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APATHY IS FOR COWARDS
4011
author=LockeZ
In a game without cooldowns, this wouldn't work as well and you'd need some other way to make their off-tanking skills only work in emergencies.


The way I imagine it, a Fighter-type would be able to tank no problem due to high HP pools and mitigation. Once he goes down, a Rogue-type could tank for a while because he still has decent armor, but keeping him topped off become increasingly difficult. Then once it comes down to the Mage-types, well, you're counting turns left at that point.

I think another thing that would help this is seeing your enemy's Health % remaining. It's hard strategizing against an RPG boss when you have no idea if it's gonna take 5 or 50 turns to kill him.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
6003
If the rogue is good enough to tank for a little while, why isn't he good enough to keep tanking? Unless there's some sort of temporary tanking buff that wears off, I'd think he'd either be a good enough tank to survive (in which case you don't need a real tank) or he wouldn't (in which case he would almost immediately die).

The only other thing that would potentially make him feasible for a limited time, I guess, would be if damage and healing both happened in very low amounts. So if the enemies (combined) only deal 50% of his max HP per round, and your healer can only heal 30% of his max HP per round, then he can survive as an emergency tank for three rounds before he dies. But you'd have to design the entire game around such low damage/healing amounts to make this work. Every battle would need to be extremely long.

If threat is a mechanic that only exists for the tank, and everyone else always has equal threat, then you have a little more leeway after the tank dies. Because at least the damage will be split up across your party.
We were considering one party member with high physical defense and one member with high magical defense. You would choose the one best suited for whichever enemy/enemies you were up against.

As for a thief tanking, he/she would typically be relying on evasion, so those times where they got hit would be costly.

Losing your tank doesn't have to be devastating, though. I know this discussion is about threat and its management, but when your tank goes down, your party should employ crowd-control methods until you get things under control again. Mages should be sleeping/silencing/paralyzing enemies. All other characters should be shifting to whatever supplemental roles they may have, and that tank should be having raise/life/phoenix down put on them.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
6003
And once again, you neglect to address my point: if those methods of surviving actually work, then you don't need a tank in the first place. If you can do them when the tank is dead, what's to stop you from doing them all the time? In the absense of cooldowns, if you can survive one round without a tank, you can survive every round without a tank.

Threat-based tanking requires some pretty good shenanigans if you want to give the player any chance to come back from a tank's death (while still giving the player a reason to actually need a tank). You can do weirder stuff like making all the tank's skills be area defensive buffs that last 2-3 rounds each, or briefly stunning all enemies upon the tank's death. In a fast-paced ATB or ABS, you can give all the characters a sort of "feign death" skill that reduces their threat, which they can use right before they die, so that the enemy changes targets and it takes a few extra seconds before more people start dying.

I would actually be interested to see a threat-based game that didn't have tanks and was built entirely around that last concept. Whoever has the most threat stays in combat as long as they can survive, retreats when they reach critically low HP, and then the next person gets threat. Healing isn't strong enough to recover from all the damage being done by the enemy. You would need a lot of party members, I guess. I've seen this sort of tactic a lot in army-based games, but you could do it in an RPG too.
In an MMO, where threat is a necessity, why don't players approach every threat by sleeping/kiting while mages nuke? Simply put, oftentimes, it's slow and inefficient.

Utilizing a tank allows you to use your damage dealers and healers more efficiently, and it gives you more control over the predictability of battle. That's why they matter.

In an enmity-based system, feel free to just crowd-control your way to victory. It's going to be painfully slow and inefficient for your MP pool.
I'd like to see something more than the typical random target enemy AI. I'm not sure if bringing tanking into things would be an improvement, though--LockeZ rightly points out that there is a very fine line between making special tanking classes and making their survival critical. I'm experimenting with a simpler system where enemies simply bias their targeting towards whoever is doing the most damage or healing.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
6003
I think it's probably almost always going to be faster to have an extra person dealing damage instead of tanking, if it's possible to do so. That's why people don't ever use tanks in games that have the option but don't require them, like FF13. I used a tank in three or four fights in that whole game, and even then I switched out of the tank role for 90% of the fight because you can change classes mid-battle in that game. If tanks are optional, they're useless.

I don't necessarily mind the tank being critical, mind you. I just feel like it makes the game harder, and if you don't want it to be harder you have to increase the margin of error some other way. Maybe you do want it to be harder! Maybe you want most enemies to deal 98% of the tank's max HP with every swing! I don't know how hard you want your game to be.

In a JRPG I guess the simplest way to make a tank "mandatory" isn't to make the fights unbeatable without one, but just to put a character on the team who is a tank. Heh. If an unremovable character on my team can't do anything but draw attacks to himself and defend the party, he might as well be doing that. You don't see many main characters who aren't damage dealers though, probably because most JRPGs have a few segments where the main character is the only one on your team.

Predictability is actually a valid argument, though, I guess. Something that lets you survive but only has a 75% chance of working is definitely an emergency-only maneuver compared to something that has a 100% chance of working. I would almost go so far as to say that the method with the 75% chance of working is useless from a game design standpoint. It's useful from the player's standpoint, sure. But if being unforgiving is a problem you want to fix, then the problem isn't fixed for 25% of your players. I just seriously hate randomness though, so maybe I'm biased. I guess emergency tactics after you've already screwed up your main strategy are probably one of the most acceptable places for it.
One thing I'm wondering about this threat system is, why is it always about dealing damage?

I think it would be more interesting if each enemy has different ways of dealing with threat.
Example Scenario :
Gloria heals the whole party, increasing her threat level. Alex sees that Gloria is in danger so he use Provoke to increase his threat level. Succubus, however, see that Alex is a physical-based character. Comparing two threats, she think that Gloria should just shut up and let the party take damage like warriors so she cast Silence on Gloria. Golem, on the other hand, is stupid and angered by Alex's Provoke, so he doesn't care what Gloria does and his goal is now to bury Alex into the ground.

This way, it won't be too obvious which character should be a tank. Anyone can be a tank if the situation is called for. You can be a tank for damage, a tank for status effect, etc.
It's rarely only about dealing damage. Almost all actions (in games that utilize these types of systems) generate threat.
author=WonderPup
It's rarely only about dealing damage. Almost all actions (in games that utilize these types of systems) generate threat.
I understand that part, I'm talking about what happen to a character who generates high threat.

Without categorized threat applied to my scenario above, both Succubus and Golem would attack Alex.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
6003
Generally how threat works is that every single-target offensive action by enemies uses the same threat formula, for the sake of simplicity.

I have seen examples of enemies that target the best healer, target the best magic user, etc. These are much more complex to deal with so they're pretty rare.
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