Elizabeth17

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Okay. Gonna try to keep this broad but my example is very precise but my question isn't about my example exactly,  but how a gamer would react to the core idea. Which is a magic system that is not 100% fixed or reliable.


In this case. My MC is a water magician and she pulls water  in to cast water spells. So, the idea is for like. A water acccessibility gauge. Like, there is a range in which she can pull water from. So the mechanic measuring the spire on the maps distance from water sources+ the amount of water she carries with her(since to counter we weakness she usually carries a pool of water near her always.) And when the battle begins, it counts the water in the area. Adding it to a water pool guage. And some spells being offlimits just because you don't have enough water to cast them. The system wouldn't deplete mid battle though, unless water damaging moves were used(fire for example.)


Tons of other factors could be in play. Such as  leveling up her ability to hold water, increasing her base guage. Or random factors like rain effecting an enviroment. Or being near the ocean(causing her water guage to reach  infinite.) Which could affect the way a player plays(goes the longer route but stays closer to water.) Heck even factos like breaking a water pipe in a building to increase your guage. Or, the player deciding to abandon her  true talent for other more realible magic. Or in thise case upgrading other magic and using the originally great water magic as an equal whenever the board allows it.


And of course it still magic,  so you could be surrounded by water and have no mana left! lol


Okay question. Would this be neat and clever and you would love playing around with the styles or would so many factors to just her one magic be maddening and make you drop the game?
 

matthew30903

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If the encounters can be manipulated, like lure them near a water source, and you keep the idea of other attack methods, it would be a great system. It rewards players for using their environment without being unfair, it also adds some idea on how magic works within the world. It is great to tie mechanics to narrative when possible.
 
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The only time 'variable' skill systems are truly frustrating is when its heavily luck based with no way to influence the result. Meaning as long as low water count doesn't give spells a chance to fail/miss (would rather you just disable the spell when too low) it wouldn't be too much of an issue especially if there is someway to increase the gauge as you described with breaking the pipes. 


By clearly indicating the gauge at all times and making the results predictable (i.e. you have 50% water then it raises to 75%, you'd expect the power of your spells to be stronger) the players will be able to plan their encounters


And as @matthew30903 mentioned, it would help if battles can be triggered smartly, such as visible enemies which 'patrol' to and from, passing a high water density area at least once each cycle.


Legend of Legacy does something similar with temples dotted across the map you can activate to change the elemental balance, as well as lakes and such that naturally effect this, you can also have a go at luring enemies to these 'zones of control' before triggering battle.
 

AMGLime

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Legend of Legacy popped into my head when you were talking about this. I could alter shrines around the map and if I was in the radius of the shrine that element was empowered. I was also thinking of Pokemon in that they could make it rain, and then cause her spells to be empowered and constantly pull from the rain. I think you have a great idea, and I would love to see how you make this work.
 

Canini

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Seems like a really interesting idea, expecially if you can find a way to use the scenery to their advantage without making it seem overpowered. I am thinking of the final fantasy geomancer class that can cast spells based on the environment. This idea gives players a greater degree of strategy control over what happens. Try not to fall into the geomancer class trap where you get into a water based dungeon filled with water based enemies and you only get water based spells to fight them with as a result of the environment.
 
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Pierman Walter

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With an ability like this, it's very easy to make it game-breakingly powerful. If the player can just power smash their way through any enemy if they stay near the coastline, put some important objectives inland. Another interesting thing to do is to make water available everywhere, but in difficult to find places, so that creative players can break into men's bathhouses, botanical gardens, and seafood restaurants for water instead of resorting to other forms of combat.
 

Dr. Delibird

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I think the main issue I have with variance in a skills power or useability is that most of the time it is not worth it.


In pokemon their are these moves that hit 2-5 times (averaging at 3). Now outside of pokemon with the ability skill link (which forces these moves to hit 5 times) these moves are generally just outclassed. 
 

Engr. Adiktuzmiko

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Personally it's an idea that have crossed my mind before.. If done nicely it's a really good system, but if done poorly it will be pure nuisance to the player.

I was also thinking of Pokemon in that they could make it rain, and then cause her spells to be empowered and constantly pull from the rain. I think you have a great idea, and I would love to see how you make this work.



and I like bringing a pokemon that has Thunder when I fight enemies that causes rain because Thunder is 100% hit during rain, and since most pokemon if not all that has rain move or rain inducing abilities are water type, this is super fatal counter to them. XD
 
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Adam1013

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This is a really cool idea. I agree with @Engr. Adiktuzmiko, that's the first thing I thought of. I think this system would be difficult to incorporate other characters into your party (if you planned to) because it does seem like a pretty large focus of management. Might be hard to make the other characters as interesting / unique in the same scope without being so much to manage.
 

LightningLord2

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slightly relevant


If you want this to be a primary mechanic, consider having party members use different elements that are more/less difficult to hold in various environments. A fire mage would thrive inside the volcano but be hampered in a tundra. An earth mage can do wonders on a mountain and struggles on a boat ride. And a wind mage would do well in wide open places but be crippled inside a cave (enclosed spaces tend not to have wind).


How about simply tying her water access to her MP? An area with a fountain for instance could give her MP regen while a particularly arid area like a desert or even a volcano could gradually delepete MP due to water evaporating. If you still insist on using MP as a resource (probably if there's magic that doesn't require a power source nearby), you can have TP become the water access, using TP modes to control their gain/loss better.
 

Lord Semaj

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Great, so party members that are useless a fraction of the time.  That actually annoys players that grow attached to them.
 

kaukusaki

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Great, so party members that are useless a fraction of the time.  That actually annoys players that grow attached to them.

That sounds like an interesting challenge!  If other party members are nerfed in some way they can still use weapons and/or support skills. Think outside the box ? restrictions breed creativity 
 

Engr. Adiktuzmiko

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 If other party members are nerfed in some way they can still use weapons and/or support skills. Think outside the box ? restrictions breed creativity 



Unless the game is solely focused on this mechanic. XD


Restrictions do breed creativity but too much restrictions breed angry players :)
 
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LightningLord2

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I do like the idea of restricting certain skills by area, but only if the system is built from the ground up to support this. You could have a fight by a dried-up river very early that is really hard, but you can break a nearby dam to have a bigger source of water, making the battle much more manageable (make sure the player can run).


Also, introducing other elemental mages means you have to think about what you do. Coming back to a jungle area when its raining is good for the water mage, but your fire caster will not have a good time.
 

Elizabeth17

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Thanks everyone! Sorry for the late reply.


@Pierman Walter


In a sense, even the coastline can't make you immortal. Sure the water gauge would be maxed. But the you would also have a mana guage. So if you used the best moves to just crush little guys. Then your mana would drain quick. Also I think it has a bit of a FFX situation. In the last level you fight your own Aeons and that can be insane if you focused highly on them and not yourself. So if you did somehow manage to push through the game relaying only on OP water situations, the end might get super hard super fast as the game cuts those options off a few times.


@Adam1013


In this games case the goal is to insert you as this girl and to try and get you to think like her and play as her. So the elements of water are defintely one sided. But I would love multilaying this concept for the bigger game, to allow more freedom but yeah that would be way harder. Funny enough, for this game. I think the other characters work perfectly for Elizabeth story. There is a handfull of characters that are meant to be like mentors, so essentially they have their niches but to make up for the game not having a super involved magical system around them would probably be a stat boast. As if they are always 5+ levels higher than Elizabeth to give them that mentor feel.


The only other character in the game(who is permanetely a team memember as eventually you will have to pick which mentors you keep) has a unique sense of magic too but it is not magic based which I think makes it a perfect match. She is like iron man, or has a tech suit. So her abilities would be swapable in the pause menu. And you could build her to add the water girl, or be her own beater. Which would probably make her the key player to help you if your version of the water girl can't quite hack it. Or at least that is my idea currently.


@LightningLord2


What is a TP?


And yeah. My idea would be to build the game ground up from this mechanic. Like to name a few ideas.


1. I was thinking of having a scripted rain moment. Where it would rain during a tough battle, but appear random. Because random rain would be a factor in the game. Just so you could potentially have a moment where you are like. "Crap gonna die, No! RAIN! YES! THANK YOU WHOEVER DID THAT!" lol. Which is why I would want the one scripted moment to not make it obvious it is scripted.


2. Both in map mode and battle mode should have ways to adjust the water guage just to varing degrees given the environment. The goal is to teach you to think like her and plan accordingly but at the same time that means restrictions have to be placed too because you can't just be like. "move one is always gathering more water." I think a funny concept would actually be to have the fire user hit the sprinkler system to help her. lol. As an example of a in battle watet guage modification.


@Lord Semaj


Potentially! It really is player choice on skill points. Essentially I see 3 core options.


1. Put everything into water, making her near godlike when she has enough water but worthless without it.


2. Screw water and put everything into everything else. Making her pretty decent away from water and slightly better near water.


3. Even pool allowing her to be functional out of water but significally better when near water.


Also the game is built around water. lol. So its not often gonn be a zero water gauge. The question is more, how can you wisely use the limited resource effectively in the situation.


 
 
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