Limited Ability Slots vs All Known Abilities?

LordOfPotatos

Villager
Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2015
Messages
27
Reaction score
8
First Language
english
Primarily Uses
being trying to decide all day, is it better to have limited slots to juggle (like smt/persona or pokemon) or to let each character access everything they have like most RPGs?

for context I'm making a dungeon crawler with lots of characters to collect.
 

Nenen

Untested RPG storyteller
Veteran
Joined
Jul 3, 2019
Messages
62
Reaction score
145
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
'Better' is such a relative term. It depends on what you want your game to be like.

Though with the concept of collecting a lot of characters, it seems smart to limit the amounts of abilities each character can equip/have so you (meaning both as Developer and any Players) can manage them better.

Plus it can add the concept of preparing for your next fight by picking which abilities to have ready.

EDIT:
Though depending on how many characters you juggle through, having to pick their abilities as well might become a headache for players...
 

Frostorm

[]D[][]V[][]D aka "Staf00"
Veteran
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
2,020
Reaction score
1,706
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Lately, I've been debating this for my project as well. For context, actors will start w/ ~2 skills at lv1 but will slowly gain more, up to ~30 skills by lv50. I'm thinking of making it so they gain skill slots as they level up throughout the game, up to about 15 or 18 slots by end-game. That figure isn't final though. In fact, I've been thinking...with that many slots, is there's even a point to having skill slots at all?
 

TheoAllen

Self-proclaimed jack of all trades
Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2012
Messages
6,325
Reaction score
7,903
First Language
Indonesian
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Personally, I feel it fair to have a limited slot when we know what is up ahead.

For example, in a stage or mission-based game, you are only allowed to bring several weapons and abilities. And let you retry and experiment with what you have. In RPG, where something lies ahead is unknown, I prefer to bring anything I can.

So, if your dungeon crawlers are like, "stage select", and you know what lies ahead (or at least give a hint), then I probably won't mind the limited ability slot.
 

Nenen

Untested RPG storyteller
Veteran
Joined
Jul 3, 2019
Messages
62
Reaction score
145
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Personally, I feel it fair to have a limited slot when we know what is up ahead.
That's essentially the point with this sort of system. Preparation.
Otherwise it can feel needlessly constricting.

My recent playthrough of Dragon's Dogma has shown me a bit of that annoying side, as you can only change skills at certain locations, (though I do like their idea of changeable classes)
In that game though, you're only managing two characters. With the rest being less changeable/controllable.
 

AphoticAmaranth

An Ordinary Human
Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2020
Messages
37
Reaction score
25
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Imo, the only situation when I would prefer limited ability slots over all known abilities is when the list of all known abilities becomes too long to scroll through.
 

Frostorm

[]D[][]V[][]D aka "Staf00"
Veteran
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
2,020
Reaction score
1,706
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Imo, the only situation when I would prefer limited ability slots over all known abilities is when the list of all known abilities becomes too long to scroll through.
How many is too many though? Roughly speaking, ofc.
 

AphoticAmaranth

An Ordinary Human
Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2020
Messages
37
Reaction score
25
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
How many is too many though? Roughly speaking, ofc.

It would also depend on the layout of the skill selection window and the pacing of the game (is it a fast-paced ATB which requires quick decision making, or a turn-based game that requires more strategic thinking?), but generally I'd say about 20?

You could also shorten the list by subdividing your skills into different categories.
 

Milennin

"With a bang and a boom!"
Veteran
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
2,944
Reaction score
2,127
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Limited slots work if it lets you decide between different styles of gameplay, with none of the available options being unviable. But, if by limited, you mean like having to choose between a fire, water and earth spell and then get screwed in the next area if you picked wrong, then no. In that case, just have characters know everything.
 

Frostorm

[]D[][]V[][]D aka "Staf00"
Veteran
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
2,020
Reaction score
1,706
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Hmm...after much consideration, I may just get rid of skill slots after all. Cuz the player won't have ~30 skills until very late game. By then, the player ought to be familiar enough that it's not an issue, or at least I hope so lol.
 

Tiamat-86

old jrpg gamer
Veteran
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
970
Reaction score
432
First Language
english
Primarily Uses
RMMV
nobody going to bring up the potential with slot tiers?
actor A could have 5 weapon skill slots, 3 magic atk slots and 3 support ability slots.
while actor B could have 2weapon, 3m.atk and 6 support abilities.

skill slots good when just way to many skills to scroll through.
just a way to break a class into "build an archetype"
or when everyone has same skill pool and have it as sandbox class builds.
 
Last edited:

Frostorm

[]D[][]V[][]D aka "Staf00"
Veteran
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
2,020
Reaction score
1,706
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
nobody going to bring up the potential with slot tiers?
actor A could have 5 weapon skill slots, 3 magic atk slots and 3 support ability slots.
while actor B could have 2weapon, 3m.atk and 6 support abilities.

skill slots good when just way to many skills to scroll through.
just a way to break a class into "build an archetype"
or when everyone has same skill pool and have it as sandbox class builds.

That's my situation, basically. My project features a "blank slate" protagonist w/ a classless system that lets you mix and match all sorts of different spell/skill types.

But in regards to slot tiers...that reminds me of an RPG I was playing last night: Fell Seal. It gives you a single slot for "Counters" and 4 "Passive" slots, but the active abilities are bundled w/ the chosen class/subclass.
 

LordOfPotatos

Villager
Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2015
Messages
27
Reaction score
8
First Language
english
Primarily Uses
I think I have reached a conclusion: skill slots are awesome for high customization games but really bad for keeping characters distinct.

But I also came up with a way to have both: a new kind of equip called Cards (for now).
Cards grant 1 or 2 abilities and each character can equip at least 2, plus more depending on the character and some equipment that grants more Card slots.

So each character has both it's own pool of permanent abilities and a set of customized abilities you can play with. Literally have my cake and eat it too.

Puzzle solved, happy chemicals achieved, game design upgraded. Feels Good Man.
 

Nenen

Untested RPG storyteller
Veteran
Joined
Jul 3, 2019
Messages
62
Reaction score
145
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
I think I have reached a conclusion: skill slots are awesome for high customization games but really bad for keeping characters distinct.
Actually, Now that I think about it. Skill slots can be used to make a customizable class system.
This is what Dragon's Dogma was probably going for actually.
You could have Class-Specific Skills that they can choose from, so the distinction between Characters still applies without loosing out on the customization.

Though honestly I prefer the idea of using a limited skill slots system for some kind of battle preparation system. But that's just me feeling like that might be cool.
 

Latest Threads

Latest Profile Posts

I'm having toooo much fun designing the new MP (Mental Psyche) system. I've only worked it out for enemies so far, but it's fun to stun them, then go after their MP and delete them instead to farm for better item drops.
anyone know of a place I can promote my game? sorta like game awards but for indie devs, like a place where I can drop a trailer and like stir up some hype
Doing RPG Maker News for 17th October 2021

That moment when you came up with a very good game title, but when you searched it, it has already been used... T.T
Crazy week. My anxiety decides to go nutz. Worse thing about it is that it causes me to lose focus on my work. I was able to leave early one day and take a nap. Seemed to help. How is everyone? Boosters coming soon here. Get my life back on track again.

Forum statistics

Threads
115,874
Messages
1,093,657
Members
151,119
Latest member
raidans
Top