Battle Design Topics

A discussion area for general design issues that staff would like detailed feedback on.

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Postby visage » Wed Feb 08, 2006 9:35 pm

Roots wrote:Thanks for the feedback BS. :)

Indeedy!

Roots wrote:4 levels of status sounds about right to me. I think we should have 3 common levels (weak, medium, strong) and then the final level can be ultra-powerful and is only caused by bosses or other special enemies. The final level will be the most powerful, rare, and most disabilitating of the other 3. So I think 3 status levels + 1 special leve is what I vote for. :approve:


Absolutely perfect to me.  I like the green->black scheme as well.  Sound good to you, Roots?

Roots wrote:It's not really that monsters are designed to inflict different types of status effects. It's that the nature of our battle system itself presents that situation. Just from a normal attack to the legs, there's a small chance that the character's speed might be reduced. Or a strong knock to the head might cause some dizzyness. It's those effects that I'm personally concerned about. I think they are good to have because they make battles more interesting and strategically engaging, but at the same time I don't want to have to use 4 status healing potions from 4 character turns just to cure my character, and then have him get afflicted with status again after that.


This is a huge balancing act right here.  I mean, a strong knock to the head may cause "confusion", but should it also cause "blindness" if it is a strong light attack?  What about burns as well if it is fire?  Where do we cut out reality for fun?


By the way Roots, if we can come to a consensus on the elements we want to use (I think I am just going to throw them in a general struct), we don't need to name them up yet.  Like, say we want Mars to be Fire...all I need to know is that a fire element exists.  

So, anyone want to recommend their choices for elements?
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Postby visage » Thu Feb 09, 2006 9:13 pm

Here are my recommendation for elements:

Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Ice, Lightning, Light, Dark

Not all entirely pairwise, but it does allow for the rock-paper-scissors setup with many of them.
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Postby Roots » Thu Feb 09, 2006 9:37 pm

Ohhh, rock-paper-scissors! I like that even better than pair-wise. :D Even though it may be harder and less intuitive for the player to remember. :uhoh:

- Water is effective against fire
- Fire is effective against Ice
- Ice is effective against Water

- Earth is effective against Electric/Volt (I don't really like 'lightning' :| )
- Volt is effective against Water
- Water is effective against Earth

- Light and Dark (or Holy and Shadow?) are antagonists of each other



I dunno though, 8 magical elements (and ?? physical elements) seems like a lot to me. Not a lot in other games, but a lot in Allacrost since we already have MAPS. I wouldn't mind bumping out two or even four from that list. What if we just had Fire, Water, Earth, and Volt?

- Fire is effective against Earth
- Earth is effective against Volt
- Volt is effective against Water
- Water is effective against Fire

Ahhh, now that seems like a good balance to me! :approve: And maybe we can throw light/holy and dark/shadow in there as well. :shrug:



So then for physical elements we have: Piercing, Slashing, Bludgeoning (I hate that word BTW), and maybe one more.... maybe long-range attacks can classify as their own category? :shrug:
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Postby Steu » Thu Feb 09, 2006 9:55 pm

Maybe Smashing instead of Bludgeoning?
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Postby Roots » Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:20 pm

Steu wrote:Maybe Smashing instead of Bludgeoning?


Sounds too close to slashing. :| But yeah I thought of that one too. Time to visit http://thesaurus.reference.com/ :heh: (seriously though, you have no idea how much I've used that site during Allacrost development).


But yeah, 4 magical elements and 4 physical elements sounds like a good plan to me. :angel: maybe including light and dark for 2 more, but I'm such a symmetry freak I like the 4/4 balance. :heh:
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Postby visage » Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:36 pm

- Fire is effective against Earth
- Earth is effective against Volt
- Volt is effective against Water
- Water is effective against Fire

:approve:

I don't necessarily think we need "light" and "dark".  I was just throwing out options ... though, they might serve as a nice antithesis that are only weak to each other...or neutralized by one another.  Eh, I think we should toss em.  

People are going to wonder what happened to "air"  :D

Anyway, why the hatred against "bludgeon"?  Ill be on the lookout for a replacement.
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Postby Roots » Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:58 pm

The word just reminds me of a nasty, fat old lady for some reason. :bash:

Glad you like my little system though. :)

For physical elements, I think it's pretty obvious that we can't do the same thing since it's much less intuitive. But I think that's fine, since magical and phyiscal should be different anyway. :) With phyiscal I think that the mapping should be 1-1. Ie, you may have a piercing bonus added to your sword attack, and that is effective only against foes that are weak to piercing attacks. Make sense?

rawr.
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Postby visage » Fri Feb 10, 2006 3:49 pm

1-1 -- Exactly what I was thinking, Roots.

Piercing, Slashing,  ...

Bashing?  Clubbing?  Cudgeling?  Clobbering?  Clouting?  

I dunno.  

Personally, I think 3 physical, 4 elemental is plenty for the system to have.
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Postby Burnsaber » Sat Feb 11, 2006 8:49 am

Those elemental and weapon damage types sound nice. No need for more, me thinks.

Was there anything else still under discussion?
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Postby Zebulon » Sat Feb 11, 2006 4:22 pm

I think crushing would probably be a good one.
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Postby gorzuate » Sat Feb 11, 2006 7:24 pm

I like bludgeoning. Or cudgeling. Something with a soft 'g' in it. :heh:
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Postby prophile » Sun Feb 12, 2006 2:23 pm

Perhaps mauling? (yes, I have been looking in a thesaurus :<)


EDIT: spelling  :bang:
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Postby Roots » Sun Feb 12, 2006 6:00 pm

Ohhh, I like mauling! That's a good one. :approve: Crushing is okay too, but I think mauling totally fits the bill. :)

Okay, so here's a re-cap on the ideas that we have decided upon (or at least what I think we're decided upon).

i]TOPICS FINALIZED:[/i]

Status effects last after battle
No, they don't.

Status effects are permanent during battle unless cured.
Yes, they are.

Attacking multiple MAPs
Some attacks will hit multiple attack points.  The damage will be the aggregate of the damage caused to each point.

Tie in Attack Points to Status Ailments
Certain attacks to certain points may cause distinct status ailments.  For example, ice to the leg may not only cause "frozen" but "slow" as well.  

Armor and Weapons have Attack Types and Stats
Each armor and weapon has its own individual physical and elemental attack/defense levels (which may be weaknesses or strengths). For enemies, each attack point and each attack skill they use have their own physical and elemental levels.

Elements and such
There are 4 magical elementals (fire, water, earth, and electric/volt). They play a sort of roundrobin on how they are effective against one another (fire->earth->volt->water->). There are 3 physical elementals (slashing, piercing, and....mauling?) that have a 1-to-1 effect on each other (ie, piercing armor defends against piercing attacks).

Lesser -> Greater Damage status system
The idea here is that status effects may come in various levels. ie, a minor poison is less disabilitating than a major potion. I think we decided on 4 levels (that still need to be named... lesser->normal->major->ultra?), with the last level being very rare and very powerful, usually saved for use in bosses/special battles. There are also various levels of status effect potions, so you may use a weaker potion to degrade normal poison to lesser poison, but not completely cure it unless you use a more powerful potion.

Positive Status Effects
Yes, we will have them.


TOPICS TO DISCUSS:

Spells and the surrounding area
I think we're all leaning toward 'no', but if this is dependant only on the current map the battle is taking place in and not on the specific placements of sprites on the battle background, then I think it's easy enough to do it. :)

General items for status effect cures
We know that there is a lesser/greater/whatever potion to go along with the status levels system, but can any potion cure any status? (I say yes; it may be unrealistic but it's less micro-management for the player). Can a potion cure more than one ailment at a time? Etc.

List of Ailments
Still need to finalize one, although we have a good starter list I feel. :)

What does it take to equip a piece of armor, et cetera?
I forget where we stand on this. I think we were leaning more towards my side than Corey's side, or trying to strike a good balance between the two. IIRC, certain characters can only weild certain weapons (Laila can't wield a heavy axe), but we may also have some strength/intelligence/whatever stat requirements for the character to be able to use the weapon as well.

The BASIC stats
I'd still like a general attack and defense rating stat, but I don't know where we sit on this. :shrug:



I think that's where we stand right now anyway...:eyespin:. Corey, why don't you keep the wiki up-to-date as this conversation continues so we don't keep having to spit this info on the forums. Just post whenever you do a major update to the wiki page based on a decision that was made and link us to it, so we can all read and agree.


Now then, lets move on to one of the other topics. I'll let the next person to post pick the topic. :D
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Postby visage » Sun Feb 12, 2006 6:38 pm

Roots wrote:Spells and the surrounding area
I think we're all leaning toward 'no', but if this is dependant only on the current map the battle is taking place in and not on the specific placements of sprites on the battle background, then I think it's easy enough to do it. :)

Meh.  For now, lets ditch it.  I think this is one of those "cool features" ... but really only should come into play if you can move your characters.  I mean, if you can't move the character, and the weather doesn't change...why even have it?  Now, if you could make it rain...now that would be cool.  But I mean, if the monster is standing in water (a boss battle or something), we can just set him weak to elecricity.

Personally, as cool as it may be, I don't think it fits with this style of game.  Though, I am willing to be convinced.

Roots wrote:General items for status effect cures
We know that there is a lesser/greater/whatever potion to go along with the status levels system, but can any potion cure any status? (I say yes; it may be unrealistic but it's less micro-management for the player). Can a potion cure more than one ailment at a time? Etc.

This is probably going to be the most difficult to decide on.  I think there should be a general cure for status ailments, and a general cure for physical ailments (see below), and each one of the 4 different levels (8 overall then).  

Roots wrote:List of Ailments
Still need to finalize one, although we have a good starter list I feel. :)

First, I think we should break it down into two types: status ailments and physical ailments.  Status affects your ...stast.  Physical affects HP/SP and movement.  So, here is my list:

Negative Physical:
Burn: -HP per turn
Freeze: Cannot move -- No swap
Mute: Cannot use spell skills.
Asleep: Cannot move -- No swap
Poison: -HP per turn
Confusion: Chance to hit wrong person / team / attack point
Fainted/ K/O: No turn -- No swap

Negative Status:
Slow: Lowers speed and SP increase(?)
Afraid: Lowers attack
Tired: Lowers strength
Blind: Lowers accuracy
Armor Break: Lowers defense (need another name...this one was stolen)

Positive Status:
Rage: Attack increase
Alert: Accuracy increases
Buff: Strength increases
Protection: Defense increases

Should there be positive physical that simply wear off?  maybe immunities?  maybe something like "health increases 1 per second..."

Roots wrote:What does it take to equip a piece of armor, et cetera?
I forget where we stand on this. I think we were leaning more towards my side than Corey's side, or trying to strike a good balance between the two. IIRC, certain characters can only weild certain weapons (Laila can't wield a heavy axe), but we may also have some strength/intelligence/whatever stat requirements for the character to be able to use the weapon as well.

After much thought on the topic, I have decided that the bit mask method is fine by me.  We also shouldn't really need the whole "minimum stats" thing, because if the player can buy it, they are probably already at a certain level to get to that spot.  I.E., to buy the ultimate destruction sword, you must've beaten the "Superior Dragon of Doom" level, or else you wouldn't be at the town.  Thus...your level is on par with the level of the weapon.

HOWEVER...Roots, I do remember you saying that towns will sell weapons proportional to the players level (did I dream this?) in a Diablo-esque way.  Does this mean we are going to have to come up with some way to randomly create weapons and armor?  I mean, what prevents the player from simply staying in the first town and leveling up to 100?  What if we run out of "built in" items?  

Just some things to think about.

Roots wrote:The BASIC stats
I'd still like a general attack and defense rating stat, but I don't know where we sit on this. :shrug:

I have come around to think that having a natural "fortitude" rating of some sort is okay.  I think the reason I was against it was because I had the names "attack" and "defense" for stats.  So :approve: if we come up with some better names :D

Roots wrote:I think that's where we stand right now anyway...:eyespin:. Corey, why don't you keep the wiki up-to-date as this conversation continues so we don't keep having to spit this info on the forums. Just post whenever you do a major update to the wiki page based on a decision that was made and link us to it, so we can all read and agree.

RIIIGGGHHHTTTT.  The wiki. Ill get on that asap.
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Postby visage » Thu Feb 16, 2006 5:20 am

Okay!  Another design decisions:

Queued Battle Actions
In general, the idea is that everytime a character decides to take an action, they are put in the back of a queue of other people in line.  This will probably be displayed in the GUI using the portraits.  Anyway...how do we feel about letting the player queue up SEVERAL actions.  The way it would work is like this:

You tell the player to do skill a.  Then you tell them to do skill b.  Then skill c.  Skill B is added to the queue when skill a is COMPLETE!  That way, the player cant just set one character to attack 50 times in a row.  

So, if Claudius is fighting some spiders with Laila, I could say "Claudius, perform the swipe attack, then apply a potion to Laila."  Next, I could tell Laila to perform the pierce shot attack.  The spiders are going to attack first.

So the Queue becomes:

S1, S2, C, L

The spiders do their thing, and S2 decides to attack again...

C, L, S2

Claudius does his thing, but during the attack, S1 decides to attack again.
When claudius finishes, he realizes he has another action already queued up, and adds it automatically, sot he global queue looks like this:

L, S2, S1, C



How does that sort of thing sound?  It allows a bit of strategy, because you can queue up several actions in a row and you can see who will be performing before you, but also creates a bit of difficulty, because you never know who will queue up before you get your action done.  


Thoughts?
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Postby Roots » Thu Feb 16, 2006 5:27 am

I came up with this idea first. :) We discussed it a long time ago, and it's still around here on the forums somewhere (too lazy to search right now). I think the general concensus on that idea was a no though, because although it sounds good, it basically allows the player to go grab a cup of coffee while the battle continues, which isn't really the point. :angel: But I'm up for re-discussing it again, especially if someone can find the link to the past discussion. Search my post history, if you dare. :devil:
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Postby visage » Thu Feb 16, 2006 5:34 am

Yeah, that makes sense to me.  We aren't trying to make a strategy game here.  I just wanted to throw it out there.
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Postby Roots » Thu Feb 16, 2006 5:55 am

visage wrote:List of Ailments
First, I think we should break it down into two types: status ailments and physical ailments.  Status affects your ...stast.  Physical affects HP/SP and movement.  So, here is my list:

Negative Physical:
Burn: -HP per turn
Freeze: Cannot move -- No swap
Mute: Cannot use spell skills.
Asleep: Cannot move -- No swap
Poison: -HP per turn
Confusion: Chance to hit wrong person / team / attack point
Fainted/ K/O: No turn -- No swap

Negative Status:
Slow: Lowers speed and SP increase(?)
Afraid: Lowers attack
Tired: Lowers strength
Blind: Lowers accuracy
Armor Break: Lowers defense (need another name...this one was stolen)

Positive Status:
Rage: Attack increase
Alert: Accuracy increases
Buff: Strength increases
Protection: Defense increases


Just some general notes I want to make on this list.

> If we're going to have burn and freeze, maybe we should also have shock and something for earth too? Yeah, symmetry. I'm a perfectionsit :ohnoes:

> Freeze: how can "no movement" be graded on different scales? Can the character still execute long range attacks and magic?

> Mute: Instead of cannot use spell skills, i think there needs to be a chance for casting failure (again, for different status scales)

> Sleep: Same comment as mute, only it effects all skills

> Poison: what's the point of having burn and poison if they do the same thing? :shrug:

> What's the difference between lowering attack and lowering strength with afraid/tired? And same deal with rage/buff... :huh:

visage wrote:Should there be positive physical that simply wear off?  maybe immunities?  maybe something like "health increases 1 per second..."


Yes, I think there should be positive physicals. "Protect" "Shell" "Haste" etc. What would be kinda cool is if characters casting haste or whatever give different "levels" of haste (ie, green versus red, etc.). And the level would gradually decrease with time.


visage wrote:What does it take to equip a piece of armor, et cetera?
After much thought on the topic, I have decided that the bit mask method is fine by me.  We also shouldn't really need the whole "minimum stats" thing, because if the player can buy it, they are probably already at a certain level to get to that spot.  I.E., to buy the ultimate destruction sword, you must've beaten the "Superior Dragon of Doom" level, or else you wouldn't be at the town.  Thus...your level is on par with the level of the weapon.

HOWEVER...Roots, I do remember you saying that towns will sell weapons proportional to the players level (did I dream this?) in a Diablo-esque way.  Does this mean we are going to have to come up with some way to randomly create weapons and armor?  I mean, what prevents the player from simply staying in the first town and leveling up to 100?  What if we run out of "built in" items?  


I'm pretty sure you dreamed that, because I dont' remember saying that at all. Random equipment generation is not something I've ever considered, and frankly I think it's too much work.
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Postby visage » Thu Feb 16, 2006 3:20 pm

Roots wrote:Just some general notes I want to make on this list.

> If we're going to have burn and freeze, maybe we should also have shock and something for earth too? Yeah, symmetry. I'm a perfectionsit :ohnoes:

> Freeze: how can "no movement" be graded on different scales? Can the character still execute long range attacks and magic?

> Mute: Instead of cannot use spell skills, i think there needs to be a chance for casting failure (again, for different status scales)

> Sleep: Same comment as mute, only it effects all skills

> Poison: what's the point of having burn and poison if they do the same thing? :shrug:

> What's the difference between lowering attack and lowering strength with afraid/tired? And same deal with rage/buff... :huh:

visage wrote:Should there be positive physical that simply wear off?  maybe immunities?  maybe something like "health increases 1 per second..."


Yes, I think there should be positive physicals. "Protect" "Shell" "Haste" etc. What would be kinda cool is if characters casting haste or whatever give different "levels" of haste (ie, green versus red, etc.). And the level would gradually decrease with time.


Yeah...a lot of things to chew on here.  I think we need  some more input.  

Roots wrote:I'm pretty sure you dreamed that, because I dont' remember saying that at all. Random equipment generation is not something I've ever considered, and frankly I think it's too much work.


uhh...*waves hand infront of Roots, performing jedi mind trick* You did say that.  You did say that.  Also, you will make me the leader of HoA...

Well, thats good then, especially because it forces the player to move on, instead of just leveling up in the same town -- because while their stats will increase, enemy stats will as well, and without stronger weapons, they should become weaker than the enemies they face ... right?

Cooool.
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Postby Burnsaber » Wed Feb 22, 2006 4:04 pm

Some ideas on scaling the "unscaleables" (sleep, freeze etc.).

Confusion

Lesser: You can choose the target of your actions normally, but the targeted body part is chosen randomly.

Medium: You can choose the actions characters takes, but the target is random.

Greater: Character actions and targets are random.

Super-dupah: Always does something bad for the team.

Sleep

Lesser: Always wakes after taking damage.

Medium: 50% chance to wake if takes damage.

Greater: 10% chance to wake if takes damage.

Super-dupah: Doesn't wake even if takes damage.

Freeze

Lesser: Unable to do melee attacks (frozen in place).

Medium: Unable to cast spells and do melee attacks (lips cannot form sentences).

Greater: Unable to do anything.

Super-Dupah: Unable to do anything and shatters if hit by melee attack. (frozen solid)

A suggestion to diffrentiate burn from poison. Maybe burn could do straight HP damage, but poison could do "strenght and fortitude damage".

If we're going to have burn and freeze, maybe we should also have shock and something for earth too? Yeah, symmetry. I'm a perfectionsit


Since i like to do stuff, here are my proposals.

Stun (for earth, stun automatically lessens itself at the end of your turn by one step.)

Lesser: 25% chance to be unable to act for the next round.

Medium: 50% chance to be unable to act for the next round.

Greater: 75% chance to be unable to act for the next round.

Super-Dupah: 100% chance to be unable to act for the next round.

Shocked

Lesser: takes 25% more damage from electricity attacks.

Medium: takes 50% more damage from electricity attacks.

Greater: takes 100% more damage from electricity attacks.

Super-Dupah: takes 200% more damage from electricity attacks.

It hit me that it might be a good idea to keep the number of status effects in the game as minimal as possible. Since every status has four different values, it might a bit tooo much of a pain for the player to remember them all. Maybe some status effects could only be used by the monsters and boss(es) in a certain area, After you have completed that area, yuo can forget about the status effect.
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