December 12, 2014 in Dev Blog
When Starbound’s overall balance structure was first established, humanoid NPCs weren’t really a primary consideration at the time, nor was PVP, so the game was largely balanced based around the damage between players and the monsters. While this system was fine at first, it has been the root cause of much difficulty in balancing humanoid NPCs who were primarily balanced to fight against the player and got absolutely trashed by monsters, which was a problem, especially with our growing focus on missions. This necessitated a rethink of how everything was balanced.
To that end, Tiyuri and I, have gone over almost everything with a fine-tooth comb. Here’s a brief overview of the biggest changes.
– NPCs now use armor, so damage inflicted on them is reflective of their armor. Additionally their health now scales on a curve similar to the player’s.
– Damage values across the board have risen. Monsters now die more easily, but they can also kill the player faster too. Fight carefully!
– The energy scaling curve on guns has been completely reworked for a more gradual and consistent climb.
– Tiered armors have been completely rebalanced to suit the new armor and energy scaling levels.
– Players now start off with access to two weapons from the offset, with most races gaining a one-handed shortsword in addition to their broadsword. The novakids gain a two-handed rifle.
– Generated weapon values now typically sit somewhere between the tiered weapons. Rare weapons may still potentially be more damaging, but this should help to keep tiered weapons useful all throughout the game’s progression.
It might not seem like much but these changes have involved a frankly exhausting amount of configuration, but it has transformed the game feel quite significantly. A pleasant side effect of this humanoid-centric rebalancing is that the game is largely balanced for PVP too, provided all parties have suitably leveled equipment.
Guns are more dependable weapons overall, but melee inflicts monstrous damage for those willing to take the risk. In our testing, we found ourselves having heated 1-on-1 exchanges, rapidly alternating between ranged sniping and clashing swords when our energy reserves were locked away. It was both frantic and fun! I’m looking forward to seeing what you guys make of it.