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Game Mechanics Part 10

  • LMPGames
  • 05/27/2023 07:19 AM
  • 739 views
Game Mechanics Part 10


Another week has passed, time for some more mechanics. Today we'll be discussing status effects, elements, and autosaving.


____________________
It is elemental, my dear Watson
The Legend of Emilar will feature a wide range of elements from the usual "element" types we think about when we hear the term "spell element" or "attack element" to something more akin to a trait in other game engines.

Let's start with the basics; this will be a more in-depth topic than I think you may think.


Basic Elements
Basic Elements are your traditional elemental types. These are used mainly for spells and some special weapons and on armor and accessories as defensive traits.

  • Water
  • Earth
  • Wind
  • Ice
  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Light
  • Shadow
  • Non-Elemental


Please note the order of this list; it isn't random. In Emilar there is an elemental pecking order. Certain elements are weaker than others in basic power. Water is the weakest, Non-Elemental is the strongest. This applies to anything that is associated with these elements as well.

Water-based equipment will be weaker, water-based enemies as well. Spells too will follow this pattern. So if you see an enemy in a battle that is Shadow-aligned, know that it is probably one of the stronger enemies you are fighting.

Enemy alignment is something we will discuss at some point, but that is an unrelated topic.

Elements have both strengths and weaknesses, some also have synergies (this will be the next topic). Here is the complete list and what these mean for you in terms of damage:

Water - Water's weakness is lightning (+25% damage), it is strong against fire (-35% damage). Water and Earth synergize slightly (+10% damage).

Earth - Earth's weakness is wind (+28% damage), it's strong against lightning (-35% damage). Earth an Water synergize slightly (+10% damage).

Wind - Wind has no specific weaknesses, but has several small-scale ones relating to water (+5% damage) and lightning (+10% damage). Wind is strong against earth (-35% damage). It synergizes heavily with fire (+35% damage) and slightly with ice (+5% damage).

Ice - Ice's major weakness is fire (+60% damage) and it also has a minor weakness to water (+15% damage). It is strong against both wind (-15% damage) and earth (-58% damage). It synergizes with both water (+35% damage) and wind (+10% damage).

Fire - Fire's weakness is water (+35% damage). It is strong against ice (-60% damage). It synergizes with wind strongly (+35% damage).

Lightning - Lightning's weakness is earth (+35% damage). It's strong against water (-25% damage) and wind (-10% damage). Lightning has no synergies.

Light - Light's weakness is shadow (+60% damage). It is strong against nothing and has no synergies.

Shadow - Shadow's weakness is light (+60% damage). It is strong against nothing and has no synergies.

Non-Elemental - Non-Elemental is not weak to or strong against any other element and does not synergize with any elements.


Synergies
We will cover this in another mechanic, but I wanted to mention it briefly here. This is a system that is still under development, but the general idea is that when a secondary element is applied to weapons, armor, or skills, those secondary elements will interact with the primary ones if they have synergies.

For example, if I have a wind-based weapon and I upgrade it with a secondary fire element on damage, the damage of the weapon will be increased by the synergy value.

This applies to armor, for defensive boosts, and to skills for damage. I am also thinking about if these synergies should apply to another system I am thinking about implementing: multi-skills. Essentially a system similar to Chrono Trigger's where two character's can combine their skills together into a dual-skill.

In this situation, synergies would also apply both in terms of the positive aspect, but also the negative. If you were to use a light and shadow skill in this system, the damage would be reduced since they are opposing elements.

This negative aspect may also be implemented for weapon/armor/skill synergies, but I am holding off on deciding that for the moment.


Basic Element Names
The Legend of Emilar will be using non-standard names for these basic elements. This is due to the lore and the story for the game and why this is the case will actually be a plot point within the game. There is also a magic level classification system, but we will go over that in a few weeks.

Here is the list of names to the elements they represent:

  • Waise - Water
  • Rhys - Earth
  • Pho - Wind
  • Cyl - Ice
  • Ard - Fire
  • Zal - Lightning
  • Tial - Light
  • Jor'Bal - Shadow


Non-Elemental is different from these other core elements.


Non-Standard Elements
The game will also feature a host of racial elements as well. Here are the ones that currently exist in the game, more may be added later:

  • Beast
  • Aquatic
  • Avian
  • Angel
  • Demon
  • Devil
  • Demigod
  • Humanoid
  • Reptile
  • Spiritual
  • Horror
  • Aberration
  • God


Each of these elements corresponds to an enemy type and increases damage against them. Humanoid applies to all humanoid characters, including you. Enemies wielding anti-Humanoid weapons or humanoid protecting gear will do more damage to you and take less damage from you.



____________________
Status Effects for days
The Legend of Emilar will feature a full range of status effects both common and, if not unique, certainly not often seen. We're going to go over these statuses and discuss the ones that are not ubiquitous throughout RPGs or that need a bit more explaining. I am not going to include boss status effects.

Many bosses will have some unique status effects that they can cause that won't be seen on abilities for other enemies, or at least a very limited number. What we will become over are the ones you will commonly run into during the game.

One more thing before we start, many of the more unique statuses calculate their damage over time based on the stats of the attacker and the defender instead of based on a percentage of health. I will call this out occasionally below as well. Full breakdowns of how these calculations work will be covered under a different mechanic.

I also won't be listing the turn lengths and removal conditions unless it's something specific, like with Sleep. So some of the level descriptions for the stats will have the same traits and what changes is the removal conditions (usually the range of turns the state is applied for).


Incapacitated - What it says on the tin. If your character reaches 0 HP, this is you.

Immortal - You can't be killed, but you still take damage so be careful.

Poison - You're usual poison status. Does damage over time, though the damage calculation is not based on percentage-based damage; it is calculated from player stats like a normal spell. Removed after battle.

Virulent Poison - Much stronger version of poison. Is not removed after battle and cannot be healed by Antidotes.

Blind
Silence
Rage
Confusion
Sleep - The usual status effect except there is a 50% chance that damage will wake you up.

Bleeding - Three levels. Does damage over time and damage is calculated based on attacker/defender attributes.

Burn - Four levels. Does damage over time.

Freeze - Three levels. Drops your evasion and magic evasion rates as well as makes you more susceptible to physical and fire damage and prevents you from taking actions.

All Levels:
  • Eva -100%
  • Mg. Eva -100%


Level 1:
  • Fire +50%
  • Physical +100%



Level 2:
  • Fire +80%
  • Physical +120%



Level 3:
  • Fire +100%
  • Physical +200%



Paralyze - Three Levels. Prevents your character from moving and has the following effects:

All Levels:
  • Eva -100%
  • Mg. Eva -100%



Wet - Three levels. Makes you more susceptible to certain elemental damage.

Level 1:
  • Fire -10%
  • Ice +15%
  • Lightning +25%


Level 2:
  • Fire -35%
  • Ice +50%
  • Lightning +100%


Level 3:
  • Fire -75%
  • Ice +100%
  • Lightning +150%



Strength - Five levels; 4 and 5 are only used by enemies and certain Grand Classes. Increases attack power. Can be leveled up by higher level strength states or leveled down by Weak.

Level 1:
  • Attack +10%


Level 2:
  • Attack +25%


Level 3:
  • Attack +50%


Level 4:
  • Attack +80%


Level 5:
  • Attack +100%



Weak- Five levels; 4 and 5 are only used by enemies and certain Grand Classes, this applies to all states 4th level and above. Decreases attack power. Can be leveled up by higher level weak states or leveled down by Strength.

Level 1:
  • Attack -10%


Level 2:
  • Attack -25%


Level 3:
  • Attack -50%


Level 4:
  • Attack -80%


Level 5:
  • Attack -95%



Fortify - Five Levels. Increases physical defense. Can be leveled up by higher level fortify states or leveled down by Enfeeble.

Level 1:
  • Physical Defense +10%


Level 2:
  • Physical Defense +25%


Level 3:
  • Physical Defense +50%


Level 4:
  • Physical Defense +80%


Level 5:
  • Physical Defense +100%



Enfeeble - Five Levels. Decreases physical defense. Can be leveled up by higher level enfeeble states or leveled down by Fortify.

Level 1:
  • Physical Defense -10%


Level 2:
  • Physical Defense -25%


Level 3:
  • Physical Defense -50%


Level 4:
  • Physical Defense -80%


Level 5:
  • Physical Defense -95%



Fortitude - 5 levels. Increases your mental attack/defense (aka magic attack/def; these are redefined to mental in the game, I don't know if I have ever called that out before). Can be leveled up by higher level fortitude states and leveled down by Enervate.

Level 1:
  • Mental Attack +10%
  • Mental Defense +10%


Level 2:
  • Mental Attack +25%
  • Mental Defense +25%


Level 3:
  • Mental Attack +50%
  • Mental Defense +50%


Level 4:
  • Mental Attack +80%
  • Mental Defense +80%


Level 5:
  • Mental Attack +100%
  • Mental Defense +100%



Enervate - 5 levels. Decreases your mental attack/defense. Can be leveled up by higher level enervate states and leveled down by Fortitude.

Level 1:
  • Mental Attack -10%
  • Mental Defense -10%


Level 2:
  • Mental Attack -25%
  • Mental Defense -25%


Level 3:
  • Mental Attack -50%
  • Mental Defense -50%


Level 4:
  • Mental Attack -80%
  • Mental Defense -80%


Level 5:
  • Mental Attack -95%
  • Mental Defense -95%



Regen/Hi-Regen/Regen+ (might change these names) - These statuses will heal HP after actions throughout the battle until they are removed. Amount healed is based on the stats of the caster at the time of casting; so if you buff the caster with Fortitude, the regen will heal more health.


Stun - Three levels. Prevents the afflicted from taking action.

Petrify - One level. Prevents the character from moving and removes evasion. Defense is reduced by 80%, Mental Defense is reduced by 65%. There will be a mechanic where if all active battle members are petrified it will trigger a game over.


Dread - One level. Those afflicted with this will have their attack stats dropped by 75%, their defense stats dropped by 45%, their agility dropped by 10%, and will be susceptible to Wail, Oppression, and a few other status effects at a rate of 100%.

Wail - Low success rate. Under normal conditions, causes 25% of your Max HP in damage. If afflicted by Dread, this increases to 75% of your Current HP.

Oppression - Low success rate. Under normal conditions, will occasionally prevent the afflicted from taking an action. When afflicted by Dread, the afflicted character will be possessed by the caster and will attack their own allies. Any damage to the caster is reflected to the possessed.

Doom - Low success chance. Countdown's down from 10, at 0 afflicted character is incapacitated.

Slow - One level (more will be added). Reduces agility by 15%.

Stop - One level (more will be added). Prevents afflicted from taking any actions.

Haste - Increases agility by 50%.

Haste+ - Increases agility by 150%.

Corrosion - Causes damage over time based on your physical defense stat. Also weakens physical defense over time.

Density Up - Increases damage from gravity-based attacks/spells.

Density Down - Decreases damage from gravity-based attacks/spells.

Irradiated - Three levels. Increases the radiation absorbed from radiation attacks/spells. Radiation is a tracked value that is used in calculating damage for radiation attacks/spells. The higher this gets, the more damage that will be done.

Radiation is reduced over time. Currently there isn't any on-screen indicator for how irradiated a target is; it is something I am looking into adding eventually.

Auto States - Some equipment can impart a status effect at the start of battle. The following states have auto variations. More will be added.

  • Rage
  • Strength I
  • Fortitude I
  • Fortify I
  • Regen
  • Hi-Regen
  • Regen+




__________________
Saving players from themselves since 2004
Emilar will feature an auto-save system as well as a traditional saving system. auto-saves will happen when entering/exiting a dungeon or a town. In many cases, also before boss battles (when you enter the boss rooms or just before a boss battle if there are multiple in the same area).

I am also contemplating setting up auto-saves before important story events as well and making that an accessibility option to be enabled if needed so that if you don't get a favorable outcome, you can reload and attempt the sequence again.

In some of those circumstances, auto-saves will not be used though. I will explain why that is the case in a later blog post.

You will also find save points through dungeons and be able to save at any point in towns. While in any other areas, you will only be able to save with a Tent or at a save point. Tents can be used outside of towns to save at any point.


Well, that is all for this week. Catch everyone in the next blog. Questions/comments? Leave them below.

Posts

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First of all, the game looks very promising and I will keep an eye on the development process until the release.

The reason for my post is how you intend to handle the save mechanic. From my point of view, there isn't any reason not to let the player save anywhere in this kind of game (which is obviously supposed to be a JRPG instead of a hardcore ironman mode Rogue-like game). Being able to save anywhere always saves time (even compared to auto-saves) when something goes wrong, and it makes players more comfortable. They might even hunt for bugs, which they won't do without being able to save anywhere. Finally, if you don't allow manual saves everywhere, you will lose potential players, whereas I've never heard of players not playing a game because they would be allowed to save whenever and whereever they wanted.

Furthermore, there's a - not so obvious - reason why I hate auto-saves. As a save-scummer, I already spend way too much time in save menus, so it's important to me that saving the game doesn't take long. Usually, that's the case thanks to the save menu defaulting to the latest save file entry, but with auto-saves being implemented and active, the save menu defaults to the auto-saves most of the time, forcing me to manually scroll and check the latest manual save file entry (or constantly memorize it in advance). Of course, provided you won't allow players to save inside dungeons, an auto-save feature is better than not being able to save at all; still, for the reasons stated above, I prefer being able to save anywhere without being annoyed by auto-saves.

I don't know if my rant will make you change your mind - it's still your game and your design choice, of course -, but I wanted to provide some food for thought. Ultimately, the way saving is handled won't be a dealbreaker for me. If you really want to make sure that I won't play your game, implement features like day/night cycle or other direct/indirect time pressure elements, equipment durability, lots of permanently missable stuff, level-scaling and/or a low level cap. ;)
author=Prajna
First of all, the game looks very promising and I will keep an eye on the development process until the release.

The reason for my post is how you intend to handle the save mechanic. From my point of view, there isn't any reason not to let the player save anywhere in this kind of game (which is obviously supposed to be a JRPG instead of a hardcore ironman mode Rogue-like game). Being able to save anywhere always saves time (even compared to auto-saves) when something goes wrong, and it makes players more comfortable. They might even hunt for bugs, which they won't do without being able to save anywhere. Finally, if you don't allow manual saves everywhere, you will lose potential players, whereas I've never heard of players not playing a game because they would be allowed to save whenever and whereever they wanted.

Furthermore, there's a - not so obvious - reason why I hate auto-saves. As a save-scummer, I already spend way too much time in save menus, so it's important to me that saving the game doesn't take long. Usually, that's the case thanks to the save menu defaulting to the latest save file entry, but with auto-saves being implemented and active, the save menu defaults to the auto-saves most of the time, forcing me to manually scroll and check the latest manual save file entry (or constantly memorize it in advance). Of course, provided you won't allow players to save inside dungeons, an auto-save feature is better than not being able to save at all; still, for the reasons stated above, I prefer being able to save anywhere without being annoyed by auto-saves.

I don't know if my rant will make you change your mind - it's still your game and your design choice, of course -, but I wanted to provide some food for thought. Ultimately, the way saving is handled won't be a dealbreaker for me. If you really want to make sure that I won't play your game, implement features like day/night cycle or other direct/indirect time pressure elements, equipment durability, lots of permanently missable stuff, level-scaling and/or a low level cap. ;)


Yo, thanks for the reply! I have to be real with you, the game has some of those things. Let me address auto-saves first.

There will be an option to disable them entirely and allow you to save at any point you would like. It will also disable the save points in-game and any story/dialog related to them.

This is true of many of the systems in the game. I don't know exactly what will be optional and what won't, but if I have plans to add something to the options menu, I have been mentioning it throughout these game mechanics blogs.

Now for the rest.

There will be a day/night system though it is based on pacing in the story and isn't a real-time system. Some NPCs only come out at night and some of those give you side quests. None of the main quests nor major events require you to do them at a certain time of day.

The only other thing tied to it is that some monsters are nocturnal, they are mostly normal monsters though and for anything more specialized it's tied to a quest that puts you into night mode at the start of it.

Anything you could obtain from a night mode NPC can be gotten later; these quests just allow you to get certain things earlier.

There are no timed elements in the game other than the Lantern. One of my biggest gripes in Tales of Symphonia was that major plot points were locked behind missable events that you could only see if you followed a certain quest order.

None of that in the game. There may be times though that certain areas are inaccessible for a limited amount of time due to story reasons.

Certain equipment will have a durability system; this will be able to be disabled from the options menu. The system isn't something I have covered in these yet, but here is how it works.

Each attack used in battle removes a point. Once the durability reaches 0 the weapon damage output is reduced to 25%. Durability is upgrades with levels and refinements. Certain weapons, when synthesized with a weapon with durability, can remove durability from it entirely.

Nothing in the game is permanently missable so far; I can't promise things will stay that way, but I also would like to try and minimize the possibility of it happening. The only way I see this happening is if you are unable to unlock a story branch path because you don't meet the Anima System requirements to do so.

The Anima System is something we covered in Game Mechanics Part 5: https://rpgmaker.net/games/12774/blog/25313/

Even then, those branching paths should not lock off areas of the game, just the story elements related to those paths. Any items you and places you would otherwise go during those paths should generally be accessible at some point in the game.

There will be level-scaling on enemies. Most enemies have a max level cap though, so eventually they will stop. Bosses have level scaling as well, but a much lower max level cap.

I talked about this system before, but not about how the levels are determined I think, so let me explain that here. Generally, for normal monsters, I want them to have a max level cap of around +10 levels of what the player would be, on average, in that area during that part of the game.

The starting maps in the game, the max enemy level cap is 25. The player should get to around level 15 on the Novice class and start leveling their first standard class by the time the Prologue is done. Enemy levels are based on your current class too, so if you slap a bunch of new classes onto your party, you shouldn't get punished for it.

All non-boss enemies will be designed to be fightable with low level characters and then the level system brings them up to your average level. Enemy levels are based on your party's average level, so if you slap a bunch of new classes onto your party you shouldn't get punished for it.

For bosses, the scaling is +5 of the level you would normally be by that point. The first major boss in the game has a max level cap of 20. This means that if you're party is level 25 average, you are 5 levels above the boss.

The level cap for the game is 125 and all classes can and will have to reach that if you intend to unlock the Grand Classes. We covered the class system in the Game Mechanics 4 blog: https://rpgmaker.net/games/12774/blog/25286/

Whew, sorry for the wall of text. I wanted to address each one of the systems you listed because some of them are present in some form or another in LoE.
Thanks for the detailed explanations.

If changes from day to night and vice versa aren't based on a timer, then I won't feel pressured. If equipment durability can be removed (in some cases) and even switched off, I will be able to tolerate this mechanic. And if the level-scaling stops at reasonable points, I will be able to live with that, too.

It seems you intend to make these systems - that I usually detest - more enjoyable (or at least less annoying) in a well thought out way, which is great to hear. If you can even convince stubborn players like me, your game will hopefully be the next indie JRPG hit in the making. :)
How will element synergies work in totality? Like, if there are multiple conflicting elements, how is the system going to handle that? Are there strict rules on how this system will be used?
author=TrashCanEnthusiast
How will element synergies work in totality? Like, if there are multiple conflicting elements, how is the system going to handle that? Are there strict rules on how this system will be used?


That is something I am working on figuring out. I need to find a way to make it not convoluted and right now it kind of is. Out of all of the systems we have talked about so far; this one is the most likely to get axed or reinvented to be honest. I have no issues doing so with problematic systems like magic crafting as you asked about on the latest blog.
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