Are status effects that last the whole battle too powerful to make 100% chance to inflict?

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by jonthefox, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. jonthefox

    jonthefox Veteran Veteran

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    Let's say you're designing a status effect (for example, some type of poison or bleed) that lasts the duration of battle (unless cured by an item or spell), and which lowers all stats on the target by 25%.

    In your opinion, is it too powerful to make a skill or spell that inflicts this kind of state 100% chance of succeeding? Obviously this would be a single target skill or spell (but given its power lies in lasting the whole battle, its power already is weighted in its use against bosses) and would not be doing damage, so a character would be giving up the chance to deal damage in order to inflict it.
     
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  2. Andar

    Andar Veteran Veteran

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    the power of a state is not determined by its duration alone, you need to take its effect into consideration.

    a poison state that gives a tiny negative regeneration has no problem with being guaranteed for the remainder of a battle.
    a stoning spell that disables the actor for the rest of the battle should only rarely succeed,especially if there is a chance for the player to be locked out of battle by having the entire party be stoned.
     
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  3. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    Largely, this depends on what you're trying to accomplish and the limits.

    A skill like yours might be too powerful to use against a boss enemy simply due to the fact that enemies rarely cure States inflicted on them. However, it might be fine to use against your party since your party can cleanse the State without much issue.

    You need to carefully consider the purpose and limits of any State you create.
     
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  4. Oddball

    Oddball Veteran Veteran

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    I think this is (unintentinally) by designer choice, not a.i. choice. sense enemy behavior can be influenced by states
     
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  5. Animebryan

    Animebryan Feels like I'm slowly dying! Veteran

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    You can always make variations of states & skills where the strength & duration increase with level. Like have about 5-10 variations of poison.
    Poison Lv.1: -5% HP for 3 turns (-15% total)
    Poison Lv.2: -5% HP for 4 turns (-20% total)
    Poison Lv.3: -5% HP for 5 turns (-25% total)
    Poison Lv.4: -10% HP for 3 turns (-30% total)
    Poison Lv.5: -10% HP for 4 turns (-40% total)

    Not only that, you can use Yanfly's Cooldowns Plugin http://www.yanfly.moe/wiki/Skill_Cooldowns_(YEP) to add cooldowns to skills so you can't spam them. If you were to use different level skills, you can set their cooldowns to decrease at higher levels. But yes, the effectiveness of those skills/states are a major factor in whether they are powerful enough or too powerful.
     
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  6. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

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    Depends on a lot of different things. For your example - how many turns is an average battle, how many character-turns would it normally take to kill that same enemy, and how many stats factor into general offensive and defensive capabilities (0.75 * 0.75 * 0.75 isn't the same as a straight 0.75 effectiveness).

    Because those answers can vary so much throughout a single game (e.g. mob fights vs. fights against one tough enemy vs. boss fights), I generally shy away from making too many status effects that last the entire battle, and have them last a certain number of turns instead. That makes the calculations a lot easier - for example, crippling an enemy's offensive potential by 40% for 4 turns will certainly be useful if you can't wipe that enemy quickly, but its value will never become ridiculously overpowered because you are essentially costing it 1.60 turns worth of offense over the lifetime of the status effect.
    • The one time I do commonly use unlimited-length status effects are for ones that have some kind of natural end condition, such as "your next spell deals double damage".
    Most of the time, I opt to moderate the power of my status effects so that I can give them a 100% chance to apply, and a reasonably long length (usually 3-6 turns).
     
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  7. Aesica

    Aesica undefined Veteran

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    I'm not a huge fan of buffs/debuffs that span the entire battle except in rare cases (stance-change mechanics, special debuff vs a specific boss, etc) unless they're used specifically by the enemy vs the players. The reason being is that they pretty much become "one and done" effects that require little management or skill rotation planning on behalf of the player. You just use them at the start of the battle and (unless the boss periodically dispels itself) no further action is needed. Having a stat debuff on top of that makes it even better, since, even if it takes several rounds for RNGsus to get it to stick, once it does, your boss is going to be hitting less hard and taking more damage for the rest of the fight. That's worth it unless the apply chance is horribly low, and in such a case I ask, "just...why?"

    In my current project right now, poison (not percent-based, but a legit stat-based DoT: [(a.atk + a.mat) * someModifier]) lasts for the entire battle and I'm really not pleased at how mindless it is to apply, then forget about as it chips away at foes' health. I'll probably end up making it something like ~8 rounds. That's longer than the other damage over time debuffs I have, but still something that requires the player to maintain it in a proper skill rotation.
     
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  8. Liandra Aura

    Liandra Aura Game Director Veteran

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    @Aesica
    If you have the database room to spare, you could have different types of poison. Some stronger than others that last long or do more damage/round
     
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  9. Basileus

    Basileus Veteran Veteran

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    Just curious, but what is the design intent behind having a skill inflict a state that lasts the whole battle?

    If the debuff is applied by a skill that can be used multiple times in a battle, then the effect would usually need to be low so that it needs to stack a few times before becoming overpowered. If the debuff is only cast once at the start of a boss fight, then by all means make it really strong. But for abilities that could be used as a normal action each turn, typically the effects shouldn't be that strong unless the effect cannot stacked.

    I've fought plenty of boss battles where the boss' strategy involved spamming debuffs. A single story debuff can be fun to plan around and stacking debuffs on the player can be really scary as you see the effects get more and more powerful. Lowering attack and defense are classic, but stacking poison effects, reducing the player's healing, or sealing spells/abilities/special attacks are also good options to make a fight a lot more intimidating. At least from personal experience, I've seen story debuffs that last a whole fight but debuffs cast as normal skills usually only last 3-5 turns. Part of this might be to prevent them from stacking too much or because managing states is part of the strategy of the battle system.

    So I'm wondering what the purpose is for having a debuff like you are describing. What are you trying to achieve by having this powerful effect be so readily accessible to the player and/or an enemy? Is this some kind of streamlining or trying to encourage certain tactics?
     
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  10. Animebryan

    Animebryan Feels like I'm slowly dying! Veteran

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    That's what I suggested.
     
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  11. Liandra Aura

    Liandra Aura Game Director Veteran

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    @Animebryan
    I don’t have the time to read every single post in a thread. Don’t worry, you can have the credit ._.

    I usually just read the OP bit and add my 2 cents.
     
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  12. rue669

    rue669 Veteran Veteran

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    I do the same. Though, ironically, I read your post :p

    I want my game to be challenging but not impossible or the challenge is so hard it gets annoying and people will drop the game. So I will typically use states that add to the challenge but don't make them too powerful. I determine that by making it possible to get out of it. I try to think of it in the same way as MMORPG mechanics. In FF14, for example, some of the mechanics for bosses are extremely hard hitting, but if you learn how to avoid or mitigate the damage, then having the state becomes less annoying and adds more to the challenge and strategy of combat, making combat more enjoyable.
     
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  13. Oddball

    Oddball Veteran Veteran

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    Would you consider a debuff that lowers attack by 1% and that's all it did and lasts the whole battle overpowered?

    Would you consider a buff that multiplies all stats by 1 million and lasts still the next turn overpowered?

    It depends on the power level of the state/debuff
     
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  14. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    There are a lot of knobs on how a given state will work; how powerful the effect is, how long it lasts, how many different things it's doing, how directly restrictive it is, etc. I find lowering the chance of it actually applying the least useful and most frustrating change. The effect of (say) using it first turn is still there, but now you've introduced a reason to restart the battle because rng. To me, if I'm wondering if a state is too strong, I'll look elsewhere to balance it out. For instance, this state actually could just be nine different states all used by one ability (damage over time and decreasing eight stats). For that kind of ability to be fair, it would likely have some heavy cost, or enemies are often immune to some of those states, or I might change it so one of those states applies and this can be reused to add more, or some combination of effects.

    That's not inherently true, and even less so for states that themselves deal damage.
     
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