zerobeat032

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so I was thinking about how some rpgs go about stunning an enemy in order to give the player an advantage or in some cases, the enemy as well... I've even toyed around with some of these myself, trying to replicate something somewhat akin to a fighting game's stun meter. once it's filled up, that person is stunned a set amount of turns, being unable act. tho in my game it was more so you get a chance to knock down an enemy as opposed to a typical stun.

Final Fantasy 13, Octopath Traveler, and say the Persona series... all examples of being able to stun enemies. allowing you more turns to do whatever since they can't act. I was curious what's a consensus on that mechanic around here... who likes it? who doesn't? what would you like to see done with it?
 

Andar

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many use it - there is only one problem that needs to be prevented:
If the enemy can stun the player, then it needs to be impossible for the enemy to stun all actors at the same time, because that would cause the player to be locked out of control.
 

zerobeat032

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I completely agree with that. things just snowball from there and it's just not a fun time from there on.
 

rue669

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I actually love this mechanic as long as it involves some strategy. I think Octopath Traveller did it wonderfully, especially since the battle system was perhaps it’s best quality. Even people who hate turn-based rpgs liked Octopath’s battle system.
 

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Fully stunning the party is actually just fine as long as it isn't spammable and RNG-driven:

cMxxLkB.png


I've got a few full-party stuns planned, but I think they're all quite fair:
  • Upon reaching 50% health, a particular boss will stun the party for a few rounds unless they have resistance. A few NPCs will warn about this, provided the player actually talks to them, and at the time, it will be possible to gear 1, maybe 2 party members to be immune.
  • A few areas have persistent stuns that are applied each round in combat if certain requirements aren't met. Deep in the volcano, metal armor gets really hot and will stun + dot the player if they're wearing any, making short work of them. In the cold area, not wearing warm clothes will result in per-round damage + a high chance of being frozen--a stun which can be broken in a single hit, but that hit inflicts 2x damage unless it's fire. The player is sufficiently warned about both of these.
 

zerobeat032

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Fully stunning the party is actually just fine as long as it isn't spammable and RNG-driven:

cMxxLkB.png


I've got a few full-party stuns planned, but I think they're all quite fair:
  • Upon reaching 50% health, a particular boss will stun the party for a few rounds unless they have resistance. A few NPCs will warn about this, provided the player actually talks to them, and at the time, it will be possible to gear 1, maybe 2 party members to be immune.
  • A few areas have persistent stuns that are applied each round in combat if certain requirements aren't met. Deep in the volcano, metal armor gets really hot and will stun + dot the player if they're wearing any, making short work of them. In the cold area, not wearing warm clothes will result in per-round damage + a high chance of being frozen--a stun which can be broken in a single hit, but that hit inflicts 2x damage unless it's fire. The player is sufficiently warned about both of these.

I think warning the player is a good way to avoid an otherwise terrible situation lol. and yeah if it's not spammable/RNG then it might not be too bad. tho I myself haven't found the best way to get players stunned with a form of "balance" applied as of yet.
 

kairi_key

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I like it in a way that it gives me small objectives to do in each battle that keep me from mindlessly hit nukes to wipe everything. I am a person who's a bit slow on strategy, so having system like that can help me visualize a plan around the goal of stunning an enemy. The problem with this kind of thing is exactly that: it can keep you from get on with things fast. Enemies tend to have larger pool of HP and it can drag the battle for too long especially in late-game where developer just wanna up the obstacle.

I think Persona is a nice and balanced way. You can stun enemy and enemy can stun you if the elemental weakness is hit, but you cannot stun-lock as you can only stun once per weakness. And how when an enemy can screw you over when they can hit you down. The battle might be long sometimes, but majority of gameplay is usually spent on social stuffs anyway.
FF13's way is fast-paced enough but it lacks communication as in it's hard to know what you're doing at times. I had never even realized that debuffs can act like Commando's attack to stabilize the stagger bar until I watched speed run of it.

Another game worth mentioning is Xenoblade Chronicle series in which you can topple enemy and vice versa. It was quite satisfying to do especially in XC2 where you can launch and then smash to finish the combo.


One thing I'd like to see for a game like that is just one silly idea I have, lol. You know sometimes in these kind of games, you can bypass stunning process by having high enough stats to nuke it out with your powerful skill right? I think it would be fun if there are certain types of enemy that are so weak that you end up killing it before you can stun it properly and later there are some minigame challenges in the game that requires you to find a way to stun/break it. I'm sure it'd be fun if the stun mechanic is also fun enough, but it'll probably annoy the hell out of people who don't like this kind of mechanics lol.
 

zerobeat032

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I like it in a way that it gives me small objectives to do in each battle that keep me from mindlessly hit nukes to wipe everything. I am a person who's a bit slow on strategy, so having system like that can help me visualize a plan around the goal of stunning an enemy. The problem with this kind of thing is exactly that: it can keep you from get on with things fast. Enemies tend to have larger pool of HP and it can drag the battle for too long especially in late-game where developer just wanna up the obstacle.

I think Persona is a nice and balanced way. You can stun enemy and enemy can stun you if the elemental weakness is hit, but you cannot stun-lock as you can only stun once per weakness. And how when an enemy can screw you over when they can hit you down. The battle might be long sometimes, but majority of gameplay is usually spent on social stuffs anyway.
FF13's way is fast-paced enough but it lacks communication as in it's hard to know what you're doing at times. I had never even realized that debuffs can act like Commando's attack to stabilize the stagger bar until I watched speed run of it.

Another game worth mentioning is Xenoblade Chronicle series in which you can topple enemy and vice versa. It was quite satisfying to do especially in XC2 where you can launch and then smash to finish the combo.


One thing I'd like to see for a game like that is just one silly idea I have, lol. You know sometimes in these kind of games, you can bypass stunning process by having high enough stats to nuke it out with your powerful skill right? I think it would be fun if there are certain types of enemy that are so weak that you end up killing it before you can stun it properly and later there are some minigame challenges in the game that requires you to find a way to stun/break it. I'm sure it'd be fun if the stun mechanic is also fun enough, but it'll probably annoy the hell out of people who don't like this kind of mechanics lol.

Yeah, I didn't know in FF13 you could basically "attack" as a sabatour(sp?) lol... I didn't realize (in the first one) that ravagers alone don't add a sort of "hold" to the stagger meter. which is what balances it from Commandos. They keep the meter from going down, Ravagers fill it up. but you can't quite do it with just one or the other... unless you just run 3 ravagers and blaze through something. Paradigms had more going on that what I thought, but you're absolutely right... the game does a bad job of really telling you these more nuanced parts of the system. I agree Persona does a good job of balancing it. tho it helps in 4 and 5 that you can control your party members... but MC game overs still bite tho when they are the one's getting blasted constantly. I've always wanted to play the Xenoblade games and I finally can since I've got a switch.
I definitely wanna see how it does the whole "stun/stagger" thing with it's topple mechanics.

and your idea is actually kinda funny... I thought about something similiar once a loooong time ago haha. but I couldn't figure out how I wanted to implement it into anything so I never went anywhere with it.
 

kairi_key

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Yeah, I didn't know in FF13 you could basically "attack" as a sabatour(sp?) lol... I didn't realize (in the first one) that ravagers alone don't add a sort of "hold" to the stagger meter. which is what balances it from Commandos. They keep the meter from going down, Ravagers fill it up. but you can't quite do it with just one or the other... unless you just run 3 ravagers and blaze through something. Paradigms had more going on that what I thought, but you're absolutely right... the game does a bad job of really telling you these more nuanced parts of the system. I agree Persona does a good job of balancing it. tho it helps in 4 and 5 that you can control your party members... but MC game overs still bite tho when they are the one's getting blasted constantly. I've always wanted to play the Xenoblade games and I finally can since I've got a switch.
I definitely wanna see how it does the whole "stun/stagger" thing with it's topple mechanics.

and your idea is actually kinda funny... I thought about something similiar once a loooong time ago haha. but I couldn't figure out how I wanted to implement it into anything so I never went anywhere with it.
XC2 make this mechanics into a combo of states. Your skills can inflict states and it must be inflicted in succession to each other into a combo. The combo is break=>topple=>launch=>smash where break doesn't do anything except makes you susceptible to topple. Topple is your typical stun and after that you can launch an enemy in the air to finally inflict a big ol' smash that did a lot of damage and gave you good drops. Later in game, I think there are some enemies who can have a spike attack where they can damage you when they are toppled.

And yeah, that trying to stun a too weak enemy is a fun idea. Tbh, it's nothing new since it has a very similar concept to luring enemy to use their skill for your FF's blue mage. Those times when you have to confuse enemies to have them use White Wind on you, man, lol.
 

zerobeat032

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that's actually really interesting. I kinda like the idea of having to break the enemy first. I've experimented with things like that myself actually, where I had a stun gauge and once it was emptied, you weren't necessarily stunned. but you could be grounded or caused to lose your footing and stumble, which would be like stunned in a since in my game. then it act's like a normal stun mechanic.
 

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like other negative effects, i don't like stuns when they're random and i feel like i lost the battle or suffered unneccesary resource loss due to being simply "unlucky."

I like them being inflicted at set conditions or patterns that I can plan and adapt for. For example, say a boss will stun a single party member every 3rd turn. Before that turn, I can use a skill to dodge the attack, or cast a shield spell, etc.....Or, part of the challenge is simply knowing that one party member will be stunned every 3rd turn against that particular boss.

For regular enemies, it can be something similar where they'll stun a party member after 2 turns. So I know that if I don't kill them in 2 turns, I'll have problems. Now I have an interesting choice: spend more MP to kill them faster, or take an extra turn of punishment that will lose some additional HP.
 

CraneSoft

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I like the stun-break mechanic, although it can get repetitive when every single fight utilizes the "stun enemy, then kill them before they recover" routine, and it is kind of difficult to replicate in a turn-based system.
I do the reverse of FFXIII - you can't knockdown enemies but they CAN knock you down after you take too many hits (or simply with specific special attacks), in which case you will be vulnerable to attacks and unable to fight back until you stand back up and recover your weapon (which is player controlled unlike a typical stun that removes your control), this creates tension in fights where you have to defend at the right time to recover your posture and avoid getting knockdown to prevent a disadvantageous situation.
 

zerobeat032

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I like the stun-break mechanic, although it can get repetitive when every single fight utilizes the "stun enemy, then kill them before they recover" routine, and it is kind of difficult to replicate in a turn-based system.
I do the reverse of FFXIII - you can't knockdown enemies but they CAN knock you down after you take too many hits (or simply with specific special attacks), in which case you will be vulnerable to attacks and unable to fight back until you stand back up and recover your weapon (which is player controlled unlike a typical stun that removes your control), this creates tension in fights where you have to defend at the right time to recover your posture and avoid getting knockdown to prevent a disadvantageous situation.

That's actually a interesting way to go about it I'd say... tho with systems like that, I feel balancing is definitely key. but otherwise I'm actually interested to see that play out in a battle.
 

gstv87

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all debuffs/ailments/conditions should be calculated based on character stats/abilities, and not random chance.
sure, you can give a weapon or an ability a percentage of chance to inflict that state, but the ultimate defense against it should be the receiver's own resistance.

that should work both ways, and can be used to create interesting battles if used correctly: say you put the player against an order of dark wizards, all with low constitution/strength, vulnerable to stuns.
the player could pick up on that, and build their strategy around stunning, and work their way through.... until they meet the boss, an otherworldly massive demon with huge constitution and strength.
suddenly the stun mechanic doesn't work anymore, and the player is at the defensive.
 

zerobeat032

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all debuffs/ailments/conditions should be calculated based on character stats/abilities, and not random chance.
sure, you can give a weapon or an ability a percentage of chance to inflict that state, but the ultimate defense against it should be the receiver's own resistance.

that should work both ways, and can be used to create interesting battles if used correctly: say you put the player against an order of dark wizards, all with low constitution/strength, vulnerable to stuns.
the player could pick up on that, and build their strategy around stunning, and work their way through.... until they meet the boss, an otherworldly massive demon with huge constitution and strength.
suddenly the stun mechanic doesn't work anymore, and the player is at the defensive.

that's a good way to look at it. especially to keep things balanced and add more creativity to such a system. it shouldn't just work on everyone I feel. and in some cases it doesn't in some of these games. in persons, you usually have to approach a boss completely different from a normal encounter. tho I feel there should be normal encounters like that too. I feel overuse of the stun mechanic can be a bad thing too
 

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Stuns are a pretty basic mechanic of RPGs. Almost all games employ them in some form. They're fine, as long as they're "fair" (in the sense that it should be very rare or impossible to lock a battler into a chain of several consecutive turns stunned).

However, I tend to prefer "soft disables" such as silences, enrages, disarms, etc., which allow the player to make interesting decisions in adverse situations, rather than "hard disables" such as stuns and petrifies which take all of the control out of the player's hands and force them to simply watch as things happen.

I like the stun-break mechanic, although it can get repetitive when every single fight utilizes the "stun enemy, then kill them before they recover" routine, and it is kind of difficult to replicate in a turn-based system.
I do the reverse of FFXIII - you can't knockdown enemies but they CAN knock you down after you take too many hits (or simply with specific special attacks), in which case you will be vulnerable to attacks and unable to fight back until you stand back up and recover your weapon (which is player controlled unlike a typical stun that removes your control), this creates tension in fights where you have to defend at the right time to recover your posture and avoid getting knockdown to prevent a disadvantageous situation.
Normally I'm not a fan of giving enemies (in general) a mechanic that can work against the player, while not giving the player the same mechanic to use against enemies - it feels "cheap" and unfair, like the game is intentionally working against you. However, this one has me a bit intrigued. What is the purpose of this mechanic - is it to present a drawback to spamming heal moves (you can reverse the damage, but you can't reverse the Stun meter, which will eventually allow the enemies to deal two turns of damage while you're stunned and can't heal)? Or is there some other purpose you had in mind when you designed this Stun mechanic?

If I'm right about the purpose, I might suggest reworking the mechanic to be based on total damage taken (perhaps every 150% of a character's Max HP taken will stun them for 2 turns), and also allowing players to use this mechanic on enemies (which will almost never happen anyway - only against enemies that can heal or have a healer in their troop, since otherwise you'll kill them long before you deal 150% of their Max HP), which will feel more "fair" and allow you to create enemies with powerful heals (the key for the player will be to activate the Stuns at the right time and then unload on the enemy while they can't heal themselves).
 

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is it to present a drawback to spamming heal moves (you can reverse the damage, but you can't reverse the Stun meter, which will eventually allow the enemies to deal two turns of damage while you're stunned and can't heal)? Or is there some other purpose you had in mind when you designed this Stun mechanic?

You are partially right about being a drawback to spamming heal moves. Mine operates on single actor vs. many enemies concept, which is akin to playing as a boss that's overwhelmed by numbers, but instead of having boss-class HP the player could fully heal themselves easily because they don't have a full party to manage, so this is necessary to even the playing field. On the other hand, it is also to discourage mindless attack spam and provide an additional purpose for the Defend command (that recovers stun meter and provide additional stun protection against dangerous attacks that can otherwise instantly stun you), and also ensure that even the weaker enemies can present a threat if you approach them wrong.

With that said, I may allow the player to use this mechanic on very specific, gimmickry bosses (stun them to interrupt their telegraphed attacks for instance) if necessary, but not in general as I do not want to drag out battles by having enemies that requires stunning to reliably hurt/kill.
 

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