The Guard Skill... let's change it.

NinjaKittyProductions

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Hello gamedevs,
I do not know why it took me so long to even think of this, as I'm am sure (and others will point out ^_^) this topic probably already exist somewhere in the vastness that is the forums, but looking at the guard mechanic, that is to say the skill that calls the state, it seems... lackluster.
Others as well as myself have pointed out doing things like:
  • your character heals hp/mp when they guard
  • they gain a protection buff for a turn
  • they gain an attack bonus on their next turn
  • etc.
Now, I am not sure if it was due to nostalgia for from older rpgs but I never really messed with the guard skill that much. However, as I was rewatching TFS Dragonball Z Abridged, one thought came to mind... DODGE! So, it hit me to change Guard to Evade/Dodge and instead of the Guard State that reduces incoming damage by a static amount, have the Evade/Dodge increase the users EVA by let's say 50% thereby giving them a 50% chance to completely negate the damage.

This isn't for any specific project. Just throwing out this idea to get others feedback on what kind of game changer this could be, whether for better or worse. Initial test were promising and kind of fun to see the word "EVADE" pop up when the enemy missed.
 

bgillisp

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What I did in my last game was guard recovered like 5% of your HP and gave you a boost to counter attack as well. I figured it made sense since you were waiting for the attack you should be able to react to it easier.

I've toyed with the idea of making guard remove all status ailments though. I think it might be a little too OP but it could work depending on what your status ailments are.
 

lianderson

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Evening mortal. Copy the homework of this one's game for it shall provide you potential answers...

Guard:
+66% Damage Reduction
+150% Taunt
+100% Defense (+25% gravity resistance)
+25% Spirit
+10% Counter
-100% Evasion and Magic Evasion
Knock Down Immunity (with 25% resistance next turn)
Gain 20 Stamina

Since the expression offers 10% health, mana, and stamina regen for the default of most characters, incorporate those into the option as well due to the practical surviving of a turn.

Good day human! Stab everything!
 
Last edited:

estriole

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Hello gamedevs,
I do not know why it took me so long to even think of this, as I'm am sure (and others will point out ^_^) this topic probably already exist somewhere in the vastness that is the forums, but looking at the guard mechanic, that is to say the skill that calls the state, it seems... lackluster.
Others as well as myself have pointed out doing things like:
  • your character heals hp/mp when they guard
  • they gain a protection buff for a turn
  • they gain an attack bonus on their next turn
  • etc.
Now, I am not sure if it was due to nostalgia for from older rpgs but I never really messed with the guard skill that much. However, as I was rewatching TFS Dragonball Z Abridged, one thought came to mind... DODGE! So, it hit me to change Guard to Evade/Dodge and instead of the Guard State that reduces incoming damage by a static amount, have the Evade/Dodge increase the users EVA by let's say 50% thereby giving them a 50% chance to completely negate the damage.

This isn't for any specific project. Just throwing out this idea to get others feedback on what kind of game changer this could be, whether for better or worse. Initial test were promising and kind of fun to see the word "EVADE" pop up when the enemy missed.
i like on breath of fire 3 other than original Guard command... we also have Observe command...
basically the actor will observe the enemy and if the enemy use a skill that learnable by the actor... have a chance to learn it... no damage reduction... no extra states or regeneration... high risk high return (if enemy does not have learnable skills or not using that learnable skill or the learning chance not triggered... but when we manage to learn the enemy skill it will be super satisfiying)...

for your concept of inceasing evasion... 50% chance is too OP...
maybe lower it to 15% - 25%. but that's my personal opinion though... if you want to know it's OP or not... try fighting enemy with 50% evasion chance :D :D...
 

Dororo

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Why guard?
In the old root of RPG, spending one round without depleting opponent HP somehow is detrimental.
So, why defend?
If by guarding I'll get the chance to deliver more than a normal attack (like a counter for each opponents), why attack?

That's why default GUARD is practically useless.
If not by adding other effects.

Recently I've played Great Greed, a Gameboy RPG.
In such game you can cast a spell, attack, or guard. The enemy immediately reply, so the effects are simultaneous.
If you'll GUARD, you deal no damage and you receive some bit less (just a bit less). Anyway, each monster got a routine. If you'll GUARD at the proper moment, the monster fling. That give you one free round of attack, without any reply.
The same is true for you: if you'll attack when the monster is in active guard, you'll fling and get bashed free.

In such sense, GUARD become a very interesting part of the strategy and you should master it to overcome monsters that you can't defeat by grinding.

Thats' the best use I found for GUARD so far.
 

Ami

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depending what battle system that you use,you can be creative to create the unique guard,rather than just…guard,nothing else.
example:
  • when you guard,when the enemy attack the other member,you can use your body as shield
  • replenish the small of HP or MP,even both (mostly)
  • recharge the TP or Limit Break by 2
  • activate parry,reduce enemy physical attack.
  • and more
 

Sparky89

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I usually use Guard to waste a turn if i'm not wanting to kill say a boss with basic sword attack when my next characters TP is high enough for a finisher move. lol Guard in it's self at basic is useless. it's basically skip a turn.

it only reduces damage but a complete evade isn't changing it right up?
The idea of Gaurd is to take reduced damage right ? so if you give the player 50% chance to evade/dodge and gets hit then is that really want you want when gambling the low HP? not sure.. although interesting concept!

You've got me thinking - I may use it to buff TP as some of my char best attacks require alot.
For example hitting an enemy add's 10 tp per turn.. by guarding i could increase this to 20 tp in that turn. so that i can use a more devastating blow with a higher TP required skill. I feel like i got more out of this then you have from me LOL ! good luck.
 

Tiamat-86

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im using a guard skill replacement plugin (Weapon Unleash) combo'd with Equip Skills + Skill Tiers
1 of the tiers is can only equip 1 skill of this tier,
these skills all have <equip state> to them with the state having the <replace guard skill> tags.
the beginning guard skill is just "wait" no benefits at all literally just waits so ANY skill is better.

some of these skills give dmg reduction (more with shield equiped)
or give large def but no mdf, high mdf no def
some give eva or counter, remove actor from combat for 1 or more turns
(like FF4 Kain's Jump Edward's Hide)
skills that just give small amounts of hp, mp, or tp to whole party
next attack skill gets power bonus, next MP skill no mp cost
some weaker guards that also give user some hp, mp, tp or taunts
steal, mug, mime, scan are all guard replaced skills
some make use of instant cast to effect the same turn, instant weak attack, +hit/crit-eva
 

Silenity

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What I did in my last game was guard recovered like 5% of your HP and gave you a boost to counter attack as well. I figured it made sense since you were waiting for the attack you should be able to react to it easier.

I've toyed with the idea of making guard remove all status ailments though. I think it might be a little too OP but it could work depending on what your status ailments are.
Maybe something like dispel 1 random ailment every time you guard.
 

kovak

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i'd use Guard to raise the effectiveness of my next action so my turn is not wasted.
You win battles by dealing damage, anything else is just an excuse, really.
 

CraneSoft

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My "Guard" skill serve 2 primary purposes:

90% Damage Migitation: In my game, the player only controls one actor, revive is not an option, and healing spells/items have limited effectiveness and won't save you from the brink of death, my enemies/bosses have telegraphed special attacks that can easily oneshot or severely cripple an unguarded player. And thus, minimizing the damage taken is a crucial gameplay mechanic in my part.

Recovering posture: I utilize a posture/guard break system in my game, where the player can get knocked down and be exposed to further attacks if they take too many unguarded hits. Guarding recovers their posture and minimizes posture damage taken on that turn to prevent the player from getting into such a disadvantageous situation.
 

Wavelength

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I'm not crazy about dodge chance, since it's a completely luck-based effect (making it very hard to create tight balance in combat), can be frustrating, and tends to slow down the pace of battles.

In timeblazer I have a few different mechanics that make Guard more useful:
  • Reduces damage by 60% rather than the default 50%
  • Skills have Cooldowns, so guarding can help you survive until a Cooldown is ready
  • Some enemies have "charge-up" attacks or mark their targets in advance, meaning that the Guard is reducing more damage for you and more predictably than usual
  • Many "Shield" equips have a bonus effects that happens when you guard, for example, restoring TP, protecting another ally as well, or dealing damage back to anyone who attacks you that turn
In another game I replace the Guard entirely with a "Hide" action, which makes the actor completely untargetable until she takes an action that targets another battler (other ally or enemy) or if another ally targets her. They can still be hit by AoE's. Essentially this lets you keep a specific actor safe while she recovers, but it forces the rest of the team to endure the entire brunt of the rest of the attacks. (The entire team can never be hidden at once - if the whole team becomes hidden, the least recent Hider is immediately revealed so the enemies may target her.)
 

NinjaKittyProductions

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Skills have Cooldowns, so guarding can help you survive until a Cooldown is ready
For the life of me I cannot remember the game, but they had a mechanic similar to this. However if I remember correctly, by using guard/defense it took an additional turn off of your cooldowns.

You've got me thinking - I may use it to buff TP as some of my char best attacks require alot.
For example hitting an enemy add's 10 tp per turn.. by guarding i could increase this to 20 tp in that turn. so that i can use a more devastating blow with a higher TP required skill.
This would be interesting as well. Using your turn to guard/meditate thereby gaining increased TP versus a normal attack/skill action.

for your concept of inceasing evasion... 50% chance is too OP...
maybe lower it to 15% - 25%. but that's my personal opinion though... if you want to know it's OP or not... try fighting enemy with 50% evasion chance :D :D...
I got back on a Dark Souls kick and it is where the original idea came from..."How can I put a dodge roll mechanic into a turn based system." Of course Dark Souls is all about the timing so maybe have it be 100% evade and have monsters/bosses have certain tells that let the player know that a huge attack is coming.

What I did in my last game was guard recovered like 5% of your HP and gave you a boost to counter attack as well. I figured it made sense since you were waiting for the attack you should be able to react to it easier.
Adding counter chance would be an awesome idea. It would make sense too since your character is taking the time to guard their vitals thereby also watching your enemies movements just waiting for an opening.
 

RCXDan

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I've always had a fascinating concept for Guarding in RPG Maker.

I do a lot of scripted events during battle, my most common one being enemies who use special attacks at half health. I like to have it so that guarding when those scripted sequences show up actually modifies the event so something else happens. (Aka. goblin uses a mighty swing, yet character who is guarding intercepts it and does a small counter attack)

Another idea is that having a shield while guarding stops the character from getting certain status effects.

TP restoration and cooldown reduction are pretty cool ideas too.
 

Diretooth

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For me, guarding always acts as a way to get HP, MP, and TP back. It heals half the amount of a potion or most basic healing spell by default (15% HP/MP) and restores 5-10 TP flat (Depending on how TP expensive certain skills are + 100 TP Limit Breaks).
Since getting attacked by default restores TP, and since flat out attacking deals the least damage compared to skills, with most TP-cost skills modifying the base attack to make it more effective, usually it takes a turn or two to build up enough TP to use an Attack or Defense buff as necessary.

Adding a counter chance to the base guard, however, would actually be viable.
 

Basileus

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I see a lot (like a lot) of people that think Guarding is a waste of an action. I've played a lot of games, both turn-based and real-time action, that have virtually no defensive options. I think a lot of this is due to a lot of games having overpowered healing and unpredictable enemies.

The problem with healing is simple math: If the player can heal more HP in 1 turn than the boss can dish out in 2 or 3 turns, then defense is completely pointless as long as the player has MP. Between dedicated healers and plentiful items, a lot of RPGs encourage the player to not think twice about getting hit. As soon as you make it less convenient to get horribly injured, you see players being much more careful.

Enemy AI likely plays a big role here too. Nobody likes to Guard and see that the enemy didn't even attack that turn. Randomized skills/attacks make it very hard to figure out when blocking is even a good idea, so most players will give up on it and just take the hits.

I don't think you need to give players extra effects like healing/attack up/whatever to bribe them to use Guard. The reward should be not dying. If enemies have patterns that players can observe and plan around, then players can predict when to be defensive. Big tells, like taking a turn to charge up energy, are a good start. Giving each enemy a pattern, something like Light Attack > Attack Buff > Heavy Attack > Guard, gives something for the player to work around. In this case using Guard when the enemy uses their attack buff skill to avoid the buffed up heavy attack. Working Guard into the enemy patterns also gives the player some breathing room to use heals/buffs/debuffs since using resources to attack that turn is ineffective.

I like the idea of upgrading the Guard command or letting other skills interact with it, but I don't like the idea of tacking on lots of effects that overshadow the actual Guard ability itself. If the game doesn't actually care about taking defensive action, then it's best to just remove Guard altogether.
 

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You've got me thinking - I may use it to buff TP as some of my char best attacks require alot.
For example hitting an enemy add's 10 tp per turn.. by guarding i could increase this to 20 tp in that turn. so that i can use a more devastating blow with a higher TP required skill. I feel like i got more out of this then you have from me LOL ! good luck.
That's pretty much what I did in my current project. Guard reduces incoming damage by 50% and regens +8TP as well. In my game, you pretty much only gain TP by using normal attack, which grants +8TP (or up to +16TP w/ DW) per turn. Also, if a Shield is equipped, "Guard" turns into "Block" which acts as an upgraded version of Guard. Block reduces incoming damage by ~67% (2/3) and the TP gained is +10TP instead. So basically just your average "turn waster" move lol.
 

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