How to make fun "Attack"?

Aesica

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My approach to attack is to have it be pretty much the weakest attack ability, but with no cost so it's always available as a sort of fallback move. It also has increased LB (limit break, which is just TP rebranded) generation compared to other skills and spells. Since MP is very easy to recover in my game (and will eventually just refill after battle) and since abilities and spells have reasonable costs (no 10mp heals on a 20mp max character) there's little reason to use basic attack, even against really weak enemies, other than wanting to reach a character's limit break more quickly.
 

M.I.A.

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In one of my current projects, "Attack" can be customized and changed based on your equiped "Merit Badge".

Say your party defeated the option side quest of "Defeat the rogue Samurai" and was award the Merit Badge "Ferocious".. equip it, and it changes "Attack" to "Attack x2" and get 2 attacks in one turn.

Maybe you take on the quest to join the thieves guild.. upon completion you get the Merit Badge "Five Fingers".. equip it, and it changes "Attack" to "Pilfer", which is a normal attack with a chance to steal.

Hope you find this helpful. :)
-MIA
 

Wavelength

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In one of my current projects, "Attack" can be customized and changed based on your equiped "Merit Badge".

Say your party defeated the option side quest of "Defeat the rogue Samurai" and was award the Merit Badge "Ferocious".. equip it, and it changes "Attack" to "Attack x2" and get 2 attacks in one turn.

Maybe you take on the quest to join the thieves guild.. upon completion you get the Merit Badge "Five Fingers".. equip it, and it changes "Attack" to "Pilfer", which is a normal attack with a chance to steal.

Hope you find this helpful. :)
-MIA

Sounds fun and interesting, but how do you balance the Skills so that these presumably free Attacks (enhanced with Merit Badges) don't overshadow the Skills which cost resources to use?
 

Lady-J

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I think attack could be made more interesting if skills were more utility based thqn damage based in your games.
 

M.I.A.

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Sounds fun and interesting, but how do you balance the Skills so that these presumably free Attacks (enhanced with Merit Badges) don't overshadow the Skills which cost resources to use?

I mean.. I won't go into great detail about the in's and out's of my database and balancing efforts.. cuz.. that's a LOT to get into. Haha.
Let me just say this though, the largest effort to balance character skills (which in this project are learned similarly the way Materia works), I make liberal use of Elements (strong against, weak to, absorbs, etc.). There are also no "Physical" skills in this project, so I suppose you could say changing the default Attack with Merit Badges would be the equivalent of "Physical" Skills...

:)
-MIA
 

Bone

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Don't know where I watched this, think it was an extra in a halo game or something. But it was a small behind the scenes clip of the developers talking about how the most important part of the game were those 2 seconds between the player hitting a trigger and the gun firing.

If they couldn't nail down that moment as a satisfying experience, the game wouldn't work. Think this can be applied to RPGs. Instead of trying to dress up the basic attack mechanic with bells and whistles, make sure the animation and sound effect feel satisfying.

With that said, basic attacks can feel satisfying if they are building towards something bigger like a special meter.
Another way to make players look forward to basic attacks is satisfying critical hits. Any one who has played earthbound enjoys hearing the SMAAAAASH critical sound clip. I have it as a text alarm lol.

Golden Sun weapon unleashes had a similar effect. Your weapons would randomly do a special attack, again they always felt satisfying due to the animation and sound. And because of them being random without any downside, they always felt like a treat. They dealt more damage than a normal attack so they felt nice to land as it made random grunt battles go faster but they weren't powerful enough to win boss battles by themselves.
 

Isabella Ava

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You guys should check my game for inspiration :) it has an unique attack system
 

Aesica

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You guys should check my game for inspiration :) it has an unique attack system
What did you do with attack exactly? At just a quick glance, it just looks like a normal attack that hits twice.
 

Isabella Ava

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What did you do with attack exactly? At just a quick glance, it just looks like a normal attack that hits twice.
It's inspired very much by Fighting games. You won't just select Attack & watch, you must input keys' sequence in real time to perform any attacks. It feel exactly the same way you do combo in Fighting Game = )
 

SOC

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Diablo 3 really helped me view attack in a much different way.

Every class in D3 has access to these abilities called "primary skills" which essentially function as your basic attack. Every job uses a different resource, so in the case of Barbarians they "generate" their Fury resource with their primaries. Their 3 primaries are Bash, Cleave and Frenzy. All three of these abilities build Fury and then you spend it on more powerful abilities. These primary abilities don't do as much damage as their "secondary" abilities that consume Fury, so you can't just only rely on them to succeed. You need to build Fury and spend Fury quickly by strategically using primaries and secondaries. Bash is a strong single target hit, Cleave is a weaker but AoE hit and Frenzy builds very little Fury but comes with its own states that stack up to 5 times increasing damage and attack speed per stack. It also allows for builds that don't spend Fury at all, so you focus on maintaining high Fury (which slowly decays over time out of battle) and when you have at least 80% or more Fury, you get a damage bonus, making Frenzy perfect for this kind of build.

I love translating this kind of system into RPG Maker, so I heavily use TP for similar results. Bobstah's Battle Commands lets you set skills in your DB into your direct commands, essentially allowing you to create skills to replace the basic attack command. For example, you can make "Bash" in your database, have it cost no resource and instead build MP or TP, and have its own custom animation/action sequence. Then you can make a different skill for a different party member like Magic Missile doing something similar and let that be the basic attack of another party member. This way every party member has their own unique basic attack and you can customize them into fitting their role better. You can make a mage who instead of building and spending MP and/or TP quickly, starts with high amounts of MP/TP that builds regens automatically over time so the basic attack functions as a weak damage option always available if they happen to run out of resource. You can make a healer who's basic attack is a weak heal but builds resource that you spend on bigger heals. You can make your rogue have one that hits twice and builds double the resource, faster than any other party member and uses them in creative ways like debuffing the enemy or mugging items.

I love games that use the basic attack command in creative ways like this. I hate when it's useless and you immediately go into sub menus and use abilities forever instead.
 

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I've always wanted to see a remade version of the Legend of Dragoon Addition system, it made the combat quite dynamic and allowed for evolution in player skill level throughout the game. It involves a timing attack combo that can be "equipped" before battle, the more difficult the addition (or combo) the more powerful it is. The link provided is a boss fight early in the game as an example.

 

Diretooth

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The last thing game designers should want to do is take inspiration from Dark Souls.
Any game, regardless of the genre or gameplay style, can inspire fun and unique gameplay choices. I could easily see a quick but weak attack and a strong but slow attack working extremely well in a CTB system.
Let's say the quick attack does less damage than the strong attack, but can rack up damage and speed up basic combat, while the strong attack does more damage, but has powerful criticals that work well in boss battles. It could make combat rather dynamic and fun, especially if you stray from DS' 'difficult and demanding' gameplay.
 

kairi_key

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I like the sound of equipping things to modify your attack a lot!


Btw, what is you guys opinion on Break/Stagger system?
Like, your normal attack can build up to finally break your opponent's shield to effectively deal more damage?
 

TheoAllen

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Btw, what is you guys opinion on Break/Stagger system?
Like, your normal attack can build up to finally break your opponent's shield to effectively deal more damage?
I'm building this system, though, break mechanic does not only come from a normal attack but also a skill. So the topic is not exclusive for a normal attack and potentially derailed. My answer though, "it looks interesting".
 

Aesica

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I like the sound of equipping things to modify your attack a lot!


Btw, what is you guys opinion on Break/Stagger system?
Like, your normal attack can build up to finally break your opponent's shield to effectively deal more damage?
Nope, never really liked things like that. Too gimmicky and would probably result in almost all battles feeling the same: "spam attack to break the target's guard, then spam heavy attacks, rinse repeat." I'd hard pass on any game I saw with this mechanic, but that's just me.
 

Eschaton

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Btw, what is you guys opinion on Break/Stagger system?
Like, your normal attack can build up to finally break your opponent's shield to effectively deal more damage?

Sounds like it would lead to enemies with bloated HP.
 

Harosata

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Experimented with a Megaman-style setup before, so I would be able to attack regularly or use Charge one turn to power up my Attack. And if you played Megaman, there are some shields that can't be broken by regular attacks.

Hm, come to think of it, if I could do Kirby for 2003, I could probably do Kirby now: replace the Attack of Normal Kirby with Suck, which can lead into spitting it out for damage or swallowing it.
 

Seirein

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Let's say the quick attack does less damage than the strong attack, but can rack up damage and speed up basic combat, while the strong attack does more damage, but has powerful criticals that work well in boss battles. It could make combat rather dynamic and fun, especially if you stray from DS' 'difficult and demanding' gameplay.
One will invariably be better DPS and therefore the other won't be worth using at all. Alternatively, the difference in effective DPS might only be small, and thus the delay of the strong attack resulting in fewer actions won't offset being able to act when you really need to do things other than mash Attack.

I like the sound of equipping things to modify your attack a lot!


Btw, what is you guys opinion on Break/Stagger system?
Like, your normal attack can build up to finally break your opponent's shield to effectively deal more damage?
I haven't played many games with Break/Stagger systems, but most of them run into the problem of attacks either being used for Break damage or direct HP damage, with no rhyme or reason as to why one type of attack breaks enemies easily but doesn't do much damage or why another attack does a lot of damage but doesn't work to break enemy guards.

FFXIII is the only game I've played that made Break mechanics interesting, because stagger wasn't the sole factor in increasing damage but also the chain mechanics, and because the same attacks you use to stagger enemies are the same attacks you use to deal damage -- there isn't an arbitrary divide between "staggering attacks" and "damaging attacks."
 

Diretooth

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Btw, what is you guys opinion on Break/Stagger system?
Like, your normal attack can build up to finally break your opponent's shield to effectively deal more damage?
Games that have staggering mechanics- wherein you stagger an enemy so that you can break their guard, stun them, and deal increased damage- tend to overcompensate for having this system by giving enemies excessive amounts of HP. While interesting in theory, relying on stagger to quickly finish off a large enemy who has an insane amount of health quickly makes combat tedious, and sometimes there's no real reason to try to stagger an enemy in the first place when you have skills that deal enough damage in the first place.
 

Wavelength

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Btw, what is you guys opinion on Break/Stagger system?
Like, your normal attack can build up to finally break your opponent's shield to effectively deal more damage?

I usually see Guard Break in action battle systems (and fighting games and beat-em-ups), where it's used to stop people from holding Guard forever until there's an opening. It encourages active, aggressive combat styles rather than monotonous Guard-fests.

However, in turn-based RPGs, Guard usually consumes your turn and doesn't prevent 100% of incoming damage, meaning that you kind of need a reason to use Guard rather than needing a reason not to use it. For that reason, I'm not really sure what I'd do with Guard Breaks in a turn-based RPG combat system. Most of the time, it would be an unnecessary mechanic.
 

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