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2/6/2024 0:36:27   
And Pun-isher



This thread is for the discussion of the balance of the CHA changes of the imminent stat revamp. This is where players can provide formula and balance concerns about the new features in general and stats relative to each other. Is anything broken? Do you anticipate any broken interactions or technical concerns we seem to be missing?

This is not a general discussion or general opinion thread. To provide feedback beyond this point, it's essential to familiarize yourself with the concepts of balance in the context of AQ ( Explained in this thread). Feedback must be concrete and presented in a constructive manner. To that end, we will have to be stricter with its content. The more grounded in the game's concepts a point is, the more likely we are to be able to work with it.

This thread is set to open at a point after noon EST on Tuesday the 6th.

Current summary of upcoming changes:



Base Behavior Changes:
  • Pet and guest accuracy is now based on [Mainstat+CHA] instead of DEX+CHA.

  • Guest stats adjusted to account for paying a third of the actual cost of their output:
  • Base guest output reduced to 45% Melee from 60%
  • Base guest Cost increased to 30% Melee from 21%

    Style Bonus:
  • Guests gain Ferocious Strikes: A flat 22.2% chance to have double output (Damage, status effects, etc).
  • Increase guest output by +5% Melee (50% Melee total)
  • Post #: 1
    2/6/2024 11:19:56   
    Armchair Archivist

    Repost with some edits of what I've posted in the main thread.

    The overall point is that CHA is being allowed a little too much value via Guests. While I understand that this is somewhat a legacy issue of CHA initially being a Mainstat, the entire point of the Stat Revamp is to break some paradigms and improve the game.

    Let's have some
    [1]Initial definitions.
    Core Assumptions: Core Assumptions that define AQ. The most relevant one for purpose of this post is that the Player is valued at 1 melee per turn. Pet at 0.2 Melee & SP at 0.2 melee.
    Player: The Player Character. Excluding Companions
    Base Behaviour: Base Behaviour refers to the basic attributes these Stats provide. Strength & Dexterity provide Stat Damage & Accuracy to their associated damage type. Intelligence provides Stat Damage & Accuracy to Magic Weapons & their Spells.
    Pet: The 'Pet' as referred to in AQ's Core Assumptions
    Guest: A somewhat additional Companion with respect to AQ's Core Assumptions.

    Mainstats (Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence)
    The 3 Main Stats form the core of the character's offence. The mathematical value of these Stats (Assessing their Base Behaviour) is 0.75 Melee.
    At 250 Mainstat, the Player gains 0.75 Melee damage per turn on average with respect to Base Behaviour
    With the recent post by LoreKeeper, Mainstat also contributes ~0.05% melee in the form of Pet Accuracy (Part of Core Assumptions) & ~0.06 melee in Guest Accuracy (Not part of Core Assumptions).

    Secondary Stats
    LUK (Base Behaviour):
    10% Chance to Lucky Strike (1.5x damage) this averages to 0.15 melee.

    END (Base Behaviour):
    Additional HP is being handwaved as approximately 0.15 melee. This is due to 'unused' HP being considered a 'waste' where a battle is concerned. END being overpowered is another issue to be handled in another thread.

    CHA (Base Behaviour):
    Pet Damage (0.2 melee) & Accuracy (0.05 melee). Already, this does not conform to Core Assumptions. The Pet is supposed to output 0.2 melee without CHA investment. This is easily solved by shifting all Pet accuracy to the Player via a Mainstat.
    Guest Damage & Accuracy: Based on Lorekeeper's post, Guest base behaviour is being valued at 0.45 melee in damage. This means that CHA contributes ~0.22 melee in damage and 0.06 melee in accuracy. A Guest is not part of the Core Assumptions.

    One would note that based on Base Behaviour alone, CHA is outperforming the other two Secondary Stats whenever a Guest is present. Briefly, this is a legacy issue caused by CHA was intended to be a Mainstat. Please refer to RobynJoanne's post on the details as to why CHA adds more value comapred to END or LUK.

    Style Bonus
    This has been discussed at length. The value of the Style Bonus has been set at 15%. It's application has been consistent to all stats.

    [3]The Question
    Why is CHA being approached in such a way that it not only offers more '% melee in value' when a Guest is present, but also requires a Style Bonus that increases its efficiency?

    It has been mathematically proven that the Style Bonus has been consistently applied to all 6 Stats.
    However, CHA retains its Base Behaviour of contributing ~0.28 melee to a Guest (Based on its 0.45 damage output)

    Ideally, I believe that the AQ Team is trying to offer some parity (or close to, at the very least) to 0 CHA Players who choose to use a Guest.
    It's not possible to satisfy '0 CHA Players get 1:1 efficiency' and not have Guests be efficient by default. It's mathematically impossible to satisfy the two aforementioned conditions.

    Based on the numbers as proposed
    0 CHA Players will pay 30% Melee in SP for 0.225 Melee in Damage (Assuming a non-combat Guest, for argument's sake, let's just halve the Guest value. It's easier that way).
    250 CHA Players will pay 30% Melee in SP for 0.45 melee in Damage
    Factoring a 15% style bonus, 250 CHA investment results in 30% melee in SP for 0.6 melee in Damage. This is still a little too efficient.

    [4]The Proposal
    Step 1: Allow a Guest to reach 'Full Power' without Stat Investment.
    Begin with Parity: 30% Melee in SP for 0.3 Melee in Damage. Allow the CHA Style Bonus to increase damage to 0.45 melee.

    Problems: Guests are essentially a CHA-based Skill. Power & Accuracy of a Guest should be based off CHA. It's not logical to have Guests essentially be 'free' sources of damage. The same way a Mage needs to invest in INT to cast spells properly, Guests need CHA investment to be used 'properly'.

    However, one should note that this is the Stat Revamp. This is precisely the time for paradigms to be broken. Let's break them.
    Step 2: Make Mainstat the 'main' stat of Guest Power as opposed to CHA only
    30% Melee in SP for 0.15 Melee in Damage. Scale it up with Mainstat until it reaches parity (30% Melee in SP for 0.3 Melee in Damage at 250 Mainstat).
    Apply Style Bonus via Ferocious Strikes or outright damage after to reach 0.45 Melee damage.

    1) Guests are still too efficient. They should be reined in
    2) CHA still does too much. It not only adds ~0.25 melee to a Pet, it adds ~56% of Guest Value in Melee via Damage & Accuracy to the Guest.

    The Extreme, Balance Compliant Solution:
    Break the paradigm of Guests being tied to CHA in terms of the Damage & Accuracy to achieve parity. In other words, treat Guests like any other Skill.
    One should note that the proposed solution does not need to be set at 30% Upkeep, 30% Damage. It could be set at any figure, but it should be on par with other Skills (1:1 efficiency at base)
    Allow CHA to contribute to Guests via Style Bonus only to gain efficiency (Up to 15%)

    While I'm fully aware that nerfing Guests is unpopular, allowing Guests to maintain 30% SP Upkeep / 60% Melee output is not conducive to build diversity. For this alone, it is likely the players will almost-always build into CHA as opposed to choosing END or LUK. Furthermore, this opens up SPells as an option in a Warrior/Rangers inventory as opposed to a Warrior/Ranger's Inventory being almost always filled with Support-Type guests.

    EleComp and its effect of the Player Experience.
    I would posit that Players have gotten used to, or are ignoring the supposed downsides of EleComp. Players are able to use EleComp skills/Spells at no cost to themselves due to itemisation that allows a Stun on Demand or Celerity on Demand. Players then take this standard and feel that this should apply to Guests. This shouldn't be the case. EleComp and Skill damage take the Player's turn into account. Guests exist outside of this system and shouldn't receive 'Free Elecomp'.

    So, if we take a slightly less extreme solution...
    Lord of the Skies has 1.4 EleComp.
    Frostwyrm Riding Armour has 1.9 EleComp.
    Let's average these values (1.65). This is entirely arbitrary and has no standing in proper balance.
    Since a 'Comfortable' level of EleComp is 1.65, let's apply this value to the Base Guest (Currently valued at 30% Melee)
    30 * 1.65 = ~ 50% melee
    Now let's remove Ferocious Strikes from this 50% melee valuation (50 -15 = 35)
    Final Figures:
    Base Guest Behaviour: 30% Melee in Upkeep, 35% Melee in Output,
    Style Bonus Ferocious Strikes adding +15% in Melee Power

    I would prefer it if the 'Free' 5% Melee was structured as some kind of 'Delay Compensation'. Since it takes a Guest longer to reach supposed 'Skill Level'.

    Notes: Thanks to Chaotic for letting me bounce numbers and logic off him.
    AQ  Post #: 2
    2/6/2024 11:37:52   

    I prefer the model as proposed exactly.

    BUT, I do wonder why Guests BTH include main stat although I recognize it's a minor thing. But a +50 CHA toggle would add more BTH if it were purely from CHA as opposed to it being split.

    Also, what are the total boosters removed from FS? Damage boosters, pridelord, and....?? (im fine with this, just asking)
    Post #: 3
    2/6/2024 16:43:06   
    Dreiko Shadrack

    Copied from my previous [GBI thread] on the subject of pets:

    The core assumptions for a player's turn state that the pet is always present, but CHA is not. This poses a problem as having the accuracy tied to CHA and a Mainstat makes it impossible for the pet to have the assumed 85% expected accuracy and 20% melee damage.

    This issue does not affect guests as they are not part of the core assumptions for a player's turn.


    CHA*2/25 + DEX*2/25 + LUK/50

    Is the current formula, we'll just assume it's tied to mainstat instead in 50:50 Ratio so:

    250*2/25 + 250*2/25 + 250/50 = 45 bth

    With the primary providing 18.75 bth as normal. They get another 38 as standard at level 150 so:

    45 + 38 = 83

    Then monster blocking is

    FLOOR(150/4 + 55) = 92


    Monster Stat Blocking = 225 * 1/50 = 4.5

    92 + 4.5 = 96.5


    (100 + 83 96.5 ) / 100 = 86.5

    All is well, except you need both CHA and Mainstat to make that work. Without CHA, you lose 18.75 bth as mentioned, which comes out to 67.75% accuracy.
    Assuming you're at 0 CHA your pet deals half damage, 20% melee, so you're dealing 67.75/86.5 = 78%~ = 15.6% melee.
    If you take CHA out of the equation as per the core assumptions, the pet deals 78% of what it should. For clarity the 50:50 ratio doesn't matter since any amount of CHA at all makes pets weaker than they should be for 0 CHA users.

    Clearly the formulas have now changed (LUK having been removed from them entirely for one) but the overall issue remains the same, pets are still part of the core assumptions and they still can't reach the numbers expected of them due to CHA not being assumed with them baseline for accuracy.
    I suggest that for pets and pets alone the stat component of accuracy be changed to entirely Mainstat, this is the easiest solution to make pets conform to said core assumptions. Pure mainstat scaling may not make much thematic sense on this but truthfully even half scaling with them already didn't make thematic sense so I can't in all honesty see that point as a potential argument against this measure.
    AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 4
    2/6/2024 19:08:51   
    Grace Xisthrith

    Two main topics: Pet in turn model, guest as gear

    Pet in turn model:

    Dreiko correctly points out, pet in turn model not accurate to what pets do in game. Proposal suggests limiting pet BTH to mainstat only, not CHA, solves this issue.
    My perspective is pros: Pets work with model
    Cons: pets don't scale with CHA as much, very very unthematic (Dreiko correctly points out them scaling half with mainstat is already unthematic, I agree), directly weakens misc, armor, and other gear support built around pets scaling partially with CHA

    Opinion: Model is entirely unrepresentative of an in game turn ATM (SP regen = 25%, Player turn value = 45% melee higher due to style bonuses, guests exist), just on base stats, ignoring items. I believe it's a staff statement that style bonus works outside the turn model, so it's technically allowed. I guess if that's the staff opinion, that's objectively true in terms of balance with respect to the model, but I'd like to propose that maybe the model shouldn't be followed to a T if the players gets 33% more power (more bc armor leans but who's counting) than advertised by built in stat behavior style bonus that directly changes the values in the 20 turn model.
    TLDR: My opinion is model is exponentially outdated, weakening theme and gameplay of gear to make zero sense (your extreme physical strength / agility / mental acuity inspires your pets to strike with total accuracy?) is not a worthy tradeoff to appease the model which doesn't work anyways.
    Should pet accuracy scale solely off CHA? Discussed later

    Maybe my opinion is wrong, and staff don't agree with it. That's completely fine. I propose instead a different way to calculate pet accuracy from stats that doesn't weaken beastmaster gear arbitrarily.
    If Mainstat >= Vstat: Pet bth = Max (Mainstat * 4 / 25), (CHA * 4 / 25)
    Else: Pet bth = Mainstat * 4 / 25
    With this simple equation, beastmaster gear with CHA isn't weakened, if CHA is higher than mainstat, it will be used for pet accuracy. This is situationally a buff to pet accuracy, as before, you'd have to use a DEX steroid and a CHA steroid of equal power to get this benefit. If we're petrified of situational buffs, which doesn't seem to be the case given the style bonus proposal, then we can instead:
    If If Mainstat >= Vstat: Pet bth = Max (Mainstat * 4 / 25), (CHA * 2 / 25 + Mainstat * 2 / 25)
    Else: Pet bth = Mainstat * 4 / 25
    Pretty much the same, except you get half CHA and half mainstat OR full mainstat instead of full CHA or full Mainstat. Unless I've made an oversight, which is entirely possible, one of these two equations implementations would fulfill the meaningless turn formula requirement for pets, and not weaken prexisting beastmaster gear designed with CHA to accuracy in mind.

    Guest as gear:
    I CBA rereading 250 posts, but I'm pretty sure staff referred to guests as skills / spells somewhere in there. With that being said, there is a question I have.
    Is there a reason guests cannot solely scale off CHA? This question is specifically proposed to staff if possible.
    There are a few implications for this, and I'll go through it.

    If guests can scale solely off CHA, this makes them much more simple. Half damage and half accuracy without CHA, before style bonus. This is very easy to work with, and makes thematic sense, because you know, Charisma, companions, joy!
    I suspect this is not the case. That leads to the next implication:

    Guests require dual stat scaling to use, so they should be compensated for this. The standards on alternative stat use are a bit scattered and several are negative costs (Sneaking Diamond Dog gets a fat x.5, Werepyre costs an MC to use STR and INT), however I view this is a relic of the pre stat revamp era. Back in the day, you had DEX and suffered, or didn't have DEX and had to pay for it, which is presumably why werepyre STR INT costs an MC to scale with.
    Nowadays, we don't have that issue, and there are two modern standards to work with:

    Tenebrophage / Hexbound: These take a 5% MC and make it worth 7.5% melee for scaling with a second stat (1.5x multiplier input to output)
    Fallen Angel: Take a skill / effect that scales half and half with one stat and another stat (STR and CHA in this case) and multiply its output by 1.25x.
    Interested in how I got those numbers for Fallen Angel? Me too, feel free to check out this analysis I asked about in QA on the package's release

    So, I view there to be two possibilities:
    Guests are CHA gear (or single stat gear in any case) and don't need mainstat for accuracy, but would not receive a dual stat use output multiplier
    Or: Guests are dual stat gear, and should be compensated by receiving either 1.25x output per input, or 1.5x output per input, as outlined in the above precedent of the modern examples of dual stat gear we have. Now, I'm against powercreep, and I don't want guests worth 90% melee, so perhaps this 1.25x or 1.5x modifier could be used to decrease upkeep cost, or at least be split between damage and upkeep cost. Finally, it could be used to replace the style bonus, and the style bonus could be removed, weakened, reworked in some variety. That might be a hard pill to sell however, idk

    Finally, talking about why pets and guests aren't just CHA based solely.
    I would assume this is the case currently for the reason that CHA isn't a mainstat, and having CHA be in control of both pets and guests would give it more power than it currently has.
    Is that still a goal of the staff? If so, guests at minimum should be compensated for requiring dual stat scaling. I would also propose staff to revisit this goal, and consider if the pros of it outweigh the cons. Also, some staff members have acknowledged CHA weapons as unbalanced, but not CHA spells. If CHA spells are balanced, and guests are skills / spells, there's no balance reason not to have guests scale solely off CHA.

    Thank you for taking the time to read through this post, have a nice day :)
    AQ  Post #: 5
    2/7/2024 10:12:18   

    2 questions on specifics of implementation:

    I dont remember anyone asking, and I apologize if it was and answered.

    With Ferocious strike implementation, is this a per hit thing or for the entire turn? It feels like maybe it's better implemented in a per turn fashion especially since we're dealing with effects etc.

    That's what I'd prefer anyway. Either the entire turn is base (+ the 5%) or it's a FS.

    The second question is ..is FS working off of base only? So 45% melee and a FS is 90%...and the 5% is an add on to just base attacks, an add on always...or how exactly is this working?
    Post #: 6
    2/7/2024 23:37:34   

    One method to fix CHA
    Pet bonus to hit and guest bonus to hit
    [S] / 8 + [S] / 25

    T is highest stat number among STR, DEX, INT and CHA.
    S is lowest stat number among [expected primary stat for a character level] and T.

    CHA skill bonus to hit and CHA spell bonus to hit
    CHA / 8 + CHA / 25

    Pet damage power source before CHA style bonus
    50 % of pet damage is build neutral and 50 % of pet damage is powered by CHA.

    Guest damage (exclude booster guest) power source before CHA style bonus
    50 % of guest damage is build neutral and 50 % of guest damage is powered by CHA.

    Booster guest damage power source before CHA style bonus
    25 % of booster guest damage is build neutral, 25 % of booster guest damage is powered by relevant primary stat and 50 % of booster guest damage is powered by CHA.
    Booster guest damage at full power shall deal 1% more damage than guest damage at full power.

    CHA skill damage power source before CHA style bonus
    50 % of CHA skill damage is build neutral and 50 % of Cha skill damage is powered by CHA.

    CHA spell damage power source before CHA style bonus
    50 % of CHA spell damage is build neutral and 50 % of Cha spell damage is powered by CHA. CHA spell damage at full power shall deal 0.5 % more damage than CHA skill damage at full power. CHA spell damage at full power shall deal 0.5 % more damage than INT spell damage at full power.
    AQ  Post #: 7
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