Swap Cards

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Swap Cards

Postby visage » Tue Apr 18, 2006 7:00 pm

Currently, in the battle system, I believe we award swap cards on a "per-time" basis. Start the battle with 1 card, and every minute, add another card until the max is reached (3 max, but only 1 for every extra player outside battle. So if there are 6 in the party, then only 2 can be awarded, because 4 are already in battle).

What I was thinking though, was that extra swap cards could be awarded for "superb" attacks of some sort. Like, if I hit a huge amount of damage on a creature, a nice reward would be a swap card.

Thoughts? I was just thinking of ways a spice it up a little bit.
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Postby Jetryl » Tue Apr 25, 2006 3:58 am

What are these, anyways?
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Postby visage » Tue Apr 25, 2006 4:02 am

Basically, you can only swap a player out of battle when you have a "swap card." This prevents swap abuse by the player, but allows some strategic play.
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Postby Jetryl » Tue Apr 25, 2006 4:49 am

visage wrote:swap abuse


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Postby Roots » Tue Apr 25, 2006 4:54 am

visage wrote:Basically, you can only swap a player out of battle when you have a "swap card." This prevents swap abuse by the player, but allows some strategic play.


Exactly. You know how you can swap out party members in FFX in the middle of a battle? While it was a good idea, it was abused horribly IMO. This means that if a character has very little HP left, why bother healing them? Just swap them with a reserved character not currently in the battle party and voila, no more worries.


The exact details of how swap cards work in Allacrost still needs to be worked out (which can only be done through actually playing the game and seeing how it goes). I thought we were going to have a max of 4 swap cards allowed, and that it would take as long as 5 minutes for a new card to be generated (1 minute is way too short IMO). But those details don't really matter right now.


Anyway back on topic, the idea sounds promising, but only if it doesn't result in the player essentially abusing the priveledge. For example if I find a weakness on enemy X and I continually exploit that weakness (always yielding a powerful hit), you've just given the player an unlimited source of swap cards (well, as long as enemy X stays alive). If it is however completely random (ie, the gaussian random variable for the action is in the upper 95% of the curve or so, say > 2 standard deviations), then that's not controllable by the player and is more acceptable IMO. So I guess right now my opinion is :|.


You did give me another idea though. What if a player could use the swap cards for another purpose: for automatically setting an action to be effective (> 2 stdev of GRV), thus using them not only for swapping characters, but to deal critical hits when needed, or give a powerful cast of a healing spell? That sounds sweet to me, because then the player has more strategic options available. :cool: But on the other hand, it makes the battle interface even more complex than it already is. :|


I want some discussion before we seriously consider either visage's or my idea here.
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Postby visage » Wed Apr 26, 2006 4:26 am

So you want the swap card to possibly be "multi-purpose." You can either use it to swap, or set your attack as being the next attack in line, hit critical, perform a more powerful heal...

Well, why don't we just create a whole deck :D (please note the sarcasm).

I think they should be single purpose. Keep them how they are. It would only be confusing for the player to try to understand why a swap card gave them a critical hit (unless you want the player to be able to collect a deck of different cards...which is a WHOLE NEW idea). I mean, maybe the player could collect these cards around the world, which are not really "cards" but rather enchantments of sorts. So you would only fine one "super rare critical strike" enchantment, but "low swap" would be extremely common (where low-swap requires the swapped player to have > 75% health. High swap, while less common, lets you swap the player with only >25% health or something like that). Then, each character could only have a certain number of enchantments at a time (something about enchantments stored in the book interfering with one another and cancelling each other out...forces them to only carry 10 at a time.) So they could potentially carry 10 swaps...but once they use them, they are gone.

Anyway, just an idea. Doesn't really seem to fit with HoA, as far as I gather...but an idea none the less.

Anyway. For this idea, I am a bit :eyebrow: and a little :huh: . Maybe even :arrow: , whatever that means.
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Postby Roots » Wed Apr 26, 2006 4:39 am

:eyespin: That sounds a little like triple triad to me ;) (from FFVIII). Sounds like a lot of tedious micromanagement collecting/using these cards, so I am leaning more towards :disapprove:

With my idea, yeah, I had already realized the fact that having swap cards be used for more than one purpose makes things more confusing for the player, but I thought I would throw the idea out anyway. So its agreed then, swap cards are only used for swapping.


So back to the original idea at the top of this thread (which I don't think you responded to in your own post :heh: ). My comments about it are still left unanswered.


Oh and by the way I forgot to mention to Jetryl that you can't swap out a character that is low on HP (say, < 20% of max or so) even if you do have a swap card. This is done to avoid the cheap and dirty FFX-swap-out-my-almost-dead-guy trick. :bash:
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Postby visage » Wed Apr 26, 2006 2:37 pm

Well, we kind of have two choices.

1) We simply acknowledge that swap cards are part of the battle system and really have to "counter-part" in real life. There is no explaination for them except for "hey, this is how we did the battle system. bugger off."

2) Define swap cards as being some sort of magical spell that transports players back and forth from locations. The reason the swap disappears is because its an enchantment you can only read once.

To me, it doesn't really matter. There are plenty of commercial games that go with the #1 strategy.

I am sort of 50/50 on "earning" swap cards through attacks or something like that. As you said, it could easily be abused. Though, since critical strikes are still rare, perhaps we could come up with a system. I was just trying to think of something to reward the player for a good attack -- though I realize now that since its not really a "timing" thing, why reward them for a random number? So I am almost :disapprove: to my own idea....
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Postby Loodwig » Wed Apr 26, 2006 4:24 pm

swap gauge. Just make it something that charges, and when full... you can have someone in the party tag in. I mean, if you think about it... why are there people out of your party now anyway (screen limitations?). They're theoretically standing by because they're no room for them. If you execute some cool combo, then you could theoretically allow one to come in when there's a given break in fighting, letting someone go back and rest. It's basically tag team, and it makes a great deal of sense with some sort of swap gauge that fills, or activates after a special move (like a critical hit, combo, or other special attack that "allows swap"). Having cards, I would say, isn't a super cool idea, just because it is there to prevent abuse and could very well lend itself to a new kind of abuse.
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Postby Roots » Wed Apr 26, 2006 5:43 pm

visage wrote:1) We simply acknowledge that swap cards are part of the battle system and really have to "counter-part" in real life. There is no explaination for them except for "hey, this is how we did the battle system. bugger off."

2) Define swap cards as being some sort of magical spell that transports players back and forth from locations. The reason the swap disappears is because its an enchantment you can only read once.


*sigh* here we go yet again.

Why can you not have all of your (16+) characters in FFVI all be in a battle at the same time? Why can you only have 3 characters in battle at once in FFX, but can swap in and out almost indescriminately? Did the game designers ever bother to offer a "logical" or "plausible" explanation for this restriction? The answer is no.

We are making a game. We are not making a real-life simulator. Yes, it would be nice to have a logical explanation for why only 4 characters can be in a battle at once and can only be swapped out when you have a *card*, but the hard truth is is that we only allow 4 characters in battle at once because:
- A) There's not enough room on the screen
- B) A battle with so many playable characters is very difficult for the player to manage, unless the characters have a large amount of AI control (and if that's the case, then the game starts to play itself and the player becomes more of an observer/overseer)

--- end rant ---

I'm not singling you out or anything visage, as many people have made this same argument on the forums before, and I have always made this same retort. So please take no offense to the above rant, as it wasn't directed at you, but game design in general. ;) (I'm open for debate on the issue of "everything needs a logical explanation", but such a discussion should take place in another thread).

visage wrote:I am sort of 50/50 on "earning" swap cards through attacks or something like that. As you said, it could easily be abused. Though, since critical strikes are still rare, perhaps we could come up with a system. I was just trying to think of something to reward the player for a good attack -- though I realize now that since its not really a "timing" thing, why reward them for a random number? So I am almost :disapprove: to my own idea....


I agree with you here. Reward should be given to the player if they earn it, not based on pure statistical chance. But isn't making a critical hit enough of a reward to the player in the first place since more damage is caused?


Loodwigh wrote:swap gauge. Just make it something that charges, and when full... you can have someone in the party tag in. I mean, if you think about it... why are there people out of your party now anyway (screen limitations?). They're theoretically standing by because they're no room for them. If you execute some cool combo, then you could theoretically allow one to come in when there's a given break in fighting, letting someone go back and rest. It's basically tag team, and it makes a great deal of sense with some sort of swap gauge that fills, or activates after a special move (like a critical hit, combo, or other special attack that "allows swap"). Having cards, I would say, isn't a super cool idea, just because it is there to prevent abuse and could very well lend itself to a new kind of abuse.


I think I like this idea. My thought was that swap cards would just be given out to the player after X amount of time expires, but if the player has to cause X amount of damage to make a swap, I think that's even better. Although I am :| about the thought that swaps can be done whenever a critical hit or combo is performed. (I will elaborate on why I feel this way if requested).

If we do a swap gauge, can the player save up swaps? Ie, give one "swap count" everytime the gauge is filled up to a max of say, 4 swap counts at any time? Or do we want to only allow the swap gauge to re-fill after the player used a swap? (I think this would be better...)
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Postby Loodwig » Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:24 am

I say you can do multiple swaps, if it's reasonable.

Case and point:

Claudius is smacking away at the bad guy, hitting and hitting, doing that whole thing. Now, Claudius is getting tired, so he executes some cool combo, or fills the gauge with enough attacks or whatever... and now he has enough swap for 2.

He steps out, and quickly, the wussy summoner comes in to deal a finishing blow.... only, the summoner doesn't finish mr bad guy.

Mr bad guy is pissed, and ready to do a death throw, so the summoner high tails it out, and claudius stands tall with no swap gauge, ready to feel the wrath of said bad guy, or maybe able to hit really quickly before time runs out.

Strategically, it presents an opportunity to plan attacks without having a "swap" abuse. But I'd cap it at about 2 or 3. I can really see the disadvantage of linking it to critical hits, being that it could just be filled by chance, or a cheap move could get you unlimited swaps.

However, I'd like to see criticals and combos or some other special ability boost swap much quicker, much like doing stuff to raise your boost gauge in Xenosaga II. That way, you could anticipate said strategy, but at a combat penalty (e.g. you cannot heal or deal damage, which could really screw you... so you must plan your strategy carefullly, or it will flop on you... and you'll loose the fight).

This brings up an interesting question that is not relevant to this topic, so I'll post it in a new convo.
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Postby Zorbfish » Thu Apr 27, 2006 3:35 am

How about something more to do with the character being swapped instead of introducing card items?

Like if the player wants to swap Laila out with Claudius how about Claudius enters the battle at a disadvantaged (couldn't think of a better term) state? For instance he could be in a wait status for 5 turns, take a health penalty.

An interesting thought is to have Claudius enter the battle and just guard Laila until she could escape (via some formula or something) or Claudius falls back. Both characters continue to be in the battle so there's still the chance that she could get hit and die if an attack got by Claudius. You could assign the reserve characters to auto-enter battle and protect weakened party members but that is probably abusable if you used reserves just as meat shields.
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Postby visage » Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:41 am

Roots wrote:
visage wrote:1) We simply acknowledge that swap cards are part of the battle system and really have to "counter-part" in real life. There is no explaination for them except for "hey, this is how we did the battle system. bugger off."

2) Define swap cards as being some sort of magical spell that transports players back and forth from locations. The reason the swap disappears is because its an enchantment you can only read once.


*sigh* here we go yet again.

Why can you not have all of your (16+) characters in FFVI all be in a battle at the same time? Why can you only have 3 characters in battle at once in FFX, but can swap in and out almost indescriminately? Did the game designers ever bother to offer a "logical" or "plausible" explanation for this restriction? The answer is no.

We are making a game. We are not making a real-life simulator. Yes, it would be nice to have a logical explanation for why only 4 characters can be in a battle at once and can only be swapped out when you have a *card*, but the hard truth is is that we only allow 4 characters in battle at once because:
- A) There's not enough room on the screen
- B) A battle with so many playable characters is very difficult for the player to manage, unless the characters have a large amount of AI control (and if that's the case, then the game starts to play itself and the player becomes more of an observer/overseer)

--- end rant ---


I just want to point out that it wasn't my argument to make a real life simulator. I personally think the first way is the way to go, because its all in the name of having fun. I know I have argued otherwise before, but I was just throwing it out there. Personally, when things get too far from Real Life (tm) in a game, I get a little annoyed. Hence why I like to have things be "feasible" ... and since I see swap cards as not being fun, but rather annoying, I personally would rather have a "feasible" reason for them.

But hey, as long as its fun, who cares why they are there.

Though, I really, really like:

An interesting thought is to have Claudius enter the battle and just guard Laila until she could escape (via some formula or something) or Claudius falls back. Both characters continue to be in the battle so there's still the chance that she could get hit and die if an attack got by Claudius. You could assign the reserve characters to auto-enter battle and protect weakened party members but that is probably abusable if you used reserves just as meat shields.


Wow. Great idea. Both characters are in a temporarily "disabled" state and can both be attacked. So the player can swap whenever they want, but it isn't quite free. Sickness!

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