Battle System Idea: Thought Provoking or Just Annoying?

Seacliff

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So I just want to talk about this battle system Idea that came to my head, and what are your guy's take on it. Of course, if it just happens to be some other game's system, please let me know.

Alright, there are 4 party members. Before each turn, 5 cards will be randomly chosen and be shown to you on the side of the screen. These cards can either be 'Attack', 'Skill', Guard', or 'Item'. Each party member can take up to 2 of the cards each turn (one character can have 2 cards, everyone else will take 1), and what they do for that turn will depend on what cards you give them.

Of course, I feel unless properly balanced, this system could lead to sheer annoyance. But would anyone ever be willing to play a game like this? I doubt this will be something I'll do soon, but I at least wanted to through the idea out there.

Random ideas:

-Maybe each character can have a 'limit break', which for a certain number of turns, 1 more card will be added to those you can chose from and that character can use up to 3 cards.

-Each character would have their own inventory, much like Fire Emblem, so the 'Item' card can mean a lot more.

-MP might not even be needed for this system, since it would be very hard to spam the same attack if, once again, balanced correctly.

-Why stop at 'Attack', 'Skill', Guard', or 'Item'? Maybe a few other types of cards can be thrown in to decrease the chances of the same card appearing twice in a row.

-My last idea is to combine this with Radiant Historia's 'grid battle' (look it up) How it would work is that I could replace the 'Attack' command with different pushing skills to move the enemies along the grid to get them in traps or to make more combos.
 

Nebuerys

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Albeit interesting, I might find this system annoying, but that's just a personal opinion. Given that this will be applied to an RPG game, the players will always be progressing in either the plot or level-wise, or both and a bad day of card draws might end up costing him a few minutes if not hours of hard work.

I'm confident that I can call myself a fairly good Yu Gi Oh player if not great, and no matter how much I balance my deck, there will always be that unlucky streak of draws that leaves me with nothing to do but watch the bad guys unleash hell. Of course, if there are moments of bad luck, there will be good ones also but still, it can be very frustrating.
 

Wavelength

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I think this structure of battle system could work well, but not with the actions you've described here.  "Guard" and "Item" are such situational moves, and "Attack" is something that's usually only useful for a few party members, so "Skill" (assuming you get to select a skill from the menu) is the only option that will be generally (globally) useful and you will end up with a lot of nearly-wasted actions for your party on most turns.

Essentially, I think you need to build further around this system if you want to use it, and then maybe you'll have something very cool.  Here's one way you could do it (just one of many): have the cards be a relatively small number of different elements, such as "Fire", "Ice", "Astral", "Physical", or "Holy", and give each character a different skill that they'll use when they're paired with a certain card.  Also include rarer cards that will mix things up a bit, such as "Ultimate" or "Malus", or 'support' cards that can be paired with other cards, such as "All", "Weapon", or "Drain".
 

Kalin

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You're increasing the randomness in your game, which makes balancing much harder. You're also limiting what options the player has in combat, in a way that is not predictable. Will players be frustrated? Heck yes! Even if lucky results are more common than unlucky ones, players will still complain about the computer cheating. (People are like that.)

Is this a bad idea? No! My current favorite game is a CCG/TBS hybrid called Card Hunter, and it does something very similar to this. However, it also gets a lot of hate from players who try to play it like an RPG and fail to draw the cards they want. You definitely need to calculate the chances of the player being unable to attack (or heal) in a round.

As a CCG player, when you mention drawing cards I expect the deck to contain at least 20 cards and at least 100 cards in the game, and for the cards to represent the specific actions my chars have available that round.  But I don't think you're trying to do a full CCG here (and you probably shouldn't in RM).

But why cards if there are so few options? Why not dice? Or maybe something with the party formation where the char's location determines what they can do that round. Then you can have cards for each formation/pattern showing how many of each type of position are available (to the player and the enemies).
 

Vox Novus

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Baiten Kaitos uses a card battle system although each character has their own deck to choose from, sometimes its situational in that you just don't quite get what you need when you need it.
 

Seacliff

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Thanks for the feedback!

@Nebuerys

A fair point, I'm not big into TCGs but I can't see where the problem comes up. Mixing luck with strategy almost always lead to frustration. Unfortunately, I don't know a good way around this yet.

@Wavelength

The actions I used are mostly examples.I plan to have characters stick with a single element type, but your ideas or support cards and FF7 materia styled 'All' and 'drain' ideas sounds like they would flow in quite nicely.

@Kalin

Well, to be fair, I guess calling the actions 'cards' will be a bit of a stretch. I really only called them cards because that's how I envisioned what the actions would look like when you have a choice to select them. But thanks for the positive feedback.

@Vox Novus

Again, I think I jumped the gun by calling them 'cards'. However, I don't know that much about Baten Kaitos, so maybe I might still learn something by looking more into it.
 

Wavelength

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Thanks for the feedback!

@Wavelength

The actions I used are mostly examples.I plan to have characters stick with a single element type, but your ideas or support cards and FF7 materia styled 'All' and 'drain' ideas sounds like they would flow in quite nicely.
No problem. :)

A single element type (if well-implemented) will work just as well as multiple elements; my point was moreso that this kind of mechanic needs most or all of the other battle content to be constructed around it; you can't simply drop it in to an otherwise-standard system and expect good results.  With one element, you might have actions like "Attack", "Triple Attack", "Ultimate", "Elemental", "Status Effect", "Rest", and "Protect"... one of the design ideals that will make such a system great is that the player will want to use different actions for different characters based on the enemies and the current situation.  Achieving this is a great way to make tactics more important than luck in your system.

Baten Kaitos' system was similar in that you used "cards" (that weren't really cards) to pick actions for your characters, IIRC.  So it might be worth checking out to see what worked in BK's system and what didn't work so well.
 

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