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[Feedback] Gameplay and Balance discussion

Started by Goldo, May 18, 2022, 02:32 PM

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GoldoTopic starter

This thread is for sharing feedback on BK gameplay and balance, including discussing suggestions of modifications or new features.

Please keep these separate from bug reports.
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Ch12

Hi Goldo!

There's one thing I've been wanting to discuss for a while now - the ninja hunt in chapter 2.

Basically, you have to find 3 ninjas, 3 times each. There's always 6 possible places for them to hide. 3 * 3 * 6 = 54 tries required in the worst case.

On top of that, you can only search once per day, so this takes potentially 54 days to complete. Even on average, you need a month, searching every day.

I've started to savescum by now, making me feel like I'm cheating. :(

Could you include something to make finding the ninjas easier? E.g. some item that helps you locate them. Or you pay Suzume and she helps you. I could even imagine this being the hook for all sorts of H-events (from "energy transfer" to "owing favors")
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GoldoTopic starter

Thanks! Interestingly, ninjas used to spam always in the same location, but someone complained it was too easy. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. ^^

First, you should know that the original location is not actually randomized but hard-coded:
Spoiler
# First location is set, then it's randomized
        NPC_narika.loc = thieves_guild
        NPC_mizuki.loc = beach
        NPC_haruka.loc = prison
[close]

So if you know where to look, it only takes you a maximum of 3 + 3 * 2 * 6 = 39 tries, and an average of 21 days (three in-game weeks). Granted, this doesn't address your point for a first no-spoiler playthrough.

I like your idea of adding an item or NPC interaction to make it an additional small goal for the player, but I feel at this point like I may be creating more work than necessary for myself...

Let me try to address your point in an easier way. My proposed solution would be: once a location has been used by the ninja, remove it from the location pool to choose from for the next spawn.

This would bring down the max odds to 3 * 6 + 3 * 5 + 3 * 4 = 45 tries, with an average of 22-23 days. And if you know where to look the first time, only 3 + 3 * 5 + 3 * 4 = 30 days max and 16-17 days average which is acceptable I think. Suzume could make it clear in dialogue that it is not worth searching the same location twice.
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Ch12

#3
It's a fun quest on the first playthrough.

However, at least for me, trying to guess some random locations had become tedious already in the 2nd playthrough. Also, it puts a high (random) hurdle in the way if you're trying to speedrun, and there is nothing you can do to speed up the process through wit, strategy, gold or any other means (other than plain cheating).

Your proposal would help some. Also, it would reward at least the most basic form of strategy - not searching the same locations twice.
One more low-effort idea I have is to allow searching for ninjas at least twice per day. Would not lower the total AP cost, but at least lower the duration. (which is my primary concern)

Well, I have to admit that I'm not a fan of games of chance in the first place, especially if there is no way to tip the scales in my favor. ;)
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GoldoTopic starter

I see your point about speed-running, but allowing searches for a limited amount of times that isn't 1 is potentially very confusing for the player. What I could do instead is allow for one search per district.

The effect would be to incentivize players to follow all three side stories at the same time, which I am not 100% sure is a good idea. But this would triple the efficiency of the chase, so good for addressing your concern.
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doruido

This idea sprung up while I was putting together a Noi pack. What if we could hire girls as bouncers? Effectiveness scaling off of body, constitution, obedience. They could contribute to security, mood/fear of other girls (depending on how you order them to act) and take on the occasional client during slow nights.


GoldoTopic starter

Quote from: doruido on Jun 09, 2022, 10:48 PMThis idea sprung up while I was putting together a Noi pack. What if we could hire girls as bouncers? Effectiveness scaling off of body, constitution, obedience. They could contribute to security, mood/fear of other girls (depending on how you order them to act) and take on the occasional client during slow nights.

I've had a similar idea for a while on my drawing board: Make all menial workers (ad girls, bouncers, maids) individual girls with pictures and stats, requiring the player to hire them one by one instead of using the bar setting. Of course, they would be eligible for a roll in the hay with specific events.

This could even allow for "mini girl packs": girls that do not have enough pictures to pass as a girlpack but could be used as workers with a couple of H events.

While the idea is cool in principle, it is a lot of work and not a priority over developing the story.
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GoldoTopic starter

I'd like to ask you guys a question: as the difficulty system is now an integral part of the game, are there some other mechanics that it should influence?

Specifically, I'm thinking of:
- Security, and the frequency/severity of security events
- Skill upgrade points that girls receive upon leveling
- Love/Hate and Fear/Trust and how easy it is to build with a girl

This would all contribute to make higher difficulty more challenging. But is it needed?
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Leortha

I look at the other end.   The "easy" end.   And I think that all three would be welcomed for the super-easy mode.   Especially making security events rarer, and disabling the worst of them.
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vadi92

I wouldnt mind it. But it will sure make a lot of "why" on the F95 forum ;D

DougTheC

#10
Quote from: Goldo on May 31, 2022, 03:08 PMLet me try to address your point in an easier way. My proposed solution would be: once a location has been used by the ninja, remove it from the location pool to choose from for the next spawn.

This would bring down the max odds to 3 * 6 + 3 * 5 + 3 * 4 = 45 tries, with an average of 22-23 days. And if you know where to look the first time, only 3 + 3 * 5 + 3 * 4 = 30 days max and 16-17 days average which is acceptable I think. Suzume could make it clear in dialogue that it is not worth searching the same location twice.

Even easier, have "hunt for ninjas" button deactivated in locations previously caught at.
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neronero

Not a big fan of the ultra-challenging run myself. Coming at it from a "normal" perspective:

I'm not against adding these things, but is it needed is a different question... I don't think it's needed at this time.

We don't know what challenges will present themselves in the later chapters. I hope there will be some more twists and turns which will ramp the difficulty up slightly towards the end. We have no idea how high the final hurdle will be, even on normal mode.

But while we're discussing things difficulty could influence, how about MC starting stats or stat-growth? (Strength, Spirit, Charisma, Speed)
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SK

#12
I do typically play on the harder settings just to keep things interesting


- Security, and the frequency/severity of security events

I find these to be far more annoying than challenging.  Particularly those that arbitrarily injure a girl and reduce their stats.  Buying weapons does counter that, but the item system is a bit slow on my machine so I rarely do so.  Having some risk and reward built into them would be more interesting, more of the beating up insane customers and taking their wallets.  Maybe even capturing ninja-trainees during those events and turning them into your slaves would reward the strength style and staying home to guard.

- Skill upgrade points that girls receive upon leveling

The escort tree seems fairly weak, especially early game.  Getting group whores early is (nearly?) impossible and thats a large part of the early escort tree.  Maybe switch the early and late talents there to better align the perks with game phase.  Or a perk that would increase a chance of the girl getting a whoring opportunity when working jobs, an escort turning tricks while acting like an "proper" companion. 

If you were just asking about skill points given per level, those seem fine.  Maybe a bit too much as there isn't much ROI on buying skill boosting consumables from G or the gift shop, but that could just be the cost of those alone.

- Love/Hate and Fear/Trust and how easy it is to build with a girl

I find the Love-Trust to be far more favored in the game.  It more effective to dump points into social, train the girl at her pace and have her work jobs as low rank jobs make more gold than low rank whores.  And that double dips by having happy girls gain skill points faster than angry girls, there needs to be some reason to be an ass for that playstyle to make any sense.  Either by making early game whores more profitable (A good dancer will make 80-100 gold in chapter 1, a good whore will struggle to make 50 with far more player actions invested), or giving some bonus to fear to counter the bonuses from love.  Maybe something like additional customers per job or a reroll of of bad rolls to simulate the girl being afraid of disappointing you.

I do enjoy being the evil sometimes and balance seems to reward good players a lot more.

Ch12

#13
- Security, and the frequency/severity of security events

I feel a bit similar to SK here. The harsh security events almost forces you into investing into high security. I never buy weapons for my girls because I feel like my only choice is making sure the security breaches never happen in the first place. (To be honest, I don't remember what the weapons even do)
Some events, especially the brawl, can even cause random game overs. This is true especially on higher difficulties (but can probably happen even on normal)

My current strategy is always having enough security to have low or very low threat. Also, I quickly buy the furniture giving you more crazy customers, because your guards will then beat them up and take their money, making security pay for itself.
I think the effects of more/less security should be more gradual and not so highly random, before you start finetuning/balancing security.

- Skill upgrade points that girls receive upon leveling

I think this is basically in a good spot right now. Basically, I recommend to never even approach these two extremes:
*) Having so little points that you can make almost no decisions
*) Having so many points that your decisions do not matter at all, since you end up with all perks, anyway

In general, I feel like the difficulty should mostly come from having to think more about your decisions, and not from having less options.


- Love/Hate and Fear/Trust and how easy it is to build with a girl

I agree with SK that going the Love route seems stronger. At some point, the girls are willing to work almost for free.
Personally, I feel this part of the game system would benefit from an overhaul. I would expect the girls to be less greedy if they're afraid of you, not the other way round.
In general, I think Love might be better off provide moral bonuses instead of reducing upkeep. (You can pull the upkeep slider almost to 0 if they adore you)

To be perfectly honest, I haven't tried going the evil route for years now, so I don't remember what the bonus of going evil even is.

The basis (how fast you gain love/hate and fear/trust) seems fine to me. It takes a while, but is not tedious.
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Unkmess

Hello everyone !
So I have been grinding this game for a bit now and I trully love it and noticed some things that were actually a bit frustrating to say non the least.
1) The limited number of actions per day and how they are managed overall and what actions require action points. Mostly everything important requires an action point in the game and it quikcly became frustrating to work my way trough everything with action points being so little specially going into mid game.
   Personally I would set the girl's training and such not to require action points and everything alltogether as weird as it sounds. Making the game in my opinion a bit more free to go trough and it would help focus on exploration later on in the game instead taking in consideration the game has a story playtrough as well.

2) The ninja game is a bit ridiculous as the times you can look for a ninja girl is a bit frustrating to deal with. Had to actually save the game and retry to get trought that bit to advance into the story a bit faster as it felt a hit or miss when going trough.
   I don't feel like it should be completely like that but only one search it makes it a bit hard to go trough. I didn't check if the spawn of the ninja's is random but if it is, increasing the number to 3 or 4 searches out of 6 possible locations will make it a bit smoother with a better hit or miss chance.

3) Training the girls stats: I personally feel like randomness with stats is really weird and being able to completely control the way a girl's playtrough is important. I like the idea of the talent trees but it can become a bit restrictive and annoying as well.

   To give away an example: I had a girl with bride and slut talents going trough but high refinement, low body, low beauty, which was a bit of a hassle to place with the idea that she will either be a slut or geisha or anything like that which made it hard to go trough with that girl.
   A personal thing I would like is that the zodiac ( talents ) should be one random or none at all which would give you freedom to decide the startup of the girl instead. Moving onto different talent trees to be done after you finished the first one so so you can dictate a flow and rng not to be a complete thing in regards to that. RNG in grinding games is a bit of a hassle not going to lie.
   Training the girls also is a bit awkward, while on high stats you can decide a bit how a girl will be within the following stats :
Charisma, Obedience, Libido, Sensitivity, Constitution are easy to go trough stats, Beauty, Refinement and Body are the hardest to go trough to get right and upgrade. And I think at a certain point mid game you could obtain training as a master to directly influence stats as you wish instead of random chances in sexual acts could go a lot better into getting those girls properly trained.

Another thing I noticed that masochist girls will end up being hateful towards you and their talk options are really awkward and not optimized.
Normally I would like her to still love me though she is masochistic, but if you push her too much she still ends up hating you instead. I might be doing something wrong but I think when a girl is masochistic, the more you push this trait the more she would end up loving you and dialogue options to be different when she is trully dominated.