What are your thoughts on mini-limit breaks? I.e. Preserved TP for them?

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by atoms, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. atoms

    atoms Veteran Veteran

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    I was thinking about having mini-limit break skills with the purpose to use them for some regular encounters in battles. I was thinking of making it so TP is preserved, at least on characters that have these mini-limit breaks.

    To explain better, they are skills that cost a small amount of TP, but enough to mean you can't use them twice in a row nor twice in a regular encounter, but you can use them every X regular encounters, let's say in this case every 2 or 3 of them, and they are more powerful skills that enchant regular battles more.

    Maybe one restores a little bit more HP without the need to consume another Potion or some of that MP. Maybe a different mini-limit break can end that particular battle/regular encounter 1-2 turns earlier. Assuming they each can last 2-4 turns.

    What are your thoughts on this, and do you think it could work? If you think yes, how would you go about doing it? The same as here or any different?
     
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  2. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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    If I'm going to design my game around the limit break, I'd make using the limit break be the main focus of the battle. So every turn is about surviving until the next limit break skill is usable. I.e, limit break attack will be your main damage source, not normal attack, not skill either. Well, the skill may do some damage, but I'd design that skill is more for utility than damage (debuff, buff, damage cut, damage boost, or other unique mechanics). And normal attack is simply a source to freely filling up the limit break meter. The limit break attack will be 3x or 4x damage, go big or go home!

    However, I reckon that probably only fun for a boss battle. For regular encounter, it doesn't matter. Although I prefer the limit break meter to reset for every battle. So you need to fill up the gauge once again. Besides, I believe it's easier to balance that way.
     
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  3. Chaos Avian

    Chaos Avian Abyssal Wing Restaff

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    The Ar Tonelico games use this function. In battles, your front two/ three party members (Vanguards) will protect one/ two mages (Revyateils) that charge up powerful magic to then nuke the enemy. While the Vanguards can do damage and potential end the battle before the end of a charge, nuking them is always the fastest and most efficient way. It's encouraged to use in all battles, regular and boss.

    The Revyateil charge has a VERY high cap and can be triggered off at any moment so you don't need to charge for 3-4 or 8-9 turns before firing it off. Against bosses, going for a max charge deals stupid amounts of damage (or outright kill a boss if done right).

    I quite like the system and the fact you have to protect your Revyateil during the enemy phase which can also give way to powerful counter attacks (from the Vanguard) and/or fill up the charge gauge faster.
     
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  4. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

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    Based on your wording, I'm assuming that the system you're considering this in normally uses TP for Limit Breaks, and normally only allows you to use a Limit Break once TP is 100% (draining the whole thing).

    I think the "mini-Breaks" sound fine, and wouldn't adversely impact your combat. However, consider that players may feel that using these mini-Breaks in regular encounters is a waste, when they can just heal with a Potion instead, or allow combat to drag on one or two more turns (and then heal with a Potion afterwards) - especially if TP accumulates slowly. It's the same kind of reason players tend to conserve MP when it doesn't naturally regenerate (and isn't ridiculously abundant). Why waste it when you might need it next battle (or the boss might be coming up soon)?

    I usually solve this by attaching such skills to "use it or lose it" resources, such as a TP gauge that resets back to 25 at the start of each battle. But since it sounds like you're using the TP bar for more of a Limit Break style system that accumulates over multiple battles, the best courses of action would be to either 1) simply accept the drawback that a lot of players will (reasonably) avoid using mini-Breaks until they absolutely have to, or 2) create an additional resource that players use for these mini-Breaks, and that resets after each battle.
     
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  5. Aesica

    Aesica undefined Veteran

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    It could definitely work (I thought about doing something similar myself, and wrote my plugin to allow the limit command to optionally show at values less than 100 for that very reason) but decided against it for all the reasons stated by folks already. Specifically, if your limit breaks are really strong, players are going to feel like the minis are a waste. That said, whether or not players avoid them depends entirely on at least these factors:
    1. How easy is it to fill the gauge? If it fills fairly quickly, then blowing 25 TP for a "free" heal or whatever is certainly reasonable.
    2. How strong are the 100% limit breaks in comparison? If my main limit skill does 5000 damage, but the mini costs 50 TP and only deals about 1000 damage, then nope, I probably won't use it.
    3. Does the gauge reset after each battle? If so, and I know I won't reach the 100% limit break by the end of the encounter, I'll definitely use the mini. Otherwise, I'm saving up for the inevitable boss.
     
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  6. Basileus

    Basileus Veteran Veteran

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    This sounds a lot like what Tales of Berseria uses for special attacks - you have a big limit break type attack with your Mystic Arte, and your mini breaks with your Break Souls. However, the game uses 2 different resources for them.

    Break Souls use the same Soul Gauge (SG) as your regular skills; it's basically a mana bar that is split into segments (Souls). Regular skills cost SG which causes the Souls to empty. A Break Soul literally breaks one of your Souls - sacrificing that tick of your SG bar to use a more powerful skill. Souls can be gained from landing the killing blow on an enemy or by hitting them with a status effect (Stun, Poison, etc.) so they can be recovered mid-battle and you can get more than you start with even. Mystic Artes use Blast Gauge (BG) which is a meter that is charged up by killing enemies and performing Break Souls. Fill the meter completely and gain 1 BG, then start charging the next one. A 1st tier Mystic Arte costs 3 BG, so it's not something you are going to spam.

    What makes this work is that SG is reset every battle while BG carries over. Break Souls also offer a decent heal (and are one of the more reliable sources of healing without items since healing spells were nerfed) so the player has even more incentive to use Break Souls instead of hoarding Souls. This keeps a pretty steady flow for being able to use something flashier (and often mechanically different) than the player's normal moves while making sure the big limit break is never too far away.

    Depending on how resources work in your game, you should have a lot of room to operate. There is no real reason the player couldn't use their mini limit break every battle. You could even incentivize the player to get it ready so they can end the fight with it. It gives the player a little more to consider outside of their basic attacks/skills, and honestly I think we all enjoy not having to hold back all of the fun, flashy moves to save them for a boss at the end of the dungeon.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019
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  7. Milennin

    Milennin "With a bang and a boom!" Veteran

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    The way I would probably do it, if I had to implement something like it in my game, would be a shared gauge amongst all characters, then each character would have their own Limit Break skill that drains the gauge.
    Going with 4 playable characters, 1 character would have a strong attack, 1 would have a strong protect,1 would have a strong heal, 1 would have a strong MP restore. The main draw for them would be the fact it costs no MP to cast, with the downside that it's shared amongst all characters, so it can't be spammed by everyone at once. For regular encounters, the attack skill would most likely be used the most for farming, but for harder encounters, the other 3 should be more useful.

    I would also have skills that help fill the gauge faster. Could get pretty creative with it.
     
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  8. mauvebutterfly

    mauvebutterfly Veteran Veteran

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    The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky has a simple but satisfying take on mini-limits. Characters have an ultimate move that they can unleash at any time once they have 100TP (or CP, as I think they're called in-game). However, characters have a maximum of 200TP, so they continue to collect TP even after they can use their limits.

    Characters have special attack moves that cost different amounts (20 or 30TP being pretty common), so having the ability to go above 100TP allows you to use mini-limits regularly while still having access to the full limit break. Using the full limit break resets your TP to 0, so it effectively makes your character winded or fatigued for a bit as they need to use regular attacks and spells for a bit before getting enough TP to start using their better moves again.

    This has been a fun system for me to play with. In practice I find myself using TP skills fairly regularly while keeping characters around 90TP or more, and using the full limit break whenever I feel an encounter overwhelming me or when I'll receive some benefit for striking a foe many times all at once.
     
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  9. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    I have a character that revolves around something similar. However, to mitigate all the problems listed above (including the players not wanting to use those skills and waste their TP), I made a few changes.

    The first change is that all of his skills, except one... revolve around TP usage. The second is that everything this character is... revolves around that TP Guage. He has skills that use up a small portion of the gauge, and a few big skills that use up most or all of the gauge. However, most of the "middle" tier skills revolve around accumulating extra TP. He's got a Berserk type skill that multiplies the amount of TP he gains while he's affected... he's got skills that give him extra attacks and counter attacks (to accumulate more TP this way)… and he's even got a skill that keeps him from dying, so if he suffers a blow that would kill him (like a nuke... which would also load his TP meter), he can survive it and use the resulting TP.

    That being said, this character does not have an innate "Preserve TP" option. You need to equip him with such an object if you want to reliably use his better skills in regular battles. It is easy enough to obtain enough TP in the regular fights to use the first skill... or the second one (party wide attack buff or going berserk) without such an item, but most of the other skills are cut off from regular usage without one of these items. So, they're limited easily to Boss Fights unless the player makes a conscious decision to put specific equipment on the character for the benefit of using the bigger skills on weaker enemies.

    But, the player still has to accumulate the TP charge.

    I simply made his entire schtick about raising how much TP he has as well as using his "mini limit breaks" to affect the entire flow of battle.

    Beyond that, I'm not sure what you want to do with your system would work well.

    It honestly sounds like what you're trying to design is some sort of Cooldown System. Cooldowns might even better serve what you're trying to accomplish with your own battle system. They can be designed to not reset after combat, after all, and their very nature means you can't use the same skill "back to back".
     
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  10. Diretooth

    Diretooth Lv. 23 Werewolf Veteran

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    I usually use the TP Gauge for both regular skills and Limit Breaks. To offset the too awesome to use, or awesome impractical aspects of such a system, I have a small selection of relatively rare consumables that raise TP by a small amount, as well as having the basic attack and guard recover a small percentage of TP, as well as potentially allowing certain weapons or armor to increase the TP regeneration rate.
    Every Limit Break consumes the entire bar, full stop, but they are often powerful effects, such as attacking every enemy at once, or attacking one enemy four times, or even healing the entire party in one go. It does require some balancing, but I personally find it better than having a plugin or script ready specifically for it.
     
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