Stun vs. Paralyze status effects

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by jonthefox, Mar 3, 2019.

  1. Tech

    Tech Villager Member

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    Stun is one turn. You got your bell rung, you need to shake your head to uncross your eyes.

    Paralyze is for the whole fight. There's a neurotoxin or electrical anomaly jamming your nerves.

    I also use Debilitated, which is a hybrid of bleeding and paralyze which represents being too injured to move, but unfortunately still consious.
     
    #21
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  2. ave36

    ave36 Veteran Veteran

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    My game has Sleep, Stop and Stone. Pretty much standard Final Fantasy-esque fare: Sleep prevents you from acting until you are hit, Stop is an ATB effect that freezes the ATB bar, Stone prevents you from acting until cured, massively boosts defense, but if someone manages to inflict at least one HP damage on a petrified character, they are shattered and KO.
     
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  3. BK-tdm

    BK-tdm Manga Maker Veteran

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    Well for me stun is a physical condition, and paralyze is magical so for starters, fail rates are different as stunning something is Defense dependant for the chance roll, while paralyze rolls against M.Def.

    Then for the effects:

    Stun: lowers the affected targets Defenses by some %, and evasion to 0 (you cant dodge while stunned, logically) BUT any attack will break it.

    Paralyze:
    target cant act for X number of turns still 0 EVA but it actually buffs the targets defenses doesnt break on damage but you dont get a damage bonus either.
    reasoning: target is still conscious, paralizying something surrounds it with a "hard light" field making it a "statue" of some sort for a fixed time, you can change this to magical chains/bindings, whatever, thing is the target can still see and try to cover from the subsequent damage, unlike a stunned foe also the hard light/chains/magical stuff you surrounded your target with will bounce off some of the damage from a projectile.

    So stunning a target to setup a combo that will deal extra damage but eats up any inmobilization by using stun, or actually leaving an annoying enemy buffer/healer stuck for some turns and force you to not focus on it thanks to the increased resistances.
     
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  4. ScientistWD

    ScientistWD Innocuous Veteran

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    It looks as though I am the only person in the Entire World that has found "Stun" and "Paralyze" to be redundant most of the time. From the player's perspective, there is such a huge loss of agency that it is not usually much "fun" to be stunned for a long time. And likewise, allowing the player to inflict such a state on a boss or large enemy is often difficult to balance in its own way, often requiring the boss to just be immune to such states to begin with. I find that other states, such as debuffs to accuracy or attack power, function similarly to Stun-type effects as a player uses them.
    For these reasons, I tend to use a two-turn "Stun" state, and I use it sparingly. I balance it most often by requiring resources from the player, (high MP or expensive items, for example) or by giving it a small chance to be applied (so that it is difficult to rely on).|
    Otherwise, as I said earlier, I find that other states can give similar results, all while being thematically relevant and less extreme than traditional "Stun" states.
     
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  5. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @ScientistWD : The thing is, it is not redundant in nature. Stun is when you fail to react as you are startled, and paralyze is you can't react because you just can't, like say a poison is preventing you. Many snakes and such have poisons which paralyze the target so it is impossible to move, but you can also be stunned when you see one that you fail to react in the first second or two, and we would consider those different.

    I actually handled the two similar to that in my game. Stun is just that, you fail to react for some reason. Paralyze though is via a poison, and if you treat it in time, you prevent paralyze. If you don't, you will be paralyzed in a couple of turns and once paralyzed, you lose all DEF as you can't defend yourself at all now.

    Incidentally, I do have it that if you are hit when Paralyzed, the state is removed. Granted losing all DEF means it was removed by your KO more than likely, but in the off chance you do survive it, I let that hit shock your system to the point that you can move again.

    As for bosses, any player skill that can inflict either of these is one use per battle only, so it is a matter of timing. And bosses have enough HP that they can survive that hard hit, so it can be a way to cost them a turn and do high damage as well.
     
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  6. ScientistWD

    ScientistWD Innocuous Veteran

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    @bgillisp: I respectfully disagree.

    I do think it is intuitive enough to combine the ideas of temporary snake venom, restrained in by a spell, being snared by a net, being shaken by a quake and the like under an umbrella of "I cannot move". I think that is easy enough for a player to understand; I think that these scenarios are similar enough that they can all be described by the same mechanics. We can contrive reasons for these scenarios to be similar as much as we can contrive reasons for them to be different.
    I understand the reasons to separate them, I really do. But I also want to make clear that it is not always necessary to make two different states to describe something that has similar mechanical effects.

    For example, there is a huge narrative difference between being tangled up in ropes and being shaken up by a bolt of lightning. But mechanically, the game designer might have them function the same; it takes a turn for you to untangle yourself, or to recover from the shock of the lightning. We can have them be the same if we want them to be, and I, personally, do not find it to be a particularly drastic lapse of imagination. I am always in favor of simplifying a game's library when appropriate.

    We can have them be the same if we want them to be; that is all I mean as the only dissenter of combining Stun and Paralyze together.
     
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  7. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @ScientistWD : Fair enough, just know that some will disagree with you a little here in how the terms are used. But yes, if you wish to be simplier about it you can combine them for a game design perspective like you did.

    Personally I kept them separate just because I wanted a state you can break by being hit (Paralyze) vs one you can't (Stun). Until that came up though I actually did as you did and didn't even have paralyze, so I know roughly what you are getting at here too.
     
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  8. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    Man, I shudder to think what you'd think of my own system at this point. I not only have "Stun" and "Paralyze", but Sleep Level 1, Sleep Level 2, Sleep Level 3, Sleep Level 4, Frozen, and Zombie.

    There are a lot of ways for the player to lose their agency and a lot of ways for bosses and regular enemies to be struck with these skills.

    I prefer each option be tactical in nature. I thought of "Stun" only lasting a couple turns, but wanted it to be more useful. I wanted it to be a larger tactical edge. I wanted all my states to be impactful in combat. "Worth spending time inflicting" to the player, since in most RPG's, no player ever bothers inflicting a state on any enemy.

    I mean, they don't inflict states for a couple reasons:
    1. Combat with regular enemies is over too quickly to even require a state to win it. Mash "attack" a couple times, the enemy dies in the first or second round of combat (4 to 8 actions, 1 action per actor, 4 actors) and move along.
    2. Boss monsters are basically immune to every useful state there is. You can't inflict anything meaningful on them anyway, so why bother even trying to inflict stuff?
    3. States aren't as useful as outright inflicting damage in most RPG's. It's better to deal 100 damage with your 1 action than spend that turn inflicting "Poison" to deal 15 damage each round to that enemy until it dies. It is better to expend 4 actions to deal 400 damage than to expend 3 actions to deal 300 damage and inflict "stun" or "paralyze" on an enemy and keep them from inflicting the miniscule amount of damage they'll do to you anyway. Killing monsters more quickly keeps you from taking damage, not inflicting "stun" or "paralyze" in most RPG's.

    So, as a player, what reason is there ever to inflict a state? They are pretty much universally a waste of time. This is the reason why most people say on these forums, "don't create a skill that just inflicts a state. Have it do damage as well, so it doesn't seem like a waste to the player".

    Personally, I hate this convention. Why SHOULDN'T the player inflict states? Why AREN'T states more useful? Why CAN'T they be more powerful?

    So... mine are.

    But, mine are also tactical.

    Stun - Enemy is unable to take an action until they have taken damage. Upon taking damage, they have the state removed 100% of the time.
    Paralyze - Enemy is unable to ever move again unless the state is cleared. They are effectively a free kill at this point. It works the same on your players.
    Sleep Level 1 - Enemy is unable to act forever, unless they take damage. If they take damage, there is an 80% chance they will wake up and be able to act again.
    Sleep Level 2 - Enemy is unable to act forever, unless they take damage. If they take damage, there is a 60% chance they will wake up and be able to act again.
    Sleep Level 3 - Enemy is unable to act forever, unless they take damage. If they take damage, there is a 40% chance they will wake up and be able to act again.
    Sleep Level 4 - Enemy is unable to act forever, unless they take damage. If they take damage, there is a 10% chance they will wake up and be able to act again.
    Frozen - Enemy is unable to act unless they take damage. When they take damage, there is a 50% chance they are no longer Frozen and can act again. While frozen, enemy takes 0% "Ice" damage, 150% more "Strength" damage, 150% more "Fire" damage, 300% more "Bash" damage, 400% more "Silver" damage, and 600% more "Lead" damage.
    Zombie - Enemy is turned "Berserk". Their "Attack" stat is increased by 300%, They take 300% more "Fire" damage, and every attack they make on someone has a 100% chance to inflict "Zombie" on them as well. If inflicted on the player, they lose control of that actor. That actor will then strike any random target on the field. The state lasts until cured or battle ends. It can only be cured with Consumables.

    Every single state takes agency away from the player. It requires the player spend actions to cure the effects. Sleep is easier to inflict than Stun. Paralyze is difficult to inflict (the player only ever gets a 10% chance to inflict Paralyze, even on enemies that aren't immune to it). Frozen can be inflicted at an 80% rate, maximum, but it requires the enemies not have resistance to it and the players to have leveled up their skill to inflict it more often. Zombie is... well... self-explanatory.

    These are powerful states that the player can inflict, and feel powerful for inflicting... But, the enemy can also inflict them on the player, and the player will probably feel like they need to remove these states as quickly as possible.

    Oh, "Stun" is the only state that can't be cured by Consumables as well. It needs to be cured via skill or being struck. All "sleep" states can be removed with the same consumable. All states are removed when combat ends.

    It's all a matter of how you use the states you have. They are only "redundant" if you design them to be. As such, I teach my player the best ways to use each state. There's an entire dungeon dedicated to teaching the player how to best use "Stun". There's an entire dungeon where the player is inflicted with "Paralyze" by most of the enemies. There's enemies that teach a good use for "Frozen" in that they freeze you and then hit you with a mace to inflict a ton of damage. There is a dungeon that teaches the player the usefulness of "sleep" as something more easily inflicted... on the enemies and on the players. Players are not taught how to deal with "Zombie" as it's such an advanced state that appears so late in the game, that the player is expected to know what they're dealing with by that point, and an NPC warning about zombies should be sufficient for the player.

    I rather like my dynamic between "Sleep" and "Stun" as well. It is worse for the player to be inflicted with "Stun" as there's no cure for it at all, except to take damage (this is especially painful if the enemy doesn't target that character again for a while). But, it is worse for the Enemies to be inflicted with "Sleep" as there is a chance the enemy doesn't get their ability to act back, and they remain asleep, which allows for multiple hits, or "focused fire" on the target.

    Likewise, the point of inflicting "Stun" is to keep an enemy out of combat for a while and allow you to deal with priority targets. But, the point of inflicting "Sleep" is to be able to "dogpile" a single enemy without them hitting you back.

    Though, the point of inflicting "Paralyze" is just pretty much to hand the player an easy win if they manage it. :D
     
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