Elemental Advantage

Cythera

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Messages
105
Reaction score
172
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I think I can safely assume everyone is familiar with the whole 'elements' system in games. That Fire-beats-Ice concept. There are some more creative elements out there - time, space, plasma, etc - though the concept remains the same: some elements have an advantage over other elements.
So, how do you personally handle elemental advantage? The player has picked the correct element to use on that evil slime, be it through knowledge or lucky guess, how to reward them? Extra damage, bonus critical chance? Maybe an extra turn, like in a Press Turn battle system, though I myself find that so exploitable and broken... Or maybe you go a different way and instead of rewarding the player in combat, elemental advantage rewards them afterwards with increased loot drops?
And on the other side of the coin, what if the player uses the incorrect element against a foe? Should elemental disadvantage simply be the opposite of the elemental advantage?
 

bgillisp

Global Moderators
Global Mod
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
13,132
Reaction score
13,632
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
I kept it really basic in my game. Hit someone with their weakness, do 200% damage, hit someone with what they are strong to, you do 50% damage. Worked pretty well from what I've seen from players and such.
 

Mystic_Enigma

Just bear with me!
Veteran
Joined
Mar 7, 2018
Messages
413
Reaction score
1,639
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Except in special cases, a Battler will use a single element, and will be naturally resistant (take 50% damage) to that element AND resist a status that relates to it. If they use an element, there will be a certain element that they're weak to as well (Takes 150% Damage). But Pokemon-type logic is NOT in play! For example, a Fire user will not necessarily be weak to Water or Ice...They could be weak to Wind instead!
 

TheoAllen

Self-proclaimed jack of all trades
Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2012
Messages
5,291
Reaction score
6,050
First Language
Indonesian
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
I do it like everyone else. Except for the maximum resistance and weakness are 50% (and I decide it randomly like putting 10%, 20%, 15%, or any random number). This enables you to hit the enemy with the wrong element but if it has high base damage, it will still inflict significant damage because you want the enemy to die now.

So it is not always about hitting the enemy with the correct weakness, but whether to choose the right/wrong element in a given situation. The good thing is, you don't have to worry about the skill resource since the resource is replenished (TP).

Also, no reward whatsoever, except the enemy dies early and it won't kill you in the next turn.
 
Last edited:

Redeye

Chronicles Creator
Veteran
Joined
Jun 21, 2013
Messages
426
Reaction score
229
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
Currently designing a semi-complex elemental system for one of my projects. While the attacks are very element-based (There are only a handful of non-elemental attacks in the game), you still have incentive to use the other elements, even if the enemy has a clear strength or weakness. Each element has their own status ailment, basically.

Physical skills are divided into Slash, Pierce, and Strike, and inflict Bleed (physical slip damage), Stagger (stackable defense debuff and weakness to Stun), and Stun (brief immobility), respectively. Physical Skills are capable of landing critical hits, which make physical skill users great DPS regardless of their elemental proficiency.

The standard magic elements are Fire, Frost, Bolt, Nuclear, Nature, and Dark. They inflict Burn, Chill, Shock, Rads, Poison, and Hex, respectively. Each magic-elemental ailment makes the enemy 25% susceptible to critical hits. This makes Elemental casters good for "setting up" the Physical attackers' huge DPS potential.

There are also 3 special elements. Mental damage is inflicted by Psychic attacks. Enemies can't be naturally weak to it, but some can be resistant. Instead of natural weaknesses, each Mental Ailment (Fear, Berserk, Confuse, Charm, etc.) on the enemy makes them weaker to Mental damage. Time damage is used for FF-style "Demi" or "Gravity" spells that reduce Current HP. True damage isn't actually an element. It's the "non-element" used by only a few skills. True damage acts like the "Megido" spells in Persona/SMT. It ignores Defense, it cannot be resisted, nor can it be strong against anything, and it cannot be evaded.

So while you can definitely still exploit enemy weaknesses to wrap up battles quickly, there are also underlying mechanics that tie into the elements.
 

CraneSoft

Filthy Degenerate
Veteran
Joined
Apr 16, 2016
Messages
181
Reaction score
251
First Language
Not English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
I use SMT's Press Turn system ie. extra turns for exploiting weaknesses and losing turns for missing/hitting immunities on top of the extra/reduced damage, the rest is just balancing the game around the player to use that to their advantage when applicable.
 

HumanNinjaToo

The Cheerful Pessimist
Veteran
Joined
Apr 18, 2013
Messages
953
Reaction score
407
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
In addition to the basic fire, ice, etc. elements, I've also used some elements to designate the type of enemy; i.e. enemies will be either 'beast', 'flying', 'man', etc. Essentially, every weapon deals damage to the "enemy-type-elements" and there is gear than can be equipped that raises the % of damage done to a specific element.

I like this method as a way for physical-based characters to be able to take advantage of enemy elemental weaknesses without the need of those physical skills doing fire, ice, or lightning damage. I've also thought about using slash, blunt, and pierce element types, but decided to go with my aforementioned idea instead.

Hopefully I've been able to add depth and enjoyment without it becoming too convoluted.

Personally, I think that if the player uses the incorrect element, it should just do normal damage. I don't think it's cool to punish the player for choosing wrong in this type of system. The one exception I suppose would be using water on a water elemental: if it's something obvious then I suppose it's okay to have the water spell heal the water elemental in this case.

As far as reward goes, I agree with @TheoAllen in the sense that the reward is killing the enemy faster and not taking as much damage in the battle by having extended turns.
 

pasunna

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Feb 3, 2019
Messages
528
Reaction score
222
First Language
thai
Primarily Uses
RMMV
for me it cool to have
but too much too work on for my project...
after I play souls game
my perspective about elemental is changing
it is to much to have like 4 or 8 elemental
while I had like 8-10 enemy
in the souls game there are only fire and lightning
and more specific like light and dark
other is enemy type like beast and kin or the abyssal
and make it a lore weakness
more than just earth monster weak to fire
well... that work if you got a ton of monster like pokemon/persona game
or in mmorpg that you eternal spend time on farming massive area
but in a game with more small scope
I think it too much to have 10 skill that will useless with most mop...
 

HumanNinjaToo

The Cheerful Pessimist
Veteran
Joined
Apr 18, 2013
Messages
953
Reaction score
407
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
@pasunna

yeah I see your point, you don't need a lot of elements if you don't have much enemy variety. As much as I liked Dark Souls, the enemy variety was crap: enemies were either small & fast, big & fast, or big & slow. That was basically it. Personally, I'm a fan of variety. But to me, variety means more than just a new skin. It means attention to skill sets and battle tactics, so that when I play enemies in the first level, it doesn't feel like I'm playing the same enemies in the tenth level with different clothes on. But yeah, small scope probably doesn't need 10+ elements.
 

pasunna

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Feb 3, 2019
Messages
528
Reaction score
222
First Language
thai
Primarily Uses
RMMV
HumanNinjaToo
... sorry... doesn't go to offend your post... in fact I never not read your
for real I like persona pokemon as much as dark souls
I like the fancy management about elemental weakness
and spend 100+ hr to collect them all build a team to counter every elemental
and in souls I like the move set placement and gimmick of every enemy that very trolling...
every game had their style pro and con
I just think souls style is suit my project that going to be small
because I can't see myself finishing a big project haha...
and in the other point my game is action base like souls
so important part is more on player controlling skill more than strategic preparation
fun fact is in souls game you can actually strategic and preparation
there are many other deep mechanic
that if player pay attention they don't even need controlling skill...
 

trouble time

Victorious
Veteran
Joined
Jan 2, 2014
Messages
772
Reaction score
563
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
I havent gotten to do much work on it due to my A.I. development class taking so much of my time, essentially i want elements to be associated with certain utility effects. Likely the utility would be a very broad (for example associaying wind with anti-flyer effects). In addition to making the spells do damage of course.
 

Soryuju

Combat Balance Enthusiast
Veteran
Joined
Apr 19, 2018
Messages
177
Reaction score
207
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
At this point in development, I’ve removed the explicit elemental type/weakness system from my project - all skills are non-elemental, even if they have an elemental aesthetic (e.g. Fire Bolt). Instead, skills and monsters which have similar elemental aesthetics are designed around similar properties, and certain properties will naturally counter others.

So for example, enemies with a “plant” aesthetic in my game tend to appear in large troops. Many plant enemies have below-average stats, but have a passive “growth” effect which causes them to grow stronger and tougher each round they survive. Many Fire-themed spells in the game have AoE properties, however, making them a good choice for quickly burning down large groups of plant enemies while they’re still weak. On the other hand, many Earth-themed skills are single-target and emphasize debuffs/defense over raw damage, so it’s going to be harder for players to keep up with the scaling if they use only “Earth” attacks against plant enemies.

I should emphasize that this is intended to be a loose system, and the goal isn’t to make every single skill vs. monster matchup make perfect sense. A Wind or Water themed AoE attack would probably work pretty well against the aforementioned Plant enemies too, and I think that’s fine, because there will be relatively few of those compared to Fire-themed AoE skills.

I decided to move away from the usual “elemental damage bonus” system for a few reasons:

1) A traditional element system wasn’t essential to my combat design. It had little interaction with my core mechanics, and I found that trying to adjust my core mechanics to integrate elements just made my combat worse.

2) Fewer rules to remember in combat/less overall complexity.

3) I’m using a class change system, and I didn’t want the player’s strategic planning for each dungeon to boil down to “stack classes which have the right element for this area.”

Given all that, I decided to stick to the philosophy of “design by subtraction,” and opted to pursue a more implicit elemental system instead. So far it seems to be working okay for me.
 

HumanNinjaToo

The Cheerful Pessimist
Veteran
Joined
Apr 18, 2013
Messages
953
Reaction score
407
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
@pasunna I am not offended, I was just making conversation :cutesmile:

@Soryuju I like your example. It makes sense the way you explained it, and it's a bit different than the norm. I think that is a great example of changing the way we may typically view an idea to fit with how you have designed your game. Nice
 

Cythera

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Messages
105
Reaction score
172
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Thanks for all your opinions and examples! It seems simple damage rates is popular; perhaps since it's easy to make and more importantly, easy for players to utilize.
Would anyone, as a player, be turned away from a game which employs a more complex use of element advantage? I myself keep to the standard damage rate adjustment for my current project, but really want to try a different approach for future projects.
@Soryuju I really like how you've handled the 'element' system! Different but still easy to learn, with lots of potential for strategic combat!
 

HumanNinjaToo

The Cheerful Pessimist
Veteran
Joined
Apr 18, 2013
Messages
953
Reaction score
407
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
@Cythera What exactly do you mean by a more complex use of element advantage? Are you talking about weakness and strength? Or do you mean rates of damage?

I enjoy complexity in design as long as it translates easily to me as the player. This is one reason why I enjoy that Yanfly extra parameters status. I enjoy seeing the intricacies of the system, as long as there are actual changes taking place. I see many people use that, but then everything is just at 100% or 0%, with not a lot of variance.

One thing I've tried doing to add some difference and variation is with my games armor/equip system as it relates to elemental affinity. I'm borrowing the simplicity I saw in an older game called Lost Odyssey. I've set the equipment as a main hand, off hand, ring, and accessory. At this point, no equips alter defense or magic defense. Instead they alter damage via elemental affinity. Some will raise the damage output against certain enemy types, some raise the characters ability to defend against elemental types. It's a simple structure that adds complexity in the form of player choice through equipment. If the player wants to deal extra damage to beast type enemies, they can equip the rings that boost that elemental damage. Every weapon deals all elemental damage types, so if 'beast' damage is boosted, the weapon they have equipped will deal extra damage to that beast enemy.
 

Cythera

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Messages
105
Reaction score
172
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
@HumanNinjaToo Well, my current project uses rates so Fire enemies take double damage from Water attacks. I'm thinking more for a future side project. Along with a minor increase in damage, say 25%, I am toying with the idea of having elemental advantages hinder the enemy via skill cool downs and turn manipulation.
For example, using a Water attack on a Fire enemy would delay its turn so it would act later in the round.
 

Aesica

undefined
Veteran
Joined
May 12, 2018
Messages
1,230
Reaction score
1,137
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Extra damage is really as far as it needs to go in most cases. How much extra damage depends on the enemy and skill, though. My game has weakness-based damage bonuses as little as +50% to one skill which deals a whopping +2000% extra damage to undead. (To be fair, the 2000% skill deals very little damage otherwise, so it balances out)

The only "extra" effect I have is an EMP effect that also applies a stun and damage over time effect to mechanical enemies, but that's more of an exception than a rule.

(Note, this game contains both element-based damage bonuses and race/creature-type damage bonuses)
 

Wavelength

Edge of Eternity
Global Mod
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
5,174
Reaction score
4,490
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
I've talked about Elemental advantages at great length around the forum - my "manifesto" on Elements can be found here, with additional analysis here as well as here. The long and short of it is that most games don't need Elemental weaknesses or resistances at all, as they cramp the design space, introduce unnecessary complexity and bookkeeping, and add little strategic value to combat. Certain games do implement it well as a core mechanic, but in general, it's best left out unless the heart of the combat system couldn't work without it.
 

V_Aero

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Apr 23, 2019
Messages
251
Reaction score
220
First Language
german
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I think the most important thing here is that not every actor can cast every elemental. Eg in Child of Light, where you can only have 2 active characters, Aurora is the only one having access to strong light attacks, but she was weak using default attacks.
 

HumanNinjaToo

The Cheerful Pessimist
Veteran
Joined
Apr 18, 2013
Messages
953
Reaction score
407
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
@Wavelength I appreciate you linking that manifesto. You have actually given me something to think about. After reading that, I sat back and thought about what the elements added in the game I'm working on. Currently, I am using the common fire, ice, etc. elements, as well as enemy type elements (beast, flying, etc.). While I thought it was unique and added some variety to the game, I'm beginning to think it may be overcomplicating the battle design. So I wanted you to know that I appreciate the impetus you've provided for me to think about making my game better in the long run. I will probably remove the enemy type elements and focus on the fire, ice, etc. elements in order to make it blend into the battle design seamlessly and not come across as forced or arbitrary.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Latest Threads

Latest Profile Posts

lunarrosecrow wrote on hiddenone's profile.
please don't lurk hiddenone I'm quarantining!!!
lunarrosecrow wrote on Edward.T's profile.
Hello Edward sorry to bother you and didn't start a conversation cause I thought i'd be a little weird or disrespectful but I was wondering do you still have your Generator resources you posted as the links on the page are dead?
Stream will be live shortly! It is my birthday, and thus I am doing an extended stream! I will be doing a variety of things. Among the activities I will be doing: Playing Oceanhorn: Monster of the Uncharted Seas, art, and some Text Adventure~ Feel free to drop by!
It would be cool if you could "copy as code" event commands :< .
Just managed to recover my Yahoo e-mail that i lost 3 months ago. Turns out an IP from U.S had hacked it and set the pass back to normal.. Like WTF ?

Forum statistics

Threads
99,484
Messages
965,916
Members
131,111
Latest member
HannyBee21
Top