Using MP universally, or strictly for magic skills

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by jonthefox, May 26, 2019.

  1. jonthefox

    jonthefox Veteran Veteran

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    When you design your game, you have a choice to make: MP can be used for magic spells, but physical skills can use TP. OR, you can just have all your skills cost MP....and let fighters use MP for physical techniques the same way that magic users use MP for spells.

    What are your thoughts on this design decision? How do you decide which is better for your game and why?
     
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  2. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi No Flying Bird Veteran

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    Boi... I get you, right now in the project I'm working on I have that issue. I only want some classe to be able to use magic, but what about the others? So far I decided to use TP for universal or non magic skills, and just leave MP for classes that use it. But now I noticed it would be easier to just call the regular TP, "MP" and the regular MP call it something like "SP" or "STM", and hide the new "MP" on classes that don't use it. Leaving them all use the MP for physical or magical attacks equally seems odd, but can't either give unlimited physical attacks with no cost.

    There's also a Yanfly´s plugin that allows you to use money or HP as skill sources, but I would really like to be able to create custom sources beyond the two default and these other two by plugin. I didn't had luck so far looking for some way of doing this tho... :kaoback:
    For example, lets say I have a demon and an angel, I want both of them to have TP for ultimates, but one of them to use Dark Magic (DM) and the other one Holy Magic (HM), as far as i know, can't do it :kaosigh:
     
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  3. Aoi Ninami

    Aoi Ninami Veteran Veteran

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    My game has a strong elemental focus where all magic is classified into one of six elemental schools, and every character is aligned with one of the schools and can only work magic from that school. Since this means everyone needs MP, it's more economical to class weapon techniques as a type of magic and do without TP altogether.

    (Though I guess part of it, for me, is an instictive aversion to TP since I'm not used to the mechanic; I had never come across before I started with RPG Maker.)
     
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  4. mathmaster74

    mathmaster74 just...John Veteran

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    For me it's all relative. HP, MP, TP...use them in whatever way makes sense. I don't let the preconceived notion that MP means "magic points" weigh me down. In my Steam game I redefined MP as "Stamina" and put a cost of 1 or 2 on every skill (2 on more "taxing" skills). You start with 100 Stamina and when your stamina is gone, guess what? No more skills. It's a horror survival, so...that was a design choice I had to balance, but...magic made no sense in my game at all. I have another game, a WIP, that's a dating simulator. The "enemies" are the suitors who are wooing the main character who is a princess. You don't "kill" them by removing their hit points, but "Knock them out" by "stealing" all of their "heart points". TP to me is just a third mechanism you can use if you want another "control" mechanic over when things are available versus spent. You could make a game with a character like Captain Underpants and have skills that become unavailable when you run out of TP. :rolleyes::stickytongue:
     
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  5. Milennin

    Milennin "With a bang and a boom!" Veteran

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    I use MP for anything that isn't Attack or Items, regardless of whether it's magical or physical. Just seems easier that way.
     
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  6. Aesica

    Aesica undefined Veteran

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    I think using MP for both physical and magical attacks is fine, as I prefer to reserve the TP system for limit breaks due to the rules behind how it builds up as well as the fact that you can have it empty out after combat. I'm not really a fan of TP-based general-purpose skills because it always feels like I have to spend every couple rounds or to doing something useless, like basic attack or using some sort of TP-charge skill.

    That said, MP itself is pretty customizable if you get creative. You can have character A use MP in the classic sense, while character B never has more than 100 MP and generates 35% every turn (so quick gain, quick spend) while character C might have certain cooldown-type attacks that generate MP while others spend it (also promoting a quick gain quick spend system of sorts).
     
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  7. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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    I prefer a universal resource for all. Let it be TP or MP. It's much simpler to understand and focus on.
     
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  8. TWings

    TWings The Dragon Whisperer Veteran

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    MP usually stands for Magic Points, Mana Pool or other similar stuff. So it's made for magic and that's how I use it in my game.
    That beeing said, you can rename everything so, you can do pretty much whatever you want with it.
     
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  9. SolonWise

    SolonWise The Lonely Maker Veteran

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    MP all the way, but I use "mana" instead of "MP", as I use "life" instead of "HP". The TP system may be good, but for some reason I had never feel like using it in any project.
     
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  10. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    In my game world everyone is one of 8 elements (Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Energy, Mind, Life, Death), so everyone has MP for that. For class skills I had them use MP as well except for the Merchant which uses G but has a much lower MP pool than everyone else due to not needing it for class skills.

    TP I just don't use. When I started RPGMaker was the first I'd heard of it too.
     
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  11. Jayje

    Jayje THE Lone Indie Cheese! Veteran

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    Just to make it easy, I just call "MP", "AP" or Ability Points. Therefore every attack/spell is an ability and not subject to that confinement in terms. Yes, I went with the Pokemon approach! (I regret nothing! :awink:)
     
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  12. Ultima01

    Ultima01 Unhinged Veteran

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    In my case, my lore is the reason they both exist. For example, I have renamed TP, and transmuted its mechanics into my setting's lore to justify its existence and continued use. (and in the process, I feel like I justified 'aura' better in my universe than Game Freak did in Pokémon)

    Spellcasters and other supernaturalists in my setting use their Mana Pool, or some variation thereof, and have various ways to reload it, ranging from drawing resources in from their surroundings to just popping a potion. The more esoteric users of this resource have mechanics to prevent them from using these means of restoring MP, but since their version of it passively renegerates, this is largely a non-issue. Not everyone has a mana pool...

    ...But everyone has an Aura Pool.

    In times of stress (like taking damage), one's body responds by converting a piece of one's life force into points of this resource. The aura pool is then used for supernatural attacks that the body otherwise couldn't handle without tearing itself to shreds. Building your aura pool, however, is inefficient at the best of times. Your body releases as much aura as it feels it needs to, but without training, you're lucky to catch half of that aura before it disperses into your surroundings.
     
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  13. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    This might seem slightly strange, as I don't really see many people doing this...

    HP = Health Points
    PP = Potential Points
    RP = Rage Points

    Health is self-explanatory.

    "Potential" is... well... the character's potential. Akin to "potential energy" (which is where I derived the concept from). It is the absolute potential a character has to execute any combat related skills. Physical, energy, magical, whatever. These are actions that aren't "typical" for normal combat. What that ends of meaning is say... a character puts a lot of energy into swinging really hard... uses up Potential Points. There are some skills that use no "Potential" as while they are special skills, they are "par for the course" in terms of skill for the character. This leads to magic users having a 0 MP skill that has no element other than "Magic" attached to it, that they can cast at will. Every mage has it. It's an easily learned skill. "Swift Blows" is given to any character that is particularly fast. It's a 0 MP skill that has "Speed" element attached to it. All roguish types have it.

    "Rage" is... well... Rage. Ever watch a movie, cartoon, anime, what-have-you and the main character has some kind of "ultimate clarity" moment, or "tranquil fury" and they've suddenly got a ton more power than they otherwise might have? Same concept. It isn't a traditional "Limit Break" in that many skills don't require the full 100 to execute. Every character does have one of the skills that uses this, however. I have a character who's entire gimmick is the use of the Rage Meter (all but one of his skills uses it). Some classes absolutely use this as a "limit break", but most do not. Many skills require 30 or RP to execute. The most powerful ones start at 70 RP and go up from there. RP doesn't preserve across combat either, unless you've got certain items equipped.

    I think, personally, there's really only a need differentiate "MP" across classes, if the Mages are drawing on some external force to do what they do. If they don't draw from some external force to execute powerful attacks... then they're just skilled at their jobs. In the same way a martial artist may be skilled at environmental combat (using the environment to do more damage to you than their hands and feet do... if you've seen Jackie Chan, you know what this looks like) a magic user may be particularly skilled at manipulating water and using it in debilitating ways instead of damaging ones (like slipping opponents, using water pressure to keep them away from you, etcetera). It is simply an extension of their skill that is potentially fatiguing.

    But, if you have to draw from say... magical energies in the air or something... Yeah, an MP pool is probably best... and it's probably best that the physical hitters don't draw from this same source without a story explanation.
     
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  14. Aesica

    Aesica undefined Veteran

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    Isn't that really what the basic "Attack" skill is for? For mage types, it's easy enough to replace their "Attack" with "Magic Bolt" or whatever.
     
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  15. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    That's the concept. Except, in a traditional RPG, when a mage uses "Attack", their low "Attack" stat means they're doing pretty much zero damage. Or damage so low that it isn't worth executing. I have three major factors in "baseline" combat. "Strength", "Magic", "Speed". These all use different stats, and if the enemy is also weak to that particular element (and not just has a low stat to exploit), you will do "elemental weakness" damage as well.

    A heavily armored enemy might have very low "Reflex", so a "speed" skill without any MP cost ensures you can still hurt this enemy despite them having a high "Defense" stat. It also ensures you can use a skill despite the fact that you might be out of MP.

    I did look at plugins to change the simple "Attack" command to something unique for each character, but the plugins are kind of clunky for what I was attempting to do and required too much work-around. On top of which, the plugins also eliminated the ability to just whack someone with your staff if you wanted to. I mean, yeah, sure, you could fire a bolt of energy at them instead of hitting "Attack", but what if you want to whack them with your staff too? What if your staff has an element tied to it that really really hurts this enemy despite your low Attack value?

    Make sense?
     
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  16. Kyuukon

    Kyuukon 主人公 Veteran

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    Personally, I like to use HP for physical skills and MP for magical skills :) It just makes sense.
     
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  17. Aesica

    Aesica undefined Veteran

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    I guess. I mean, I suppose the option to whack someone with a staff is nice, but aside from clearing a state like confusion or sleep off an ally (which you could also just use a consumable or esuna-like ability for) is there any reason to? As for elements, if I'm using a fire staff, it'd make sense for that staff to use "Fire Bolt" instead of just "Magic Bolt." Thus, you're hitting the enemy even harder than you would with a whack because your mage gets to use his magic attack instead of his piddly attack to deal the damage.

    If whacking an enemy is really important for casters, you could always give them a special skill called "Whack" which deals minimal physical damage--useful for getting a catchable monster down to minimal HP, etc. I've actually seen that approach done in other games, so it's not too farfetched or out there.

    Overall, it's your game so you can do it how you want. I just thought the 0-mp-attack-that-isn't-basic-attack-but-behaves-like-basic-attack approach seemed a little redundant. That's all.
     
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  18. D.L. Yomegami

    D.L. Yomegami Sanely Insane Veteran

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    I'm part of the crowd that gets rid of TP entirely and just uses MP for everything. I just find TP really wonky to work with; by default there's not much control offered over it, and while there's plugins to fix that there's still complicated things to be done to avoid such craziness as TP skills earning the user more TP than it took to use them in the first place. So I just opt for one resource for simplicity and just to avoid the whole hassle.

    In my current game it's just called MP, but I'm thinking about changing it to something different to justify why the physically oriented characters are using it. I was thinking SP (skill points), which is generic but works, but I like the idea of "potential points" as well (although the acronym "PP" is rather snigger-worthy. Then again, so is TP).

    That being said, I do like the idea of multiple resource pools not only for flavor reasons, but also for things like converting one resource to the other should they get low, or allowing Drain-type skills to drain one resource while still having a cost (it is rather odd having an MP-draining skill also cost MP).
     
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  19. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    :D

    I don't just have magical enchantments. In fact, something enchanted to be magical is "rare" by my game/lore standards (it's a lost art, and with Lore being what it is... there's a good reason it's been lost). Weapons can be made of all sorts of materials and have all sorts of elements beyond the usual RPG fare (Fire, Wind, Water, Earth, Heart!). For example, I split weapons into Slashing, Bashing, and Piercing. Further than that, some weapons come in "Silver" and "Lead". Silver is naturally effective against things like Werewolves and Vampires... But, it's also an extremely dense material which means it gains like a 300% damage bonus against "shelled" enemies. Lead is really only effective for the "shelled" enemies, but deals 400% damage to them.

    But, if you'd like further clarification for why I did this, beyond "I prefer versatility".

    1. Players can essentially decide how to level up their characters how they want. If you want to give your Mage 900 Attack and turn them into a Magical Knight of some sort... it is possible to do so.
    2. There are some items in the game that allow the magic users to have equipment they may not normally have. Like say... a longsword.
    3. Not all of my magic users are your typical "squishy Black Mage". I have a Witch (Black Mage/Controller Mage combo, the squishiest), Cleric (debuff remover, buffer, physical hitter), and Necromancer (least squishy, more akin to a physical hitter with very limited but powerful spells). Each of these have the 0 MP skill that uses "Magic" to hit rather than "Strength", but they also have the option to just use "Strength" as well. Aside from targeting different stats, there's not a lot of difference between "Attack", "Energy Beam", and "Swift Blows".
    4. "Energy Beam" is labeled as a Magical Attack. Thus, enemies with resistance to "Magical Attacks" aren't affected as much. In fact, because it's "Magical", someone who can reflect magic skills back at users, could reflect this skill back.
    5. Half of the weapons these Magic users can equip will emphasize Strength over Magic. These extra stats are worthless if you're just using "Energy Beam". This is the same with the "Speed" users. A thief can equip two Short Swords for a massive amount of "Strength" damage by using "Attack". But, his skills that use "Agility" in the formulas will suffer and do less damage. Likewise, using "Swift Blows" will no longer do all that much damage. This is nothing to say of the rest of the weapons the mages can use. This includes a "Wand" that does no damage, but instead inflicts a "Weakness to X" element on an enemy. This can only be done by using "Attack". It includes "Orbs", which hit with multiple elements at the same time (a Lava Orb hits with Earth, Fire, and Magic elements for example). It also includes "Daggers", which do very little damage, but usually inflict states on enemies (which can get pretty lethal), but their effects don't proc if you're using "Magic Beam" (zero MP skill).
    6. Doing things this way separates my mages from "typical" RPG mages. They can be very versatile in which stats they get to target. Do they want to target Defense or target Magic Defense? Is it better to make them "armor killers" or "elementalists"? Likewise, the Rogues have similar options. They aren't locked into an "archetype" beyond what their Skills can do. Thus, the decision to use "Attack" with a mage is a measured one by the player and not an automatic, "I should never do this because every RPG ever created has told me I should never do this since it's a waste of time, oh God why do I even have an Attack command with a mage? Why don't I just have infinite MP and cast every skill? That's what I do with every mage ever in every game ever anyway, with such massive MP pools I'll never run out.".

    Yeah, basically, I wanted to differentiate myself from other RPG's by making my combat more interesting and as far from "Generic RPG" as I possibly could.
     
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  20. BloodletterQ

    BloodletterQ Chaotic Neutral Assassin Veteran

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    Keeping physical and magic under MP...
    For physical techniques, I'd consider the "M" mental. You can argue that the mental points are a measure of a character's ability to focus on pulling off advanced techniques.
     
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