Understanding and Balancing Flashpoints

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Flashpoint Math

This article is here to help you understand the math behind flashpoints and how to balance a flashpoint you are building.

Balancing flashpoints is a little tricky, and working out the levels to use and how to make an appropriate challenge is a little opaque, so here's an example of how the numbers work:

Standard Difficulty Flashpoint Base Success Rates
Difficulty Stats of 125/125 Stats of 135/135 Stats of 140/140
1 30% 42% 48%
2 15% 27% 33%
3 0% 12% 18%
4 -15% -3% 3%

So what does this mean?

It means that for a Standard difficulty Flashpoint, if both stats are at 125, you have a 30% chance of passing a level 1 challenge, while if both stats are at 140, you have a 48% chance of passing a level 1 challenge. Each level makes increases the difficulty by about 15%.

These numbers are calculated for each character individually, and each failure adds to the groups tension.

In addition, Flashpoints have three difficulties: Standard, Expert and Super Expert. A standard flashpoint uses the table above, while Expert makes each challenge 15% harder than standard. Super Expert makes each challenge 30% harder than challenge.

What this means is that, with no abilities taking effect, it is very possible for characters with low stats to fail even a level 1 challenge.

However, this is only the base chance. The following bonuses also exist in Flashpoint.


Using The Selected Bonus Stat - +15%

Using an ID Charge - +15% per ID Charge used

Having A Relevant Ability - +15% per ability

Flashpoint Bonuses
Bonus Category Bonus Added
Using the Bonus Stat for the Challenge +15%
Using an ID Charge +15% per charge used
Having an Ability relevant to a flag +15% per ability per (applied automatically)

This is an addition to the percentage, not a percentage addition to a stat. So here's how it shakes out:

Chance to Pass A Level 1 Challenge on Standard Difficulty
Stats No Bonus 1 Bonus 2 Bonuses 3 Bonuses
125/125 30% 45% 60% 75%
135/135 42% 57% 72% 87%
140/140 48% 63% 78% 93%

Or to put it another way, difficulties should look like this:

A Level 1 is an 'easy' challenge, and will generally be passed.

A level 2 card is a 'moderate' challenge, and is likely to be passed two times out of three.

A level 3 card is a 'hard' challenge, and has about an even chance of pass or failure.

A level 4 card is an 'extremely hard' challenge, and has a slightly less than one in three chance of passing.

For a frame of reference, every 15 points above 100 in a stat adds roughly 7% to your chance of success. Remember, you are using two stats for each calculation, so add the percentages together if you want to calculate on your own.

Sometimes, this can mean you are better off not using the 'bonus stat' if your stat is sufficiently high, or the stat has degraded throughout the flashpoint.

A Worked Example

The White Base Crew are facing a Level 2 challenge. The mandatory stat for the challenge is RX, and the bonus stat for a challenge is MOB.

Amuro's Gundam has a 150 RX and 160 Mobility.

150 RX gives him 24% base success chance.

160 MOB adds 28% success chance.

Using the bonus stat adds 15% success chance.

This means his chance is 24 + 28 + 15 = 67%. He then subtracts 15% for the challenge being level 2.

Amuro's base chance is 52%, before abilities or ID charges.

Bright is facing the same challenge.

Bright's White Base has 180RX and 100MOB.

180RX gives Bright a 37% base chance of success.

However, his 100MOB adds 0% to his success chance. With the bonus of 15% from using mobility, his success chance is 37 + 0 + 15, or 52%. He then subtracts 15% due to it being a level 2 challenge.

This puts his success chance at 37% before abilities or ID charges.

Instead, Bright chooses to use his 160 ARM instead, giving him and additional 28% to his success chance.

The new calculation is 37 + 28 + 0, or 65%, subtracting 15% percent for difficulty. His base chance before abilities or ID charges is 50%, significantly better than it would have been if he had used the bonus stat.

Secondary Stat Degradation

Every time you use a stat as a secondary more than once, that stat takes a 10% penalty per use to it's success chances. This penalty is not applied if the stat is called as a mandatory stat, only if it used as a secondary stat.

For example,

Ryoma has used his 175 SKL as a secondary for one challenge, and, seeing the opportunity to use it again for a bonus challenge, uses it again.

The first time he used it, his SKL gave him a 35% chance of success. However, because this is his second time using it, he suffers a 10% penalty on this use of SKL.

175 SKL = 35% base + 15% for using the bonus stat - 10% stat degradation

This still gives Ryoma a net +5% for a total of 40%, so it's worth doing.

If Ryoma chooses to keep using his skill, say, for a third time because violence is his answer to dinosaurs, he suffers furter degradation.

175 SKL = 35% base + 15% bonus stat - 20% stat degradation

This gives Ryoma a net -5%, for a 30% success chance. This might still be worth it if most of Ryoma's stat points are in skill! But what if SKL wasn't the bonus stat?

175 SKL = 35% base - 20% stat degradation

This adds only 15% to Ryoma's success chance, so even if the bonus stat was only 100 for Ryoma, he would be just as well off using the bonus stat instead of his degraded SKL, and hoping another challenge requiring overwhelming force comes up.

This does not affect Ryoma if SKL is the primary stat- he's fine to keep punching dinosaurs as normal then.

Tips for Playing a Flashpoint

If doing the math for every challenge yourself isn't your preferred way of doing things, here's a rule of thumb:

1 ID Charge of 1 Ability Bonus counteracts 1 level of difficulty.

So if you are on a level 2 challenge, using 1 ID charge gives you the same chance of passing it as it would a level 1 challenge.

The harder the challenge, the more you want to use your higher stats, ID charges, or hope you have a relevant ability! Clearing a level 4 should take a lot of effort, so expend it!

If you've got high stats on a level 1, or multiple ability activations- save your ID charges. You'll want them on the hard stuff.

If you use a bonus stat multiple times, it will get worse the more you use it, so rotate your bonus stats often!

Flashpoint Building Guidelines

Each Flashpoint takes maximum 5 rounds to complete.

In general, it's recommend that unless a challenge is meant to be hard for it's level, it should have two flags.

You can distribute your challenges how you like- you can front load the difficulty so that if you get through a very hard slog you can coast to the end, or you can push players hard at the end, or do a hilly experience going up and back down, it's up to you.

A flashpoint with all level 1 challenges is basically a cake walk, something that exists for flavour more than anything. A flashpoint with all level 4 challenges is fundamentally going to wipe out almost every group that goes through it.

A good rule of fun for a 'challenging, but likely to succeed' flashpoint is an average difficulty of 2, with two flags a card. For a hard flashpoint, consider an average difficulty of 3 with the same. You can use more or less flags to fine tune the challenge.

Hopefully, this helps you with writing and judging flashpoints! Have fun with the Flashpoint System!