Stagger

Frostorm

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I'd like to hear how people have implemented their "Stagger" mechanic, for those that utilize this. Possible effects:
  • increased damage received
  • increased chance to be stunned
  • armor reduction
  • speed reduction
  • other?
 

KazukiT

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In my first game I make whatever that got staggered lose their turn. No other real consequences, I just kept it simple. Then again I didn't know as much about game design when I made that mechanic.
 

Solar_Flare

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I've done zero balancing so anything could change, but at the moment my "stun" state (which seems the most similar in my game to what you're describing) just makes the battler lose a turn.
 

Frostorm

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I do have a stun state as well, which is separate from the stagger state, if I end up implementing stagger at all. I'm just currently torn on what stagger should do...

So to clarify, I'm not asking what people's stun state does since in 99% of all cases, stun simply makes the target lose a turn.
 

Icenick

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I'd like to hear how people have implemented their "Stagger" mechanic, for those that utilize this. Possible effects:
  • increased damage received
  • increased chance to be stunned
  • armor reduction
  • speed reduction
  • other?
I haven't tested it but basically I traded all status effects in for a combo elemental system.
Cast an element to inflict that status lets use "Wet" as an example from a water type spell.
If you cast Ice, it will freeze them causing a stun.
If you cast lightning instead, it would lower the speed and deal bonus damage.
It becomes up to the player to find and build skills to stagger opponents.
 

Frostorm

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I haven't tested it but basically I traded all status effects in for a combo elemental system.
Cast an element to inflict that status lets use "Wet" as an example from a water type spell.
If you cast Ice, it will freeze them causing a stun.
If you cast lightning instead, it would lower the speed and deal bonus damage.
It becomes up to the player to find and build skills to stagger opponents.
I actually have the multi-elemental interactions you're describing as well. But what do you mean by stagger in your case?

Edit: No need to limit yourself to the example effects in my 1st post. Those were just suggestions/ideas. I actually haven't even implemented a stagger yet, hence the reason for this thread.
 

Icenick

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I actually have the multi-elemental interactions you're describing as well. But what do YOU mean by stagger in your case?
Well a few ways I thought about it was building up an element to gain a bonus effect. But I think it might over complicate things. Also I didn't want players to be punished for using a different element at the wrong time, instead be rewarded for mixing them.

Stagger for me is status effects (think FF, silence, stun, psn, etc.), additionally some less powerful effects (stun is always better then silence if the duration is 1 turn) will deal bonus dmg or "break armor".

Specifically:
I have enemies with massive amounts of DEF and resistance, it may not be traditional stagger but I have the bonus DEF and RES negated for 3 turns aka "Staggered", the player can now deal proper damage. Where if you attacked straight forward you might deal only 25% of normal dmg, if you break their armor you can do 100% for 3 turns.

Is that a bit clearer? How does you differ? Just dmg?
 

TheoAllen

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I've written this somewhere but I will just write it again.
It's actually armor mechanic but has a similar mechanic as the stagger effect.

Here is the main layout of the mechanic
  • Every battler has an armor point.
  • Every battler also has an armor value.
  • Armor points represent the durability of the armor. It works as a separate HP but for armor.
  • Armor value represents the damage reduction while the armor point is above 0. For the sake of simplicity, I use % damage reduction rather than other formulas.
  • Almost every attack reduces the armor point. Some have a higher armor attack than others. Some don't even have armor attack
  • The actor recovers 10% of armor points in every turn. Enemies don't, except in the higher difficulty.
  • When the armor point reaches 0, they get the full damage for 3 turns until the armor recovers back at the full point.
  • There is no skill that reduces defense. Only a skill that deals damage that also deals a lot to target's armor point.
 

Solar_Flare

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I do have a stun state as well, which is separate from the stagger state, if I end up implementing stagger at all. I'm just currently torn on what stagger should do...

So to clarify, I'm not asking what people's stun state does since in 99% of all cases, stun simply makes the target lose a turn.
Fair enough... in that case I probably don't have a stagger state, I guess.

EDIT: I do also have something akin to that multi-elemental thing with states like Soaked or Aflame, though it sounds like your version is a little more complex.
 

Frostorm

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Is that a bit clearer? How does you differ? Just dmg?
Well, I don't have a stagger implemented yet, but I want to create an effect that's consistent with the widespread definition/consensus of the word. That's why I wanted to see what other people have implemented.

I'm thinking of making it a stage 1 out of a 2 stage stun mechanic. Or simply guarantee stun chance. Though it seems like the general consensus for stagger is something armor related like in TheoAllen's case.

Maybe another way to phrase my original question would be: What does the word "Stagger" mean in your game?
 

Geovid

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I don't think I can rly input a stagger state in my game. I already have stun and my skills are named like D&D so stagger lowering your stats like 'constitution' wouldn't make sense. If I were going to add it tho, I suppose I like your idea of increasing susceptibility to stun, It could increase susceptibility to more than that though, I have bleed and immobilized states in my game so if you have more physical states like that it could be expanded. Would need a script I think but you could have a boost to crit chance against staggered as well
 

TheoAllen

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I doubt if I would like the idea of a "stagger" mechanic that basically increases the chance of something to happen. It must be something that causes a loop and you're always looking forward to it.

Something like:
  • Poise point. Losing poise point causes stun
  • Armor point. Losing armor points causes more damage taken.
  • Overdrive bar (boss only). You reduce the boss gauge bar by attacking it. When the boss loses the gauge bar, they will not use a special attack for x turns and you're free to attack with minimal risk.
These are something you're always looking forward to happening. And it will always happen.
What you can do is to make the skill around these mechanics. For example.
  • A skill that extends stun/armor break for one more turn (can only happen once per break).
  • A skill that deals a lot of damage when the enemy is on break
  • A skill that increases the damage to the "stagger bar".
  • A skill that prevents you from losing the "stagger bar". Either nullify the damage or heal your "stagger bar".
  • A boss pattern that actually gets dangerous either when they on break or not.
  • A boss pattern that changes when one of your party members is on break.
  • Any other effect you can think of ...
If your game doesn't need any of these, don't add it just for the sake of adding it.
 

Frostorm

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I really like the idea of Stagger being tied to a gauge of some sort. I didn't really like the increased chance mechanic since my project is a tactical RPG, which means players really expect their actions to do what they intend for it to do. Basically, too much RNG = bad.

However, the 2 stage idea came about due to the inherent OP-ness of stuns in general. I was thinking of having a skill that "staggers" a target on the 1st hit, then if used again next round "stuns" that target due to having the "staggered" state.

Edit: @TheoAllen I noticed your armor point/stagger system would encourage focus firing on a single target. This may be good or bad depending on the type of game. Was this side-effect intentionally designed or if not, how do you address it?
 
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TheoAllen

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Edit: @TheoAllen I noticed your armor point/stagger system would encourage focus firing on a single target. This may be good or bad depending on the type of game. Was this side-effect intentionally designed or if not, how do you address it?
I don't. Firing in a single target is always been the best tactic even if you don't even have this mechanic. Even my AoE skill works like, pick a target, the target gets the full damage, while other gets reduced damage. What makes you think it's bad though? And what kind of design that makes this kind of decision bad?
 

Trihan

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Personally I consider stagger to be a mechanic whereby exploiting enemy weaknesses puts them into a state where they're temporarily unable to attack, are more susceptible to detrimental effects/states, and take more damage.
 

Geovid

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Personally I consider stagger to be a mechanic whereby exploiting enemy weaknesses puts them into a state where they're temporarily unable to attack, are more susceptible to detrimental effects/states, and take more damage.
Same. Stagger is literally like.. stumbling or losing footing, so Im not sure what else would make sense other than a turn delay or making the target vulnerable in some way
 

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It could decrease speed (which in turn could effect the rate of which that character gets to perform an action depending on your battle system) or put that characters action to the end of the turn - that is what stagger means to me anyway. It delays you but not fully stops youm
 

Frostorm

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@TheoAllen I do agree focus-firing is the default go-to tactic, which isn't necessarily bad, and certainly not for your game. It does, however, downplay the viability of alternative encounter designs or strategies. An example where you wouldn't want to focus fire could be when enemies get buffed or go berserk if their ally falls (I have several multi-unit bosses). Sometimes it also makes some skills with extra effects less useful. As in, if a single enemy is being hit by your entire party with each attack inflicting a negative state of some sort, it can basically lead to status overkill. Not necessarily bad from the player's perspective, but as a dev, I'd like to create more interesting and diverse encounters that encourage more than simply "all right everyone, let's attack enemy A!".

Edit: Having a grid also opens the door for more options as well, which is why I'd want to make full use of it, instead of encouraging my players' party to huddle around a single spot on the map.

Still, I really do like the idea of an armor-gauge-esque mechanic. But like you said, mechanics shouldn't be thrown in simply for the sake of having it, even if it's really cool lol.

@Geovid @Finnuval I like the idea of stagger delaying turn order, it seems very fitting to the real definition of the word.
 
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JosephSeraph

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To me when you say "Stagger mechanic" that just means (the brilliant) FFXIII.

It's not a state. Or at least, the mechanic itself is not defined by a state.

Stagger, in the context of games such as FFXIII, is a mechanic meant to add more stakes to the player's goals in battle. The goal ceases to be to deal damage and heal until the battle's over, because now while you still have to do these things, you need to handle the sub-goal of staggering the enemy and exploiting the stagger window. It's a form of making a battle system more complex and increase the variables the player needs to handle at a given time.
 

TheoAllen

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I do agree focus-firing is the default go-to tactic, which isn't necessarily bad, and certainly not for your game. It does, however, downplay the viability of alternative encounter designs or strategies. An example where you wouldn't want to focus fire could be when enemies get buffed or go berserk if their ally falls (I have several multi-unit bosses). Sometimes it also makes some skills with extra effects less useful. As in, if a single enemy is being hit by your entire party with each attack inflicting a negative state of some sort, it can basically lead to status overkill. Not necessarily bad from the player's perspective, but as a dev, I'd like to create more interesting and diverse encounters that encourage more than simply "all right everyone, let's attack enemy A!"
If that is your question, I will need to provide the context of my battle system other than the mere armor mechanic. Which is kinda out of topic, but let's just roll with it.

First of all, the armor break itself is just an addition. What makes you think that you couldn't beat the enemy with the armor still up? The default feel of my battle system is like other battle systems. You attack, you defeat the enemy. You barely even pay attention to the armor (except when the armor value is ridiculously high, but no, most of the time it's just 10% ~ 35% damage cut, and rarely even hit 50%). You just notice it when the armor is broken. It's time for you to use the nuke skill. But maybe, you've already used the skill so it's in cooldown. What now? Shame, now you can only do a normal attack at full damage. It's all for a chaotic experience and unexpected situation.

Second, you can not order all the actors to attack the enemy by default. The only one that could do total offense action is someone in the frontline, while the others provide backup. So, you can only order two actors in the frontline to do a focus fire to a single enemy. Granted, you can still order the support role to attack, but doing so, you need to spend AP/TP to just basically do a normal attack while you could have other options to do something else like providing buff, providing debuff, or simply recharge their AP/TP so when they switch to the frontline, they can nuke.
 

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