Idea: Rare rewards based on how much the player over-damages enemies.

Sigony

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Mechanic: Allow enemy HP to go below 0, and take the absolute value of the number.
Depending on this acquired value, the player has a chance at a desirable event like a rare drop table and so on.

Benefit: This incentivises a player to go all out on enemies even if they're easily defeated. Maybe even especially if they're easily defeated.

This is good if you intend for the player to farm enemies.

This allows you to re-use content that the player may not revisit: weaker dungeons.

If you have rewards exclusive to the dungeon, then the player will NEED to go there for that specific reward.

Think about it: in most RPGs, you can only attempt to do your very highest damage a few times.
 

Wavelength

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I've thought about this before and it's appealing because overkill can feel good. However, I think what it would cause in practice is for the bonuses to mostly be awarded when you go back to an area you're waaaaay overleveled for, and much less so when you're actually playing through a game area by area. Unless you have a way to stop the player from backtracking, it's awfully iffy. Smart and careful play can allow the player to trigger it as well (such as getting the enemy low, buffing an ally's attack/magic, and then using a big hit for the finishing blow), but not as well (nor as reliably) as just waiting until you're ten levels above par for an area and murdering everything there.

I think the inverse of this could actually be more tactical and maybe more fun: award a bonus of whatever sort for killing an enemy with as little overkill as possible. The closer you get the enemy to exactly 0 HP on your killing blow, the better (or more likely) the reward. Rewards finesse and tactics, and slightly punishes backtracking to grind.
 
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SomeFire

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Looks boring, because the player needs to go far from his current location back to the beginning area (fast travel will help) and go through a dungeon with many one-shot enemies, which takes a long time and not interesting at all.

I suggest making more layers for the dungeon with harder enemies. So, in the beginning, player will go for the first layer to complete newbie quest. After several levels, he will get a quest to clear next layer of the same dungeon.

Another way is to replace newbie monsters with harder monsters. Explain this by story or quest, for example, the dungeon was filled with another monster type, because it was empty (thx to the player).

Also, you can place hidden treasures in the dungeon, which can not be accessed without key/skill/etc, so, player will not spend time for uninteresting one-shot enemies, just run through them to the treasure or entrance to the next layer.
 

Soryuju

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This is a little more complicated, but what if instead of just rewarding players for a single shot of overkill damage, you applied the idea to a combo attack system? The specifics would depend on the implementation of your combo system, but the idea would be to keep an enemy immortal and stunned once its HP hits 0, and then to rack up as many consecutive hits as possible before their next turn. If the combo breaks or the enemy's turn arrives, they would be immediately KO'd and the battle would end. You could even make it so this special overkill mode could only trigger on the last enemy alive in combat, which would speed normal battles up a bit while also adding a unique layer of strategy (do you try to kill a dangerous foe ASAP, or do you leave it for the end to try to get its bonus rewards?)

This implementation would allow combat centered around combo mechanics to breathe a bit more than usual outside of boss fights, since you could have mobs which die relatively easily without losing out on the long combo chains which make the system fun. You could even add in turn manipulation mechanics like delays for enemies and speed boosts for allies to help maximize the window you have to score combo hits before the enemy dies (perhaps even letting characters "lap" enemies, though you should be careful to set limits on this). The bonus rewards you earn would also be less dependent on your characters' raw stats than on their abilities and your strategies, so there would be less backtracking to farm weak enemies and more chances to enjoy the system on the first pass through each new area.

As for weaknesses in this idea, encounter length might become an issue depending on how frequently battles occur and how long you're theoretically able to keep these chains going each time. Since this concept has the enemy stop interacting with you once the battle enters the finishing combo phase, what you're left with is basically a puzzle for the player to cap off the fight. If every normal battle ends with a finishing combo, and each combo ends up playing out over many consecutive turns while the enemy just waits, it won't be long before the player starts to lose interest in the mechanic. You could attempt to address this by adding some conditions to when this phase triggers in a fight (e.g. the phase can trigger when the last enemy hits 0 HP, but only if they were defeated by a combo attack already in progress, or when you've built up enough of a certain resource, or if you cleared all enemies within X turns, etc.). Making sure players can't chain an unreasonable number of turns together before the enemy takes their turn would also be wise, since this keeps the system focused on having players make the longest possible combos within a limited timeframe, rather than the longest possible combos period.

Another concern would be adding enough variation to the situations the player encounters to make sure they're not just spamming the same sequence of skills over and over again to get an identical, optimal combo every time. A simple resource system tied to combo hits could be one solution, or you could opt for skill cooldowns (which could prompt decisions about whether to use a skill now to deal with an immediate threat, or save it for the next turn to add it to the finishing combo). Another solution could be relying on tricky enemy design to keep the player on their toes. Lots of potential solutions exist to these problems and the various others that might come along with this system, but what works best really would depend on the context of the game.

I'll wrap up here, since it's honestly kind of tough to dive into too many specifics when I've left the core idea of "combo attacks" so vague. Hopefully the concept at least gives you something interesting to consider for your own ideas, though! Good luck!
 

Dororo

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There's nothing wrong into backtracking.
Backtracking add game time at practically no developer cost. And time spent with the game determine directly a success for the game.
Boring (slow to perform) backtracking is to avoid.

That said, to avoid a quick harvest, I'll use some skill as finisher: if you'll win the fight using that skill against that kind of opponent, you'll get your reward.
By having such skills coming later, do little damage, being different for different type of enemies, having drawbacks and collected by a conditional (secret skills) you canbalance the game again and add another layer of gameplay too.
 

Sigony

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Good ideas everyone. I think a game could probably implement all of them and more by having a specific fight have a specific or even random condition for getting the reward in question.

You might even make this unknown at first and require a skill to learn about it for this specific battle instance or enemy. This means that to even attempt the better reward you’d need to basically spend a turn.

As to the idea that a low level enemy could be a waste of time; at that point the game is no longer beating the enemy, but HOW you beat the enemy, and the “quest” of “go here, achieve this small specific thing”. It could be a challenge even if the enemy is beatable in one turn. Depends on the combat constraints too and how other game systems interact.

It requires balancing considerations of course. Every mechanic could be unbalanced and unfun.

I’m always looking for low effort ideas to allow some replayable gameplay loops that add some value to the experience. It can be done right.
 

Aesica

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I've seen this used in a few games, but seriously it's a lot less cool or fun than it sounds on the idea board. Why (I think) it's not that great in practice:
  1. It's a form of battle performance rating that soft-punishes the player for barely scraping by/being underleveled while rewarding being overleveled.
  2. Turns every single fight into "chip the enemy down to near-death, then wallop them with your best attack." While not a bad mechanic on occasion, it gets pretty tedious when players feel obligated to do it in every single fight.
  3. Possibly missable rewards. Depending on how it's implemented, certain unique-encounter enemies (bosses mainly) might have, say, a really nice sword that can only be won by overkilling them. Fail the overkill, fail to get the really nice sword. This has another side effect of miss the really nice sword, have a harder time overkilling the next boss, and so on.
 

CraneSoft

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If you only wanted a low-effort attempt to reuse old dungeons and replayable gameplay loops - it's easier to just replace the weaker enemies with stronger variants (that has better drops) as the player progress further so it'd feel less repetitive on a revisit.

I personally don't like overkilling myself as I'm the type to conserve resources on normal encounters. It is similar to FFX's overkill mechanic which sounds good on paper but on reality it's not engaging nor fun, I still remember the endgame farm where I'm virtually overkilling everything with basic physical attacks so the mechanic might as well not exist, and you are also far past the point where you'd need the rare drops in the early game where achieving overkilling is not hard but extremely annoying to accomplish.

A better way to implement reward system is fulfilling certain conditions based on battle performance - such as "Take no damage/less than X damage", "Nullifying X attacks from enemy", "Exploit enemy weakness", "Win a fight within X turns" etc. This provides enough variety and actually rewards strategic play - and depending on the condition used and its priority may work in any stage in the game.
 
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JayStG

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I've thought about this before and it's appealing because overkill can feel good. However, I think what it would cause in practice is for the bonuses to mostly be awarded when you go back to an area you're waaaaay overleveled for, and much less so when you're actually playing through a game area by area. Unless you have a way to stop the player from backtracking, it's awfully iffy. Smart and careful play can allow the player to trigger it as well (such as getting the enemy low, buffing an ally's attack/magic, and then using a big hit for the finishing blow), but not as well (nor as reliably) as just waiting until you're ten levels above par for an area and murdering everything there.

I think the inverse of this could actually be more tactical and maybe more fun: award a bonus of whatever sort for killing an enemy with as little overkill as possible. The closer you get the enemy to exactly 0 HP on your killing blow, the better (or more likely) the reward. Rewards finesse and tactics, and slightly punishes backtracking to grind.
Both the OP’s idea and this inverse of it are a lot like overkill’s and exact kills in I Am Setsuna. The drops in that game are dependent on what kill type you land the final blow with (the game has element based kill types in addition to over/exact kills).
 

Milennin

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I like how in Fate GO, instead of switching to a different enemy when their HP hits zero during an attack chain from the player, every action that turn will continue to hit that enemy, but extra combat resources are gained when overkilling an enemy, so it's not necessarily a detriment. It uses a different kind of combat system from the traditional RPG, so not sure if it'd work out well in RPG Maker, but it'd be interesting to see tried out.
 

Aesica

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I like how in Fate GO, instead of switching to a different enemy when their HP hits zero during an attack chain from the player, every action that turn will continue to hit that enemy, but extra combat resources are gained when overkilling an enemy, so it's not necessarily a detriment. It uses a different kind of combat system from the traditional RPG, so not sure if it'd work out well in RPG Maker, but it'd be interesting to see tried out.
That sounds similar to how FFBE's combat works. Granted, extra rewards for doing additional damage past 0 HP only exist in certain types of battles. FFBE also has a non-traditional battle system, where you select actions for each party member, then tap them to execute in the desired order to ensure buffs/debuffs/etc land when you want, as well as for chaining/finishing attacks.

That said, this kind of thing works in mobile games because the companies running them want players to spend more money to get better characters/gear/etc to turn out those bigger numbers. It's far less applicable in traditional RPGs though.
 

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