No weapons to equip?

captainette777

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Hi all, I kinda had a small epiphany when playtesting my game: I have a brief tutorial in my game where the player learns how to
approach and battle enemies. Before they approach the enemy however, there are 3 items laid before them on the map-- a healing potion, some gold, and a weapon to equip. The player would equip it and fight the monster standing before them. The thing is, when I playtested again and skipped the items to the fight, I noticed my character would still do ridiculous amounts of damage without the weapon.

This crushed me at first, because it seems like there's a massive balancing issue. Or maybe it's normal, since that enemy was so weak and it's meant to be an early monster to kill. But then I got an idea--why not just remove weapons entirely? Or just have one
main weapon for that character that they can augment to do different types of damage or have skills attached? It could cut out the middle man of buying weapons or upgrading. What do you think?
 

Milennin

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In my game, RTP, I don't have weapons nor armour for any of the characters, and it works out just fine. Game's purely based on skills, not equipment. It just really depends on what you want for your game; how do you want to define player progress?
 

onipunk

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Similarly to Milennin, my current project doesn't use any weapons or armour at all, and is entirely skill-based (there isn't even an option for standard attacks during battles), but the main question when deciding to eliminate weapons and equips is one of depth and progression. People like discovering shiny new trinkets as they go through the game, and they like seeing their numbers go up and feeling like they're becoming more badass, so skill unlocks will have to be paced similarly, or you'll need to have other ways of adding skills to the player's arsenal as the game goes on to replicate that sense of progression. And removing the multitude of weapons available in a normal RPG means that there is a hole in the game's depth, so you'd need to make up for it by including varied and unique skills. At the same time, though, excising all of that and focussing purely on skills is a hard balancing act in itself - if they're going to be your primary mode of combat, they need to be cheap so that you can use them in every battle, and also not overpowered enough that the game becomes a breeze.

In essence, I felt okay removing the weapons from my game for several reasons: 1) It's a turn-based strategy RPG, so there's additional depth created by mechanics inherent in that system that aren't offered by traditional RPG combat - movement, positioning, etc; 2) the characters can only equip five skills at one time, given by items that can be found, obtained as rewards, or crafted, ensuring they're always uncovering new skills; 3) equipping only five skills allows a degree of player expression, in that they get to choose which skills to bring into battle and how that character plays, similarly to choosing their loadout of equipment, and; 4) it's a very streamlined, lighthearted game feel I'm going for, and not having to take care of a bunch of numbers is part of the game's goal. There's enough depth in the game created by having it be an SRPG and by having such a wide variety of skills that equipment and standard attacks are superfluous, and also don't fit the streamlined game I'm trying to offer.

Ask yourself what experience you're aiming to offer, and be honest with yourself about your abilities. If you're after something more traditional, stick with equips. If you want to offer something different, and you believe you have the skills to make progression and balancing work in a game without equips, and feel you can make the skills diverse and interesting enough to make people want to explore the system, then go for it.
 

gstv87

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I noticed my character would still do ridiculous amounts of damage without the weapon.
it could be that the damage formulas for attacks are not taking the enemy's defense into account.
 

captainette777

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it could be that the damage formulas for attacks are not taking the enemy's defense into account.
Yeah, but I'm mentioning the default attack itself, with the common formula of a.atk * 4 - b.def * 2.
 

Countyoungblood

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Nerf character power and buff weapon power. If different weapons use different formulas or have different speed or crit chance or elemental allignment there is a point to having weapons since its a way of flavoring every skill used with said weapon its two layers.. if weapons are just increasingly larger they function as a bottleneck. When you reach town 3 you can buy upgradeSword3 but not until then..
 

gstv87

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Yeah, but I'm mentioning the default attack itself, with the common formula of a.atk * 4 - b.def * 2.
check for elements and resistances, or buffs.
if we're talking about a plain bare-hands attack against a naked enemy, the numbers must add up.
if the event doesn't output what the formula specifies, then there's a bonus being added somewhere else.
 

Aesica

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While you could go the no-weapons/armor route, one thing to consider is that gear upgrades are generally meant as a form of progression alongside leveling. If you do it right, it can also add another layer of strategy--for example, "this boss killed me last time with some brutal magic, let's try this magic-resistant armor!" It feels pretty good to find a gear upgrade in a treasure chest while exploring some out-of-the-way section of a dungeon, right? Especially if that weapon has some extra attribute to it, such as a sword that does holy damage or a staff that lets the equipping character "use" it for a spell-like effect of some kind. One thing I have to give RPGMaker credit for is they really give you a lot of ways to make weapons and armor do cool, interesting things instead of just being the stat sticks that early RPG gear was.

I guess my point is that leaving out gear takes away from the depth of a game's progression system, so if you plan on going that route, make sure you have something even better to fill the void.
 

captainette777

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While you could go the no-weapons/armor route, one thing to consider is that gear upgrades are generally meant as a form of progression alongside leveling. If you do it right, it can also add another layer of strategy--for example, "this boss killed me last time with some brutal magic, let's try this magic-resistant armor!" It feels pretty good to find a gear upgrade in a treasure chest while exploring some out-of-the-way section of a dungeon, right? Especially if that weapon has some extra attribute to it, such as a sword that does holy damage or a staff that lets the equipping character "use" it for a spell-like effect of some kind. One thing I have to give RPGMaker credit for is they really give you a lot of ways to make weapons and armor do cool, interesting things instead of just being the stat sticks that early RPG gear was.

I guess my point is that leaving out gear takes away from the depth of a game's progression system, so if you plan on going that route, make sure you have something even better to fill the void.
Yeah now that some time has gone by, I've decided to have one unique weapon with the ability to augment and change constantly for each class. Way more fun and interesting to toy with!:guffaw:
 

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