Do you give the enemies a finite amount of resources(MP/ammo/AP/etc)?

Tai_MT

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Now that you brought this up. In FPS RPG like fallout, they does seem to have infinite amount of bullets, because the AI were designed to be stupid enough not using the resources efficiently. That being said, to preserve the challenge in a long run, they give them an infinite amount of resources that you have to deal with constant shooting from enemies. Besides you don't get access of knowing how bullets left they have, so might as well as make it infinite.
My problem with such systems if that there's inconsistency. It also limits any kind of strategy. Some guy fires 900 rounds of his SMG at you and you kill him... then go loot him... He's got 5 bullets left. What?

I think you could make for some interesting FPS encounters if some of them had "bullet depots" where they'd have to reload... or they'd have to negotiate with you if they ran out of ammo and you still had some to shoot them with. Or, they'd have to come at you with melee weapons once out of ammo... Or, maybe they just run away.

It'd be especially fun in games like Fallout where if you end the encounters quickly, you get more ammo than if you waited for them to run out naturally.

It's one of the reasons I prefer older styled RPGs with MP systems and cooldowns instead of other games where you shoot guns in an RPG world. One of these systems is just more strategic and interesting.

Now, back on the MP system with my last point. Do you get an access of knowing how much MP left from the enemies? Because some dev like to hide information away from the player. And such thing, they never know if an enemy would run out of MP and start using moves that does not require MP. And based on bgillips, I somehow see that you can make an enemy to be even more deadly after running out of MP, which it's implying that you should not sapping the MP out of a certain encounter. Do you keep the player informed about the MP left?
In my particular game, no you don't. The player can infer the knowledge on their own, however. If you use one of the two skills I've mentioned earlier, however, you can figure out remaining MP fairly easily. The description of one skill tells you the "multiplication" value. You can kind of "backwards infer" the information you're asking for. Especially if they have more MP than they have Magic Defense. Though, I do have a state that removes a percentage of MP every turn, so you can infer from that as well.

You're just not really going to easily know if they're close to running out of MP until... well... They do. But, I give enemies enough MP to do "X amount of Casts" to avoid problems. Especially since the player has no idea of knowing just how much MP each Skill an enemy has actually costs. I mean, how do you tell them that "Dragon's Breath" costs 25 MP and they can cast it 12 times in combat?

No way I know of without a "Scan" spell and players spamming that, anyway.

Typically, I think it's just easier to design MP usage of monsters to something realistic. Like, "If the battle goes on X amount of turns and the player isn't dead, combat should just get easier for them to speed things along". I mean, that doesn't stop me from designing skills where they can get MP back and keep going, sure, but I like that more for strategy. Like, hey, they hit 50% HP so they automatically use a 100% MP refill Skill in order to make the second half of the fight as rough as the first. I don't see the point of giving a monster 200 MP that they'll never use all of in a fight. I'd rather they had like 100 MP that they'll likely use all of, unless the player rofl-stomps them.

I just feel doing things that way is better game design. Especially since your players shouldn't have the same issue of "I have 200 MP I'll never really use until I'm 20+ battles into a dungeon" as monsters might.

But, that's just my opinion.
 

TheoAllen

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My problem with such systems if that there's inconsistency. It also limits any kind of strategy. Some guy fires 900 rounds of his SMG at you and you kill him... then go loot him... He's got 5 bullets left. What?
I'd say it's more like breaking immersion than limiting strategy. As I said in previous post, if you're making bullet limited for enemies. You might as well as make the AI clever of using the limited amount of bullet. Like they won't shot you if they are not sure if it will hits you. And such, you would not experienced on getting bombarded by gunshots.

Now, that if looting it will get you 5 bullets left is kind of breaking immersion. I agree with that, While it's not the best, but it's a design choice that would let you have to manage your bullets through the game. It aint funny if you just looted 300 ammo every each other loot and you aren't worrying about running out of bullet (unless you're limiting how many bullets you could carry)

And yes, kill the enemy fast will get you more bullets left, it's interesting design choice, also kind of punishing if player didn't managed to kill the enemy fast before they run out of bullets, thus no bullets left.

I think you could make for some interesting FPS encounters if some of them had "bullet depots" where they'd have to reload..
Honestly, I like this kind of idea. Works better if they're in the outpost though

In my particular game, no you don't. The player can infer the knowledge on their own, however. If you use one of the two skills I've mentioned earlier, however, you can figure out remaining MP fairly easily. The description of one skill tells you the "multiplication" value. You can kind of "backwards infer" the information you're asking for. Especially if they have more MP than they have Magic Defense. Though, I do have a state that removes a percentage of MP every turn, so you can infer from that as well.
In short, you're making player trying to guess how many MP left the enemy has? Would that be a crucial for winning the battle? Or it just a reward if player could guess the remaining MP of the enemy so that they could plan ahead?

In the actual practice though (or should I say, myself?), players does not care about how much resources the enemy has unless the game displayed it. That got me thinking if player never know how much resources that the enemy has, they will also never know if I made a pattern of moves that's not requiring resource like MP. All they know is just to kill the enemy as fast as possible or a certain enemy is deadly enough without knowing why (or MP sapping doesn't works against it).

The reward of enemy stopped moving using skill that requires MP might also hard to notice by the players until the several turn has passed, that's if they are curious why enemy stopped of using nukes or they (the enemies) begin to pop a MP recovery.
 

Tai_MT

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I'd say it's more like breaking immersion than limiting strategy. As I said in previous post, if you're making bullet limited for enemies. You might as well as make the AI clever of using the limited amount of bullet. Like they won't shot you if they are not sure if it will hits you. And such, you would not experienced on getting bombarded by gunshots.
Well, I didn't go into a lot of detail about what kind of strategy you might have if enemies ran out of bullets. Say, if they only have so many reloads, they have to make shots count, right? If they have a lot of ammo, they could pin your position and send guys to flank you. But, you could also draw enemy fire and make them waste bullets trying to hit you. Likewise, you could approach their "ammo depots" first from stealth and steal extra reloads before they know you're there. Or, if you kill an enemy, other enemies could loot their ally for more rounds to shoot at you, or more grenades. That would mean if you want that loot yourself, you'd have to "protect your kills". Likewise, you could also use those kills as "lures" for enemies running low on ammo and kill them as they go to retrieve it. Enemies could also swap to side-arms if their main guns run out of ammo, or to shotguns from sniper rifles if you get within range, so they aren't wasting that ammunition.

I think if the enemies could run out of bullets in such games and have to scavenge for them like you might have to, it could make for a lot of really interesting design choices and strategy for combat in games like Fallout 3 and 4 and New Vegas.

Now, that if looting it will get you 5 bullets left is kind of breaking immersion. I agree with that, While it's not the best, but it's a design choice that would let you have to manage your bullets through the game. It aint funny if you just looted 300 ammo every each other loot and you aren't worrying about running out of bullet (unless you're limiting how many bullets you could carry)

And yes, kill the enemy fast will get you more bullets left, it's interesting design choice, also kind of punishing if player didn't managed to kill the enemy fast before they run out of bullets, thus no bullets left.
To be fair, players usually carry 5 or 6 different guns of varying ammo types in order to avoid the "running out of bullets" problem in games like Fallout, even if they're only looting 5 bullets an enemy or a box. Players actually end up stockpiling so much ammo that the "small amounts of ammo" you do loot still end up adding to their stockpile. Especially if you're landing headshots and getting kills in one or two bullets.

A way to likely combat something like that may be to "realistically" require a player only be able to carry so much ammo, or make it have weight. Like, say, you can buy "ammo crates" or something and they get super heavy and only carry so many bullets in them. Enforcing a bit of realism on the setting would probably solve the underlying problem of "I can just carry a jillion bullets and never run out" and make players less prone to "spam the trigger just 'cause I got bullets to spare".

I'd have to go through and look at a lot of FPS design to figure out how to balance that properly though. I just think it'd be kind of cool that if you managed to take out a base before they fired too many bullets at you, your reward is that you're basically getting ammo refills. Or, if you don't care about the ammo, you could just make them waste all their ammo and force them to surrender. Just thinking in terms of how an RPG would work.

And hey, bullets are the "MP" system of games like Fallout :D

Honestly, I like this kind of idea. Works better if they're in the outpost though
That's kind of what I was thinking. You find a bandit camp or something and they have ammo depots and such set up at their lookout points so they can reload if they need to. Or, maybe a trader has ammo crates in his supply and the mercs protecting him could get those out to shoot at you. Maybe even get out the guns he's transporting to shoot at you.

Fun stuff like that.


In short, you're making player trying to guess how many MP left the enemy has? Would that be a crucial for winning the battle? Or it just a reward if player could guess the remaining MP of the enemy so that they could plan ahead?
In practice, it doesn't necessarily matter if the player wants to guess the MP or not. They can and use it as a form of strategy, but it's just another "option" in my game that isn't necessary. As such, there's not many ways to just "drain" that MP. You can use a skill that knocks out 25% of their total MP, you can use another skill that does damage like a normal attack might, except it does MP damage, you can inflict a state that removes MP from the total percentage they have, or you can use a skill that takes however much current MP they have and deal HP damage multiplied by a number. One of the moves is for directly denying resources to an enemy, the state does the same thing. Another move does damage directly to the MP pool (which could be more than 25% of their MP) in order to remove their resource entirely. The last move is just best used as early in combat as possible in order to inflict as much damage as possible by using their current MP resource to do HP damage (if you've ever played Dragon Age Origins, there's a skill like that in there that basically instantly kills Mages. I liked the idea, so I copied it to an extent).

Basically, if you want to deprive resources to get rid of nasty magic spells, the option is in there. At least... provided you don't just use my version of "Silence", which is temporary. But, the skills could be used against bosses whereas a boss might be immune to forms of "Silence".

My thinking for creating them was just along the lines of, "I have like 25 ways to inflict all sorts of damage on enemies. Why not a way to remove their resources and prevent damage?" So, removing the largest threat attacks from enemies became a viable option in combat.

Enemies have limited MP pools that can realistically be run dry. Some enemies can do the same to your own party.

In the actual practice though (or should I say, myself?), players does not care about how much resources the enemy has unless the game displayed it. That got me thinking if player never know how much resources that the enemy has, they will also never know if I made a pattern of moves that's not requiring resource like MP. All they know is just to kill the enemy as fast as possible or a certain enemy is deadly enough without knowing why (or MP sapping doesn't works against it).
I get that, and it makes perfect sense. I can remember a lot of times where I just ignored enemy MP because it wasn't worth running dry. Enemy MP values were just so large and the amount of damage I could inflict to it was basically just a "wasted turn". So, I get what you're talking about. Who would bother using my MP draining skills? Honestly? I don't know. I don't have an answer for that. I'm just trying something new that I haven't seen done before. Maybe it'll work, maybe not. I'm hoping that just making enemy MP Pools "small and reasonable", the players may decide to actually attack their MP pools to deprive them of valuable resources and dangerous attacks. I mean, if the Dragon can cast Fire Breath 12 times in combat at 35 MP a cast, and it hits the whole party for roughly 38% of their total HP each time it's cast... Maybe it's worth it to limit how many of those the Dragon can do, in order to not waste turns healing? I just don't know. I'm making educated guesses and shots in the dark here.

But, it's an experiment I want to try.

The reward of enemy stopped moving using skill that requires MP might also hard to notice by the players until the several turn has passed, that's if they are curious why enemy stopped of using nukes or they (the enemies) begin to pop a MP recovery.
Yeah, without the players knowing the full MP count of an enemy, this information could be difficult to convey. Maybe I'll add a separate skill to each enemy when their MP runs low to basically tell the player. Maybe that might work better?

"MP Exhaustion", and they hit one of the party members for about half damage or something? I dunno. Might be worth exploring since I have no "Scan" skill in my list.

I'll have to look at it. Good point though.
 

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Speaking specifically to the question of MP: I think it's a good question, because while most JRPGs do have MP stats for monsters if you look in the Bestiary (and RPG Maker allows you to have it too), it almost never seems like it affects anything, and I'm often not sure whether the enemies are even using any of that MP to launch their skills.

Honestly, unless you are giving the player a lot of tools to enable the use of MP Denial as a strategy (Star Ocean 3, where 0 MP was a kill just like 0 HP, comes to mind immediately - but simply cutting off an enemy from their skills would be a feasible tactic too), I think trying to make sure that enemies will always have enough MP to use the skills you want them to use to keep battles exciting is going to be too much of a design challenge to make it into a worthwhile mechanic. Most of the time, you're better off just giving all enemy skills a 0 MP cost and calling it a day. Or using MP as a "backdoor" designer mechanic to help dictate enemy patterns in a way that the player can't see.

In one of my games, I do have a few skills that can drain (or damage) enemy MP, and about a quarter of the enemies after that point have both small amounts of initial MP, and very small MP costs (or ways to replenish it by spending turns). This gives a purpose to draining enemy MP instead of just restoring your own - the player can knowingly deny these enemies the ability to use certain skills by draining their MP. The rest of the enemies also use MP, but they have extremely large MP pools that they will never run out of. I think it could be difficult for players to ascertain which enemies this would be a good tactic against, and which ones it wouldn't, so if I were to go back and design everything over, I might leave this out altogether.

In a system I'm designing right now, I've replaced MP altogether, with the main "gate" to skill use being Cooldowns for each skill. There is an MP-like resource called "Charge", but that is only necessary to use skills that are currently on cooldown (and your Charge pool is very small). I don't see the need to give ordinary enemies "Charge" - I'm perfectly happy with how Cooldowns dictate their behavior and all that Charge will do is make it difficult for players to sense patterns that they can plan around.

At a high level, I don't think that enemies need to have or use MP in most games.

===

Speaking to resource imbalance between the player and the enemies: It's really important to remember that, unless you are designing a "competitive" experience where the player is supposed to feel like they are on an even playing field with their opponents (e.g. in a CCG battle system, a 1v1 Fighter, or a Tactical RPG with an extreme multiplayer focus), the goals of the player are never going to be the same as the goals of the enemies anyhow, so design should be done with the purpose of making the experience fun, engaging, and fair to the player - it should not be done with the purpose of making combat realistic nor equally detailed for both sides.

The player usually has to win hundreds of battles without losing any (except predesignated unwinnable battles), to progress through the plot. The player has to come into most battles with less than full HP, and possibly less than full MP. It's perfectly okay to give the players tools that the enemies don't have, like Items or Limit Breaks. It's also perfectly okay to give the enemies tools that the player doesn't have, if it will help keep the experience more engaging - like unlimited MP.
 

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@TheoAllen and @Tai_MT The discussion about FPS and ammunition is getting rather off-topic.
 

TheoAllen

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After went a little talk with Kes, I decided to change topic title for a bit to avoid a confusion regarding the actual topic we're discussing. I'll read through the new replies later, since I need my time to read it thoroughly so I won't missing any point. Definitely will reply later
 

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@Wavelength balance between the enemy and the player in general is a great topic i will make a thread on that i hope you check it out.

Reguarding enemy mp though.. Well when i consider magic at all i would think that because of mp being limited magic attacks should be stronger than a standard zero cost swing.

So if you look at mp as being the pool from which you use extra powerful attacks then it makes sense to put the enemy on somewhat of as good of a footing.

It doesnt matter which way you go about making the monster compeditive just as long as you do.
 

Tai_MT

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Speaking to resource imbalance between the player and the enemies: It's really important to remember that, unless you are designing a "competitive" experience where the player is supposed to feel like they are on an even playing field with their opponents (e.g. in a CCG battle system, a 1v1 Fighter, or a Tactical RPG with an extreme multiplayer focus), the goals of the player are never going to be the same as the goals of the enemies anyhow, so design should be done with the purpose of making the experience fun, engaging, and fair to the player - it should not be done with the purpose of making combat realistic nor equally detailed for both sides.

The player usually has to win hundreds of battles without losing any (except predesignated unwinnable battles), to progress through the plot. The player has to come into most battles with less than full HP, and possibly less than full MP. It's perfectly okay to give the players tools that the enemies don't have, like Items or Limit Breaks. It's also perfectly okay to give the enemies tools that the player doesn't have, if it will help keep the experience more engaging - like unlimited MP.
Personally, from a design standpoint, I like giving the players and monsters an "equal footing" in combat. Not to make it realistic. Not to make it "fair", but simply to provide "depth". Anything you can do to the enemy, the enemy should be able to do to you and vice versa. I like this because it opens up a lot more avenues for unique skills and "lessons to be learned through combat". I don't prefer players have a nearly infinite supply of MP or the monsters having that same nearly infinite supply because I feel like it cuts off a viable avenue of combat strategy for both sides. Personally, I feel like if you have more MP than you're ever going to use and so do the monsters... the Skills involved may as well be 0 MP cost. If you leave town, cross the mountains, go through the forest, and arrive in the next town without using even half of your current MP... then I feel like your design is a little off and you need to rebalance how much MP you are given to work with.

After all, the point of using MP instead of a Cooldown system is to provide a strategic resource for the player to manage, right? If the player isn't managing it at all, or feels no need to, then it's been implemented wrong. Or, at least, I think it has. Using the same above example, if you have 1000 MP, but by the time you get to the next town, you've only used 200 of it... then you aren't managing a resource at all. You've effectively been given "infinite MP" by that point.

And hey, even if the monsters have all the same combat options in battle as players do, you're still going to be left with major differences. Monsters can't save their games and restart combat with you if they lose. Likewise, they can't purchase new equipment to become stronger. They also cannot purchase items in town and use them when things get rough (well, unless you spend a lot of time programming that in, where they use items).

Realistically, monsters are almost universally at a disadvantage in combat. They can't learn. They can't think. They execute the limited programming we put in as devs.

That being said, we really aren't aiming for some "optimal combat system" in the first place. As devs, we're aiming for "a fun game", right? So, as long as whatever your system you implement feels "fun" to a player and doesn't feel "frustrating", then you've accomplished the goal. You can reach that goal via 0 MP skills. You can reach it with infinite MP pools. You could even reach it if your combat has no real strategy to speak of, if you wanted.

But, hey, I'm partial to discussions of efficiency and whether you can add depth to your game by changing core features of RPG design "from the norm" into something else entirely.

Though, I do think it makes sense to have an "internal consistency" within your own game design. Say, if enemies have MP, they should only be using it on obviously MP driven skills. Maybe your MP doesn't represent "magic skills", but just represents Skills that are difficult to pull off or are special in some way (my own are like this, I call it "PP" which stands for "Potential Points", which are just a measure of the given Potential any given being has to do extraordinary feats in combat). Like, the dragon using "Bite" on you won't consume MP in a specific setting, but maybe his Breath Weapon does. Maybe a general "magic bolt" doesn't consume MP because it's so basic and easy for anyone with magic to pull off... but forming that magic into say a torrent of water would be more difficult and require that MP consumption to pull off.

I think that's the most important aspect of the MP system, is that the player could instinctively know which skills being used by enemies and/or allies would consume MP to begin with, and which ones are essentially "free actions for flavor text". I think if you could manage that, it'd be a lot more reasonable for players to use skills which destroy the MP pool of the monsters, because they could more easily determine which skills they are limiting in combat by doing so.
 

velan235

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I'll give ammo / MP to the enemies for the sake of balancing.

like some enemies has these powerful spell /effect, giving him MP will limit the amount of the said ability to be used in the long run and cycle through normal spell instead.

also I remember found these kind of mechanic. 1st , we encounter an Old Wizard. the wizard tried to cast meteor but the system said "not enough MP" and you breeze out the battle. after go deep in the dungeon tho , the Old Wizard is coupled with Young Wizard. the Young Wizard can cast "MP transfer" spell to the Old Wizard so it can cast meteor. these thing has learning curve along the dungeon , and gives you a mini-puzzle combat to solve. either you silence one of the wizard or drain young wizard MP so it can't transfer MP to Old Wizard. I think this mini-puzzle is pretty neat for using MP as it's puzzle core
 

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@WavelengthReguarding enemy mp though.. Well when i consider magic at all i would think that because of mp being limited magic attacks should be stronger than a standard zero cost swing.

So if you look at mp as being the pool from which you use extra powerful attacks then it makes sense to put the enemy on somewhat of as good of a footing.

It doesnt matter which way you go about making the monster compeditive just as long as you do.
I really like that final thought - that the monster can be made into an engaging experience in many different ways, but it needs to be an engaging experience!

Speaking to the idea that a monster's magic attacks should be stronger (and cost more) than their normal attacks - my one main reservation is that MP is usually implemented as a resource that needs to be managed rather than simply used. If you are giving the enemies ways to manage their MP (skills that can restore MP if needed, and sophisticated decision-making that considers MP costs and the current state of combat in determining its behavior), then by all means, the use of enemy MP will enhance your combat experience! Without those two things, I have found it considerably easier to design engaging enemies by bypassing MP constraints entirely (for most enemies) and using simple enemy behavior conditions to stop enemies from spamming their most powerful attacks repeatedly.

This definitely isn't a black-and-white issue, but my current stream of thought on it is that without a very sophisticated design, enemy MP does more harm than good. :)

Personally, from a design standpoint, I like giving the players and monsters an "equal footing" in combat. Not to make it realistic. Not to make it "fair", but simply to provide "depth". Anything you can do to the enemy, the enemy should be able to do to you and vice versa. I like this because it opens up a lot more avenues for unique skills and "lessons to be learned through combat". I don't prefer players have a nearly infinite supply of MP or the monsters having that same nearly infinite supply because I feel like it cuts off a viable avenue of combat strategy for both sides. Personally, I feel like if you have more MP than you're ever going to use and so do the monsters... the Skills involved may as well be 0 MP cost. If you leave town, cross the mountains, go through the forest, and arrive in the next town without using even half of your current MP... then I feel like your design is a little off and you need to rebalance how much MP you are given to work with.

After all, the point of using MP instead of a Cooldown system is to provide a strategic resource for the player to manage, right? If the player isn't managing it at all, or feels no need to, then it's been implemented wrong. Or, at least, I think it has. Using the same above example, if you have 1000 MP, but by the time you get to the next town, you've only used 200 of it... then you aren't managing a resource at all. You've effectively been given "infinite MP" by that point.
I think you might have inferred something incorrect from my post - to be very clear, I only give "more MP than they would ever realistically use" to most enemies. It's for the reasons I laid out in the rest of the post. Characters need to manage their MP carefully in my games (except for the games where I've eschewed the MP system entirely).

Yes - essentially, I've given most enemies "infinite" MP, because I've found battles tend to flow better that way. I give the players some tools that the enemies don't have, and the enemies some tools that the characters don't have, because th.

Tai said:
And hey, even if the monsters have all the same combat options in battle as players do, you're still going to be left with major differences. Monsters can't save their games and restart combat with you if they lose. Likewise, they can't purchase new equipment to become stronger. They also cannot purchase items in town and use them when things get rough (well, unless you spend a lot of time programming that in, where they use items).

Realistically, monsters are almost universally at a disadvantage in combat. They can't learn. They can't think. They execute the limited programming we put in as devs.
Right on! In a game like a standard JRPG, it would actually be impossible to make battles between a player and an enemy party "fair". In the same breath, for such an experience, there's no reason you should want to make it "fair" as a designer.

Tai said:
I think that's the most important aspect of the MP system, is that the player could instinctively know which skills being used by enemies and/or allies would consume MP to begin with, and which ones are essentially "free actions for flavor text". I think if you could manage that, it'd be a lot more reasonable for players to use skills which destroy the MP pool of the monsters, because they could more easily determine which skills they are limiting in combat by doing so.
This could probably be done effectively by using MP Gauges for the enemies, especially if those MP gauges visually empty a bit as the enemies use skills which consume their MP.
 

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@Wavelength

I was just trying to explain why I didn't like either enemies or players having "infinite MP" or what amounts to "effectively infinite MP".

Boiling down my opinion on the matter, it really just is, "will the enemy/player ever use it all? If not, why do I bother making it so high? All having a high MP amount does for either side that they'll never use, is eliminate the possibility of running the MP pool dry as a viable tactic".

But, I don't think every game needs to let you run MP Pools dry. I just like it as an option.

Personally, I just like, "cutting the fat" where I can. If the fight with a Boss Monster doesn't last longer than maybe 15 turns, I don't see a use in giving the Boss Monster enough MP to cast their biggest spells for 35 turns. I typically just cut it down to "20 turns" on the off chance someone doesn't have enough stats and they go over the "average".

But, that's just my own philosophy on game design. Your method works for you and that's what is important here. That's all I was trying to explain, though I got really wordy and probably miscommunicated my point entirely. Sorry about that! I'm operating on 4 hours of sleep right now. :D
 

Wavelength

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@WavelengthI was just trying to explain why I didn't like either enemies or players having "infinite MP" or what amounts to "effectively infinite MP".

Boiling down my opinion on the matter, it really just is, "will the enemy/player ever use it all? If not, why do I bother making it so high? All having a high MP amount does for either side that they'll never use, is eliminate the possibility of running the MP pool dry as a viable tactic".
Ah! I see. One thing that I should clarify is that the primary reason I'm giving those enemies MP at all (instead of making all their moves cost 0 MP and not bothering with MP entirely) is that they are using some of the same skills as the players (they actually use the same skill in the Database where it's feasible; this is where I think internal consistency is more important!), so as a technical constraint I need to give them MP else they won't be able to cast it. The secondary reason is so that MP-draining skills can still work against these foes (since I don't provide the player a clear way to see how much MP enemies have).

Without needs like this, I can agree that enemies with way-too-much-MP might as well as the question "why do I bother with MP at all". :D
 

Frozen_Phoenix

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It basically just increases complexity as there is another resource to manage...

I like it as it allows more diversity in spells and adds more depth to the game.

For enemies: just give them a way to restore MP.
 

HumanNinjaToo

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I like the idea of giving enemies the same type of finiteness to their resources that players have. I also like when enemies can do a "sap MP" skill against the player, just like player can do to them. To me, this creates a balance.

Yes I would give enemies finite resources, although, I believe this also depends on the enemy. Some master wizard type boss would probably have a huge MP pool, and I think that's okay.

One post mentioned the idea of having to "use" or "lose" a turn by replenishing MP. I agree that that idea adds to the strategy. You have to give up some DPS in order to heal, this makes total sense. However, a boss enemy that only gets one turn is already at disadvantage against a party of multiple heroes, at least in terms of number of turns executable. So in this case, I may give the boss a skill that drains MP from player and does damage as well. This may even add a dynamic to the battle by giving the player an incentive to not allow a boss to expend so much MP.
 

Titanhex

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At the end of the day it's merely a mechanic.
If you want to give this mechanic weight, do so and implement it.
If you do not, ignore it and give your monsters infinite mana.

There is various ways you can use it. But there is also a ton of other mechanics you can implement and build on in an RPG. In the end, limited monster MP is just another tool in your toolbox that you can ignore or implement.
 

M.I.A.

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What I tend to do is give all Enemies a large pool of MP..
Whatever skills players use that Enemies can also use, I create a second version of that skill intended only for Enemies, then change the MP cost to 1 MP.

The reasoning for this is if the player runs out of MP, I want them to be able to steal MP from Enemies. If the player has stolen enough MP from the Enemies to drop their MP to 0, then the Enemies can no longer use those skills until they replenish (if they can) some MP.

Some Enemies will have a pool of 100MP.. some non-magically inclined Enemies will not have MP.. most bosses will have larger pools of MP.
I feel like this gives fair balance to the rest of my battles. :)

Hope this helps.
-MIA
 

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