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Gazz

Soldiers gaining experience, increasing stats

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Hello again, I see the same old faces are at it again, so let me throw in my contribution as well =)

What should be avoided is special cases of experience gain. Instead there should be a universal system where you just give parameters and it handles how experience gain would work. So, let's do a universal exp gain system.

I fiddled with some numbers and came up with something like this:

Prerequisite: All stats are handled as floating point numbers.

STATGAIN = ( 1 - ( STAT / ( STAT + factor) ) ) * multiplier

Where factor is the stat value that produces a default gain of 0,5 (the bigger more exp) and multiplier is used to fine tune the gains and produce values greater than 1 in general. Without a multiplier the formula would never produce values greater than 1.

Once a universal system exists one could create an experience event system which triggers n amount of experience gains.

The biggest advantage of such a universal system would be the ability to use relatively generic derived values as the attributes of the function.

I suggest every stat would have at least two cases of exp gains:

Successful use: Most exp gain

Failed use: Least exp gain

Then e.g. when firing a weapon you could have multiple cases of exp gain. E.g. missing primary target but hitting an enemy anyway, hitting primary target and some amount of secondary targets (AOE weapons) and so on.

Adding some measure of exp gain to any number of events should be equally easy, and each event could trigger exp gains on multiple attributes.

Strength increase could be done via ap used in movement, where the formula's multiplier is based on carry weight, triggered at each step, with a very low factor the gains become appropriately small.

Basically it can be applied to every possible situation, including everything suggested before (some very good suggestions btw! I especially like the multiple stat tie-ins with firing a weapon according to fire mode). Ideally statgain would be as varied as possible, with many things contributing to it. I think most gain-by-use exp systems fail by not being able to cover enough situations and by using too simple formula for their gains, thus either seeming idiotically simplistic or too easy to break.

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Maybe this is my personal view, but, I don't think it would require too much of a suspense of reality when getting stats well over 100 to a Super-Human levels. I mean, we are fighting back an alien invasion after all. Plus, when you take into account that the soldiers can have their abilities enhanced by alien goodies and what not, I can buy that for a dollar. I like thinking that by end game my soldiers would be nigh on unstoppable.

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Ok I have some thoughts to contribute, mainly to the earlier posts. Here they are, and sorry for more text to read:

The "easy but dumb" system would be to grant no increase at all unless a hostile is directly targeted.

Now take a flamer or rocket launcher.

They are AOE weapons and should count even if not directly shooting at an alien - even if no alien is visible on the screen at all!

I agree with Gauddlike here, you should definately get more experience for hitting your target. However there are also the times when you want to blow a hole in a wall, and obviously your soldier still has to hit that wall for that to happen...

Re: linking stats

I don't like it much.

If you implement a system that arbitrarily grants increases for stats that have not been used, you may as well grant completely random stats at the end of the mission.

The idea for this I believe was more that those stats were more often than not interrelated. Like accuracy and reactions, where getting reaction shots would influence your accuracy stat if you hit as well...

But yeah, having shocks increase reactions (somehow) as part of their duties would make sense, and be very useful. You can't reaction move all the time (wait, is reaction move still going to be included?).

I think people are thinking of exp as a random stat, rather than experience. What I mean by that is the experience that soldiers go through. If you crouch down in cover and shots fly over you, that should apply to bravery, especially if that soldier then pops up and returns fire! If you run into a room with 3 aliens and kill them all, that should also increase bravery, because somehow you managed to defeat incredible odds. If you decide to run out of the room and two of the aliens shoot at you, and miss, that could go to reactions instead (them missing you). That sort of thing.

Bravery should increase with missions/experience primarily, with rank also granting a boost perhaps, but I'd have thought resilience would be tied to rank more than anything else. Otherwise the only way I could see resilience increasing would be through improvement of other stats, have it's progression tied to average percentage increases of all other stats maybe?

I really like this idea of some stats increasing overall with more missions. You become battle hardened, you gain knowledge of how things work, even if you didn't participate in all the action, presumably you talk to the rest of the squad after. This can lead to increases in all sorts of stats, like bravery (people telling you how easy they killed aliens etc.), resilience (seeing the injuries of others, and then them coming back to duty), action points (people goading others on for not being in the thick of it), strength (hitting the gym after the mission to work off any injuries), reflexes (time spent in a combat course), hell probably them all if you really wanted to!

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Yeah, I called it 'XP', Gazz called it 'Counters'. Its whatever the game collects as a result of various actions and events that then go into stat gain (somehow).

Yep, the linking is due to the stats being related in some way. If you only shoot your accuracy will go up, but so do a bunch of other stats that can be plausibly also improved by shooting. The other stats just go up slower. Its to partially avoid having to do 'stat grinding' to balance stuff out. Overall, the main result is that active multi-tasked soldiers grow much faster than those who only do a limited set of tasks (so grunts and shocktroops would grow quickly and evenly, while snipers would be more specialised and have more lopsided growth)

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Yep, the linking is due to the stats being related in some way. If you only shoot your accuracy will go up, but so do a bunch of other stats that can be plausibly also improved by shooting. The other stats just go up slower. Its to partially avoid having to do 'stat grinding' to balance stuff out. Overall, the main result is that active multi-tasked soldiers grow much faster than those who only do a limited set of tasks

With a training system like this in the background, you would achieve much the same thing with "bonus skill ups" allocated completely at random.

The weighing of the soldier's training assignment would see to it that he grows in the general direction the player has assigned.

With no training system at all (like Chris pretty much proposed), the linking may have some virtue, though, for broadening a soldier's advancement.

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Aye, very true.

I just like the linking better since its ALL based on the combat. And I likes me the combat.

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I agree with Gauddlike here, you should definately get more experience for hitting your target. However there are also the times when you want to blow a hole in a wall, and obviously your soldier still has to hit that wall for that to happen...

Yeah but I don't really see a trained and experienced soldier learning much from shooting at a wall.

They aren't known for being particularly tricky targets.

Damaging live targets makes sense as the way to gain accuracy as you need to actually hit them, it can't be abused by firing random shots into the distance, and it limits how many shots you can fire at a target to artificially boost your stats.

No loading up on the least damaging weapon you can find then surrounding an unarmed enemy and peppering it with bullets too weak to harm it until you are all godlike.

Thinking back at the Reaction stat increases it seems logical that being shot at while in cover could increase your reactions as well.

You may have a wall between you but if you don't get your head down at the right time you will still be in trouble.

Edited by Gauddlike

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No loading up on the least damaging weapon you can find then surrounding an unarmed enemy and peppering it with bullets too weak to harm it until you are all godlike.

But that's a classic strategy from X-com! There are (and were) limits to how much you can gain per mission though. But you could still shoot them repeatedly with weak weapons than can barely injure it yes?

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But that's a classic strategy from X-com! There are (and were) limits to how much you can gain per mission though. But you could still shoot them repeatedly with weak weapons than can barely injure it yes?

Heh, I think the problem why it would work in xcom was because the AI was too stupid to pickup weapons they had dropped. You could do infinite variations to the exp gain formulas to make it work for every situation. Anyway, because of this kind of loophole, I'd probably make exp gain upon a hit very very small, and decide more exp is gained the more damage is gained, exponentially preferably so instant kills do more damage than 100 tiny shots. Making it so that it simply isn't worth it: More exp is gained through more damage.

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