Monster Catching Mechanics

HeathRiley

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Hello everyone! A while ago we had a thread going on ways for monsters in games to evolve or power up.
Today I wanted to see what people thought with the actual mechanic of catching a monster to add to your
team.

Acquiring monsters can usually be done a number of ways: trade, gift, catch, defeat, breed. The methods I
wanted to discuss and possibly spice up with everyone is more on the the catching and defeating end of the
spectrum. Most people are familiar with Pokemon and needing to weaken a monster before using a type of
item to try and capture it, but why not think outside the box, if nothing more than but for a mental exercise.

This leads us to two very simple possibilities, defeating the monster, and/or using a skill or item. Those sound
simple at first but there are many ways to make them more detailed and dynamic. Do you need to defeat
the monster with a specific skill, is that skill very weak? What would you need to add to make this challenging
and fun to the player?

SMT (Shin Megami Tensei) has a very unique system of actually bargaining with a monster
after defeating it. This leads to: possibly no gains at all, money, items, more fighting, or the monster joining you. In the game
Disgaea 5, you used a specific skill you could power up, and if that skill defeated the enemies, you took them
prisoner and could either add them to your team, or weaken them to power up your allies. I feel like these
games added something unique without making catching something that would be overly bothersome.

I would love to hear opinions on what you all find fun. I believe battling is usually a key part because that
often times has to do with what the game is about (monster fighting), which feels very natural. Do you think
there needs to be more than that to make a game challenging, or would that possibly make capturing too
much of a chore. I personally like the idea of battling and using a specific skill, with many things effecting that
skill such as traits, class, armor. Much like being able to power up the capture ability in Disgaea 5. I have not
covered everything and would love to leave this conversation very open to hear what others think and would
enjoy in a monster catching game!
 
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Ellie Jane

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I kinda like the Final Fantasy VII way, where instead of defeating the enemy to capture them you're instead feeding them and making them want to join you (chocobos). So you could deal damage and defeat the enemy. But if you instead nurture them you end up winning them over. That works later on when they become a pet or familiar because then they'd want to fight with you.

That could be combined with having to beat them of course, maybe you have to get them down to 10% of their life points to be able to feed them.

It doesn't feel right to KO the creature before capturing it though because it wouldn't be much use to you then.
 

Vincent Chu

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I'm also reminded of the Safari in the Pokemon series where you just throw either rocks, bait or Safari balls although the mechanic isn't exactly the same.
FF Tactics also has the entice skill which seems to have random success rates.
Those two are a bit too random for my liking though.
I came up with a way to justify recruiting KO'd/dead monsters in that one and potentially more of my allies could be deceased characters/spirits capable of possessing corpses of monsters but also considered maybe just weakened monsters or monsters that haven't been overkilled.
I also came across a trailer for a game with a merciful combat system where you can heal an enemy and I think she joins after a conversation.
I've also thought of maybe a teleportation skill where you teleport monsters into a prison and then perhaps giving them gifts to soothe their initial hostility and then turning them into familiars later on.
 

HeathRiley

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@Amy Pond I fondly remember FF7, as one of my first playstation games and first game to really get me into RPG games.
It led me to play FF6, FFT, and Xenogears, which kind of sealed my love for the genre. I remember catching and breeding
chocobos to get the gold chocobo for racing and globetrotting.

I definitely agree that there could be a combination of fighting and soothing, perhaps with other effects (like trying to earn
the enemy skill chocobuckle). I could think of several way to accomplish this: specific items for breeds or special monsters,
needing to heal a certain amount with special move/item, or even soothing multiple times to remove some states that when are
gone trigger the capture. What would you like to see in terms of soothing to recruit a monster for a monster fighting game.

Thanks for adding a great bit to this conversation!

@Vincent Chu I liked in that FFT gave you options with monsters. Choice to defeat, snipe, recruit. FFTA adding morphing
at some point I think.

Safari was interesting as it was the same idea but different mechanics, and gave you a chance to get different monsters.
I think options and rewarding doing optional stuff is great. Your monster prison idea is a lot like the Disgaea 5 capture
and I think its a neat idea of doing something different.

I believe your pointed out the importance of offering different ideas, to keep things from getting stale. Thanks!
 

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