What makes the Fighter archetype be a fighter

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by kovak, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. kovak

    kovak Silverguard Veteran

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    In a recent project i've managed to finish what i consider as the core aspects of the game and today i was looking at my Commander (fighter) and my Warlock (offensive support) designs i've started to see so many similarities that i can't even see them as separated concepts anymore. Funny thing is that they sure are similar probably because i've spent 7 years designing MOBA characters and i had to make each unit as unique as i could wile limitating them within the 4 spells rule and now i have freedom to add as many spells as i can and i've started playing MOBA back in 2005 and DotA was not close as DotA 2 since it had been 1~2 years that Guinsoo passed the botton to Ice Frog and the hero Luna was released a couple of weeks i've started playing it.

    What i wanted to avoid


    As some as you know in a MOBA the "Fighter" is covered by a role and a sub-function that a unit may have and people insists on saying that they are the same when they clearly are no even close to be similar besides one factor: survivability.

    • Role - Initiator: As the name says they are the ones that begins the team fight and their skill set as built around it. They are not supposed to sustain any damage nor is to kill somebody with a single combo in most of situations unless their target is somebody who naturally has low durability (low health and barely to no survival mechanics).


    • Sub-funcion - Semicarry/ Bruiser: This nothing less than a Carry, who's also another role, their kit is build around mid-late game. They help a bit but are limited to intemization, they are supposed to be effective with items compared to when the match began. The only notable difference here is that they have means to sustain damage for longer periods compared to a carry with the same number of items. The main difference here is that they don't have the same means of killing as a carry with no survivability so they are slower in the hands of a less skilled player.
      The term was also born in the community and has controversial definitions due to changes that were naturally caused by a factor that nobody can fight: time.
       

    My misleads or How i think i've got lost


    I think i've use too much of supportive aspects to the point where it's kinda looks unfun to be a Fighter. It's not that it has a safeguard and a taunt and a cleave skill, like many other fighters with the minimun necessary to say "Me aggro, you trade" but when i think about a warlock i think about debuffs and a way or another of health manipulation. You take the health part away and then there's no difference between them, you could simply take the majority of skills away and place on the warlock ad it would be a warlock yet.

    • Provoke + increased physical damage
    • Nerf HP
    • Nerf MP
    • Nerf physical damage
    • Nerf physical resistance
    • Bleeding damage
    • High Stun chance
       

    All of this sounds like a support for me and not somebody who goes to the front line, at leas not yet.
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    Yesterday i've removed most of his skills and put them in the Warlock and switched 1 or 2 with the Oracle (defensive support).
    Made 2 skills wile lurking the D&D 5E book and it felt really more organic...but what if it has more passive skills instead of actives?


    Now my biggest issue with that is that my project allows you to have sub-classes.


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    My project is turn based, i haven't decided if it will use ITB or not to solve the turn order issue and actors are targeted based on their aggro rating so switchin between classes still a good idea since the traits that will be used are of the main class instead of using both, all you'd get from the subclass are the spells, some class features can be archieved through passives and boost the said class feature.



    I've managed to replace 6 of 8 skills and most of them will be cast a second time if the Fighter is dual wielding which made me make several changes in terms of damage and it feels way more solid and interesting since there's a difference of when dual wielding, using a weapon + shield and a two-handed weapon since my game uses block and counter mechanics to replace dodge based ones. I'm still having issues with the substitute skill since i can't force an actor to substitute when i want.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2016
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  2. Niten Ichi Ryu

    Niten Ichi Ryu Grey Lords Emissary Veteran

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    the problem is indeed that you think in MOBA terms. What makes a fighter usually in a turn based game is that your fighter is oriented towards damage making.


    but the trap is to consider fighter as a class in a non class based system.


    lets say you have eight heroes, two of them would be fighters. In that case it's better to design them as individualities than solely based on their class /roles. Their flavor is very important. See the Scottish Claymore wielding warrior and the Japanese Niten Ryu two sword wielding warrior are both fighters. Their flavor would be very different. But their finality is the same: To kill their opponents.


    if your Warlock debuff opponents, your fighter finish them off or disable them to leave mages time to cast.
     
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  3. Dr. Delibird

    Dr. Delibird Veteran Veteran

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    I would look at D&D for examples of a fighter before any MOBA. Reason being is games like D&D generally do a really good job of fleshing out a class and making it feel like said class.


    Take a fighter for example. A fighter is generally a class that is orientated towards doing direct damage in direct ways, sword, fist ect. Depending on where you want to go with a fighter they may have one or two skills that increase their own ability but rarely would they have many if at all skills that affect teamates as well (they might have one that is passive or happens when the use an ultimate move or somthing like that but never (usually) a regular skill).


    Generally the fighter type of class is the hardest to design in an interesting enough way without it taking things from other classes. So don't get discouraged if testers tell you that they found the fighter kinda boring or not unique enough as it is something that takes a lot of trial and error in getting right for your particular theme/setting.
     
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  4. kovak

    kovak Silverguard Veteran

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    Yesterday i've removed most of his skills and put them in the Warlock and switched 1 or 2 with the Oracle (defensive support).
    Made 2 skills wile lurking the D&D 5E book and it felt really more organic...but what if it has more passive skills instead of actives?


    Now my biggest issue with that is that my project allows you to have sub-classes.
     
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  5. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

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    I want to help you, but I'm finding it really hard to give advice because your initial post is exceedingly unclear (it's jumping between so many topics, most of which are specific to MOBAs - which I'm inferring is not the type of game you are making), and because your mind seems to be trapped in this MOBA paradigm (which is not really appropriate if you are making, for example, a turn-based battle system with a separate battle screen).


    Generally I'd start by figuring out, what do *I* want a fighter to do in my game?  Without answering that, it's nearly impossible to just create a set of mechanics that you think Fighters normally have and expect them to be a good class.  They can't "initiate" a fight the same way as they do in a MOBA because fights are automatically initiated and usually done so on equal ground.  They might have a lot of survivability in combat but that's usually more of a "tank" role in a standard RPG (because there's no concept of the "juggernaut" type character who is good at offense and defense but has a hard time sticking to enemies).  There's no such thing as "mid-late game" and monsters don't usually know that they should kill your "carries".  Often, RPGs just make the "fighter" into a character with high physical attack, moderately useful attack skills, and little else - this isn't particularly exciting.  What do you want your Fighters to be?


    In my own current project, there are only two characters (a Warrior (Fighter) and a Mage (Warlock)), so I'm working within a different design space than you are with your subclass system and all, but the main ways I differentiated the two classes (despite the similarities of nearly-equal stats and an emphasis for both on skill usage) are:

    • The Fighter deals his damage more consistently by paying for skills using TP which naturally regenerates each turn; the Mage deals her damage in big bursts by paying for powerful spells using MP which refills after each battle or by accomplishing certain feats mid-battle
    • The Fighter can serve as the party's tank if built for it - his equips tend to provide more defensive utility and he has higher HP as well as skills that can directly protect the Mage for a short time - or can invest in heavier damage
    • The Mage can provide lots of offensive or other special utility (disabling of enemies, resource renewal, occasional healing) that the Fighter can't (but has lower HP and very little defensive utility) - or, again, can invest in heavier damage instead

    One of the biggest ways you can differentiate between classes in general (and this is something many MOBAs are good at) is by having them use different resources which behave differently from each other.  Mana, which is spent from a fixed pool.  Energy, which regenerates quickly over time.  Rage, which is built upon taking damage.  Heat, which is earned instead of spent when using attacks but can harm or disable you if too much is accumulated.  A dozen more things you can probably think of.  These different behaviors lead to different power spikes within a battle, if designed well - so they will help you make your Fighter feel different from your Mage or Tank.


    Also remember that the unique mechanics of your game are something you should always try to design your classes around (this is something that MOBAs also do really well sometimes - but they are designing their classes around a MOBA's mechanics not around your game's mechanics so be careful).  Do you have a Skies of Arcadia-like system where characters move around a battlefield with instant travel time?  Give a Fighter powerful single-target attacks and a Warlock less-powerful Area of Effect attacks.  Do you have a Grandia-like system where characters have to wait to take an action?  Give a Fighter less-powerful moves that can interrupt enemies, and a Warlock more-powerful moves that are easily interrupted.  Do you have a Disgaea-like system where battlers need to maneuver around other battlers?  Give the Fighter high movement, and the Warlock high attack range.  Do you have a FF9 Trance-like mechanic where characters enter a special mode when they've been in combat for an extended time?  Have the Fighter's Trances happen more often and have him attack multiple times when he's in it; have the Warlock's Trances happen less often but give him access to super-powerful, free spells during this time.
     
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  6. kovak

    kovak Silverguard Veteran

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    My project is turn based, i haven't decided if it will use ITB or not to solve the turn order issue and actors are targeted based on their aggro rating so switchin between classes still a good idea since the traits that will be used are of the main class instead of using both, all you'd get from the subclass are the spells, some class features can be archieved through passives and boost the said class feature.



    I've managed to replace 6 of 8 skills and most of them will be cast a second time if the Fighter is dual wielding which made me make several changes in terms of damage and it feels way more solid and interesting since there's a difference of when dual wielding, using a weapon + shield and a two-handed weapon since my game uses block and counter mechanics to replace dodge based ones. I'm still having issues with the substitute skill since i can't force an actor to substitute when i want.

    Sadly i still think that  i'm using my experience with MOBA developing on the wrong way, i feel kinda lost since i've started it though i've learned a lot about the engine it's not helping me as much as i wanted in terms of class building. Working alone is way different from having a team and i'm feeling the impact it causes every day and cuz i'm more used to work with a group instead.
     
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  7. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

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    Yep, I do think most of your instincts are right on in that last post.  Just ask yourself - what kind of experience do I want my players to have in my battle system?  What mechanics will contribute to that experience, and finally how can I make my classes each make unique use of those mechanics?


    As far as working alone - doesn't mean you can't turn to close friends, or other forum members, or even members of your old team, and ask them to occasionally play a battle demo (or similar) and share their thoughts on what would make it a more fun and unique experience.  As long as you have a good knack for knowing when to hold and knowing when to fold, having multiple viewpoints is always better than having only your own.


    As far as the Substitute problems - it depends on the Maker you're using, but most of the time the "substitute condition" is a simple method in the default scripts that can be modified or overwritten as you like.  For example in VX Ace I used this to allow a battler with the Substitute flag to always cover for any ally against any hostile attack:

    Code:
    def check_substitute(target, item)
        (!item || !item.certain?)
      end
    Ask in the appropriate areas of the forum if you're having trouble finding or modifying the method in your Maker, but hopefully this will at least point you in the right direction on that front! :)
     
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