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Author Topic: Bandit vs. Hero: A Balance Comparison  (Read 8660 times)

Digdug

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Bandit vs. Hero: A Balance Comparison
« on: February 19, 2014, 05:10:38 PM »
After cooling off and sitting down to think about things I decided to write this in the hopes that it will cause at least some change for the benefit of the few heroes on the server. This is not a judgment of play style or player behavior, merely an examination of benefits and penalties as observed by myself and a few others (both hero and bandit).

At the present time it is my conclusion that bandits have more of an advantageous play style than heroes on the server. I come to this conclusion based on their relative perks and penalties that result from their chosen play styles. A hero must generally take more caution when engaging in combat lest they hit another hero or a survivor and thus take a large hit to their humanity. A bandit on the other hand has no such limitation and indeed is encouraged to shoot anything and anyone in order to gain more negative humanity so they can acquire higher level bandit perks. These strategies in and of themselves are fine as far as balance goes but only so long as the perks each side gets reflect the relative difficulty/time it takes to acquire them. Currently the bandits' perks are, in my opinion, far superior in terms of direct usefulness than those of the hero unfortunately.

Hero:

- Full food/drink regen increases with positive humanity - While the salvaging buff at 30K would be somewhat helpful (depending on percentage increase) this perk is the only one worth having from my experience. At 25K I can regenerate 15/second.

- Fast Sprint (5K) - I was never able to tell a significant difference in my speed vs a zombie's. They were always able to keep pace with me no matter if I was running or sprinting.

- Self Blood Bag anywhere (10K) - Of the ten times I used this skill, nine resulted in an infection with two of those in a hospital. I suppose that's just bad luck but it still leaves a rather bad impression. I heard somewhere (need verification) that this is usable by all players now and humanity just affects infection chance, in which case I'm even more inclined to call this a dead perk.

- Disarm player (20K) - You have to get melee close to use this skill and it's loud to boot. The other player, assuming they were alone, would have to be almost blind and deaf to let you actually use this. It's a great idea from a role play stand point but lousy from a practical one.

- Salvage buff (30K) - I'm unaware of the increase this provides but unless it was substantial this would still be behind the food/drink regen buff.

Bandit:

- Cannibalism regen increases with negative humanity - This is certainly a con compared to the heroes' regen capability and probably their only negative in comparing the two sides. That doesn't make it useless though since if the bandit is good at their job it still keeps them alive.

- Hotwire/deconstruction buff every -50K - Assuming there's no upward limit this would become very useful, very fast given the rate many bandits lose humanity.

- RGO trap (-100K) - An interesting role play/combat perk that seems to be under-utilized by many (working properly?). Given the level of interest in asset denial I'm surprised this isn't seen more often. Comparing this to the disarm perk this one clearly wins in practicality.

On the whole then it seems, from my point of view anyway, that heroes are (currently) getting the short end of the stick in terms of perks. Blood bag infection chance is still clearly high enough to be a significant cause of concern for heroes, disarm is all but useles, the salvaging buff is mediocre at best and sprint apparently does nothing. On the other hand bandits' only real con is that they have to actually kill someone to start their regen, a fair penalty no doubt but hardly equivalent to a hero.

Now perks are only one part of the issue, they alone do not make up the entire equation. Previously, the economy in Epoch was geared to give survivors and especially heroes an edge when it came to pricing on some (not all) items, notably military vehicles, food/medicine, and for some reason the plot pole (I never really thought that made sense since everything else building wise was the same everywhere). For example you could buy medical supplies at a discount compared to a neutral trade location. This is fair in my eyes as it provides an incentive to those who may wish to be the "good" guys. After all, it makes more sense that a vendor would give a discount to a guy he's reasonably sure isn't going to try and slit his throat and take his stuff. I'm not sure why Epoch moved away from this but obviously I don't agree with it at all as it just pushes people into being bandits more than heroes. If it doesn't matter what your humanity is to buy an armed helicopter or medical supplies, then why bother with the more difficult path of making sure of who you're shooting at?

This last part is also economy based, but has far more to do with play style in my eyes. Previously, hunting and fishing were viable and non-combat ways of earning a living on the server. For those who didn't enjoy being under near constant threat of being shot while doing missions, raiding bases, or salvaging vehicles, it was a good way to earn money and help team mates. This is why I did it. Unfortunately the current state of the economy makes doing either of these activities near pointless as a way to do anything other than feed yourself or your team mates as the values of cooked food are so low as to be almost pointless. When you add in the fact that there is no boost to sell value for survivors and heroes it becomes even worse in my opinion. I have been told, with quite a bit of incredulity on my part, that the prices on Chernarus were far overpriced as it was possible to make a briefcase in half an hour by oneself. I find this to be completely impossible from my own experience. Just catching enough fish to be worth a briefcase at hero prices on Chernarus took me close to an hour, and that doesn't even include transit time to the vendor, cooking the fish, and actually selling them. It takes nearly as long to prepare and sell them as it does to catch them. Like most people who did fishing, I had a macro set up to cast my line for me and fished from a boat for the catching bonus (in addition to the relative safety of being far out to sea). Now to an extent I can certainly understand nerfing the prices under the pretext that it's far safer to fish than to do any of the above activities, but not to the extent that they have been. Trout for example are now worth 10% of what they were at the hero camp on Chernarus, while tuna are worth 1/3. The game animals suffer a similar series of nerfs.

This is not balanced in any way as far as I'm concerned and combined with the problems I raised above led me to the conclusion that the server, at this time, is more interested in having only bandits and PvP related activities than providing for a wider range of player play styles. I have tried raising my concerns both in-game and on teamspeak and have either been ignored, given vague responses rather than answers, or been brushed off as being nothing more than a whiner who thinks shooting people is wrong (an incorrect opinion incidentally). For these reasons I have left Dead Meat, much as I don't wish to as there are a number of people I enjoy playing with here and it IS the best server I've ever played on, but I have my breaking point like any sane person and I see no reason to place any more stress or frustration upon myself because of it.

The opinions stated here, while an amalgamation of several other players', are expressed here solely by myself and not at anyone else' request. As stated above this is not a condemnation of how a player chooses to play the game in any way and should not be taken as such. If anything in this post is found to be offensive I apologize for the tone but not the message it conveys. Thank you for reading.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
“Understanding is a three edged sword: your side, their side, and the truth.” - J. Michael Straczynski

StallionFire

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Re: Bandit vs. Hero: A Balance Comparison
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2014, 04:26:24 AM »
I read your entire post.  Some content can not be altered as it is an epoch based setting.  Some content can be changed (pricing) etc....  this is a question for Armifer.  some pricing has been changed to balance out the server more.  It used to be too easy to make gold on the Cherno server.  It has been changed to make it harder to make money and too also make a level playing field.  No more cashing in items and vehicles to get an abundance of gold in a short time.  This will make it harder for teams to over power other teams with air vehicles, ground vehicles and high powered weapons etc....

Also, the humanity perks is also something you will have to ask about or maybe read the epoch wiki.  there are so many things in this game that can not be tailored due to content incompatibility.  Every time there is a new Epoch version upgrade, we have to readjust all the content and make sure everything works the way it used to and if it does not Armifer has to read and talk to the Epoch Dev. team to find out reasons and changes.  the server can only be adjusted to certain criteria that the actual mod allows.  As I stated above, some content and some of the other server settings are either hard to adjust or can't be adjusted.  It just depends on how the new patches are and if they changed things in Epoch that overlap what we have tweaked.  

If there are conflicts in the game programming with our content, then sometimes it has to be removed or re-developed on our end if we want to keep it like we have it.  Armifer and NoEvil work together to make the game content and database work like it should.  All the extras you see on our server are hand programed by Armifer and NoEvil to give the best and most balanced game experience we can offer.  We can't make it perfect but it's a lot better than most Epoch servers out there.  We do look at balance in the game and try to tweak it to be fair for both bandits and heros.  

But like I said, only so much can be tweaked and reprogrammed until the next patch comes out and then we have to make sure it all works again.

Armifer and NoEvil have spend countless hours on the server trying to make it one of the best Epoch servers out there.  I give them much applause for what they have done thus far.  

You are not being shut out and we welcome ideas from all.  But we can only do what the mod allows us to do without program conflicts.
 
To get a full explanation, you will have to ask Armifer or NoEvil.

It is a very extensive and complicated mod to explain in a single post.

Thank you for posting your concerns and sharing your ideas.  It is always refreshing to get our players outlook on gameplay.

If you wish to play somewhere else, that is up to you.  You are always welcome here as you have been a good player and have a good player history.

I appreciate your post.
Thanks
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Digdug

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Re: Bandit vs. Hero: A Balance Comparison
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2014, 10:07:48 AM »
I am aware that undoubtedly some things just can not or will not be changed due to low time:value restraints. I can certainly respect that fact and appreciate the hard work both the Epoch devs and Armifer/Noevil put into the mod/server. I suppose I'm just hoping for some kind of compromise.

I wholeheartedly agree that you shouldn't be able to make money hand over fist but my concern is that the Epoch devs' grasp on game economy seems fuzzy at the best of times and thought that we were essentially "fixing" it here on the fly so to speak. As for the perk system, I was under the impression it was a feature set implemented here and not as a part of Epoch. If it's the other way around I apologize.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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StallionFire

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Re: Bandit vs. Hero: A Balance Comparison
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2014, 03:17:06 PM »
I am not the best person to ask about the perks.  Armifer would be the best person to ask about this because he is very involved in communicating with the Epoch dev team and also he is the one who does all of our in game content.  Any questions or concerns about the Dayz Epoch Mod (not the Dead Meat Server) should be directed to the Epoch Website.  Only the Epoch Dev team can change the actual Epoch mod.  We can only Tweak the DM server. I assume you already know this but just wanted to add that just in case.

Dayz Epoch Website listed below.  

http://dayzepoch.com/

I apologize for any misrepresented info.  I admit that I do not know everything about the Epoch mod and I rely mostly on Armifer because he studies it all the time.  I assure you that Armifer is adjusting things on the fly as we go to make sure we get the best balance on the server.  You may notice that when you connect to the server, after a few restarts, you get a new mission file to download.  When you see this, there has been a tweak or an adjustment made.

There is not much more I can accurately tell you.  Eventually we will have a list of things described in the announcements section about the server.  We used to have a trader page that listed all the traders and products.  We have to update that page but have not had the time to do so.  Hopefully we will have that back up soon if possible.

Like i said above, Armifer is the best person to ask about in game content.  NoEvil is the best person to ask about database and server side configuration.

You can always tag me on TS3 if needed.  I do see your messages but some times I can't answer right away or sometimes I am afk.  Just give me a few min. and I will respond.  I do not ignore anyone.

Thanks again for your input.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Armifer

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Re: Bandit vs. Hero: A Balance Comparison
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2014, 08:08:28 PM »
Dayz is designed to be played however you see fit. There are no game balances in place to change how combat works, we added this ourselves as little incentives to play a certain way.
-Our server is, Dead Meat PvP. Perks are designed to have bandits and heroes PvP with each other, where anywhere else, the hero role is NON-PvP. Understanding this notion invalidates your position on them.
-Understand that there are NO perks to either side on any other server.
-Dayz Epoch prices changes with new system in patch1.4. They removed the price changes to simplify the game, as editing over 2,000 records per update is very time consuming. The perk to friendly and hero camps are now less risk. Meaning players are less likely to engage in combat there, due to wanting to keep their humanity where it is at to trade in relative safety. REMEMBER: Safe zones are NOT part of Epoch, and are frowned upon by the Dev team.
-Becoming a bandit with really low humanity is very time consuming, its not as fast as you assume. Each bandit they kill GIVES them humanity, every zombie and player zombie too. They have to sit and gut zombies to balance out the gain from killing them constantly. They have to eat the bandits they kill to remove only 50 of the 100 gained humanity. This means they must hunt survivors and heroes exclusively to really get negative quickly. Killing a bandit over -100k to -5k results in no humanity gain. There are only massive changes in humanity when a player has murders. This is what triggers larger changes, which cap at 1k positive humanity received, depending on the players humanity, and how many murders they had. Theres more to it than that, but this is the simplified version of my humanity system which was added to vanilla epoch.

TOTAL HERO PERKS: 5
- Full food/drink regen increases with positive humanity: heroes get 300% health regeneration over all other players. A hero regenerates ALL BLOOD in 13 minutes, if food and drink are above 90%. This is a MASSIVE boost to survivability.
- Fast Sprint: Heroes can run 1km in 2min 45sec, while all other players do it in 3min 30sec on average, tested on flat road by berinzino. Get a non hero friend to race me in game, and ill beat them out every time. Tested this extensively with crinklestar. Both leaving from same spot, in the heart of cherno, I got to the heart of elektro 600m ahead of him. Both players ran with a pistol out. Heroes MUST be wearing the skin they spawn with, this perk is not given if the player puts on marksman skin.
- Self Blood Bag anywhere (10K) - Infection chance base is 50%. For bandits its 75%, this is to balance the self blood bag as a main source of healing. ONLY HEROES can do this anywhere. All other players must be by an AMBULANCE or INSIDE A HOSPITAL
- Disarm player: A good Hero must be stealthy. For those who are not, when encountering a survivor, and they claim to be friendly, you can disarm them to remove any threat before you leave without them able to track you. Very useful skill when used correctly. If you see a bandit, SHOOT ON SIGHT, why would you attempt to disarm them?
- Salvage buff: This gives 100% success rate of salvaging base materials

TOTAL NEUTRAL PERKS: 2

- Cannibalism: Anyone can use this, but at a humanity penalty. The more negative humanity the more blood received, but greater risk of infection.
- Knock Out: Anyone can use this.

TOTAL BANDIT PERKS: 2
- Hotwire/deconstruction buff: This is hard capped, and cannot ever guarantee 100% success.
- RGO trap: This isnt meant to be compared to disarm. Thats apples to oranges. Heroes have no need of a skill that is meant to kill people.

You have to understand, a hero is meant to take the high road, and not even kill as it is wrong! Thats the belief behind the dayz developers, dayz mod devs and epoch devs! The act of killing is NEVER justified. Since we know this is a game, and they give us many shiny guns to kill with, its inevitable that on the internet, someone is gona kill someone in this virtual space, just for this shits and giggles. The role of hero is not to outmatch a bandit. He is there to help other players in any way he can.

Bandit's main feature is to kill and take loot. But guess what, a hero can kill a bandit with NO PENALTY and do the exact same thing. When 80% of the server is bandits, that means you, as a hero, can do exactly what bandits can: kill for gear! With that being said, a hero with ALOT of positive humanity, is a more effective threat than a bandit! Why? Because his humanity can absorb a hit, from that kill he is forced to make. If he is out hunting for bandits, he has many advantages. He can heal anywhere, he can run faster, heal faster, which means survive longer and stay in the fight longer. Countless times my hero speed has made players wonder how the hell did I get back to the fight so quickly, or how I was able to catch up to them when spawning on the shore. It has helped dodge sniper fire while I close the distance on a bandit. Get hit once? No big deal, eat and drink a little, and hide out in cover, every second counts. Dozens of times regeneration has got me above 3k to prevent the random passing out.

One caveat, 95% of heroes don't know how to PvP as well as a bandit. That's their flaw. Play as a bandit first, learn the best skills of PvP, and apply it as a hero. So then, what really is a high humanity hero? A player capable of greater PvP than a bandit on our Dead Meat PvP server.

I'll leave you with what I think are your 4 options:
-Quit Dayz altogether, and play something else. The game is designed for bandits to have PvP advantages. The only reward to being a hero is taking the high road.
-Play Dead Meat PvP server.
-Play a PvE server. With no PvP, they are all heroes. Dont have to worry about bandits. Killing any player results in a ban.
-Play a Role Play server. You cant kill anyone without role playing it first. You have to sit there and talk and type out your actions. Killing via random death match (RDM) results in kick and ban. It means every encounter that would normally be 5-10 minutes of PvP, is instead 30 minutes of talking, then 5-10 minutes of PvP. After death, New Life Rule takes effect, where you cannot return to your body, and you have to 'forget' everything from your 'past life'.

Glad you had fun on our server. Remember to ask the main server managers about in-game content, as players in game assume many things, as the game changes constantly with updates, lots of misinformation out there. Also, the exact workings of some mechanics are purposely never revealed, to allow players to figure them out and prevent 'gaming the system'. A game is more interesting, when you learn everything about it on your own!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Digdug

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Re: Bandit vs. Hero: A Balance Comparison
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2014, 11:31:38 PM »
Thanks for the detailed answer, I appreciate it. While I can't say I agree with some aspects I now better understand how and why the system is the way it is.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Armifer

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Re: Bandit vs. Hero: A Balance Comparison
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2014, 09:40:09 AM »
*NOTE*
Any player will not receive a humanity penalty for killing another player that has committed a murder within 5 minutes.
Any player will not recieve a humanity penalty for killing another player that has shot and hit them first within 5 minutes.

Example:
Player1 is shot by player2, and player1 shoots back and kills player2. Player1 is given credit for a bandit kill, but does not receive any humanity. This applies in all cases, regardless.
Example2:
Player2 shoots and kills player1's friend who is a survivor or hero. Player1 can shoot and kill player2 without penalty to humanity, and will receive credit for a bandit kill.

Once a player understands this, they realize that when playing as a hero with a lot of extra humanity, they can be an effective medic for a group that likes to PvP. As long as their group is alert and aware of this during combat and act cohesively while communicating this info, a hero can PvP as effectively as bandits within a survivor/hero group. This is due to their ability to defend against any hostilities without penalty to humanity, for the cases where a fresh survivor comes upon their group and attacks them. A hero has many paths available for them outside the traditional non-combatant role. Being a combat medic, is one of those.

On our Dead Meat PvP server, the harshest survival is not only the game world, zombies, and environment, but surviving also surviving the PvP. In all the post apoc TV shows and movies, the greatest threat isnt always mutants or zombies, its their fellow man. Humans are fare more dangerous than any other threat out there in this genre.

The point of playing a Hero is to play Dayz on its 'hardest setting'. You choose to play hero for the difficulty, otherwise there would be no point, and everyone would be a 'hero'. If anything, heroes are a bit over powered and their perks should be nerfed a bit, once your humanity is high enough you can act just the same as a bandit, but for a limited time before grinding humanity again. If there wasn't a fine balance between player skill and practical use of hero skills, I would have nerfed them already.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

cRiNkLeStAr

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Re: Bandit vs. Hero: A Balance Comparison
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2014, 03:25:15 PM »
I have to say I respect anyone going the route of hero. It is a path I'll never follow due to my ridiculously negative score. Arm's post and yours sheds light on aspects of each that I've never really thought about. Hope you don't leave but if you do-enjoy.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Digdug

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Re: Bandit vs. Hero: A Balance Comparison
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2014, 03:51:17 PM »
No I'm staying. If I'd known about most of the stuff Arm posted I wouldn't have even bothered ranting as it makes perfect sense for the most part. I still disagree with some aspects but that's largely with Epoch and not the server itself. Thanks guys.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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VanZan

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Re: Bandit vs. Hero: A Balance Comparison
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2014, 11:18:42 PM »
Armifer, your last post suggests that a Hero should be a medic for a group of bandits.  I thought you told me that I would lose humanity if I hung around bandits too long?  I did lose 1000 humanity once when I was allied with Webber's group.  There were probably 8 bandits in their base, and after being in their base for 10 minutes, I notice my humanity had inexplicably fallen?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »