DrunkenGamer’s Omerta (November 2010)

So another month has passed since we implemented the new family system into the DeathMatch version of Omerta and things are still going well. So well in fact that system has already been moved from Testing to Production. It is now active on all but one of the live servers.

Once again changes had to be made to the scale for family levelling. Seems that there is more difference between the servers than I thought, so things were a little slow for production. That was quickly solved.

Now last month I mentioned that there was still one element that needed to be taken care of, a bonus for smaller families. This is so that smaller families actually have a chance to make it to the maximum rank.

Now when I initially designed the system the plan was to have the bonus be a simple case of, if your family was below half of the maximum the family can be at that level you would get double Rank Points for your family.

So if the maximum size of your family could be 50 but you only have 25 members or less, then the bonus is active. However when it came time to put the test version out there I realised it was flawed and went away to work on a new version.

The primary problem with it was the simple fact, that while this bonus would have been useful in the beginning level by level this benefit would be steadily eroded into worthlessness. This would simply have been a side effect of how the scale of each level for the family itself grew.

A secondary issue is one of fairness, if I had made the bonus activate the way I intended, then a family with 24 members would get the bonus but a family with 26 members would be denied. This was not acceptable.

So what was needed was a bonus that would scale itself both in number of members and in relation to the level of the family.

I tried a few different experiments, that all showed that the solved one of the problems but not the other, One that even added a whole new one without fixing them. But that’s what happens occasionally in design.

However I eventually stumbled across the final solution.

The final solution was to make the bonus variable, but still based on the number of members and the size of the HQ they own, rather than the maximum amount of members they can potentially have.

The Basic theory was as follows

(Size of HQ – Number of Members) * Base Bonus = Final Bonus Value

This will make the bonus completely scalable, and will mean that a family missing only 2 members gains a bonus the same as a family missing 10 members.

It also gives families that are always going to be small, a reason for buying the HQ Upgrades they previously had no use for. This system means that upgrading your headquarters for small families is actually a upgrading their bonus instead.

For example: (These figures are an example – Not the final calculations)

Base Bonus = 1%
Family Members = 15

When the family has a HQ of 25, that would give a bonus of 10% (25 – 15 = 10, 10 * 1% = 10%)

When they upgrade to a HQ of 50, that would give a bonus of 35% (50 – 15 = 35, 35 * 1% = 35%)

So as you see that fixes the issues of it becoming pointless after a few levels as the increased bonus as the levels progress will fill in the gaps. Also it solves the some families getting it and some don’t issue.

Obviously I have not printed the exact calculations, that will remain hidden. However I have been carefully going over these calculations again and again to make sure that the bonus does not surpass having a full family.

Well I guess that’s it for this month. Right now I actually have to go do some development work, as much fun as designing this stuff is, someone has to implement it.

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