Making an engaging warrior class

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by Errant_Tempest, Nov 23, 2018.

  1. Errant_Tempest

    Errant_Tempest Roo Dude Member

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    So, warrior type characters tend to get the short end of the stick in games. Usually, they're just big lumbering fighters but aside from my main character with a paladin like skillset, what can I do to make my warriors more engaging?
     
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  2. Engr. Adiktuzmiko

    Engr. Adiktuzmiko Chemical Engineer, Game Developer, Using BlinkBoy' Veteran

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    It all comes down to the overall feel and balance of your game. If they tend to be the short end, it means either they are too useless or the other classes were just too great.. Practically, the solution method would be:

    1) Find why your warrior isnt engaging enough
    2) Adjust the warrior and/or the game based on your finding in number 1

    Like if the warrior's skillset is too single unit focused, while mages are multi target focused and your game has too much multi enemy fights, its probably time to give your warrior some multi target skill (since reducing your multi enemy fights will put down your mage utility, and I'd rather avoid that).

    If most enemies have high physical reduction, making your mages the preferred class, then adjust your enemy stats and/or make some enemies with less physical reduction to balance it out.

    And so on...
     
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  3. Saboera

    Saboera Veteran Veteran

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    Techniques, Stances, Weapon Swaps come to mind as things you could potentially explore.

    Technique Examples
    • Applying oil to the weapon and then lighting it on fire.
    • Making enemies vulnerable to further physical attacks.
    • Stunning an enemy with a pommel strike.
    • Disarming an enemy, reducing their offense.
    Stances Examples
    • Having a trade off in stats, like increasing defense while lowering offense.
    • Increasing specific types of resistances for a turn.
    • Taunting effects, forcing an enemy to strike the warrior.
    • Unlocking skills unique to a stance while blocking skills in another stance.
    Weapons Swaps

    Fighter types could equip multiple weapons and swap between them while in battle.
    Like say, you face skeletons, piercing dmg is useless, slashing dmg is reduced but crushing dmg greatly increased.

    That's just the tip of the possibilities.
     
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  4. Uzuki

    Uzuki Kawaii on the streets, Senpai in the sheets Veteran

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    I always like to give my warrior type classes skills that have high chances of causing an status ailments like lowering attack/defense, poison, stun, etc.Or have them be able to buff the entire party while other classes get single buff skills. A cover mechanic or draw aggro skill are good too. Just depends on what you think a current party could always use or have them do stuff that other classes aren't doing or what they need.
     
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  5. Grunwave

    Grunwave Veteran Veteran

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    ET,

    In your mind, what differentiates a warrior from a paladin? I feel like I could offer better guidance if I knew this.
     
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  6. Errant_Tempest

    Errant_Tempest Roo Dude Member

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    A paladin has magic while the warrior typically doesn't.
     
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  7. RetroExcellent

    RetroExcellent Pixelated Avatar of Chaos Veteran

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    A good way to make a purely physical character more engaging is to allow them some utility. As said above changing weapons or lowering stats. I also like to make my physical characters faster and attack more often. It takes less time to hit someone with something than it does to cast a spell or use a skill.

    You can also go the FFIX route and give your warrior a combo attack with your mages.
     
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  8. Grunwave

    Grunwave Veteran Veteran

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    Too vague =(

    So in my mind, paladins use healing magic to augment their ability to tank.

    On paper, warriors should be better tanks, since they cannot heal in between fights.

    In my current project, warriors deal more damage than paladins to help make-up for the heal disparity.

    In FF1, warriors had a separate tier of weapons and armor just for them.
     
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  9. jonthefox

    jonthefox Veteran Veteran

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    depends on the type of warrior class you're talking about. as many have said, a "knight" type class is a tank, so he should have active defensive options as well as utility in the form of crowd control, taunting enemies, covering for allies, and maybe even party buffs. This makes him a very engaging class.

    if you're talking about a barbarian...they usually have skills that sacrifice defensive ability for a greater damage pay-off.

    but keep in mind, there are some players out there who prefer to brute force their way through battles, mashing attack and not having to worry about using a wide variety of skills. the generic warrior class often caters to this type of player fantasy. often a game is designed such that meaningful skill options and optimal use are necessary for tough battles - but these types of players usually LIKE grinding when necessary (more attack spam!) until they're strong enough to wack their way through the next dungeon.
     
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  10. Eschaton

    Eschaton Hack Fraud Veteran

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    I said it in another thread, but a Warrior ought to be designed entirely around the Attack command. Every skill the Warrior learns ought to modify the effectiveness of the Attack command, whether it increases Critical Hit rate, Accuracy, number of Attacks, chance to Stun, what have you.

    If you'd ask me more, I'd say these skills should be passive, allowing Warriors to be Attack-Spam-Bots. When I say "passive," I mean, the Warrior should have no reason to go about using the "Skills" menu because the effect of the passive skill is already applied to the Warrior when the actor learns the skill. Or you could go for a support ability system like in Kingdom Hearts or Final Fantasy IX.

    The Warrior should be all about Attack! Attack! Attack! allowing other classes to be more nuanced and have different-feeling gameplay.

    If you want a more nuanced Warrior, I still stand by the Attack-augmenting skillset, in addition to skills or perks which increase the Warrior's Defense, Speed, Attack, Hit Points. A Warrior's primary tool besides their weapon is their body. As they become a more skilled combatant, they also become a more accomplished athlete.

    tl;dr - passively buff physical stats as they level up and don't even bother with active skills; just make the Attack command more effective.

    But that's just me.
     
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  11. Seirein

    Seirein Veteran Veteran

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    In my current project, I do have a warrior-esque character. But I disliked it in other games where you'd have party members with magic and then a party member who only had Attack, such as Dragon Quest II. So my warrior character does have magic and still gets the most powerful weapons and armor, with many exclusive to her, but she gets fewer spells than the rest of the cast.

    You could also take inspiration from Lufia II's IP Attack system, where most weapons and armor have abilities the wielder can use via IP which is built when taking damage. Perhaps the warrior is the only character who can use these abilities, or perhaps the warrior does more damage with these abilities or their meter for these abilities builds faster.
     
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  12. Aesica

    Aesica undefined Veteran

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    The skills he/she has depends on the type of warrior you're trying to make:
    • Sword-and-boarder: Assuming this is meant to be a tank, you have two possible approaches here: 1) the FF1 approach, where the character just sits in slot one or has a passive increased chance to be targeted, naturally high defense, and they just kind of...do their thing by existing. 2) The more interesting approach is to give them abilities relevant to this role: a taunt, a self recover, a self damage mitigation skill, and soforth. That way, the player has to actively manage the class's tanking abilities instead of just getting those benefits for free. Other things, such as a shield bash type attack (damage scaling with def instead of atk and/or chance to stun the target, etc) are nice as well
    • Melee damage dealer: Mages don't just get magic missile, so why should warriors just have Attack? Give them stronger attacks with MP/TP/whatever costs attached. Maybe an area attack or a multi-hit attack. Stat debuff attacks work well on warrior-type characters. Self or party-wide buffs to attack and/or defense certainly can work, too.
    • Spellblade/magic warrior: Should be a bit easier--elemental attacks, hp/mp drain attacks, status ailment attacks, etc.
    Just gotta be creative. :3
     
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  13. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    What I did in my game was I made the warrior class designed around self buffs (or self skills) and skills to overwhelm opponents, with a few special attack skills like a Whrlwind Attack (hits all enemies with a standard attack). That seems to have worked so far.
     
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  14. M.I.A.

    M.I.A. Goofball Extraordinaire Veteran

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    A Warriors job is to deal damage and take damage.. and/or mitigate damage via buffs etc.

    One thing I like to do for my "Warrior" class is to encourage different types of battle strats via variable skills and stacking damages.
    I won't go into full details.. but here are a couple examples of Damage Dealing skills and Damage Tanking skills:

    Damage Dealing:
    - Ravage: This attack increases Base Damage by 10% each time it's used in succession to a maximum of 5 uses, Upon the 6th use, the Warrior unleashes an attack on all foes equal to the cumulative increases, bypassing defenses, but then takes a turn to rest.
    - Intimidating Strike: This single target attack raises the Warriors base damage by 200%, but has a 50% chance to miss. If the attack misses, The target is stunned for 1 turn, and the Warriors next attack is a guaranteed Critical Hit.

    Damage Defending:
    - Sleepy Sentinel: The Warrior takes a nap to gain Regen for up to 5 turns, however, if the Warrior takes physical damage during his nap, the Warrior awakes with a counter attack that deals 200% base damage
    - Pure Guardian: The Warrior is unable to attack for 4 turns and is put into a Defensive state. During this time, the Warrior can Cover all incoming Physical damage targeted at Allies, and counters each instance with a Counter Attack that deals 1/2 Base Damage while also applying the Taunt state to the attacking foe.

    Like I said, without going into too much detail about stats, states, and my projects balancing.. those are just a couple skill examples I use for my Warrior. :)

    I hope this is helpful!
    -MIA
     
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  15. Lady-J

    Lady-J Badlander Veteran

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    Maybe give the warrior the ability to switch weapons on the fly with different weapons for different situations. Polearms for big sweeps that hitting many enemies, hammers to crush armor, stuff like that.
     
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  16. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    I think it has less to do with the Warrior Class itself... and more to do with the combat that the Warrior is going to be doing.

    You can give a Warrior type character every cool and interesting skill in the game... every nifty stat... every powerful buff... But, if that Warrior has zero opportunity or incentive to ever use them... Then why bother?

    Consider for a moment:

    A tank has "Cover". They can guard another character from damage for a few turns... usually if their health is low. Okay, what opportunities will your Tank (Warrior) ever have to use it? Will there ever be a point in combat where using "Cover" is the solution to the fight? Or, is just a vague option a player can decide to use if they think it's necessary? If it's "vague option", then you need a redesign of your combat and monsters and troops and enemy skills.

    You need to take a look at the strengths of your warriors, no matter what you do with them, and find ways to make the player use those strengths. As often as possible.

    What about an Attack Buff? How useful is that really? Is there ever a situation in combat that can only be solved by using that buff? Is spending that turn to buff yourself or allies worth it? Ever? Is it the difference between winning or losing? Is it only useful in combat with a Boss Monster? Or, is it just a vague option the player can use if they want?

    Again, if it's a vague option, your combat system needs a redesign.

    What your Warriors can do in combat largely depends on your Monsters, your Troops, and your Enemy Skills. Not necessarily on what skills or stats you give your Warriors. Combat needs to be built around the potential of your Warriors in order to make them interesting at all. Otherwise, it's just "mash attack to win" or "spam best skill to win".

    I have 3 Warrior Classes. They all do vastly different things and affect the flow of combat differently. However, there are instances where one would be better than another. Where a fight would be cake-walk with one... and a struggle with another. There are enemies that set up instances where a player can use some of their skills in combat reliably. There are enemies specifically weak to what certain Warrior Classes can do.

    If you want any "Class" to be interesting or useful in a game you're designing, you need to be looking at your combat system first. How can you tweak combat to make what they do fun? Or useful? Or less an option and more an advantage worth exploiting?
     
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  17. Seirein

    Seirein Veteran Veteran

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    You're saying that a game that gives you the option to have one party member cover others, but doesn't create a situation where Cover is the explicit answer to a situation, is poor design. But what if you get into that situation that specifically demands the Cover ability -- and you don't have it available?

    A good game will demand the player find a strategy that works, but won't expect them to magically know the only tactic that the boss is designed around. If a fight can become a "cake-walk" with a specific class but a "struggle" with another, how is the player supposed to know that before ever encountering that battle? Why create situations in which one specific tool is meant to be what players are meant to counter with, rather than creating a variety of useful skills that aren't overly-situational and letting the player figure out the approach that works best for them?
     
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  18. Engr. Adiktuzmiko

    Engr. Adiktuzmiko Chemical Engineer, Game Developer, Using BlinkBoy' Veteran

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    I think what he means is not really that you're required to use it (cover) but rather just that you might actually find a use for it. Basically, the difference between an option and a viable option. I've played a lot of games, and in all of them that has a character that has a cover ability, I never found it viable as the character that has it can do other things that produce better effects overall.

    Basically, there should be an actual possible strategy that uses those skills rather than they just exist for existence's sake.

    You don't. How in the world will a player know how to defeat a monster before fighting it? That just doesn't make sense. Unless of course you're reading a game guide

    And yes, there shouldn't be just a single strategy that works. That sucks.
     
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  19. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    Not what I meant. I said, "will there ever be a point where Cover is the solution to a fight?". Right? That means, it's viable. It's useful. It is the reason you might win this fight. Not using it might be the reason you lose another fight.

    It is poor design to have a combat system in which your skills are pointless. If a player doesn't use a skill or a character... those things are pointless. You need to have good game design and consider what strategies could be employed. What possible uses for things in combat there are.

    It isn't enough to just have "options". Every option you have needs to also be "a solution". Because, if all you have are options and you have no solutions... Players will gravitate towards a single overriding facet of every single game... that makes games boring. Optimization. "Mashing attack to win". Because it's the most optimal thing to do. It requires the fewest turns, the fewest resources, and executes the fastest.

    Why use "Cover" if I can just use a Potion instead? Why have Cover if I have a full party "Barrier" skill that reduces all damage by 25%?

    Etcetera.

    You need to design a combat system in which whatever skills you decide a class will have... whatever stats they have... are useful. Where these things are solutions and not options.

    I have to disagree. A player will never know an optimal strategy for beating anything... unless you make your game so amazingly easy that combat is boring and players won't want to do it (which is me in like 99% of all RPG's ever created)… or they're using a guide.

    As for struggle... Why do you see that as bad? Some players enjoy a "struggle" type battle... where they survive through their own wits and choices and tactics... (also called Player Skill) instead of having a game that's designed so that it can be beaten easily with anyone and anything. I, for one, enjoy flexing my "Player Skill". I enjoy being able to adopt a strategy, discover a strategy, swap things in and out for a solution, and finding one.

    What is wrong with a player struggling in combat? Should they never struggle? I don't believe this is a good solution to anything. I don't believe in participation trophies. A player should be encouraged to make good decisions or to find good solutions when they've made bad choices.

    Personally, I have dozens of options for players to figure out how to complete some of my boss encounters, or how to fight many normal encounters. A party in my game can have a complete disadvantage against a boss they're fighting, but have options and choices and tools to try to figure out a way to shore up that disadvantage. Equipment. Skills. Personal Choices for leveling up those Skills. Consumables. Skill interplay. Elements. Stats. Etcetera.

    It's about creating a combat system in which some options are inherently better... but aren't better most of the time. Namely, any option you present in the game should only be good in one third of every situation to encourage tactics, player skill, strategy, and thinking during combat instead of just mashing "attack". You should not be afraid of your player seeing the "Game Over" screen once or twice a boss monster. Or, in smashing your boss monster without taking a lot of damage because they made the right choices.

    Combat should reward Skilled Play. It should not reward you simply for playing the game.

    Without Skilled Play... you have just a Warrior with lots of options players will never use. Barrier? Why use that? If I hit "Attack" and kill you before you can hit me, I don't need "Barrier" to buff my team. "Cover"? Why use that? If I can just cast Curaga, then that's more effective than defending other party members. Taunt? Who cares if I can just hit "Attack" and end the encounter before any enemy even attacks me? Turtle up and boost HP and Defense? Why? I'll just use my mage to nuke the enemy with Ultra Mega Super Flare 10.5 in the first round and then pop a consumable.

    You need to design your combat system around the classes. To specifically hurt certain classes. To specifically allow certain classes to shine. To promote certain tactics and skills. To get the player to recognize things beyond "spam best attacks" are useful.

    Otherwise, it doesn't matter how you've designed your classes or how anyone else has done it. The moment I can mash "Attack" in your combat system or spam the best spells... Your classes have fallen on their faces. They've become useful for a single command and will beat the game using it.

    That's the take-away. Designing combat around your classes and not the other way around. Making every stat, skill, and piece of equipment either helpful or harmful to every encounter, every boss. You do not design an "impossible" to win encounter with any party composition. You simply design so that a wrong party composition requires the player obtain and use Player Skill to win those combats... or be forced to fall back to what will work best.

    The other option is simply to fall in line with the 99% of RPG's that are 'easy mode' and in which the vast majority of skills and states and elements and features and passives are... well... Pointless and suboptimal.
     
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  20. woootbm

    woootbm Super Sand Legend Veteran

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    For me it's about interactivity, or lack thereof. Oftentimes warriors are all about passives and basic attacks (like version 2 DnD), and that sucks. I want every class to feel like it has something to do in a fight, and a set of tools to handle certain situations. I need buttons to press, decisions to make. If all I'm doing is pressing attack and getting hit, I'm bored.
     
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