Difficulty of on-screen encounters

ELink

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I'm designing a game where every battle is not only an on-screen encounter but is also a part of the story. After every such battle, the player progresses in the story. However, I'm not sure about how tough they should be, as these battles could be considered regular enemies, minibosses, or bosses, depending on how you look at them. There are 30 such battles, with many of them against low-level recurring enemies, and there is also a save point and automatic healing between each battle. Does anyone have any idea what these battles could be considered, and how tough they should be?
 

ImaginaryVillain

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My working theory is if a battle is going to be repeated over and over, it needs to be fairly easy. At best you'd want to wear down the player's resources. Battles should only be difficult if there is a significant story importance to that fight. You really want build up so that the player knows things are about to get serious.

Which obviously, if you have kicked the crap out of something repeatedly and often up to a certain point. It's really not going to mean much to the player to have to do it again. So you wouldn't want them to be such a fight for long. It's not epic, it's not meaningful... It's just another minor speed bump on a murder hobo's rampage.

So I guess you should ask yourself, is this the fight you want your player to spend a lot of time in? Is this what I want people to remember when they play your game? If so, make it take longer because that's what you want to showcase. If not, consider making them easier so the player will not be focused on them for long.
 

TheoAllen

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VIsual encounter aside, the common approach of encounter usually be like

- Resource sapping: They don't deal damage much. Each battle, you would only lose like 5% to 10% of your max hp. However, your resource is limited. MP is limited, and you have to endure this until you reach the destination. This is quite common in JRPG as far as I know. Designed that every battle is a management challenge rather than an actual challenge on its own.

- Fast-paced battle: They deal with more damage. And it is possible to die in a regular battle. However, you also recover it very quickly. This kind of battle usually has an auto-recovery feature like full or partial heal after the battle or regeneration. Designed that every battle is a challenge on its own.

Both are valid. And if you ask which route to take? that's all yours.
 

ELink

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My working theory is if a battle is going to be repeated over and over, it needs to be fairly easy. At best you'd want to wear down the player's resources. Battles should only be difficult if there is a significant story importance to that fight. You really want build up so that the player knows things are about to get serious.

Which obviously, if you have kicked the crap out of something repeatedly and often up to a certain point. It's really not going to mean much to the player to have to do it again. So you wouldn't want them to be such a fight for long. It's not epic, it's not meaningful... It's just another minor speed bump on a murder hobo's rampage.

So I guess you should ask yourself, is this the fight you want your player to spend a lot of time in? Is this what I want people to remember when they play your game? If so, make it take longer because that's what you want to showcase. If not, consider making them easier so the player will not be focused on them for long.
Thanks for the advice. This helped solved my problem, although I wonder what other people think on the subject.
 

Wavelength

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If I understand correctly, there are just 30 battles in your game, and none of the troops are ever repeated (although some low-level enemies appear in multiple troops)?

In this case, I'd recommend making every battle fairly difficult and involved. Allow every single one to stand out in the player's mind as something special. Make it your goal to have the average player (not the best player) run low on HP/MP by the end of most of these battles... and restore them completely after each victory.
 

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