Switching party members in battle, how would you use it?

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by atoms, Jul 28, 2018.

  1. atoms

    atoms Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    434
    Likes Received:
    257
    Location:
    United Kingdom, England
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    I've recently been curious about the game feature of having many party members and being able to switch between them in battles, but I can't see how to make this work in an RPG Maker game.

    The reason I say that is because anyone way I look at it, it seems to me the player would become overpowered by simply being able to switch out the different actors.

    I'm just wondering what ideas everyone here has on how they'd use a party switching feature in a RPG Maker game and what they'd do to make the mechanics work well? Interested in hearing all ideas!

    Thanks. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
    #1
  2. JtheDuelist

    JtheDuelist Just a dev who actually got a game finished Veteran

    Messages:
    1,121
    Likes Received:
    1,399
    Location:
    RMW Forums, Granvia, or Askr
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    Simple- apply a large turn cooldown time between switches (ie: Once you switch, you can't switch again for X amount of turns).
     
    #2
    atoms likes this.
  3. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

    Messages:
    19,877
    Likes Received:
    10,183
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    As long as this is a discussion about the desirability of such a mechanic, or different ways in which it can be designed, it can stay here.
    If, however, it is about implementation - and the query could be read that way - then it needs to be in the Support section for the engine you are using.

    Could you please clarify which it is?
    Thanks.
     
    #3
    atoms likes this.
  4. kovak

    kovak Bloodmancer Veteran

    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    1,543
    Location:
    I'm from the Hu3
    First Language:
    PT - EN
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    My approach to this is to reduce the number of active members and party members as well.
    Default number of active members is 4 and most encounters are designed to follow this pattern.
    In this situation an easy encounter is composed of 3 enemies and hard ones are composed with 5.

    Using this ratio and reducing the number of activer members to 3 you turn the encounter composition to follow the 2 to 4 enemies instead of 3 to 5 to scale difficulty.
    Same can be said if you allow enemies to have extra actions per turn. If you have an enemy who's as resistant as an actor but can act up to 3 times in a single turn he can be really challenging as well.
     
    #4
    atoms likes this.
  5. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

    Messages:
    4,056
    Likes Received:
    4,479
    Location:
    Riftverse
    First Language:
    Indonesian
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    My fave RPG, Child of light did this very well. And it also encourage their player to switch battle member often. What they did was to make active battle member only 2 despite it has ten or more party member, and maximum enemy troop is 3. Above that number, it would be hectic, and would unnecessarily prolonging the battle, so the number is just right.

    By having two active battle member, the damage would be more focused. So a multiple attack of enemies would be spread only to two battle members, not four (default number). You will have someone actually dying and you don't want that to happen. So you switch. Sometimes you also want to switch a healer to heal that injured fella, but the risk of your healer getting hit as well in next turn. Back up is limited when only having two active battle. Would you want to use tank and attacker composition? would you want to switch to healer and agile character? would you use double healer?

    Granted, it uses different turn order ( ATB ), not default turn based. Here is the video
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
    #5
    atoms likes this.
  6. atoms

    atoms Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    434
    Likes Received:
    257
    Location:
    United Kingdom, England
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    Sorry about that, I edited the title to make it clearer. I'm just asking how others would use a party system feature in there games, so I think it's more different ways in which it can be designed, and therefore belong here. If you still think you can make that clearer in my post than I can, feel free to edit it further.


    @JtheDuelist, @kovak, @TheoAllen

    Thanks for the feedback, large cooldowns may help do it, I agree to take note of how many enemy encouters you have against the party members in battle, and TheoAllen I really like the looks of Child of Light! It does look like it handles the feature well.
     
    #6
  7. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

    Messages:
    19,877
    Likes Received:
    10,183
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    @atoms With the change of title it's much clearer.
     
    #7
    atoms likes this.
  8. Eschaton

    Eschaton Hack Fraud Veteran

    Messages:
    2,014
    Likes Received:
    504
    Location:
    Kansas City, Missouri
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
    Complete freedom. Just a thing an actor can do with their turn. Final Fantasy X hit the nail on the head with actor switch. The player learns to recognize the enemy/player rock, paper, scissors dynamic (which frustratingly gets abandoned halfway through the game), and switches actors accordingly. And the switch doesn't end the turn; the player is switching the actors so that the switched actor can be properly utilized during that turn.
     
    #8
    atoms likes this.
  9. atoms

    atoms Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    434
    Likes Received:
    257
    Location:
    United Kingdom, England
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    Ok thank you.

    I was thinking about FFX, and that would require creating new elements such as battle creatures elements that RPG Maker XP uses and/or Weapon Elements too. But at the same time I feel it would force players to switch between the characters all the time and I'm not sure how enjoyable the output of it would be....
     
    #9
  10. Eschaton

    Eschaton Hack Fraud Veteran

    Messages:
    2,014
    Likes Received:
    504
    Location:
    Kansas City, Missouri
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
    I thought that mechanic had potential, but crafting and the Sphere Grid completely derailed it. You would need to get creative as a developer to design around that rock, paper, scissors dynamic. And you wouldn't necessarily need to create more elements. Tidus was effective against faster enemies because he was fast enough to act before they could. Wakka was effective against flying enemies because he was accurate enough to hit them. Lulu was effective against magic enemies because she could cast spells to exploit their innate weaknesses. Auron was effective against armored enemies because he could hit hard enough to overcome their high DEF. Yuna, Khimari, and especially Rikku muddy up this dynamic by introducing what I think is unnecessary feature creep. What derails the potential of this dynamic is the fact that more effective strategies emerge from the ability to move characters to different places on the Sphere Grid, crafting equipment, and Limit Breaks.

    Man, if it weren't for all that feature creep (and dependence on the official BradyGames(TM) Official(TM) strategy guide), FFX could have been the best in the series and the best JRPG ever made.

    My bottom line is that character switching is really effective when characters are very unique from one another and play very distinct and necessary roles from one another. Characters who are dedicated to fulfilling one role very well, and maybe another role kinda well. And not muddying up this dynamic with too many customization options.
     
    #10
    atoms likes this.

Share This Page