Is it worth making extra states for elemental effects?

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by jonthefox, Nov 13, 2018.

  1. jonthefox

    jonthefox Veteran Veteran

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    Let's say ice magic can inflict "slow" on a target. Now you find a fire ring which is supposed to give resistance to all ice spells and effects. So you give it resistance to ice damage and resistance to the slow state. But by doing this...the fire ring has now given the wearer resistance to ALL slow effects, even from spells and things that have nothing to do with ice.

    So the simple option would appear to be making a separate state, called "chill" or "frost" or something like that - ok, problem solved. However, if you do this for different elements, you end up with a lot of extra states that are essentially the same thing as the more general state - the only difference being its alignment with a particular element.

    As a game designer, what do you think is the best way to address this problem and why?
     
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  2. Aoi Ninami

    Aoi Ninami Veteran Veteran

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    In my game, all spells belong to one of the six element-themed schools of magic, so if "slow" were an ice spell (I don't have my notes to hand to check whether that's actually true in my game) then it would indeed be the case that anything that resists ice magic resists the Slow state.

    If you don't have such strong elemental theming, then I don't think there's a problem with having "freeze" and "slow" as separate states that do mostly the same thing, but one is icy and one is non-elemental. (But maybe don't make them exactly the same; have "freeze" be slower than "slow", or have it last more turns, or something.) All I'd say is don't overdo it; don't have a separate slow-like state for every element; two is most likely enough (and similarly with other state/element pairs).
     
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  3. kairi_key

    kairi_key Veteran Veteran

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    Generally, I think the best way would be to make it that when doing damage, states don't apply when flag "resist" is on.


    I think the way you propose is also fine... but maybe, instead of making it "slow" and "chill," just make both of them named "slow." It works exactly like what you said but this way, you make it feels like the game has just one Slow states but to the system, there're actually 2. It won't help us designer that much as it will eventually double every states that can come from elemental spells but it helps with player's psychology... not sure if that's what you're concerned about but for me, that is kinda okay. This way, when you equip fire ring, you won't get slow from ice, but you can get the general slow state which has exactly the same property. Any skill/item that can cure slow state will cure both states, or any condition for slow states will need to be checked throuh both states.

    Another way is... if you can mess with formula, you could add Slow states through formula bar instead so you can also check if target has elemental resistance. Like, if resisted then just do damage, but if not then add state too. I'm not sure how much you can mess with mv, but I think ace can do that pretty well.

    Tho as a general idea, the best way would still be to make it that state won't apply if resist is on.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
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  4. KoldBlood

    KoldBlood Make It Better Veteran

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    I actually ran into this issue myself, I ended up deciding to make only one version of each state to keep from confusing to player. For instance, Frostbite is my state that inflicts lower agility and as such I've limited it only ice type skills/spells but not every ice skill/spell inflicts Frostbite.

    The elemental relation gives a pattern for the player and, since I eliminated all of the generic debuff states, if the player only sees Frostbite from ice attacks they will learn to watch for it against ice-type enemies.

    Making multiple states will likely just clutter your database and confuse the player with multiple states that mean the same thing. If you do use multiple states then using the same icon for all states that do the same thing could be a simple way to help the player understand what's happening.
     
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  5. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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    One state name to educate people what they did is better than making a clone with a different name that basically the same.
    However, you can do make an extra state for flavoring purpose, but then again you may need put an extra education to them.
     
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  6. kovak

    kovak Silverguard Veteran

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    Yes, make separated states and play around with values to archieve balance.
     
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  7. Tiamat-86

    Tiamat-86 old jrpg gamer Veteran

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    i have an elemental state system in my game. things that are burnable, conduct electicity, rot/decay, prone to freezing
    using these elements has a chance to cause these effect but only if the enemy can be effected. with different effects through troop events.
    not everything weak to fire is actually burnable, like a mud golem wont get a burn DoT, but it would solidify and become weaker to physical dmg.
    this becomes tricky when using my swap enemies plugin but hasn't had any issue with BLM's fire/burn/def down, Geomancer's earth/rot/slow
    Vs RDM's Slow magic or WAR's Armor Break. their element state resistance is used for any element based ailments.
    while slow resistance only effects magic/melee based slow and not element based slow,
    even though the slow state used is the same for both of them.
     
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  8. Aesica

    Aesica undefined Veteran

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    Even if you have a lot of elements (I currently have 13) 1 state per element isn't that much. While I'm not using any sort of element-themed state mechanics, I currently have about 200 states (!) in my game, so really, adding 13 more would be pretty insignificant.
     
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  9. Tiamat-86

    Tiamat-86 old jrpg gamer Veteran

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    all it really comes down to is a good sorting method in state list and how you make it balanced.
     
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  10. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

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    Two of the GMD topics that have (through absolutely no fault of the topic creator) recently sparked a lot of napalm have been the one on Elements, and your current topic on States. What could possibly go wrong if you combine the two, right? :D

    My ideal solution to this dilemma is to have the power of the skill/attack determine the strength (or duration) of the state it applies. Now the Fire Ring doesn't even need to specifically resist Slow - it can provide 50% resistance to Ice, and when an Ice skill that damages + slows is used on the ring's wearer, it will be 50% less powerful - meaning the damage will be halved, but so will the intensity (or duration) of the slow.
    • This is admittedly a ton of work to implement into an RPG Maker game, but in Game Maker (where I've had to design the RPG stuff from scratch anyway), I am using such a system.
    A second solution would be to segment different status effects into different elements (known as 'Rationing'). This is usually good design practice anyway, since it will help make each Element in your game feel unique and give it a defined style. If Psychic is the only element that can Charm foes, then it makes sense that the anti-Psychic ring will have Charm Resist, and as the dev it's easy to do. For effects like 'Slow', which could justifiably be common enough in your game that multiple elements have access to it, create a separate state for each of the 2-3 elements that use it, like @Aoi Ninami suggested.

    Finally, it's worth examining whether it makes sense to load two disparate effects like "elemental damage resist" and "slow resist" onto the same equip. Maybe, maybe not. Examine why players would choose to equip this item (over others). Would it be a more interesting decision if you partitioned the effects into their own separate equips, and made each one stronger? If you decide that it is better to take that approach, then it becomes very reasonable to provide resistance (or immunity) to all forms of Slows on the slow-resist item.
     
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  11. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    I don't know if my solution to your problem is a good idea, but I'll tell you how I managed to solve it.

    States are independent of the elements that inflict them. That is to say... Even if you can resist fire 100%, you can still get burned. There are story related reasons for this (namely the magic that conjures the elements out of nowhere is simply the 'flavor' the magic takes in look and in properties. Magic Fire is not Real Fire. Magic Fire is just Vanilla Magic shaped to look and act like fire... despite not actually being fire. It gets really crazy when the players and characters wonder what you're actually drinking if you're drinking Magic Water. Especially when it quenches thirst and you don't dehydrate from doing so :D ).

    Each element of mine can inflict its own separate state, but that state being inflicted has nothing to do with the power of the element itself. By doing this, I allow myself to have more equipment and have different interactions between players and enemies. If an enemy is resistant to Burn, they may not be resistant to Fire and vice versa. Gives me a little more versatility in designing monsters.

    If I wanted to specifically build a system like yours, however, I'd probably have several "Slow" states, but they'd all be named something differently or work in a different way. In that way, your elements would only ever resist the states they were meant to and not all of them. But, how cumbersome this gets is going to largely depend on how many Elements you have in your game and how many States you actually want to have. It's possible to create such a system with 6 elements and 6 states. Just make each state different. It only gets complicated when you start thinking you need like 10 different states to all do the same thing. There's little reason to have two "paralyze" type states, unless they work in different ways. There's no reason to have multiple DoT type states unless they work differently.

    So, there's no need to worry about "State Bloat" unless you're the type of dev who just wants a ton of states for the sake of it. You don't need a ton. You can have a few that simply cover the basics of combat... maybe one for each element, each one distinct and unique. Then, you don't have to worry about overlap, you don't have to worry about redundancy, you don't have to worry about bloat, and you don't have to worry about a single element or resistance making a character immune to a lot of stuff you didn't intend for them to be immune to.
     
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  12. Countyoungblood

    Countyoungblood Sleeping Dragon Veteran

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    Easy problem easy solution. Make two states with the same name one of which fire ring resists thus allowing a normal slow to land.

    Player side both will look the same keeping things simpler but allowing the functionality of two separate kinds of slow.

    To keep things tidy just make the states beside one another..very easy stuff.

    Slow
    Slow

    Dont over complicate small issues like this and youll get more done in the time you have.
     
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  13. Eschaton

    Eschaton Hack Fraud Veteran

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    I'm still trying to reduce the number of states associated with elements. I might just get rid of elements altogether.

    For example, related to ice is not only "Chilled" which reduces DEF and AGL, but "Frozen" which stops all action and reduces DEF by even more. "Chilled" makes the target 100% susceptible to "Frozen", encouraging the player to spam ice magic against enemies they might want to crowd control. These effects are much more powerful than exploiting an elemental weakness.
     
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  14. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    This, really. If there ends up being multiple forms of slow because it's shared among multiple elements, they might work differently. For instance, let's take a recent project I was working on;

    Frost magic has a common slow effect "Chill" that lowers speed, but it also makes you take some more Melee damage and can be removed with any Fire ability (including Phoenix Tears, the fire healing spell)
    Water magic uses poisons for damage and added "Fatigued" that lowers speed, but also makes you lose HP each turn.
    Melee has one unique slow state called "Entangled" that the Silver Bolas can do (Of course you can still use it while someone is tied up!) Entangled lowered speed itself only some but massively decreased evasion and even slightly dented accuracy.
    Time had the more traditional Slow effect, but with the added caveat that effects can't increase your atb gauge. This was great against Super Counter which you counter then fill your turn gauge.

    Now, that was probably unnecessarily complicated, but we liked it. I'd likely just use stat decreases (debuffs?) and have skills check immunities to see if they should be added.
     
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  15. M.I.A.

    M.I.A. Goofball Extraordinaire Veteran

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    I create at least 3 states for every "Status Affliction". So let's say you want to use "Charm" on enemies.. well, it'll work on most enemies, but robotic enemies will be immune.. so I create a second "Charm" state for the Machinist class.. which has a "Charm" skill that ONLY works on robots..
    And then, the third version for foe use against the player. For "Charm" lasts 2 turns longer than the player versions and has a different success rate to be applied.

    I do the same for most skills (Player version and Foe Version) to adjust for the fact that the Player has real time strategies they can employ.
    It's all in the better interest of balance. As @Aesica says, I have well over 100 states, but many of them act similarly to each other and are just different versions.. and several (most of them, actually.. ) are "Silent States". Which are states that the Player won't even know exist. I use these to trigger events, alter battle mechanics, determine rewards, etc..

    Hope you find this helpful!
    -MIA
     
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  16. mobiusclimber

    mobiusclimber Veteran Veteran

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    I think having status effects that go along with some (not all) elemental damage is a good thing, and making them separate states that act similarly but not the same is also a good thing and the way to go. Burn is basically like poison, but doesn't last as long or hit as hard. Freeze is the same as paralyze but only lasts a couple turns. etc etc. As long as you don't go too crazy with it, this system makes sense and is easy for the player to understand. Just remember: one state per elemental only, less damaging than if it was a debuff all by its lonesome.
     
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