RMMZ Light Aversion Mechanic (and how to balance?)

PixeLockeT

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My playerbase seems split on a certain mechanic.

There is a lich-like demonlord (Zoma-sama) party member whose aversion to light makes him susceptible to be damaged by Light-based healing spells and anything else light-based, so that players will have to take into account in their strategies when he is in-party as they blast off group heals or other similar things to that nature.

As my game is a fangame, I wanted to create him more accurately (you can damage him as a boss on his source game by doing the same).

Around 60% of the players in a poll LOVE this mechanic, a small amount are neutral, while around 35% HATE it. I'm stubborn enough to where I'm going to keep it in no matter what, but I want the "hate it" group to hate it less. I have the current (on paper) modifications to try:

+ He can wrap himself in a veil of darkness that temporarily repels or cuts down damage from Light-based things hurled his way
+ Have the Light-based heals not quite slough off the amount of HP that it would heal others (because currently it mirrors it)
+ Make consumable items that can heal him for the amount+ so that group heal + item usage will let him up his HP as long as player plans accordingly

Any more ideas on how to make the mechanic more palatable for players? I want Zoma-sama to be a viable party member to use. He's probably gonna be tanky a bit, able to absorb a good amount of physical hits for others (acting as their shield).
 

CleanWater

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PixeLockeIt, keep in mind that there's always someone who will hate something about your work.

60% of people being positive about it is reason enough for you to keep it. You should focus on making these people loving this mechanic even more.

If healing him is a problem, you could have him heal himself with skills like Life Drain or such (don't now your game yet).
 

Restart

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My playerbase seems split on a certain mechanic.

There is a lich-like demonlord (Zoma-sama) party member whose aversion to light makes him susceptible to be damaged by Light-based healing spells and anything else light-based, so that players will have to take into account in their strategies when he is in-party as they blast off group heals or other similar things to that nature.

As my game is a fangame, I wanted to create him more accurately (you can damage him as a boss on his source game by doing the same).

Around 60% of the players in a poll LOVE this mechanic, a small amount are neutral, while around 35% HATE it. I'm stubborn enough to where I'm going to keep it in no matter what, but I want the "hate it" group to hate it less. I have the current (on paper) modifications to try:

+ He can wrap himself in a veil of darkness that temporarily repels or cuts down damage from Light-based things hurled his way
+ Have the Light-based heals not quite slough off the amount of HP that it would heal others (because currently it mirrors it)
+ Make consumable items that can heal him for the amount+ so that group heal + item usage will let him up his HP as long as player plans accordingly

Any more ideas on how to make the mechanic more palatable for players? I want Zoma-sama to be a viable party member to use. He's probably gonna be tanky a bit, able to absorb a good amount of physical hits for others (acting as their shield).
I could see it being annoying as a player depending on how the mechanic worked; having to plan around one member of the party being different is gonna be a bit irritating. Particularly if (as is common in a lot of games) a big enemy AOE ends up reducing your full party to low health - in that case, healing the rest of your party is gonna kill your lich guy.

One option is to make it so that under the right circumstances, healing him is beneficial anyway, just in a different way. For instance, give him a 'spurn life' skill that makes him react to healing with a dark-elemental counterattack on your enemies.

You could also potentially make him even more weird with healing interactions - do something like the vampire from romancing saga 3, where he can't be revived midcombat through any method, but heals to full after every battle.

(Also, make sure that partywide heals outside of battle don't hurt him, because c'mon that's lame).
 

Meowsticks

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I think @Restart makes a good point that one of the bigger issues would be having to plan around a single party member acting differently. Players that couldn't be bothered to plan for that one character would probably let him die as it's not worth actively trying to keep him alive when you want to heal everyone else. The best idea I have is that making it not a pain to deal with this would be the best approach.

+ He can wrap himself in a veil of darkness that temporarily repels or cuts down damage from Light-based things hurled his way
This is a decent idea. Depending on how easy and effective it is, I could see this working well. You can heal your party and he survives just fine, but in exchange you just have to give up his action for that turn? Seems fair.

+ Have the Light-based heals not quite slough off the amount of HP that it would heal others (because currently it mirrors it)
This sounds like a fine idea on paper, but in practice, anyone that already doesn't like this mechanic isn't going to like because the amount is different. Doing 250HP damage-heal would basically equate to doing 500HP damage-heal. He still gets hurt when healing the party and that's what they don't like, not the amount.

+ Make consumable items that can heal him for the amount+ so that group heal + item usage will let him up his HP as long as player plans accordingly
This is a good idea as well. You do run into the problem of not having enough items and getting screwed, but that is an easy issue to avoid.

I love this idea, it's a really neat mechanic. I don't have a solid idea to give you, but as stated I believe the best approach to getting people more positively receptive to this is to make it a mechanic they don't have to struggle with or think very deeply about. If players have to go out of their way to prepare and over prepare for one character, eventually they'll lose interest and stop preparing.

And as @CleanWater stated, there will always be people who just won't like this mechanic at all, and sadly there's nothing you can do to make them like it even just a bit more. :(

I hope that helps even a little! :)
 

Finnuval

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Personally as a player i would have no issue with this mechanic.

However some ways to balance it a bit might be :

- ensuring that single target heals are powerful enough to be viable so players only go for multi-heal when the situation really demands it
- maybe have him not outright die by it (dropping to 1HP instead) and giving him selfheal skills like a drain HP that will always be last in turn

For instance, give him a 'spurn life' skill that makes him react to healing with a dark-elemental counterattack on your enemies.
he can't be revived midcombat through any method, but heals to full after every battle.
This two are also very good ideas, imo.

and as others have said already, those really hating it will hate it no matter what so... their loss xD
 

Restart

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One other option would also be to have a midgame upgrade where he starts to 'dodge' AoE healing spells from the group automatically. Skill, class feature, equipment, extensive training with the healer, whatever. (if this is sideview, playing a dodge animation would work visually, pop up a 'lich dodges' message in frontview battles or something like that).

You might want to give a couple of healer enemies a unique 'healing' attack that only targets him as a flavor thing. You'd have to do a little scripting, but I like the idea of an enemy healer targeting the lich with a heal, he dodges, and one of your other party members gets a little free healing. That seems like the type of little interaction that would help sell intelligent enemies, and make the reverse-healing thing pay off in an unexpected way.
 

PixeLockeT

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I am taking some of these into consideration. u wu

A thing I was considering that was similar to an idea here, and true to Dragon Quest fashion, is having the dude be able to be sacrificed in order to pull off a skill/buff/summon, so that "sacrificing" Zoma-sama for a turn or few would directly benefit the party in some way and may even turn the tide of battles if planned properly.
 

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