Health, vitality and skill points in battle.

MrKiwi

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Hello there, thanks for passing by.
I've been struggling a bit to build a battle system that reflects the importance of the "power source" that my game uses.

Here's a brief explanation of what I mean: In my little universe most characters can use certain skills depending on the geode they are linked to (see geodes maybe as a "class"). They determine what kind of skill they can learn and use, but also, like the green lanterns (DC Comics), they have limited power. Once they ran out of power the user wouldn't be able to use any skills until recharged. Also geodes generally grant certain power related to an specific element, like water or fire, but they do have more properties that does not rely on the type of geode, such as healing, detecting other geodes and defensive uses like barriers.

Now, translating that to battle has been tricky for me, at first I thought of just using mp as the only source of power, and while it does makes sense, I felt like it does not portray the actual relevance of these "geodes". So I came up with this concept:

Health points (HP): remain as always, if your character gets to 0 it gets the death status, nothing new here.

Skill points (SP): is the source needed to use skills if it gets below the required for a certain skill it can't be used until refilled. Pretty much regular MP.

And Vitality Points (VP), which is the new concept. I was thinking of this as the geode energy. So, why would I add another energy source? As I stated before, geodes have more uses beyond their elemental specific, and since some characters have self skills, let's say a skilled swordsman doesn't need a geode for his attacks. That said, here are some properties I wanted to assign to this source:
- Heal and Guard skills: geodes can both heal and protect its user without draining skill points.
- Boost state: users can push beyond their regular limits and gain buffs by draining faster their geode's energy and being able to perform stronger skills.
- Seconday "health" source: so, when a geode user rans out of vitality points (or just getting low on VP), doesn't die, but becomes weaker, this would be related to the geode being their power source.
- Balance op skills spam: All skills consume SP, but only geode related consume VP. So I was thinking, to prevent players from spamming op skills (which are geode related) over and over, let's put them in the situation of not only needing specifc SP but also VP, by doing this I'd also like to give the player to manually choose between rising SP or VP when leveling up. So if a player has lots of SPs but low VPs, it could probably just do one great skill and draining most of its VPs would certainly be a bad idea.

I do have a few more ideas, but these ones are the main concepts I'd like for you to consider on the question: should I keep it simple HP-MP? Or this method could bring more complexity and identity to skill usage?

I know abundant information in a game can be tedious, specially if its either bad explained and the players wander around without understanding core mechanics, or its just too complex when it could've been simplified. I'd like to hear a second opinion on the topic, feel free to ask any details I may have missed or that I didn't explained properly. :kaohi:
 

EpicFILE

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I like the idea, although it took a bit of time to really grasp it.
The VP is an interesting concept.
However, I think these points make it a bit complicated:
-Heal and guard skill
-Balance OP skills spam


Heal and guard skill (problem and solution)

Does this mean that only someone with "charged" geode can heal and guard?
If so, I think someone with "empty" geode is at a big disadvantage.
If it's only as additional healing and guarding tools, I think that's unnecessary too.
An alternative solution is to make the characters have their own regenerative rate.
They can naturally heal HP, but geodes can raise that regenerative rate.
Let's say someone with +50 HP/turn get +100 HP/turn with charged geode.

In the same vein, let's say the regular guard skill can only mitigate 25% of damage.
But with charged geode equipped, they can mitigate 75%.


Balance OP skills spam (problem and solution)

In this sense VP is basically like TP, an MP alternative.
It also acts like a phone battery where there's a regular drainage,
but it also depends on how people use it.
I like the idea, but it's a bit complicated.

Since geode is primarily a stat booster, a possible solution is to
make the charged geode a skill booster.
Let's say someone with empty geode can use "Shockwave" skill.
With charged geode, they can use "Shockwave Lv2" or "Firewave"
(since geodes also add elemental properties).

This way the VP drainage rate stays the same, no matter what skill is used.
But you still get the contrast between empty and charged geode.


I hope these helps! :D
 
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MrKiwi

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@EpicFILE Hmm... I really like the concept you gave. And it does make sense. I guess its a bit more intuitive the boosting properties rather than a whole new source. I'll experiment on these ideas a bit and see how it goes.

Thanks for the suggestions! :kaopride:
 

Frostorm

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Having 3 resources is actually pretty normal nowadays. I don't think it's overly complex, though I agree the heal/guard thing is a bit weird. There's some key info you left out, such as how VP is gained and roughly how expensive the Geode skills are relative to the user's VP pool. Speaking of which, does their VP cap ever increase or is it basically just TP renamed? I also highly recommend Yanfly's EnhancedTP plugin if you're gonna make this Geode resource a core mechanic of your game. Also, another way to manage/curb "OP Skill Spam" is to use Cooldowns for some of your skills/spells.
 

Wavelength

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I'm moving this to Game Ideas & Prototypes, since any discussion about it will necessarily center on your own game's unique mechanic.

Generally I suggest that games should have at least one other character resource to manage besides HP and MP. However, in this specific case I hesitate, because it feels like SP (MP) and VP are similar resources that are doing similar things, and that's usually a dynamic you want to avoid.

Resources are at the best when they are incomparable to each other (for example, running low on HP vs. running low on MP mean completely different things to the battle situation), and when the current amounts of different resources you hold will inform what kind of action you take (for example, if you're high on HP but low on MP, your best move this turn is very different than if you're low on HP but high on MP, or low on both).

If the difference between the two is that Firestorm costs 12 SP and 8 VP, whereas Icestorm costs 4 SP and 16 VP... you're probably not doing it right.

To be sure, there are times when multiple "skill cost" resources can be justified. For example, if you want to limit the amount of healing in your game, you might make sure that all Healing skills require VP and that VP is not as easily recovered as SP is. Or, if due to your kit design there's a category of skills that you don't want players using early on in combat (like Limit Breaks!), you might start VP at low levels each fight, allow it to grow naturally, and have that category of skills cost VP.
But generally, you don't want most spells to cost a little of both resources, and if you can't elucidate a clear gameplay separation between SP and VP (either how they are generated, how they are used, or both), then there's no point having both in your game.

One thing you also may not have considered is how frustrating it may be to players to have enough of one resource to use a skill, but not enough of the other so they can't use that skill. This is an okay dynamic to have in board games (creates interesting situations and the players can usually work around it or decide the game on the spot) but it really sucks in non-negotiable, single-player video games like RPGs! Players will think "oh, I have enough VP but I don't have enough SP to use Lightning Bolt right now, but I will next turn, so I'll Guard since that doesn't use up any SP". And then they try to use Lightning Bolt the next turn... and they realize woops, that Guard cost them too much VP and now they don't have enough of that!

Adding depth (more interesting, strategic choices) is almost always good - but adding complexity (more details to keep track of) is only good when doing so adds an equal or greater amount of depth.

You should tell us more about how VP is spent and recovered within a battle or within a dungeon! That may help round out the picture so you can get better advice.

But on the whole, the impression I'm left with right now is that you should think carefully about whether the two resources (SP and VP) are really serving different purposes, or whether they are actually two similar "spell cost" resources - and if they are, then it's better to combine them into one.
 

MrKiwi

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Mmm... I see, it certainly makes it seems redundant to have two similar resources. But actually, while experimenting I got a different idea to set this up. It serves mostly the same purpose and I think its way simplier and slightly self-explainatory, so let me explain:

All geodes use and naturally recharge energy, but not at the same rate. Quick explanation, geodes energy requirement is inversely proportional to the user physical strenght, so some characters will require to use more geode energy than others based on their ATK stat (for example) and based on that they'll have a higher or lower natural VP regen.

Another thing, since VP actually has an impact on the user physical state, I thought about making energy tiers, lets say 0 to 10% of VP is tier 1, this means you have low VP and therefore any character on tier 1 of VP will get weaker attacks and less defense. And the higher the tier, the higher the stats. (See this as a dynamic buff/debuff system)

Now, the important thing, how do I represent this? I was thinking of getting rid of a gauge representation and instead have a different visual resource for it. This is temporary, but think about a sphere on yourcharacter HUD, depending on your energy tier the sphere colour changes, so lets say green is 100% and red is around 0 to 10% (And middle colour tones for the remaining tiers). This really simplifies the formula of presenting the new concept.

Lastly, I won't especify a VP requirement based on skills, and the requirement will be determined by the character stats (As mentioned above.)

I think this might be a good and simplier alternative for the same concept, but of course I'm open to second thoughts.
 

Wavelength

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I'm having a bit of a hard time following this new idea and imagining it in my head, but from what I can put together, it does sound kind of cool - I especially like that having a high ATK stat (usually a very useful stat) also necessitates investing more into keeping your VP up, which allows players to shunt their characters into high ATK + high VP kind of builds, or to keep ATK lower (removing the need for tons of VP in the build) and focus more on other stats. That's nifty. Just be careful that you don't punish the player twice for building high ATK - it's unclear to me whether you are having the ATK stat reduce the character's VP regen and increase the character's VP costs, but I would recommend doing one or the other instead of both.
 

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