Just a small disclaimer before I begin this post, please check to see if a reward is a default Chance Cube reward before coming and complaining to me or dissing the mod. I have seen many posts and comments about people ripping on the mod due to rewards that I am not even in control of so please check first. Default Chance Cube rewards are prefixed by “chancecubes:” before the name of the reward in both the console and config file.
Also another thing before I begin, I was originally going to write this about the Science behind creating a Chance Cube reward, but I got side tracked in my response below and not wanting to make the blog post incredibly long I decided to leave it and save my Science behind the reward idea for another post, another day.
Now with that out of the way, those comments and posts about how dumb the rewards in Chance Cubes are, actually inspired me to make this blog post about why creating a balanced reward for a mod like this is tricky business. I’m sure people like Kehann and TheCazadorsnipper as well as others who have created Rewards for Chance Cubes and similar mods will agree with me in that unless the reward is just there for a slight jump scare or good laugh (Which I will say Kehann is amazing at this), creating a reward that is both balanced, but also game impacting (good or bad) is just down right a challenge. Why? Because making a reward that benefits a player during the early, mid and late game just isn’t realistic. Same applies to bad rewards that are just as dangerous to the player during the early game as well as during the later game. For example, Iron armor is a great early game/ mid game reward because it gives the player a nice boost in armor or simply just gives them some iron (because who isn’t always in need of iron), but late game, those benefits just aren’t there. On the other end of the spectrum, giving a nether star early game can be really op, but it can also be pointless if they have nothing to use it for if they have no other resources to make it of value. Meanwhile this can be a nice boost to players in the later game. If we look on the side of negative rewards, the creeper surrounded reward is a big challenge to those in the early/mid game, but once you get to a certain point, you just aren’t going to die to them because they don’t do any damage. The things that would actually be of challenge to the later game players is just not fair or too deadly to face in the early game.
So what am I doing with Chance Cubes to counter act this? Well simply put, I am trying anything and everything, but I have found a few things that seem to work better than others.
- Leveling the playing field for bad rewards. By this I mean doing something in the reward that makes it just as dangerous for early game players to face as it is for late game players. One example of this is the inventory bomb reward and the old (and currently disabled for unrelated issues) reward that had a zombie that would steal the players armor and sword. These rewards level the playing field by taking away late game player’s protection and damage to bring them down to an equal level of an early game player in order to provide the challenge of getting their stuff back. Another example is the Maze, Math, and Question rewards that all force kill the player, regardless of level, upon failing to complete some task. This gives players equal chances throughout the period of game and provides the same punishment for all levels.
- Making good rewards be unique and not something that is straight out of the game or providing some immediate restriction to the item. The big stick is a good example for a unique reward in that you can’t normally enchant a stick with sharpness 5 and it provides an early/ mid game weapon, but it also gives sharpness to the late game players if they have the ability to rip the enchantment off the item. The bedrockium drum reward is a favorite of mine because it gives you a bedrockium drum from ExtraUtilities, but it hinders you from using it right away because it is filled completely with water causing the player to have to drain it first which often takes time, less time the later you are into the game.
Overall, I guess what I am trying to say if that creating a reward for Chance Cubes is a lot harder than you may think it is and I really do put a lot of work into trying to create the best expedience with this mod as I can. Yes there are other complicated solutions to fixing this problem like increasing difficulty as the game progress, but that has problems in its self and just isn’t worth the work.
The biggest solution to the problem of balancing this mod is giving pack creators the ability to create custom rewards and enable or disable default rewards to tailor the mod to their pack. Pack creators often have a set progression and know what would make a certain reward better for their pack than another so I really leave most of the balancing up to them in the end. What they choose to do with the mods and the rewards they create are totally up to them.
Thank you guys for reading through my little rant here. Keep being awesome and thank you for making this mod what it is now!