What makes turn based battle system fun?

Dark_Ansem

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In what way?
I'm talking about the Nuzlocke run, which is best explained, like most things, by Dorkly. This challenge is basically going against the whole spirit of the game.


If the richness of the combat system only comes out when you're going pretty much against the recommended game design..
 

sunnyFVA

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So, I'd say what makes turn-based battles fun is when the content and encounters properly showcase the fun in the systems. Neither exists in isolation, and blundering one can render the other irrelevant to most of your audience.
The system is strong. The content does not properly utilize the system.
Multiplayer is inarguably part of the core spirit of the games, and it is far and away the best showcase the system could hope for. I'm not speaking in defense of Game Freak or The Pokemon Company, but rather using the games' ratio of "system good-ness" to "content bad-ness" as a cautionary example. There is mythology that people claim is true about the system that is purely the fault of the weak content.
 

LordOfPotatos

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I mean, if to get the richness of the combat system you have to actually go against 95% of the game design philosophy...
it's not the battle system's fault that everything else is garbage :/

play showdown (PVP) or a romhack, the system is good.
 

cchmaster

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How about starting from avoiding the bad/boring/no fun part? Grab few random games and play them. If you don't like the battle system, you'll have some ideas of what to keep and what to get rid of.
 

Dark_Ansem

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Goodness me, that goes against my principle, flaw-finding opposed to enjoyment-finding!
 

cchmaster

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Goodness me, that goes against my principle, flaw-finding opposed to enjoyment-finding!
I mean by find the bad part, you'll know how to make the game more fun.

For example, a lot of games start with one hero. When you go out, you encounter 1~3 enemies. You need to kill one enemy with three slashes. You have no skills, and after victory, you'll probably get herbs only. So, you can image this is quite boring.

A good way to solve the problem is the glimmer system from Romancing Saga series.
 

matthewwells

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Game loop:
  1. Introduce the player to a monster with a different ability, or combination of abilities, or different something than they've seen before.
  2. The player must adapt their battle strategy to avoid losing too much HP to defeating the enemy.
  3. Return to item one.
So, the central principle is: Make sure that new enemies the player encounters do at least one thing that is new and interesting in the context of the game. Introducing "yet another monster with a basic attack skill" whose only difference is that it has level-appropriate attack and defense is going to be boring.

There is one more opportunity. If skills and abilities can be somehow related to story events or the themes of the narrative, the results can be stunning. A great example of this is the original Xenoblade Chronicles and the "seeing the future" mechanic. Great battle mechanic, very clearly related to the story and narrative's themes both.
 

CleanWater

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I like the strategical part of battles, be it turn based or not.

As long as I can have some strategies going on, I surely will love it. If I wanted to just hack&slash enemies indiscriminately, I would play a beat'em up instead, like the King of Dragons or Dungeons&Dragons Shadows Over Mystara.
 

thesteven

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The most important thing, imo, is strategy. Every battle should have you thinking about your moves since that is what makes turn based battles fun. Think of it as a game of chess which is a turn based game. You wouldn't have fun playing chess against a three year old (unless they were really good for their age) so the battles shouldn't be so easy that you can just spam attack.

Obviously the game is going to be easier at first and then slowly progress in difficulty (at least it should) but that doesn't mean the beginning enemies have to be complete walk overs. There should be some challenge to them if all the player is doing is spamming attack.

Also grinding for level ups is not fun (for most people) so every enemy and boss should be beatable on the level the players gets to them naturally. Don't make a boss so leveled up that he kills the party in one turn if they don't grind 10+ levels before facing them. (the exception to this would be an optional boss fight that is not part of the main story.)

And as others have said, make sure the player does not have to return into territories with super weak enemies that they have to fight. If the player does have to go back put some kind of switch or variable that changes the enemies into stronger ones once the players reaches that point in the game where they have to return.

South Park The Fractured But Whole does a really good job with its battle system. There is no grinding and every enemy feels like a challenge. It's battle system is also a unique hybrid of tactical and traditional JRPG.

Paper Mario (the original) and The Thousand Year Door are also good examples of a turn based battle system done right IMO.
 

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