Strange State Effects in turn based RPGs

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by kovak, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. kovak

    kovak Silverguard Veteran

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    As the title implies (and obviously i'm interested into it), how would states such as Deaf would play in a turn based rpg?
    It's easier to consider effects when dealing with magic but in a sci-fi scenario with no magic involved it's not so much, it forces you to be more creative like changing states such as "Fear" to actually reduce damage dealt and raise cost of commands since a "Silence" like effect would not fit in the genre so well.
     
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  2. jade_angel

    jade_angel Villager Member

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    D&D plays deafness as a lesser version of silence, which seems workable. If you don't have silence as a state, then a straight-across name shift might be the easiest - albeit not necessarily most interesting - way to handle that one specifically. If you do have silence, then deafness might cause voice-dependent skills to sometimes fail (instead of always fail). Doesn't have to be magic - the whole reason it works on magic is the idea that you have to actually murmur an incantation, so it would hose up anything that requires a voice (giving orders, voice command technology, music-based effects?)

    I've got a few oddballs in the project I'm working on - Torment is pretty much borrowed from Guild Wars 2, as a poison-like DOT condition, but any time you spend Vigor you take extra damage. "Ickage" is the effects of a really nasty sort of poison - every turn you gain additional conditions as the poison does extra things to you - Blind, Silence, Daze, Slow, Paralyze,etc (this needs tuning, but that's the gist of it). That's in addition to the normal DOT effect.

    Then there's Engulfed, which is a DOT effect that gets worse the longer you leave it - it deals 5% of your max HP (subject to the normal damage cap) as fire damage per turn and can stack up to 10 times. Each turn, you gain a stack of Engulfed for each stack you already have, so its damage doubles every turn. 1, 2, 4, 8, 10 stacks, dealing damage pretty quickly (5, 10, 20, 40, 50% per turn, so you're dead by the time it stacks to max if you don't cure it before then). Of course, some foes take reduced damage, can extinguish it automatically, or resist the extra stacks, but it's designed to be something the heroes can't ignore, and is powerful if you can inflict it on foes.

    A lot of the other states I'm using are fairly standard fare with some slight variations (like Chaos to disable psychic, but not arcane magic, while Silence disables arcane, but not psychic, magic).
     
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  3. Rinobi

    Rinobi Veteran Veteran

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    Seal - passive abilities are temporarily disabled.

    Radiate - attackers absorb energy from the afflicted.

    Spasm - receive damage while acting.

    Break - Receive massive damage upon infliction. Permanent until cured.

    Frostbite - Receive massive damage after 5 turns.

    Stasis - skills do not cooldown. Last 3 turns.
     
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  4. acidhedz

    acidhedz Veteran Veteran

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    Well, a real life "flash-bang" is designed to produce bright enough light, and loud enough sound, to temporarily stun the target(s).

    Start with things you, personally, can understand.
    Think about how you feel when you get up in the dark and turn a light on.
    If you've ever experienced a loud enough sound to make your ears ring, think about how you felt/reacted.
    How do you react when you have a bad headache?
    A Sci-Fi setting may not have magic, but it can have psionic powers, which can do many of the same things. You just use different names. Pyrokinesis, Cryokinesis, Telekinesis, etc. Or, like I hinted at, take the "Scanners" (a horror movie if you were unaware) approach and let them give enemies the mother of all headaches.

    The inner ear also has a lot to do with balance, so making someone deaf (depending on how) may screw up their sense of balance as well. Perhaps they could have a chance to not be able to act, and even if they can they are at reduced stats till the status is gone.

    A Goop state could lower speed and agility. Acidic Goop can do that, and do DoT. Sometimes starting with a basic effect, then adding more for variations on the state can work. Head Goop could do high DoT as suffocation, unless another character does something about it.

    I'd say you don't want to get TOO fancy, but creating some variations of the basic/classic status effects is just a matter of considering what a condition might do to someone.
    Sometimes even if states cause the same effect, just giving them different names and animations, changing how long they last, if damage can stop them, if they're turn or action timed, etc... can give each it its own feel.
    For example, in my last game I made a frozen state. They take damage and are paralyzed as long as they are frozen, but damage may break them free. Only cold based attacks/spells have a chance to cause it. It's not fancy, but it adds a little extra sump'in, sump'in, to those enemies, spells and attacks, plus it makes sense. Which is important to me.
    Another was Bleeding, which is just a DoT effect, but it lasts anywhere from 3 to 8 turns.
     
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  5. fireflyege

    fireflyege Magic is the destination of all wisdom. Veteran

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    @jade_angel I think ''Deafened'' is a better word. I have a skill called ''Deafening Thunder'' and I am planning to add ''Deafened'' state to it instead of the usual silence.

    @Rinobi Seal is very interesting and can add a lot of strategy to a battle.

    I have also something to add.

    -Necrosis Syndrome: I thought about this as a boss effect which the boss applies to the whole party. All healing is reduced by a large percent and the targets take dark damage over time. When the countdown reaches zero, the target dies. Cannot be cleansed and this is supposed to have a long duration since is an AoE OHKO.

    -Soul Anchor: When the target dies, they get immediately revived and regenerate a small amount of health each turn, but they also lose a small amount of mp each turn for the rest of the battle at their second life. After they die for a second time though, they cannot be revived by any means for the rest of the battle.

    -Death Guard: Sets own health to %25 when applied and then the caster begins to take all damage its party members would take. If the character dies in this turn, all the party members get healed to full (%100 missing health heal), and the caster is revived with %35 of its health again. If the caster is not dead at the end of this turn, it immediately dies and the healing the party members receive is halved to %50 missing health.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
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  6. Frozen_Phoenix

    Frozen_Phoenix Veteran Veteran

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    Deaf: Character now can only act based on what they see. Threats that couldn't be seen, but still heard (an enemy attacking from behind) are now undetected, the deaf character then suffers decreased evasion.

    Just one thing I came up, but you can do whatever you want with it, if it makes some sense.
     
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  7. Basileus

    Basileus Veteran Veteran

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    I feel like you are putting the cart before the horse on this.

    Why is "Deaf" even a status effect? You should identify gameplay effects that you want to create before names/flavor text so that each of your states has an actual purpose rather than being there for "immersion". Otherwise you end up with the problem in many RPGs of having a lot of status effects that no one ever uses.

    As much as I have issues with it, Final Fantasy XIII actually did something right on this front. One of the core mechanics is the Chain Gauge. As the player repeatedly hits an enemy the bar fills and each hit starts to do more damage the more the bar is filled. Once the bar hits the limit the enemy is "Staggered" and cannot act for a short time, giving the player a window to switch to full offense and nuke them down, with the damage modifier continuing to increase even during Stagger so the player can reach insanely high damage by timing their hits to those of their AI-controlled allies to maintain a good rhythm. On top of that, one of the classes has a skill that is unlocked fairly early which can apply the "Airborne" status when attacking Staggered enemies...which obviously launches the enemy into the air where the player can time their attacks to juggle the enemies and try to kill them before they hit the ground.

    This kind of combat is naturally better suited to fully-rendered 3D models that can really show off what is happening, but even a traditional turn-based RPG can pull of flashy moves like that with clever use of states. The Chain Gauge is just a series of invisible states that modifies the damage the target takes, the Stagger is just a basic Stun, and Airborne is just a fancier Stun with extra effects tacked on (namely the ability to persist as long as the target keeps getting hit).

    All you need to do is identify what kinds of effects you want to give the player more control over combat. Do you want to let the player prevent enemies from using skills/abilities? Or would this make combat way too easy? Do you want to include effects to make the target lose a single turn? Would it be OP to have it last multiple turns? How about states that lower stats like Attack, Defense, or Speed? Once you know what you want to happen it gets a lot easier to come up with a name for it.
     
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  8. fireflyege

    fireflyege Magic is the destination of all wisdom. Veteran

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    @Basileus in my game Silence has a 3 turn duration while Deafening momentarily silences people and are removed after the turn it is used. Attacks with deafening are mostly instant moves, or they are always used first in turn order. Also unlike Silence, deafening cannot be cleansed. There may be similar effects with differences you cannot comprehend. Your way of saying this is like saying ''Why is mini-stun even a status effect?'' in DotA where there is a different approach to stun and mini-stun.

    If you are talking about @Frozen_Phoenix then I must say his deafening state is pretty unique too.
     
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  9. Basileus

    Basileus Veteran Veteran

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    @fireflyege
    No, what I'm saying is that the name doesn't matter, the effect does. "Silence" can do whatever you want. If you want an effect that prevents a unit from using skills for 3 turns that's great. If you want to include an identical effect that lasts for only 1 turn that's also fine.

    But a lot of games wouldn't bother to give them different names. Some skills would apply "Silence" for 3 turns while others would apply "Silence" for 1 turn. They keep the name of the status the same since the effect is the same. That's why DOTA calls them "mini-stuns"...because it's just a "Stun" but doesn't last as long.

    As a Dev, I think that you can name your status effects anything you want as long as it actually makes sense to do so. But focusing on possible names for effects before deciding what they should do is bad for a combat system and for player clarity.

    As a player, I don't see any reason why "Deaf" needs to exist in your game if the effect is the same as "Silence". If lore is super important to you or something then you can make a status effect called "Skill Block" and have skills named "Silence" and "Deafen" that apply "Skill Block" for different number of turns. Then you have internal consistency for the effect of prevent me/my enemies from using skills.
     
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  10. fireflyege

    fireflyege Magic is the destination of all wisdom. Veteran

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    @Basileus there is something I want to say and that includes how sorry I am if I seem offensive in my reply. Also looking at your way of thinking you are right except for one major reason.

    In my game statuses vary so much, for example each DoT have a different scaling so I cannot get away with just poison or burn. I also like things complex. Because of that, most equipment do not provide immunity to them but have other effects. That is why cleansing effects are really handy since if you want a skill to cleanse DoT effects, it will cleanse all the cleansable effects on the DoT category.

    Now since I explained why different states matter, I want to remind that Deafening is not cleansable but Silence is easily cleansed. That is a core difference between them since Deafening trades duration for efficiency your approach to it can be different. Of course, the player can see what effects are able to cleansed and what effects aren't if they look at the status window once in a while, effects that cannot be cleansed are rare though, that is the reason Deafening is important.
     
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