# Adjusting difficulty level [new question]

So I’ve got several secondary stats which can only be raised by equipping an item. These stats are quite important for mini-games within the game. I’m having trouble adjusting the difficulty level within the minigame to make sure that it’s not stupid easy, but also not stupid hard either.

The stats were initially not using pyramid numbering, but I turned it on hoping this would help my problem. It didn’t seem to make a difference at all. They’re also all set at broad difficulty. When reading the manual, I wasn’t sure how this worked so decided not to mess with it.

At first the item gave very low numbers of stats (2, 3, and 4), but when I went to set the difficulty level for the branch, the difficulty would always turn out either too easy or too hard. If I had the minimum stat set at 1, and a difficulty of 1, the task would be way too easy. But if I adjusted the difficulty level to 2, it would become nearly impossible. I tried using decimals to even it out a little more, but it didn’t take.

Thinking the low numbers of stats given were my problem, I adjusted them up to 10, 15, and 20, but still ran into the same problem. Setting a min stat at 1 with a difficulty of 5 would make it stupid hard, 4 would change the probability by only a few percentage points, but 3 would make it stupid easy. I can’t find a nice medium to work with.

I had the same issue when I was working with my primary stats, but don’t remember how I solved it. I think things got better as the player got the stats up, but becuase these stats are only changed by items and can only be raised through adding more items, that won’t solve things.

Help would be much appreciated.
edited by chimerical on 3/28/2013
edited by Chimerical on 3/29/2013

Just to state the premises I’m reading from your post: you’ve got a bunch of qualities you use for challenges; they’re all pretty small (in the range of 1-5? 1-10?) and you can’t figure out how to make sure the difficulties of those challenges never get too far from 50% in either direction.

If I were in your position, I think I’d use Narrow difficulties with a low DifficultyScaler – say, 2% or 5%. When the quality is equal to the challenge, the chance of success is 50%; with a low scaler, it wouldn’t budge very much in either direction unless the difficulties swung drastically.

I was originally going to use a range of +1 thru +10 for each of these items, but I changed that by multiplying everything by 5 when I was having trouble with the difficulties.

I’ll have to explore narrow difficulties, in that case, and read and reread the manual more thoroughly on the subject.

Will pyramid numbers make any difference in this case? Or should I just turn those off?

Pyramid numbering doesn’t impact difficulties. The only thing it’ll do is make those qualities harder to raise (if they’re raised through Change By results – if items are setting those qualities to +X, pyramid numbering doesn’t do anything at all).

I encountered a bug that I think has been fixed, but in case you created the qualities earlier and the bug affects you: is there a number beside the pull-down for Broad vs. Narrow? What is it set to? I discovered for several of my qualities that the number was set to 0, which made everything impossible. I believe it should be set to 10 for Narrow and 60 for Broad.

Haven’t had the chance to try out narrow difficulty yet, but I’m rethinking the way I planned this out and have another question:

If a challenge requires two stats, and the two stats create two different difficulties for the challenge, how does that work? Does it go with the lowest difficulty to calculate the outcome? The highest? Will both difficulties be averaged or something? Would it be useful at all to assign two different stats to a challenge?

[quote=Chimerical]Haven’t had the chance to try out narrow difficulty yet, but I’m rethinking the way I planned this out and have another question:

If a challenge requires two stats, and the two stats create two different difficulties for the challenge, how does that work? Does it go with the lowest difficulty to calculate the outcome? The highest? Will both difficulties be averaged or something? Would it be useful at all to assign two different stats to a challenge?[/quote]
I guess failure at either challenge would lead to the failure action? In FL you have an example with Acquaintance: Sardonic singer and Persuasive, in relation to what you can use it for.

Ok, that makes sense. I’ll have to figure out how to use that.

I’ve another question: I’m having some more trouble. The playtest stat is currently at 12 (broad), and I’ve the difficulty set at 20, but it’s reading as 100% chance of success. I’m really not sure what’s going on there.

I’m not sure why I’m having so much trouble setting difficulties, but it’s rather frustrating.

-EDIT- I figured it out. I was linking to the wrong storylet. That’ll teach me to clone storylets and forget to adjust the settings.
edited by Chimerical on 3/29/2013
edited by Chimerical on 3/29/2013
edited by Chimerical on 3/30/2013

Has anybody actually tested what happens with two difficulties on one challenge?

No

I have a branch somewhere with two difficulties. Essentially imagine: you’re trying to break down a door without alerting the guards. So there is a “damage” difficulty and a “stealth” difficulty. You have to pass both of them to get the success result.

We unfortunately can’t set different result branches based on specific failure/success scenarios, so it’s best to keep it as a pass/fail sort of thing no matter what combination of stats you are testing. What I’d do in this case is write a 50/50 default/rare default result, one activating and explaining stealth failure, the other explaining damage failure. As far as the player is concerned, something failed, so I’d just let it be random one or the other and not worry too much about the specifics of which stat failed.

Alternately, if you want to get real specific on results for a multiple-stat challenge, you can break down attempt/result/outcome very specifically one by one on each card with linked storylets.