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Enemy to hit numbers vs. AC in Might and Magic 6-7-8

BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,502
edited May 2018 in Off-Topic
@JuliusBorisov , You're the only person here I know for sure might be interested in this topic and have some input about it, but I'm hoping other RPG numbers game lovers might be interested as well. I also posted this over at Celestial Heavens.

So, I was really curious about game behavior I've been observing in MM 6, 7, and 8 about enemy hit rate versus armor class. So, I looked up the formula.

It's (Monster Level * 2 + 5) divided by (Monster Level * 2 + 10 + Player Armor Class)

That alone didn't tell me much. What exactly does, for example, AC 25 do for you, vs. AC 50, or AC 100? And, is it worth it to give up dual wielding or attack bonuses in favor of armor class?

I started plugging in a lot of numbers to the formula. Monster level 10 vs. AC 25. Monster level 25 vs. AC 50. Monster level 50 vs. AC 100. And also lower level monsters vs. very high AC.

I discovered something very, very interesting about the statistical curve I got.

No matter the monster level or the AC, the monster's base chance to hit before taking into account any armor was 95 to 98 percent. AC 50 started approaching a mathematical limit of 75% vs. just about any monster level. AC 100 started approaching a mathematical limit of 50% vs. just about any monster level.

Conclusions? It looks like no matter how much AC you put together, the highest level monsters are *always* going to have a 50/50 chance to hit you, vs. a 3/4 chance if you wear light armor, and close to 100% if you wear no armor at all.

So, considering that armor slows you down and reduces your attack rate, is it worth it to ever wear heavy armor or use shields? Higher dps seems better, because if you kill them faster they will stop swinging sooner.

Does Might and Magic basically follow the "Armor is Useless" trope, then?

It looks like the very complicated "Thac0" formula used in MM can be reduced mathematically to simply rolling a d4 to hit vs. AC 0, 25, 50, or 100. (Bigger numbers are better in MM, unlike in BG.)

SethDavisJuliusBorisov

Comments

  • jjstraka34jjstraka34 Member Posts: 8,100
    No matter what RPG developers attempt to do to curtail this (and there are certainly plenty of exceptions), when the question comes down to a damage gain or a marginal defensive gain, the former almost always beats the later unless you are talking about a character specifically being built and designed to take hits. The simple reason being is that the quicker you kill something, the less damage it can do to you.

    JuliusBorisovBelgarathMTH
  • ArdanisArdanis Member Posts: 1,717
    edited May 2018
    There're more formulas here https://grayface.github.io/mm/mechanics/ , in case someone is interested.

    So, considering that armor slows you down and reduces your attack rate, is it worth it to ever wear heavy armor or use shields? Higher dps seems better, because if you kill them faster they will stop swinging sooner.
    Recovery speed penalties are removed by training the skills, so I wouldn't say so. Only paladins are at real disadvantage (can't get rid of chainmail/plate penalties), and even that is only -15 for the expert rank in plate. In early game it's not that noticeable because recovery rate is about 90 for most weapons, i.e. it translates into a mere -20%, and in late game you'll be relying on Shrapmetal and/or GM armsmaster knight for delivering damage.
    I do always dual wield though, as soon as possible - sword for knight, dagger for thief/mage/druid/vampire. Only give the shield to clerics and paladins, the rest get two-handers.

    Does Might and Magic basically follow the "Armor is Useless" trope, then?

    I wouldn't say so. Few monsters are above level 50, and getting twice as much AC is not a big problem - remember that you can boost it by high speed, a whole box of jewelry and stone skin.

    It looks like the very complicated "Thac0" formula used in MM can be reduced mathematically to simply rolling a d4 to hit vs. AC 0, 25, 50, or 100. (Bigger numbers are better in MM, unlike in BG.)

    The "my_attack / my_attack + their_defense" is actually a very common scaling formula used for hit chance (and sometimes damage resistance) in RPGs with unlimited stat progressions, e.g. Diablo and Sacred. You really can't simulate it with dice. M&M in fact takes simpler route by scrapping attack rate for monsters and using their level instead.

    BelgarathMTHJuliusBorisovGrond0
  • ArdanisArdanis Member Posts: 1,717

    The simple reason being is that the quicker you kill something, the less damage it can do to you.

    That depends on math. If raising defense decreases overall taken damage despite longer exposure to it, then defense wins. The real reason is that two tanks exchanging glancing blows gets boring very quick.

    BelgarathMTHGrond0
  • jjstraka34jjstraka34 Member Posts: 8,100
    Ardanis said:

    The simple reason being is that the quicker you kill something, the less damage it can do to you.

    That depends on math. If raising defense decreases overall taken damage despite longer exposure to it, then defense wins. The real reason is that two tanks exchanging glancing blows gets boring very quick.
    True it just rarely ever happens. The best example is the Dark Souls trilogy. While there are plenty of armor sets in the game with varying degrees of resistance, but in the end, you are almost always better served going balls out with weapon upgrades and boosting your strength or dexterity. Because in the end, the less times you have to dodge boss attacks, the more likely you are not to make a mistake.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,502
    edited May 2018
    @Ardanis , Wow, thanks for the great answers, man! I find it delightful that a blue-background Beamdog employee is so knowledgeable about such an old classic as Might and Magic, and about the RPG numbers game in general. I don't know what your exact role at Beamdog might be, but you clearly know your stuff about how to design and program RPG's. I bow to you, sir. :)

    BTW, that Grayface link is where I got my information for this post. Note that advanced armor skill does not give any damage reduction in MM6 - that was added in MM7.

    ArdanisJuliusBorisov
  • ArdanisArdanis Member Posts: 1,717
    MM7 is one of my top favorite games, perhaps more so than BG, and I also made an enhanced difficulty mod for MM8, though never published it :) There was something absolutely enchanting about how you could travel all around the world minding your business, especially in MM7, yet it never felt too big and empty. So many small yet well crafted features made the game really deep.
    Don't know if it'll happen at Beamdog, but it is indeed my dream to make a spiritual successor to MM7 :)

    Note that advanced armor skill does not give any damage reduction in MM6 - that was added in MM7.

    Now that you mention it, yes.

    JuliusBorisovBelgarathMTHAedan
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,502
    @Ardanis , I wish I could click "love" instead of merely "like" on that post. Vanilla should add a "love" click option, like Facebook did.

    JuliusBorisovGrond0
  • Ludwig_IILudwig_II Member Posts: 269
    MM7 is one of my all time favorite games too, if not the all time favorite.

    About the armor class, I think AC is most probably not as important as it is in BG or so, but still has importance. The only game that I know which Armor should be disregarded is Might and Magic X Legacy from Ubisoft, due to it's own skill system. And even that game had some nice features and a good tactical combat, though the game was a bit strange.

    I can't help but think about how 3DO messed up a great company, New World Computing, and what else they could have produced if they continued. The atmosphere in some of their games is really hard to be found in anything else. Bad bad 3DO

    BelgarathMTH
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,502
    I'm starting to see some AC benefits with my MM6 party, all of whom have something near AC 100, as we are beginning to encounter enemies in some dungeons who don't have the levels to hit that. I found myself laughing at the mobs of master swordsmen and veterans in the Silver Helm dungeon in Silver Cove last night, as the sound effects were going "whiff, whiff, whiff, whiff, whiff, whiff, whiff" over and over. It really was quite comical. I think the entire army of them got in about five or six hits on my party during the entire dungeon.

    Enemies like minotaur kings, cuisinarts, and dragons are still quite a problem, though, as they seem to be able to hit AC100 almost at will. I'm sure I have some confirmation bias going on with that, though. Even if they're hitting 25-50 percent less of the time, that's 25-50 percent less damage on my party. And you can't take those things down quickly unless you manage to outlevel them significantly, which wouldn't be until very late game.

    So I'm still undecided about the issue. AC probably is doing more good for my party than I was thinking at first. It probably just doesn't seem to do much good in the early game when your gear is practically made of cardboard and duct tape.

    I love Might and Magic games. :)

  • jjstraka34jjstraka34 Member Posts: 8,100

    I'm starting to see some AC benefits with my MM6 party, all of whom have something near AC 100, as we are beginning to encounter enemies in some dungeons who don't have the levels to hit that. I found myself laughing at the mobs of master swordsmen and veterans in the Silver Helm dungeon in Silver Cove last night, as the sound effects were going "whiff, whiff, whiff, whiff, whiff, whiff, whiff" over and over. It really was quite comical. I think the entire army of them got in about five or six hits on my party during the entire dungeon.

    Enemies like minotaur kings, cuisinarts, and dragons are still quite a problem, though, as they seem to be able to hit AC100 almost at will. I'm sure I have some confirmation bias going on with that, though. Even if they're hitting 25-50 percent less of the time, that's 25-50 percent less damage on my party. And you can't take those things down quickly unless you manage to outlevel them significantly, which wouldn't be until very late game.

    So I'm still undecided about the issue. AC probably is doing more good for my party than I was thinking at first. It probably just doesn't seem to do much good in the early game when your gear is practically made of cardboard and duct tape.

    I love Might and Magic games. :)

    I honestly can't decide if I like Baldur's Gate 2 or Might and Magic VI more. What I DO know is that at least once a week when I lay down for a quick afternoon nap, I will pull up the soundtrack to Mandate of Heaven on Youtube on my phone to fall asleep to. I have still never heard anything that rivals it in an RPG (well, maybe Majula in Dark Souls 2, but that is only one track). What I know for certain is that while there may be things in a CRPG that are AS important as a good or great soundtrack, I really don't think there is anything that is MORE important.

    BelgarathMTH
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