LOCKEZ DESIGNS BOSS BATTLES FOR YOU

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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
Seems like you've got a pretty straightforward old school RPG style party, other than the existance of TP and the Cover ability. This is fine, I'll try to stick with that theme.

I notice you have an MP recovery skill on the healer. The big problem with MP recovery skills in these kinds of games is that the optimal way to use them is to wait until all but one enemy is dead, and then repeatedly use them in safety. If possible you may want to use the cooldown flags in the Battle Symphony scripts to give this skill a cooldown or make it only usable once per battle.

I would also give a skill to the offensive magic user that recovers his/her own MP and doubles magic power on the following round. It should be self-targeting only, and the buff should last only one round. The buff will make it feel like a waste to use multiple times in a row; both the MP recovery and the buff will create a wind-up that'll make the next offensive spell feel more satisfying to use. It'll create more of a rhythm in battle. I would still recommend making it cost a fair amount of TP, so that the character doesn't just have infinite MP once they learn it.

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As for the recurring boss, I'm gonna try to give her two big iconic skills that the player has to deal with every time, and most of the differences from one battle to the next will be in her minions.

You said a lot of the player skills have elemental properties. What elements exist in your game? I'll try to make the minions weak/strong to a variety of them.
Yeah, pretty old school. As my second real game, I'm still not trying anything too different.

Cooldown: Good idea. I will look into that. I don't quite remember cooldown in the script... but I'll dig out the information and see what I can find. I found a script by himeworks that I should be able to cram into the game without breaking anything though.

Offensive Power User: Nice idea. I'll see if I can get it to work.

Elemental things: Yeah, the offensive magic user is fire-based. Think classic black mage: fire, fira, firaga, etc. Her character is limited by the narrative in learning any other elements. Some of the items have elemental things:

Tank: Early weapon is Water (weak at fight 1; as in, it's an early weapon that is in the inventory, but it will be weak at the time). Late weapon is Dark (fight 3).
Attacker: Mid weapon is wind (fight 2). Late weapon is water (fight 3).
Healer: Mid weapon is lightning (weak at fight 2). Mid weapon is dark (fight 2). Late weapons include a fire, earth, or wind (fight 3).
Offensive magic: In addition to fire spells, she uses knives. Late weapon is ice (fight 3).
Other attacker (not present at fight 1): Mid weapon is ice (fight 2). Late weapons are lightning or dark (fight 3).
Buffer/Enfeebler: No weapons.
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, came up with something for the miniboss. Her big thing is summoning allies, but she also gets mad and blasts them away with collateral damage, which is a mechanic that a clever player can make use of.

Feel free to rename anything, I have no idea what kind of naming schemes your game uses.

If anything is unclear, or if you don't know how to do it, or if you have any other questions, feel free to ask.


Recurring Enforcer Miniboss
- Has enough HP to survive about 30 hits the first time you fight her, 40 hits the second time, and 50 hits the third time, assuming the player is hitting her with their strongest skills. (If this feels too short then increase it, since I'm not sure how many turns the player is likely to spend buffing and restoring MP. Ideally we want her to summon minions three or four times at least.)
- The first and second time you fight her, she is slightly slower than the player is likely to be. The third time, she is about one and a half times as fast as the player is likely to be.
- Reinforcements is used every fourth turn to summon two new minions into battle. Is not used if there are already at least five minions present. Picks minions randomly. There are different minions that can be summoned in each of the three battles. They're listed below.
- War Cry, an AOE buff which increases attack power of all allies slightly for about three rounds. Always used two rounds after Reinforcements.
- Afterimage, a single-target buff which massively increases the physical evasion of either herself or a minion. Lasts about two rounds. Used at random; low chance to be used.
- Otherwise, performs a normal physical attack on a single target. Give her enough attack power to take away about half of a player's health. In the third battle, increase the power of this to take away about 75% of a player's health.
- Each time the player kills a minion, a message appears on screen indicating how angry she is getting. A variable should be used to keep track of her anger level.
- - First minion killed: "<Boss> is annoyed by her comrade's death!"
- - Second minion killed: "<Boss> is angered by her comrade's death!"
- - Third minion killed: "<Boss> is enraged by her comrade's death!"
- - Fourth minion killed: "<Boss>'s fury explodes!"
- Immediately after the fourth minion is killed and the fourth message is shown, she uses Anger Blast, an AOE attack which damages all enemies and all allies. Use a battle event to detect this condition and force her to use this skill. Since it hurts both enemies and allies you might need to force her to use two skills in a row, one to hurt each side. This deals enough damage to take away about half of the hero party's HP, and should also be similarly damaging to enemies. If the player has access to elemental resistances, you may want to make this fire-elemental. The anger level variable is reset to 0 after the damage is dealt.


She has different minions each time you fight her.
First battle contains: Quickblade, Ice Hunter, Archer
Second battle contains: Quickblade, Archer, Dark Knight, Mad Alchemist
Third battle contains: Ice Hunter, Archer, Dark Knight, Mad Alchemist, Thunderhead

Minion #1: Quickblade
- Appears in the first and second versions of the battle.
- Can only survive about one and a half strong attacks.
- Wind resistant.
- Very high speed. Uses a dagger?
- Uses normal attacks every round. Normal attacks are weak (less than 10% of a hero's health).


Minion #2: Ice Hunter
- Appears in the first and third versions of the battle.
- Can survive about three strong attacks.
- Ice resistant, weak to fire.
- Average speed. Uses a spear?
- Net, a single target debuff that lowers the agility of a hero. High chance to be used, but only has enough MP to use this skill once.
- Otherwise, uses a normal attack. Normal attacks are semi-weak (about 10% to 15% of a hero's health).


Minion #3: Archer
- Appears in all three versions of the battle.
- Can survive about two strong attacks.
- No elemental properties, but has some physical evasion.
- Above-average speed. Uses a bow?
- Eagle Eye, a single target buff that increases an ally's agility. Short duration.
- Expose Weakness, a single target debuff that decreases a hero's defense. Typical duration.
- Blinding Arrow, a single-target attack which does extremely minor physical damage and inflicts blindness.
- Doesn't use normal attacks.


Minion #4: Dark Knight
- Appears in the second and third versions of the battle.
- Can survive about four strong attacks.
- Dark resistant.
- Slow, gets fewer turns than other minions. Uses a sword or axe?
- Blade of Blood, a single-target HP-draining attack that does about 15% to 20% of a target's health. On most of the Dark Knight's turns, it will use this skill.
- Festering Wounds, a single-target ailment which makes a hero immune to healing. Typical duration. Can be healed like other ailments by the buffer's status-recovery spell.
- Occasionally defends instead of using a skill. Less likely than the skills.


Minion #5: Mad Alchemist
- Appears in the second and third versions of the battle.
- Can survive about two and a half strong attacks.
- Average speed.
- Healing Potion, a single-target healing skill. Heals about as much HP as the Mad Alchemist has.
- Iron Drink, a single-target defense buff.
- Toxic Blast, a single-target attack that deals extremely minor damage and inflicts poison.
- Panacea Splash, an AOE skill that heals status ailments from all the alchemist's allies.


Minion #6: Thunderhead
- Appears in the third version of the battle.
- Can survive about six or seven strong attacks.
- Lightning resistant.
- Very slow, only acts about half as often as the heroes. Uses a hammer or fists?
- Shockwave, an AOE attack that hits all enemies. Takes away about 15% to 20% of the player's health.
- Charge Up, a self-only buff that doubles attack power on its following turn. Has enough MP to use this skill only once.
- Otherwise, uses a normal attack. Normal attacks are stronger than other minions (about 30% to 40% of a hero's health).
This is so awesome! Thanks for all the ideas, skills, and strategies! I saw this at work this morning and kept it up on my screen all day. Sometimes I would just click over at it and look at it - just to smile!

I've got a number of new skills to add - so I'll let you know how it goes! I don't have hammers in my game right now... but I may put them in. I may also contact you later if I have problems with the common events dealing with the minion deaths.

Thanks again!!
Hmm, looking over your boss battle designs and ideas, I find all of them well-thought out and interesting. I might consider your services in the future, but at this time, I'm full with my own small project in Ace.
LockeZ: I was wondering if you had any suggestions for the final boss battle?

Unless your reaction is, "Dang! I just typed out an awesome miniboss for you! Why don't you get that set up and stop bothering me!?" In which case: Fair point.
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 don't usually like designing final bosses for people, because a final boss needs to do more than just be interesting and challenging, it also needs to build on everything else in the game up until that point and feel like the culmination of all the best previous boss battles. I don't actually feel like I'm qualified to come up with ideas for that without playing the game through, which is something I don't really have the time to do.

However, if you have any ideas of what you actually want to do, I'd be more than happy to talk through them with you, offer feedback, and try to point out and help you solve any potential problems I can see with the boss. And if you have a stronger idea of what you want to be like, I might be able to use that as a starting point. It's just very hard to start from a blank slate for something that's supposed to be the culmination of the gameplay. "It can cast any spell and summon minions that can do anything" isn't much of a starting point.
That's cool - I get that.

I'm sorta retooling the end of the game anyway... I realized that I needed a new dungeon and I think some of the items found therein will be needed for the boss fight. But I don't have that all plotted out yet. I'll come back to you later if the offer still stands! Thanks again for the help!
Hey man! I'm just curious - are you still doing this? Because I really enjoy game making but I'm having trouble coming up with interesting boss mechanics for my game, and I'd really appreciate your help. I understand if you're no longer interested in doing this kinda thing, though. :D
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
Sure, it's been a while, but let's do it. Look at the first post of the thread, it has a bullet list of the basic info I probably need to help you come up with anything decent, and then add anything else you think would be helpful or relevant.
Thanks a lot dude I really appreciate it :3. So, the boss is the first boss in the game so, pretty straight forward as far as mechanics go. The boss itself will be a corrupt tree which is "alive". The party at that point will consist of 5 characters, each with defined "classes" I guess. The first character is an all rounder with a bit of physical and a bit of magical attacks, with relatively even stats. The next character is a mage whose skills focus on buffing, debuffing and healing. Along with this, they have decent single target damage, but not anything crazy. Third is a damage focused mage who has various single target and AOE spells, along with a variety of different elements at their disposal. Fourth is a defense style character with many defensive skills like taunts, defense buffs and counterattacks - this character doesn't have any magic. The last character is similar to the first, but this one has more offense and less defense, and their magic is very weak while having stronger physical stats. The game is turn-based where each character has their own move each "round". I am very confident in using events and I basically know everything about them, but I haven't delved that much into scripts, only using a few here and there - for example my crafting and advanced drops scripts. None of the characters have any abilities that really stand out as table-turning, but I'll let you know if I suddenly realize one of the character's skills makes a huge difference. The only idea I had for the boss was that he mainly fights by corrupting other forest wildlife to fight for him, such as using a giant Venus fly trap to aid him. As for things that I think are relevant, there's one thing - up until this point in the game, normal enemies have either had different element weaknesses and resistance, or they had a chance to inflict a state such as poison or burn. I was thinking of making the player have to now deal with both of these situations at the same time by making the boss both have element rates and inflict states on the characters - Character 2 does have a fair amount of debuff removers though, so the player will be able to react to the bosses attacks :D
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, really straightforward team so far, and first boss. Those two things combined create a situation that doesn't lend itself to much inspiration, so I can see why you were having trouble coming up with something. But at the same time, it makes it hard to mess up too badly.

I think in the future you'll have an easier time coming up with interesting ideas for enemies if there were more interesting mechanics for players. But since the player gets five party members before the first boss, it's fine to delay that until a little later in the game. Five people is enough for them to figure out for now.

Some time around the time the player fights the second or third boss, I'd recommend giving the player access to a new category of skill that stands out and is somehow tactical or reactive, or otherwise interacts with what enemies do. Ideally, something that is designed to be used to deal with certain situations in battle, so that you can then make those situations happen in battles. Or alternately, something that is just generally useful, but that enemies can have different ways they try to interfere with it, and players can then try to stop the enemies from interfering with it.

None of this has to be major. Maybe you already have skills like this and are just selling yourself short, or haven't quite thought of how to make enemies interact with them.

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Anyway, for this boss:

I would like to know what elements the mage has. I'd also like to know what defensive/tanking/counterattack skills the tank character has and how those work - not in super detail, just to get a basic idea of what is and isn't possible. I think I'd like to make tactical tanking choices be a major part of this first boss fight.

Is the tree corrupting animals too, or just plants?
Yeah I try to make interesting skills, mechanics and situations but those are things I have trouble with :(. In my last post, I forgot to mention a possibly "key" skill, which would be the first character's skill which makes him attack with his defense power - enemies attack, instead of the other way around. Idk if that is huge or anything, but just thought i'd let you know ^^.

As for the mage: she has 4 elements at the time you fight the boss, each on a different skill. These would be fire, earth, ice and wind. The fire and ice skills are single target, while the earth and wind skills are aoe. The tank has 4 skills, which I guess I will list here:
- Taunt: Makes enemies target you for 5 turns
- Turtle Shell: Grants 300% defense and magic defense for 3-5 turns, but makes him unable to move during that time.
- Toughness: Grants immunity to blind, flinch, stun, paralysis and sleep for 2-3 turns (flinch is the same as stun but only lasts 1 turn and can't be removed)
- Stunning Blow: A hard-hitting attack that has a 65% chance of stunning, but a 25% chance of missing.

The tree only corrupts plants. Thanks for all your help man :).
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 will say that the way Taunt and Turtle Shell work in combination is very difficult for the player to make tactical use of. If they use Taunt first, then they have to survive one round where the tank is taking damage from every enemy but doesn't have improved defense - tanking skills probably shouldn't make the party even more likely to die than normal. If they use Turtle Shell first, then they can't use Taunt because they can't act until it wears off.

I would suggest altering Turtle Shell to reduce the tank's attack power to zero and cause all his physical skills to do no damage, instead of totally paralyzing him. This will limit what he can do, so it's not just a "free" buff, but he'll still be able to support the party and contribute tactically. Losing a turn is really unsatisfying and un-fun anyway, no matter how effective it is.

Anyway, this boss should hopefully work whether you change that or not.


CORRUPTED TREE BOSS
- Can take about 25 to 30 good hits from the hero party before dying.
- Weak to fire.
- Summon Deep Roots - Every five rounds, starting on round one, the boss summons two Deep Roots. If one Deep Root is already present, it'll only summon the other one. If both Deep Roots are already present, it'll do something else instead of summoning.
- Summon Venus Hero Trap - Used when the boss reaches 60% HP, and again when it reaches 30% HP. Summons one Venus Hero Trap. Unlike the Deep Roots, if the previous one is still alive when the boss hits 33% HP, it should summon a second one alongside it. This should have a lower priority than Summon Deep Roots; if the boss's HP is knocked down to 60% or 30% on a round when it's also supposed to use Summon Deep Roots, then Summon Venus Hero Trap should be delayed until the next round.
- Van Winkle's Curse - Deals moderate non-elemental magic damage to one hero and puts them to sleep.
- Deadwood Curse - Deals minor dark-elemental magic damage to all heroes, or non-elemental if you don't have a dark element. Used at random, more often than Van Winkle's Curse.
- Probably doesn't ever use normal attacks, unless you have some reason to give every enemy a normal attack.
- If it dies, all other enemies instantly die.


VENUS HERO TRAP
- The battle starts without this enemy present. The boss summons one at a time, up to a maximum of two total.
- Can take about 8 good hits from the hero party before dying.
- Weak to fire. Maybe resistant to earth, if you don't think that's too weird.
- Toxin - Deals minor non-elemental physical damage to all heroes, and has a high chance to poison each of them. Always used on this enemy's first turn after being summoned, then used at random afterwards.
- Uses normal attacks otherwise. Normal attacks deal about twice as much damage as Toxin.


DEEP ROOTS
- The battle starts without this enemy present. The boss summons two at a time, up to a maximum of two total.
- Can take about 4 good hits from the hero party before dying.
- Resistant to ice and wind, weak to earth.
- Grasp - On its first turn after appearing, it grasps a hero, paralyzing them and dealing heavy physical damage.
- Squeeze - On subsequent turns, it always attacks the same hero it grasped. Deals moderate damage. If the hero is paralyzed, this attack does double damage. The goal here is to make it so removing or preventing the status ailment is even more important than normal.
- You can accomplish the double damage mechanic by making a new element called "squeeze", and making the skill Squeeze deal squeeze-elemental damage. The paralysis effect inflicted by Grasp should then be a custom version of paralysis that also makes the afflicted character take 200% damage from squeeze-elemental attacks.
- I don't know how to accomplish the attacking-the-grasped-hero mechanic without a script. I don't even know what version of RPG Maker you're using! Ask in the Help & Requests forum if you can't figure it out. If you still can't figure it out, just give up, delete the whole Squeeze skill, and make the Grasp status effect deal poison-style ticking damage instead, for 30% of the target's max HP each round. Then just have the roots use normal attacks after they use Grasp. This will ultimately accomplish more or less the same thing, except it'll pierce the tank's turtle shell buff.




Notes about damage:

Off the top of my head, I'm imagining "minor damage" being about 10-15% of a character's max HP, "moderate damage" being about 25-30% of a character's max HP, and "heavy damage" being about 40-50% of a character's max HP. However, this depends on how much healing the party has.

Test the fight out for difficulty while playing optimally and destroying the minions as fast as possible. If the boss is still doing damage faster than the party can heal it, then tone down all of the damage proportionally.

Then test it again while ignoring the elements, and taking one round too long to remove the statuses, and not tanking. If the party can still heal faster than the boss can do damage, then boost up all of the damage proportionally (or nerf the party's healing). Even for the first boss, they shouldn't be able to do everything wrong and still win.
Thanks so much for this is awesome :3. Just one question though, how would you go about implementing the only summoning one deep roots if theres already one alive?
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
Start by creating two Deep Roots enemies which are marked as "hidden" when the battle starts. Each time the boss summons them, make it use the "Enemy Appear" event command to unhide them, and then use a conditional branch to check if they're dead. If they're dead, have it revive them to full HP. I think that should work, depending on your version.

It's plausible that the entire conditional branch and healing bit is totally unnecessary, and unhiding a dead enemy does that automatically.
Alright I'll try that, you're awesome man. Would you be interested in helping me come up with ideas (the one thing I have trouble with) for more bosses in my game? It'll be a month or 2 before I'll need to create another boss, but I love what you did with this one and I'm really excited to put it in right now :3
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
Sure. Come back when you need another one.
Okay so I'm kinda having trouble implementing the whole summoning system, I've been trying to test it in a different project atm. The appear halfway enemy appears fine, but after it's killed it never comes back again. Do you know how I could fix it? Here's a screenie of my script: https://gyazo.com/4bd78a1b2c3943b4450425bfcde66579
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
Span should be "turn" rather than "battle," otherwise the event will only happen once per battle.