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  1. #1

    The need for nerfs - a matter of numbers?

    I just dusted off some of my old math (hopefully someone younger and more updated can correct me if I'm totally out in the blue).

    I think the frequent rebalances of the game is very much a result of the shear amount of possible combinations. It is completely impossible to test and discover all overpowered combinations possible. It even took months for the highly competative PvP community to discover many of the highly efficient builds used today. Some very good players with encyclopedical minds for skills may find most of the obvious game breaking combinations, but far from all! So we have to live with occasional game rebalancing when certain "overpowered" skill combinations start to have a too great impact on the environment (especially in PvP).

    Down to numbers:

    Say we have 8 proffesions with 100 skills each, to make it simple.

    Each primary proffesion then have a total of 7 sets of 200 skills to build a skillbar from.

    A skill bar can then have 7x200x199x.....x193 combinations,but since the order in the skillbar do not matter this it is slightly reduced with a factor of 40000. This gives about 400.000.000.000.000 possible different skillbars. The vast majority those combinations are of course absolutely unplayable.

    If you then build an 8 ppl team you will get this giant number to the power of 8 and end up with the number of party combinations being a number with 117 digits! I guess that starts to get close to the number of atoms in the universe.

    I have now only taken skills into account, add to this armour, weapons and attribute points and the possibilities will increase a lot more!

    If now a new expansion adds 2 new proffesions and say 20 skills per proffesion (120 skills/proffesion to make it simple). Then the number of possible combination would increase fivefold. So every expansion will add a considerable complexity to the game.

    Lets say I am very happy we do not get random generated skillbars.


    (my math might be a bit rusty, but anyway - the amount of possible skill combinations are much, much greater than most people think)

    regards,
    Cloudbunny
    Last edited by cloudbunny; 31-08-2006 at 16:44.

  2. #2
    I think this math heads off in the wrong direction. It seriously overestimates the number of possible combos.

    First, just because a skill is unique textually, that does not make it unique for combo purposes. You only have to consider a skill as unique for combo purposes if it is the only skill in a line that uses a particular mechanic. A lot of the skills in GW reuse the same mechanics, so they are reducible to just one skill per mechanic per line. For example, many, even most, of the skills in the axe, bow, dagger, hammer, sword (and later spear and scythe) lines are essentially "hit your target and do some extra damage." For combo purposes, such skills are interchangable within each skill line. So there's only really 5 (later 7) combo-able skills there, instead of the hundreds you suppose. The same is true of most caster attributes too. How many monk skills are straight heals? How many fire magic spells are straight direct damage?

    Second: You give too much importance to the fact that you have 8 people on your team. There's no such thing as a 64-skill combo, so there's no reason to count all of their skill slots when counting possible combos. Rather, you should replace the skill-slot portion of your math with something that embodies the following axioms: (1) you have as many skill slots as you need, (2) the skills in up to 8 skill lines can be at 16 att points (multiple copies sometiems excluded), (3) you can have up to the greater of 8 or 16 - other_professions_with_skills_in_your_combo copies of any given skill.

    After such adjustments, you may find that the number of combos, though still large, is much more managable.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Chthon
    I think this math heads off in the wrong direction. It seriously overestimates the number of possible combos.

    ...

    After such adjustments, you may find that the number of combos, though still large, is much more managable.


    With "possible combination" I did not mean actual "usable casting combinations" I only meant "different looking skillbars". So it only holds for a party where all have totally random generated skillbars.

    But otherwise you are absolutely correct!

    Only a microscopic part of this is actually something that would barely look like something a human would have put together. However inside this amount of "rubbish" there might hide some actually undiscovered "gems".

    Your way to calculate it gives a much more accurate way to estimate the actually "playable" combinations. Which is much less! My method is like calculating the possible amount of piano key combinations randomily pressed for 3 min as a measure of how many different songs it is possible to write. Your method includes some actual harmony theory as well.

    I bow in the dust

    regards,
    Cloudbunny

  4. #4
    There are 8 skill slots, but only 7 are used most of the time. A rez signet is there as a "just in case" skill. It doesn't really contribute to the efffectiveness of a build, rather to the effectiveness of the team.

    There is, however, a mathermatical explanation to this, but it's more complex than what you have presented. Heck the damage calculation math had lost me already half way thru the article.
    ~jvxmtg

    ~ I officially quit Guild Wars and will not buy any Anet product in the future starting today, June 19, 2007. I've given all my items and cash to Erasculio and I'm sure he'll be rich with some of them. :wink: ~

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