Balancing Status Effects for Bosses

VillainFan42

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In my RPG, I want to make status effects legitimately useful. As in, random encounter enemies are tough enough that they need to be crippled with Silence or Blind, or enemies with defenses high enough that Poison is the most reliable way to deal damage. In fact, most characters have some sort of Damage over Time effect.

The problem is, I don't know how to make this work for bosses. After all, if you stick Blind, Silence, and Paralysis on a boss, you can just wail on it and kill it in like 3 turns. But I can't just make them all immune because it's frustrating when bosses can just ignore a regular game mechanic.

I do have a system in place where if you use a status effect on a boss, it gains a resistance to it once it wears off, so as to prevent spamming, but I don't feel like that's enough. I'm considering implementing a system where every boss has one or two status effects that work on it while being immune to the rest. Do those two mechanics make status effects work for boss fights?
 

bgillisp

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One thing I did in my game was I edited really powerful status ailments as follows:

Stun: 100% chance unless you are resistant to it, but you can only apply it once. Lasts the current turn only. Goes first in battle.

Paralyze: I did this as a two stager. You first had paralysis poison applied, and if you didn't cure it in 3 turns you were paralyzed. However, paralysis I had removed on any damage too, reasoning was the shock would purge it from your system.

You could maybe do something where these skills can only be used once a battle, with a similar idea. Like Stun lasts current turn only, paralyze lasts until you hit them again. Could be used to get a breather.

For blind you could up the To Hit stat of the boss so that it is a little less useful, but still useful. Like if blind reduces to hit by 50% from the default of 95% it means a little less if you change that to say 115%. As for my game I actually didn't change blind at all, and figured since it only reduced change for physical attacks to hit it is a nice bonus on those attacks if and when they use them.
 

TheoAllen

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There're options you can use
  • The skill cooldown offset the uptime. Silence may last for 3 turns, but the cooldown is longer than that. Probably 6 or 7, or even longer.
  • Build up resistance. Especially for stun-lock skills like paralysis. It can be as extreme as "you can only apply it once" in this boss.
  • Trigger-based clear some/all debuff.
  • Damage over time scales with your character stats, not max hp based.
  • Various trigger-based action that ignores silence or paralysis that you may want to think "this is not the time yet to apply the state".
  • Show HP bar if you plan to make a lot of trigger-based skills based on the HP trigger.
  • The classic multiple-phases boss in which one of the phases is immune to certain states.
I do have a system in place where if you use a status effect on a boss, it gains a resistance to it once it wears off, so as to prevent spamming, but I don't feel like that's enough
It is not enough when you only do this and not everything else.
Combine with the other thing, and you probably can get it right. For example, if you throw paralysis at the beginning of the battle and you win in 3 turns, then there's something wrong with your design.

Granted, this is probably going to be an HP sponge boss which "ideally" if you attack the boss in the span of 3 turns it should only reduce their HP slightly from the overall maximum HP (something along 10% ~ 20%, which it could stretch to 15 or 30 turns).

Now, if you know the boss is going to unleash a trigger in 50% of their HP and you're not ready or you want to push it to 40% HP because it has a different action trigger, effectively bypass the 50% because 40% HP trigger is (somehow) less deadly than the 50% one, you apply the paralysis because "No, I don't want this to happen".

The build-up resistance can be substituted by my first option to keep the skill cooldown offset the effect. In my game, I always have guaranteed one turn stun with the cooldown is 6 turns. This lets you use this turn to "rest" for a while recovering or simply "I don't want any attack to happen yet". Granted, the skill is also costly, so you probably couldn't use it right away when the cooldown is off.
 

BloodletterQ

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Working with a protagonist, as in you know, can't be removed from the party whose got the status effects, here are some of my thoughts if you want to emphasize them:


Method 1
  • Using status-inflicter Wakka from FFX as an example, maybe let the ailments get afflicted easily have the effect last three turnsat first.
    • Wakka uses Poison Strike. Target is poisoned for three turns.
  • Find a way so that every time the skill is used, the time the target is afflicted goes up by one.
    • The very next action, Lulu casts Bio. Target is now poisoned four turns. Bear in mind this isn't how it works in FFX afaik. Just using this for the example.
  • Once the target's poison wears off, have them gain some immunity for further attempts. 5% or 10% would be generous.
    • The poisoned target gets hit by Poison Strike again, now having 90% resistance.
      • This may not be necessary if you use a cooldown-based skill cost or even TP in my case.
  • Bosses come with 25% chance to resist an ailment. They still gain immunity.
    • BBEG has a 25% or 1/4th chance of being Poisoned by default. After recovering from poison they'll have 20% chance of being Poisoned.
  • In case you can't poison the boss anymore, they'd still have a 25% chance of being silenced, so try that. Mixing ailments increases chances of being affected by ailments that the target has grown used to.
    • Wakka uses Silence Strike. Boss is back to 25% chance of poison.
Method 2
Alternately, if that sounds complex or hard to program, you may also go for a few turns of a grace period where the opponent can't be afflicted. And the turns can't be extended to avoid infinite Poison shenanigans. I took inspiration from Darkest Dungeon's Stun for this in a way.
  • After being poisoned, the opponent has a few turns they are immune to poison.
    • Enemy recovers from poison and can't be poisoned for x amount of rounds.
Also keep in mind how much you want to conserve skills or items in your project. That rare item should always Poison as to not waste it. Likewise Poison Strike can only be used three times without resting.
 

Redeye

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A mechanic I've always wanted to try out is a special gauge unique to enemies called the Defiance gauge (could also be named Posture, Poise, etc). Every enemy is naturally immune or resistant to crowd control ailments like Stuns, Silences, and Blinds, and each enemy has a different Defiance value (weaklings would have, say, 10 or 20, and bosses would have something close to 200 or 300). Every attack in the player's disposal reduces the enemy's Defiance by a set amount. Crowd Control skills would dramatically reduce Defiance. Once an enemy's Defiance is completely drained, they become susceptible to crowd control effects for about a turn or two, afterwards their gauge will refill itself. I think a mechanic like that would create an interesting dynamic where constant pressure and DPS is rewarded with what is basically a free status infliction, and it would allow such status effects to be useful on bosses. It sounds like it would be a bit of a pain to code, though.

A more simpler approach would be to simply give your bosses some sort of gimmick or mechanic that reduces their ailment resistances once you've met certain requirements. For example, a boss would become vulnerable for a turn or two after using their super attack, or perhaps a boss that can only be afflicted with ailments once all of their minions have been defeated. Your current approach of simply giving the boss "adaptive immunity" seems good enough, though.
 

Former_Sky

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A mechanic I've always wanted to try out is a special gauge unique to enemies called the Defiance gauge (could also be named Posture, Poise, etc). Every enemy is naturally immune or resistant to crowd control ailments like Stuns, Silences, and Blinds, and each enemy has a different Defiance value (weaklings would have, say, 10 or 20, and bosses would have something close to 200 or 300). Every attack in the player's disposal reduces the enemy's Defiance by a set amount. Crowd Control skills would dramatically reduce Defiance. Once an enemy's Defiance is completely drained, they become susceptible to crowd control effects for about a turn or two, afterwards their gauge will refill itself. I think a mechanic like that would create an interesting dynamic where constant pressure and DPS is rewarded with what is basically a free status infliction, and it would allow such status effects to be useful on bosses. It sounds like it would be a bit of a pain to code, though.

A more simpler approach would be to simply give your bosses some sort of gimmick or mechanic that reduces their ailment resistances once you've met certain requirements. For example, a boss would become vulnerable for a turn or two after using their super attack, or perhaps a boss that can only be afflicted with ailments once all of their minions have been defeated. Your current approach of simply giving the boss "adaptive immunity" seems good enough, though.
Your idea sounds very much like the stagger gauge in FF13. Once full, an enemy defenses drop significantly and are open to stronger attacks. I like this idea because it rewards offense.
 

HumanNinjaToo

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@Redeye Yeah I'm a big fan of stagger type issues with enemies as well.

One other idea I didn't see suggested is to reduce how long a status ailment lasts each time it's used on the same enemy. First use is 3 turns, second it lasts only 2 turns, etc. and then enemy is immune after 3 uses of the status ailment. This makes the effect useful against bosses, but it's another way to keep it from being spammed throughout the whole fight. In fact, knowing the mechanic would add another level of strategy in terms of timing when to use a status ailment like stun in such a way; even if it lasts only one turn, it could be used to cancel a bosses big-time move.
 

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My strategy is to set a 50% possibility to remove the state with damage. It make you really think before attacking.
 

bgillisp

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@Redeye : I actually did something kinda like that with my final boss, where the turn after they did a powerful attack, they didn't attack at all as they were exhausted, and on that turn you did bonus damage. I didn't have them take status ailments though, I just went with bonus damage.
 

Wavelength

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There are some good ideas so far and I'll suggest some of my own in a moment, but wanted to address this first:
I do have a system in place where if you use a status effect on a boss, it gains a resistance to it once it wears off, so as to prevent spamming, but I don't feel like that's enough. I'm considering implementing a system where every boss has one or two status effects that work on it while being immune to the rest. Do those two mechanics make status effects work for boss fights?
I think it sounds fine, as long as the status effects are worth the wasted turns (and resources) it takes trying status effects that won't work against the boss, or there are clear visual/interface cues that hint at which ailments should work against the boss (and it also needs to be very obvious whether a boss has resisted an ailment due to the anti-spam mechanic, or whether the status effect simply didn't apply due to RNG). I can envision the world where the resistance mechanic is enough to balance things and you don't need to limit each boss to just a couple ailments; I can also envision the world where it isn't enough; it really depends on your boss design as well as how crippling ailments in your game are (and how reliably they can normally be applied).

So, what have I done in my own games? In timeblazer, most combats are against bosses (there are only a few "normal encounters" in the game), so the game's combat (including its States) is designed around boss fights. Most skills that apply States will apply them at 100%, so I had to be careful to avoid ailments that were too crippling - instead, I opted for ailments such as:
  • Weak Aura: Takes 50% more damage from all magical elements for a few turns
  • Crit Vulnerability: Much more likely to take Critical Hits from opponents for a few turns
  • Gravity: Acts last each turn
  • Lightning Mark: When KO'ed by an opponent, that opponent gains a massive TP boost (good for bosses with minions or multi-enemy bosses)
These kinds of ailments create interesting situations, but don't completely break the flow or balance of battle when you land them on a boss. The game does have a couple of more crippling ailments, like Blind and Stun, but they tend to be very short-term, and skills that apply those either will only do so when you land a Critical Hit with the skill, which represents a rare 'high moment' in combat so it's reasonable to give the player a "free" turn or two, or the skill is extremely expensive and has a long cooldown.

In How Badly, I am fully embracing Utility Scaling, which is where skill effects beyond damage and healing will scale with the user's stats. Not only does this allow utility-oriented characters to experience the same power growth that damage-dealers get, but it also provides a few ways that this "boss status balance" issue can be solved. Nearly every State in the game (positive or negative) will have either the magnitude (if possible), or duration (otherwise), of its effect scale based on the Power stat (the same stat that controls all damage output) of the user that applies the State. Here are a few examples of ailments in the game, and how Utility Scaling works for them:
  • Burning: Target takes damage over time (a number of HP, not a % of max HP; damage dealt scales with caster's PWR)
  • Static: Next time the target is damaged, they take bonus damage (amount of damage scales with caster's PWR)
  • Soaked: Incoming ailments last longer on the target while this state persists (length added scales with caster's PWR)
  • Shocked: Target's PWR is reduced (a numeric reduction, such as -30 PWR, not a %; reduction scales with caster's PWR)
  • Backfire: Target takes damage whenever they cast a spell (amount of damage scales with caster's PWR)
  • Exposed Weakness: Target's existing elemental weaknesses are more severe (% increase in severity scales with caster's PWR)
Since boss enemies have more HP to work with, much higher base stats, and so on, these ailments can all comfortably be used against bosses just like they'd be used against normal enemies. The effect naturally won't be as strong against a boss (reducing their PWR from 350 to 320 with Shocked isn't the same gamebreaker that reducing a normal enemy's PWR from 40 to 10 would be), but it's still often worthwhile because you're putting a bit of hurt on (or reducing the threat of) a singular, powerful foe.

There are indeed a few status effects in How Badly that can lock down foes, such as Stun (prevents target from acting, though their ATB gauge can still fill) and Stasis (prevents target from acting, being targeted, taking damage, or filling their ATB gauge). For these statuses, not only do I scale the duration of the state with the caster's Power, I also use reverse scaling with the target's Vigor (the same stat that directly controls Max HP). Therefore, Stuns and such will last a shorter amount of time against high-HP enemies (that is, boss foes and some other highly-defensive foes) - often just a couple of seconds. This also ensures that disable times remain fairly consistent throughout the game, instead of becoming unfairly long as battler stats increase throughout the game.

There's a lot of mathematical and technical complexity involved, but what I'm finding is that Utility Scaling provides an intuitive way to keep support skills feeling fun and important all game long, not to mention a way to make sure that they're equally "good" against normal enemies and boss monsters in most situations.
 
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Aesica

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The problem is, I don't know how to make this work for bosses. After all, if you stick Blind, Silence, and Paralysis on a boss, you can just wail on it and kill it in like 3 turns. But I can't just make them all immune because it's frustrating when bosses can just ignore a regular game mechanic.
If your boss only takes 3 turns to kill, it's kind of a crappy boss imo and could use a bit of a health boost. I've always felt that between 10 and 20 turns is a nice sweet spot, because you want the boss to feel somewhat epic, but at the same time, you don't want it to be a major slog. Here's some things I plan on using:
  • Each ailment only works once, and in a limited fashion. Bosses gain 100% immunity to a given ailment after it wears off, and can even auto-esuna themselves after dropping below a certain HP threshold.
  • Poisons are formula-based, not HP-based. This allows poison to be a legit ailment against both common foes and bosses without making it an overpowered boss-destroyer.
  • Bosses behave differently under various status ailments. Something I'm borrowing from Dragon Warrior 4, where incapacitated enemies would do things like "roll over" or "emit eerie lights" to deal damage.
  • Sometimes, it's legitimately okay for bosses to have some ailment immunity. You want players to mix up their strategies, but if everything is vulnerable to stun, then eventually players are going to figure out that using stun first, then unloading is effective. And then, they're going to use that same tactic in every. single. battle. Not every ability needs to be as useful against bosses as it is against common foes.
 

ave36

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Since my main character is a status ailment specialist, Legend of Terra Firma is basically Status Ailments: The Game. So there are no bosses immune to all status ailments. However, there is no early/cheap Paralyze status.
* There is the Sleep status that is dispelled by damage; think of it as your "catch your breath" spell that allows you to heal and raise while the boss is asleep.
* There is the Stone status that petrifies the opponent with no time limit and is considered a victory over this opponent. It comes late in game and is expensive; it works on most bosses, but it denies you of EXP/AP.
* There is the Frog status that is technically not an equivalent to KO like Stone is, but frogged enemies tend to run away, once again depriving you of rewards (it is also useless against certain magic-users and shapeshifters who can easily de-frog themselves). You can Stone or Frog a boss if you build the fight around spamming these spells, but this will only let you continue the quest, you won't get his artifact, his EXP and AP.
* There are Death and Doom, but they are among the few statuses that never work on bosses.
* There are exotic statuses such as Virus and Pain that can be inflicted on bosses but it won't be of any use, because these statuses are meant to inconvenience the player (Virus works like a Berserk/Confuse type status that won't wear off and will infect those attacked by the infectee; since the boss is solitary, it does not have a flunky to attack and infect, so it will attack and infect the party; Pain is the status that prevents healing, and bosses usually do not heal themselves; Pain is very effective against human bosses that spam Medicine on themselves)
* There is the standard fare such as Blind, Silence, Berserk and Confuse. They will work on bosses more often than not, and knowing which one to use is the main part of playing as Oscar the Black Knight. Blind the Coop Cockatrice so it will not hit you with its petrifying beak and will have to use the much less dangerous Whirlwind. Berserk the Krakenspawn so it will resort to its pathetic ink spit attack. Confuse Smeezer and Sakura so they'll hit each other. Do not Berserk the Coop Cockatrice, it's a bad idea; so is blinding the Krakenspawn.
* The Poison-type statuses are a special case. The effect of Poison is not a fixed percentage, it depends on MAtk and MDef. So trying to poison a high MDef boss will be a success, but the damage will be a piddly 1/sec. The status effect that does fixed percentage DoT is called Bleed, but it's an end game status effect only inflicted by two high-end spells: Dark Nova and Razor Dance.
 

Aesica

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* There are Death and Doom, but they are among the few statuses that never work on bosses.
If you want to avoid making those spells useless against bosses and "immune" targets, you could always borrow the idea I'm using in my game:

Death: Instant Death (50%) or dark magic damage if the death check fails or the target is immune to instant death. This is mainly to make sure the player gets something for the cast. It's only 1 grade weaker (x4 instead of x5) than the main dark magic damage-dealing spell, so it's not exactly a puny hit either.

Doom: Same as death, but the death effect is 100% when the countdown expires and it deals a lot more damage if the target is immune to instant death. My reasoning here is that any mook should be killable within 10 rounds, even the nasty ones, so if the party wants to put it up and then survives 10 rounds, they get the kill. Against bosses (which may go on for longer than that) it becomes a highly desirable skill to use, guaranteeing a large spike of damage on the round it expires.
 

Wavelength

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@Aesica's solution for Death Immunity (or failure to apply) is a pretty easy one that works really well, and will lead to a lot fewer players ignoring your would-be-awesome instant death spells because they're so damn unreliable.

One other solution, specifically geared toward bosses having immunity to instant death spells, could be to make it so that the boss is only immune to them until their HP reaches a certain threshold. It could be an HP percentage such as "immune to instant death until you reduce their HP to 25%" (hard to teach the player, but fairly easy for the player to understand and gauge once they learn the mechanic), or it could be a relative threshold such as "immune to instant death while their current HP is at least 10x your Max HP" (easier to teach the player, but harder to gauge and calculate mid-fight). At any rate, this would remove the ridiculousness of killing a boss on turn two, but it would allow these spells to be useful in boss fights (and against other very tough enemies) if the player is willing to opt into the calculated risk that the spell might simply miss.
 

Dr. Delibird

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I just do not include any status aliments that would be unbalanced for the bosses to be affected by (insta death for example). As a rule of thumb I just do not give the player tools that they cannot use because that is frustrating. Some bosses will be immune to say poison for example or resistant (lowering the effects of the aliment) but if the player cannot poison any boss and it's not made clear that some bosses are immune/resistant and not all then it's just not fun, or at least not fun from my perspective.
 

Tai_MT

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One of the major issues I'm seeing is that your boss is likely a "pushover". Ideally, you want bosses to be killed somewhere between 10 and 20 "rounds" of combat. 20 is the upper limit of where a player will get frustrated with how much of a slog it is. 10 is reasonable for most bosses to at least show off what they can do. A "round" is anytime your entire party executes their actions. If you have 1 party member, whenever that party member acts, that's a round. If you have 3 party members, after the third one acts, that's a round.

So, if being hit with a bunch of states lets you kill the boss very quickly, you've got a problem with presumably the stats of the boss.

With that being said, there's all kinds of ways to solve the problem of "states are too powerful to use on the boss".

1. Give the bosses some immunities. Don't make every boss immune to Paralyze. Some of them can be, however. You want the player to know their toolkit isn't worthless, it just might not be 100% useful against THIS boss. Paralyze doesn't work on this boss, but it will work on the next one. It works often enough players try it, but not so often that players can steamroll every boss.

2. Don't allow stacking of similar states. Stunned bosses can't be paralyzed. Paralyzed bosses can't be put to sleep. Etcetera. You can easily use a state to make a boss immune to other states so long as it's inflicted.

3. Set limits on how long your states last. They don't have to last 10 rounds or more. They don't have to last forever. Often, 3 rounds is plenty of "free hits" for a party.

4. Have the boss able to cure some states on its own. You can easily program a boss to use specific skills or actions if under the influence of a state. If they're hit with poison, you can make them cure it.

5. Give the boss some minions that will do the curing of states like Paralyze and Stun and Sleep. This will make the players have to spend rounds putting down the minions first, before they can put down the bosses.

6. One-time usage of states on the boss and then they're immune for the rest of the fight. This might force some tactical play from the players as they now have to decide when a good opportunity to use states is.

7. Have bosses inflict these powerful states on the player as well. If these states render a boss monster worthless and easy to kill, imagine what the player will have to do in order to overcome the same states. Then, inflict them on the player to make them spend some turns getting rid of the states. If players have to spend time curing states on themselves, they're going to focus less on inflicting a ton of damage on a boss with states inflicted on them.

8. It's sometimes okay to let the player have a "curb stomp" battle against a boss if they figure out how to cheese it. It's okay to let them kill a boss with Poison every so often. Done well, the player can feel clever for doing this.

9. Pair states with attacks. If you don't have skills that ONLY inflict states, then you won't have useless skills. If they're always paired with attack damage, then the state is a bonus on top of the attack. In this way, you can also make inflicting states on enemies and bosses not 100% guaranteed. So, you don't have to worry about a "perfect storm" of states on a boss that renders it a pushover, and the player has to work for such an advantage rather than having it handed to them. Likewise, then you can have the boss resistant to specific skill types so the player isn't doing all that much damage to the boss while trying to get a state to stick (monster isn't immune to Paralyze, but is resistant to electric skills... so you're doing very little damage while trying to get Paralyze to stick on the boss while it only has a 25% chance to proc).
---
Anyway, there are just a ton of things you can do with your states to balance them against bosses.

Personally, all of my states are quite powerful. Each boss is immune to all of them except two of my choosing. However, many of my states are inherently "balanced" on their own. A few like "Paralyze" are insanely unbalanced. If you get this off on a boss, they can't act ever again unless another monster cures it for them (it never wears off, even on the player's party, which forces players to spend an action curing it, or face losing battle entirely if everyone gets paralyzed).

I have some bosses that can be cleverly curb-stomped by players using states... and some that can't.

What you do is largely going to depend on the "feel" you want for your combat system.
 

Polarice3

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My suggestion would be to make states work differently when used on Bosses.

For example, instead of instantly killing the boss when the turns are up, the Doom state would either cause the boss' current health to be halved or gives massive debuffs to the boss' stats.

That way, you don't have to make your boss immune to certain states to prevent them from being too easy to defeat, but have states that would otherwise cripple an enemy work differently when applied on to bosses. It won't make certain states useless in boss fights, and it allows players to explore and learn more on what your states can do without making the boss more easier to defeat.
Heck, you can make it so that states works differently on certain enemies to give players a heads up.
 

ave36

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I made the following resolution to the Death and Doom dilemma: Death and Doom work on bosses and other Heavy-type enemies, but only if they have less than 9999 current HP, and at a success rate of 33% for Death and 50% for Doom.

Note that the game also has the old FF classic "Level 5 Death" and a rare limit break type skill "Level 1 Death" that both work fully on bosses and ignore the Heavy status.
 

CraneSoft

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I generally don't make bosses completely immune to statuses with the exception of really nasty ones like Petrification/Doom/Instant Death, but instead, I make them retaliate with a vengeance if they are struck with specific status effects.

The tamer ones may simply waste a turn to completely cure all the status effects and debuffs, not just that one specific status effect. Some harder and more gimmickry bosses change tactics accordingly to adapt - blind the boss? They stop using physical attacks and resort to weaker magic for the duration but gains a massive attack buff and builds resistance to the blind once it wears off. Managed to paralyze this boss? He repays in kind with his version of Super Paralyze on you that lasts 3x longer, which he won't normally use. This way, you get some breather room for awhile but the same strategy will not work again to prevent abuse.

Now most people don't need to go that far as status effects can be balanced by simply being something that can't be spammed to trivialize the fight - bosses gaining resistance, status effects only lasting few turns, or simply being costly and have a low success rate against bosses.

FFVIII is a good example why immunities need to exist, most of the bosses in the first 90% of the game are very suspectible to a lot of status effects and can be crippled severely if you do that (and you have many ways to do that), making the already low difficulty into "cannot be lost unless you commit suicide". The remaining 10% are obviously the final bosses and the bonus bosses, and even those are not immune to the "Def = 0" status effect the game offers.
 
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Frostorm

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DoTs should NEVER be scaled w/ target's MaxHP, as is default for MV's "poison". Make it do X amount based on the user's stats, so it will do similar amounts of damage no matter how much HP the target might have.

As for bosses being immune to certain effect, well I do and don't use that in my game. As in the limitation for why a skill's effect wouldn't work on a boss is baked into the skill itself, and not due to the target being a boss.

For example, in my game there's a high level skill under the Duelist tree/class called Assassinate...
Assassinate: Instantly kills the target. User’s Max HP must be greater than target’s Max HP & user must be behind the target. CD: 8 turns.

As you can see, this very powerful skill wouldn't work on bosses or even very strong trash mobs, simply because the user's HP is almost certainly going to be less than the boss's HP. So it's not like I set the boss to be immune to this or that, but rather due to the limitations/requirement of the skill itself. This way, the player doesn't feel like his skills are innately useless on bosses. I just don't like the idea of certain mechanics working differently simply because the target is a boss. Imo, a boss should be strong enuf to endure a stun or w/e is toss at it. It shouldn't need a handicap of being immune to x, y, & z.

I endorse CraneSoft's idea of bosses "retaliating with a vengeance". Besides the balancing, it also makes the boss's AI seem "smarter".

An alternative way to handle balancing status debuffs on bosses is to tune the fight so that these effects are assumed to be used against said bosses. So like, if all the player plans to do is spam normal attack, or even their highest dmg skill/spell, they're gonna be in for a world of hurt cuz the boss will be free to unload on the party w/ its full power.

You don't have to stick to any one approach/method, in fact having certain a boss behave by retaliating and another boss which encourages applying status debuffs would offer some refreshing variety to the game imo.
 
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Okay someone really needs to fix that broken railing, its a health hazard...

I'm starting to wonder if I should go the Half Minute Hero route with my game. The character's main weapon is logistically way too strong. So I can't really let the player continuously grow it.... But if they had to build it up each time like HMH, that could work. Also it lets me take advantage of my randomly generated maps so much more. Hmm... This could work! :LZSexcite:
std::vector, std::map and std::string. Three reasons why I'd take C++ over C. :D

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