Author Topic: Interrogation percentages  (Read 460 times)

ushas

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Interrogation percentages
« on: February 10, 2018, 02:10:26 PM »
Some thoughts on interrogation percentages (v23)

Will re-link the same screen from another thread



1) Numbers on our side not always adding up
Sam above got -15 somewhere. Often happens either during interrogation (eg. recalling questioning a lieutenant where Sam starts with sum = total but later -15 kicks in) or has it already at the start. Think before MindCracker he was also having some +5 bonus. Elena too. There could be some hidden effect am unaware (other leader perks?), just that it's confusing.

2) Scaling up versus static bonuses
Interrogation decisions deal with static numbers, next to that are adjustments that change across ranks as well as over time (eg. lvl bonus). Which means the total itself isn't static. Seems that the formula for % can be [50 x AllyTotal / EnemyTotal] (in case wrong the following is probably wrong too). Then how well [de-]buffs work depends on the current enemy's total number.

Don't worry won't post any graphs, but let's use an arbitrary example:
Sam: lvl 25 (75p) + Presence 85 = 160
Emeny1: lvl 15 (45p) + Presence 55 = 100   -> chance is 80%
Enemy2: lvl 20 (60p) + Presence 110 + Lieutenant 30 = 200   -> chance is 40%

2a) Adjustments on our side: MindCracker buff
So now Sam takes MindCracker perk and it should upp his total to 180:
Emeny1 (100): 90%   -> +10%
Emeny2 (200): 45%   -> +5%
As a perk MC seems underwhelming right now. The most it helps with enemies with low total number, but then as an interrogator you will have a good chance there already. Gets weaker over time as enemies lvl up (no matter our total).

2b) Adjustments on our side: Enemy's gang debuff
The same for debuffs. When asking about the same gang it decreases Sam's total to 150:
Emeny1 (100): 75%   -> -5%
Emeny2 (200): 38%   -> -2%
This is a kind of strange, it means the higher the enemy's [rank | presence | level] the less unwilling to spill beans about his own gang... 

2c) Adjustments on enemy side: Sodium Thiopental
Let's use Sam (160) and apply ST on enemies:
Emeny1 (85): 94%     -> +14%
Emeny2 (185): 43%   -> +3%
Again, the lower the enemy's total to begin with, the higher impact of ST. In fact in case of Enemy1 it's stronger than Mincracker.

Btw. things that debuff enemy's tot makes all the other adjustments against them stronger. Eg, ST + MindCracker -> +9% against Enemy2.

The game tells us ST also gets much less effective over time and more so when climbing ranks. We are talking chemical, about the drug resistancy. How well can they train it?


3) Presence skill and level scaling
Sam is interrogator, we maxed Library and upped his Presence several times (Leadership 10+). Could do more, but no way I could reach similar numbers as enemies. I understand that they have a bit different rules and some also function as leaders so need a good radius and cth buff, but together with level adjustments, feels like they are trying to keep up with our lvl by Presence. See above how this hoarding of numbers influences other things.

If Sam of lvl 25 has Presence 25 (so his total is 100 now)
Emeny1(100): 50%  ->  -30% in comparison to interrogator
Enemy2(200): 25%  ->  -15% in comparison to interrogator
« Last Edit: February 10, 2018, 02:51:52 PM by ushas »

Daithi

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Re: Interrogation percentages
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2018, 02:40:21 PM »
Thanks for flagging. I'm going to do one more feature update, then will focus on balancing and tweaking existing features. Agree that work needs to be done to balance this. Perhaps changing some of the factors to provide a flat bonus % to success (mind cracker, sodium thiopental, maybe rank) would improve the situation?

The idea that enemy stats are too high have crossed by mind a few times. Will take a look at this too, when in the area.

ushas

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Re: Interrogation percentages
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2018, 02:13:38 AM »
Of course. In terms of issues haven't encountered anything that would stop or hamper the player's advancement. Just that I was in the area, a bunch of screens at hand and was guessing that some things might still stay relevant later on.

Perhaps changing some of the factors to provide a flat bonus % to success (mind cracker, sodium thiopental, maybe rank) would improve the situation?
That would be interesting, another dimension. One at the time perhaps? Would vote for ST.     

Tbh. was the most concerned about the level influence. Enemies automatically become better at resisting in time. If that's intended, ok, but it also makes other effects coming into equation less impactful over time. And Sam becoming automatically better interrogator by outleveling at the other side seems creating also a bit balancing complication. In case it's something like a battle of wills then I can imagine mind cracker coming into this while how much they care about the topic (eg. which gang) and ST work like a flat % adjustments, etc. But depends, np with anything when well presented. Just looking how it goes into extremes. Sometimes balance isn't about changing things completely but simply tuning numbers to keep in some desired area.

PS: wondering if interrogation can also take into account when enemies have some trait.

Daithi

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Re: Interrogation percentages
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2018, 08:09:53 AM »
Okay, will spend some time on it. Will look into reducing the effect of levels also.

PS: Yeah, looking for more traits to add for enemies, so will keep this one in mind.

ushas

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Re: Interrogation percentages
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2018, 07:13:48 PM »
Do as you wish. Just giving some views. In case it's not obvious I'm biased against auto scaling stats. Similar like with HP, not a fan (though recalling it went down from 3hp/lvl to 2hp/lvl or so) but I understand why it's done.


A couple of possibly outdated or otherwise unuseful notes:

1. Ally vs Sam interrogator
On v24 play I highly specialized Arcadi as interrogator, he has ~60-70 Presence around lvl8-9, which is way higher than had with Sam during v21-v23 play (AFAIK there were no changes between v23 and v24). If Sam would put all those initial 15 skill points into Presence and boosted mostly Leadership, think he can technically reach similar numbers (however on higher difficulties it would be unwise to start without putting some of those initial points into one of the battle skills and Fleetness). Not saying there is any problem, only pointing out an interesting side-effect of the character system: in their favourable skill, allies can practically specialize faster than Sam.   

2. Can we comply with Geneva conventions?
Once the gang/topic is selected the next node asks you to choose either 'Rought them up' or 'Russian Roulette'. IMO both are bad cop. From the roleplaying perspective, would be neat to have more options here: if possible for good cops too or/and an option to voluntarily skip the step (not administer violence). Also thinking about characters of allies - what are or aren't they willing/want to do? Are interrogation options influencing relationships/characters? etc.

3. Why interrogate further when having 100% already?
With Arcadi it's on soft boiled (slower lvling enemies), lately was getting 100% right at the start of talk. Provided leveling enemies changed and all subject to balance. However, perhaps it will be still possible in some optimal play to get 100% at some point before the end of interrogation. After the gang & topic is chosen, is there any benefit in getting it above 100% (administering ST doesn't seem to do anything though), or will there be any further choice that can lower % (so far there isn't)? If the answer is 'no' to both, then it would be neat if the interrogation jumps right to the end as soon as 100% is reached. (in combination with 2, in case interrogation costs time and we can skip some of it, then high Presence interrogator saves not only real but also some ingame time).


Re PS: Unsure whether was in spirit of 'go ahead' or exactly the opposite, so just some half-backed thoughts: traits like ronin (in case it won't search killed leader but gets the next rank), coward / fearless (influence chance to flee as well as inter. threshold), higher / lower pain threshold, drug addict, etc... Ideally if traits can have in-battle as well as in-interrogation effects.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2018, 07:17:26 PM by ushas »

Daithi

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Re: Interrogation percentages
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2018, 09:21:36 AM »
The suggestion of giving flat bonuses for perks/pentathol was a good call. It's just been added.

1: Think this is fine.

2: Was thinking of presence based interrogation - a sort of mind games - any thoughts on this? The characters aren't actually playing Russian Roulette with a live round (though it could offer a source of dark humour if a low skill character forgot to remove the bullet)

3: Will keep this in mind. Compared to other "quality of life" improvements, this is more of an edge case, so would tackle stuff like repair all on inventory first.

ushas

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Re: Interrogation percentages
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2018, 12:56:11 PM »
Was thinking of presence based interrogation - a sort of mind games
What does this entail?

Daithi

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Re: Interrogation percentages
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2018, 02:10:48 PM »
Using presence in a similar way to firearms or close combat to get a score bonus.

ushas

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Re: Interrogation percentages
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2018, 02:53:20 PM »
Aha, like one more difficulty check? Somewhat confusing because the whole interrogation is Presence based itself (so a kind of imagined already, for example, my good cop Sam pulls out a flask and let's have a friendly chat, how's the family... you know, you're decent fellow, deserve better...). But think more roleplaying options is nice, so if you have text for it why not. Though wondering if there are any drawbacks.

3: Sure np, though I know realize, it doesn't need to jump on the code level, just add "That's all. Interrogate!" option to all nodes and we can decide at which stage will click on it.

ushas

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Re: Interrogation percentages
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2018, 04:05:11 PM »
Hmm, re drawbacks - why not all interrogation options, except administering ST, having some time price?

Was also thinking how would it play if all options are available till used. So you can combine more of them if desire, but must also weight time/resources or risks.
An example of selection:
1. Rought them up [20 min, cc check, at low skill a chance of harm to the interrogator]
2. Russian Roulette [10 min, firearms check, a chance to kill at low skill, aka forgot the bullet in]
3. Gasoline Bath [20 min, explosives check, uses that item with canister in its image]
4. Mind Games [40 min, Presence based difficulty check]
5. Administer ST [0 min, uses ST item, a chance to put at sleep when low Medicine skill]
6. That's all. Interrogate!

Most probably stupid or unfeasible (those times are prob. too long, and maybe are order dependant, eg. if one uses ST before others, dunno), so let's see it more like comparison example.

Daithi

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Re: Interrogation percentages
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2018, 10:06:11 AM »
It's likely a better system, but think the current system works pretty well. It will come down to how much time is left over when all the necessary pieces are in place.