Should I have a Study / Scan skill?

Should I have this skill?

  • Yes

    Votes: 10 66.7%
  • No

    Votes: 5 33.3%

  • Total voters
    15

thecursedcometh

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I currently have a skill in my game that each party member has by default called 'Study'. This reveals the enemy's HP, MP, TP, and stats. However, I feel that it's a rather pointless skill. You can see the enemy's HP as a life bar above them, and I suppose it would be useful for the strategists among us to see the enemy's stats. That being said, I feel that it doesn't have enough use to keep in the game.

TLDR: Would you use a skill that reveals enemy stats?
 

Oddball

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Maybe it can reveal weaknesses, reveal other stats besides HP, MP, TP. Or maybe what the enemy is about to use
 
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I'm using Yanfly's Instant cast plugin to give all actors a similar skill that shows stats and weakness/resist/immune/absorb, because while I want the player to learn the visual conventions (wet stuff hates lightning, etc.), I wanted a fallback learning method and didn't think the skill was interesting enough to cost a turn.
 

thecursedcometh

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@SurprisingSandwich that sounds like a good idea. My main drawback was that it costed an entire turn, which made it feel like a waste. I think I'll do that.
 

CraneSoft

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The purpose of Scan/Analyze skills are not revealing their HP/MP/stats (enemy's MP and stats are generally useless information) , but rather revealing their weaknesses and resistances as well as any additional information that will be useful for the player to know, such as an enemy's attack pattern or quirk, nevertheless, it's usage is still limited so it is not a skill you want to give to every member of your party because it's a wasted skill slot, it's best off left to the analyzer of your team or as an item effect. Also, it's possible to make it so that does not cost a turn anyway.
 
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TheoAllen

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I always prefer that kind of information should not be hidden behind a skill, but already shown in the interface for better tactical choice. However, if you still prefer to hide the information behind a skill, the skill should also do something else other than just revealing information to encourage the player to use the skill.

For an example of what you can do.
- Add debuff that also increases damage dealt while the info is being revealed
- Also, deal damage

In that case, it will not feel like a waste of a turn.
 

Solar_Flare

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Instead of a skill, I would recommend a plugin that adds it just as an option in the UI, such as LAY_BattleOverview.
 

Wavelength

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Moved to Game Mechanics Design. Conceptual game-design questions like these go in the Maker General area (either Game Dev General Discussion, or Game Mechanics Design - or, if the question is about your game specifically and wouldn't be applicable to most games, then in Ideas & Protoypes). If you want the discussion to focus only on the specifics of your game, you can Report this post and ask for a move to Ideas & Prototypes.

It's hard to make a Yes-or-No call about this! My thoughts on the matter are pretty complex.

In general, if such a skill were to only show me an enemy's HP, MP, TP, and Stats, I probably wouldn't spend a turn to use that skill. Against regular enemies you don't need it, and against bosses the Stats are the main useful information (unless you plan for your bosses to regularly run low/out of MP) - and while the Stats can inform what kind of strategy I should use against that boss (are his physical or magical attacks going to be more powerful? and which type of attack would be more powerful against him?), I think that if you've done a good job designing your battle system and UI in a clear and informative way, then the player should be able to deduct this on their own after seeing several actions and their results.

A lot of games include extra information in addition to what you've listed. Among information I've seen in Scan skills are the boss' elemental weaknesses/resistances, what States are easy/hard/impossible to apply to the enemy, the boss' entire move set, what the enemy could possibly Drop, and written descriptions of the enemy (which might give a hint about their moves or tactics). Whether this kind of information is good or bad to give to the player is really based on what kind of combat dynamic you're going for (is it more about surprise and learning, or is it more about using information to make interesting and strategic decisions?).

I very much like @Oddball's suggestion of a Scan forecasting the enemy's intention for the next move, although to implement this in RPG Maker you'd need to create (or find) a plugin that determined the enemy's intention a turn in advance, which could be tricky.

Many games give you a Monster Book to hold the Scan information you've gotten from enemies, and some games even reward you for getting to a certain number of entries in it, which can make the Scan action more appealing for completionists.

Finally, I just want to point out the option of revealing any or all of this information to the player without forcing them to spend a turn nor sit through the Scan animation and the stats screen that inevitably comes up about the enemy afterwards. In one of the games I'm building (where my emphasis is on strategic and creative decision-making), any time you're hovering a battler, you automatically get to see their HP/Max HP, MP/Max MP, "ATB" Gauge, Base Stats, Current Stats (affected by States etc.), current States, and exact Element Rates for each element - no need to Scan them first. This doesn't make things too easy nor too boring - it challenges the player to use this information and find combinations of skills that will work out well against enemies with these particular stats and weaknesses. Since my game throws enemies together in all kinds of different combinations, that challenge never really gets stale, either.
 

DoubleX

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While I'd go for such a scan skill(especially if it's an instant action not costing a turn but just costing MP/TP/HP/whatever), I actually think that it'd be even more interesting for the enemies to use scan skills targeting players, thus letting those enemies know the player statuses, and hence a more informed AI.
Of course, now the workload on implementing AI will be very daunting, but now players will have to seriously consider removing the scan states attached to them, and the skill to remove the scan state can cost really something :)
 

Oddball

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For an example of what you can do.
- Also, deal damage
I read in a self-deffense book were with the right training, a strike can tell you a lot about an opponent. Like how strong they are, weak spots, ect. So this is definitly something that's rooted in reality

I'd make the damage equal to or slightly less than the attack command though, as it would be a blow to get a feel for the opponent, rather than do serious damage. But be relativly cheap resource wise
 

TheoAllen

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While I'd go for such a scan skill(especially if it's an instant action not costing a turn but just costing MP/TP/HP/whatever), I actually think that it'd be even more interesting for the enemies to use scan skills targeting players, thus letting those enemies know the player statuses, and hence a more informed AI.
Of course, now the workload on implementing AI will be very daunting, but now players will have to seriously consider removing the scan states attached to them, and the skill to remove the scan state can cost really something :)
It doesn't need to be complicated. It doesn't necessarily give the enemy information of the player under the hood. It just could work if the player is being targetted/scanned as a form of dummy state, then the enemy will do a special action. The player will already know they're in danger :p

This kind of information reveals better if implemented in PvP rather than PvE in my opinion.
 

Frostorm

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I always prefer that kind of information should not be hidden behind a skill, but already shown in the interface for better tactical choice. However, if you still prefer to hide the information behind a skill, the skill should also do something else other than just revealing information to encourage the player to use the skill.

For an example of what you can do.
- Add debuff that also increases damage dealt while the info is being revealed
- Also, deal damage

In that case, it will not feel like a waste of a turn.
That's pretty much what I did. My scan skill is named "Analyze" and is available in the Archery skill tree as a tier 1 skill. Not only does it reveal all the pertinent stats of the target, but it also adds an entry for that enemy in the bestiary, which includes an HD pic and some description/flavor text. Furthermore, the skill also places a state on the target that increases the chance to Crit against this target by 15% for 4 turns. This way it actually DOES something besides "Scan".

Of course, in my case, this skill will cost a turn as well as 10TP.
 

41728280

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I think it is necessary
 

41728280

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That's pretty much what I did. My scan skill is named "Analyze" and is available in the Archery skill tree as a tier 1 skill. Not only does it reveal all the pertinent stats of the target, but it also adds an entry for that enemy in the bestiary, which includes an HD pic and some description/flavor text. Furthermore, the skill also places a state on the target that increases the chance to Crit against this target by 15% for 4 turns. This way it actually DOES something besides "Scan".

Of course, in my case, this skill will cost a turn as well as 10TP.
Can you please tell me how to make it? What plug-in is needed?
 

Frostorm

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Can you please tell me how to make it? What plug-in is needed?
Don't need a plugin, the skill just applies a state that decreases Critical Evasion by 15%, set to a 4 turn duration. The scan portion wouldn't benefit you as I use LTBS, which has its own "Scan" function that I simply incorporated into this skill.
 

41728280

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Don't need a plugin, the skill just applies a state that decreases Critical Evasion by 15%, set to a 4 turn duration. The scan portion wouldn't benefit you as I use LTBS, which has its own "Scan" function that I simply incorporated into this skill.
What I want to ask is how to display the monster’s pictures, parameters, text and other details. Don’t you do this?
 

YoraeRasante

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@41728280 that would depend on the bestiary plugin, not on anything in the skill itself.

Well, usually in games with a Scan skill or item the enemy HP is not visible right from the start. Either it is only visible with scan, or it becomes visible only after either scanning or defeating them once. So saying "I don't think Scan is that useful since hp is visible anyway"... well yeah, you kinda already put the main feature of Scan away.
But as mentioned by others Scan many times also lets you see enemy weaknesses, even if you didn't try them first - not always though. When it does it becomes much more powerful... but also kinda "use once per enemy only, save if you need a recall". Some games have weaknesses be super important, like Octopath and Megaten/Persona games, but others they are just "deal more damage with less cost" so not that much worthy either.

As people give the information right away, Scan-like skills become less relevant by themselves. Hp bars on all enemies and bosses. Weaknesses visible right away after using once on them. Scan becomes less about giving the info and more about giving it earlier, if even that.
Thus why so many are suggesting giving it an extra function, or being needed to get info in the bestiary. Because as it is it is becoming an artifact, something there just for tradition.
 

DoubleX

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How about bosses randomly changing its weakness whenever its previous weaknesses are hit? Scan can still be useful there I think :)
 

Frostorm

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What I want to ask is how to display the monster’s pictures, parameters, text and other details. Don’t you do this?
That largely depends on the bestiary plugin you use. Which one are you using?

Thus why so many are suggesting giving it an extra function, or being needed to get info in the bestiary. Because as it is it is becoming an artifact, something there just for tradition.
That is so true, and it's a tradition many RPG players are fond of.
 

YoraeRasante

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How about bosses randomly changing its weakness whenever its previous weaknesses are hit? Scan can still be useful there I think :)
Those would force you to use Scan for it and it only. Very annoying from a player's perspective.
Better to put a way to figure out the change in weakness without needing it.
 

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