'Types' Discussion

MrLogie

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I'll use my game I'm developing as an example, but this is generally a question all around to any game. 


What do you(the community) feel about the different types in most rpgs? I've been running into rpg after rpg where weapons all do the same kind of 'physical' damage, but where is the cutting? the bash? the crush? the chopping? ect.... Is that a mundane point. I'm using my game as an example, and saying I have a type for the various weapons(spears = pierce, swords = slash, axe = chop, staff/hammers = bash ect....)


but yeah, I wanted to know if the community felt this was a good or a bad idea to incorperate this into games, or is it a waste. Especially if say, different enemies have a weakness to certain kinds. Or in my case, both that and a weapon triangle is in place.


Thoughts? Ideas? Also what about the different kinds of magic?


fire/ice/wind/water/electric/light,dark,nature(vines ect..), and then earth(actual rocks ect..)  and even more such as the simple non-elemental magic we all know and love, known as arcane. Ect... 


What kind of types do you guys think should be in, and even if i didn't mention 'X' Type, what kind of type should never rear it's head in a game. An example of an rpg I played, after I looked into the weakness/strength, there was an actual type called 'god/Divine' which felt it was incorperated bad, but the concept of a divine element, kinda was cool. till anyone could learn it... then it got rather boring.


also what about the basic magical enements being renamed but still core to them


aqua-water


Terra - Earth 
Aer - Air 
Ignis - Fire 


ect..
 
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Wavelength

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This subject comes up a lot here - the whole "what elements should be in an RPG" and "should there be just one physical element called 'physical' or should there be lots of different physical types" discussions.


And the advice I usually like to give is - what larger purpose do the Elements have in your battle system?  How does the presence of each element make the system more exciting, balanced, and strategic?  If you can't come up with a good answer to those questions, you should cut out as many as you can.  If you can come up with a good answer to those questions, then you should 'double down' on the good qualities of the system by giving the player as much control over it as possible.
 

Victor Sant

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"Just because something can be done, it doesn't meas it should be done" is a nice lesson about game design.


You should think that adding too many aspects to your game increase it's complexity, and unless this extra complexity improves the gaming experience, it should be avoided.


The point is: will all thos extra types be relevant to the game experience or will just add complexity for little gain?


One example of it is the recents Shin Megami Tensei franchise games, where the damage types is a very important aspect of the battle system.


So if it should be added or not depend on many other aspects of the gameplay. But remember: games are mean't to be enjoyable, even it's challenges and complexity are there for that. 
 
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MrLogie

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ah yeah,  I agree. I've been looking around, more less pit patting and collecting typing ideas. I've found rpgs with too little, ruin the experiance, and too much, also ruin the experiance. Like no offense to pokemon, but 18 types is a little much. Where as, I've played rpg with 5 types, and tbh...that got boring. cause who wants to play an rpg with intricate complex battle mechanisms...but only fire, water, earth, air, and physical.


I entirely agree with you though @Wavelength its the exact question I asked when adding any element to my game, and then some such as


Does this have an impact or is it just going to be another 'choice' that is a varient of another


yes? How? Why?


such as, why add scorch, when you have ignis.  Hot air? dont really need a special type for that, now do we?


Especially with a 4-5 man party, and 3 rows of combat. Spells have and will be a huge aspect to the game, but hey, there is a multitude of classes too.


My main concern with any and all rpgs is why 1 physical damage type?  Any thoughts on this? Do you think dividing sword/spear/mace into 3 different categories. Like a slime for example, is pretty much like puddy, and I'd imagine, pounding a slime as hard as one can, wouldn't do as much as a skilled cut from a sword.  


Idk, it may just be me. 


and also @Victor Sant  definately, its why a lot of us, if not all of us are here on the forum. Games are enjoyable, and we want to keep that spreading by making a game. How has your experiance been with games with small 'type' pools, and what about ones with larger, such as most FF games, where there are plenty of 'types'
 

Pine Towers

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It must make a difference for, well, be different.


If you have blunt/pierce/slash types, the players would assume:


1. Either one type is restricted to one character (Bob always uses blunt weapons, Hank only uses ranged weapons)


2. There will be some monsters that take that into play, like a zombie that receives half damage from pierce or a skeleton taking double damage from blunt.


If none of this occurs, why not keep only Physical?


Myself I make elements that fit into the universe:


1. Fantastic Medieval worlds will have fire, water, earth, air, radiant and necrotic and others.


2. Modern worlds will have temperature, electricity, poison, asphyxia, gravity and others.
 

MrLogie

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ya, I  myself for a fantasy medieval have ignis, terra, aer, aqua,Lightning, light, dark(heal/curse based are the light/dark), then I have the 3 pierce, blunt, slice element.  Since with yanfly's battle AI, I've got them coded in pretty heavily to take in account all of these.  


I gotta ask, what is your opinion on negation and reflection and just resisting based on an X% , which would make one not be able to spam 1 spell, or 1 AOE without thinking of the other enemies that may be a potential threat if you did.


Is what I'm laying out, too many elements? in theory?


How many elements do ya'll typically do?(trying to keep this an open discussion, as I feel I researched this topic more than once, and hardly find many topics with members openly expressing this subject, and it'd benefit not just me to be involved in this, but others newer members when they join(yah I know I'm new) for them to also see this thread
 

Victor Sant

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How has your experiance been with games with small 'type' pools, and what about ones with larger, such as most FF games, where there are plenty of 'types'
The number of types wasn't the defining factor, but how they were used. When I see too many types and they are too much relevant they are.


I think this way:

  • If they are essential for the gameplay, you shouldn't have many.
    - SMT games, were using the wrong damage types can simply spell defeat, then having many can be a issue
  • If they are relevant, but you can play fine without them, there is no problem having many.
    - Final Fantasy have many damage types, they're helpful and far from useless, but you can live without them for most of the time.
  • If they have little relevance, then you shouldn't have many (much complexity for little gain).

For example, if you have 20 different damage types, but you need specific ones for each challenge, then it start to be a hell to manage and match them for each situation.
 

MrLogie

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ah, so in your opinion, how would this play out?

the typical elements, fire, water, wind, lightning, ice then the 3 physical ones. Blunt, pierce, slash.


Skills from things such as sword(default slash) could actually turn the sword into piercing. Or hey, use 'shield bash' for blunt damage ect..then there are the elemental blades/weapons.


and @Cristovao brought up a good point. Something I personally incorperated, was monsters being resistent to certain types, i.e a zombie taking half damage from 1 type, but then more from another, it'd not be obvious until you experiment, while some things such as a fire slime, obviously, try water. Its the rpg rule of thumb. If its wet, use electric, if its on fire, use water, if its made of earth, use water ect... a lotta different ideas tbh. I just personally hope I'm not putting too many, or too little elements, especially how well they've been entwined with Yanfly's battle plugin & AI plugin.
 

aliensalmon

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I have 14 elements in my game right now.


Physical


Fire


Ice


Thunder/Electricity


Water


Earth


Wind


Light


Darkness


Then others based on Pokemon types:


Nature (plant and insect based moves)


Metal


Mind/Psychic


Fighting (Martial Arts and aura)


Ghost


I'm thinking about adding "Dragon" element to the game, after all I have a playable dragon.


I realize this is a lot of elements, but I was inspired by Pokemon a lot since it was my first RPG. I like the element system in that game.
 

SpacemanFive

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Currently, for "physical" elements, I'm only using it all as a single "physical" element. Which, as I've been working on my current project, has been feeling more and more limited compared to what I want to do. I'm thinking of splitting it up. It's actually getting in the way of game mechanics I want to use now, like how some types of armor protect better against different things.


For example, full plate armor, when properly made, was very resistant to slashing, and somewhat to piercing damage, but was vulnerable to blunt damage, like from a hammer. Considering all the weapon types that will be in this game, I feel more comfortable adding to the dynamic of the tactical aspect by making people think about not just what attacks and abilities to use depending on the situation, but whether it's a good idea to try using some weapons or not on certain enemies or opponents.


Adding this kind of stuff in via plugins instead of types feels... unnecessary to me, since it should be possible to get things working the way I want if I expand the physical damage types.
 

Tsukitsune

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You should take a look at the infinity engine games, those weapon types are more common in western rpgs.  Icewind Dale, Baldur's Gate, Planes cape torment, etc.  Piercing > armored units, blunt > skeletons, just to name a few. If you're going to use them, make sure they have purpose.
 

jonthefox

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I think about this often--and I think that it comes down to the scope of your game.  What I mean is, if you're going to have various magic elements, then you probably (there may be rare exceptions) should NOT also break things down via pierce, slash, blunt, etc..


Why do I say this? Because it would be attempting to capture the complexities of both the big picture (physical attacks vs. fire attacks vs. ice attacks vs lightning attacks, etc..) and the small picture (this physical attack is slashing, vs. this one is bludgeoning, vs. this weapon is an an axe so it it half slashing and half bludgeoning, etc.)


I think as a general rule, if you include magic in your game, by its very nature (unless magic serves merely a utility role and not a dmging role) its relevance is going to supercede the subtleties of physical damage types.  Your game would be best served by a broad, symbolic set of damage elements--physical, and various magic types.   Physical damage is typically cost-free and manifested most frequently through a singular action (basic attacks) so this is another reason why you would not add more complexity to it.  


If your game is not going to have high levels of magic where fire and lightning are being thrown about....Well, now you can get into the details of the different types of physical combat, since combat in your game is primarily physical.  
 

MrLogie

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tbh, if anyone has played fire emblem, I feel they did it perfectly. They incorperated various kinds of damage on a nice scale. swords didn't do slash damage, they were simply doing 'sword dmg' ect... and some things, especially other weapons, it was a perk to use such.
 

TheoAllen

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My main concern with any and all rpgs is why 1 physical damage type?  Any thoughts on this? Do you think dividing sword/spear/mace into 3 different categories. Like a slime for example, is pretty much like puddy, and I'd imagine, pounding a slime as hard as one can, wouldn't do as much as a skilled cut from a sword.  


Idk, it may just be me. 
Nope, actually I have the same kind of wondering when I look at the default elements of RPG Maker VXA


------------


As for myself, I usually categorized the element on how the attack deal damage. Blades attacks by cutting, it's a slash damage. Club and hammer attacks by crushing, it's impact. And spear do damage by piercing. It's pierce damage. Note that it doesn't necessary a weapon damage, but also kind of magic. If the character do a water torrent, it classified as impact damage. Boulder toss is not an earth damage, but impact damage. 


There is also other 4 elements of damage in my mind. Heat damage, done by fire or thunder (actually, thunder could be classified as another element if you have robot as an enemy). Cold damage for cold magic. Although, ice spear is actually pierce damage, not cold. There is also acid / poison damage. It melts things they touch, and possibly always damage type element unless the target could avoid it. And unexpainable element called Arcane. It's some kind of mental damage. Basically, illusion and such has this kind of damage. They do damage by tear up target soul / mana / life energy. Absolutely has no effect in mechanical type enemies
 

Alexander Amnell

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   I'd think the main consideration here would be how many weapon types are in your game and how free the player is to alter their character's dependencies. For instance, if your game involves ten+ weapon types with characters free to switch their loadout at will it'd be silly to have all weapon attacks based on one 'physical element' as it would negate the point of having multiple weapons and make the selection mostly moot, leaving players to seek out whatever weapon type involves the highest dps and likely ending in a party where everyone wields the same weapon.


   On the other hand, however, the game I'm working on only has four party members, and five weapon types (one character switches between a shortsword and a bow) so having each weapon dependent on a unique element is equally silly as the player has no way to alter their character's loadout and would be stuck with at least one character locked out of effective physical combat for every single enemy in the game (and if that's intentional at times, well it's easier and makes more sense to base that on a character's stats than the weapon they are locked into using). So in my case, I find two elements (melee and ranged) are sufficient for my purposes. That said I find the same mentality woefully inadequate in games that give me strategic choice over what I bring into battle, as it oversimplifies that choice into more of an 'illusion of choice' than an actual choice.
 
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My main concern with any and all rpgs is why 1 physical damage type?  Any thoughts on this? Do you think dividing sword/spear/mace into 3 different categories. Like a slime for example, is pretty much like puddy, and I'd imagine, pounding a slime as hard as one can, wouldn't do as much as a skilled cut from a sword.  


In many cases you end up arriving at the not-logic of someone with a sword only capable of "slashing" enemies, even if "piercing" attacks would be more effective and there's nothing at all stopping them from stabbing the enemy with their sword. Or, if you have a spiked mace, having it only inflict "bashing" damage as if those spikes are just to intimidate people.


With separate physical damage types, the player has to be aware of what types of damage their weapon inflicts and their armour protects against. Except it's incredibly impractical (if not impossible, especially in a turn-based system) to have the best choice in attack and defense at all times, unless every single enemy in an area uses/is vulnerable to the same type of attack. Especially if a character can't even use all types of attack.
 

SpacemanFive

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That gets me thinking. If I DO make a game with multiple physical damage types, some weapons, like swords and spears, might have other moves available for characters to use through skills that can do other damage types the weapons should be capable of. Like piercing moves with a sword, or slashing moves with a spear. Would that work?


If I could also get something rigged up to be able to give weapons and skills/magic multiple damage types, I could also potentially solve the issue with weapons like spiked maces.


As for armor, one of the things I thought of is that it's possible that one armor type, heavy, may actually be the best in the game (if fitted for a character), but has the drawback of tending to have particular vulnerabilities. So the choice may not just be in "which armor type protects my characters the most?", but also "can I take the chance that this bonus might be negated by lots of enemies using a particular damage type?" Is that the kind of thing that could work?
 

TheoAllen

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That gets me thinking. If I DO make a game with multiple physical damage types, some weapons, like swords and spears, might have other moves available for characters to use through skills that can do other damage types the weapons should be capable of. Like piercing moves with a sword, or slashing moves with a spear. Would that work?


If I could also get something rigged up to be able to give weapons and skills/magic multiple damage types, I could also potentially solve the issue with weapons like spiked maces.


As for armor, one of the things I thought of is that it's possible that one armor type, heavy, may actually be the best in the game (if fitted for a character), but has the drawback of tending to have particular vulnerabilities. So the choice may not just be in "which armor type protects my characters the most?", but also "can I take the chance that this bonus might be negated by lots of enemies using a particular damage type?" Is that the kind of thing that could work?
Of course this is also my logic. In my game (or rather, in my concept lol) every sword skills are not always slashing damage. They could be a pierce sword. Or when you swing the spear, it could be an impact damage. The thing is about what skill to choose, not always what weapon to choose. If you could script, then you also could make a skill has multiple elements.


The armor could also work. Heavy armor with solid metal may be invulnerable from most of physical damage (slash, pierce), but it worse when taking damage from heat and thunder for example.
 

jonthefox

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One thing I wish RPG Maker allowed in the default options was to have weapons give a kind of "power level' to various types of damage (elements).  Like, a sword might give a decent amount to all of slash, pierce, and blunt, and an axe would give a lot to blunt and a little to slash, and a spear would give a lot to pierce and a little to blunt.   So the weapon types you choose determine how strong your various pierce/slash/blunt skills are.  


I know there is probably a way to do this with plugins, but it's probably too complicated for me to figure out.  
 
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ash55

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I remember FFXI (MMO) had exactly the same different physical elements. Blunt (Hammers, Clubs, Fists), Piercing (Arrows, Lances, Daggers) and Slashing (Swords, Great Swords, Scythes, Katana). As a White Mage or Monk, you did a lot of damage to ceramic Pot enemies with warhammers and your Fist because it counted as blunt damage. Paladin's Shield Bash was also blunt I think. Ranger's and Dragoon's piercing damage did a lot of damage to birds, and I assume Sword wielding classes did a lot to slime enemies. It certainly gave a unique flavour to each class. If you were a Monk, you looked forward to beating on pots and having your moment to shine in a co-op scenario. For an MMO I feel that works well to differentiate the classes and make them feel critical to their team in certain scenarios.

It may be too convoluted for a single player game though. If you're wedded to the idea but feel it might be a layer of complexity too far, I would say maybe make it invisible. That is to say, you can go through the entire game without realising the mechanic exists. It will add a bit of extra depth for those who have figured it out (or looked it up online) without bogging down noobs with 1000 different mechanics to learn. Or do it subconsiously. Like use colour coding. You could give all blunt weapons a blue icon, and make all blunt-vulnerable enemies blue. When you let the player discover things on their own, it makes it immensely more satisfying when their curiosity is rewarded.

I don't think FFXI ever mentioned the different weapon types (IIRC), it was a nice discovery.
 
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