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Old July 8, 2018, 05:04   #1
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Madison, Wisconsin, US
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Feature branch drop balancing

The last time we did a dedicated balancing effort with regards to drops was 3.4 I think. After that, some of the changes introduced in 4.0 broke stats generation. Over the past few days I've tracked down some of the bugs that would cause crashes after some tens of thousands of levels. (One memory leak, and two rare events), which means that we now can generate stats for the feature branch, and probably the current 4.1.x branch. I'll try to do some more detailed analysis in the coming days, but right off the bat I noticed one difference.

The standard metric I've used for general balance is to full clear every level once from 1 to 100. This, of course, doesn't really mimic how a regular player plays, but it is certainly useful for comparing across versions.

So here's what I noticed at first. 4.feature will provide you with about 59 artifacts per game (standard deviation about 2). 3.4 provides you with 51 (standard deviation also about 2). This means 3.4 is somewhat more generous with artifacts.

But, here's something that surprised me. 4.feature has, on average, far fewer monsters than 3.4. In fact at about level 40, the two branches diverge, with 4.feature having about 60% of the monsters per level than 3.4. There are a lot of possible reasons for this. But right now it's looking like 4.feature is probably being too generous with floor drops.

More analysis to come. Some things in stats are probably broken currently, (spell books for example) so I need to do some testing to make sure stuff is getting calculated correctly.
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