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Combat - Hits and Misses

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:33 pm
by lou
Combat is a huge system, so I'll split it up into multiple entries focusing on specific parts of that system.

In trying to solve a problem that plagues many SRPGs and RPGs, I decided on a solution, sort of.

The problem: When using an accuracy-based turn based combat system, on average 1/3 to 1/5 of basic attacks end in a MISS.

Note: Remember this is for basic attacks, when you just select Attack from the menu and choose a target. I can go off on a totally different tangent about "How often do people use basic attacks in this genre?" but lets keep this simple. Abilities, both Magick and otherwise will have their own hit calculations.

Misses feel like wasted turns to many players. From personal experience and research I have found that essentially players don't like to miss...who knew? :razz:

It's more than just a dislike, however, it's just plain not fun. In a game where unit actions are everything, you want the choices you make to have meaning. Sure, missing is a part of (game) life, but as a mechanic it sort of takes the player out of the game so to speak.

That being said, I still feel that missing is an important feature, it just needs to be handled on a case by case basis. If two opponents are evenly matched, I feel misses would be a real rarity. (Evenly matched meaning within 5 levels of each other, or with comparable stats)
Extreme cases where a low level unit tries to attack an obviously superior unit should result in plenty of misses. That's not going to change.

So what does this all mean?
Well, every attack can't be a hit as that's a bit monotonous and renders stats like Accuracy meaningless. And sure there are systems that don't rely on stats or numbers, but that's not the game I want to make.

So after some trial and error I added a concept called a Graze, it's like a crappy hit. Now this is nothing new, many games use this and obviously it's where I got the idea. How I implemented it is what makes it very very very slightly different.

How Accuracy used to work:
You have an Accuracy stat which is based on your primary stats as well as base accuracy for your Job/Race. During combat, this value is used to formulate a new value called Adjusted Accuracy which takes into account the target's stats. This can raise or lower your original Accuracy value for the duration of the attack, and this value is what determines hit or miss.

How Accuracy works with Grazes added in:
Everything above still happens, but when we get our adjusted accuracy value we create a range that "increases" accuracy by a certain amount, however if this "increased" accuracy is what caused you to land a hit, it will be treated as a graze.

I know, it's not really that amazing, or different, but in the long run it helps to average out attacks in a way that makes every action feel like it is accomplishing something without over-powering the attacker. The total increase in damage done is minor, but the gameplay effect is major.

If you read all of this, I thank you. I hope it helped illuminate the hit/miss system a little bit. Please feel free to express your feelings on this, or any ideas you may have. They will not be ignored, I am very open to suggestions!

For specific details about how this will be implemented, including actual numbers and examples, stay tuned.

I'll make another post in this topic with some gameplay footage of the feature in action as well as the current formula.

Re: Combat - Hits and Misses

Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:31 pm
by EremImage
This is absolutely freeken fantastic! I hate missing in tactics games... but I absolutely agree that constantly hitting doesn’t work either. It sounds like you’re creating systems and mechanics that are more complex than simple dice roles resulting in success or failure, and that is excellent. I am so thrilled that you are taking a look at this genre from what seems like a position of admiration and reverence. I loved reading your look at the other games which inspired and impressed you. It really helps to frame the narrative about your project.
Have a great week.



Re: Combat - Hits and Misses

Posted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 1:03 am
by lou
Thank you so much!! That really means a lot to me!!

I've been doing research on this project since 2011, and back then the majority of it was finding out what people liked and didn't like about games in this genre.

Missing was a big topic in multiple forums and discussions when it came to tactics rpgs and even when it came to regular rpgs. So far, playing with the graze system has felt better overall as misses still happen but they are VERY rare and then you're happy that you did any damage at all when it grazes. It's one of the systems I am really looking forward to testing in the alpha test.

Some other issues I am tackling are abilities and how there are often so many of them, but very rarely do players use more than one or two per Job. Balancing issues regarding these are also something to work out, but I feel like abilities should all be useful.

I had a poll recently where I asked people about XP/JP gains for units who did not participate in the battle. Overwhelming support against giving them anything whatsoever!

I try to them weekly depending on what I am working on (polls on twitter) but I'd love to be able to have them on this forum so we could discuss them more in depth.

Re: Combat - Hits and Misses

Posted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:59 am
by EremImage
I would love to discuss game systems and mechanics! That’s my favorite thing. I think when games have mechanics that grant experience to unused units, players may take more of a chance playing those unused characters if they aren’t way behind the main group of favorites. I remember one of the fire emblem games had a system to level your lower characters, which worked, but really it just added an extra set of steps for something the game was sort of encouraging me to do: use different characters and explore their mechanics. I think these forums are an excellent way to communicate your game design ideas.



Re: Combat - Hits and Misses

Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 1:23 pm
by lou
I feel the same way! I'll continue to post information on here about mechanics since I have so much either written down, or on the website, and feedback is essential.

I definitely want players to try out as many combinations as possible and that's where one of the biggest ideas for the game came in, to have a lot of different Jobs/Classes, but only allow units to have a limited number of abilities/passives equipped on the battlefield.

In fact I'll write up something about that now as it's a big part of what I feel will make this game stand out in the genre.

Over the next week or so I plan on adding some more combat specific topics, specifically on Ranged Attacks which will explain how projectiles work including arrows, bullets, thrown weapons, and magick.

When the demo comes out these forums will definitely be the place to actually give input on the game, but I welcome it before then as the more input I get the better it will turn out!

I really appreciate all of your input!!