Classes and Cards
Games evening my friends of the vast internets…
First of all, Shoutbaxxxx is up so you can leave various comments/trolls/one liners without having to actually join Tumblr which is p rad. Also, a few sections are up, about me and about the game is up so check dat out. Working on the html for characters section and other stuff it is…really exhausting to work in Tumblr.
Alright, so I am going to wrap up talking about the battle system. It is kind of a long post so kick back put on your 8-bit jammies and relax on your couch. I split up the other post because I just wanted to jive about backdrops but this is really about core mechanics.
From my experience from playing many RPG’s the thing I think we can all agree on is a battle system where you “level up” and gain a second ability like Lit1 to Lit2 is kind of an outdated concept unless you design it in a way that it feels less of an exhausting grind. What is lame is your first set of abilities become dead weight by the time you’re at the end game and you grind like crazy to get a cool “last” skill/spell which I think is boring. Why can’t you get a semi cool spell/skill from the get go and evolve from that?
I really like the concept of classes. Each character has a prime class and two sub classes. My idea is that during battles you “class dance” between the three to maximize certain skills and gives you a variety of strategies to use. Let’s use Mcdoogle as an example:
His prime class is a Mage that has sort of balance abilities. On the left is his Tarotmancer sub class which focuses on diseases and crippling enemies slowly. His right sub class is a nuking type of class which has a bunch of very powerful offensive spells. So, how does one utilize this during actual combat? During a boss battle one might start off as Mcdoogles Mage class to lower the bosses defense then switch to his Tarotmancer class to add a poison or a crippling effect. And either switch to the nuking class or Mage class and blow him up. That’s the basic concept.
You’re giving people a chance to form their own tactics instead of button mashing “Ultima”. I will say this right now, I think people will figure out really cheap combinations to use to cruise through the game. That is fine, if you find a tactic to use and it works for you, abuse it. Having that kind of power people will eventually decide to branch into experimenting with out tactics.
In concept I wanted characters to have several classes each to choose from. Not being restricted to just 3. It’s a drag because I have to find an alternative method because it would not be possible to pixel and animate all of those classes which is a bummer. So I sat around and kicked ideas on my couch to figure out how to do it in some form. I came up with you have the base and two sub classes, but along with each class you will have class trees. These will give you an option to choose a route with a certain ability that you enjoy using and enhances it or unlocks different ones. I have not really sat down and defined this but I feel this will give people a more enjoyable experience in terms of learning new abilities.
I think there should be really good rewards when you win battles. I was not a big fan of just getting gold and “wolf pelts” when you earned a victory. Extending your class tree is important.
My idea is to have 3 slots in your equipment screen. The 3 slots are used for you to insert various cards that you ger from battle, exploring, achivement, etc. These cards add extra boosts to certain abilities. We will use Mcdoogle as an example again:
As a Tarotmancer he specializes in poisons. You can add two cards that increase the poisoning power and the third slot can be used to poison all enemies. If you think about it, it’s basically just a Materia system except you do not level them up. I like the concept of there being like hundreds of cards that do something relevant depending on the card and skill combinations people figure out through tactics. Basically it makes players experiment and use what they feel comfortable with.
Another reason why I decided to go with a card route is because it will give me a chance to add different kinds of art pieces in different mediums. So, that is kind of exciting on my end.
Lastly I want to talk about enemy encounters. I want enemies to be pretty defined and do the same things you’re trying to do. So as they’re attacking you and using their base class gaining class points to switch classes as well. So they will switch classes and gain different abilities and use different tactics just like you.
What I don’t agree on is sloppy enemy design. You will see an enemy with a basic moveset and follow up with it. With them class dancing you don’t know what to expect so you’re constantly thinking of different tactics to use. They will also have 3 cards to boost certain abilities. Basically enemy design is like, one of my favorite things to do. Not so much the tactical aspect but, just the freedom of creation.
FFFFF dat was long. S…sorry. Get some sleep gamers…