What should drive elemental/damage-type code?

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by Carduus, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. Carduus

    Carduus Veteran Veteran

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    I found myself putting tags on character statuses this morning, then suddenly had the sinking thought that maybe I should be putting damage-type tags on spells, not the status. It doesn't matter if it's a mental suggestion you can't see him, a high-tech light-splitter, or magical hoodoo: once the action is resolved, dude's invisible.


    An argument for damage-type on statuses, not spells is that this kind of simplification is taking away a possible angle for strategy: managing/mitigating the fallout of getting that status. If the spell is over and all that remains is the status, it makes a difference in curing the condition whether it's a gypsy curse or a leech under your skin causing the effect.


    What do you think is best, and what did you do in your game?
     
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  2. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

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    I am utterly confused by what you are trying to convey here.


    Are you asking - should there be different ways to remove a Burn caused by fire, a Burn caused by electricity, or a Burn caused by an illusion?


    If that's correct - what kind of mechanics would be in a game that would allow for this?  Are you really going to create three or more different states that act the exact same way?  While this kind of thing does give statuses a bit of extra flavor, which is nice, most of the time I think it would not be worth the added information-based complexity (the player now needs to consider "my character is burned", but also needs to consider "what type of burn is it" as well as "what can cure this type of burn and what can't" - if the way to deal with most statuses is "use something to cure it", then this decision has a lot of complexity but not much depth, making it bad design).
     
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  3. Carduus

    Carduus Veteran Veteran

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    You and I don't seem to communicate well together. Sorry about that! I'm looking at two different scenarios here:


    1. Player throws a fireball-> Fireball spell applies status:En Fueeeego! ->Spell can end here-> En Fueeeeeego has a tag <Fire> -> Enemy does a check to see if s/he's vulnerable/immune/whatever to <Fire>.


    ---This has the advantage of tying the tag to the status, so it doesn't require the spell to linger until the effect is done, but has the disadvantage of (possibly) having to have duplicate statuses because the source is different (Holy Fire, Swimming in Lava, Magical Fire, etc).


    2. Player throws a fireball ->Fireball spell has a tag <Fire> -> Enemy does a check to see if s/he's vulnerable/immune/whatever to <Fire>->Depending on results, Fireball spell applies status:En Fueeeeego!


    -----This has the advantage of brevity (only needing one En Fueeeeego! status for all sources), but the disadvantage of disallowing the enemy to save after the status is applied, as the source becomes unknown.
     
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  4. jonthefox

    jonthefox Veteran Veteran

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    Some questions I'd ask myself if I were you--how many different spells will my game have?  How many different statuses will my game have?   I feel like lack the information necessary to properly advise you--because it just depends on the variety of spells and statuses your game has, and their specifics.


    One thing I usually do is simply differentiate the ability to "check" for a resistance based upon whether the status is coming from a physical source or a magical source.  In other words, if poison is being inflicted via magical means (a poison cloud spell, a hex, a toxic gas, etc.), that'd be something resisted based upon magic defense.   If the poison is being inflicted via physical means (a bite, a slash,a pierce, a slime's touch, etc.) that'd be resisted based on physical defense.  This adds some strategic and aesthetic diversity while still being relatively simple for the player to keep track of (physical attacks are resisted by physical defense and magical attacks are resisted by magical defense).   So I guess I'm doing it by "spell" but I only have 2 "spell types", so it doesn't get crazy confusing for players.
     
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  5. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Just a reminder 


    This thread is for discussing the design of game mechanics in general.  It is not for asking feedback on one specific game, or giving advice for one specific game.  Keep it general, guys.
     
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  6. AthenaWhisper

    AthenaWhisper Veteran Veteran

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    Surely you could have all Fire-Based damage sources inflict the same "On Fire!" State, and then have the person afflicted with it check their resistances each turn? That removes the disadvantage of having to make duplicate states, and keeps the advantages of brevity and the tag being tied to the status.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2016
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  7. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

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    I like Option 2 better, generally speaking.  It's more intuitive in a game sense.  If the spell is Fire and the enemy isn't immune to Fire, the spell can do its thing - damage, En Fueeeego, buffing the spell's user, whatever.  It's also generally easier communicate that a skill is of a certain element than it is to communicate that a status is of a certain element.


    As always, I advocate trying to include the maximum amount of depth with the minimum amount of complexity.  Memorizing information (or even needing to search for it) is pure complexity, unless the memorization is actually part of the game's engagement (e.g. a game of Simon or that tiles puzzle from Undertale).
     
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