Interesting ways to deal with "MP"

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by kovak, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. kovak

    kovak Silverguard Veteran

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    I was thinking about how Kingdom Hearts 2 made me not use MP recovering items so often after casting a bunch of spells in a row. Since the game was an action rpg the MP bar would get in cooldown so i could focus on enemies and then a sound would play when it was full again.


    How do you guys deal with resource bars and how it affects recovery options your game has?
     
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  2. Engr. Adiktuzmiko

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

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    Well, having default/passive MP recovery is almost always present in games that implement action/in-map battle gameplay since you want the battle to flow as fluidly as possible. XD KH!!!


    Anyway, for my game I did modify what MP (I called it VP) a little bit. Aside from being the resource needed to use your "Arts", having low MP have consequences. The damage you take increases and your resistance to debuffs decreases as your VP decreases. In the game, there are 3 "tiers" of Arts, and arts of the same tier have same VP requirement and higher tiers require more VP. What this does (or what I hope to achieve) is for the player to need to think on which arts to use on the situation rather than him just mashing up the most powerful one that he has. This is also in line with the fact that most higher tier arts if not all have slower action speeds so your turn will come much later, and I also reduce the VP the moment you selected the skill rather than when you actually activate it, so using a higher tier skill at the wrong moment can make you end up a weak sitting duck for many turns.


    As for recovery options, my plan is to have the VP regenerate after battles since you only actually have very low max VP. There will be potions to recover VP during battle and the "drive auras" that you can trigger causes you to regenerate little VP every turn to kinda ease up on potion usage.
     
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  3. Basileus

    Basileus Veteran Veteran

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    I've seen a lot of ways to handle character resources. I guess it really comes down to what you want to do. Whether you want to encourage players to use strategic combos and punish wasteful moves, or let the player spam a ton to build up stacks of something will mean that different mechanics would be preferred.


    If you want a slower but more thoughtful system, you could do something like restore a chunk of the character's resource bar for a certain combo or triggering certain effects. For example, in League of Legends some champions use Energy as their resource. Unlike Mana it regenerates pretty quickly but is also depleted extremely fast and just using 2-3 skills can put the bar close to empty. In exchange, each Energy champion has a mechanic built into their kit to restore energy - something like "Mark the enemy with a skill then proc that mark with another skill" or "First basic attack on enemy champion every X seconds restores Y Energy" to encourage certain combos. Players that consider their combos can chain extra skills together while careless players will run dry in seconds and be useless until their bar recharges naturally.


    In a faster-paced game, you my have a bar that fills up at a steady pace so the player can cast virtually indefinitely as long as they keep the right casting tempo and consider the costs of the skills they use. Mass Effect 1 does something similar to this where your guns have infinite ammo but have a heat sink that can overheat and render them unusable for a couple seconds while you eject and reload a new one. For full-auto guns like Assault Rifles and Submachine guns, this means you will overheat pretty soon if you keep spraying bullets without stopping but you can shoot pretty much forever if you learn how fast different guns cool down and get a tempo for firing in bursts to keep pace with the speed the gun is cooling down. Sniper Rifles are more limited and can overheat the gun in a single shot or put it near max, giving the player the option to wait a second or two to take their second shot or fire a second shot immediately at the cost of overheating and taking ~4 seconds to change heat sinks. 
     
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  4. Harosata

    Harosata Dramatic Lightning's BFF Veteran

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    Well, I had been thinking of this possibility...You can use your MP even to the last spell, though when that last spell uses up ALL your MP, you'll end up having to regenerate your MP, probably with a few buffs/debuffs attached.  Seems doable though it overwrites some of the default scripts (I base this on RPG Maker VX Ace).


    First, we need a state that regenerates MP but silences Skills as a result.  I based this on FFXV's Stasis, though I got the concept wrong.  Anyway, I'll simply call this state Stasis since I might end with a "mastery" that boosts my damage while suffering this.  In my case, Stasis has no turn limits but gets removed at the end of battle.


    Second, I need to check Game_BattlerBase.  If I recall, there is a refresh method in there that is designed to keep HP/MP in range and to apply KO based on HP; here, I'll have Stasis apply when the MP hits 0 but get removed if it hits mmp (max MP).


    Now, Stasis should activate if I hit 0 MP, though obviously, I can't get that number.  I'll have to modify skill_cost_payable? (preferred) so that MP is not calculated.  In theory, that should make the skill selectable regardless of MP, MP still refreshes to 0 and Stasis activates.  In turn, Stasis prevents me from activating my skills until the state is removed mainly from reaching my max MP.


    ---


    Alternatively, I could ignore Stasis.  In turn, I'll replace the MP cost under skill_cost_payable with the condition that mp isn't 0 (unless the mp_cost is 0).  In addition, I'll also make it in the battle formula that if the skill's mp_cost*mcr is higher than the user's MP, it will reduce the damage of that skill.


    So yeah, those are two ways to use up your MP.  I haven't implemented them, but I'm pretty sure they'll work.  It's up to you how you want to use the last of your MP.
     
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