Being able to see upcoming enemy actions, Good or Bad?

Johnny_Ray

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So in my game i have this mechanic where you can see an enemy's next action before they use it so they question is, how does this mechanic feel like gameplay wise, is it a good way to reduce RNG but make encounters more predictable once you've learned they pattern(This is assuming that enemies have a static pattern).
What do you think of this mechanic, does it add depth in a game?
And yes i used my project as an example since i wasn't sure how to write this differently.
 

TheoAllen

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If the enemy has a static pattern, why need to see upcoming action at all? Why not make the player learn the pattern by observing?

Unless the enemy pattern is like "pick random action between this list" (which is not really static), seeing an upcoming action could be beneficial.

Either way, honestly I think it only has one way to find out.
 

Andar

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it always depends on the execution.

learning the fixed skill patterns of a boss has always been a valid tactic to handle them.
but on the other hand if you have to remember the patterns for every single sewer rat to have a chance of winning is cumbersome and will not be liked by most players.

and that is only one of many differences in handling this game mechanic.
 

Johnny_Ray

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My idea was that this mechanic could be useful for preventing being dealt huge damage until you are familiar with the enemy or to give the player a more "friendly" experience.
 

Ouro

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Sure, I don't see why not. Probably most famously, this has been used to great effect in Slay the Spire so that players know what turns they need to block. At its most basic, it could be a neat little 'the whole party needs to Guard now!' mechanic.
Ideally though, it works best in a game where the player has a lot of options. Outside of that guard example, most enemy predictions won't help much if the party doesn't have anything to do about it.

Also worth keeping in mind is the level of enemy difficulty in games this system shows up in. To use the example of Slay the Spire again, the random encounters in that game are much more lethal than the typical RPG trash-mob. In that game, you need the enemy predictions to stay alive against even basic enemies.
If your game isn't that lethal, it might be worth only putting on bosses or something.
 

Johnny_Ray

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@Ouro, that's why i was thinking of this mechanic aswell, if you know how to use your enemy's action/s against him then it's going to benefit you, otherwise you'll be punished.
 

Animebryan

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This concept has a term, it's called Telegraphing. The most famous example I can think of is the Bahamut fight in FF4. His Ultimate move Mega Flare hits your entire team hard enough to wipe them out entirely or brings them to near death.

So the game gives you a 5 turn countdown so that you can time any defensive measure as needed, particularly Kain's Jump Attack which makes him untouchable for a turn or two. You're practically expected to use this move at the count of 1 just so someone can survive it.
 

Sword_of_Dusk

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I personally think you only need to telegraph major attacks that have the potential to cripple the party or outright drop people. Doing this for every attack will kill any difficulty.
 

Johnny_Ray

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While high damage is an important factor in this i consider debuffs and buffs to also be worth keeping in mind.
 

Milennin

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If there's a good reason for showing it, sure. That's called telegraphing and is very common for the use of powerful moves, and the party needs to have the tools to deal with those if they're being telegraphed (stuns, interrupts, shields, debuffs, aggro control). But for regular attacks, I don't see the point.
 

Johnny_Ray

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@Milennin i do raise my hand for the fact that i used this method for showing basic attacks which meant nothing, but after starting this thread i certainly learned more things about this mechanic which i didn't even know was a thing in some other games but i'm not surprised.
 

CraneSoft

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I played an RPG recently where you can see every upcoming enemy action - and it still managed to provide a decent challenge and really makes the player plan out their next actions carefully. The game uses the simplest form of damage formula (ATK-DEF) and instead makes buffs and debuffs extremely important.

It's all about how you balance it.
 

VegaKotes

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I definitely remember Dragon Quest 7 where certain bosses would call out their super moves so you could throw everyone on defense.

There was also a boss or two with a unique targeting pattern. One that I for sure remember was one boss would always target the character with the lowest Hp so you could set them up for defense or set a trap with reflect (I think that was a thing in DQ7)

So imo both have their places. Learning boss patterns or being given information about hard hitting abilities so you have time to react. I mean I don't think it's a bad idea to always know an enemy's attack but as others have pointed out it might make battles too easy.

And on the other hand if your battles are still challenging even with all that info up front the battles themselves might be exhausting to play. I know that's how I am with games like Xcom 2. I can't do more than a battle or two per session.
 

Nolonar

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So in my game i have this mechanic where you can see an enemy's next action before they use it so they question is, how does this mechanic feel like gameplay wise, is it a good way to reduce RNG but make encounters more predictable once you've learned they pattern(This is assuming that enemies have a static pattern).
What do you think of this mechanic, does it add depth in a game?
And yes i used my project as an example since i wasn't sure how to write this differently.
Fate/Extra (PSP) does this.

It uses a rock-paper-scissors mechanic for battles, where both sides choose among 3 attacks. Choose the stronger attack, and the enemy will suffer damage. Choose the weaker one, and you'll suffer damage instead. Choose the same attack, and either both will suffer damage, or both attacks will cancel each other out. Each round you can choose 6 attacks, and if you win 3 times in a row, you get an additional bonus attack (for a total of 8 attacks, if you chose perfectly).

The game even tells you what the enemy will do. Except most of the time, that information is hidden:

fate+extra+-+battle.png


The above line tells you which attacks you've chosen, and the line below shows which attacks the enemy will use. Most are hidden (unknown), so you have to either guess or memorize the enemy's pattern. The enemy can also have multiple patterns and switch between them. Fortunately, the more you fight (and win) against the same enemy, the more attacks you'll be able to see.

Boss fights are a special case, since you can only fight them once. Instead, the game lets you complete a few side quests ("information gathering"). The more you complete, the more information you'll be given during battle.

Battles are fairly interesting in the beginning, when you have no idea what the enemy will do, and even a single mistake could get you killed, but they become pretty boring over time. You've either memorized the enemy's patterns, or you already know what to do. The only exception are bosses, of course. Fortunately, the game relies more on its story than the battles.


Into the Breach does something similar as well.

into-the-breach_10.jpg


Every round, you know exactly what the enemy will do. You can move your units to avoid attacks, or choose who to kill first, based on which enemy unit is about to do what.

The game also expects you to make full use of that information, since it's extremely easy to lose. Sometimes, you might even need to sacrifice a unit, just to avoid losing.

Battles in this game are pretty interesting, because even if you know what the enemy will do, you must plan ahead (sometimes several turns in advance), and think of the best move to counter the current situation.
 
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lianderson

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*knocks down grocery store isle*

Most of the enemies in my game naturally do the concept you inquiring! And it is well received!

Now go do it! Do everything!

Praise be to the game make.
 

Johnny_Ray

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*knocks down grocery store isle*

Most of the enemies in my game naturally do the concept you inquiring! And it is well received!

Now go do it! Do everything!

Praise be to the game make.
Haha, thanks, it's not like i wasn't already using it, i just wanted to see some extra perspectives, i felt like 2 eyes weren't enough i wanted to become a spider.
 
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Redeye

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It's definitely a cool idea, but I wouldn't tell the player EXACTLY what the enemy is about to do. I think @Wavelength once told me about a game where they instead give you a vague idea of the enemy's INTENTIONS, so they'd tell you if the enemy is about to perform a damaging skill or a debuff skill, or whatever. It gives you a good idea about what you should do next while still being somewhat unpredictable.
 

Johnny_Ray

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It's definitely a cool idea, but I wouldn't tell the player EXACTLY what the enemy is about to do. I think @Wavelength once told me about a game where they instead give you a vague idea of the enemy's INTENTIONS, so they'd tell you if the enemy is about to perform a damaging skill or a debuff skill, or whatever. It gives you a good idea about what you should do next while still being somewhat unpredictable.
Seems about right, kinda like " this skill increase damage dealt by +25% " but instead you say something like "Empowers the user for a short period".
 

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