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All or nothing RPG combat

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larienna
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Many years ago, when I played the first Final Fantasy, I had my Nintendo Power Strategy guide and where analysing equipment and monster elemental strength/weakness to be more efficient. I really liked the idea, it made it some sort of puzzle, it added strategy and optimization. But it was entirely optional.

I have an idea to design an RPG, where all this research is mandatory. In fact, it would be the core of the game. My idea would be that for example, all attacks do 1 damage unless the target has a weakness against it. Forcing the player to find the right spells or equipment to use.

The problem is that it's not a very interesting mechanism. You could just make sure you have at least 1 of each elemental attack and defend against the most elements possible. Once you found the ennemy's weakness, you repeat the same attack until death. I want something more strategic and interesting.

So I am looking for maybe other mechanics idea that could create the same experience I am looking for. Which means making combat more strategic by asking player to do research and experiments, optimise equipment and skills, and make interesting decisions during the battle to adapt to what could not be planned.

Another solution would be to determine the possible character actions randomly (ex: draw cards from a deck) so that you cannot do the same action over and over again, but I am not sure I want to use this route.

Have any body seen something similar elsewhere.

wob
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hello. you could "forget" a

hello. you could "forget" a spell once its used (but call it somthing else- forgetting somthing seems wrong) so you have to re-learn it. or give each spell a "cool down" time ( you will need a way to track them). you could have a cool down on ALL spells of that element (ie no fire spells for x rounds) ALL spells of that level (ie no more lv 2 spells for x rounds) or cool down for individual spells (this could get fiddly).
another option might be to let the monsters build immunity to certain elements, eg. "dragon: 1st attack:lv 1 fire. 2nd attack:lv 3 fire. 3rd attack: lv 5 fire" or "troll: 1st attack: fire. 2nd attack:earth. 3rd attack: water"
a combination of a cool down and monster immunities should give you some strategy. you could have 3 monsters you can fight (chose which one) or the option to rest and research (should come at a cost). once a monster is defeated you must replace it with another.

one final option could be to make the research the entire game. you are given a random monster at the start (somthing big) and you have x turns to build the only weapon that can kill it.

Jay103
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You need a spectrum of

You need a spectrum of strength and weakness. Immune to some, strong to some, neutral, weak, and critical. Make sure it takes enough damage that someone needs to mix it up on a given monster, and then you get tradeoffs.. do you use that stun against a monster that might resist, or save it for later for one you know it'll work on, but maybe you need to take that chance right now.. Save the fireball or use it? Etc.

larienna
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The first final fantasy used

The first final fantasy used spell point slots, and I think using this could be an advantage to strategy. Because it means using or not that spell or skill in favor to something else. So much more decision than having only a MP bar. It's a bit like a deck of cards, where you have all cards in hand, like mage wars.

Cool down could also be interesting for spell/skill that should be reusable.

Quote:
one final option could be to make the research the entire game

Well that is one thing I thought is that most of the game could be about research. Which will ask for randomisation of data from a game to another. There could be ways to learn information off battles. I tought that you could bombard with a ship the Villain's castle with shell of various elements to spot potential weaknesses. Else quest or villagers could reveal information. Or you could send a scout or a drone to spy on the villain.

Defining the ways research can be done could impact the way combat is done.

Added effects could also be an interesting puzzle. Add a weakness effect to a monster to make a certain weapon work.


Other ideas I had:

Element chains: Use Ice attack first, then use lightning.

Action chains: Playing the actions in a specific order will be important. For example, one character cast a armor piercing spell on another character which attack with a weapons of the right element.

Else, I thought of using dice like Mage wars. Each monster could have an armor rating for each element which is substracted after each battle, or a soaking armor which is an HP bar of that element. Certain skills/spells could armor pierce that defense if you are lucky on the roll.

larienna
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I got some new ideas and it

I got some new ideas and it consist in adding a clock, turn based of course. It's simply a counter starting from 1 to X, where X is when the battle ends.

Character actions will be timed, a bit like in final fantasy tactics. So every action will add a different down time before the character is availble again. Not sure, if I will use the "plan then resolve" model used in most old school RPG, or "play immediately" model.

The boss monster will have a series of action with a modulo on the clock, instead of a random action table.

For example:

10: Action A
5: Action B
8: Action C

The algoritm is simple:

For each action in the list
...if ( clock modulo value = 0 )
......Perform action;
......end turn;

So for example, action A will trigger on clock 10, 20, 30

While Action B will trigger on clock 5, 15, 25, 35. But it will not trigger on 10, 20, 30, because action A is performed in priority to B. Not sure if I will allow performing both actions.

Action C will trigger on clock 8, 16, 24, 32, but not 40, because it's already taken by A.

Now, that could add interesting strategy if certain action, or effect duration are timed. For example, if you are on clock 21 and you know that on clock 30, action A will be performed which is a strong fire attack. Yo might delay your mage until clock 28 so that he could cast his fire shield spell, that protect the party by only for 5 clock ticks. So you'll be protected from clock 28 to 33.

So in the end, that would make the AI predictable after a few battles, so researching here is the how to predict the AI.

wob
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hi. i like this new ai idea.

hi. i like this new ai idea. i would say to use any enemy actions that are triggere but only after a certain threshhold. ie below 10 only 1 action is triggered above 10 multiple actions are triggered.this way certain numbers could be a huge battles. for 40 all three actions would be triggered, but that is (presumably) quite far into the game. you could also use this threshold to add levels of difficulty, as a higher threshold would be easier to play.
i would also slightly alter the trigger numbers so they overlap more, 2,3 and 5 would give alot of actions and a lot of overlaps.

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
Pretty good, as long as you

Pretty good, as long as you can have some good components for tracking it easily.

larienna
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Well, I intended to have the

Well, I intended to have the clock on the screen, which the remaining ticks that each character must wait before being active again if I use the "play immediately" method.

I would log all boss actions with the clock time and the action so that after the battle, you could analyze the pattern and find how the monster works. The more data you have, the easier you can guess the boss's actions.

I think performing action ABC at once could be pretty powerful. When an action replaces another one, it creates a sort of surprise effect. You expected action A on tick 40, but surprise, there is now an Action D that triggers on modulo 40.

There could possibly be other mechanism than the clock. For example, there could be reactions: if you receive a fire attack, reply 5 ticks later with a Attack E. Which could be pretty neat, because if you have a super powerful attack D coming on tick 40 and you want to avoid it, you can make a fire attack on tick 35, so that it replaces 5 ticks later action D with action E on tick 40.

So 1 action per tick can actually add interesting strategies. I think I could use idea from real time games like megaman as well. A few bosses in megaman react to the player's action (Crash Man, Jewel Man, etc). Allowing to make the opponent behave the way you want.

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