Giving players access to big skills early: thoughts?

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by Johnboy, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. Johnboy

    Johnboy Veteran Veteran

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    Just wanted to get some feedback on a possible adjustment I am thinking about making on my game.

    Basically, all of my classes use TP and most use MP for abilities. During the last several playthroughs I have noticed that for about the first 20 or so levels, a number of classes will pretty much just sit on 100TP as they don't really have a use for it until around level 20. So the idea I have contemplated was, why not give all the classes a unique skill that can use a full TP bar from the very start of the game? Nothing that would result in completely breaking combat, but enough that if you were struggling with a certain boss, you might be able to use it to turn the tide? Then after the classes get access to abilities that use more TP, they could decide if it was more beneficial to sit on TP or to use it on abilities that cost less but provide more effects. For example, for my fencer class, I planned an ability that at 100TP, would boost attack by 50% for three turns and hit a single enemy with a triple strike. But later on, they get access to elemental strikes, which deals damage to all targets for 35tp.

    Does anyone think that this would be something they would like to see in a game?
     
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  2. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @Johnboy Game Mechanics Design is not for feedback for an individual specific game. If what you want is feedback for your particular needs, then this will need to be moved to Ideas and Prototypes. If, on the other hand, you want a general discussion about the concept - where replies may be irrelevant to your needs - it can stay here.

    Please post and indicate which you would like.
     
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  3. Johnboy

    Johnboy Veteran Veteran

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    @Kes I was just looking for feedback on the idea in general, I was just trying to show an example of the type of idea it was.
     
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  4. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Okay, that's fine.
     
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  5. Ebanyle

    Ebanyle Veteran Veteran

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    Sometimes, the problem of using TP in your game is that you will feel obliged to spend it somehow. I think the best is to give a very few quantity per action so it doesn't accumulate too much. Giving a "ultra skill" early is... not I would do, at least. What you could do is some kind of overdrive where you could use 100 TP in a skill to boost your character power for a few turns. But, since TP quantity gained can be changed through equipment, for example, you can make so that over the evolution of the characters they TRG increase too. This and the constant usage of skills that need TP, of course.
    I checked here and at least in VXA there's no default comand to change an actor TRG, but I'm sure it can be done through some script call.
     
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  6. Weremole

    Weremole Veteran Veteran

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    The second resource of TP is whatever you want to make of it really. SaGa and Grandia has Skill Points and Magic Points that allows each skill type a different resource. In SaGa the weapon skills are the more powerful and magic spells are mostly for utility so skill points run out faster than magic points. In Grandia skills allows you to cancel the enemies moves and push them further down the action order loading bar.

    Meanwhile the Legend Of Heroes: Trails In The Sky series uses its Craft Points much like the default RM TP only it grows with level. Getting hit builds it and allows you to use Craft skills.

    In Lufia 2 equipment comes with different skills attached and IP (Ikari Points) are charged as you get hit. Each skill eats up a different ammount of the bar. Lufia 2 uses it mostly as character customization as some character have no magic and some characters have no real physical capabilities and can use IP skills to take a break from spending MP on dungeon crawls.
     
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  7. Aesica

    Aesica undefined Veteran

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    I use TP as a limit break mechanic, so every character has a sort of ultimate skill available for use at 100 TP starting at level 1. My damage formula is entirely multiplicative, so these skills will always be much stronger than normal skills from start to finish. To balance that, I don't intend for TP to ever carry over between battles and generally, players won't hit 100 in shorter battles.

    So I guess in short, what I'm saying is that it's fine to give players big skills early on. I've played plenty of games that do, and as long as your scaling isn't junk, it shouldn't disrupt the balance of your game at all.
     
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  8. JoelMarler

    JoelMarler Veteran Veteran

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    You could always make stored TP decay by a certain percentage each turn so that the characters can't passively accumulate it to no end.
     
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  9. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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    If you have tested it and it feels alright, then it's alright. By theory, it should be fine, unless there are some factors that make it less alright. Alternatively, you could just hide the TP bar and show it when it's relevant to use. But either way sounds fine to me. I'd let the dev judge the balance for 100 TP cost skill though.
     
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  10. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

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    As a very short answer, yes. Any resource your player has, you want to give them reasons to use it (at every phase of the game). You can keep it from causing balance issues early on by making it scale with the player's stats, by making it a percentage boost (like in your own example), or by giving the player access to better and better "big skills" throughout the game.
     
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  11. Rhaeami

    Rhaeami The Sleepy-Eyed One Veteran

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    An example that comes to mind is Final Fantasy XI, which gave each class its strongest, most iconic, longest-cooldown skill at level 1. Things like 30 seconds of invincibility or a party-wide full heal. The abilities continued to be just as useful at level 99 as level 1, but the turn-to-turn role (provoking targets for tanks, basic heals, standard damage rotation) got fleshed out over time.

    In short, I'd say for this kind of idea you want the big starting skills to fill a unique purpose that isn't directly comparable to what you get later.
     
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  12. Henryetha

    Henryetha Veteran Veteran

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    Well, the "100 TP skill use" is a core mechanic in my game, so yes.

    One early on powerful skill is an aoe-atk, able to 1shot all normal enemies and do massive damage on the first boss:
    • Its damage number is primary calculated through a flat number, so it will not scale too well with the actor's higher level
    • enemies in the first dungeon have a built in weakness to this skill's element and will receive additional damage
    I wanted the first area to be doable - if possible - without any troubles for the players. Later on levels can still be more challenging.
    There will be other ultimates and the whole battle relies on them, that's why TP is relative quickly charged here. For battle systems using them only as an additional option, TP should take abit more time to charge.

    However, also consider, if actors lose their TP on battle end, some type of skills won't make too much sense, like AoE skills, as battles will be over before the player had the chance using them. And if the player has no chance using them, then it's better to not implement them at all at this stage (maybe to consider a single target ultimate instead, which can be used at least on the boss then).
     
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  13. M.I.A.

    M.I.A. Goofball Extraordinaire Veteran

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    In my current main, TP is pretty much can only be used when full, and it isn't linked to any one particular powerful skill. Each class has a signature trait that is accessible with the use of full TP.

    For example, think of your garden variety "Red Mage". Their signature trait would be "Double Cast". When at 100TP a free-use (doesn't take a turn and acts immediately) boost can be chosen and it activates "Double Cast" for a couple turns.

    This would encourage the player to use TP either as soon as it's full or selectively if the need arises.
    Hope you find this helpful. :)
    -MIA
     
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  14. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Personally, I didn't use TP in my project, but I did still give players access to powerful skills early. I did it by one time use items, so they could use them once or twice early on before they can usually cast them.

    For example, early in the game you gain access to a potion which restores all HP and MP for the entire party. However, it is really rare, and I warn the party to use it well as you may never get another such potion ever. And it turns out that is kinda true, as the earliest you can get another such potion is Chapter 6. But, I also do the same thing with scrolls, where you might be able to find in a Secret Room a scroll that lets you cast Nova, the ultimate Fire spell, 1x. From there it's all resource management.
     
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  15. Johnboy

    Johnboy Veteran Veteran

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    These are all very valid points and I thank everyone for giving me some things to think about.
     
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  16. Eurgh

    Eurgh Lord of the Reapers Veteran

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    TP doesn't have to be a 'big move' resource. You can set more physical and non magical skills to use it. It adds extra depth to gameplay and means that Grok'Nar the Barbarian King isn't throwing that rock through the power of MAAAAAAAAGIC. You can also alter the maximum TP that can be held at one time.

    I have changed my TP limit to 200 and renamed it to Energy. Classes like Monk regenerate TP passively and it the main resource of their abilities.
     
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  17. kaukusaki

    kaukusaki Awesome Programmer Extraordinaire Veteran

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    I use tp as a super skill dependant on the class. As the characters level up they can swap out their ultimate skill for something else. So that way no matter what level the characters can use some type of hail mary to turn the tide of battle ;)
     
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  18. Diretooth

    Diretooth Lv. 23 Werewolf Veteran

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    I typically use TP as both a Limit Break system and the cost for most non-magical skills. Do you want to save up your TP for a strong attack or use it for slightly less powerful attacks? Do you want to use that heal-all limit break that's basically the weaker healing spell, but targeting everyone, or do you want to use stronger items at the cost of attacking? Some Limit Breaks may even require a small amount of MP to further balance it, especially if it's a very powerful ability.
     
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  19. Benevolentwanderer

    Benevolentwanderer Veteran Veteran

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    My bias is towards giving the player more options, so I would instead find small ways to use TP earlier. Attacks that are the normal attack but give you a few turns of a small buff or heal you a bit, attacks that have a small chance of adding a deleterious status effect or debuff to an enemy...

    Later on, as they get more powerful TP skills, they might get replacement versions of those skills that work better (higher % success, higher base damage, longer buffs/debuffs), or might not.
     
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  20. Maliki79

    Maliki79 Veteran Veteran

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    I use a modified idea from Wild Arms in that each of my 4 PC has access to several unique abilities with the 1st one unlocked and costing 25tp.
    The 2nd will cost 50 and so on. Also, I use TP for defensive skills. While the regular guard is available, more advance skills can use TP. Finally, I counter all of those uses by making TP a part of my damage formula for physical attacks. So saving it when the player doesn't have an advanced skill is still a viable strategy. Long stort short, give attractive TP options and the player will use it.
     
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