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Character Design

My original approach to skill design was to come up with clever ideas that thematically fit the character. It was around the 100th skill re-design that I began to think maybe this isn't working.

The new approach is every character follows a simple set of rules:
  • The character is good at two things: A and B
  • Doing a good job at A makes doing B more effective
  • Doing a good job at B makes doing A more effective

I'm calling this Character Gameplay Circles. If this is an actual concept with a proper name, please let me know.

The idea is that A and B are combat roles unique and thematically linked to that character. Limiting to only two things helps focus the skillset and gives players a clear objective for what that character should be doing in battle. Having the feedback loop between A and B rewards the player for successfully accomplishing that objective.

Previous character iterations felt messy. They had cool things to do, but didn't feel purposeful and ended up with a lot of wasted skills. Here's the new (and hopefully final) designs.

Kyme the Swordsman
Kyme protects allies from taking damage and makes enemies bleed, a damage over time debuff.

Since most of his damage comes passively from bleed, he's free to use his turns protecting allies. When blocking damage, he triggers a random bleeding enemy to suffer an additional tick of bleed damage. Once Kyme has used all his MP on protection skills, he can then use his base attack to regain MP based on the amount of bleed damage the enemies have suffered.

Sita the Brawler
Sita's good at buffing her damage and evading attacks.

Every time she evades, her critical hit chance is increased for the rest of the battle. Each critical hit gives her a stacking damage buff, and at the end of her turn, the remaining damage buff is added to her evasion rate.

Ezekiel the Priest
Ezekiel's specialty is healing and high damage, long cooldown attacks.

After using his attacks, they go on cooldown, which frees him up to heal. For each ally at full HP, Ezekiel gains a stacking damage buff on his next attack.

Rick the Thief
Rick's focus is applying poison and debuffing enemy defense.

When an enemy takes poison damage, they receive a stacking defense debuff. When Rick attacks an enemy at the maximum debuff stack, he applies poison for free. When he applies poison to an already poisoned enemy, he immediately deals poison damage.

Emith the Magician
Emith can deal damage over time by burning and deal heavy direct damage by using lightning on wet foes.

Emith is a bit different as his A and B directly conflict with each other (wetting a foe puts out burning). He must balance between water and fire to regain MP and continue casting spells.

Brave Wind the Archer
Brave Wind supports allies and deals damage through critical hits.

By supporting allies, he gains adrenaline. He can then consume all adrenaline for a series of guaranteed critical hits. Once all adrenaline is gone, he gains a HP regen buff that he then shares with allies whenever targeting them with a support skill.

Umbra the Necromancer
Umbra can leech health from enemies and boost party damage.

By sacrificing HP, she can increase the party's damage. When an enemy is attacked, Umbra heals a percent of HP based on how much damage was dealt. The more damage the party does, the more she can heal, which gives her more HP to sacrifice to boost damage.