If using DBS, what are more creative ways using agility that you can think?

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by atoms, Oct 9, 2019.

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Would you ever add more benefits to Agility with the Default Battle System?

  1. No, with the default battle system, I like it how it is.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. I wouldn't mind if it fits the game.

    37.5%
  3. Yes I always would find more uses for the Agility stat.

    37.5%
  4. I'm undecided/unsure on this.

    25.0%
  1. atoms

    atoms Veteran Veteran

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    Note. You can talk about what you may change with other stats as well, so long it somehow related to the Agility stat as well, as the Agility stat is the main discussion.

    I'd like to get some opinions on this and thoughts on what could be done. Of course Agility is still useful in that it decides whether you go first and that can change the tide of a battle if you handle it right, but what are more/other creative ideas you have on how to use this stat while still using the default battle system?


    Edit: Also, for me, what I currently do it use it as bonus damage.

    I.e.

    (A.Atk * 4) - (B.Def * 2) + (A.Agi * 3) - (B.Agi + B.Def)

    I haven't tested this properly or well enough in my current game I'm using it, as I only tested it on low levels, but a few playtests with default ABCDEF stats on the actor classes seem to work well with low levels at the moment. It gives a nice bit more damage.

    Other stats can give bonus damage too, but it's handle a bit differently. I.e Luck Bonus.

    ( (A.Atk * 4) - (B.Def * 2) + (A.Agi * 3) - (B.Agi + B.Def) ) + ( (A.Luk * 1.8) - (B.Luk / 1.2) )
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
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  2. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    I simply use it as an attack stat. "Agility" based attacks use it, and hit against "Luck", which is renamed "Reflex". Enemy with high amounts of Defense and very difficult to inflict damage on it? Well, if it has low Reflex... Agility will do a lot of damage to it.
     
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  3. Soryuju

    Soryuju Combat Balance Enthusiast Veteran

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    If your game’s combat emphasizes the use of buffs and debuffs, Agility is already a pretty interesting and powerful stat in the default system. Having low AGI can effectively reduce the durations of any buffs and debuffs which the character applies by up to a full turn. For example, if you apply a 4-turn Defense debuff to an enemy after your biggest damage dealer has already swung, you now only have 3 turns left for that attacker to take advantage of the debuff. Similarly, applying a 4-turn Defense buff to your entire party after a boss has already acted effectively reduces the buff duration to 3 rounds. Applying buffs and debuffs with a fast character instead helps you maximize the efficiency of these effects, and the potential to get more benefit in the earlier turns of a fight can make buffs and debuffs more useful in short battles.

    If you want to get more creative with AGI, one early consideration is whether or not you still want it to influence turn order in addition to its new effects. Being fast is typically already an advantage in most default battle systems, so if you’re going to compound the benefits of a high AGI stat, you need to make sure slow characters have something else significant going for them. Not to pick at you, @atoms, since I know nothing about the rest of your system, but when I look at the way you’re using AGI as a damage modifier, the first thing I wonder is whether slow characters can compete with fast characters as damage dealers, or if having low AGI in your system makes it optimal to regulate that character to a tank/support role.

    Maybe that’s what you want, or maybe there are other factors at play that offset AGI’s bonus damage, but my larger point is that when you incorporate multiple unique functions into the same stat, the impact which that stat has on your combat can get more convoluted. Sometimes untangling the different effects of a stat can be more trouble than it’s worth.

    Beyond that concern, though, there are lots of ways you could innovate with AGI. Maybe AGI determines the rate at which a special resource fills up for each character/enemy, and once that resource reaches a certain threshold, they can take an extra action (basically adapting the classic function of AGI in ATB and CTB systems).

    Or maybe instead, the resource starts out full and passively determines each battler’s chance to evade attacks, but every time they dodge, the amount of the resource they have decreases, and AGI determines how quickly they can regenerate it.

    The Fire Emblem games make it so that if your Speed stat is a certain amount higher than your target’s, you strike an extra time. You could expand the core concept here if you wanted: maybe certain skills get a bonus effect when the user has X more AGI than the target. Just make sure that it’s not a chore for players to regularly compare enemy AGI values in battle if you go this route - a good UI will make a big difference here. If you can’t display that info in a streamlined, unobtrusive manner, it might be better to give this idea a pass.

    Ultimately, your imagination is the limit here - you can design an entire battle system around the unique functions of AGI if that’s what you want, even when using the default framework. However, I would say that the more dramatic the impact of AGI on your combat, the more freedom players should have to build their party around it. If your system doesn’t afford the player much control over each character’s stats in battle, AGI’s effect should probably be more subtle. Good luck with it!
     
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  4. Engr. Adiktuzmiko

    Engr. Adiktuzmiko Chemical Engineer, Game Developer, Using BlinkBoy' Veteran

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    I think I once tried to make Agility increase hit rate coz if you're agile, it should be easier to hit enemies... Nowadays though, I mostly keep agility as the determinant of turn order.
     
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  5. laaghisce

    laaghisce Veteran Veteran

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    I kept Agility as the turn determinant stat, though, here are other factors it affects.
    -Bonus to Hit Rate, Physical Evasion, Magical Evasion, and Critical Evasion
    -Primary damage stat for items that are thrown, or skills that are themed around speed. Ex: Fire Bomb damage formula is a.agi * 4 - b.def * 2.

    Other stats also affect Hit Rate and the evasions, but Agility is the universal bonus.
     
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  6. Milennin

    Milennin "With a bang and a boom!" Veteran

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    I used Agility as a chance to trigger effects from accessories characters have on them. Like an accessory that has a chance to heal some HP at the end of the turn, characters with higher Agility are more likely to trigger the effect.
     
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  7. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

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    I voted "Always", but my true feeling is "Usually". As @Soryuju mentioned, there are certain battle dynamics, such as very strong turn-based buffs/debuffs combined with enemies that have similar AGI to characters, that can make high AGI worthwhile. One other standard dynamic that makes high AGI worthwhile is extremely high global damage. If characters and enemies are both dealing upwards of half an opponent's HP with every hit, the one extra turn that high AGI grants you can be very valuable.

    I'm also with @Soryuju in that I don't like adding stats like AGI (or LUK or DEF or anything that isn't an "Attack Stat") to the damage formula. This does not seem to be a majority opinion held on these boards, but I strongly feel that each stat should have its own unique purpose that shouldn't overlap with other stats. There are a few benefits to this approach:
    • It provides more clarity in the relationship between stats and damage. Is an enemy doing high damage to you? It probably has high ATK (or MAT). Did you just get a -50% ATK debuff? You can expect to do about 50% less damage, not some unknown amount based on the relationship between ATK and AGI in the damage formula.
    • It allows the player to knowingly and intentionally specialize characters into certain roles, and creates interesting build decisions. When you choose to equip a character with lots of AGI-boosting equips, it's because there is some special function that AGI is boosting, and you're willing to sacrifice something like damage to give the character that functionality.
    • It makes stats easier to balance against each other. A character who uses AGI in some of their skill formulas will impart a different stat value to AGI than a character who only gets turn-order out of it. That can make it difficult to determine how much of each stat to give each character, and also how to judge a character's "power" when they might specialize into one stat or another. Giving every stat a unique and clear purpose (ideally where each stat is useful to every character) removes some of the fuzziness in determining the value of each stat.
    In timeblazer, I use AGI not only to determine turn order (as usual in the DBS), but also to determine the amount of TP (called Energy) that characters get at the beginning of each turn. Energy gain is equal to AGI / 3. The Warrior uses Energy to pay for all of his skills, and the Mage can take a turn to convert her accumulated Energy into MP (Mana) if she runs out.
    • Additionally, many of the game's Stun skills, especially enemy Stuns, last just for the current turn and use normal action speed. Therefore, building AGI provides a unique fringe benefit in being able to make many enemy Stuns worthless (because you've already taken your action and it wears off at the end of the turn!).
    I had taken some time in the past to think of a few ways that turn order could be made very important by itself (and I recommend this kind of thought exercise to anyone - it's a great way to brainstorm really cool ideas for systems or games!), and I came up with a couple of ideas that I thought were cool.

    In one of these ideas, a few semi-random resources would appear around the battlefield each turn, and battlers (characters and enemies alike) would need to gather these resources in order to use their powerful skills. Different resources are needed for different skills. Choosing to gather the resource would consume the battler's turn. If multiple battlers try to gather the same resource, whoever is faster in the turn order (higher AGI) is able to gather it, and the other battler(s) completely wastes their turn. There are a lot of additional mechanics that can tie into this system to really crank the mindgames up to 11, and it would be really cool in a PvP take on the DBS, but the point is that AGI and Turn Order become very important aspects of the system, while also giving fast battlers and slow battlers very different styles: fast battlers should try to gather a resource they think enemies will want to go for, while slow battlers should specifically try to avoid the resources that they think enemies might want.

    In another, somewhat similar idea, a mechanic would be added so that if two opponent battlers target each other on the same turn, the faster one gets to act normally and the slower one loses their turn. This makes it very important to consider which enemy each character is targeting, and encourages fast battlers to target an enemy they think might target them, while forcing slow battlers to try to target an opponent they think will go for someone else (or use a defensive move). It could also be interesting against bosses, who (assuming they're faster than the party) could shut down an obvious DPS. It's probably the kind of system that would work best when characters have very clear strengths and weaknesses and the AI can consider this when it chooses an action, but I think it would make for a very interesting dynamic.
     
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  8. Aesica

    Aesica undefined Veteran

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    While I'm not really a fan of the default battle system, if I were stuck using it, I'd definitely add a bit more to agility to make it less of a "you only need this much to go first, the rest doesn't matter" stat.

    Things I'd probably add to agility for such a game:
    • Certain weapons and/or skill formulas use agility, either instead of atk or in conjunction with it. Generally, quick weapons like daggers or shortswords or agility-themed skills, like the kind of things you'd expect from an agility-based melee character.
    • Bonus (or penalty) to physical (or maybe even magical) evasion based on the difference between a battler's agility vs their targets.
     
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  9. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    After playing Dragon Quest and Pokemon enough, I know that being able to have your actions happen when you choose them (instead of happening after the opponent) is vital; Healers can rarely heal proactively (although it is possible) and going before enemies in random encounters severely cuts back on resource loss. Further, some games and skills are set up to want to use them in a particular order. You want the buffer to go before the person whose attack will be buffed and to go before enemies when increasing defense. In fact, I think it's more important to have high agility in DBS than in CTB (if you can have high enough agility in CTB or ATB to triple turn your opponent, then there's possibly a flaw in the game).

    Would I still use agility further? Absolutely. As much as I think it's amazingly useful, it can be even more useful. In early DQ games (maybe still true in newer ones) it also determines the base for defense, letting extremely fast allies make up for a lack of good armor by just being fast enough. I think it also helped determine crit rates. I'm a little reticent on it also being a direct replacement to attack, though, because that stat does one thing and this would become strictly better then (then again, I'm also unsure about keeping attack and spatk separate). I used to like having agility help determine evasion, but less and less do I like the turn removal that comes from below 100% accuracy.
     
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  10. Black Pagan

    Black Pagan Veteran Veteran

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    In my game, I have only one Character but she can use 3 Different kinds of weapons - Gloves, Dagger and Shotgun depending on the Situation, None of the weapons are supposedly better, Its all about the Circumstance.

    Each weapon has "Weapon Specific Skills" based on a different "Unique Stat" on Gear and Accessories to Boost their Potential. While i don't directly use Agility in my Base Damage Formula, I use it as a Damage Boost for my Dagger Skills.

    The Formula I use for my skills would be something like this : a.agi + (a.atk * 0.5 - b.def * 0.25). I call the Agi stat as "Speed Rating" which is available on Gear since it also adds to Turn Speed while at the same time providing - "Bonus Damage Add-On".

    Speed Rating would be useless for most Weapons but for Dagger Weapon, Its a very valuable stat. Also, I have Gear which perform Agility - Crit Chance Conversion so it can make use of those mechanics. Overall, I think even with an entire Weapon skill set based on Agility, Its not of much use unless you decide to specialize in Dagger Weapon.
     
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