Healing that heals more if a single target it chosen multiple times

Canini

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Working on my game I have been thinking about how to make healing and the support characters more strategic to play. In particular I was thinking about a healing spell that heals a little at first but gives more and more health if a single target is chosen over and over. The player takes a risk at the beginning but will be rewarded with boosting a single character, for example a tank. Do you guys think it sounds like a interesting idea and how could this idea be implemented? 
 

TheRiotInside

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I like it! I'm doing the opposite with a strong heal that the target builds a tolerance to, reducing repeated use efficacy. In theory there are a couple ways to do it. Using a progressive state plugin (where repeated applications of the same state add another, probably stronger version in its place) you could have it heal more depending on which state is on the target. Or you could use variables for each party member and increase them by 1 when the skill is used, having the variable as a multiplier in the damage formula.


Both those methods are a little clunky in their own way, so I'd be interested in hearing a simpler way to do it!
 

Rinobi

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Seems a little counter-intuitive if deeper strategy is the aim. The most common 'strategic' issue with healing support classes is that healing is pretty much all they contribute to battle. The mechanic that you're suggesting feels like a pretty severe limitation. Oh course, if the healing is already pretty decent to begin within, then the mechanic wouldn't be very useful in general. It seems like a pretty decent counter to massive health loss from especially heavy attacks on (the more you heal, the less you have to) on paper, but it's unlikely to play out that way since there's a limited health threshold. A stacking buff that reduces damage or regenerates health would probably be a better fit. Or as @TheRiotInside mentioned, the opposite effect.
 

Alexander Amnell

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   I kind of agree with Rinobi in that your idea does little to actually make a healer more tactical so much as it just causes them to have to spam-heal. I actually do have your idea implemented in my own game by way of a state/skill called resonance that just increases recovery rate by 50% so that subsequent healing spells heal more however where resonance differs is that you can select a resonance effect via common event that will activate whenever an enemy affected by resonance attacks an ally affected by it or vise-versa (there aren't really any animations/indicators that resonance has been used other than the fact all healing spells restore 50% more, so if an enemy uses it on you or you use it on them it won't be obvious without healing b/a to determine whether the buff is applied) with effects such as negating the attack, splitting the damage between the attacker and defender, converting damage to healing if a specific element is used or adding random status effects based on the attack element and power of the attack used.


   If you just want insight into how this one could work, using recovery rate increases along with a state stacking script:




should do the trick, or else you could change your formula to whatever you need by having an if, else in the formula that checks for the correct state. I would suggest you don't stop there though, there are a lot of cool things you can do to make healers combat-viable (assuming your healer isn't a self-proclaimed pacifist or something) other than turning them into a dnd paladin or comparable.
 

Canini

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I don´t mean this type of healing is the only one the support class has, it is just one of the many choices available to him. But thanks for the suggestions and helpful advice on how to implement it!
 

Dr. Delibird

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I feel like the idea is solid in the sense that like it is an interesting option to have for a healer (hopefully amongst other things) but I feel it would just fall flat during gameplay.

My reasoning for this thought is that general, in a lot of JRPGs where there is a dedicated healer, said healer generally does one of two things:
1. Heal the obnoxiously weak squishy character who will never be able to take more than one hit from an at level enemy
2. Heal a different target each turn as prioritise change

Number 1 is flawed because a character design that leads to two characters being underwhelming (a healer who MUST heal every turn or else and a character who MUST be healed every turn or else) and number 2 kinda just makes your skill ultimately useless as you would rarely get more than the base heal and would then instead opt for a heal skill that heals for more but doesn't have that increasing aspect to it.
 

Wavelength

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I don't completely agree that such a healing skill is necessarily bad design, but it could be.


You are indeed encouraging the healer to spam their healing skill (if only used once or twice, it's an inefficient skill since its power is coming from healing repeatedly), and you may be taking away some of the player's strategic decisions by giving them the obvious answer of "who have you healed the most times so far?".


On the other hand, if the player has ways to influence who gets hit by enemy attacks, the enemies deal more damage over the course of several turns than you can reliably heal during those turns, and both this skill and the "tank" characters you'd ideally want to be using it on are both properly balanced so that they're useful without crowding out other character strategies - then I would say this skill might be well-designed, as it creates interesting combo pieces that give your player a way to build up her healing powers before actually needing to heal an ally.


More often in an RPG, I find that limiting healing is the better way to go (too often, healing in games forces battles to be tuned around the busywork of keeping your HP high rather than the joy of finding a way to win), so I might do something like having healing be reduced each time you use it on any character.  But this isn't an absolute rule - like I said, there are ways that your skill idea can fit beautifully.  You just need to make sure that all of the other mechanics in the game work well with it.


As far as the "how do I implement it", the best way would be to create a new public property for battlers called @times_healed or similar (how you do this is different in each version of RPG Maker, but it's a very simple scripting change in all of them), and reference it in the healing formula (usually b.times_healed) assuming that you're using RPG Maker VX or higher (if using XP or earlier, changing the formula also requires scripting).  Finally, at the start of each battle, set all battlers' times_healed property to 0 (another very simple scripting change).
 
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Canini

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My reasoning for this thought is that general, in a lot of JRPGs where there is a dedicated healer, said healer generally does one of two things:
1. Heal the obnoxiously weak squishy character who will never be able to take more than one hit from an at level enemy
2. Heal a different target each turn as prioritise change



A scenario where the magic I propose would be a party with (for example) to squishy characters, a tank and a healer fighting a heavy-hitting opponent. The player has two primary choices:


1 Keep healing the tank, who draws aggro. Heal him every turn to make the healing strong enough to withstand several attacks from the enemies, keeping the squishier safe.


2 Keep healing everyone with normal magic but risk that the enemy kills the squishier characters.


Alternatively, what if the magic gives some kind of additional buff if you heal the same character several times?
 

Dr. Delibird

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@Canini, I think it depends on the buff. Something like a general damage resist might be good as it makes for healing the same character over and over less often meaning conservation of resources which leads less trips to an inn-like place meaning better flow overall.
 

Canini

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Yes, having thought about it a bonus resist (perhaps customized to resist the element the enemy is using?) would be better than just making the healing stronger.
 

Dr. Delibird

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@Canini, I think just a general damage resist that is lower than say a specific elemental resist would be for a single element (for balance purposes). This way your other skills/armours/consumeables won't seem meh in comparison when you could just use the healy skill that also buffs by the same amount. Like if a fire resist is generally 50% than a general damage resist could be something like 25-30% or higher or lower depending on what you find works best.
 

Canini

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I think you are right. I will sit down and rework my battle system a bit during this following week and I will take everything you guys have said into account. Cheers!
 

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