Fleeing from battles(And their consequences)

Mystic_Enigma

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We all know how most RPG battles work. If for whatever reason you want to escape, you have a chance to get away. And you may or may not be able to due to various factors in effect. Which made me thinking: How would others (i.e.: YOU!) handle fleeing/retreating from battles? Would you take a character's Speed/Luck into consideration? Would you inflict a loss of money or items or other penalty upon retreating? Or would you remove the mechanic altogether, making all battles ones to the finish?! Or would you allow your players to ALWAYS be able to flee, even from Bosses and such?

This is probably a waste of time making this thread, but I wondered how others thought about it!
 

TheoAllen

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Literally, retreat means withdraw from battle as the result of the opponents are superior. But in a game like this, retreating means everything, but most of the reasons I've heard is because they're sick with battles. They're not worth for their time so they're fleeing.

Making consequences of fleeing because such reason will make your game is like enslaving your players to do your boring battle. Granted, you can still make the consequences to be quite trivia for you to mind it. Personally, I don't do any consequence when player fleeing from combat (apart from you will be underleveled in next stage). It's their choice, and if they do it quite often, I'd rather evaluate back what is wrong with my system.

And I don't like escaping from combat are based on RNG that is basically whose agi is higher. If you stumbled on a strong enemy and you're unable to escape because of that reason, you're watching your character dying without you can do anything. Even if it wasn't the case, escaping is still RNG, and if you failed (mostly) you wasted a turn and you get attacked by the enemies. Not fun.

But I personally have an idea of escaping mechanic that I haven't try the proof of a concept of it. It's if you're in a dungeon, if you noticed that enemies there are superior, if you hit retreat button, you will be transferred back to either village, or the dungeon entrance, presenting you're actually retreating.
 

bgillisp

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Currently I have it set so that retreat has a 100% chance of success for any battle it is enabled. However, I do disable it for all boss battles, and battles where the party is surrounded or has nowhere to run to (though those only happen in plot battles).

And yes I know this means a player can run from every non-boss battle if they wish, and you know what? That's their choice.
 

Chaos Avian

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I enable escaping in all battles except story based fights, even mini-bosses. For two main reasons, to escape from easily winnable fights with negliable rewards or to escape from enemies that will steamroll you because you went somewhere too early. Putting RNG on that makes things incredibly annoying, especially in the latter case and the enemies wipe out the entire party.

But I personally have an idea of escaping mechanic that I haven't try the proof of a concept of it. It's if you're in a dungeon, if you noticed that enemies there are superior, if you hit retreat button, you will be transferred back to either village, or the dungeon entrance, presenting you're actually retreating.
^^ A 3DS game I play called Legend of Legacy does this. With the exception of a few fights, you can escape from ANY fight and it brings you right back to the dungeon entrance. It's great for getting back to town to heal, but if you stumble on a powerful enemy and need to escape to explore deeper it CAN be jarring (but the game has no random encounters so you just dodge everything).
 

Mystic_Enigma

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@Chaos Avian Ooh, that's especially nice if you have alot of places to explore with various difficulties. You don't have to struggle if you go too far into a tough territory. I was thinking of allowing players to flee without worry in my own games. (Speaking of, if there a plugin somewhere that can allow that?)
 

Vox Novus

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Generally, I'm in favor of the player being able to run when they wish. Its not even just for running when I'm in danger either, its also running for when I'm overpowered or the enemies aren't proving to be a challenge and I'm ready to get on with the other aspects of the game.

Most players know the fundamentals of encounters are to obtain rewards of some sort, you gain exp or its a source of income or way to obtain some extra items. I don't think its necessary to further punish a player for running as by choosing to run they are choosing to forfeit those fundamental rewards.

Despite me being in favor of the player being able to run as they wish, I don't want to say its necessarily the best or most reasonable decision either. Take touch encounters for example, part of the design of touch encounters is that the player can interpret their movement and avoid them so when they do get in one they aren't able to run as they had the chance to avoid the encounter already. I think the basic run method also can go hand in hand with the concept of dungeons where the enemies are designed to slowly wear down the player, taking a hit or two before a successful run can be part of that wear and tear. Generally, I still leave the run rate somewhat high though.
 

taarna23

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Battles in my project are visible on-map rather than being random, so fleeing in my game results in being put back where you were but everyone is at 1HP. This presents the opportunity to leave the dungeon (presenting losses of its own, and assuming you had the presence of mind to bring the requisite item), or to perhaps switch gear or otherwise tweak how you're tackling the battle at hand.
 

Aoi Ninami

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My current project also has visible encounters only, and I don't think escaping goes well with that, so I don't have escaping as a mechanic at all. If escaping existed then you could, in effect, erase monsters from the map, which just feels so weird to me that I don't want it in my game. Conversely, because there are no random encounters, if the player engages with an encounter then it was their choice to do so, so I don't feel bad about forcing them to go on with it.
 

TheoAllen

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My current project also has visible encounters only, and I don't think escaping goes well with that, so I don't have escaping as a mechanic at all. If escaping existed then you could, in effect, erase monsters from the map, which just feels so weird to me that I don't want it in my game.
Theoretically, if you're able to make any escape mechanic to work with your game, what it would be?
 

bgillisp

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@Aoi Ninami : That is actually a problem in your eventing that is causing them to erase monsters when they flee. To fix it, you check can flee, and set it up so the monster is only erased on the if win conditional.
 

D.L. Yomegami

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In a previous project where I used visual encounters, I tried to set up an agility-based system where if the player found they were slower than the enemy party and thus unable to escape, they could buff their agility and then successfully escape. I couldn't figure out how to get it to work, though, so I dropped it. I was planning on putting some kind of penalty for escaping in that particular project, as the player would have been able to surprise enemies, and a free escape would've just let them escape from any non-surprise encounters, run around to the enemy's on-map backside, and surprise them there. Maybe I could've countered this by designing the visual encounters differently, but that's for another topic.

I'm planning on going with random encounters for my current project, and while I still have the default escape settings at the moment (as initially I wasn't planning on using any plugins at all) I'm thinking about making escapes guaranteed just for convenience's sake.
 

Eschaton

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You know what? I like the idea of being able to flee any battle, even bosses. Not only that, but fleeing should work 100% of the time every time the player chooses to use it. The Chrono Cross approach.
 

Kes

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In my games the player can escape with 100% success from all battles except boss or scripted battles. If that means they are underleveled, that is their choice. If the player has chosen on-map enemies (I give the player the choice of visible or invisible i.e. random enemies) I have a small Move Route set up in the "If escape" branch so that the enemy moves away from the player for a tile or 2, otherwise the player can get caught straight back in another battle.

I made it 100% escape with a minor mod to the BattleManager script. I also changed the wording in the Vocab script so that the party doesn't "escape" but "makes a tactical retreat".
 

Adonael

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I'm on the flip side of this. I prefer escapes being a chance rather than a 100%. Just as you can run, enemies can follow. That seems more realistic to me. Not that the aim is ever to be realistic. Also as someone else mentioned, in dungeons the idea is to wear the player down and make it challenging for them to reach that end boss and the treasure with in.

Theoretically with a 100% escape rate from everything what is stopping me from cheesing my way through exploration parts for hidden goodies if there isn't anything to stop me?
 

Philosophus Vagus

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In my game it is handled differently depending on the type of battle. There are 3 that effect how retreating works.

1. story battles: these are most of the battles and have the highest cost of retreat. The game I'm making is based on a military campaign so retreating works a little differently. You can flee instantly but retreating causes complications. Your next story mission will often be affected, if you retreat from a mission to take an enemy fort then your next mission becomes a retreat down the mountain without any benefit to its cost instead of the mission to defend the fort while your auxiliaries load up wagons with weapons and supplies and then protect your supply train as it makes it's way down the mountain that you'd receive for capturing the fort. In addition future missions and jobs in the area are prone to spawn more reinforcements since the fort is still standing. In short retreating gets you passed hard spots easily but restrict your rewards and can cause problems later down the road. There are also a couple of routes where the player isn't expected to win and won't unless they are both overleveled and have near developer level knowledge of the map (and one tutorial route where you straight up can't win to make sure that the player understands such situations exist). These will give a reward if you pull them off but don't have any real detriments for fleeing in.

2. Mercenary battles: these are what you do if you have to retreat from to many story battles and your army is starving. They're just procedurally generated fights where retreating has no detriments...other than not getting paid.

3. Hedge Battles: story battles where retreating just isn't an option. There aren't very many of these (3 as of my current script) but this would be the climactice fight, the fight before it and one earlier battle where there just isn't a route of retreat.
 

Eschaton

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@Adonael

100% effectiveness of anything isn't necessarily a mechanic that works on its own. 100% fleeing works on Chrono Cross because enemy and boss encounters are on the map and are often in your way. 100% flee on randos might get annoying if you're trying to bypass all combat.

Personally, I'm tired of chance to fail, especially one over 50%. I'd rather have combat options upon which I, the player, can rely.
 

NinjaKittyProductions

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I typically have visible enemies on the map but have the event set up that if you decide to run from battle, you will be pushed back 1 tile (if applicable) thus giving the player a chance to actually run away or around the enemy event.

I play a lot of table-top games, such as Pathfinder, where fleeing is always an option but might not always work. Such as if you are in a bandit cave and you are caught, they have already sounded the alarm and the exit is pretty much blocked. I guess to simulate this, you could setup with plugins or events that if you run from battle your encounter rate is increased temporarily.
 

Adonael

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I understand it for games where enemies are on the map. That makes sense 100%, because like most of the others stated, you can circumvent escaping every battle and cheesing your way through by enemy placement.

It also makes sense as well to not give the player an escape chance at all if the monsters are on the map and can be dodge by taking a wide birth.

My approach though, I tend to use Random encounters with boss monsters/important fights being on the map. (of which you couldn't escape or get around anyway.)

But on the way I play on designing the dungeons and gameplay loop, is to give more emphasis on consumables, etc. and being prepared for your adventure. If you can escape all battles there's no sense of urgency in my opinion. You run out of potions, or ill prepared, just escape to your hearts content until you are safe again, or the other approach where you escape to a safe zone.

I'm all for 100% escape on enemies you out leveled though. That aspect is a great idea. Back tracking, which really doesn't tend to happen unless by design/fault of the player a quick feature like that is a good idea.

Now mind you, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the design choices, it's just my personal opinion on why I like to design my projects the way I do. There really is no wrong way to do it. It's just the matter of how you want your game to be played.
 

Milennin

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Anything is better than RNG-based escape. That kind of thing grinds my gears. Either remove the escape option, or make it a guaranteed action.
 
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One of my favourite uses of escape is in Suikoden (mostly 1 & 2). In the games you have 2 choices to escape, run and bribe:

Run is your typical RNG escape (though it was useless in 1) whereas bribe would let you escape at the cost of money. Don't ask me what carnivorous snails and rabid wolves did with money.

The best part however was what happened when you were 'overleveled' for the area. The RNG run command would become 'let go', where you'd let the monsters run from you with 100% success. This 'let go' not just allowed you to avoid unneeded weak fights but acted as a clear indicator of "you are now a high enough level, go fight that boss".
 

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