Satisfying Evasion-based Class/character?

kairi_key

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Say, if one were to make a class or a character with play style revolving around evading enemy's attack, how do you make or balance such class/character to make them satisfying? Usually in RPG, evasion is RNG-based and it's not that fun to rely on RNG to do the work for you satisfyingly, but making a character evasive on demand can also make them OP quite easily. Is there a good middle ground that doesn't make evasion-based class as OP but still fun to use?

Most of the time, I'd see them implemented as Evasion Tank, and their skillset would revolve around taunting and maybe get into a more evasive stance. But then in a long run they can get OP fast because not getting hit beats withstanding hits any day.

One idea I have is to make it more rock-paper-scissor-like. Some attack type can be evaded, but some aren't. However, that would mean you can have certain enemies where they only spam unavoidable damage.
Another idea is to have an Evasion gauge. It's guaranteed evasion until the gauge depleted. The problem is it's no different than a barrier of sort.

What do you guys think?
 

LordOfPotatos

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you can use conditional evasion abilities, like:

-dodging fire attacks
-dodging attacks with high or low damage multipliers
-dodging attacks that hit everyone
-dodging the first attack that targets you
-gaining a temporary evasion buff after being hit
-having high evasion against the last enemy you attacked

etc

to implement these you would need either a couple plugins or a little JS to implement them in the base game functions though.
 

TheoAllen

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In turn-based battles, evasion is just a label that means negating the attack.
You could have a character with 100% damage resistance and it would be the same thing.

In turn-based battles, everything is RNG, or at least most of the time.
That said, in my opinion, to make evasion (100% negates the damage) would only be fun if it is guaranteed. Rather than chance. This goes back to your point, about being an evasion tank, which again, is not that different from, just a tank.

If that even become a problem and OP quite fast, then you didn't balance it properly.
A cooldown might help balance things. For example, when your party is in a bad shape and the boss is about to unleash a powerful attack, dodge that thing. One actor survived and revived the rest. Sounds overpowered, but if the player didn't time it right, they just gonna lose. In my opinion, it is quite fair, and some players might feel good about figuring out how and when to use it.
 

sunnyFVA

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I appreciate evasion in systems that involve meaningful distinction between an avoided attack and a completely mitigated one. If you consider an enemy attack that inflicts Death on hit, a character who dodges will survive while a character who resists all of the damage is still killed.

Also, something I like doing in my project is creating opportunities where a dodge is not linearly superior to other forms of mitigation. Some effects reward a character who has blocked an attack (that is, reduced the incoming damage with their equipped shield) which will not occur if that character instead dodges. This creates a sense that a character featuring such an effect has a health pool resource to be spent and managed versus an evasive character who prioritizes avoiding damage and preserving their health. Encounter mechanics that deal damage that can't be dodged (such as spell damage and environmental effects in my system and others) provide additional context for making this difference meaningful.

I'd suggest evaluating your combat at its most fundamental level to begin working on if and how evasion can fit. It sounds pretentious, but you really have to figure out what it means for an attack to hit to know what it means to dodge.
 
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ATT_Turan

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Usually in RPG, evasion is RNG-based and it's not that fun to rely on RNG to do the work for you satisfyingly, but making a character evasive on demand can also make them OP quite easily.
It all comes down to math. On a grand scale, a "traditional" tank (who survives via damage mitigation) is also taking a variable amount of damage because, presumably, your enemy attacks have some degree of randomness in exactly how hard each action hits (the Variance field underneath the damage formula).

So ultimately there's not a difference between saying "This character takes 20% less damage because their armor negated it over time" and "This character takes 20% less damage because of how frequently they evade," if you do the math correctly.

However, that would mean you can have certain enemies where they only spam unavoidable damage.
I mean...only if you make them do so? You say this like it's not 100% within your control :guffaw:

You decide which enemies show up where and use which skills under which conditions, so...just don't do that?

Another idea is to have an Evasion gauge. It's guaranteed evasion until the gauge depleted. The problem is it's no different than a barrier of sort.
If you consider that a problem, then the entire concept is a problem :wink: As I said above, it's all equivalent if you zoom out far enough. An actor not dying is an actor not dying.
 

RCXGaming

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... So this is a bit funny for me to answer to considering I'm actually stripping out RNG in all of its forms, evasion included, but:

An evasion character would be extremely hard to balance even if you were to implement tiny little tricks to make them useful.

EX. I can give characters the ability to completely 100% avoid attacks based on specific elements. Even if they had a skill to avoid based on one specific element (fire, etc.), there's nothing stopping the player from using this to completely bypass a section of the game where that element is prominent, even if the skill used to activate it is put on heavy cooldown afterward.

Sure I can give enemies the ability to bypass it with Certain Hit moves or moves that aren't that element, but to give most enemies (and likely bosses too) a Certain Hit move just to counterbalance a single set of evasion skills is... a bit bonkers? I'd rather not.

It's a much different story when specific evasion is given to enemies instead, since it's far more predictable that way. (I.E how ghost enemies in Chrono Trigger can't be hit with your normal attack)

Only time I can think of evasion being useful is if it's a small buff of 10-20% applied to the player only - much like how Paper Mario has the Pretty Lucky and Close Call (aka. if you're at critical HP you dodge attacks) badges.
 

ATT_Turan

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I'm curious about some of these thoughts.

EX. I can give characters the ability to completely 100% avoid attacks based on specific elements. Even if they had a skill to avoid based on one specific element (fire, etc.), there's nothing stopping the player from using this to completely bypass a section of the game where that element is prominent
Why? Isn't there you and how you make the game to stop that? :guffaw:

Just off the top of my head, one actor who's a fire evasion tank not taking any damage in this area is a pretty far cry from "completely bypassing" the area. You have 3 (or whatever) other party members who also have to survive and such, right?

And if that's a concern, you just wouldn't make it work that way, right? You wouldn't make it 100% evasion or you would make the enemies use some physical attacks in addition to their fire element skills...I dunno, this just all seems within the developer's control to me.

even if the skill used to activate it is put on heavy cooldown afterward.
Again, why? If you put a skill on a cooldown so it can't be used for X number of combats or whatever...exactly how can the player still use it to "completely bypass a section of the game"? When they physically can't use it?

I just can't visualize what you're visualizing here, in terms of functionality :wink:

Sure I can give enemies the ability to bypass it with Certain Hit moves or moves that aren't that element, but to give most enemies (and likely bosses too) a Certain Hit move just to counterbalance a single set of evasion skills is... a bit bonkers?
Why not? I know my game (and I daresay many/most RPG Maker games) have a fair number of Certain Hit skills. What makes that bonkers? It doesn't need to be just for that, you can have Certain Hit skills that you don't want to be subject to evasion, blinding, taunting, etc.
 

lianderson

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Due to consistency and one-shots, 50% evasion is not the same as 50% damage reduction. (has played over a thousand hours on hardcore PoE)

If one-shots become an issue, consider giving the character a damage resistance status effect that's removed after taking damage. One that can reappear whenever their health becomes full and/or performs certain actions.
 

ATT_Turan

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Due to consistency and one-shots, 50% evasion is not the same as 50% damage reduction.
Generally speaking, it doesn't feel the same :wink:

However...
If one-shots become an issue
You're bringing up something that isn't a part of the design for the majority of video games I've seen.

I stopped a few chapters into Path of Exile because it wasn't interestingly challenging, so I never experienced this. But I would question a game where you're able to get killed in one shot by an enemy that's of an appropriate level for you to be fighting.

This is, again, easily in control of the developer...if they want evasion tanks to be viable and want to balance them, they probably shouldn't make skills that can one-shot actors. Like 90% of the games out there don't.

(does PoE get...better?)
 

RCXGaming

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Why? Isn't there you and how you make the game to stop that? :guffaw:

Just off the top of my head, one actor who's a fire evasion tank not taking any damage in this area is a pretty far cry from "completely bypassing" the area. You have 3 (or whatever) other party members who also have to survive and such, right?

And if that's a concern, you just wouldn't make it work that way, right? You wouldn't make it 100% evasion or you would make the enemies use some physical attacks in addition to their fire element skills...I dunno, this just all seems within the developer's control to me.

... Touche.

To be fair I did write this before I had breakfast, so my brain wasn't working at 100% efficiency. After I already posted I figured out "wait no, that's stupid", but I wrote what I wrote lmfao.

Again, why? If you put a skill on a cooldown so it can't be used for X number of combats or whatever...exactly how can the player still use it to "completely bypass a section of the game"? When they physically can't use it?

I just can't visualize what you're visualizing here, in terms of functionality :wink:

I think what pre-breakfast brain Dan was trying to say was that if the strongest moves in that area are fire-based and the fire evasion lets you bypass it, it strips out most of the challenge if you can just avoid them on demand.

But then I remembered:

A: It wouldn't mean that much if it were only a single person

B: The most dangerous skills enemies have used in the Earth dungeon I've made are literally just a cockatrice using a non-elemental stinger tail and a slime using a Water AOE so I don't know what he was talking about.

... And that I forgot that I made TP the way it did exactly to give stronger spells like these a purpose.

Why not? I know my game (and I daresay many/most RPG Maker games) have a fair number of Certain Hit skills. What makes that bonkers? It doesn't need to be just for that, you can have Certain Hit skills that you don't want to be subject to evasion, blinding, taunting, etc.

Moveset bloat? But then I remembered that it would be beneficial for enemies in RPG Maker to have more skills so kek.
 
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tumsterfest

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A few thoughts to piggyback off what's mentioned above:

  • Give "evasion" and "barrier" classes different benefits when a skill is used, actor is targeted, etc.
    • Example -- Each evaded attack adds to a Limit Break-type gauge
    • Example -- Each barrier-ed attack adds a portion of the intended damage to the actor's max HP
    • Example -- Evasion focuses on skills/equipment that avoid elemental and status damage, while barrier skills/equipment focus on reducing traditional damage. Or, evasion focuses on magic damage reduction, and barrier focuses on physical. Or one focuses on self-preservation, while other is all about protecting allies.

  • Give the skills unique costs or trade-offs.
    • Example -- A barrier skill that drains the user's MP a little with each successful deflection.
    • Example -- An evasion skill that works 100% of the time, but passes a portion of the evaded damage on to allies

  • Give different innate properties to the classes as a whole.
    • Example -- Evasion skills work poorly vs. flying foes, while barrier skills struggle vs. guns/arrows/sharks with laser beams
    • Example -- Barrier actors have exclusive access to armors that boosts HP, while evasion actors get access to ones that boost speed. Why not also apply uniqueness outside of defensive traits -- like limiting evasion actors to using weapon with huge damage variation?
    • Example -- Evasion class learns a passive ability that deflects all critical hits. Barrier class learns one that boosts defense when HP is < 25%.

  • I kinda like the idea of an evasion gauge as an exhaustible "get out of jail free" card. As mentioned above, it's only redundant with barriers if you allow it to be redundant.
 
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Tamina

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Say, if one were to make a class or a character with play style revolving around evading enemy's attack, how do you make or balance such class/character to make them satisfying? Usually in RPG, evasion is RNG-based and it's not that fun to rely on RNG to do the work for you satisfyingly, but making a character evasive on demand can also make them OP quite easily. Is there a good middle ground that doesn't make evasion-based class as OP but still fun to use?

Most of the time, I'd see them implemented as Evasion Tank, and their skillset would revolve around taunting and maybe get into a more evasive stance. But then in a long run they can get OP fast because not getting hit beats withstanding hits any day.

What do you mean by "RNG based is not fun"? I don't think this is really the case in game design.

Players will complain about missing a shot in XCOM with 90% Hite rate, but they still keep playing XCOM. Plenty of popular games that I've played has RNG elements one way or another, and they are still loved by fans. But I rarely play a RPG with zero RNG elements. Having RNG is not the problem here.

to avoid it being OP, if your evasion only works on physical attack but not magic, then it is not OP. Because it can still be hit with magic. You can change physical/magic to different names for your narrative needs. Like melee/gun in cyberpunk or something. Physical/magic works well in fantasy settings.

you can also set a threshold, like 75%-90%, on evasion rate by controlling stats. So they can still get hit, but they get hit less often, with lower average damage taken per hit in the long run.

Since they are a tank, taking less damage than other role is not OP at all.you can balance evasion tank by calculating average damage taken per hit after 100 hit.

The difference between an evasion tank and high defense tank is they work better against enemies that attack more often but deal less damage per hit. But worse against very strong attacks if they fail to evade. So keep that in mind if you try to balance different characters and roles.
 

Vogie

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On the other hand, you could use evasion not as a percentage based dodge, but rather as a part of your damage type wheel, the Rock-paper-scissors of your world. For Example, something like
  • Evasion characters, for example, could take no (or minor) damage from projectiles, including many environmental effects, but are weak against air and water.
  • Armor characters counter melee, earth & air, but are weak against fire and lightning.
  • Shielding Characters counter elemental magics, but are weak against physical attacks
Of course, you'd mix & match with your collection of damage types, and your counter-amount would likely grow based on skills, items, and levels. In this way, your evasion characters aren't exclusively either dodging or dead in a single shot - they excel in specific situations, but once you get out of that, they're just another character.
 

NamEtag

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I suggest studying Tactics Ogre Reborn on how to make gimmick mechanics like evasion integrate with the rest of the system and pool of classes. You've got:

  • Input randomness so you can plan around guaranteed evasion but can't infinitely spam it.
  • Ailments and other tricks that can't be traditionally evaded or require splitting up your evade stats.
  • Allowing the enemy 100% hit abilities, but making the activation of such cost them turn economy or resources to indirectly mitigate.
  • Environmental factors that create flat modifiers to accuracy for everyone
  • Degrees of success that slide accuracy between hitting, critting, and applying secondary effects
  • Non-dps roles that can contribute despite having pumped all your stats into evasion.
the list goes on
 

HankB

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Maybe every time they do something special in combat (like a crit attack), award them with an "evasion card", which they can play at their choosing.

Or maybe allow them the chance to take a risky attack, which could turn against them (like if you choose "risky", and you lose, then you lose some hit-points). But if you succeed, then you get to evade certain attacks later on.

This would give the game a "press-your-luck" dynamic, which is always fun and engaging to the player.
 

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