Htlaets

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What if, instead of instakilling bosses, it just did a huge amount of damage to them instead? It turns into a different sort of skill when you use it on a boss-type enemy.
Bout what I was thinking. If it's a random chance death spell, have the proc do massive damage instead.
 

Tai_MT

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Not sure this helps you at all. But, here's how I've handled my single "One Hit Kill Move" in my game.

TP is not preserved across battles, unless you put on specific (suboptimal) equipment.
The skill can only be activated when you have 100 TP to spare.
TP is gained slowly in combat by this character. Usually about 2 per attack. Much more if the character eats a lot of damage in a single hit.
The skill starts with a 1% chance to instantly kill ANYTHING. Through "Skill Mastery", this can be buffed as high as 10%.
Skill Mastery requires the player find and complete 3 sidequests to buff the skill up to 10%

With this in mind:

The skill itself is designed to do a ton of damage in a single hit anyway. That is, even just using the skill is massively effective in getting enemies close to death. This is to mitigate (but not stop) players "savescumming" before boss encounters in order to reload if the instant-kill doesn't activate.

I went into creating this skill with a specific mindset. That is... I was not ashamed to let my players kill bosses with it. But, I wanted players to "earn" that right to some degree. They would need to equip "substandard" things to preserve TP. They would need to do a specific set of sidequests to get the skill up to 10% (and the last doesn't appear until close to the end of the game). They would need to eat a lot of damage in battle to get more than one shot at it in a single fight.

So, at worst, players would do all these things, save before the boss, and use the skill immediately. If it didn't kill, they'd reload a save and try again. The player effectively trading time for easy gameplay. This is also a common theme within my game, so it makes sense.

Meanwhile, at best, getting the "instant kill" to activate is a nice little bonus for players who "get lucky".

The skill itself also falls in line with the other skills I have. It is meant to be "overpowered". The player is meant to be using Skills as often as possible as well as feeling like a powerhouse for using them. They are meant to feel "broken". They are meant to be "exploitable". The reasoning for this is two-fold.
1. The more powerful my players and more easily they can break the game, the less I have to moderate what I do with my monsters. If two skills in combination can break combat, then my monsters can have counters to those AND they can throw such skill combinations back at them to break the players.
2. Combat is meant to feel "engaging" rather than "mash attack to win". So, players coming up with skill combinations to win is part of that fun. These overpowered skills are meant as part of a toolbox for players to use. They're meant to see combinations between skills and characters that could increase efficiency and make them feel smart. They're meant to experiment a little to find things I didn't anticipate they have. I don't want combat to feel like a slog, a chore, or a puzzle. I want it to feel like it's fast and doesn't require a lot of brainpower, but thinking a lot would feel rewarding to players who do so.
 
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Here's some possibilities that I haven't seen mentioned yet:

-Instakill moves, stun moves, etc. don't work on bosses, BUT most bosses summon minions that can be affected by them so they're still useful in boss fights

-Instakill moves have a lesser effect on bosses such as pushing them to the next phase (if your bosses have multiple phases) or perhaps the boss has to be affected multiple times by the instakill for it to take effect

-Instakill moves require some kind of genuinely limited resource to use. Maybe they require you to sacrifice a large amount of gold or EXP, or perhaps your insta-kill character can only ever use the move a certain number of times
 

NamEtag

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Flat immunity is very boring and bad design. Low %chance is boring, bad design, and rngfest.

Either you class them as Gravity-based moves and cap them along certain limits, or you do something like Resonance of Fate or Sekiro, with segmented lifebars and the ability to lop off a decent chunk if you fulfill the right conditions.
 

Ouro

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Flat immunity is very boring and bad design. Low %chance is boring, bad design, and rngfest.

Either you class them as Gravity-based moves and cap them along certain limits, or you do something like Resonance of Fate or Sekiro, with segmented lifebars and the ability to lop off a decent chunk if you fulfill the right conditions.
I quite like the segmented lifebar idea! With a hard cap of how much damage a boss can take from any single move.
 

NamEtag

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I quite like the segmented lifebar idea! With a hard cap of how much damage a boss can take from any single move.
Just to clarify, Sekiro has hardcoded lifebars that each represent a different phase and triggers, so the complexity is in how to replicate a posture or exhaustion system into a turn-based game.

Resonance of Fate, on the other hand, has only 3 types of weapons, and the main purpose of one of them is segmenting lifebars. It doesn't deal a lot of damage, but segmenting slows down regeneration(since it's proportional to the length of 1 segment), and is heavily linked to stuns. You might have to reverse it entirely to make it work for instant KO moves, and maybe work with barrier HP and variable segment positions.
 

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