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[Adonthell-devel] Battle System

From: Joseph Toscano
Subject: [Adonthell-devel] Battle System
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 19:09:56 -0500

First of all: I think that the next item on the design list should indeed be
the battle system. There are usually two parts to an RPG, and I don't think
Adonthell should be any different: there's the story development and then
there's the battles, which is where the real meat of the game is. cirrus
suggests that items should come next. However, items simply support the
battle system. Therefore, items are part of it.

Anywho, I agree with both cirrus and Ricardo: I think we have two clear-cut
options for a battle system.

1) A turn-based battle system which initiates a seperate screen for the
battle, and which is completely seperate from the map.

2) A real-time battle system that takes place on the actual map.

My vote goes for #2. I'm a huge fan of the Secret of Mana battle engine.
It's probably the most fun I've had with a battle engine ever. And if we
improve upon that basic idea and add to it. . . then I think we'll have one
really awesome battle system on our hands. I think it should be a definite
departure from the overused and clich├ęd battle systems out there.

My friend Marty and I (who are huge RPG freaks; we both love SoM to death,
too) have been talking about this. Between the two of us, we came up with
some specs for our "dream battle system," as cirrus calls it. Here it is:

[*] The controls in the game would be a lot more "nimble" than they are now;
it's way too tile-based for this battle system. Currently, when you attempt
to move, you move flush from one square to another square. For this battle
system to work, you need to be able to walk around freely without tile-based
restrictions. This isn't to say that the scenery and such can't be
tile-based, but . . . there needs to be a balance.

[*] The other party members (I'd say about a total of three characters per
party) follow the main character around and also do battle based upon AI.

[*] The characters will have a few applicable stats, as opposed to a whole
bunch of meaningless ones. The "Physical Attack" stat will determine how
much physical damage the character can do. The "Physical Defense" stat will
determine how well the character can absorb physical damage. "Magic Attack"
and "Magic Defense" will do the same, just on the magic side of things.
Another stat will be "Speed," to determine how quickly the character will
recover (see below for details on the "recovery" system).

[*] Each of the three party members are capable of doing physical damage
with weapons. The weapons that the characters equip are a preset group of
weapons that are found during the progression of the game's plot. This is
opposed to, say, a system like Final Fantasy, where you are constantly
finding and purchasing weapons; you don't stick with one weapon for long. If
the weapons are a predesigned set of 5 or 6, it's a lot easier to manage and
a lot more memorable. Each weapon would do something different: the whip
would let you strike enemies from afar, the bow&arrow would let you shoot at
enemies below you, and the sword and spear would be excellent for
close-quarters combat. You can upgrade the weapons so as to increase their
attack power. This would depend on the rest of the game: I think the upgrade
process should perhaps tie into the plot. Or, for example, to upgrade your
weapons, you'd have to visit each blacksmith in each town that you visit.
Each blacksmith embues the weapons with more strength, so the more
blacksmiths you visit, the stronger the weapons become. Something along
those lines.

[*] As far as magic goes, we came up with a total 0wnacious system. All of
the monsters will have an inherent spell or set of spells inside them. Using
a command that could be called something like "Copy," you can attempt to
copy the spell from the monster and use it for yourself. Example: you're
battling against some creepy Yeti monsters. The Yeti monster has the "Ice"
spell in him. You initiate the "Copy" command and, based upon your current
"Magic Attack" skill level, you *may* be able to copy the spell to your own
spellbook. If this is your first time copying the "Ice" spell, you may only
get something like 5% Power for the Ice spell. But each time you Copy the
"Ice" spell, that Power percentage increases, and the spell becomes more
effective. After a long while, the Ice spell may even reach 100% Power. Then
it'll kick ass. ;P We came up with some other ideas based upon the same
concept. Like, once your spell Power for the "Ice" spell reaches 100%, you
can use a command called "Ultra Cast," which would drain the Power level
down to 0%, but which would cast an insanely powerful instance of the spell.
Then, of course, you'd have to build the spell all the way back to 100%. In
my opinion, this idea kicks a whole lot of booty, and it's something
horrendously unique. No lame MP and stuff. You won't have to keep buying an
item to recharge your MP, etc. This would be extremely fun, methinks.

[*] Now, the "recovery" system that I mentioned. Here's the thing: we can't
just have the player slashing and casting spells at full power, one after
the other in succession. The game would be horribly easy. Thus, there'll be
a "recovery" time which will be calculated from the action the player takes,
and from his "Speed" stat. The more "Speed," the faster the recovery. If,
for example, the player slashes his sword at an enemy, it'll take one or two
seconds (depending on the player's "Speed" stat) for the player to get back
up to full power. Granted, you will be able to continue slashing away at the
enemy, but if your "recovery meter" hasn't been charged up, chances are
you'll either keep missing the enemy, or landing very weak blows. If you
cast a spell, the recovery time will be much much longer, depending on the
player's Speed stat, Magic Attack stat, and also the spell's Power level, as
mentioned earlier. So if you cast the Ice spell early on in the game (where
the Ice spell's power level will only be at something like 20%) it will take
a healthy ten seconds to recover. This, I think, is a lot more effective
than just limiting the player with a set number of points, like MP.

[*] Two staples of the RPG world will, however, still apply: Hit Points (HP)
and Experience Points (EXP). HP is, essentially, how much health you have
before you die. EXP is gained through successful battles, and as your levels
increase, so do your stats. With each levelup, though, I think the player
should be able to choose which stats to increase, like in Diablo. That makes
it a lot more customizable.

Hmm. I think this is all we came up with. Anyway, it's a very cool and
unique system. I bet a lot of you are going to freak out when you read this
e-mail, but read it over two or three times and try to really understand it.
;P I do think Adonthell should depart from the rather cold and overdone D&D
feel that a lot of RPGs are featuring today. Instead, it should follow more
in the footsteps of Japanese RPGs, like FF and SoM.

While I do think this system is something that should be seriously
considered, I don't think it's set in stone. Changes would be cool. I think
the only thing, though, that I'd be willing to defend is that the system
should be based upon a real-time battle system on the actual map. That's
probably the only big thing.


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