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Designing a level/tier system for a monster trainer game, need criticism and advice


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#1 willmer   Members   -  Reputation: 142

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 10:45 AM

Hello everyone. This is my first post on gamedev so I appreciate any criticism you have to hep me be a better contributor and poster on here.

I am currently working on a game in a similar style of Pokemon and Dragon Warrior Monsters where you assemble a group of monsters and fight 1v1 (potentially more later) against monsters generated from a barcode scan. I recently remembered the aspect of DWM that allowed you to breed your monsters and create new ones and thought that was an appealling concept ( I know Pokemon has it too but I haven't played any of the new ones to know how it works). My question centers around whether I should include a level system for my monsters or a tier system based upon breeding or fusion.

Here's what I'm currently thinking for the monster section of my game:

Monsters belong to standard groups or families (Humans, Dragons, Elementals), have damage types (Fire, Water, Undead), stats (attack, defense, speed), and move sets (4-8 moves to choose from). In addition, I am currently thinking of setting them up in tiers that are based upon fusion. There would be three tiers with each tier having 30-100% better stats/moves than the previous tier. You can fuse monsters of the same tier with 2 varying outcomes.
1. Two monsters fuse together to form a new monster of the next tier.
Example, a swordsman and fire elemental (both T1) form a Flame Swordsman (Tier 2) that will have higher stats, an added damage type (fire) and possibly new moves.
That flame swordsman could then be fused with a Drake (both tier 2) to form a Drake Rider (tier 3).

2. One monster absorbs qualities of another.
Example: a swordsman and a shield bearer are fused. The swordsman is the primary fusion so he will retain his identity but will receive extra stat points based upons the shield bearers stats, and can choose to learn 1-3 moves from the shield bearer. The swordsman will now be a tier 1a which prevents him from fusing with other monsters.

So you can make a new monster or buff your current monster. Also, I am currently thinking of using a rank (level) system that allows monsters to reach a rank of 5. As you gain a rank, you can upgrade some stats (although not enough to make a t1 stronger than a t2). Also, as you gain ranks, the monster can learn more moves (start with 3 and gain 1 at every rank?).


How do you think this approach compares to using a leveling system (1-100 levels) which differentiates monsters based on their level and the stats that rely upon levels such as Pokemon? Would this be interesting and engaging to play or too tedious?

I appreciate any feedback or suggestions. Thanks

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#2 jefferytitan   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2223

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 06:20 PM

It sounds like an interesting approach to me. A few comments though:
- Why would you want to make a 1a if it can't be upgraded further? Maybe the "a" variants start at a higher rank than the new monsters, so therefore are the better short term option? Or they can have capabilities that the new monsters can never have?
- Related to that item, I think that a high rank 1a should be able to beat a low rank 2. Imagine a human vs a dragon. A fully grown human can kill a baby dragon, but probably not a grown up dragon. That would add to the excitement when you're outgunned but win anyway through skill.
- I also kind of like the Pokemon idea of spontaneously evolving or up-ranking during a match based on a combo of past training, past matches and the current challenge. A nice wildcard when the chips are down.

#3 willmer   Members   -  Reputation: 142

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 07:55 AM

Jeffery thanks for your input.

- Why would you want to make a 1a if it can't be upgraded further? Maybe the "a" variants start at a higher rank than the new monsters, so therefore are the better short term option? Or they can have capabilities that the new monsters can never have?

I guess I forgot to put this but I don't think all the monsters will be able to be fused to create a new one. There will be some where there is only one combination to make (ie 1 X and Y to make Z) but others fusions will be possible with more than one (ie swordsman with any fire creature -> flame swordsman) and some where there are no fusion combinations. My idea on having the subtiers is to allow those monsters who don't fuse with others to get a little stronger and add some more depth since they can acquire new skills and stats through that fusion. It would likely be a short-term upgrade that would help if you were struggling with a boss battle. You could fuse one of your monsters to increase its stats and possibly add a new move which would be effective. Maybe you have a high attack monster but need more defense...fuse it with a high defense monsters to get those extra defense stats.

I think that a high rank 1a should be able to beat a low rank 2. Imagine a human vs a dragon. A fully grown human can kill a baby dragon, but probably not a grown up dragon. That would add to the excitement when you're outgunned but win anyway through skill.

I think that's a great idea. Maybe I'll have a scheme where tiers/ranks start to overlap...such that a tier 1, rank 4 or 5 monster will become stronger than a fresh tier 2 monster.

- I also kind of like the Pokemon idea of spontaneously evolving or up-ranking during a match based on a combo of past training, past matches and the current challenge. A nice wildcard when the chips are down.


I think that an evolution system like in pokemon would require fewer fusions or just a ton more monsters, which isn't necessarily bad. Maybe I could have some monsters "evolve" when they gain enough ranks (dragonling -> dragon) which could possibly be used in fusions. Is your suggestion permanent or temporary? It sounds like it would be an in battle thing.



Do you think it would be better to allow any monster (especially tier 1's) to reach a stat level where it can compete with tier 3's or should I keep certain ones from reaching that potential. Similar to limiting pokemon to a certain level like 20 unless you evolve them and then they can reach level 40 and so on.




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