Boss Battle Build Bout Musings

ATT_Turan

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For me, the one thing I was most looking forward to was seeing what cool or unique boss mechanics each entry had, but for the most part it was the classes that had all the interesting strategic moves...that wasn't what the contest was about for me.
It's definitely an interesting point of interpretation. After all, a boss battle takes two sides, and we were given instructions on what to feature on both of those sides (the predetermined enemy battler and the predetermined classes). One hopes that there would be something of interest on both sides.

For example, I attempted to make it interesting by having two stages fighting through layers of minions before facing the Obsidian Dragon, and each stage had different enemy attack patterns being used (so, optimally, different player choices encouraged in order to not die).

I thought an interesting one was the one (I forget whose) that had a growing Darkness. I thought that was a neat concept, and it was cool that it got represented visually, but I was never sure what it did (or whether it did anything), aside from one player skill that referenced it. It didn't seem that a greater darkness level increased enemy damage or changed their available skills (which would've been really neat).
 

Aesica

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Late to the party, but whatever. My main reasons for entering were:
  • To test my under-construction set of not-quite-yanfly plugins for mz
  • Because I enjoy making complex fights and could always use more practice
  • I wanted to try out some experimental battle mechanics
The overall battle system is very similar to what I used for a Harold jam entry and even a halloween jam entry last year. In particular, they use the concept of multiple-layered buffs and debuffs to get the most out of your damage-dealing skills, as I feel it's a lot more interesting than just "spam flare until it dies"

Stuff I was pleased with
Mostly, I like how the lighting mechanic in my project turned out. The darker the battlefield got, the higher the dragon's stats climbed, including its tpb speed. Additionally, I tried out a sort of decay-based buff/debuff system where every turn, a buff or debuff decayed by 5 until reaching 0, the baseline. I think it worked extremely well, especially compared to RM's horribly-lacking default buff/debuff system which just stacks up to 2 times and lasts for X turns before dropping off entirely. Finally, I'm definitely pleased with how the dragon's multiple attacks per round turned out, as it helps trim down bad RNG. (one big hit on the healer vs several little hits spread out)

Stuff I wasn't pleased with
Most of what I wasn't thrilled with were the result of the contest limitations rather than anything else. I had to really dumb down what I wanted to actually make because we basically were throwing somebody into a boss fight without any real chance to get used to the battle system or learn the kits of each party member. The 10 minute rule was pretty restrictive too and resulted in the lazy facerollfest that was eventually cast as Casual difficulty.

The one thing I wish I'd done differently would've been to make a custom UI. I know the contest was meant to be strictly battle mechanics, but I can't help but feel like anyone who presented an entry with a custom interface and/or visuals had a pretty significant advantage over those of us who went straight default.
 

AphoticAmaranth

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Stuff I wasn't pleased with
Most of what I wasn't thrilled with were the result of the contest limitations rather than anything else. I had to really dumb down what I wanted to actually make because we basically were throwing somebody into a boss fight without any real chance to get used to the battle system or learn the kits of each party member. The 10 minute rule was pretty restrictive too and resulted in the lazy facerollfest that was eventually cast as Casual difficulty.

Well, now that it's all over, I guess you could make a version without the contest limitations?
 

Aesica

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Well, now that it's all over, I guess you could make a version without the contest limitations?
Yeah, I intend to make it either part of a larger game or to greatly expand it to include a full dungeon and other bosses, as a sort of short (but full) game. Eventually. Still, the Hardcore difficulty I set up was close to what I wanted to do, just with less phases and fewer player skills.
 

ATT_Turan

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Mostly, I like how the lighting mechanic in my project turned out.
I thought your darkness system was really cool. I liked the way it was implemented visually. I wished, when playing it, that I knew more about what it did (I presumed more dark = bad), aside from that one swordman skill that referenced it for its damage.
Finally, I'm definitely pleased with how the dragon's multiple attacks per round turned out
I also liked that. Was that using the +1 action effect, or were you manually specifying a way for the dragon to act again?
The one thing I wish I'd done differently would've been to make a custom UI. I know the contest was meant to be strictly battle mechanics, but I can't help but feel like anyone who presented an entry with a custom interface and/or visuals had a pretty significant advantage over those of us who went straight default.
I mean, I spent a considerable amount of time on my UI and I got all of one vote, so not too much of an advantage :stickytongue:
 

Aesica

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I thought your darkness system was really cool. I liked the way it was implemented visually. I wished, when playing it, that I knew more about what it did (I presumed more dark = bad), aside from that one swordman skill that referenced it for its damage.
At the battle start, I did have a sort of combat log announcement that the darker it got, the stronger the dragon became. But yeah, the "no tutorial or dialog" rule made it hard to convey it as clearly as I would've liked to.

I also liked that. Was that using the +1 action effect, or were you manually specifying a way for the dragon to act again?
Each set of attacks was actually just 1 attack that faked multiple attacks via action sequences. Here's what one of them looked like:

Code:
<Whole Action>
  perform action

  text: \i[161]Hellfire
  action type: magical
  set formula: damage(a.mat, 4, b.mdf) * b.mdr * b.elementRate(5)
  animation: 166, targets
  shake screen: 2, 150, 60
  wait: 60
  action effect: targets
  wait: 60

  animation: 122, user
  text: \i[161]Freezing Storm
  action type: magical
  set formula: damage(a.mat, 4, b.mdf) * b.pdr * b.elementRate(5)
  animation: 74, targets
  wait: 90
  action effect: targets
  wait: 60

  animation: 122, user
  text: \i[161]Lightning Storm
  action type: magical
  set formula: damage(a.mat, 1, b.mdf) * b.pdr * b.elementRate(6)
  animation: 171, targets
  wait: 30
  shake screen: 2, 15, 60
  loop
    action effect: targets random 2
    wait: 10
  repeat: 5
  wait: 60

  clear battle log
  action type: physical
  set formula: damage(a.atk, 2, b.def) * b.pdr * b.elementRate(1)
  loop
    animation: 122, user
    wait: 10
    animation: 16, targets random 1 drawable
    action effect: same
    wait: 5
    silent tp: user, 3
  repeat: 3
  eval: Aesica.HackishBS.bl(-0.15)
</Whole Action>

I mean, I spent a considerable amount of time on my UI and I got all of one vote, so not too much of an advantage :stickytongue:
I remember your game, and if I may, I think what might've hurt it was how incredibly difficult and unforgiving it was. Now I like hard stuff, but I got absolutely stomped and recall being a bit frustrated at how it felt like the party members' kits weren't effective enough to deal with the challenge they were presented with. The custom UI was definitely in its favor though.

Edit: Seeing my own formula, I only just now noticed a slight bug--Hellfire was set to ice-elemental damage. Luckily elements didn't matter much.

Edit2: Double OOF. Freezing Storm and LIghtning Storm were set to physical damage resistance mitigation. Oops again!
 
Last edited:

ATT_Turan

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Each set of attacks was actually just 1 attack that faked multiple attacks via action sequences.
Ah! That's clever.
I remember your game, and if I may, I think what might've hurt it was how incredibly difficult and unforgiving it was. Now I like hard stuff, but I got absolutely stomped and recall being a bit frustrated at how it felt like the party members' kits weren't effective enough to deal with the challenge they were presented with.
Hah! Well, I appreciate the feedback, and it demonstrates that I basically succeeded in what I was trying to do - not make it frustrating, obviously.

But my intent was to have each class have just a few skills that were designed as hard counters to specific enemy tactics: it would take either luck or more than one play to learn some of them, but I can beat that fight without taking any losses.

I wish I'd finished a bit sooner to get a few friends to playtest, I would've tweaked it a bit more toward forgiving and away from frustrating...but it's no great matter :smile:
 

coucassi

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or more than one play to learn some of them
That's how it went for me. I beat it in the third attempt after I figured that I could just leave on of the cultists be, silence him repeatedly and use the time for preparations for the next wave, before eventually killing him.
 

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