Healers/Support Characters

magnaangemon01

Miles Montgomery
Veteran
Joined
Jun 7, 2014
Messages
479
Reaction score
286
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
I'm not sure, since I'm not a scripter, but is there a way to design a script that if the player chooses a healer, it can weaken certain enemies in the game?

That, or give the player access to a skill tree. So if they die, it's on them.

Only two suggestions I can think of.
 

RachelTheSeeker

Suddenly, a summer breeze...
Veteran
Joined
Apr 13, 2012
Messages
399
Reaction score
577
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
I do like healer/support characters, but I hate when healing and supporting is all they can do. It feels weird to see items with the potential to replace dedicated healers, but I'm getting used to it. In many party-based RPGs, it feels like a Cleric is mandatory, especially in older ones. For my pride-and-joy Dragon Quest 3, you already have a Hero/ine character who can never change Vocations; with a nigh-mandatory Cleric for most playthroughs, that's two characters you're left to pick yourself! So, overall, here's a list of stuff I'd use myself in place of healbots.

The main character has some sort of healing spell, but a) one that only heals oneself, b) that is inferior to a dedicated healer's, or c) one that falls behind in the later game. Examples: The Hero in Dragon Quest 3 (well, that's most of their spells), the default Minstrel MC in Dragon Quest 9 (which you can change their Vocation alongside their teammates).

Healers who are able to fight decently well, moderately so compared to a dedicated fighter. They could also have some debuff-support, like a Sleep/Paralysis spell or an instakill spell, in addition to dece weapons and armor.

Examples: Clerics from D&D, Bards from D&D from 3rd Edition and beyond (they're convoluted to gain in 1e, and have low HP in 2e), Priests from the Dragon Quest series as a whole, White Mages from Final Fantasy Tactics (their staves are dece, and can be outfitted with light armor instead of a robe).

Healers who are also glass cannons, who can very much dish it out when they're not healing, but can't take it without outside support.

Examples: Nei and Rika from the Phantasy Star series, Monks from Etrian Odyssey 3, and Medics in specifically Etrian Odyssey 4 (unsure if they are, been a while).

Healers who provide low-grade, but useful heals, such as health regeneration or a slower curve and max aptitude for heal spells.

Examples: Bards and Druids from D&D, Witches from Pathfinder RPG, the Prince/ss class from Etrian Odyssey 3, and at least one of the Bardsong abilities from Job-picking Final Fantasy games.

Support characters who don't heal at all, but are used in games where status effects are actually useful. I find they're a lot better if they can also survive regular fights decently, or can be glass cannons in last-ditch efforts.

Examples: Oracles/Mystics from Final Fantasy Tactics (okay, ailments kinda suck in FFT if your name's not Beowulf), certain Pokemon (3rd-Gen Butterfree is my go-to example), Armamentalists from Dragon Quest 9.
 
Last edited:

Milennin

"With a bang and a boom!"
Veteran
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
2,501
Reaction score
1,635
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I don't like locking a class into doing a single thing. I believe every class should have at least a little bit of everything, with healers having some ways to deal damage and fighters with some way to heal or provide support.

It's funny, I do have a similar idea like yours for my MV game, where I let the player build their own skillset for the main character, always choosing between 4 skill types (attack, guard, HP support, MP support) when a new skill slot is unlocked, with ingame recommendations for players to not go all in on the same branch.
Though, there are no solo battles, and the player gets to choose first 1, and later 2 party members to add to their team to cover any potential gaps in their own character's skillset. These party members can be swapped out for others at checkpoints, so even if you completely mess up with picking skills, you should still be able to clear the game by picking and utilising your other party members wisely.
 

Frostorm

[]D[][]V[][]D aka "Staf00"
Veteran
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
1,521
Reaction score
1,111
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Though, there are no solo battles, and the player gets to choose first 1, and later 2 party members to add to their team to cover any potential gaps in their own character's skillset.
Nice, so you're using a party size of 3 as well? I went with the protagonist + 2 party members approach, for a total party size of 3 because tactical RPGs tend to have a slower pace of combat. So having 1 less party member really speeds things up. This also helps make each character feel more impactful/important.

Btw, what do you do when the player makes dumb choices? Like for your game, what if they foolishly picked all MP support skills with no spells that use MP for it to benefit?
 
Last edited:

Htlaets

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Feb 1, 2017
Messages
85
Reaction score
56
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
Either give the heal route some sort of attack spell(life drain, dots, or overheal). Alternatively you can have an item/skill that applies zombie state so you can heal damage.

For skills you've got the disgaea 4 healer:


Over Load
D
24
16/16
Rng: -. Point blank. Uses RES to calculate damage.
Heal to the point that it hurts.
 

lianderson

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Dec 27, 2012
Messages
429
Reaction score
327
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
Give your healer really big knives for knives solve all problems that may need to be solved.
 

Milennin

"With a bang and a boom!"
Veteran
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
2,501
Reaction score
1,635
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Nice, so you're using a party size of 3 as well? I went with the protagonist + 2 party members approach, for a total party size of 3 because tactical RPGs tend to have a slower pace of combat. So having 1 less party member really speeds things up. This also helps make each character feel more impactful/important.

Btw, what do you do when the player makes dumb choices? Like for your game, what if they foolishly picked all MP support skills with no spells that use MP for it to benefit?
You just make skills that fit the MP support theme. Such as a skill that does more damage, the more MP you got when casting it. Or a damage spell that partly refunds the MP used, or grants MP regen to allies after casting it. Or a MP restore skill that auto-targets the actor with the lowest current MP, so it never goes to waste (unless everyone is full MP, lol).
 

Elissiaro

aka MsLilly
Veteran
Joined
Feb 19, 2016
Messages
165
Reaction score
263
First Language
Swedish
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Btw, what do you do when the player makes dumb choices? Like for your game, what if they foolishly picked all MP support skills with no spells that use MP for it to benefit?
I think at some point you just have to let your player fail.
Just have a way for them to respec if they do something like that.
 

Wavelength

MSD Strong
Global Mod
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
5,603
Reaction score
5,071
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
I do like healer/support characters, but I hate when healing and supporting is all they can do. It feels weird to see items with the potential to replace dedicated healers, but I'm getting used to it. In many party-based RPGs, it feels like a Cleric is mandatory, especially in older ones. For my pride-and-joy Dragon Quest 3, you already have a Hero/ine character who can never change Vocations; with a nigh-mandatory Cleric for most playthroughs, that's two characters you're left to pick yourself! So, overall, here's a list of stuff I'd use myself in place of healbots.

The main character has some sort of healing spell, but a) one that only heals oneself, b) that is inferior to a dedicated healer's, or c) one that falls behind in the later game. Examples: The Hero in Dragon Quest 3 (well, that's most of their spells), the default Minstrel MC in Dragon Quest 9 (which you can change their Vocation alongside their teammates).

Healers who are able to fight decently well, moderately so compared to a dedicated fighter. They could also have some debuff-support, like a Sleep/Paralysis spell or an instakill spell, in addition to dece weapons and armor.

Examples: Clerics from D&D, Bards from D&D from 3rd Edition and beyond (they're convoluted to gain in 1e, and have low HP in 2e), Priests from the Dragon Quest series as a whole, White Mages from Final Fantasy Tactics (their staves are dece, and can be outfitted with light armor instead of a robe).

Healers who are also glass cannons, who can very much dish it out when they're not healing, but can't take it without outside support.

Examples: Nei and Rika from the Phantasy Star series, Monks from Etrian Odyssey 3, and Medics in specifically Etrian Odyssey 4 (unsure if they are, been a while).

Healers who provide low-grade, but useful heals, such as health regeneration or a slower curve and max aptitude for heal spells.

Examples: Bards and Druids from D&D, Witches from Pathfinder RPG, the Prince/ss class from Etrian Odyssey 3, and at least one of the Bardsong abilities from Job-picking Final Fantasy games.

Support characters who don't heal at all, but are used in games where status effects are actually useful. I find they're a lot better if they can also survive regular fights decently, or can be glass cannons in last-ditch efforts.

Examples: Oracles/Mystics from Final Fantasy Tactics (okay, ailments kinda suck in FFT if your name's not Beowulf), certain Pokemon (3rd-Gen Butterfree is my go-to example), Armamentalists from Dragon Quest 9.
This is a great list of ways that a Healer (etc.) can be a more fun, less pigeonholed character! It also provides a good list of reasons that Healers can absolutely be useful in solo combat. (Additionally, any post that throws props to Butterfree is worth reading and appreciating in my eyes!!)

@Frostorm While these can't directly address the possibility of a player (who can build their character's kit) choosing purely healing/protective skills for their Blank Slate main character and then ending up in Solo Combat, they are some good ideas for ways you could build up the healing trees to encourage people to build these kinds of healers.

I'll add a couple more Healer Kit dynamics I've seen over the years that I have really liked:

Healer cannot heal herself - Healer has adequate offensive and defensive stats, and powerful heal spells, but those heal spells can only target the healer's allies, not him/herself. This is fairly similar to "healer is a glass cannon" but may result in a smoother, more satisfying flow of combat in some games.

Healer is most effective when combining offense and defense - In order to use the Healer's healing skills effectively, the Healer must also spend some time doing other, non-supportive things. For example, the Healer's heals have relatively low base effectiveness, but store a portion of the damage he deals and adds that to the base value of his next Heal. Or, he gets 2 charges of his Heal per combat, plus one charge for every X damage he deals to enemies and every Critical Hit he lands. Or, the Heal spells are all pretty expensive to use, MP recovery items are quite rare, and MP can be recovered by using basic attacks. Or, the Healer is actually a mage with a Healing Stance that enables healing skills for 3 turns but has a 6 turn Cooldown. These kinds of approaches are particularly good because they not only offer, but require the Healer to change up their style during every long combat, which prevents the affair from turning into a boring and predictable slog where you do basically the same thing every turn.

Healing becomes less effective over time - This is usually a battle-wide mechanic rather than something specific on the healer's kit, but a few games encourage you to focus on increasing your DPS, rather than stalling forever and chipping away at enemies, by either having a mechanic where Healing is reduced by a percentage (sometimes even 100%) after a certain number of turns, or many/all enemies "enrage" after a certain number of turns, dealing damage that outpaces your ability to heal. A very blunt-instrument approach to this is a "hard enrage" timer, where the player instantly loses the battle after a certain number of turns (or amount of time). All of these approaches force the player to balance the necessity of healing (especially early on) to prevent being spiked to 0 HP, with the necessity of using the healer's offensive capabilities in order to lay enough DPS onto the foes.

Finally, just wanted to mention that I usually try hard to ensure that my combat design makes Healing an optional, rather than necessary, tool for taking on boss fights. My current favorite tool for doing this is a race-to-0HP kind of battle dynamic where neither side can reasonably spike the other in a couple of hits, but healing can only outpace damage for a short bit of time (either because it's expensive or because it's limited). The bonus side-benefit of a race-to-0 dynamic is that, when well-balanced, the battle feels close the whole way and (like any great sports match) the interest curve actually increases as the battle nears its conclusion.
 

Rayhaku808

Chubbizard
Veteran
Joined
May 8, 2012
Messages
245
Reaction score
103
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I'm playing an overall awful gacha game that has kind of a fun way of building characters. Each characters have unique stats, traits and abilities that may lean them more heavily towards a certain role more than others. However, the character customization system is highly flexible. Given you have enough customization points, you may add spells, passive stats, and passive abilities to branch them into more pure or hybrid roles. And every character has access to these additional spells and passives. You just need to be wise with how you divide and prioritize the costs of these extra stuffs.

This ultimately makes character building, theory crafting and play testing one of the most compelling aspects of the game. It gives player a challenge for themselves on how they can optimize each character or have them play how they want. Not even taking into account of equipment that may enhance a specialty or diversify play styles even more.

Edit: That rant made me forget where I was going with the thread's topic. I can build my healers to absolutely tank magic damage, throw all the buffs or debuffs in the world on them, or give them one of the strongest spells in the game as a back-up mage and throw stat passives that up their damage output. Sometimes I'll even turn my DPS mages into their own buffers/debuffers so they may capitalize on their specialties even further.
 
Last edited:

Aesica

undefined
Veteran
Joined
May 12, 2018
Messages
1,505
Reaction score
1,401
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
This is one of the major pitfalls with open character building (stat allocation, custom classes that can't be changed on the fly, etc) and anyone developing such a game needs to take "bad" routes into consideration.

For the 1vs1 scenario, why not let the player pick who gets to do it instead of forcing it on a potentially-unviable main character?

Another option is to give the support roles some offense, but be careful here because doing so means you run the risk of making the support role a bit too OP. FFT actually had this problem, where Holy (high level white magic attack) was arguably better than anything the offense-oriented Black Mage could throw out.

For my current project, the healer does have some offensive capability, but its a bit more costly and less effective (except vs undead) than everyone else's attacks, plus his resource is a bit trickier to maintain. Then again, I don't plan on sticking him in any solo scenarios though, so solo viability isn't a concern for him.
 

HumanNinjaToo

The Cheerful Pessimist
Veteran
Joined
Apr 18, 2013
Messages
1,226
Reaction score
603
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
FFT actually had this problem, where Holy (high level white magic attack) was arguably better than anything the offense-oriented Black Mage could throw out.
Arithmetic + Holy = OP instant DMG to all enemies, lol

One thing you might consider for a healer build is giving them different stances. Maybe one stance would allow them to be a bit more tanky and do more dmg with physical attacks but then severely reduce the potency of their healing spells and/or maybe disable some of the healer type moves altogether. Putting this stance change on a cooldown would prevent the player from switching it every other turn, thus creating some balance while making the healer role more dynamic.
 

kyonides

Reforged is laughable
Veteran
Joined
Nov 17, 2019
Messages
287
Reaction score
71
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMXP
Unless the healer is facing the undead or becomes Ash and brings a boomstick along to kill some deadites XD, yeah, he or she is gonna have a hard time getting rid of foes for sure. That is what the role of healer was supposed to mean from the early games. Still, it wasn't unheard of that some developer added some basic attack skills or a "spirit" as a supporter. Of course, the classic style was to make a team of a supporter and a swordsman or knight. Even so there's Cecil that was a white knight...

Or make the healer get a rage state that changes his or her skillset temporarily...

Inspired by Ororo's ideas, I'd offer the Heresy or Bonfire skill, some kind of instant death for... heretics, of course. XD
 

duty

Keepin' it simple
Veteran
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
117
Reaction score
126
First Language
English (US)
Primarily Uses
RMMV
that assumes the player had the common sense to
Don't be afraid to let the player make mistakes. Just provide opportunities to correct them.

For the sub-optimal "pacifist healer" mistake, does the player get an opportunity to respec attributes or skills - or perhaps invest in other equipment? How often are those opportunities present?

A lack of progression or an uncharacteristic rise in difficulty from one portion of the game to the next is how you get the player to reevaluate their choices and figure out if there's a better solution. These types of mistakes are only game breaking if the optimal resolution is to start the entire game over.

These kinds of sub-optimal decisions are always possible in any game that provides the player with choice. Even in much older games with linear class progression, there's always the possibility that the player isn't buying new equipment in each town - or worse - purchasing and not equipping.

When you start to accommodate every possible combination of choices, you're removing some of the challenge.

All that being said, there's nothing wrong with supporting a limited number of unintuitive options to reward player creativity. For your tournament scenario, you could set a turn limit on the battle before the opposing gladiator wears out and/or the audience gets bored.

Including these less obvious solutions, with no hint to their viability whatsoever, makes them all the more special and adds replay value to your game. If the player enjoyed their first play through doing the standard hack and slash, they may also enjoy playing again with the pacifist solutions just to see what happens.
 

MerlinCross

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jun 8, 2015
Messages
208
Reaction score
89
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
I don't know how much it would need to be coded, but I've seen a couple games where there's a stance/buff where Healing inverses itself.
 

Milennin

"With a bang and a boom!"
Veteran
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
2,501
Reaction score
1,635
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I don't know how much it would need to be coded, but I've seen a couple games where there's a stance/buff where Healing inverses itself.
You just replace the skill with a similarly named one that does damage instead, when the stance gets activated. And replace it back when it's not active.
 

MerlinCross

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jun 8, 2015
Messages
208
Reaction score
89
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
You just replace the skill with a similarly named one that does damage instead, when the stance gets activated. And replace it back when it's not active.
I'm pretty rusty/new to getting back into the system so when I say "I don't know how hard it would be" I tend to mean "I have no idea how to set this up"

I forgot you can set things up to change what sills you have mid battle.
 

RayGarden7

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 6, 2020
Messages
35
Reaction score
17
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
So I just thought of a potential issue. For games where the protagonist is a blank-slate type character if the player decides to build that character as a healer or support character, wouldn't there be a huge issue if certain parts of the game require the player to solo? Take a tournament arc, for instance, the fights would be 1v1 so you don't get help from our party members. Are there any solutions for such a predicament? Obviously the player could've just built their character differently, but let's say they didn't...
That's a good question personally I would have an assistant aiding them in combat. I would have them as the opposite of what the main character is in order to offset this. If you insist on just having one person then you need to create skills that can offset that. For example for a healer I might include some battle magic and allow them to switch between mace.
 

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

Latest Threads

Latest Posts

Latest Profile Posts

being able to transition music seamlessly is amazing. my main character's theme has lyrics and it goes from vocal version to istrumental when he leaves his room. and vice versa. and thanks to a plugin, the transition is seamless. I love it.
All of the auditions for our game are so good, I'm so glad I'm not in charge of choosing completely. lol I just can't with some of them. I listen to them on repeat. XD
Working on a Patch to integrate AlphaABS into random generated Dungeons. Was a bit tricky, but the outcome is a real Life Changer!!

Will release it the next days!
Been pretty busy... but I got a better headset for recording and listening today. Dad says that he'll consider taking me to Great Wolf Lodge for the first time once I finish summer classes (my final semester!) I'll be taking my plushie friends with me: Bendy, Lolbit, and Helen Henny. (I WUV PLUSHIES!)
SF_Monster3,4 added!

Forum statistics

Threads
105,651
Messages
1,015,304
Members
137,327
Latest member
Mezzy
Top