
Defense Modifiers:
-----Melee:
-----Range:
-----Magic:
Elements:
-----Light:
-----Dark:
-----Earth:
-----Energy:
-----Fire:
-----Ice:
-----Water:
-----Wind:
Stats:
-----Strength:
-----Dex:
-----Intelligence:
-----Endurance:
-----Charisma:
-----Luck:
HP:
MP:
SP*:
Level:
Gold:
Exp:

*Flee cost is equal to current monster SP


quote:

ORIGINALLY posted by: DragonUltraMaster

Spells:

Name:
Element:
Appearance:
Description:
Damage:
Number of hits:
BtH:
Price:
Sellback:
Level:
Mana cost:


Now of course this isn't the only method you can post stuff in. Feel free to modify it as needed. But make sure to have at LEAST this much info. Don't say to yourself "I don't know, I'll just let the staff take care of it." that is BAD. Fill out everything, let the staff ignore what they don't like, but at least make the effort.

All right... One last check. Good idea? Check. Good suggestion? Check. All balanced and appropriate? Check. In the template, either the provided one or one of your own design that fufills the same objective? Check. All right... Get ready... NOW CLICK IT! CLICK THAT OKAY BUTTON AND POST! POST LIKE YOU'VE NEVER POSTED BEFORE!


IV. You couldn't possibly think you were done.

Nope! Not at all! See, this is the part when you find out your idea sucks, all your time was wasted, and people rip your ideas apart. The Grand Council have to come in a fix it, the Knights of Order won't even tough it. Artix closes down the game it's THAT BAD. ...Alright, it only seems that way once you get your first critique, but don't worry! It happens to everyone, the trick is to remember everyone if trying to help you. Listen to their opinions, counter-argue, if they make a good point make some modifications. If you've followed this guide, you shouldn't have any major problems but we all have minor tweaking to do. Little things we didn't think of or didn't notice, it happens to the best of us. Look at the game, the Knights of Order exist because even the Staff can't come up with good balanced ideas on their own! We're a community and we help each other out, listen to the feedback and grow from it. Don't feel offended, we all are watching out for everyone else. Also, you can then learn and go out and help other people. Remember to be gentle with it though, no parent likes to hear their baby is not quite as bright as the other children, so be nice.

Lastly... This is the hard part. You may NEVER actually get a suggestion accepted. It's the nature of the business. Don't get disgruntled, don't worry about it... Just head on to Part V, yes there's one left, don't worry it's short.

V. Repeat Ad Nauseum!

Yes, that's right! You have one good suggestion! Good for you! Don't stop now though, keep it up. Make more and more ideas. As many as you can come up with, of all different kinds. The more you make the better your chances of leaving your mark on the game are. And most of all, have fun with it. Even if none of your suggestions ever get made, the point is to have fun designing things. It's like a puzzle made of thought and text, enjoy every minute of it. I know I do.



So that's it, this is my guide to suggestions, I hope it helped some of you. Feel free to PM me with comments, critiques, ways to improve this, etc. Wonko is gonna lock this to keep it uncluttered, but I'll keep a list of improvements and bug him in a week or two to unlock it so I can change some things, if necessary. Most of all, thanks for reading this far! I admire your panache! I'm sure you'll be a great suggester! ^_~

Edit: I will be editing this entire guide by November 2016 ~Rorshch~

< Message edited by Rorshach -- 9/21/2016 21:04:18 >
AQ  Post #: 1
5/17/2006 8:19:34   
Kalanyr
Legendary Sidhe of Order


I've noticed a lot of items that really surpass everything in the game or anything that would be implemented lately, so I'm going to sticky this and its basically going to include some rules on the utmost power an item should have. If you suggest stuff over this it's not likely to get in the game without its power getting hitten with a beatdown stick anyway, so if this is the sole purpose of your suggestion you need to rethink things.

General Caveats: If it does multiple hits that get stat bonuses it shouldn't be doing more than 1 hit per 8 levels roughly. This causes all kinds of problems later if they do.

Weapons:
General Note: No your weapon should not seek the enemies weakest element. Really. Not unless the ability costs you HP or MP or Gold to use. A weapon that always does Element X is invaluable because it allows you to ignore an enemies absorption, as such these weapons should be weaker than their kindred by a reasonable margin.

Melee: Melee weapons should not average more than 20 damage in and of themselves unless its a specific trigger. The base damage shouldn't surpass 16 (there's too many old armors out there that reward high base). Likewise a random damage shouldn't be going past the 28 mark (there are abilities that reward high random damage too, eg Holy Rage). The BtH of a Melee weapon shouldn't exceed 20 ever, and if it does it most certainly should not have everything else maxed out. You can bend these rules a little bit if you want to make your weapon cost over 700 k.

Magic: Average 19. Base 15. Random 26. BtH 20.

Ranged: Assuming its a weapon that neutralizes armor attacks the weapon shouldn't surpass 57 average damage a round by much (including stats), having multiple hits lets you surpass this limit by a tiny bit, probably around 3 or so extra average damage per hit (assuming this depends on stats). Since these disable normal class abilities you have more freedom to play with the Base & Random and so no limits on such are given. BtH shouldn't exceed 30. Ranged weapons that function like normal weapons should be Average 18. Base 14 Random 25. BtH 25. (Yes these weapons have been arbitrarily penalized a small amount simply because there's no real reason to make Ranged into just another type of Melee to which many monsters are weak).

Specials should not be exceeding the equivalent of 600% Base & Random damage. If they have a very large BtH on the special they shouldn't be doing 600% Base & Random. Weapons with off-element specials and specials with multiple elements can bend these rules (by about 10% extra (ie 660% or 720% for both conditions). Specials that get stat bonuses shouldn't be doing 600% Base & Random either, especially if the special has a lot of hits (in general for each hit which gets stat bonuses a special should lose 50% of its base and 25% of its random, low level weapons can lose less but they shouldn't be doing as many hits either). Weapons below level 20 shouldn't have specials doing over 150%/150%. Weapons Below Level 30 shouldn't have specials doing over 200%/200%. Weapons below level 50 shouldn't be doing over 300%/300%. And weapons below level 65 shouldn't be exceeding 400%/400%.


Armors (non-Class):
Blocking should not exceed 50. If it is 50 , it should be only one 50, and no other defence should be above 30. Resistances should never ever be better than 40% (or -60% if you use that notation) (this rule cannot be bent). Likewise if it has 40% to something it should have a significant drawback. Golden Plate is a good indication of an excellent balance of attack speed, defence, resistance and attack power (check out its Encyclopaedia Entry, if your armor is owning it and isn't far more expensive you did something wrong). Nightmare Plate is a nice trade off armor, its more offensively powerful than Golden but its much slower (a tradeoff that was considered for Nightmare was to weaken its defences/resistances and increase its attack speed). Your armor should not be surpassing the offensive power of Nightmare Plate without significant drawbacks, ditto for equalling Nightmare's power with faster speeds.

Armors (Class):
In general class armors are not defensive power houses. You might want to change this, if you do remember that your class shouldn't be doing the kind of damage that Paladin & Necromacer can dish out while being a defensive power house. Class Armors should not be exceeding the power level of Necromancer or Paladin by much, even if they have a similar Tier 3 class as a pre-requisite (they can be slightly better but shouldn't have the same differentials as say Paladin to Knight).

Shields:
Shields should not exceed +25 Blocking. Shields should not exeed -20% Resistance (this is one of the unbendables).

Misc Items.
Misc Items should not exeed a +10 Bonus to a Defence. Misc Items should not offer more than -10% Resistance (no bending this one either).

Pets:
If your pet does more average damage a round than Zorbak or Daimyo (when full Charisma is factored in), you need to rethink it. If your pet is not based on Charisma it should be weaker than these guidelines, pets are supposed to reward Charisma.

Guests:
Guests can be slightly stronger than pets, since you can't control guests. If your guest is more poweful than things like the Pet Rock or the Vampire Bat or the Stunflower , it should have some cost to getting it, a quest or other task first.

Special Ability Notes: Remember to keep in mind how your ability can interact with others, when designing them. eg Frostbite when its 2 turn freeze didn't have the once per battle limit would have interacted very very badly with Fear and caused a great many monsters to be unable to fight back, watch for things like this and either avoid them or price things appropriately.

If something drains a fixed Percentage of enemy HP it should be Element X. (Those of you familiar with abusing Call Forth the Fire Dragon are well aware why).

When creating an effect that in some way alters base or random damage, make sure its a multiplier , not an addition or subtraction. (Setting things to 0 is fine since this is the equivalent of a *0)

Likewise when creating an effect that in some way alters BtH make sure its an addition or subtraction, not a multiplier.

When creating triggers bear the following in mind a category trigger (eg Undead or Dragonkind) should be something roughly equivalent to x1.5 Base and x1.25 Random (x2 Base would also be okay, as would x1.5 Random), general triggers eg (Fire element monsters) should be equivalent to x1.5 Base OR x1.25 Random (x1.25 Base AND x 1.125 Random would be okay), when making very specific triggers they can be more powerful if and only if the monster is not reliably enocunterable (eg a Trigger on Akriloth should not exeed the Category Trigger, because Akriloth is reliably encounterable in both the Plasma Dragon Quest & the Fire War Scroll).

General Notes: Don't reward people for causing the server more work eg( Don't start positive charge counters above 0. Don't start negative charge counters at anything but their worst possible state. Don't put rewards before cutscenes in quests. Don't penalize people for fleeing a battle unless the penalty is set when battle starts and carries past a refresh.

< Message edited by Kalanyr -- 5/19/2006 3:57:01 >
AQ DF  Post #: 2
11/3/2007 15:43:25   
Chii
Legendary KoO Snugglebunny


At this time, AQ's classes are being organized more clearly into three distinct tiers. Suggestions which project into a fourth tier would end up way off the map. It's not impossible that such classes could be considered in the future, but classes are a massive project and it is preferred that they be accessible to as many people as possible -- something which takes months of work and can only be accessed by 100 out of millions of characters is a huge waste.

At this time, here is how the classes will be organized:

Tier 1 (Intended for levels 10-30)
Fighter
Mage
Rogue
Scholar

Tier 2 (Intended for levels 30-70)
Berserker
DragonSlayer
Shadow Slayer (Vampire Slayer after Sweep)
Knight
Dracomancer
Wizard
Beast Master
Pirate
Ninja
Martial Artist

Tier 3 (Intended for levels 70-90)
Necromancer
Paladin
Assassin

Any suggestion which lists Necromancer, Assassin or Paladin as a prerequisite, then, is gearing up for tier 4, which is unnecessary at this time and is unlikely to ever be implemented.

It is also unlikely that we will implement any further tier 1 classes because of their limited use and the fact that they are intended to branch off into other classes.

< Message edited by Chii -- 3/20/2011 0:01:34 >
AQ  Post #: 3
12/8/2007 19:13:18   
Chii
Legendary KoO Snugglebunny


10 Things to Consider Before Suggesting Something

Originaly posted by Krim, slight modifications made:

1. Think. Of the 20,000 here, since the beginning of AQ, do you think atleast one person could have thought it up?

2. Have you looked at Frequently Suggested Questions?

3. Does the price fit? I mean, come on. If it's pathetic, then it'll be low priced, if it's really good, then it'd be VERY expensive(and probably wont be added).

4. Please try to use correct grammar. It has to be comprehensible, or we won't understand. Also, correct punctuation would be VERY helpful, along with spacing.

5. Try to include these things if it's a weapon: Name of weapon, price of weapon, element, BTH of weapon, special of weapon(if no special, don't do it), if it's melee/ranged/magic, a description, enough definition in appearance to make a somewhat basic mental picture of it if you don't already add a pic, and damage.

6. Try to include these things if it's a spell: Name of spell, element, price of spell, BTH of spell, if it includes stat bonuses, damage, a description, enough definition in appearance to make a somewhat basic mental picture of it if you don't already add a pic, and cost.

7. Try to include these things if it's a shield: Name of shield, price of shield, melee/ranged/magic defense, changes to defense modifiers, enough definition in appearance to make a somewhat basic mental picture of it if you don't already add a pic, element, and a description.

8. Try to include these things if it's an armor: Name of armor, price of armor, melee/ranged/magic defense, defense, changes to defense modifiers, enough definition in appearance to make a somewhat basic mental picture of it if you don't already add a pic,elemnt,number of hits, and a description.

9. Try to include these things if it's a monster: Name of monster, gold/exp of monster, level, melee/ranged/magic defenses, defense modifiers, damage, specials/attacks, number of hits, a basic description of the monster, the basic appearance of the monster, and element.

10. How much of a change to AQ would it be? A complete morphing of all adventurequest like multiplayer? How much bandwith would it take up? Is it even possible? Plus, keep in mind, it takes time to do things. If you make a suggestion, it may not necessarily get done when you think/hope it will.
AQ  Post #: 4
12/15/2007 19:44:07   
Yagno2000
Queen of Blades


This is a relatively short (but important) point so I'll keep this brief.

The overwhelming majority of weapon specials (and armor attacks) are coded such that the damage done on each of their hits is a certain percentage of the weapon's normal damage. That is to say when writing your suggestions, be sure to write a weapon's special damage in terms of percentages, not raw numbers.

For example:
Suppose you have a 5-25 damage weapon with a special that does 20-75 and takes stat bonuses damage.
Base damage: 5
Random damage: 25 - 5 = 20
Special base: 20
Special random: 75 - 20 = 55

Special base %: 20/5 * 100% = 400%
Special random %: 55/20 * 100% = 275%

So you would call this a "400% Base/275% Random" (or "400%/275%" for short) damage special.



Now, I'd like to point out when this distinction becomes very relevant.

Suppose you have a 6-27 damage weapon with a special that does 20-60 damage.
Base damage: 6
Random damage: 21
Special base: 20
Special random: 40

Special base %: 20/6 * 100% = 333.333...%
Special random %: 40/21 *100% = 190.47619...%

As you can see, these numbers are just plain ugly. Your suggestion will withstand scrutiny much better if it is presented in such a way to make the most sense in terms of codability.




And as always, don't forget random damage is not max damage.

On a 6-27 damage weapon, the base damage is 6, while the random damage is 21, not 27. Random damage is the difference between the Base and maximum damage.

Maximum damage doesn't mean anything to the game engine; everything is calculated using Base or Random damage only.



I'm leaving this thread open for discussion so you can ask questions in case you're shaky on any of this. Or, you can discuss this and other related AQ Suggestions topics in our IRC channel #AQ_Suggestions.

For more information on IRC, read this help post or visit the IRC Chat Help Forum.

< Message edited by Yagno2000 -- 1/8/2008 16:55:02 >
Post #: 5
6/11/2008 20:57:04   
Lord Barrius
Member
 

The Game Balance Issues forum has a sticky which reveals our current public standards for balancing. Please read this sticky and balance your suggestions accordingly.

http://forums2.battleon.com/f/tm.asp?m=13900896
Post #: 6
6/26/2008 2:08:51   
Zephyros
Legendary AdventureGuide!


The templates are there for people to use if they desire. Not every suggestion in the board must be in that format.

DO NOT POST THE TEMPLATES IN A THREAD IF ALL OF THE INFORMATION IN THEM IS CONTAINED IN A READABLE FORMAT WITHIN THE ORIGINAL SUGGESTION.

Doing so may, at our discretion, be considered minimodding and will be dealt with accordingly.
Post #: 7
Page:   [1]
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