USING STATUS EFFECTS WELL

Got told your status effects currently suck by a player or reviewer? Not sure how to add them in? Got told you should have status effects? Try this advice.

Originally going to respond to this thread link below but it turned into some sort of article.
http://rpgmaker.net/forums/topics/6947/

Quick note. If after you read this your own views clash with what is said, then I'd love you to point out what you think is wrong in the article and why. That is not being sarcastic. Just don't go "that's terrible because I said so" go "that's bad because of X reason" or "that's terrible because of X reason". Since then I and anyone else reading can improve. Thanks.

The aim/purpose of this article is to give you some good ideas on how you can use status effects well in your RPG.

Why should you use status effects at all?

Status effects are useful in adding tactics and strategy to your battles. Negative status effects let's you create cure skills for them, and cure items making items more useful in battles. Both negative and positive status effects give you reasons to cast different actions per turn, since each status effect last a couple of turns.

Here are some handy points to consider when making them. Most of these points were already pointed on in the thread.

1. Keep the Damage Balanced.

Keep the status effects you have fair, accurate and small. Example. You don't want poison to degenerate 75% HP or anything close to that. That damage rate will be incredibly high and powerful resulting in a broken game.

The highest rate poison should be set would vary depending on other factors. Such as how many turns the poison will last and how much healing spells and items recover. You'd probably want to keep the damage rate between 10-35% minimum and maximum depending how you set this out.

This would keep the tactic more fair, since it does not take 1 or 2 turns to defeat every boss or enemy and they won't knock your whole party out from a single poison skill either.

Best way to avoid this is to think carefully about the base damage you do. Keep a track of the calculations and playtest the status effects a few times until the result doesn't seem too powerful or too weak.

Playtest the other factors that affect your statuses. If a state feels unbalanced making it last a couple more turns or a couple less turns may fix the issue.

2. Make them useful against Bosses.

I see a lot of VX games where status effects become useless when the game is supposed to challenge the player the most. Don't do this. It's better to still keep some status effects useful against boss battles.

Boss battles should be more engaging than regular battles and have the actors use a lot of skills they have. Okay, maybe not use everything they have since that might force an overdose of strategy, but using status effects should become one option they can take to defeat bosses.

3. Spit status effects for Enemies, Bosses and Actors.

This is also one way to add some cool collaborative work to your parties. I.e. You can have an enemy that blinds characters with physical skills while the second enemy casts magic spells and is weak to physical attacks.

As well as that, split the status effects actors can cast on different classes so they'll be doing different attacks each turn and collaborate more with each other.

4. Don't make useless status effects.

Like the example MKID232 pointed out in the thread, a death status effect is probably useless. If you have a death state with a high success rate, that skill becomes superior. See point 1. If you don't do this and make it a low encounter rare then it becomes useless.

Player's are unlikely to use it unless their on the edge of dying, since it's then not worth the amount of turns it takes up compared to other skills.

If actually the death skill with low encounter rate is worth using, then you have something terribly wrong there with your other skills. Get some good skills to the actors otherwise it'll become boring wasting turns hoping it'll eventually instant death an enemy because it's the most effective way to beat them.

The one time you might use this skill is if the player is low on health. That suddenly makes it more of a luck game than a strategic game, which I don't find that enjoyable.

We want to win the battles but still feel challenged, not gamble battles or have a high chance of losing them.

For that reason, status effects look to me like they're more fun when they have high encounter rates and deal fair damage instead of low encounter rates and deal heavy damage or instant death.

5. Keep the Skillset, including statue effects, Balanced.

This is similar to point 2 and 4. When you have

A. Skill that casts Atk+ on the actor
B. Skill that casts Def+ on the actor
C. Skill that casts Atk+ & Def+ on the actor

What will you choose? C, because it is a mixture of A and B. There is no point for A and B because C gives you both and saves a turn. Now I've seen a few games that have some skillset system like A and B are given to actors at level2-8 and then they get C at level 12 or something similar.

There is no problem with making the actors stronger with their skills if the enemies become stronger with their skills too, but don't keep weaker skills if you don't have a use for them anymore. When they learn C they should unlearn A and B. Or they should not learn C. Or have some sort of disadvantage on C like a limit or delay so they will still have a use for A and B.

It's important to think carefully about what status skills you are putting into your skillsets. There should not be any useless statuses that have no reason for existing.

6. Balance Status Ailments

This is a problem I see in a lot of VX games. It's usually the enemy that cast poison on the actor. Okay that's pretty cool since the enemy does something other than attack, but now what? If you don't have a way to cure poison it sucks for the player. You have to think about the status effects the player can cast on the enemies and the status effects the enemies can cast on the players.

There should be nearby shops to stock up on items to heal poison, or a skill that can cure poison. There should be rewards that give the player cures for poison in this dungeon.

Enemies may want to collaborate with others that can cast cure poison skills.

Think about the ailments they cause and balance it.

7. Don't create a dozen duplicates for each status effect.

Instead of creating something like Zephyr pointed out, 10 poisons that would confuse players and be annoying, keep the status effects you have useful from beginning until the end of the game. This may sound like it contradicts point 5 a little, in which case if you feel it does don't create C at all, but it's a good tactic.

Each status effect should do something different and have a different name. Allow the player to adjust and learn what those status effects do and then keep them so the player can use them in a strategic battle and not have to learn another thousand status effects instead.


That's it. Hope this helps you. In future I could add more to this article if anyone thinks of anything else to add. Also, if anything is wrong with what has been said, I'll edit it out eventually and fix it.

Posts

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I have to disagree with the numbers for the poison status. I have never bothered to heal poison during battle if it does anything less than 20% max HP in damage. If I'm in a random encounter, it will be over soon enough anyway and I can cure afterwards. If it's a boss battle the boss is likely to just re-inflict the poison anyway, which makes curing it a temporary solution meaning I may as well just heal instead since that temporary solution will not only heal the damage the poison did, it will also heal damage from other sources as well. Unless the poison deals damage fast enough to actually threaten you, there's little to no reason to actually care about it. I'll just ignore it during battle and then open the menu once I've won, something that hardly adds anything to strategy.
post=201752
I have to disagree with the numbers for the poison status. I have never bothered to heal poison during battle if it does anything less than 20% max HP in damage. If I'm in a random encounter, it will be over soon enough anyway and I can cure afterwards. If it's a boss battle the boss is likely to just re-inflict the poison anyway, which makes curing it a temporary solution meaning I may as well just heal instead since that temporary solution will not only heal the damage the poison did, it will also heal damage from other sources as well. Unless the poison deals damage fast enough to actually threaten you, there's little to no reason to actually care about it. I'll just ignore it during battle and then open the menu once I've won, something that hardly adds anything to strategy.


Thank you for pointing that out! You are definitely right with the example you gave Crystalgate. In that case poison would be better placed at 20%. Sorry, I should never have said "the highest" at the end of the figure so it's been edited now.

At the time in my mind I was thinking about actors infecting poison on a boss or enemy, ones that don't have cure and heal spells to recover their own health. I was also thinking about an x number of turns and other factors which lead me to believe any higher than 15% may make some bosses a little to easy for the player.

Point 1 now ends saying play test it since it depends on what actors can do, what they can't do, the damage rate of their other skills and the recover rate for healing & items.
What about enemies who are thick, like Snorlax?

Should you let them have about 50,688 HP? and 35 defense?
post=210282
What about enemies who are thick, like Snorlax?

Should you let them have about 50,688 HP? and 35 defense?


uhhh... did you mean to post that here?

On VX, guessing other makers too, that depends on your actor's parameters curves, their growth, their maximum level, their equipment and anything that effect their stats. Then that should be very carefully considered when you create the stats for all your enemies and troops?

You can find the default calculations in the Game_Battler script. Ctrl+F calculation.
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