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Posts Tagged ‘theory’

Game Math and Redefining “Happy”

May 16, 2012 1 comment

Games are math.

Whether you play a logic game like Sudoku, an MMO like Star Wars: The Old Republic or Lord of the Rings Online, or CityVille on Facebook, you are using math to solve problems designed by developers.

I have mentioned before that I consider combat in MMOs to be like a problem of rates. All combat can be broken down into percents, coefficients, and factors. In the simplest terms, if ratedamage(me) * mitigation(you) > ratehealing(you), then I kill you.

Things like buffs, heals, shields, and debuffs all swing the rates one direction or another. The experienced raid leader looks at the field of battle and sees the rates shifting and swelling, and makes decisions based upon them. In PvP, this is also added to the issue of seeing when points are being captured, where the Huttball is, etc. Everything about the game becomes math, whether we realize it or not.

So two things today. One is a really neat article I found on Massively that has James Ohlen talking about some PvP formulae and their ramifications, as well as his approach to healer Sage/Sorcerer nerfs. The second thing I found was a website run by former Dev of Star Wars Galaxies and Ultima Online, Raph Koster. He shows his understanding of game theory and math in numerous articles, presentations, and Powerpoint slides. Read more…