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Balance and damage scaling

BrunoCPaula

New member
Well, I've been musing on balance and damage scaling for a long time, so I think I can offer some insights here. If you're not interested on reading all the reasons, scroll all the way down to the bottom for a TL; DR. If you're interested in the full version, just follow my lines:

The Basics

Scaling is a damage bonus added to all abilities. Godhood uses a simple formula to determine the innate damage of all abilities (before it is modified by things like the physical/morale split and the enemy's defense). This formula is Base damage + Ability scaling. Lets discuss scaling first. There are 5 possible scalings, ranging from Minor to Amazing, each corresponding to 0.25 increments. So, a Minor scaling is 0.25 * Stat value; Basic Scaling is 0.5 * Stat Value; Greater Scaling is 0.75 * Stat Value; Major Scaling is 1 * Stat value and Amazing Scaling is 1.25 * Stat Value.

There are two base damages, one for physical attacks (based on Might), the other for morale attacks (based on Charisma). It is a little more complicated, as it is the sum of 0.5 * Might (or Charisma) and the Rank bonus, which varies from 0 (rank F) to + 50 (Rank S), as follows: 0 Base damage (Rank F), 2.5 Base damage (Rank E), 5 base damage (Rank D), 10 base damage (Rank C), 20 base damage (Rank B), 30 base damage (Rank A) and 50 base damage (Rank S). Those ranks are attained at the following stat values: 1 (rank F), 5 (Rank E), 10 (Rank D), 20 (Rank C), 35 (Rank B), 50 (Rank A) and 75 (Rank S).

As both Base damage from the stat and the rank bonus directly correlate into a sort of scaling, you can add them up. For this experiment, I created a table that goes from might/charisma 1 all the way to might/carisma 100. For brevity's sake, I'm only listing the 40 first lines down below. Pay close attention to the "Total/Stat Value column", as it'll be important in the next section:

(OBS: Where I live, decimals are marked with a comma and thousands with a dot. So 1.000 is a thousand and 0,10 is one tenth. Go figure.)

Stat ValueBaseRank BonusTotalTotal/Stat ValueStat ValueBaseRank BonusTotalTotal/Stat Value
1​
0,5​
0​
0,5​
0,5​
21​
10,5​
10​
20,5​
0,97619​
2​
1​
0​
1​
0,5​
22​
11​
10​
21​
0,954545​
3​
1,5​
0​
1,5​
0,5​
23​
11,5​
10​
21,5​
0,934783​
4​
2​
0​
2​
0,5​
24​
12​
10​
22​
0,916667​
5​
2,5​
2,5​
5​
1​
25​
12,5​
10​
22,5​
0,9​
6​
3​
2,5​
5,5​
0,916667​
26​
13​
10​
23​
0,884615​
7​
3,5​
2,5​
6​
0,857143​
27​
13,5​
10​
23,5​
0,87037​
8​
4​
2,5​
6,5​
0,8125​
28​
14​
10​
24​
0,857143​
9​
4,5​
2,5​
7​
0,777778​
29​
14,5​
10​
24,5​
0,844828​
10​
5​
5​
10​
1​
30​
15​
10​
25​
0,833333​
11​
5,5​
5​
10,5​
0,954545​
31​
15,5​
10​
25,5​
0,822581​
12​
6​
5​
11​
0,916667​
32​
16​
10​
26​
0,8125​
13​
6,5​
5​
11,5​
0,884615​
33​
16,5​
10​
26,5​
0,80303​
14​
7​
5​
12​
0,857143​
34​
17​
10​
27​
0,794118​
15​
7,5​
5​
12,5​
0,833333​
35​
17,5​
20​
37,5​
1,071429​
16​
8​
5​
13​
0,8125​
36​
18​
20​
38​
1,055556​
17​
8,5​
5​
13,5​
0,794118​
37​
18,5​
20​
38,5​
1,040541​
18​
9​
5​
14​
0,777778​
38​
19​
20​
39​
1,026316​
19​
9,5​
5​
14,5​
0,763158​
39​
19,5​
20​
39,5​
1,012821​
20​
10​
10​
20​
1​
40​
20​
20​
40​
1​

Ability Damage Scalings

As you can see, the "Total/Stat Value column" masks the real Might/Charisma scaling on your base damage. The values start at 0.5 (meaning the Base damage has the equivalent of a Basic Scaling to Might/Charisma)but once the Rank bonuses kick in (starting at a meager 5 stat, which All your acolytes should have by default, it increases to between 0.75 and 1. This means that All Abilities have between Greater and Major Scaling to Might or Charisma. This is important to keep on mind when we compare that to your Ability scaling on your classes.

Classes have a basic ability and 3 upgraded abilities. For all basic abilities, there is a minor scaling to one of the recommended stats of the class (Health to Harbinger,Might to Chieftain, Cunning to Beast Walker, so on and so forth). The only exception is the Songsmith, who have no scaling on its Basic Song (btw, this makes the Songsmith REALLY weak in the early levels. Please bring scaling back to Basic Song). Looking at their upgraded abilities at rank 1, they all either: A) Keep the minor scaling and gain some utility; B) Grow to Basic Scaling; or C) Gain 2 minor scalings from different stats (there are some abilities that grow scaling AND gain utility, but I digress). All ability upgrades grow the Scalings of the ability, with some of the strongest rank 2 and 3 abilities gaining more than one scaling step in one upgrade. No ability (save for the most OP damage ability in the game, Beast Walker's Critical Claw) has Greater Scaling at rank 1.

This means that at lower levels, ALL Abilities from ALL classes, no matter which are their recommended stats or which are their scalings, gain much more damage-wise from building Might or Charisma than building their respective stat. The only one that can compare is the Beast Walker's aforementioned Critical Claw, that gains 0.75 * Stat from its Greater Scaling, but it is Might Scaling anyway, so I digress. And I agree that the other stats have benefits (like increasing armor, initiative, or crit chance), but so does Might and Charisma - they increase physical and morale hit chance on top of increasing damage.

Please note that this changes when you get to Greater - and especially at Major and Amazing (even though the only Amazing scaling ability in the game is - you guessed it - Critical Claw ++) . However, some abilities never get to Major scaling (at Minor base, Basic + and Greater ++), and that at higher stat values (starting at 35), there are moments in which the base scaling is greater than 1.

Conclusions

Well, to begin with, the first thing we have to ask is: IS this a bug or feature? I unfortunately do not have an answer to this. One thing this analysis makes clear is that you should NOT neglect Might on your physical disciples nor Charisma on your Morale disciples (Even if their "recommended stats" are combos like Knowledge/Devotion, Health/Cunning, Health/Devotion and the such). Is this intended behavior or not? Does this makes the game better or not? I don't know. I might, however, be able to propose a test to answer that. We'll discuss that on the following paragraph.

The test is simple: Reduce Base scaling and Increase stat scaling. Reduce base damage from 0.5 * Might/Charisma + Rank to 0.25 * Might/Charisma + Rank, while bumping all ability scalings one tier: from Minor to Basic, Basic to Greater, Greater to Major and Major to Amazing (and while we're at it, keep the Critical Claw's scalings intact and give some scaling to Basic Song). This should keep the overall damage figures intact (since you're removing 0.25* stat level from one side of the damage equation and adding 0.25 * stat level to the other), while reducing the overall impact of Might/Charisma and increasing the impact of the Class' stat. Especial attention should be given to AoE classes (since they reduce base damage by 50% but apply 100% scaling), but otherwise this change will not break the general damage values.

To be bluntly clear about it: I am NOT proposing the change written on the last paragraph. What I'm proposing is a small test that we can do to see if the game balance feels better or worse with that change. To be fair, this test may even be old news - You may have done it on earlier development stages and maybe we'll already have an official answer to my question at the first Conclusions paragraph. I have a hunch that this change may increase build diversity as it decreases the need to have a charisma/might focus (and helps with the feeling that the Ascetic is so weird, since its mainly a morale attacker on a commandment that begins with no Charisma ritual), but it is no more than a hunch. Anyway, thanks for reading and I hope it helped you play/understand Godhood.

TL; DR Build Might/Charisma no matter which Class are your disciples; This may be problematic for the game but I don't know.
 
Last edited:

BrunoCPaula

New member
Bonus content: I figured out the Might/Charisma contribuition to damage, when both Might/Charisma and the scaling stat are equal. It is expressed as the % of the total damage that comes from base damage, while the rest of the damage comes from the scaling. I'll post the values for stat 10-40 for minor, basic and greater scaling. The biggest the Might/Charisma % is, the more important it is to total damage.


Minor Scaling:


Stat ValueBaseRank BonusTotal BaseMinor ScalingTotal DamageMight/Charisma %
10​
5​
5​
10​
2,500​
12,500​
80%​
11​
5,5​
5​
10,5​
2,750​
13,250​
79%​
12​
6​
5​
11​
3,000​
14,000​
79%​
13​
6,5​
5​
11,5​
3,250​
14,750​
78%​
14​
7​
5​
12​
3,500​
15,500​
77%​
15​
7,5​
5​
12,5​
3,750​
16,250​
77%​
16​
8​
5​
13​
4,000​
17,000​
76%​
17​
8,5​
5​
13,5​
4,250​
17,750​
76%​
18​
9​
5​
14​
4,500​
18,500​
76%​
19​
9,5​
5​
14,5​
4,750​
19,250​
75%​
20​
10​
10​
20​
5,000​
25,000​
80%​
21​
10,5​
10​
20,5​
5,250​
25,750​
80%​
22​
11​
10​
21​
5,500​
26,500​
79%​
23​
11,5​
10​
21,5​
5,750​
27,250​
79%​
24​
12​
10​
22​
6,000​
28,000​
79%​
25​
12,5​
10​
22,5​
6,250​
28,750​
78%​
26​
13​
10​
23​
6,500​
29,500​
78%​
27​
13,5​
10​
23,5​
6,750​
30,250​
78%​
28​
14​
10​
24​
7,000​
31,000​
77%​
29​
14,5​
10​
24,5​
7,250​
31,750​
77%​
30​
15​
10​
25​
7,500​
32,500​
77%​
31​
15,5​
10​
25,5​
7,750​
33,250​
77%​
32​
16​
10​
26​
8,000​
34,000​
76%​
33​
16,5​
10​
26,5​
8,250​
34,750​
76%​
34​
17​
10​
27​
8,500​
35,500​
76%​
35​
17,5​
20​
37,5​
8,750​
46,250​
81%​
36​
18​
20​
38​
9,000​
47,000​
81%​
37​
18,5​
20​
38,5​
9,250​
47,750​
81%​
38​
19​
20​
39​
9,500​
48,500​
80%​
39​
19,5​
20​
39,5​
9,750​
49,250​
80%​
40​
20​
20​
40​
10,000​
50,000​
80%​
 

BrunoCPaula

New member
Basic Scaling:


Stat ValueBaseRank BonusTotal BaseBasic ScalingTotal DamageMight/Charisma %
10​
5​
5​
10​
5,000​
15,000​
67%​
11​
5,5​
5​
10,5​
5,500​
16,000​
66%​
12​
6​
5​
11​
6,000​
17,000​
65%​
13​
6,5​
5​
11,5​
6,500​
18,000​
64%​
14​
7​
5​
12​
7,000​
19,000​
63%​
15​
7,5​
5​
12,5​
7,500​
20,000​
63%​
16​
8​
5​
13​
8,000​
21,000​
62%​
17​
8,5​
5​
13,5​
8,500​
22,000​
61%​
18​
9​
5​
14​
9,000​
23,000​
61%​
19​
9,5​
5​
14,5​
9,500​
24,000​
60%​
20​
10​
10​
20​
10,000​
30,000​
67%​
21​
10,5​
10​
20,5​
10,500​
31,000​
66%​
22​
11​
10​
21​
11,000​
32,000​
66%​
23​
11,5​
10​
21,5​
11,500​
33,000​
65%​
24​
12​
10​
22​
12,000​
34,000​
65%​
25​
12,5​
10​
22,5​
12,500​
35,000​
64%​
26​
13​
10​
23​
13,000​
36,000​
64%​
27​
13,5​
10​
23,5​
13,500​
37,000​
64%​
28​
14​
10​
24​
14,000​
38,000​
63%​
29​
14,5​
10​
24,5​
14,500​
39,000​
63%​
30​
15​
10​
25​
15,000​
40,000​
63%​
31​
15,5​
10​
25,5​
15,500​
41,000​
62%​
32​
16​
10​
26​
16,000​
42,000​
62%​
33​
16,5​
10​
26,5​
16,500​
43,000​
62%​
34​
17​
10​
27​
17,000​
44,000​
61%​
35​
17,5​
20​
37,5​
17,500​
55,000​
68%​
36​
18​
20​
38​
18,000​
56,000​
68%​
37​
18,5​
20​
38,5​
18,500​
57,000​
68%​
38​
19​
20​
39​
19,000​
58,000​
67%​
39​
19,5​
20​
39,5​
19,500​
59,000​
67%​
40​
20​
20​
40​
20,000​
60,000​
67%​
 

BrunoCPaula

New member
Greater Scaling:


Stat ValueBaseRank BonusTotal BaseGreater ScalingTotal DamageMight/Charisma %
10​
5​
5​
10​
7,500​
17,500​
57%​
11​
5,5​
5​
10,5​
8,250​
18,750​
56%​
12​
6​
5​
11​
9,000​
20,000​
55%​
13​
6,5​
5​
11,5​
9,750​
21,250​
54%​
14​
7​
5​
12​
10,500​
22,500​
53%​
15​
7,5​
5​
12,5​
11,250​
23,750​
53%​
16​
8​
5​
13​
12,000​
25,000​
52%​
17​
8,5​
5​
13,5​
12,750​
26,250​
51%​
18​
9​
5​
14​
13,500​
27,500​
51%​
19​
9,5​
5​
14,5​
14,250​
28,750​
50%​
20​
10​
10​
20​
15,000​
35,000​
57%​
21​
10,5​
10​
20,5​
15,750​
36,250​
57%​
22​
11​
10​
21​
16,500​
37,500​
56%​
23​
11,5​
10​
21,5​
17,250​
38,750​
55%​
24​
12​
10​
22​
18,000​
40,000​
55%​
25​
12,5​
10​
22,5​
18,750​
41,250​
55%​
26​
13​
10​
23​
19,500​
42,500​
54%​
27​
13,5​
10​
23,5​
20,250​
43,750​
54%​
28​
14​
10​
24​
21,000​
45,000​
53%​
29​
14,5​
10​
24,5​
21,750​
46,250​
53%​
30​
15​
10​
25​
22,500​
47,500​
53%​
31​
15,5​
10​
25,5​
23,250​
48,750​
52%​
32​
16​
10​
26​
24,000​
50,000​
52%​
33​
16,5​
10​
26,5​
24,750​
51,250​
52%​
34​
17​
10​
27​
25,500​
52,500​
51%​
35​
17,5​
20​
37,5​
26,250​
63,750​
59%​
36​
18​
20​
38​
27,000​
65,000​
58%​
37​
18,5​
20​
38,5​
27,750​
66,250​
58%​
38​
19​
20​
39​
28,500​
67,500​
58%​
39​
19,5​
20​
39,5​
29,250​
68,750​
57%​
40​
20​
20​
40​
30,000​
70,000​
57%​
 

Bart

New member
Nice work on crunching the numbers! I have several thoughts on stat importance that are not supported by numbers, but may help in discussion.

First, in terms of damage output, charisma and strength are easier to improve religion-wide. Very few classes share damage scaling of a secondary stat, but it is really easy to create a charisma-only or a strength-only religion. We are encouraged to prioritize temples and upgrade rituals that will help most disciples and that means investing in strength or charisma - choose the one fitting your doctrine.

Surprisingly, it is not guaranteed that a disciple will have a skill that has anything to do with the recommended stat (e.g. druid/devotion). Skill points are fairly costly, so most disciples will only occasionally use a skill with greater scaling (2 out of 5 skills maybe?), but all 5 skills will most likely scale based on charisma/strength. This is especially critical for low level disciples who rely on basic/minor scaling and will fail horribly if built around e.g. cunning.

Speaking of druid, there is also a problem of skills that use "non-natural" strength/charisma for damage scaling. Even a very knowledgeable druid will deal miserable damage with entangle, because it is a physical attack, but druid will be likely raising charisma to boost his other skills, not strength. It is possible to make an entangle-only build, but it is a costly/opportunistic endeavour that works well only in late game. An entangle showing up early on a druid is horrible. You better buy a skill point soon to upgrade the skill to something else or risk 20% of turns being close to useless.

What makes the system work reasonably are the "secondary" stat effects. I had luck with health/devotion based characters that could easily protect the entire group while scoring extra for intercepting, but at the same time other disciples would scale... strength or charisma. Note that health/devotion works sooo much better on a dedicated tank. Scaling only health or devotion on a party leaves it weak against the other type of damage. Scaling both health and devotion leaves it with no damage output.

Cunning is wonderful as a second stat for glass-cannon parties - that is, second after strength or charisma. Knowledge should work with crit builds, but I had least success with it. The occasional crits and evasion do not work well for me. I do not feel that godhood is a game where relying on luck is smart.

To sum up - I think that one can have fun focusing on stats other than charisma/strength, but it requires going off the beaten track (carefully spending offerings) and the benefits are difficult to see until late game (late in current development stage). The appeal of "secondary" stats is very limited especially in the beginning where extra 5 devotion boosts armour by 20% (maybe? I am not sure how it scales), knowledge does... honestly, I cannot even see a difference - but 5 charisma doubles the damage. Starting like that, why ever switch to secondary stats later on?
 

BrunoCPaula

New member
I have been thinking a lot about AoE, so lemme share my thoughts. In the opening post, I suggested a rebalancing to decrease base damage and increase scaling. This should have little to no noticeable effect on the balance of single-target attacks, since they keep their overall damage intact, but have disproportionate effects on AoE, since they halve base damage (but not scaling). To quote myself:

The test is simple: Reduce Base scaling and Increase stat scaling. Reduce base damage from 0.5 * Might/Charisma + Rank to 0.25 * Might/Charisma + Rank, while bumping all ability scalings one tier: from Minor to Basic, Basic to Greater, Greater to Major and Major to Amazing (and while we're at it, keep the Critical Claw's scalings intact and give some scaling to Basic Song). This should keep the overall damage figures intact (since you're removing 0.25* stat level from one side of the damage equation and adding 0.25 * stat level to the other), while reducing the overall impact of Might/Charisma and increasing the impact of the Class' stat. Especial attention should be given to AoE classes (since they reduce base damage by 50% but apply 100% scaling), but otherwise this change will not break the general damage values.
General AoE damage is about 60 to 75% of single target damage, due to the fact that base damage amounts to between 50% and 80% of total attack damage (as seen in the tables on the reply). The highest the scaling is, the closer it is to 75%, the lower it is, the closer it is to 60%. when you multiply that for the 3 targets, this means AoE deals between 180% to 225% damage when it hits the 3 targets. This should be mitigated by the lower (-30%) hit chance, meaning it is hard to hit maximum damage unless you have high Charisma/Might. This works well while you're weak, but when you have high Charisma/Might (mid-lategame), AoE attacks become very strong because you can much more reliably hit them. Have them scale even more would make them very strong, unless there's a tradeoff here - higher accuracy MUST, to keep AoE balanced, equal lower damage, and vice versa. To make that happen...

No Physical AoE ability should scale with Might, and No Morale AoE ability should scale with Charisma.

Having AoEs scaling with stats other than Might/Charisma means that either you have high accuracy and lower scaling, or high scaling and lower accuracy. This keeps AoEs in check while being a fairly easy change to do - Change Executioneer's War Wind to scale with Health, Chieftain's Mighty Rally (a morale ability) to scale with Might, and you're mostly set. I say mostly because we still have to address the elephant in the room: Songsmith. Songsmith has been a really hard class to balance, quickly swinging between almost OP and almost useless. If the scaling change proposed in the first post happens, it will surely become either too strong or too weak. Thus I propose a more radical change in its approach:

Songsmith should become a Devotion/Cunning class.

Having the Songsmith be devotion/cunning brings a lot of advantages. First, it puts the Songsmith on an unused stat combo (the Lust Priest is also Charisma/Cunning). Second, this means you can give all AoE abilities of his a scaling thats not Charisma (thus Basic Song, Loud Hymn and Classic Song now scale with Devotion). Third, This makes all healing abilities the realm of Health and/or Devotion Classes (The other healing abilities in the game are on Guardian, Ascetic and Ambassador - all have Health and/or Devotion as their primaries). Fourth, it makes Madness harder to use the Songsmith well, which seems to be a theme you intended. Fifth, it solves the Melodies Passive problem, giving it a clear use (since it is now on a very strange spot, being too redundant).

I think that if you decide to go with the change in scaling proposed in the first post (Reduce Base scaling and increase stat scaling), these two changes (No Physical AoE ability should scale with Might, and No Morale AoE ability should scale with Charisma & Songsmith should become a Devotion/Cunning class) should suffice to have AoE on a good balance post-change.
 

Blackvision

Well-known member
Kickstarter Backer Community Member for 2 years
Hmm. As for the Songsmith/AoE Changes... I'm cautious about it. Yes, statistically, absolutely. However, a singer without any charisma, thematically? :confused:

Statistical issues: Now, a big change worth mentioning is the upcoming damage changes - there's already going to be a big reduction in the base damage bonus given by Char/Might, so their other stats will become much more important anyway - only skills with direct scaling on might/char will be in peril of being ridiculous - I'd rather they scaled on the class's alternate stat where possible, and if not, just had damage scaling from char/might flat out reduced to compensate for it being easier to get - strong at game start, weak at finish, basically. (also makes for a more interesting set of choices as you progress)

I'm certainly all for having scaling on Char/Might booted from the majority of skills when they already give out damage, especially ones like AoEs, but removing Songsmith from being the only cross-physical/morale stats Morale-based basic class would be a mistake too - there's little that crosses that bridge, and I wouldn't count Smitesword or Chieftain among them cause they can scale of both for the majority of their skills - and thus, can ignore one or the other past rank D (and Harbinger doesn't count cause you always need defences regardless, not to mention they barely use health for non-physical).

So, Songsmith's the only remaining base class. Of the non-base classes, Lust Priest is messy as all hell anyway (statistically speaking - either they level Cunning OR charisma - not both, avoid their third skill like the plague, use both damage stats, etc. etc.) and need sorting, so status pending. Cultist is powerful, but directly boosts their stats from the rest of the team more than from splitting their stats equally - or else becomes pure physical/morale anyway.

Ascetic is, again, about defence stats (and frankly, never needs much health either), so doesn't count. Charlatan is under construction (and described as 'messy' last I heard too. So basically, only Lust Priest and Songsmith. A HUGE effort was put in to try and prevent all the religions being mere off-shoots of Peace (Morale)/War (Physical) from the early betas - I'd not want to block that progress by removing one big remaining advocate in the Songsmith - basically all the other classes are one or the other.

When it comes to missing stat combos, we're missing all of:
Health/Knowledge EDIT: fixed now with Harbinger's change to Health/Knowledge :)
Cunning/Devo
Cunning/Knowledge (currently expecting Charlatan to fill this)
Knowledge/Health

and duplicated stat combos:
Executioner/Rage Prophet (which is just embarrassing, they even work the same way!)
Ambassador/Zealot
Lust Priest/Songsmith
Cook/Weaver

And frankly, I feel the original classes thematically suit those stats better than the commandment classes if we're going to convert any. Besides, they don't fit all that nicely anyway. I'd rather miss combos and focus on making the stats more relevant so that it's worth getting those combinations because they'll have interesting results (eg. Cunning/Knowledge for first-turn crits that target the right enemy? Yes please!) than to force them into the game on existing classes.
 
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