LOCKEZ DESIGNS A BOSS BATTLE FOR YOU

Posts

unity
You're magical to me.
12403
This is fantastic! Thank you very much!

author=LockeZ
The drain skill also being on the healer limits the situations where you'd use it. You'd need to be low enough on health that you need to heal, but you'd also need to be in a situation where it's important that you deal damage. Also, the healer has to be the one that's low on health.


Do you think this is a flaw in the character? Would it make more sense to switch it around and give the hero the HP Drain and the Warrior the Stun? Or am I worrying too much?

author=LockeZ
Edit: If the player doesn't have a Defend command, give the self-buff to the minions instead of the boss, so that the player has a second way to survive the triple damage when the hero doesn't have enough TP to use his stun attack. (they can survive it by killing the minion before it attacks) I was kind of assuming the player had a Defend command, but I guess that's not necessarily a safe assumption. If the player has a Defend command then ignore this and leave it as is.


They can defend! I had removed Defend from adding points to Rage, but now I'm wondering if it should give it some just to make it feel like its more useful.
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
author=unity
This is fantastic! Thank you very much!

author=LockeZ
The drain skill also being on the healer limits the situations where you'd use it. You'd need to be low enough on health that you need to heal, but you'd also need to be in a situation where it's important that you deal damage. Also, the healer has to be the one that's low on health.


Do you think this is a flaw in the character? Would it make more sense to switch it around and give the hero the HP Drain and the Warrior the Stun? Or am I worrying too much?
No, it's probably fine. The drain skill is just more useful against normal enemies, while the stun is more useful against bosses. The healing situation will get more complex as the player gets more skills and more party members.

author=unity
author=LockeZ
Edit: If the player doesn't have a Defend command, give the self-buff to the minions instead of the boss, so that the player has a second way to survive the triple damage when the hero doesn't have enough TP to use his stun attack. (they can survive it by killing the minion before it attacks) I was kind of assuming the player had a Defend command, but I guess that's not necessarily a safe assumption. If the player has a Defend command then ignore this and leave it as is.
They can defend! I had removed Defend from adding points to Rage, but now I'm wondering if it should give it some just to make it feel like its more useful.


Depends on the role of the rage skills, I guess. If you leave rage as only being able to be gained by getting hit, then any time you make an enemy use a strategy that can be countered by one of the rage skills, you have to also make other ways to counter it. If you let rage be gainable other ways, the rage skills will be usable more often, so you can make them be required more often, but that also means they won't feel as special or as ultimate.
InfectionFiles
the world ends in whatever my makerscore currently is
4690
Your mind is amazing, Dr. House...

(This isn't sarcasm either)
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
This is just me necrobumping my own topic to try to get more action in it, because boss design gets me horny.
unity
You're magical to me.
12403
I have another boss that I have a concept for but not anything for the gameplay portion.

The heroes have to travel through a mountain pass where a big potion workshop was once located. The workshop is in ruins, and in the center of it is a slime-boss whose body is essentially made of potions. I haven't had a lot of luck with ideas aside from some sort of auto-potion or regeneration effect on the boss.
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
Same characters as before? Any important new skills other than "damage" and "more damage" and "elemental damage"?
unity
You're magical to me.
12403
Haha, I should have included that! Silly me!

The hero now has a Rage (now renamed Impulse) ability that costs 36 TP (the stun one costs 23 TP, for comparison) and unleashes three normal attacks against one target.

The healer tank now has an Impulse that costs 24 TP and removes status ailments from the party and keeps the team protected against bad status for a couple of turns.

The party now has a mage with the basic Fire/Bolt/Ice single hit spells, and has Impulse Darkness hit-all that blinds (17 TP) and an impulse that restores a small amount of MP to the party (30 TP)

And as before, TP only builds when you take damage, to give more of a limit-break feeling.

author=LockeZ
This is just me necrobumping my own topic to try to get more action in it, because boss design gets me horny.


Oh, now I feel pity for you. :) I'll probably ask you for an idea at some point. you know, help you release that pent up bossmaking urge. XD
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
OK, gonna try something weird with the potion slime boss.

The boss splitting apart into smaller blobs is kind of an obvious place to go with any kind of slime monster, and would work well with an idea I had, which is that the potions should be able to heal you somehow as well as heal the boss. The key is that you should be able to trigger these heals somehow - and choosing when to trigger them should be important. Of course, with the boss being physically made out of potions, the obvious way to trigger the heal is to kill the smaller blobs which are also made out of potions. They can explode in a rain of potion when they die, healing everyone.

There are two obvious ways here to force the player to time these explosive heals intelligently - one is to make them heal the enemies as well as the player's party, and the other is to make it so there are just barely enough smaller blobs. It's probably best to do both.

Then there needs to be some actual reason why you need this healing. Obviously, the boss needs to have a skill that does mega damage to the player's party. The cooldown on this skill should be just slightly longer than the frequency that smaller blobs spawn.

Since the boss is a slime, you could (optionally) make it so that when it summons a smaller blob, it is "splitting". And make the boss lose an amount of HP equal to the smaller blob's HP when it splits. Then the explosive heal should heal a much lower amount - but still a solid chunk of damage. If you don't want to code this, it's fine. Doing this would make it so that if the player survives long enough he can win without ever directly attacking the boss until the very end - not doing this means the player needs to have enough time to attack the boss as well as the minions.

So in summary:

Potion Slime Boss
- Uses a powerful AOE attack every 4 rounds, which knocks off about 50-60% of each party member's health and significantly lowers their defense for one round (by enough to make them take double damage)
- Splits every 3 rounds, summoning a Mini Potion Blob and losing 5% of its max HP. Not used if below 10% max HP. This doesn't take up the boss's turn, and is used in addition to whatever else it was going to do (IE it's a battle event, not an enemy action) (the HP loss is optional) (if you do the HP loss thing, make sure you show the damage to the boss visibly! otherwise this fight will seem to be completely impossible until suddenly you win out of nowhere)
- Uses crappy single-target and area attacks the rest of the time. These should deal like 10% of your max HP so that its powerful AOE attack always comes dangerously close to killing you.
- If it loses HP when it splits, then this thing's HP needs to be equal to at least thirty times the amount of damage its powerful AOE attack deals, and probably more than forty times. Otherwise the explosive heals from the minions will make it invincible.
- If it loses HP when it splits, adjust the boss's defense so that it can survive about 100-120 attacks.
- If it doesn't lose HP when it splits, then this thing doesn't need to be nearly as sturdy. Make its defense low enough that the explosive heals from the minions only heal it for about two hits worth of damage. Then set its HP so that it can survive about 25-30 attacks. (It will realistically take about twice this many thanks to the healing.)

Mini Potion Blob
- Attacks a single target for about 10% to 15% of your max HP. Does about twice this much damage to players affected by the defense-lowering status effect that the boss's big AOE attack causes.
- Has enough HP to make it take about five to six attacks from your party to die.
- If the boss loses HP when it splits, this thing's HP should be exactly equal to the amount of HP the boss loses. It doesn't necessarily need the same defense as the boss, though; it could be a little lower if you wanted.
- When it dies, explodes in a fountain of healing potion, restoring the HP of all party members as well as the boss. The strength of the heal should be just slightly less HP than the boss's big attack deals.



This is sort of a mess, so ask me if it's not clear or if you code it and it turns out invincible or something. I think all the numbers should be about right, but this is the kind of boss where the numbers are really important, so test it out and make sure that it's working okay. Ideally the boss should split, you should damage the minion, the boss should use its big attack, you should kill the minion, and the explosive heal should undo the damage from the boss's big attack. The explosive heal will also heal the boss, but you should have a few free rounds to attack the boss, causing it to gradually die.
All right, I'll bite. I'm currently in the process of putting together a demo with the idea floating in my head; the demo is a dungeon which will feature in the final version. The "dungeon" (details subject to change) in particular is an enemy encampment near the front lines of a war - it consists of both navigating the encampment and a nearby cave complex before eventually arriving at a ley line conflux. At the conflux is where the players will fight the boss.

This dungeon is in such a place in the story that it's the first time the characters (and the player) will have encountered actual monsters; prior to this, it's been natural creatures and humanoids as enemies. Monsters are, in particular, attracted to this place because of the actions of the enemy commander and his attempt to summon a larger one to assist with a coming battle - the plan is to make the boss either the commander or the monster he summoned or both.

MP has been eliminated from the game; all abilities are either free (TP Builders) or cost TP to use. TP raises only by attacking (does slightly more damage than a TP builder, but builds less TP) or using a TP Builder (small damage + an effect and more TP). Balance may need to be done here, but that's not important to this exercise.

The three characters are as follows (abilities are listed in order of their planned TP cost):

Main Character: sword 'n' board user, has access to four abilities:
- an attack that does minor damage but makes enemies more likely to attack him (TP Builder)
- a self healing-like ability that drains a portion of the damage he does (5%, may need rebalanced to 10% or higher) for a short number of turns (currently 5).
- a stun that causes the enemy to be temporarily stunned (wow) and does minor damage
- a medium damage physical attack

Archer: bow user, has access to three abilities:
- an attack that does minor damage but increases the critical chance of his next attack by 20% (TP Builder; wasted if the next action isn't an attack that can critical - this attack can't critical)
- a medium damage physical attack
- a quick attack that raises his ATB charge rate by 1000% until his next action while doing minor damage (this often allows him to immediately attack again)

Healer: sword user, has access to three abilities: (this character is most subject to change)
- a minor damage attack that gives her a minor buff to healing in her next action (TP Builder)
- a minor heal with a chance to remove a status
- remove a status with a chance to minor heal
- a medium heal
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
The commander and the summoned monster being fought together seems like the most interesting prospect, if you don't mind having to get your hands on graphics for two bosses instead of one.

From a story perspective, how does monster summoning work? Specifically I'm wondering if it's something that could potentially occur gradually over several minutes, and whether the monster comes from a portal or a hole in the ground or what, since I'm thinking about the possibility of the monster being summoned gradually over the course of the battle and the player having to win before it is completed. Visually the easiest way to represent this would be gradually increasing the monster's opacity as it materializes. But I don't want to contradict your plot if this is a major plot element (and also I want to hear more because something about how summoning works in your game might just inspire me).
author=unity
This is fantastic! Thank you very much!

author=LockeZ
The drain skill also being on the healer limits the situations where you'd use it. You'd need to be low enough on health that you need to heal, but you'd also need to be in a situation where it's important that you deal damage. Also, the healer has to be the one that's low on health.


Do you think this is a flaw in the character? Would it make more sense to switch it around and give the hero the HP Drain and the Warrior the Stun? Or am I worrying too much?

author=LockeZ
Edit: If the player doesn't have a Defend command, give the self-buff to the minions instead of the boss, so that the player has a second way to survive the triple damage when the hero doesn't have enough TP to use his stun attack. (they can survive it by killing the minion before it attacks) I was kind of assuming the player had a Defend command, but I guess that's not necessarily a safe assumption. If the player has a Defend command then ignore this and leave it as is.


They can defend! I had removed Defend from adding points to Rage, but now I'm wondering if it should give it some just to make it feel like its more useful.


I would. Defend is notoriously useless.
author=LockeZ
The commander and the summoned monster being fought together seems like the most interesting prospect, if you don't mind having to get your hands on graphics for two bosses instead of one.

From a story perspective, how does monster summoning work? Specifically I'm wondering if it's something that could potentially occur gradually over several minutes, and whether the monster comes from a portal or a hole in the ground or what, since I'm thinking about the possibility of the monster being summoned gradually over the course of the battle and the player having to win before it is completed. Visually the easiest way to represent this would be gradually increasing the monster's opacity as it materializes. But I don't want to contradict your plot if this is a major plot element (and also I want to hear more because something about how summoning works in your game might just inspire me).


Most definitely it's something that could occur over the course of a few minutes. A little more in-depth - monsters come from Someplace Else and arrive in the game world in one of two ways: slipping through the cracks or directly being called into the world. The process of calling them into the world involves taking an existing crack (I call them that, but they're not physical cracks so much as weak points between places) and widening it, making it easier for these things to cross over, and then using a ritual to call the specific monster through - the ritual ensures obedience on the monster's part (or so the commander believes) after they push their way into the world.
unity
You're magical to me.
12403
author=LockeZ
This is sort of a mess, so ask me if it's not clear or if you code it and it turns out invincible or something. I think all the numbers should be about right, but this is the kind of boss where the numbers are really important, so test it out and make sure that it's working okay. Ideally the boss should split, you should damage the minion, the boss should use its big attack, you should kill the minion, and the explosive heal should undo the damage from the boss's big attack. The explosive heal will also heal the boss, but you should have a few free rounds to attack the boss, causing it to gradually die.


Sounds amazing, and all makes sense to me! Thanks very much! I'll let you know if I have any problems coding it. Do you think the boss/minions should have any weaknesses, elemental or otherwise?
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
@Unity: I don't think it would make a meaningful difference, now that you have three characters that each have different elements. Give the boss or the minions a weakness if you think one would make sense (like if there's an elemental weakness that all slimes share). You'd just need to increase its HP a little to compensate - when I say a minion should survive X number of hits, you can assume that about a third of those hits are hitting an elemental weakness (maybe less if you test the fight and find out that the player runs out of MP quickly).

@Travio:
My idea is for the monster to be vulnerable while it's being summoned, so the player has a choice to either focus on damaging it while it's only partially phased into reality, or try to defeat the commander before he can finish the summoning.

The commander will be attacking the player from the beginning of the battle as he's summoning, but every will spend about half his turns on just summoning the monster. Once the monster is fully summoned, the commander will switch to gradually buffing the monster more and more as the monster takes over attacking.

If the monster is defeated before the commander, then the commander will be able to focus his full attention on the player. If the commander is defeated before the monster is fully summoned, the summoning is prevented and the battle ends. If the commander is defeated after the monster is fully summoned, the monster will need to be killed - hopefully the commander was defeated before he buffed it too much!

What style of buffs are you using in your game? I am wondering how many buffs the commander can realistically give the monster, and what kind of buffs they could be. If you only have one +attack buff and one +defense buff in the game, then I might need to change my approach.

This kind of overall idea sound okay so far?
The states in any way, shape, or form that exist yet are those I need to have by default of the engine - death and guard - and those associated with the abilities I've detailed above (early days, loads of balancing work ahead - I want to create things as they're needed, not create them and find justification for them at a later date).

Things I've experimented with before include a script that allows you to stack states multiple times (I was using it in the style of Determination from WoW - if you die on a fight that uses Determination, it sends you back to just before the boss and gives you a 5% buff to your HP, damage done, and damage healed, which could stack multiple times; the game would then clear those stacks after you defeated the boss ~ the only problem was the states were multiplicative, instead of additive, so it acted a little bit wonky as you got more and more buffs, for example the first stack would raise your stats to 105%, and then the second buff would raise your 110.25%, the third to 115.75%, etc.).

In that regard, I'm open to interesting and quirky buffs - I'm using an ATB system, so things such as haste and slow are actually capable of working and being a bonus/detriment. If I can realistically pull it off, even if it takes a bit of coding/scripting, I'm willing to attempt to put it in (so long as it doesn't completely go against all reason in the game world).
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
Cool. Stacking buffs to stats would work perfectly for the buffs he casts on the boss once it's fully summoned. A stacking buff would also work well as a way to track how far along the summoning is.

I'm also going to give the commander several other status effects that he uses on himself and the player party, to make up for the fact that he only attacks every other round. This will help ensure that the actions he does perform keep affecting you into the following rounds. The player will basically have that free round to recover from or undo whatever the commander did.

It sounds like healing is pretty hard to do consistently - the healer can only really heal every other round? - so I'll try to keep that in mind with the amount of damage the boss does.

Let's try this:

Commander
PHASE 1:
- Play around with the commander's speed until you find a number that lets the healer get enough TP to actually be able to heal. This'll probably happen around the point where the boss is the same speed as the healer, maybe slightly slower.
- The commander's HP should be high enough that if the player totally ignores the summoned monster and focuses on the commander, the commander will be at about 20% health when the monster is fully summoned. Taking out the commander before he finishes the summoning should be extremely difficult without being above the intended level.
- Every other round, uses Summoning Ritual to gradually summon the Summoned Monster. Summoning Ritual increases the Summoned Monster's summoned-ness by 10% each time it's used. It is technically a stacking buff that's cast on the Summoned Monster. You might want the message on screen to say something like "Summoning Ritual: 10%" "Summoning Ritual: 20%" each time the boss uses it.
- On the remaining rounds, randomly uses any of his other attacks:
- AOE attack that hits the entire player party for about a quarter of their health, and also makes them start taking minor to moderate damage over time for a few turns.
- Single target attack that hits one character for about a quarter of their health, and prevents that character from being healed for a few rounds.
- Single target attack that hits one character for about a third of their health, and massively slows that character down for a short time (maybe one or two turns).
- AOE attack that hits the entire player party for about a fifth of their health, and makes them take double damage for several rounds.
- Self-buff that doubles the attack power of the commander's next attack, but lowers his defense. This will make the main hero's drain skill be a very good idea.

PHASE 2
The Commander enters Phase 2 when the Summoned Monster is fully summoned. He focuses on buffing the Summoned Monster in this phase.
- Single target buff that improves the Summoned Monster's attack power by enough to make it deal about 10% more damage per stack. Doesn't wear off until the battle ends. This skill should be the Commander's most commonly used skill in Phase 2. Ideally you probably want him to always use this skill the first round after the Summoned Monster appears.
- Party-wide-buff that doubles the attack power of both the Commander's and the Summoned Monster's next attack, but lowers their defense. (This is the same effect as his self-buff skill in Phase 1, but now it affects both of them.)
- Single target attack that hits one character for about a quarter of their health, and prevents that character from being healed for a few rounds. During Phase 2, this skill is only used when affected by the party-wide-buff listed right above this.

PHASE 3
The Commander enters Phase 3 when the Summoned Monster is dead. If the Summoned Monster is killed before it's fully summoned, the Commander will jump directly from Phase 1 to Phase 2. His skills are the same as in Phase 1.
- AOE attack that hits the entire player party for about a quarter of their health, and also makes them start taking minor to moderate damage over time for a few turns.
- Single target attack that hits one character for about a quarter of their health, and prevents that character from being healed for a few rounds.
- Single target attack that hits one character for about a third of their health, and massively slows that character down for a short time (maybe one or two turns).
- AOE attack that hits the entire player party for about a fifth of their health, and makes them take double damage for several rounds.
- Self-buff that doubles the attack power of the commander's next attack.

Summoned Monster
PHASE 1
- Starts out 0% summoned.
- Summoned-ness increases by 10% each time the commander buffs the Summoned Monster with Summoning Ritual.
- Opacity could increase with each stack of Summoning Ritual, to give the player a visual indication of how far along it is.
- Cannot act until fully summoned.
- Defense starts out very low, taking 4x the normal amount of damage. Each stack of Summoning Ritual improves its defense somewhat, until eventually it takes normal damage when it's fully summoned.
- Has about two and a half times as much HP as the Commander. This will make it take about the same amount of time than the Commander to kill. However, it'll still be very difficult to kill it before it's done being summoned. The player's goal will be for one of the two enemies to be almost dead when the summoning ends.

PHASE 2
The Summoned Monster enters Phase 2 when it reaches ten stacks of Summoning Ritual. In this phase it begins attacking.
- Slower than the Commander. Make it as slow as it needs to be to be survivable with three or four stacks of the stacking attack power buff that the Commander gives to it - which means that the strongest AOE skill below will knock the entire party down to half health. My guess is that it'll need to be just a little over half the speed of the Commander. This will let you give its attacks a feeling of raw power without making it unbeatable.
- All the damage numbers here are the amount of damage it should do initially. The Commander's buff will make them gradually do more.
- Sacrifices 5% of its own HP to deal high AOE damage to the player party, probably a little over a third of their max HP. Not used if the Summoned Monster is below 25% HP. Probably needs to be kind of rare.
- Single-target damage to one target that also increases their damage taken for a few rounds. Damage is equal to more than half of a player character's max HP.
- Lower AOE damage attack that hits the player party for about a fourth of their max HP.



The stacking buff that the Commander applies to the Summoned Monster effectively gives the player a few mercy rounds after the summon is finished before they are really in trouble. It gives the boss a little more tolerance of failure, so the player can be a little less perfect than they would need to be if the completion of the summon resulted in the boss instantly overwhelming you. If that makes sense.
Depending on how some of my testing goes, I may swap her minor heal with chance to remove a status to her TP Builder; I'll try building the battle with the skills as stated and see how it plays out and if it's too tough, I can swap her skills around a bit (as I said before, she's the most open as I knew healers would be the hardest to work with using the resource system I am).

I'll be putting this together with an alpha build when I wake up - I'll let you know how it turns out and bring out comments and such based on the results.
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
Your TP system definitely will make it difficult to heal, as written. But in an ATB system I think you can still make long battles against powerful enemies that require constant healing without having to change her current design - all she really needs to be able to heal is more time, so if she is having trouble healing, you can always slow down the enemies until she does have enough time.

The thing I'd personally change would be to give the archer some kind of ability that is situationally good instead of just skills that always work equally well in all situations. I realize these are only the first few skills in the game, but currently the archer is going to be approaching every single battle the same way - all her skills depend only on herself, and not on her allies or the enemy. Something that lowers a single enemy's speed would be more interesting than something that raises her own speed, because it could be used tactically against more threatening enemies, and could be used instead of a pure damage skill to buy time when the healer needs more time to gather TP.

If you don't want to give the healer a more reliable heal, then I would assume you also don't want to have easy access to reliable healing items. But having very limited healing items would be a good solution - it would give the player a limited amount of room for error. Maybe let the player hold a maximum of five or ten potions?
Currently, the lowest tier heals requires X TP to use. Her TP Builder generates 1.5X TP, letting her heal every other turn and, after the second TP Builder, heal for two turns in a row or bank that extra X TP to use towards a more powerful ability. Almost all the characters function in this fashion - their TP Builder allows them to use an additional move the next turn and using the TP Builder two turns in a row would give them resources for 3 uses of their "first tier" ability (the main character's skills have been reordered slightly so that the self-healing isn't used every other turn).

(X being some random balancing number.)

I think the Archer's quick shot will end up moved to later in the skill list (ie. not gotten until later in the game) when enemies are starting to be fast enough that it might be worth it to get a couple attacks in a row in, though it might need some tinkering.

My eventual plan is that all healing items are, for the most part, crafted. I'm tinkering with potentially going the FF13 route on healing and healing items - you heal to full after every battle (allowing every battle to be slightly more draining on resources) but healing items, by default, affect all members of the party. I've been playing FF9 lately, and realized that it hits a point where the battles can actually drain your resources pretty heavily, forcing you to rely more on items (seriously, the Burmecia portion is annoying as none of the four characters you have possess healing magic and there's enemies that can hit you for 200 damage to everyone).

Alpha build didn't go exactly as planned due to having to tinker with an old work project. As I'm building this out now, what're your thoughts: should his first action of the battle be the Summoning Ritual (making the ritual occur on turns 1 + 2X) or an attack (making the ritual occur on turns 2X)?