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 General scoring - my thoughts.

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PostSubject: General scoring - my thoughts.   Sat May 30, 2009 6:13 am

Well, recently, I was thinking about scoring in the AW games due to the way it is handled in Days of Ruin. And I must say it's still rather liberal. Scoring in general has been liberal anyway, to the point where a 0 in *any* area, assuming you can even manage it, usually has to be worked for to get it and not fail the mission.

First is Speed. Which is pretty simple in the whole series, being how long you may take on a given mission for 100%. Although in Battalion Wars 2 and maybe Battalion Wars 1, there seems to be an unknown factor that changes the Completion Time. Anyway, Speed is pointless in most timed missions because the there's already a timer, although if you would lose when the timer hits 0, and the normal timer is very lenient (like in Lin's Gambit), then it's most likely possible to end the mission with a low Speed score. But before you can expect a 0 Speed score, here's the formula: (4 * Perfect Speed limit/100% Speed time - Completion time) * 100 / (3 * Perfect Speed limit)

Yes. It takes a rather long time for 0 Speed. BW2 has the formula set as (2 * Perfect Speed limit - Completion time) * 100 / (Perfect Speed Limit), but it takes place in real time. (I suspect this applies with BW1 too.) With the regular formula, it takes a good while to get 0 Speed, which has a minimum of quadruple the 100% Speed time. Even if that is 5 Days, which quadrupled is a whopping 20, which you can hardly expect to see at all outside a long enough map.

(By the way, the DoR 100-150 Speed formula is the same as BW2's formula. It's actually rather harsh, even without the comparison to the 0-100 Speed formula.)

We go onto how Power is handled in the games:

*AW1/2/DS - destroy a percentage of total # of enemy units deployed in a single day to get 100 points
*AWDoR - based on (total first attack damage + kill bonus * # of kills) / # of attacks executed (always counts ally attacks)
*BW2 - destroy all enemies that count for Power

Well, let's look at AW1/2/DS's method first: it was rather extreme anyway. In attack missions, you generally have to surpass that percentage to start out with. In fact, on non-defense missions, if you were going for Speed, not only would the enemy's numbers be smaller, but you'd have to be destroying more of them to do decently, unless the intent would be to do something that makes 0 Power plausible, like a destruction objective or HQ Capture. Meanwhile, you have defense missions--of course, the enemy will *SEVERELY* outnumber you. You'd have so much trouble destroying a percentage in a single Day without sacrificing Technique, if you complete the mission that is.

So let's look at BW2's method. The idea is that you destroy all of the enemy units that count for Power. This isn't that bad in BW2, but in the turn-based games and even in BW1 and BW2, you'll want to crush every enemy you can anyway. Unless you're playing a map where you must play defense, where it would be rather implausible to crush the enemy army flatly. It's not a completely useless gesture, but used alone, it will make scoring too liberal or harsh based on the map setting.

So we have DoR's method. It's a lot better because you can actually get 0 points if you execute too many weak attacks. But there's one problem: it's still too lenient. If you deal more than 25% on average and get at least 1 kill every 4 attacks, you will get at least one point. And 100 points requires only 50% on average with 1 kill every 2 attacks. But wait. When you're doing the attacking, the lowest amount of damage you should be doing from a decent attack should be 50% thereabouts.

There's another flaw with the math too, allowing for cheap 450s: the denominator. There is nothing added to it, so Law of Diminishing kicks in. The numerator gets really massive compared to the denominator if the player throws just one OHK and abuses the HQ Capture. The denominator should be increased based on the number of enemy units in the enemy force to prevent the ridiculous HQ Capture scores.

And last but not least is Technique. It is based on how many units were kept alive. Let's take a look at the methods:

*AW1/2/DS - keep lost units under a percentage of built units to get the 100%, each extra percentage is 1% less
*AWDoR - (enemy units - enemy joins) * 125 / (built units + lost units)
*BW2 - each lost unit subtracts from the final Technique score

AW1/2/DS is rather simple. And it works on predeployed maps too; if you lose too many units, you can't hope for perfect Technique. But on maps where you can build units, it relies on Speed to not bomb, because you can just build more units, thereby increasing the percentages.

Days of Ruin got wise and punishes mass building. But in the process, it made sure that you get maxed Technique by shaking off massive amounts of enemy units. And the number of enemy units can still be small; I improvised on a Day-To-Day guide for one Trial Map, that relies on luck to make sure minimum unit losses happen. I had lost 2 units (one of which I was supposed to lose in the guide), and I still got the 450. Tell me what is wrong with this picture.

BW2, you don't get to rely on reinforcements, because you don't get provided with them until you lose units, but by losing units, your score is reduced by a *set* amount. But I think Technique can be lenient still; it's actually possible to beat most missions at least in BW2, and even BW1 (which I suspect uses a similar scoring method) with nary a single casualty including AI allies. But you can lose a few units on some missions and still get 100%. And the reductions aren't exponential; if they were, casualties would decrease the score a lot more if they were considerable. And they should, because a plan that just results in massive casualties should be given horrible Technique. Combine these 2 factors and you see 71% being the minimum Technique in Plan of Attack, a mission that doesn't even compare in difficulty to plenty of later BW1 missions. (Ironically, you can get horrendous Technique in missions like Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers.)

Well, what do you guys think?
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Kai Hitaro
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PostSubject: Re: General scoring - my thoughts.   Sun May 31, 2009 6:16 pm

o.o complicated, i can tell you spent a lot of time on that.
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