Poll on Timed Attacks

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CalebW, Mar 24, 2019.

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Timed Attacks

  1. Hate Them

    16 vote(s)
    39.0%
  2. Love Them

    9 vote(s)
    22.0%
  3. I'll Deal With Them

    16 vote(s)
    39.0%
  1. Aesica

    Aesica undefined Veteran

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    I'll be blunt here...I'm not a fan of timed attacks at all. It can be tolerable for rare, super-powerful attacks, but if I have to do it for every attack and/or every time my characters are attacked, it's going to get really old really fast. Back in the days of Flash games, I enjoyed an RPG series called Mardek because of its clever story, character development, and writing. However, I really hated the battles because nearly everything was a timed attack or timed defend. Despite liking the series, I never finished it because that one element was so undesirable.

    If I was browsing steam for rpgmaker games and I saw "timed attack system" featured, I'd probably skip the game unless it looked amazing in a lot of other ways. And even then, I'd hope it was an MV game so I could kinda...go into the scripts and cut that part out. ;)
     
    #21
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  2. JosephSeraph

    JosephSeraph White Mage Restaff

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    I think it can be done well, but i hate most implementations of it i've seen so far. I'm open to trying more games that use these sorts of inputs however! If I feel it's thoughtful.

    Valkyrie Profile is a (very wildly different) example of timed attacks system that feels like it belongs to the battle system, and not some tacked on thing the author put there because they think rpgs are inherently boring and they need to de-rpg their game
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
    #22
  3. PaybacK

    PaybacK Fire Crazed Veteran

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    I don't mind them for special abilities, like in FF8 or FF10. But for regular attacks it's a bit tedious.
     
    #23
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  4. MushroomCake28

    MushroomCake28 KAMO Studio Veteran

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    Hmm, I'm pretty much indifferent to them. I've implement it for my regular attacks in my project at first. The idea was to make it so you can only recover TP by successfully doing the timed attack on the regular attack, making it a bit more dynamic and giving the regular attack command a purpose (since once you get strong skills there's no point in using "attack"). At first it was alright, but after hundred of hours of testing and playing, it became a bit tedious. From the feedback I received, I'd say 1/3 liked it, 1/3 was indifferent, 1/3 hated it. Ultimately I removed it, and no one felt as something was missing.
     
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  5. TwilightFaze

    TwilightFaze The First Pangaean Member

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    Eh...I'm ok with them, but I have poor reflexes for this kind of thing in Legend of Dragoon. I think it depends on the game. Some have them done very well (as evidenced by SRD's plugin) while others have the timing be complete guesswork. While it's fun to have, developers have to balance it with the rest of their game to make sure it's not gimicky. After all, too many plugins and features can actually make a good game bad.
     
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  6. Draygone

    Draygone Veteran Veteran

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    I like them, but of course, it depends on how they're handled.

    In Super Mario RPG, they were pretty mindless. You just pressed the A button during your attack or an enemy's attack. There was no guage you had to perfectly time to. And while there was an ideal "perfect timing", it at least gave you partial credit for trying. And special attacks were either the same deal, or they invovled rapidly pressing the attack button or rotating the D-pad. Either way, pretty simple, and I like 'em

    In Paper Mario, timed attacks got an upgrade, because now you had meters for a lot of attacks. It was less forgiving about timing, but the methods of getting the timing at least had more variety -- using the analogue stick, trying to fill a guage, pressing a sequence of buttons, or just simple "hit the A button" again. And I liked it here, too. It kept the battles interesting, but was simple enough and quick enough to still be enjoyable.

    Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door was a furthur upgrade, adding even more variety of methods for boosting your attacks, adding mystery button timings for bonus points, as well as making an optional counter-attack timing for those skilled enough. A lot more going on, but still pretty simple to grasp. And then there are the star attacks, which are kinda like minigames. These take longer to perform, and would definitely get tiring if overused, but your star power is limited, so you didn't really have the opportunity to overuse them. As a result, it was kinda cool to use them.

    But then we get to the Mario & Luigi series. Specifically from Mario & Luigi 2: Partners In Time and beyond. This is where I feel timed attacks falter. Basic attacks, okay, they're mindless "press A at the right time" attacks. But ALL of your special attacks are minigames, and you use them a lot, especially in boss fights. Additionally, more often than not, you're repeatedly using the same one or two special attacks over and over, and it gets tiring. It's why I prefer Mario & Luigi 1 over the rest of the series. Mario & Luigi 1 also had you repeatedly using the same attacks, but they were at least quick to perform (for the most part).

    Now, one thing that all these games have in common is that each character's attacks are input one at a time. You put in one character's command, they attack. And then you put in your next character's command and they attack. But for battle systems where you put in your entire team's commands before they attack, I'm not sure how well timed attacks would work, especially if there's any sort of variety. Sometimes, they attack in a different order than expected, and for me at least, that throws me off, because I have to think on the fly what buttons I want to press.

    As for games using ATB systems, either keep the button prompts simple (Squall's gunblade in FF8), add button prompts as part of their command input (such as Setzer's slots or Sabin's Blitz in FF6), or pause the action when the character's turn comes up (Zell's combos in FF8).

    So, I guess my overall point is, keep things simple, keep things quick, and leave room for error.

    I believe you're thinking of the Mario & Luigi games. Mario RPG, 99% of your attacks were solo.
     
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  7. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    I love them, BUT I am going to preface that with "I love how Mario RPG and Paper Mario did them". It's absolutely easy to mess up using them and make them suck. The lesson I took was from Paper Mario. The game is basically a single-person party rpg but with two big things to make it work;

    A secondary command that gives you more interaction during a fight (the second member)
    Timed Hits to give you more agency

    The first part addresses the problems of a single party rpg by giving you more actions and varied actions. The second part is basically combining jrpgs with arpgs, and arpgs generally work better without parties (from what I've seen).

    Working on making a single-party rpg, I actually just added the above to the game and it worked well (among other things). I don't think a robust party would generally benefit from it. And I know the Mario series does it because it was done to combine the platforming and reflexes of Mario with jrpgs.

    I guess the big thing is, you can't just tack it onto a game. It needs to be incorporated, the battle flow should be built with it in mind. It's not a selling point, it's a different battle system, and it really wouldn't work without CTB or STB.

    Hmm. I guess my actual thoughts are; I love the games that have them and I know I enjoy those games partly because of it. But unless I'm making a game that "needs" it, I'd likely choose something like Dual Techs or something over it.
     
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  8. CalebW

    CalebW Veteran Veteran

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  9. Mako_Sharknado

    Mako_Sharknado Villager Member

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    I've never liked timed attacks like that (Shadow Hearts, Legend of Dragoon, etc), but I do enjoy it defensively, like for dodges or maybe parries or somethin'

    I have no problem with a system testin' a player's reflexes, but in a turn-based battle system, it never feels like that's what's happening. It just feels like addin' another button press ta the process. Yer choosin' ta attack from a menu while the action is stopped; there's no excitement or tension if it's just a matter'a stoppin' the ticker at a certain area in a circle or whatever ta do more damage. I've never found it particularly excitin' ta watch, either, 'n several people've mentioned how repetitive it becomes over time as well

    Now defensively I think it's an awesome feature'n it actually does feel like it tests a player's reflexes. It rewards you for learnin' the enemy's attack patterns, 'n it pretty much always looks cool as hell when you pull off a clean dodge or parry in any game. I think it also feels much more rewardin' than relyin' on a MISS! system

    I think a timed attack system would work best if you had somethin' where characters attack enemies in combo strings (like Legend of Legaia or Xenogears), 'n while the character was attackin' the enemy, the enemy would occasionally be able ta try ta counter or block, 'n the timing aspect would be there ta give the player a chance ta avoid that counter and continue their combo. You could maybe do more advanced stuff like certain attacks havin' some kinda mash feature ta maybe break through guards as well or doin' feints or somethin' cool like that. Although this's a lil outta the feasible realm for RPG Maker haha

    So I guess maybe my problem with timed attacks is that they just feel like adding another button press ta regular turn-based gameplay, 'n don't inherently do anything innerestin', but if you designed a system where there was more interaction/player input overall it would work better. I don't think they ruin games'n I'd never begrudge anyone for enjoyin' 'em or wantin' ta use 'em ta make their games more innerestin', but personally they don't do much for me
     
    #29
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  10. CalebW

    CalebW Veteran Veteran

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    Thank you for the reply :D I don't think these ideas are outside the realm of RPG, the only thing that is outside the realm is true 3d elements, like fluid sprite movement or complete camera shifting during a move. Beyond that I think there are alot of possible ideas.
     
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  11. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

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    Timed attacks are nice because they add an element of skill expression to combat, but they also raise the tension level and often take the player's attention away from battle strategy.

    I tend to think they work best when used sparingly. For example, certain skills can trigger the timed attack mechanic (giving players the option to Opt In to using them by choosing those skills). Or it can be used in a way that appears occasionally and favors the player - for example, being able to use a Timed Hit to survive what would otherwise be a fatal blow once per battle, or being given the opportunity for a Timed Hit to double the damage when you launch a Limit Break.

    As long as you're not forcing the player to use it on every single action, and it doesn't feel "punitive" (unnecessarily punishing) when you fail a Timed Hit, it can be a nice feature. I'm not totally sure, but I think it's those games that make it feel punitive, and those games that force you to play the microgame every single action you take, that draw most of the ire from players.

    In my own game, I offer the Timed Hit to players when one of their characters just slightly fails the calculation to land a Critical Hit (which happens about 10-15% of actions you take). Hitting the right part of the meter can boost the crit check to high enough levels to land the Crit on an enemy, which is especially nice because some skills have bonuses if they Crit (such as inflicting states or healing the user).
     
    #31
  12. Restart

    Restart Veteran Veteran

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    Worst case you end up with a YIIK battle scenario, where everything (even the most basic attacks) is tedious and overlong.

     
    #32
  13. Henryetha

    Henryetha Veteran Veteran

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    Ugh.. that only works, if the game has VERY FEW battle scenarios..
    (Like 1.. or 2.. in total?)
     
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  14. CalebW

    CalebW Veteran Veteran

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    Thank you for all the input it is extremely appreciated.
     
    #34
  15. Seacliff

    Seacliff RPG Maker Mastermind Veteran

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    They need a strong focus on the gameplay coupled with detailed animations that properly explain what is actually going on.
    This sums it up nicely.
     
    #35
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  16. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    Yeas, it's definitely one of those mechanics where graphics can make or break it. I definitely wouldn't do it with the three frame MV battle sprites (four frames with clearer movement such as P3X works well enough).
     
    #36

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