# What is the name of the balancing technique that reduces the incremental value of bonuses?

Some games, including Dungeon Crawl (example), use a balancing technique that attempts to prevent certain values (stats, damage, etc.) from being excessively high. The algorithm looks like this:

if value > 20:
value = 20 + (value - 20)/2
#70 → 45


...and can be applied multiple times:

if value > 20:
value = 20 + (value - 20)/2
if value > 40:
value = 40 + (value - 40)/2
# 70 → 45 → 37.5

• The purpose isn't just to prevent values from getting too high, sometimes it's because beyond a certain point, additional gains are actually more valuable to the player (increasing returns), so decreasing stat returns is used to balance it so that the overall power gain for the player stays the same. Commented Oct 18, 2010 at 2:42

They usually use diminishing returns for stat values so as you add more of the same stat it actually makes less of a difference.

I think you'll be lucky to find specific names for balancing techniques. ;) There isn't exactly a large body of standardised science here...

I'd call it "lazy design" or alternatively "mindlessly applying design principles from brain-driven pen & paper games to CPU-driven computer games without stopping to think if it makes any sense". If you want to use a logarithmic scale for a value (and the algorithm cited is a rough approximation of that), use a logarithm.

• I didn't ask if it made sense, I didn't ask if it can be approximated by any mathematical function. Feel free to comment about it with comments. :)