What features you want to have in an ATB system?

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by DoubleX, Sep 5, 2014.

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  1. DoubleX

    DoubleX Just a nameless weakling Veteran

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    Although this topic is mainly about ideas of ATB system features, I hope it won't be too specific to be posted here as I think that some of them can be implemented in some other battle systems.

    I'm asking this here as I feel that I've run out of ideas of what else can be added into an ATB system but I still think there are more such ideas. The below is a list of ideas I currently know:

    1. Action Points - Some battlers can have more than 1 action points when their atb's full; Some skills cost more than 1 action points(some even give instead of cost their users action points); Some skills give or take action points from their targets

    2. ATB Color - Some states can change their owners' atb bar color

    3. ATB Gain - Different battlers can have different factors(mainly stats) dictating their atb gain rate

    4. ATB Pause - The whole atb(turn and all battlers) stops running under certain conditions like animation running and/or actor/party/skill/ target window shown(These conditions can even be changed on the fly)

    5. ATB Rate - Some states can increase or decrease their owners' atb gain rate

    6. ATB Reset - Some skills can cause their users' atb bars to be reset as a set or variable  percentage rather than the default 0%(i.e., empty atb bar)

    7. ATB Start - Different battlers can have different factors(mainly stats) dictating their atb bar fill rate at the beginning of the battle

    8. Cancel Button - Battlers can cancel their confirmed actions before they're actually executed(this mainly applies to skills that are still charging)

    9. Clear ATB - Some states will reset their owners' atb to 0

    10. Escape Condition - Party escape can have various conditions and can cost action points for party members(they may even have to charge before trying to escape and/or cooldown for each failed escape)

    11. Ready SE - A unique SE sound will be played for each battler when that battler's atb becomes full; Another unique SE sound will be played whenever the turn count is increased

    12. Skill Charge - Some skills needs to be charged for a while before they're actually executed

    13. Skill Cooldown - Some skills causes their users(not just the skills themselves) to have to cooldown for a while after using them

    14. Skill Hotkeys - Skills can be used via assigned hotkeys directly instead of navigating the actor command window followed by skill window

    15. Turn Control - Turn length can be dictated by time, actions, or number of battlers

    16. Turn Display - A window with a bar and a number will show how long the current turn has lasted versus the current turn length

    17. Unison Skills - Some skills requires more than 1 battlers to use(all these battlers pay the same skill costs, make the same skill charge and cooldown)
    I'd be glad to learn some more new ideas or ways to expand those in the above list(I'd also want to know what you think about them and whether they can work altogether) :)
     
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  2. Diretooth

    Diretooth Lv. 23 Werewolf Veteran

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    Haste/Slow: ATB charges faster or slower based on status.
     
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  3. DoubleX

    DoubleX Just a nameless weakling Veteran

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    Can status mean states here? If so, then I think the ATB Rate feature will do the job; If not, I'd like to know what represents the status.
     
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  4. Diretooth

    Diretooth Lv. 23 Werewolf Veteran

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    I also had an idea recently where you have multiple ATB Gauges. Attack, Power, and Magic. Attack would charge the most quickly, Power would charge slightly slower (But Power attacks would be stronger), and Magic would charge slowest, but would be the most powerful.

    This way, there would be more strategy with how things work. Obviously, something like this would need a script, but it's an idea I wanted to share.
     
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  5. Alexander Amnell

    Alexander Amnell Jaded Optimist Veteran

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    Not having to wait for an atb bar to charge by sitting idly by. I think that's called a ctb though; either way the wait time associated with most atbs is irritating when your playtime is limited. Much better to have action after action unbroken, even if turn counts are being determined through an atb-like system.
     
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  6. DoubleX

    DoubleX Just a nameless weakling Veteran

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    That sounds interesting but I haven't seen such implementation before(and it seems to me that it'd be too hard for me to write scripts for this) so I'd probably have to play around this idea in my mind. Still, I think it's lots of potential.

    I think this can be somehow remedied by letting players to adjust the base atb gain rate(in seconds) in the system menu.

    Usually turn length = base atb gain rate * turn length modifier, and battler atb gain rate = base atb gain rate * battler atb gain modifier, so setting the base atb gain rate to something like 1 second should shortens the wait time a lot, making it much less irritating.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2014
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  7. arekpowalan

    arekpowalan Veteran Veteran

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    What about the enemy being anle to break the ATB charge? Like in FFVIII where summon can be interrupted if an enemy kills a GF or when there's a unique spell that stuns or bans the whole process.

    This would also be interesting if it's applied to monsters, When an enemy charge up a powerful spell, the player needs to cancel it before the spell is executed.
     
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  8. DoubleX

    DoubleX Just a nameless weakling Veteran

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    I've thought about that before but usually what I think is to reset battler's atb to 0 instead(and thus canceling that battler's charging skills and all action points). That's what the Clear ATB feature does.

    However, maybe in some cases just clearing the charging skills will be more desirable, as using the Clear ATB feature there may end up overdoing stuffs. Maybe I need some more thinking and testing for this :)
     
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  9. whitesphere

    whitesphere Veteran Veteran

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    You could accomplish the "Not waiting for an ATB bar to charge" in a few ways:

    1. Allow the player to queue up multiple actions for each character

    2. Have an "Auto Battle" option (player can choose what it is) that will execute whenever the character's turn comes up, unless the player specifically selects a different command for that character. FFIV uses this in the DS version --- the player chooses the Auto Battle commands, then presses, I think, the R button and all characters auto-battle in ATB order until the player presses R again.

    I'd also make sure the script works with Yanfly's battle scripts since those are very useful and add a lot of other unique features (element-specific absorption and reflection for example)
     
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  10. DoubleX

    DoubleX Just a nameless weakling Veteran

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    1. (Maybe I just get your ideas all wrong)I don't really get how queuing up multiple actions for each character would eliminate the waiting of the atb being charged. Those characters still have to execute their queued actions 1 by 1 and their atb still have to be reset to 0(or whatever reset values) afterwards, so players still have to wait for the atb bar to be fully filled again.

    2. Similar to my doubt(or just outright misunderstanding) above

    (From what I know)In terms of atb system implementations(scripts), it seems to me that both Fomar's ATB script and Yami's CATB(my compatibility fix added compatibility with Yanfly's skill restrictions and lunatic states scripts) are somehow compatible with at least quite some Yanfly scripts.
     
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  11. whitesphere

    whitesphere Veteran Veteran

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    No, I think you have it right.  Maybe we could have an "Instant ATB Option" where, if Auto-Battle is enabled for the party, the game skips ATB "charging" but uses the ATB order for attacks and the likes. 

    Or, if all players have an action queued, the ATB engine skips charging for that round and immediately executes all actions in ATB order, then returns to charging on the next round.
     
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  12. Harmill

    Harmill Veteran Veteran

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    If you skip the "charging" phase of the battle system, you have moved away from ATB and are left with something very similar to CTB system like Final Fantasy X's. Personally, I'd never use an ATB over CTB. Waiting for the bars seems pointless when you could just have instant turns that still rely on the same calculations. CTB tends to take "Delay" into account, too, which gives more options for bonuses and penalties.

    But if the intent really is to create an ATB system, having a way to skip the "charging" phase seems pointless because then it's not really an ATB system anymore. However, IF you do, you're essentially asking the player, "Would you rather play this game with an ATB or CTB system"? And giving them options is never a bad thing. A script that allows the PLAYER to switch between those two modes could be pretty neat.
     
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  13. tiagoms

    tiagoms Veteran Veteran

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    DoubleX, you intend to produce?

    *** EDIT ***

    Active Mode: ATB bar keeps filling even if an ally is 100%. Thus, all allies will stay with atb 100% (and thus use the unison)

    *** Window select skill, not stop the time battle.

    "Actor Change": It's something simple, but that does not RMVXA by default.
    example:
    1) "Actor 1" has ATB 100%.
    2) after 5 seconds ',' ACTOR 2 "also has" ATB in 100%. "
    3) Player presses a button to choose which of the players will want to use (usually in rpg games, is the "Cancel" button - Final Fantasy 7, 8, 9 ... Chrono Chross ...)

    "Button to escape": This will facilitate the "Change Actor"; (example: S + D, or Q, for some time, and under conditions)

    I'll try to think of something, but you have already put almost everything that is needed.


    === EDIT ===

    Refresh battleMenu when you lose a state.

    Reason: States that add "skill type" (example)

    == EDIT ==

    Option to set a specific value for an actor.
    Reason: Pet, Fusions and Summons, during the battle.

    ==== EDIT ====

     Some people like to take a "weight" for items.
    One idea would be if this "burden" could influence the rate of ATB.

    Technically, it would only add a tag to the equipment.

    Examples: <ATB_WEIGHT 10>
                   <ATB_WEIGHT 10%>
                   <ATB_WEIGHT -0,5>
                   <ATB_WEIGHT -10%>
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2014
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  14. DoubleX

    DoubleX Just a nameless weakling Veteran

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    I don't know much about CTB, but if CTB is equal to ATB in full wait mode, then it's pretty obvious that there's quite some things that can be done by ATB(not in full wait mode) but not CTB.

    Even if that's not a defining feature of CTB, there's at least 1 thing that can be clearly shown to players by ATB but not CTB. Consider the below situation:

    Let's say 1 turn lasts 600 ticks(10 seconds), and a state named Quick boosts its owner's atb gain by 100%. A battler called Battler X has the atb gain rate being 2.4 tick per 1% of atb fill rate.

    Suppose a turn lasted 540 ticks(9 seconds) and Battler X has 0% atb filled rate and state Quick. 60 ticks later, the turn count increases by 1 and the turn tick resets to 0. Now Battler X has 50% atb fill rate but the state Quick also wears off.

    So Battler X needs another 120 ticks to have his/her/its atb fully filled. This can be easily shown by an ATB system displaying all battler's atb and the tick counter, but I wonder how this can be shown effectively in a CTB system.

    In some cases these data are crucial as sometimes even a wrong timing calculation in just a few ticks can mean defeat already. For example:

    You come up with a situation and you can either use skill A or skill B to Enemy X and now Enemy X can't act yet. Any other choice will certainly result in defeat. You know that if Enemy X can act after you use skill B but before you can act again you'd be done. However, if you use skill B and you can act again before Enemy X can act, you'd turn the tide of the entire battle allowing you to control the entire battle, whereas using skill A won't help you much although it can still surely prevent defeat for a while. Clearly you'd at least have to use the tick counts and battlers' current atb gain rate to calculate if you can act again(after using skill B) before Enemy X can act so you'd know if you can pick the more rewarding choice(skill B) , can an error in a few ticks can already cause defeat.

    You may think that situations like this are rare, but when I test Yami's CATB with some of my addons, I had occasionally come up with these situations(in some extremely hard battles I made for testing it come up quite often). Sometimes even a calculation error in just 6 ticks(0.1 second) mattered(of course I tested under the full wait mode). That's the exact reason why I made the Tick Addon showing the turn tick counts.

    Instead of allowing users to switch between ATB and CTB that would cause lots of pain to game developers and possibly even script writers(at least not on the fly as I'd doubt if it'd be even possible in RMVXA), I'd let players adjust the waiting time duration. Usually the atb gain rate for each battler is equal to the base atb gain rate multiplied by those battlers' atb gain rate modifier, and the turn length is equal to the base turn length multiplied by the turn length modifier, which should be always the same as the base atb gain rate. So if both the base atb gain rate and the base turn length(again their value should always be the same) are adjusted to be extremely short by players, it'd pretty much shrinks most problems induced by the waiting time.

    TL;DR:

    While CTB eliminates the waiting time for gaining atb and skill charging and cooldown, I think it lacks an effective way to show the turn tick count and those rates precisely, and sometimes these precise data are crucial. I'd instead let players adjust the base atb gain time and base turn length(they always have the same value) in the games' system options so they can make the wait time extremely short(like 0.5 second).

    1. Active Mode can be done using the ATB Pause feature by not setting "at least 1 actor has 100% atb" nor "Skill window are active" to be parts of the pause conditions.

    2. Actor change should be a given for an ATB system. Without it, players wouldn't be able to choose the suitable actors to act in the suitable time, and this is one of the necessities for an working ATB system.

    3. If "Change actor" via "Button to escape" can exchange the reserved members with the active ones, I'd wonder why pressing for some time and under some conditions are needed. I think a cooldown feature for such exchange(it needs x turns to cooldown before it can be used again) would be better as usually players don't want to wait for this exchange even if they have to(also they can't do anything else while waiting and I wonder if it'll just make this feature too punishing to use).

    4. "Refresh battleMenu when you lose a state" should also be given for an ATB system as again, the core mechanics behind this system just won't work if the update of the crucial information aren't shown immediately. Players need to know the newest information in real time in order for them to make well-informed actions in real time, the latter being one of the very reasons why an ATB system is used.

    5. I don't really get what the specific value in  "Option to set a specific value for an actor" is used for.

    6. Actually ATB Rate can also apply to items, but I forgot to mention that :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2014
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  15. BoluBolu

    BoluBolu Veteran Veteran

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    Basically I love ATB breaker(or you call it Clear ATB above, but not until 0 point) from a specific things. Example: 
    We can give mark(maybe notetag) for a skill/item then if the player use that skill/item into a battler(which should be enemy) it will reduce the current atb gauge into certain point(example 50%) so if now enemy atb bar reach 80% and the it was hit by the "special skill/item", that enemy atb bar gauge will reduce to 30%. We can decide how many reducing atb breaker value for each skill/item so it can be different for each other. Also expand this into weapon too, so if an actor wield that weapon, his/her normal attack will break enemy atb.
    And yes it should be more great combined with skill charging feature which when the enemy is charging it skill(the same goes to actor), it will be canceled.
    For now that's the only what I thought for a feature that should be added in an ATB system =)



     
     
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  16. DoubleX

    DoubleX Just a nameless weakling Veteran

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    You reminded that someone actually implicitly asked the Clear ATB feature to reset the ATB to a specific value or %, but not just 0. I should have upgraded this feature before :)

    For letting weapons to break atb as well, I've thought about that earlier but I feel that it'd be too op and unfair to enemies. But now I think about it again, maybe such unfairness could be actually desirable(and actually it can also be expanded to enemies), so this should be added to the Clear ATB feature as well.

    And recently I've think of adding a choice to just clear skill charges but not the entire atb, maybe it should be added to the Clear ATB feature too.
     
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  17. BoluBolu

    BoluBolu Veteran Veteran

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    There's a game I've ever played, and there's a special secret enemies for a secret quest where all of it's skill should never be unleashed or it will be a One Hit KO party. How to defeat it? There's only one way, the player need to find a super secret weapon that(yes hold this atb breaker power), and it only one weapon in the game, then the three other members should support this one fellow(wielding the weapon) involving in keep casting haste upon him so his speed could match the regenerating of the boss atb gauge, so the boss never had a chance to make command. Failed to keep the hero hastened status, will result in boss can make a command and use the instant skill and Game Over is on your screen. And beware of the boss minion too that will always auto respawned for several certain turn. So this is a very difficult extra secret boss, and also the weapon should be considered as a secret weapon to, whereas after the boss is defeated, the weapon is broken, so it no longer exist.

    And we could change the owner of the killer skill into a different monster/things, like maybe a book. So the boss is normal, didn't have a One Hit KO party skill, instead a book thing behind him. So the player need to disable the book command. Yes this will be a lot harder because not only dealing with the book, now the boss is able to move as well.

    Another story is disabling an auto fullheal skill from a boss/minion.

    Another story again err, well you mention it.. :)

    Basically the purpose of weapon breaker is just for a secret event because yes, I considered it's to unfair for normal enemy and normal boss or even final boss to face an invisible actor with atb breaker weapon, but what do you think it is for a side secret boss like what I've described above? Still unfair? :)

    And if you ask what game, I can't answer because that is a secret boss in my game project which I don't know when it will be released or even make any progress :D
     
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  18. DoubleX

    DoubleX Just a nameless weakling Veteran

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    Then I await for your idea to be implemented and tested in your game and see how it'll actually play out :)
     
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  19. BoluBolu

    BoluBolu Veteran Veteran

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    There's one thing problem, I haven't found an atb system that utilize that feature, I put my thought about it here, if by any chance you'll make an atb script for that feature, that's why I don't know if my game with that boss inside will make any progress(that means this will not get realized if I haven't found an atb system with that feature I mentioned above). Phew.. Haha great isn't it?
     
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  20. DoubleX

    DoubleX Just a nameless weakling Veteran

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    Right now you can still do it with Yami's CATB and my Clear Addon, but this way can be a bit nasty:

    Ace Battle Engine

    http://yanflychannel.wordpress.com/rmvxa/battle-scripts/ace-battle-engine/

    YSA Battle System - Classical ATB

    http://www.rpgmakervxace.net/topic/865-ysa-battle-system-classical-atb/

    DoubleX RMVXA Bug Fix to YSA Battle System - Classical ATB

    http://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?/topic/22142-doublex-rmvxa-bug-fixes-to-ysa-battle-system-classical-atb/

    DoubleX RMVXA Clear Addon to YSA Battle System - Classical ATB

    http://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?/topic/22230-doublex-rmvxa-catb-clear-addon-to-ysa-battle-system-classical-atb/

    The trick is to make a skill that adds a state with clear addon notetag and then immediately removes that state, and make that skill to be able to be learned only via equipping an item. The former makes that skill clear enemy's atb or charge whenever it's hit, and the latter ensures that only those wearing that item can use that skill.
     
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