Attack's formulae for each weapons

kairi_key

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In some games, each weapons can have different damage formulae. This results in uniqueness of each weapons. It really works well in a game where characters can equip multiple weapon types as you can see some characters shine through with more proficiency toward a certain weapon type.

However, in a game where characters are locked to specific one or a few weapon types, is there any worth to having different formulae? Or rather, how would you find its use in that type of setting? Or do you feel like different formulae in those kind of games does not have much worth whatsoever?
 
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Wavelength

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Quick reminder to everyone who responds that this thread is about Design, not Implementation with plugins/events.

I suppose the main reason you would want to design a system where (despite every member being confined to one weapon type) each weapon has a different Attack formula, is that you specifically want different stats to mean very different things to each character, and you don't have any better ways to achieve that dynamic. For example, a Warrior (Swords) might use that MAT stat in a few spiritual-themed skills, whereas his Attack formula simply relies on ATK. A Mage (Wands), on the other hand, might have the MAT stat apply in the Attack formula. Therefore, a Mage can build MAT items to increase their free, sustained damage, whereas building MAT on a Warrior would represent a specific decision to focus on the Warrior's spiritual buff skills.

In general, I avoid using different formulas for different weapons (even if every character can equip any type of weapon), because it makes it harder to balance a game (unforeseen combinations of weapons and stat builds), and also makes things less clear for the player (it's a lot easier to make decisions when each stat has a very clear purpose in what it does - e.g. doubling ATK will double the power of your Attacks). Where I need to differentiate the types of weapons from each other, I will do it by giving each weapon type different types of stats (e.g. Hammers increase ATK by a lot but decrease AGI; Staves increase both ATK and MAT) and passive abilities (e.g. Bows will let you attack backline enemies; Daggers can bypass Taunts; Swords give a high chance to Counterattack). And for Action games, I adjust the hitbox, speed, and "feel" of each weapon so they all feel unique despite having identical (and very simple) damage formulas.
 

bgillisp

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I personally don't use different formulas for weapons as if you do that you now got to balance two moving targets, your ATK/DEF values (if you use those) *and* the different formulas for each weapon. It's easier to balance if you don't do that, which is why I used the same damage formula for all weapons and instead had stats vary a little between them.
 

ScientistWD

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I have insight on this, as I actually tend to implement this in almost every game I make. Which is to say, the main "attack" that an actor has is determined by what type of weapon they have equipped. I do this for two reasons:
  1. I find that as I a player I can appreciate small mechanical differences that make the choice feel a little more tangible. For instance, my Dagger "Attack" skill hits twice, and my Bludgeon "Attack" skill has only 90% accuracy. In the end, the formulas use only the ATK stat and are balanced that way, but I find these small difference to be nifty. Giving the different attacks different names makes a player privy to those differences, and helps them to appreciate the differences between weapon types.
  2. Superficially, I like to remind a player of what they have equipped. Equipping a Sword replaces "Attack" with "Sword" in the command window.
  3. The third of my two reasons is that this way, I can also create the illusion of an enemy having a weapon equipped. This is admittedly only important some of the time.
Even in a game where all the actors can only equip one weapon type, I could suggest doing this. But I would warn that it is most useful and applicable only if the actors had significant differences in their "Attack" skills' capabilities (for instances, if Daggers can bypass Taunts, labeling the "Attack" as "Dagger" or "Sneak Attack" will help the player, in the moment, remember that their attack can do that).
 

bgillisp

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@ScientistWD : I actually do the same. I either put small differences in the stats or add special effects. Though one thing I did find is if you go 2x attack you have to watch balancing as 2 attacks in one turn can be a lot of damage if you don't balance it well.

Here's what I did. I'll list out a few of my weapon types below:

Swords: Base weapon. No special bonuses. Default values for everything.
Daggers: Lower ATK than swords, 2x attack, bonus to critical hit, bonus to Agility.
Pom-Poms (as I have a cheerleader in my game): 2x attack, lower ATK than daggers, higher MAT than swords. Bonus to counterattack.
Fists: Bonus to ATK stat at the cost of lower MAT. Basically not recommended if you want to cast powerful spells, but the best weapon to hit something with.
Staff: Bonus to MAT at the cost of ATK. Best if you wish to attack with a Fireball, or any other spell.
I also have Bow, Rapier, Halberd, Megaphone, Axe and Books as weapons too, using similar ideas as these for them too.

I'm also experimenting with a couple that had a chance to add status ailments or debuffs but have lower ATK than normal, but I haven't got the balance sorted out on that one, so I dropped it from my first game. They'll probably return in the next game though.
 

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It is interesting to know how you solved this problem?
 

Kes

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@Stragot Please note that if you are asking how this was implemented (it's not clear whether you are or not) it cannot be discussed here.
'Game Mechanics Design' is for looking at aspects of game play at a more conceptual level. "How do I...?" (implementation) questions belong in the Support forum for the engine you are using.

I was going to give you the appropriate link, but the info under your avatar says that you are using VX. I was wondering if you meant VX Ace, as few new users are using VX these days. Please post to clarify which engine it is.
 

Aesica

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However, in a game where characters are locked to specific one or a few weapon types, is there any worth to having different formulae? Or rather, how would you find its use in that type of setting? Or do you feel like different formulae in those kind of games does not have much worth whatsoever?
While a single-weapon-type-locked character is going to have fewer interesting options, you can still use different formulas for different weapons of the same type, especially special/rare weapons intended to have unique effects. Just some examples (all swords to show different formula/behavior options for each):
  • Ethereal Saber: Attack counts as a magical effect rather than physical, and scales with both atk and mag
  • Gravity Sword: Deals 50% of the target's current HP as damage unless immune (so no cheesing bosses)
  • Metal-Cutting Sword: Deals damage, completely ignoring the target's def
  • Muramasa: User suffers 20% of their max HP as damage - the amount of damage suffered is applied to the attack formula (so hp scaling)
  • Chaos Blade: Deals 1-200% of its intended average damage at random
Etc and so on. :)
 

Wavelength

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While a single-weapon-type-locked character is going to have fewer interesting options, you can still use different formulas for different weapons of the same type, especially special/rare weapons intended to have unique effects. Just some examples (all swords to show different formula/behavior options for each):
  • Ethereal Saber: Attack counts as a magical effect rather than physical, and scales with both atk and mag
  • Gravity Sword: Deals 50% of the target's current HP as damage unless immune (so no cheesing bosses)
  • Metal-Cutting Sword: Deals damage, completely ignoring the target's def
  • Muramasa: User suffers 20% of their max HP as damage - the amount of damage suffered is applied to the attack formula (so hp scaling)
  • Chaos Blade: Deals 1-200% of its intended average damage at random
Etc and so on. :)
Right, this is a good point. Even in such a structure, though, I think it's a good idea to have a single "base" formula to work from. For example, I wouldn't want one sword to use a.atk * 4 - b.def * 2, and another to use a.atk * 3 - b.def * 3. If an individual weapon has one special aspect, such as "scales with MAT" (a.atk * 4 + a.mat * 2 - b.def * 2), "sacrifice HP to do extra damage" (a.atk * 4 + a.hp * 0.2 - b.def * 2), or "completely ignore DEF (a.atk * 4 - 0)", then it's a great thing to implement that by modifying the formula. Just as long as the player can always think of it as a base formula, plus a clear individual effect as a modifier.
 
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SpicyNoodleStudios

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As far as it makes sense, I would change the damage formula for the skills the weapons use. If that's the same thing, then yes I feel there is great worth to changing the formula. I definitely wouldn't want my possessed bloodthirsty sword behaving the same way my rusty steel sword would.
 

Calvynne

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I occasionally do this. Some games every weapon type has a different attack formula, others it's on hit effects, and others it's passive bonuses that change the character in meaningful ways.

The risk when you have each weapon using its own formula is when there's a change to something and you miss or enter a value wrong on one weapon.

I had this issue once, and it took hours to track down where the issue was. Was it the master damage formula pulling a bad value? Was it the character having some stacked buff issue? The weapon code looked good. Well, turned out I left a ' or something in the code from my comment block and nuked the whole formula.
 

Wavelength

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The risk when you have each weapon using its own formula is when there's a change to something and you miss or enter a value wrong on one weapon.
Playtesting, playtesting, playtesting!!!

When I create a unique mechanic (or formula) for a weapon or skill, I'll also thoroughly test it in Battle Tests (in the editor) before I go any further. Testing its basic use case (for example, if it deals more damage against low-HP enemies, I'll test it against a low-HP enemy and a high-HP enemy) is the first stage, and the second stage is to think up all the possible interactions it could have (such as using it against an enemy that can shield damage, or testing it while I also have an accessory equipped that deals more damage against low-HP enemies) and making sure that I get the expected results when testing those interactions.
 

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