Hadria

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I have stumbled into a crossroads while designing my project. Originally I was thinking on going with a row system for combat, but after a while I started messing around with the idea of going with a tactical combat system. Now that I have my project's design more outlined it's the time to take a stance on this, since I feel this is a choice that I can only make now due to the amount of balance and things to consider around it.

I want to build my project around 3 pillar concepts: "Team/Party management", "Crafting and gear-based progression" and "Engaging Combat". So, in order to better illustrate how combat fits into my project and what do I want from it let me explain with an example of how a standard level will go.

In my project, the player manages a mercenary band/guild that takes over requests/missions. There will be different kinds of request, but I will go with the average "hunt to exterminate dangerous creatures" on this example.

From the guild's main base, the player can choose a request, can craft gear, talk and improve your teammates and do different management stuff. After the player has chosen a request, it has to decide the party members to bring with, and what items to bring in the wagon. You will have a limited amount of stuff you can carry on the wagon and a limited amount of stuff you can bring back (hints will be given before hand about what you might need on each region and all that). After this the player will depart with it's party to the request area.

Once there the player will have to advance throught the level, and hunt said creature. My idea is that a level will have 2-6 forced encounters (depending on the difficulty and length of it) including the boss battle/s, plus some optional but easy to evade on-map enemies the player can choose to fight if he wants. Consider that in my setting healing magic doesn't exist, only some basic alchemy and such that will help you with conditions, but can't heal a cut, or a broken leg. So, while in the level you will accumulate wounds that need to be healed, either going back to the guild (after completing or failing the mission) or resting on a campfire on the map that acts like a rest area and (maybe) save point (you can't fully heal though, each party member will be able to execute a campfire action (similar again to darkest dungeon) that can do various things, from healing some acumulated wounds to give you buffs, or preventing an ambush while resting.

Optional encounters I want them to be a way for the player to be able to grind cheap materials if he wants to, and be quickly resolved, but I want most of the forced encounters to feel like bosses or minibosses in which the player will need to use the tools at it's disposal to overcome these. I don't want it to be button smashing but instead to feel like you have a lot of tools and he has to develop a strategy with them to defeat the enemy.

For example you might be fighting against an "Ice Giant", attacking it's knees isn't going to be too efective, you might want to use your ranged units to throw projectiles with ropes to tie it down to the ground and making it vulnerable, and then use your melee units to finish the job. Or maybe one of it's charges made your formation a mess, you might want to use your alchemist's oil to cover it and your archer's fire arrow to put it on fire and gain a couple of turns while it tries to put off the fire on him in order to reposition your team. (ideas in development, don't be harsh) :kaothx:

I personally think the system can work well with both combat mechanics, and I see pros and cons in both of them, but the big con I ended with is that the visual style I want to go with might not fit the tactical combat system (I want to go with an style that has some degree of depth of field, I've been doing some side tests and it seems viable, but the scaling the sprites while they go away from the point of view looks kind of weird in tactical combat). I also think in tactical mode the optional quick encounters can be more of a pain for the player.

So I humbly ask for your opinions and feedback on the matter. Thank you in advance. :kaoluv:
 

ZombieKidzRule

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So, I apologize if this is common knowledge within the community, but I'm not exactly clear what you mean when you say tactical combat system versus rows. I get the rows concept and I am guessing by tactical combat system you are referring to like an on map grid-like system where you can visually move around and surround, flank, take cover, etc. and where line of sight might play a role?

If so, then I think my preference is usually tactical combat system for turn-based combat. I don't necessarily mind row type combat and I definitely prefer that over no rows at all where everyone can reach everyone else.

Personally, I think that the tactical system (if I am thinking of what you are referencing correctly) tends to permit more strategy. Although, I think you could incorporate the same effect with a row system, but the effects wouldn't be visual.

For instance, in the default combat system in RM, whether that is front or side view, couldn't you create a status that reflects the benefits of flanking or backstabbing? Although you wouldn't necessarily see it on the screen, couldn't you put up some sort of indicator that such a status is in effect? Same with line of sight? Couldn't it be possible to give some status indicator that an enemy or ally is hiding or partially obscured or has full or partial cover and that impacts line of sight targeting?

If that is true, then I would probably go with whichever design seemed to fit in best with my vision of the overall visual style and whichever was more readily doable for my project.

Not sure if that helps at all and I hope you get some great perspectives!
 

Hadria

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So, I apologize if this is common knowledge within the community, but I'm not exactly clear what you mean when you say tactical combat system versus rows. I get the rows concept and I am guessing by tactical combat system you are referring to like an on map grid-like system where you can visually move around and surround, flank, take cover, etc. and where line of sight might play a role?

Sorry, It's my fault for not explaining myself properly and tell exactly what I meant for each of the systems.

For "Rows" I meant something like this:
Original image from: https://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?threads/enemy-row-formations.91350/
61454-85e448316d110ec174d0d1ce5143de4e.jpg

Applied to my project, both you and the enemy would use the row system and being in different rows will make you able to use certain actions, and said actions can only be used for enemies in certain rows, there will be classes and weapon types that will be more useful on the frontline and others on the back (example an archer arrow can hit only from rows 3 and 4, but can hit enemies in all rows, meaning while it's on the row 1 or 2 it can't use it but from the back he can hit all enemies freely. While it's true that in this system you lack the ability to directly represent flanking, backstabing and such, you gain the ability to make skills and enemies that mess with the opposite side's formations. You can't flank that spell caster, but you can try to push him to the front line, and "agile" classes can be represented with skills that allow them to quickly switch between rows while attacking (for example, let's say your rogue-class was pushed to the back row, it can have a skill that allows him to dash 2 rows forward while throwing a dagger.


This is also the system that uses Darkest Dungeon but there you can only have 1 character per row, so if your character in row 1 is pushed back, the character in row 2 is pushed forward and they switch.





For tactical, as you say, I mean the typical grid-like system that you can find in games like FF Tactics, and such, though it makes for a better visual representation of the battlefield, I think it makes the overall battle slower (which isn't per se a bad thing).


One of the things that worries me too is that, due to the nature of RPG Maker, a tactical system AI will be harder to make to act in a competent way (simply because there are more variables in place, such as positioning, line of sight, and so on) than a row battle system, and that could lead to the time required to design every boss encounter to go up a lot.
 

dopan

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there is allready a tactical battsystem for rpg mv availleble..
but you will need a bit of JS knowledge to properly use it..
in fact there are several,,

the one i would recommend can be found here:
 

Hadria

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there is allready a tactical battsystem for rpg mv availleble..
but you will need a bit of JS knowledge to properly use it..
in fact there are several,,

the one i would recommend can be found here:

Thank you for the info, I saw there were some plugins for both combat systems, but regarding tactical I didn't knew which one to look at, so this is really helpful. JS shouldn't be a problem so I will make sure to check it out. :kaoluv:

EDIT: I've been also reading about LTBS, out of curiosity can someone who has used any of these plugins if they have support for units that are bigger than 1 tile? (let's say you have a wyvern that is 3x3 tiles or something like that). Or would I need to make an extension myself to add it?
 
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Frostorm

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It all comes down to how you want your turn order system to work. If you want it to be like Fire Emblem, where all units in the party act then all units of the enemy troop act, then go with SRPG. If you want your turn order to be determined by unit Speed, then go LTBS. However, I do want to warn you that LTBS is no longer being developed, whereas SRPG has a very active user base. Btw, the default AI in LTBS is surprisingly decent, lol. Like min/maxing targets in an AoE, or prioritizing beneficial actions, and LoS mechanics. @dopan is definitely the guy to consult regarding anything SRPG though, but I can't speak much on it since I wasn't able to use it for my needs due to the turn order thing. The best thing SRPG has going for it is its active community, imo. It's a shame that LTBS v0.8 never came out...
 
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Hadria

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It all comes down to how you want your turn order system to work. If you want it to be like Fire Emblem, where all units in the party act then all units of the enemy troop act, then go with SRPG. If you want your turn order to be determined by unit Speed, then go LTBS.

If the turn system can't be worked around then I would rather choose LTBS for this project. I would like the system how it was in dofus for example, and I think order based on speed (or the equivalent stat) is important for me to represent the effect of different character's classes and gear for example.

I would keep an eye on SRPG, the turn system seems to work really well if I was for example working more on an strategy kind of game where the turns where the player represents some kind of general and takes turns moving all of it's troops as he likes more than representing individual adventurers.

However, I do want to warn you that LTBS is no longer being developed, whereas SRPG has a very active user base. Btw, the default AI in LTBS is surprisingly decent, lol. Like min/maxing targets in an AoE, or prioritizing beneficial actions, and LoS mechanics.

How bad it is that is no longer being developed? I mean is current build stable or does it has serious bugs left?. I've been reading the forum thread a bit, and I saw some of the newer posts about fixing issues but mostly refering to extensions.

Also how is compatibility? I read on the main post that is compatible with some of yanfly's plugins, but I have also saw some post (I think it was some posts of yours) saying you had to make fixes to make yanfly's plugins work along LTBS.
 

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How bad it is that is no longer being developed?
Not that bad, honestly. It's just that LeCode (the author) was working on a massive update, v0.8, which was supposed to be a rebuild from the ground up. There were gonna be new features and performance boosts, but alas, there hasn't been an update since. I guess it's cuz it piqued my expectations. But if you include @Pharonix's plugin extension for LTBS, pretty much all bugs have been resolved, at least on my end anyway. I got LTBS to work w/ all the Yanfly stuff too. Edit: If you encounter any incompatibilities, let me know...I probably have a solution already.

And I did try to get SRPG to use individual turn order, but I was told that it would be difficult to change the party/troop turn order system. And, even if I managed to get SRPG to use individual turn order, doing so would basically alienate me from the rest of the other SRPG users since my version would be vastly different, to the point that various plugin extensions may not work, thus rendering much of the benefits of SRPG moot.
 
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