How Many Turns Do You Prefer to Fight Enemies?

pickledylans

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honestly i really like bosses with super long fights! theres sort of a challenge in keeping alive for so long that can be enjoyable
as far as everyday mobs go, it depends on how frequent it is, but if theyre more than a turn or two i often end up skipping them bc i get bored lmao
 

Kupotepo

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@pickledylans, thank you for sharing your though. You bring up an interesting supposition.

as far as everyday mobs go, it depends on how frequent it is, but if theyre more than a turn or two i often end up skipping them bc i get bored lmao
I do not think many people did invisible random encounters anymore all over the map. I think people did not the restrict area of random encounters like the Pokemons or the more new progress. I saw a lot of people here used visible encounters. I might be wrong, but that is what I see.
Of course, people who posted the game for learning might do the random encounter all over the map, but that is for me count as the learning process.

Thank you for discussing this with me. Yeah, there is a problem of I fight too much now I fear of enemies for no reasons. It took too long for the battles that will happen in the middle or late game if not design well.
 
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CraneSoft

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This is entirely dependant on how fast the pace the combat system is, 5 turns on a 1vs1 RPG game is drastically different from a game with 4vs4. So take this with a grain of salt.

Regular battles: 1-3 turns. I like enemies that can kill you just as fast as you can kill them, giving you no room to drag on a battle whatsoever. Ideally, it should take no more than 3 attacks to kill one monster, elite ones included. This not only makes grinding much less tedious, but also not disconnect you too much from regular exploration.

Bosses: This is a much more complicated matter, a good boss fight does not measure in turns, but rather how much you can keep me engaged throughout the battle. As it's hard to decide a solid number here, I'll stick with "average 5-6 turns per boss phase". This principle can extend to end-game bosses and bonus bosses that naturally has more phases than a regular boss. A "phase" here doesn't really mean multiple forms, but rather a specific stage before the boss starts doing something different, such as switching attack patterns, summoning new helpers etc.

Again, the general rule is that pace is king. If your battle pace is slow as molasses, then I'll get bored pretty quickly no matter how many turns you try to cut.
 

TheoAllen

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I will answer this with no context.

Regular battle:
1 ~ 3 turns (5 turns at max if you messed up or just don't know how to deal with that particular encounter).

Boss battle:
7 ~ 15 turns (20 turns probably the maximum turns before I get bored. Around 35 turns is fair if it's really an ultimate boss).
 

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@TheoAllen, it is ok. You are funny. I just ask for the general subject. I will go specific on my pages or the prototype sections later. I want to know your feeling. Thank you for your opinion. Just like voting gives the numbers. I will move forward with that.

This is entirely dependant on how fast the pace the combat system is, 5 turns on a 1vs1 RPG game is drastically different from a game with 4vs4. So take this with a grain of salt.
Thank you for your concern about the specification. I see a person started a thread about how many characters in the battle, recently.

I agree with people from this thread mentioned in the past that long animation is annoying due to constantly repeating and waiting time for players.

Again, the general rule is that pace is king. If your battle pace is slow as molasses, then I'll get bored pretty quickly no matter how many turns you try to cut.
Thank you for your input. I keep your words in mind when playtesting.

Maybe it is helpful to understand.
Update of Context Clues::hswt2:
Scrap Enemies: I think about 4 members vs. 3-4 enemies per the battle.
Regular Enemies: I think about 4 members vs. 3-4 enemies per the battle.
Boss: I think about 4 members vs. 1-2 bosses per the battle.
Fake Final Bosses: I think about 4 members vs. 1-2 bosses per the battle.

True Final Bosses: I think about 4 members vs. 1 boss per the battle.

Thank you everyone for your support.
 
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Wavelength

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I agree with @woootbm that total time spent battling is probably more important than the number of turns per battle (although it's also important not to let any individual, regular encounter go on too long either).

A rule of thumb I like to aim for is that any major form of engaging the player should have about the same amount of total time in your game as the other major forms of engagement - and anything that doesn't represent a major form of engagement (think walking, buying equipment, using consumables, searching for plot flags, etc.) should have its total time kept to a minimum. And the sweet spot for how much time the player should spend with one type of engagement before switching to another type is usually 10-20 minutes for RPGs (and less for other genres, like platformers or party games).

More directly on-topic, this means that the number of turns an encounter should last depends on how long each turn takes (longer turns should mean fewer turns) and how many encounters you are throwing at the average player (more encounters should mean fewer turns). As a player, I tend to enjoy pretty quick ordinary encounters, with most of them able to be taken down in a single turn if played well (or 2-3 turns if not played as well), some able to be taken down with a single action, and some able to last several turns against you and make you feel a real sense of danger if you do something wrong.

The main reason I tend to like most battles ending so quickly is so that "decided" fights (the ones where the outcome is already clear and the enemies can't do anything significant to you anymore) don't drag on for more than a few seconds. Once a fight is decided, it's no longer interesting or engaging. As a designer, do everything you can to tease a wide variety of possible outcomes for as long as possible during a battle, and have the battle resolve very quickly once it's clear who will win and by how much. (Note that unless you're healing the party to full after each battle automatically, a clean win and a pyrrhic victory are two very different outcomes, and if either one is still very possible, you don't need to rush things to their conclusion.)

For bosses, I tend to like 8-12 turns as a sweet spot, with the 2-3 most major storyline bosses feeling more epic at 12-20 turns. But again, it depends on turn length and it also depends on the mechanics of the fight - the main thing to avoid is having your player repeat the same actions turn after turn after turn. If you can avoid that, and can continue to surprise your player a bit, your boss battle isn't too long (again, though, keep it below 20 minutes to avoid burnout). If your player is inputting the same commands over and over, your boss battle has gone on too long.
 

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@Wavelength, thank you for sharing your knowledge with me.
I have to do multiple playtestings and with a timer. [Yeah, the enemy attacks are random because of variance.] lol
 
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Wavelength

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@Wavelength, thank you for sharing your knowledge with me.
I have to do multiple playtestings and with a timer. [Yeah, the enemy attacks are random because of variance.] lol
Make sure some of those playtests are done by other people! You might get through your battles a lot quicker than first-time players - not only because you know your enemies' tricks, but because you will feel a lot more comfortable with the flow and organization of your battle system. :)
 

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But again, it depends on turn length and it also depends on the mechanics of the fight - the main thing to avoid is having your player repeat the same actions turn after turn after turn.
You are right that players get bored. I also see that as the symptom of unbalanced skills, so it encourages the player to repeat the skill because the player knows it is stronger than any skills.

You might get through your battles a lot quicker than first-time players - not only because you know your enemies' tricks, but because you will feel a lot more comfortable with the flow and organization of your battle system.
That is so true! I cannot agree with you more. The opportunity cost of player learning the mechanics should take into consideration. Thank you for your great advice.
 

Redeye

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"Turns" is a pretty contextless way of determining battle length, and doesn't account for ATB, CTB, or other action systems, but I'll give my two cents:

Normal Encounters should last for around 1 to 2 minutes, allowing the player to see what the enemies are capable of and determine how to take care of them. Normal Encounters could possibly even 3 minutes long if you take the time to make your enemies interesting. "Scrap" or "Trash" Encounters that last only for a couple of monotonous seconds are a complete waste of time and have no place in any RPG. The sweet spot for RPG Encounters is to have your normal enemies be intimidating and provide a decent challenge throughout the entire game, with the offset being normal encounters should be few and far between.

By "few and far between", I mean that your regular, standard-length dungeons should have no more than 10 - 15 encounters. Longer, more plot-important dungeons and the final dungeon can have more, but I'd say there should be no more than 25 - 30. This is true for basically every type of battle system (even the ones that DO have "Scrap" or "Trash" mobs) due to the idea of Combat Fatigue mentioned earlier in this thread. It doesn't matter how brilliant your battle system is, your combat will become boring after a while if you just constantly throw enemies at the player with no downtime or out-of-battle distractions. Combat Fatigue is the reason why I cannot bring myself to understand how people view Tales of Vesperia as the best game in the Tales of series. The dungeon crawling in that game (especially during the latter half of Act 2) is terrible, with most dungeons having wave after wave of frankly boring (and sometimes frustrating) enemies in an otherwise fun and action-packed battle system.

So in order to keep your battle system fresh and keep your players engaged, it's best to reduce the amount of encounters you face in each dungeon on top of making each and every single one of your battles interesting. This can be done in many ways, whether it be having an interesting battle mechanic or having enemies that aren't just a boring bundle of stats and barebones skills. The best enemies are the ones that have cool gimmicks that make then unique. The gimmick doesn't need to be big; it can be as simple as gaining an ATK boost at half HP, a "Queen" enemy that becomes enraged if you kill her minions, an enchanter that doesn't attack, but instead gives buffs to its hard-hitting allies, an enemy that retaliates with a powerful attack if you try to inflict Blind on it, etc. Your battles should be long enough to allow these enemies to show off their cool mechanics or skills, hence why I proposed for each battle to be around 1-3 minutes long.

One thing I'm a big fan of is Wake-up Call Encounters, which is the in-between of a normal encounter and a miniboss, which features a fairly tough challenge that the player has to overcome in order to proceed. They typically last for 2-4 minutes and are a good way to spice up your dungeon. It throws the player off guard and leaves them guessing how difficult the dungeon is actually going to be. Another idea I have is very, very niche, but another way to spice up your dungeon would be to add in a Crisis or Doom Encounter which pits the player against an incredibly challenging (but optional) enemy, with the player getting a significant reward if they manage to overcome it. It's basically like putting an optional miniboss in some or all of your dungeons / hostile locations.

Now, Boss Battles are obviously different in terms of length and the effort it takes to make them interesting. All of your Boss Battles need to be interesting. They need to have some sort of ability, gimmick, or context that makes them unique. You can have one or two "Tank n' Spank" bosses in your game, fine. But, if all of your boss fights are just a random bundle of stats and skills, your game will become boring. Again, a Boss gimmick can be as simple as giving them new skills at 50% HP or something, or giving them some sort of super attack that needs to be guarded against / interrupted.

My personal guidelines are as follows: Generic Bosses such as a random predatory creature or a relatively minor antagonist really only should last around 5 - 10 minutes. These bosses will usually have the most basic mechanics and gimmicks, but each boss will still be slightly different from the rest. Important Bosses against major antagonists, rivals, plot-important monsters, and most optional bosses should last around 15 - 20 minutes in order to make the battle feel epic and intense. The perfect Final Boss should honestly last for about 25 - 40 minutes (and should definitely have one of the most complex gimmicks / mechanics in your game in order to fully test the player's abilities) in order to provide a satisfying conclusion to your game. The rules for the Optional Superboss are relatively similar to the Final Boss, perhaps to a lesser extent.

So that's my take on this subject.
 

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Turns" is a pretty contextless way of determining battle length, and doesn't account for ATB, CTB
Yeah, sorry. I do not which words would be appropriate. Yeah, it is true that ATB, CTB, and Tactical System too are existing. But, that is not what I intended to take about. Please I welcome to learn more from you regardless to the topic. Knowledge is Power! Thank you for your knowledge.
 

Wavelength

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"Scrap" or "Trash" Encounters that last only for a couple of monotonous seconds are a complete waste of time and have no place in any RPG.
Oh, I don't know about that, Red! I would say that "scrap mobs" who you can easily stomp definitely have their place in most games, as long as they're not the majority of encounters. If most of your normal encounters are presenting a stiff challenge (which is a good thing like you say), it can start to feel a bit exhausting and even disempowering to feel like you're constantly getting beaten up. Including some encounters (maybe a third of them) that you can roll right over can be a great relief and a catharsis to the cycle of get into slugfest encounter -> fight hard to survive -> visit the menu and heal up because you took a beating.

Redeye said:
Combat Fatigue is the reason why I cannot bring myself to understand how people view Tales of Vesperia as the best game in the Tales of series.
Meanwhile, Karol is the reason I cannot bring myself to understand how people think Vesperia is the best Tales game! :p


I feel most of your other points and estimations about combat frequency, flow and challenge are spot-on, though. For example, 10-15 encounters is a great number to shoot for in a dungeon where most encounters take 1-2 minutes, a few take 3 minutes, and you envision exploration taking around 20-30 minutes. That creates about a 50/50 mix between exploration and battle, which tends to be nice in dungeons.
 

CraneSoft

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it's best to reduce the amount of encounters you face in each dungeon on top of making each and every single one of your battles interesting.
Unless the encounters themselves are scripted like a miniboss or your Wake-Up call example, there is no realistic way you can control this, while making each and every single encounter interesting on top of providing decent challenge throughout the entire game (excluding bosses). Fighting a challenging "normal" encounter for the first time is fine, but a 2nd? or 3rd time? It becomes just as repetitive and boring, and it's even easier to get frustrated to not be able to just get it over with something you already know you can beat, which is why "trash" encounters are the necessary evil so that your actually mechanically interesting encounters can stand out.
 

woootbm

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Unless the encounters themselves are scripted like a miniboss or your Wake-Up call example, there is no realistic way you can control this, while making each and every single encounter interesting on top of providing decent challenge throughout the entire game (excluding bosses). Fighting a challenging "normal" encounter for the first time is fine, but a 2nd? or 3rd time? It becomes just as repetitive and boring, and it's even easier to get frustrated to not be able to just get it over with something you already know you can beat, which is why "trash" encounters are the necessary evil so that your actually mechanically interesting encounters can stand out.
It's only impossible if you plan your game to have an arbitrarily high number of gameplay hours, and/or plan to have a crap ton of encounters.

@Redeye mentioned 10-15 encounters in a dungeon, I would shoot for under that. I would go for 3-5, with 6 pushing it. And the fights would be somewhat longer. Basically just enough for the set of mobs within an area to show off all their tricks before having a new area to introduce new mobs. Ideally each area would have all new mobs, but having a couple holdovers is fine. Especially if they are a different version with slightly different tricks.

But we clearly have different perspectives being brought forth. One is the usual JRPG idea of just killing piles and piles of meaningless trash to fill time until the appropriate level is hit. And the other being the more handcrafted approach. Where each encounter tries to be a substantial fight. If your aim is the former, I think my only advice is "don't overthink it". I don't know. Games like that seem to have ulterior ways of being deemed "good" since quality gameplay isn't desired. But for the latter... yeah, it's real hard coming up with a bunch of encounters. It should be. It should be just as much work as coming up with a great story or making great art for a game.
 

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Thank you @Wavelength, @CraneSoft, and @woootbm for continuing the intellectually discussion about this ramifications. The dev's sides are functional and logic in general, but on the player side is emotional score and mixed signals of how to approach this process. Thank you for open me to a new way of thinking.
 
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duty

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I agree with the measurement that most, non-boss encounters should be 2-3 turns. Although I'll diverge a bit as to why.

Unless the party is just superbly armed or over-leveled, a scrap mob should make it to the end of the first turn with at least one opportunity to attack the party. This ensures that the player gets to test both their offense AND defense capabilities at least once every encounter.

If the player has executed its offense and defense well, it should be able to wrap up the battle on the second turn, resulting in a victory with a minimal time, HP, MP, item, resource, etc. loss.

It becomes a bit of a puzzle to find the right combination of party members, gear, and combat options to sail through an encounter. And the efficient take down becomes the reward.

If that pacing is well implemented, the player will get a sense of when something's wrong. If the scrap mobs are regularly taking too long to defeat, the player is likely exploring in the wrong area, missed an opportunity to get better gear, isn't using one of the game's features to its full potential, or needs a new strategy.

Whatever the reason, it's a sign that the player needs to stop, rethink what they're doing, and consider alternatives.

If the pacing is not well implemented, and all battles feel lengthy, the player becomes numb to the experience and gains little to no positive rewards for thinking strategically.

Oddly enough, I also feel "2-3" is about the right pacing for encounters between interesting things in a dungeon, with interesting things being treasure chests, lore bits to read, forks in the path, transitions to the next area, etc.
 

Kupotepo

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@duty, thank you for your input and your great ideas. Sometimes to answer the complex questions, I have to find simple answers. The auto battle option is the key to balance player frigue. Now players can just watch or go to do something else instead of boring battles lol.

I agree with you. People like a short battle.
People said they like the long battle because it is a professional game. It is full of actions and flashing.

If that pacing is well implemented, the player will get a sense of when something's wrong. If the scrap mobs are regularly taking too long to defeat, the player is likely exploring in the wrong area, missed an opportunity to get better gear, isn't using one of the game's features to its full potential, or needs a new strategy.
I think that is a problem with an open world. Players have no ideas of where to go if it is a bad game design. Give me a sign.
 
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