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Trigomaq

Trigger Design Part One: Innovative RPG Battle Systems

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If you were to design an RPG game what will be your battle system? "....If heaven was around the way.......a fiend who wants to get high, would he stop smoking? Knowing on his own two feet we could just stroll in......and escape from craziness and I bet you theres a heaven for an atheist." - Nasir *NaZ* Jones(courtesy of "God's Son") [edited by - Trigomaq on May 7, 2003 9:18:50 PM]

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For me, I''ll take turn-base over realtime any day of the week. I would like to design a game in which a great deal of thinking is required. Very few real-time battle system games have failed. Of course Zelda is an exception because it was fun..........

In the turn-base system I would like the character to be able to "summon" weird/scary creatures. I got this idea from Golden Sun. I would also like the characters to merge with other characters to form super-beings of some sort in order to defeat some bosses.

Another idea I like is having the character aboard a gundam-like ship equipped with heavy artillery. This idea was, of course, borrowed from Xenosaga/Xenogears.

As for special attacks? I don''t know honestly. I''m still deciding on just having a special guage similiar to the Over-Drive guage found in Final Fantasy X and the in-fight tech attacks in Xenosaga.

"....If heaven was around the way.......a fiend who wants to get high, would he stop smoking? Knowing on his own two feet we could just stroll in......and escape from craziness and I bet you theres a heaven for an atheist." - Nasir *NaZ* Jones(courtesy of "God''s Son")

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A very open ended question. I designed one for a role-playing game that has been collecting dust in a three ring binder. I will get to implementing it on the computer at some point but you need to walk before you can fly so I'm making a bunch of classic arcade games first.

The first thing I did was make the system so that the character's level does NOT effect the number of Hit Points they have. And no matter what, there is always a possibility of a low level character/creature being able to hit an uber-character/creature. Of course, the chances would be extremely thin. I had implemented a Luck value in the RPG that the player could use to modify their To Hit, Damage, and Resistance Rolls. How to implement that in a game would be virtually impossible. Any ideas would be read... hint, hint.

One thing I did when computing damage is to take the To Hit value and subtract it from the number rolled. This result would be added to the Damage roll.

My damage system was based on a single chart indexed on Weapon Dmg Type(A, B, etc.) and Weapon Physical Type(Puncture, Blunt, Slash, etc). If a Critical Hit occured I had a Crit Chart based on Hit Location. These charts would have special damage characteristics. Here is a sample list:

Blood Loss
Broken Bone
Eye Loss
Ear Loss
Blindness due to blood
Knockdown
Knockouts
And many more modifiers that could permanently lower your characters statistics, movement rate, etc. You get the picture. However, implementing them and keeping the game fun and the player frustration level low may be very difficult to achieve on the computer.

EDIT: I forgot that there was a Critical Failure also where the player could drop their weapon, nick themselves, or even embed that double bladed axe in their foot.

For your basic character statistics I had them roll a number for their BASE and another number that would be their ACHIEVABLE on stats that could be raised through physical practice. This would mean Strength, Dexterity, etc. Lift weights = get stronger, stretch more = more dextrous.

One last thing, the game was play-tested for almost 3 years with friends. Combat was fast, the damage system realistic enough to spark the imagination but not so detailed as to get bogged down. After exposure to AD&D and RoleMaster, I attempted to create something in between.

Anyway, whatever you do, make sure you load your charts and data from a database or your own files. DO NOT HARDCODE! You will be doing alot of tweaking to get the balance right and recompiling could become a serious headache.

Happy Coding!

[edited by - LordShade on May 1, 2003 10:20:48 PM]

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if done right, realtime tactical is the best (with no pause support)

baldurs gate is not a good example because the control over party member is bad, so they have to use pause

chrono cross is not an example cos its not real time.

i cant think other game uses real time tactical fighting.

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I think that realtime only really workd well with a 1:1 player/character ratio. Star Ocean 2 had a fun realtime system, but the AI characters were dumb as posts. SoM was totally rescued by multiplayer. My AI guys had a tendency to dash themselves against enemies or stand still absorbing arrows. No good.

If one player is going to coordinate the simultaneous actions of four or five characters, there needs to be some kind of time manipulation.

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My ideal battle system would be one where it doesn''t boil down to "Attack, Attack, Attack" until you reach a boss. I''d like to see some strategy required to beat the normal everyday encounters, using the different unique abilities of the characters in various combinations.

In no particular order, here are some features I''d like to see that would support that:

- Have status effects (good and bad) actually work most of the time and in some cases be required to beat specific enemies. The enemies would have to waste turns countering those status changes just like the player does (if they felt they needed to). With an ATB system, this would be better, as you couldn''t completely nullify the enemies turn with status attacks if they were quick, as they may get in 2 or 3 turns by the time you could do it again. Immunities would be possible, but sparse, and one enemy wouldn''t be immune to everything.

- Instant death spells that actually work, but they''d be costly or have side-effects.

- Have the fighter type character able to carry and use several different types of weapons. Like a sword strapped on the back, a crossbow hanging from the hip, etc. They''d be able to attack with any equipped weapon in a fight, based on which would be most effective. Weapon types would have different uses against different enemies. Definitely more weapon types than could be equipped, so preparation for a certain area would be necessary based on the monsters found there.

- Elemental strengths and weaknesses for most enemies, for magic attacks, or magic enhanced weapons.

- Perhaps a system where each action in battle takes a certain time to prepare and recover from. If a character is ready, they can initiate an action at any time (maybe pressing a button to pause time and enter a command). If you could tell that an enemy was about to cast some strong spell (you see them start to gather power), you could put up a shield that takes quicker to cast. In preparation or recovery states, characters could be interrupted or vulnerable to certain things.

- For a console RPG, have it be a solo quest where you would be able to use different classes. Each enemy would be possible to defeat with that class, using the skills acquired. A warrior would need the right equipment. Magicians need to use the right spells. A thief would have to time their counters properly (if using a system like I described above) to take advantage of openings. Good for replay value.

I guess my main gripe is that I''d like to see more strategy in traditional console RPGs, and not having any spell or skill that''s "useless". The trick is not turning it into a TRPG in the process, and keeping the battles short still.

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This is how I will try to implement my battle system (for my slightly futuristic RPG):

- Realtime, because it adds realism, fun, and strategy.
People tend to say "realtime gives you NONE of those, because in other realtime RPGs, noone is moving during combat; they''re just standing there exchanging spells/sword slashes/gunshots. In turnbased games you can move your character behind protection and stuff, use the terrain"

Well, I think tactics CAN be implemented in a realtime combat system. I mean, look at REAL LIFE. or at movies. they are in realtime, and people from both worlds can use tactics (their surroundings, their body and their teammates) to better survive.

To do this, the player can pause, and perform a number of different Special Moves.



Then I want
- Realistic damage system, for the same reason as realtime. A wound will have three effects on a character: Effect, Blood Loss and Pain.

The Effect does something like "worse aim", "lose an ear" etc, in other words it affects the character''s stats.
Blood Loss, well simply put, the character gets worse the more blood he.. doesn''t have
Pain. At a certain threshold, he gets worse at doing stuff.

The character can die from two things:
1) The Effect "Immediate Death" which can happen if the head or torso gets damaged badly enough, or
2) Blood loss.


"Kaka e gott" - Me

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Well for me its all about having lots and lots and lots of strategy and tactics involved, like a game of chess or Magic: the gathering. No skill/spell/class should ever be rendered usless by other higher end things along the line. Maybe less battles but the ones that are fought are longer and more meaningfull.

The battle system that I am implementing in my game (in my mind that is, i can barely program) is kindov origional in a sense i think. There are random battle encounters out of nowhere with a transition into them (like a FF game) but the battles are more like tekken. It is totaly realtime and playes out like a tekken battle except there is multiple creatures you fight, the game doesnt automaticly aim you at an enemy, and it is fought with weapons instead of your hands, oh and most hits will be alot more fatal than in that game. You get button combos that give you special attacks from weapons, like a sword might have fire strike: x-left-left-o-down.

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Not to sound like an D.H or anything but why do many aspiring game programmers craze for the medieval theme?

To me and several other millions of people, medieval is very boring. Wouldn''t want to have a theme for an RPG to be futuristic, with robots and space aliens? Sounds cooler than being a knight defending your low-populated kingdom from some indian tribe whos chief is sleeping with your mother.

I just prefer science fiction in my RPGs, makes the game more exciting.



"....If heaven was around the way.......a fiend who wants to get high, would he stop smoking? Knowing on his own two feet we could just stroll in......and escape from craziness and I bet you theres a heaven for an atheist." - Nasir *NaZ* Jones(courtesy of "God''s Son")

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I enjoy SciFi RPGs also. Remember though that even in a futuristic environment swords still do the same type of damage. A battle system originally designed for a fantasy can be applied to a futuristic one also. The designer just has to add new rulesets for lasers, masers, particle projection cannons, railguns, and so on.

[edited by - LordShade on May 3, 2003 1:54:54 PM]

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