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Legends of Dawn
THE RPG BALANCE SYSTEM IN LEGENDS OF DAWN
January 11, 2013 - DreamatrixTeam

A completely new world and the many unique game features of Legends of Dawn required us to create many gameplay rules. Everything - the way combat works, item prices in shops, rune and item generation, rest times, faith and health recharge and hundred other things – is built on these rules.

One question we were regularly asked is how all those systems will be balanced. There is no simple answer, however one thing we did not want to do is to manually tweak everything. That's simply impossible when you factor in how many different things our game is calculating at any given moment.

That sword you are carrying is fine, but the damage caused to creature is not just the damage stat that sword carries, but also the damage bonus caused because of your exceptionally high strength score, the damage bonus from that stinky red potion you drank two minutes ago, the damage bonus from your one-handed swords skill you so patiently developed since you started playing, and the bonus you get when fighting elementals since your Elemental Lore skill is higher than average. And let's not forget spells and blessings – they can modify everything!

Add to that creature resistances to various weapon types (arachnids resistant to everything but blunt weapons for example), their natural armor, strong creature auras that affect their friends when they attack in group, and who knows what else and you quickly realize crafting game rules for RPG is anything but simple! :-D

That's why we built safety mechanisms into the rules themselves. For each rule type there is the preferred way of scaling something and allowed variance. For example, if weapon on first level causes 5 damage on average, and on level 10 it causes 40 points damage then that was our base expectation. We added allowed variance for each type of bonus, both positive and negative for everything that can modify certain parameters – be it damage, armor, defense score, ability score, movement speed, respawn time or something else. This way we can predict and simulate how these numbers will add together. We made programs that crunch that data and output literally hundreds of tables for all of the parameters we use in the game and also highlight potential problems.

The full list is very large, but in the end we came up with rules that are simple to expand, maintain, and change if necessary.

Hope this answers some of your questions.

Thank you guys!