My pleasure! And thanks for the kind words.
That's a lot like how FF6 did it, and I always thought that game's escape mechanics were pretty close to perfect. For those unfamiliar with it, FF6 had ATB combat, and escaping took X amount of ticks before it worked. During that time, enemies could take shots at you so it wasn't a free pass.I think if I were to design an Escape system in an epic turn-based RPG today, I'd probably allow Escapes from normal encounters with 100% reliability, but allow the enemy party one final turn that they can get potshots in on the party for free.
I know I wasn't asked... But, I wanted to add a little bit. I'd probably do it via increased evasion, decreased target rate, magic reflection... Anything you could think of to "not take damage" without outright raising Defense. Maybe even a 100% TP full gauge that allows for a 100% escape (except against bosses).
It wasn't a bad thing to discuss it! It sounds like it might work OK in your particular game, but just be very clear about it to your player. Something along the lines of party members discussing how we need to be able to take down enemies the first time they encounter them, because if we have to run away, we're going to miss out on taking their supplies and we're going to end up underleveled.Thanks @Doktor_Q and @Wavelength for the advice. My intention was to have a short game that would only take a couple of hours to play through. No plot or character development. Just combat and exploration. I was also thinking roguelike mechanics would work (levels are randomly selected and generated). Replaying the game would give a very different dungeon each time.
I'm still very early in development though, so I'll consider alternatives to some things and test then to see how they feel. Resource management (and restarting the game when you can't progress any further) was the intended result though, with different difficulties affecting the resource crunch. On the lowest difficulty players should be able to complete the game regardless.
I guess this is going off-topic though, so I'll just say that my original point was probably bad advice and that people probably shouldn't handle escape the way I said I was going to.
-"Escape" is a skill.How do you deal with escaping from battle?
I'd even go further than Jon and say that yes - guaranteed costless escapes in a game where the challenge is supposed to be chronic resource expenditure makes encounters feel trivial and dungeons feel sparse and pointless - but games where the challenge is the acute possibility of dying to any single encounter also are hurt by guaranteed costless escapes. Since such games must be designed with easy (or automatic) resource regeneration outside combat, the free and reliable escape acts as a complete reset button that takes away most of the sense of danger and intensity from what would otherwise be exciting, life-or-death combat. It's not as bad as doing it in a chronic game, but in my opinion it's still bad.There are a lot of variables to juggle with this. I tend to agree with Wavelength that allowing the player to 100% escape battles without any cost or penalty really trivializes encounters and makes me feel like the dungeon isn't exciting. The exception to this would be a game where EACH battle poses a challenge of wiping the player, and it's not the standard attrition of resources that typically defines non-boss jrpg gameplay.
Similarly, AGI in a completely one-for-one turn-based combat doesn't have a strategic impact on action frequency, either. Using any kind of Time element (whether real time or simulated "in-game" time) fixes both issues - as far as the Escapes, you could do something like Escaping takes 5 seconds (or a variable amount based on your AGI). The higher the enemies' AGI is, the more times they'll be able to whack you in those 5 seconds as you attempt the escape.I like the idea of letting enemies get a free round of actions before escaping. My only problem with this is that it takes away the strategic element of agility or luck parameter - I like the idea that some enemy troops are harder to escape from than others. Giving 1 round of turns and then guaranteed escape puts all of the enemy troops on the same playing field in this regard. But, I can't think of a better solution - oftentimes I think part of game design is making these hard choices, and deciding what's best for your particular game.