Frostorm

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So I want to redesign my Archer's "Mark" skill, which is akin to the Hunter's Mark skill from D&D or WoW. For reference, this is what Hunter's Mark does in D&D and WoW respectively.
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In essence, the skill is intended to increase the damage dealt to the marked target. Note the difference in scope between WoW's and D&D's Hunter's Mark. But it doesn't have to be raw damage. Imo, an EVA and/or CEV debuff would be more realistic. That would make it more RNG-reliant though, which I'm really not a fan of. Or maybe it can reduce the Pierce (element) resistance of the marked target instead? Perhaps a combination of the aforementioned effects?

Anyway, I'd love to see other people's idea/interpretation of a Hunter's Mark skill.
 

TheTitan99

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D&D is very "all or nothing" with its damage. Armor is a miss chance in D&D, instead of a reduction to damage taken. In most JRPGs, though, armor is more based on reducing damage taken, rather than raising evasion.

Because of this, a Hunter's Mark spell would probably translate to just lowering a foe's defense stat. That would be pretty much the same thing, but translated into a JRPG setting. After all, in JRPGs, you tend to do more damage by lowering defensive stats, as opposed to D&D, where you do extra damage by adding dice.

Darkest Dungeon translates Hunter's Mark into a status effect which certain moves can apply. A Marked enemy takes extra damage from certain types of attacks. Implementing the skill like this would require you to make a lot of skills with this state in mind.

Now, if you want to go for the tracking angle of Hunters Mark, you probably do the same thing, but for evasion stats. Just have the skill add a state to the enemy which lowers evasion.
 

sunnyFVA

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If you prefer the precision theme, it could cause the next attack by the archer targeting the marked enemy to be a guaranteed critical hit (depending on the tuning of your game). If such effects exist, it could also improve or guarantee the success of chance-on-hit effects. Especially if the archer has a particularly "hunter" theme, it is easy to imagine their attacks or skills dealing additional damage based on how much HP the marked target is missing. If crit rate is a realistically attainable offensive stat, it could improve the archer's crit damage.

Less generically, you could tie it to specific mechanics of the archer. If they have an expensive "aimed shot", for example, perhaps some of its cost is refunded when used on a marked target.

Also, I understand being generally averse to random elements like CEV and accuracy (particularly depending on how your combat is paced), but you should at least consider them in the context of how the mark is applied. It could be that the mark is free and instant to cast (but limited to one at a time), and there is no reason for the player to not have something marked at all times. In that case, I'd say that an effect that contributes value on average rather than as part of a shorter-term combo would make more sense. But, if the player has to invest actions or resources to apply it, then I agree it would not feel great outside of boss fights or against particularly bulky enemies if it only has a chance to contribute.

These are attacking-oriented suggestions as I'm admittedly unfamiliar with the overall structure of your game. Preventing the marked enemy from improving their evasion or otherwise restricting their options could be mixed and matched with whatever other (presumably offensive) effects you please for your desired result.
 

LordOfPotatos

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the most basic of recreations would be a defense and evasion decrease, though with plugins you could pull off some more diverse imterpretations.

for example, making the marked target guaranteed to get critted by ranged attacks. or take increased damage from critical hits. or being more vulnerable to debuffs.

if you can handle a little more you can make certain hunter skills have extra effects on a market target. like causing ailments, restoring MP to the attacker or triggering follow-ups.

then if you go above that you could change damage formulas on marked targets, like adding your dex/luk to damage or making the hunter's attacks ignore defenses.

and if you have other battle systems you could make hunter's mark interact with those, like accelerating your next turn when attacking a marked target in ATB.

that's all I got.
 

Frostorm

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Also, should a Hunter's Mark skill affect just the caster or all (ranged) attackers targeting the marked unit?
 

sunnyFVA

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I don't think there's one right answer. It depends on what theme you're trying to communicate and how the effect fits into your overall balance goals. Including the word "hunter" makes me anticipate that the effect will only benefit the caster, but that's just my personal bias.

If your system supports it, you could consider the mark to be a chassis to be modified by other factors. A hunter character's mark might confer substantial offensive benefits only to them, but a commander's mark could be more support-oriented and benefit allies as well. These variations could originate either from innate qualities of a character or player-chosen modifications like talents or equipment.
 

MarxMayhem

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Anyway, I'd love to see other people's idea/interpretation of a Hunter's Mark skill.
I see it in a way like sunnyFVA sees it- it is a debuff on a target that makes the "hunter" more effective at killing said target.

How improved it makes the Hunter in killing their quarry really depends. Guaranteed crits sounds nice and it should be considered. In fact, I raise it one notch higher- the Hunter's attacks on a marked target is guaranteed to crit, and the damage modifier for the crit is increased by the Hunter's current CRI. Other things can be considered too. Instead of critting, the Hunter gets a portion of all non-ammo costs refunded to them when hitting their quarry. Effects can be varied based on the held weapon, too. Melee Hunters gets an increased EVA when being attacked by their quarry, while ranged Hunters get an increased HIT when targeting them.

Of course, such things must be offset by negatives to be considered "balanced". Perhaps only some skills trigger additional effects, instead of anything a hunter does to their quarry. Marking an enemy can mean that the quarry's allies have some advantage over the Hunter, either higher HIT or more damage when targeting the Hunter. Perhaps a quarry only stays a quarry for a number of turns, or only one quarry can be designated ever- the Hunter can mark a new target once the previous quarry is defeated or otherwise removed from battle. In the event of job systems where multiple characters can be the Hunter class, only one enemy can be the quarry, or only one battler can benefit from the Hunter's Mark debuff, despite the number of units that can apply the debuff. Or even both- on one side, only one enemy can become the quarry, and the applier on the other is the only one who can benefit from the Hunter's mark effect. If someone else from the quarry's side is affected by Hunter's Mark, the previous debuff is lifted, and if a different Hunter applies the debuff, the previous applier can no longer benefit from it.
 

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