It's a minor thing indeed among the hundreds of errands to complete a full-band custom but it came up the other day that in RB3 you have the option of sorting songs by difficulty, and if more than one players are connected, the sorting is done using the band difficulty score in the DTA file. This is actually a very useful functionality for parties, when you get people who never played RB before and want to check out easy songs first (and probably shouldn't have to browse through our hundreds-customs).
Using this sorting option, I've noticed some customs with even a largely incorrect band difficulty score, in fact I should say missing scores because the DTA file says "band 1", meaning that these songs will appear under the "WARM UP" section even if they are in fact quite challenging for all instruments.
This is obviously trivial to fix in the DTA file, but it prompted me the question, how do you as an author set this parameter for your own customs? Do you eyeball it, do you average the scores of all instruments, do you take into account how instruments are supposed to interact together or other in-game features?
I know that even setting each instrument difficulty score is very subjective, and setting the band score even more so... in a previous discussion I was told that for instance Harmonix sets difficulties based on how easy/hard it is to avoid a "fail", but probably most of us always plays with the "no fail" option, and are more interested in how easy/hard it is to score 100% or 5 stars at least. But I still want to set the score reasonably to help my party guests
I am currently toying with using the following formula, with instruments scores treated as 0-6:
band = [basic guitar + basic bass + (basic drums + pro drums) / 2 + pro keys + (vocal + harmonies) / 2] / number_of_instruments
That means ignoring pro guitar/bass (rarely owned and rarely charted) and basic keys (rarely played).
The following adjustments allow each of the five instruments to always count as one:
- if no pro drums, count basic drums twice
- if no pro keys, use basic keys
- if no harmonies, count vocal twice
and obviously number_of_instruments means 5 or less.