Thanks to everyone who responded to our last dev blog post, we are very encouraged by the positive feedback we received. Previously I planned to write this post about the experience changes and some other small utilities we wrote along the way, and that post will still come soon, but today instead I will mostly share some explanation on the next tranche of changes deployed to the beta server yesterday. Onwards!
Some of you wrote to us that despite the previous changes to our formulas allowing you to hit more often, many lower level players still registered 0 damage, which is no better than missing. To investigate this further, we did a deep dive into this battle, with a particular focus on the attackers. Looking at the players’ stats, we had some interesting observations.
Factoring in most sources of damage and resistance such as weapon average, item buffs, leadership, hiding, own sector damage bonus and resistance bonus (but not critical hits), we found that the attacker with the highest damage had about 3.5x the damage compared to the resistance of the attacker with the highest resistance. The players with the highest resistance tended to be high level and receive the majority of it directly from resistance bonuses on items, with only a small portion coming from other sources, ie skills.
We also simulated a ’round robin’ where every attacker fired one shot at every other attacker but couldn’t die. From our calculations, we found that approximately 10.6% of shots resulted in zero damage because the target had higher resistance than the shooter had damage. Of course, we cannot directly apply this number to an ordinary battle – not every player fires the same number of shots and certainly not at their own teammates – but it’s a helpful approximation and one we want to lower.
To achieve this, we decided to split the resistance formula into two parts, giving different priority to each. One part contains the direct resistance bonuses given by items and buffs, the other part contains the remaining sources of resistance (which you remember means skills). For now we’ve given these parts the names of secondary resistance and primary resistance respectively in our code but we’re interested to see how the community chooses to label them. At the moment we still show both combined in the battle interface but this may change in the future, if we decide to keep the change long term. The differences are shown below:
|Primary Resistance Only
|Shooter Damage Bonus
|Critical Hit Damage
Going back to our small simulation, we found that across the 19 740 shots, there were a little over 6 400 shots that resulted in some resistance being clipped, up from just under 1 900. (After all, once you resist all the damage, your extra resistance won’t heal you!) This resulted in an average damage increase of approximately +50 per simulated shot. Using some back of the envelope calculations, we estimate that would convert to an extra 76 000 total damage for the attackers based on the number of shots fired in our focus battle.
There are some caveats to these calculations. Firstly, this is only a rough guess – more incoming damage generally means more knockouts and fewer shooters in later rounds, but also less players available to block sectors – although we’re satisfied that the results appear reasonable and worth trying. Secondly, we must also bear in mind that our focus battle has an abnormally high number of lower level players for an established world; high level players with high resistance bonuses being shot at by other high level players with 3.5x higher damage bonuses are less affected. In particular, we expect this change will have the largest impact on the international servers.
All the Small Things
Your community managers have been collecting feedback about the changes so far and we were pleased to see that most markets except one were generally positive about them. The rewards were a recurring theme in your messages to us, which will be discussed in a future post.
If you have any other requests regarding fort battles, please be sure to share them with us. Based on your earlier feedback, we already scheduled some time to change how the fort battle player caps are shown in the planning screen, which we hope to include in the next beta update. In particular, since converting our fort battle frontend from flash to HTML5, any interface ideas we may have previously passed over could be back on the table.
See you next time!