How Do You Organize Your Spells/Skills?

Frostorm

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Just wanted to see how people go about this, both on the database/dev side and the player experience side. I personally have skills divided into 5 "tiers", but not in the sense that they're powered-up versions of earlier skills (due to utility scaling). More like each tier unlocks 3 new skills (1 passive, 1 active, & 1 utility), and the next tier will unlock another 3 different skills, up to tier 5. So each school/discipline/tree has 15 skills to choose from. They can pick as many or as few abilities as they want, spending any leftover points into stat allocation. Curious to see how you all handle skill organization.:kaohi:
 

Tiamat-86

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i have a system going with current project where you get skills through unlock/learn with JP
but then have equip skills and skill tiers. so its a build your own class style.
tiers are broken up into Offence/Support/Passive/Limit and Guard Replace(only 1 for obvious reasons)
meanwhile the characters have different amounts they can set for each tier, and some get less equip skills because they have special skill type besides the equip skills (like Blue Mage)
 

Frostorm

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Nice, I love build your own type RPGs. I also use skill equip slots, in which the player only gets 1 slot to begin with, but gains +1 slot for every/any tier they learn. So by max lv (50), they'd have 16 slots. I wonder if this is too many slots... How many slots do you offer your players?
 

AelphysTerra

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I tend to put "magic" skills first, then non-magical skills next, then arrange them like FF games do (e.g. elemental spells by element in order of increasing strength, healing magic being listed before attack magic which is in turn listed before status magic).

Then I arrange skills based on who gets to use them (so example character 1 gets to use skill IDs x to x + n).
 

Ami

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back then,i made 4 types of skill
  1. Healing Magic (Heal)
  2. Destruction Magic (Destruct)
  3. Magic Sword (ala FF5 Spellblade)
  4. Mystic Skill (Like monster skill ala FF Series,like White Wind,Auto Revive,Aqua Breath,Libra,more)
now,i only made Perform Skill (Weapon Skill and Magic are united and can Equip it as you want,learn it with Books) and Special Skill (Same like Mystic skill that i made. It cost cooldown,learn it from NPC)
 

gabrieldiastche

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I will always do first by character, I will to all my party have something different from each of them.
And I see who I want to do what because I don't like that kind of party like: Ah this guy is a warrior so he is gonna only use "Attacks" and no magic... I kind of like to give them exclusive things or skills that can help.

And mostly the games I do right now have a lot of strategy in the battles, so every skill I design has a reason in the game, it's not just damage or healing or reviving, but something more than that.
 

Frostorm

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And mostly the games I do right now have a lot of strategy in the battles, so every skill I design has a reason in the game, it's not just damage or healing or reviving, but something more than that.
This should be a goal more devs strive for imo.
 

Frostorm

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Yea this aspect is something I've been struggling w/ since I have ~210 skills/spells available to the player. Ofc, they only learn a small portion of this depending on where they spend their points. But its really hard coming up w/ 200+ unique skills/spells lol.
 

TheoAllen

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I don't. I made it completely random, even in the database list.
However, I have an OCD that every character must have the same number of skills.
 

Milennin

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I've always kind of gone the Utility -> Damage -> Utility -> Damage order of skill unlocks for playable characters. The first skill is always at 0 MP cost, so there's always a choice to make during combat, even when a character sits at 0 MP. For my current project, I've ordered them the same for each character like:
-Free support skill
-Low damage disruption skill
-Self heal
-Swap skill (first Skill grants a battle-permanent effect, until the swapped in skill is used, which is strong, but cancels the first effect, and swaps back to it after)
-Powerful multi-target skill
-Once per battle utility skill
-Once per battle damage skill
The first 6 skills also have 3 other variants, that all add different secondary effects, which are determined upon at the start of the game in a randomising event to add potential replay value.
Below the active skills will follow that character's passive skills.

So my skills are ordered by character , then followed by monster skills.
 

cthulhusquid

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Yea this aspect is something I've been struggling w/ since I have ~210 skills/spells available to the player. Ofc, they only learn a small portion of this depending on where they spend their points. But its really hard coming up w/ 200+ unique skills/spells lol.
After the feedback on my Battle Castle project, I've decided to also go the route of "every skill has a specific use". I'm completely overhauling the combat in a way that should hopefully make it way more tactical. Here's the general concept:

Weight: Each skill or swing of your weapon has a consequence. If you spam powerful skills, you will tire yourself out in extended or sequential fights, making your character vulnerable. Basic attacks require stamina. Fights can end quickly but you need to watch your stamina. If all of your characters get very winded then enemies can get free attacks while you rest.
Skills are also a lot more powerful. I haven't tested it yet, but the system revolves around doing at least 1/4 of an enemy's health in damage per skill or attack. Hopefully this will make the game much easier to balance.
Bows require arrows, as well as drawing them back. Crossbows require cranking. They penetrate a lot of armor to counter these drawbacks.
Magic requires mana and stamina, but is way more powerful than it used to be.

Management: As your stamina goes down, you gain various states of exhaustion. This decreases your agility, as well as your defense a bit. This also works in reverse.
Each class has a Rest skill giving you back stamina, but you cannot act the turn after. Each class also has a unique stamina gaining skill that fits their class theme. Generally they all have a downside, but none of them stun like resting.
Food also becomes much more useful, as there is no way to gain stamina back besides resting, eating food/drink, and sleeping at Inns.
 

RCXDan

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Here's how it goes for me:

Skills are grouped together regardless if they're magical or physical, since they're usually character specific.

Where this gets interesting is how those skills are split through subcategories.

For example, an Ersatz Mage from one of my games (think blue mage from FF, aka. They can learn monster moves) has her Copy Magic split into a separate category to better organize it.

TP moves are their own category since they are super moves in the vein of fighting games. (Max TP is 400, least expensive is 100, like 1 bar)

Support spells like healing, buffs and the like are secretly coded to be disabled if hit by the "taunt" status, even if the character is immune to silence normally.

(And on the subject of healing, I like to have it so "inferior" versions are replaced by newer better tiers or have their utility expanded like aoe heal but with a cooldown)

Cooldowns are used to stop skills from being abused, even if its something simple like a 1 turn cooldown on a strong AOE.

Enemies tend to share player skills or modifications of them. If your skills can be silenced or disabled, you can expect the same thing for them.

I love to make fights reactive to what the player brings out, to the point where having certain skills and states active can modify how enemies and their scripted sequences can go. Like if you have reflect up, the enemy is gonna break it and do something horrible to deter you from doing that again, usually in a way that exists outside of the traditional damage>utility>damage context.
 
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duty

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<--- also another hobby dev that goes the "equip skills" route, although the skills are tied to equipment bought in shops as opposed to purchased with JP from a menu.

Always felt the martial classes in the original Final Fantasy got a bad deal. Magic shops were interesting, but there wasn't much variation to the fighter, thief, and black belt other than "hit harder".

So, the weapon shops are more like magic shops and the magic shops sell different wands, rods, and staves as opposed to spell books.

Skill organization is kept really simple, since the player is only going to have a maximum of 4 skills per skill type at any time.

The skills at the top of the list is the "simple" version with the lowest resource cost, and the second is the "strong" version with a greater resource cost. The last two tend to be "hidden skills" acquired by having a certain combination of equipment on the actor.

In the DB, each weapon adds a skill type and a couple skills.

There are also a few accessories that add skills to a particular skill type. This creates the "hidden skills" that the player will not see unless they have both the weapon adding the skill type and the accessory adding the hidden skill.

As an example:
A heavy shield would have a "shield" skill type added to the equipped actor and come with a single defense buff skill and a whole party defense buff skill. A ring of fire protection doesn't add the "shield" skill type, but it does add a "flame barrier" skill to that skill type.​
So if an actor has just the heavy shield equipped, it has the two basic shield skills. If it also equips the ring of fire protection, it will see a third skill added to the "shield" skill type. If the player doesn't have the shield and just has the ring, they don't see the hidden skill, at all.​
 

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