Author Topic: Elemental Damage  (Read 3588 times)

Offline zebramatt

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Elemental Damage
« on: November 03, 2011, 03:18:22 PM »
You know, I was just thinking the other day how the time feels really RIGHT to implement elemental damage, but figured it'd not happen for a while yet, whilst the intro mission was fermenting. Just goes to show what I know!

I'll reserve any serious judgement of how it all fits together until, you know, I actually get a chance to play it. The combo system sounds particularly exciting, I must say!

Until then, the release notes got me thinking about the way various elemental information might be displayed to the player. And I wondered if anyone was familiar with the DS game Monster Tale? It's got an elemental system and I've always quite liked the implementation of the GUI for it - being eminently simple yet giving all the information needed very quickly. It's a combination of simple colour coding of enemies and ability icons, in a standard rock-paper-scissors arrangement, with a little display which pops up in the top left whenever an attack hits an enemy. The latter is the really nice bit because it's completely contextual; it shows a colour coded icon to indicate your ability's element, followed by <, > or = and then a similar icon to indicate the enemies element.

I've no idea whether a similar system might work here but as I say, it struck me as so intuitive that I thought it worth mentioning all the same.

Regardless, roll on the next version!

Offline x4000

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Re: Elemental Damage
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2011, 03:20:33 PM »
Cool stuff!  I'm pretty happy with the sorted iconic approach used here, I think it works out being very clear, but we'll see what folks think in practice.  I wound up needing to do the elemental damage to make part of the intro mission work properly, so I accelerated the elemental damage ahead of where it had been -- it had otherwise been going to be my next main thing after the intro mission.

BOY does this change boss battles and such, because now it's really a lot more planning and thought in a good way.
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Offline Dizzard

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Re: Elemental Damage
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2011, 04:23:17 PM »
What exactly is entropy and why is it the opposite of light?

I read up a little about it, it's some sort of energy but I still don't really get it.

Offline x4000

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Re: Elemental Damage
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2011, 04:24:48 PM »
Entropy isn't energy, it's the loss of energy.  Energy is decay.  It's the opposite of light in the sense of Good Versus Evil moreso than Decay Versus Brightness. :P
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Offline Hyfrydle

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Re: Elemental Damage
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2011, 06:48:09 PM »
My game is currently saved just outside a Lieutenants room ready for a battle but I've decided to wait for the next update to see what surprises this Lieutenant will have in store for me. May need to rethink my loadout so it will be an interesting test of the next version.

Offline x4000

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Re: Elemental Damage
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2011, 06:50:20 PM »
Cool stuff.  The next version will be later tonight, but not sure exactly when.  I've got a fair bit of things to finish for the next leg of the intro mission to go into that, but it's coming along. :)
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Offline Hyfrydle

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Re: Elemental Damage
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2011, 07:21:02 PM »
No problem it's nearly midnight in the Uk so calling it a night soon. Work all day tomorrow then I'll give it a go. Take your time and get the intro out of the way so we can start to look forward to more main game features.

Offline x4000

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Re: Elemental Damage
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2011, 07:22:35 PM »
Yep, I still have another day or so on the intro at least, but it's really getting there.  On the bright side, a lot of the stuff I've had to take so long implementing for the intro will actually be affecting main game features longer-term (or in some cases immediately, like the elemental damage or the coffers), so that's one plus.
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Offline Jerebaldo1

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Re: Elemental Damage
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2011, 09:18:38 PM »
I just read about the combo system and feel concerns with how that will differently affect stronger and weaker spells. Firing off a bunch of weak spells will quickly make a monster 90% resistant to further attacks whereas stronger attacks will likely kill the monster before it gets too weak to attacks. I'm thinking a weighting formula wherein the damage of the spell effects how much resistance accrues (likely amount of damage/base monster health)

I feel quite afraid of the combo system in general, while loving the introduction of elements.The combos as is seems a bit of a contrived dynamic; usually combos work best when they can only create as additive effect of some kind, like in Magika where you douse an enemy in water and then blast them with lightning for double damage. But I get that enemies can become so hot or cold that they "go numb" if you will.

If you wish to keep with the combo system as is, I would like to offer a simultaneous advantage to continue using the same element on an enemy: compounding procs (that increase in effect in proportion to the damage reduction). We have 2 so far: on fire and freezing for ice and fire. Now we would just need 4 for the other elements. I'm thinking a reduction in spell power of light, reduction in defense for entropy, knockback increase for wind (slowly for naturally knockback immune monsters, and a reduction in attack speed (melee and ranged) for earth.

I shall put this on mantis...once I get home from class ;-)

Offline x4000

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Re: Elemental Damage
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2011, 10:00:06 PM »
Hmmm, crud, you're right on the combo system as it currently stands.  That will have to be taken out, you're right.  I had wanted to do a longer-term combo sort of system to keep players from just spamming a single spell AND to make it so that twitch reactions aren't needed for that sort of thing, but the differences in spell power really destroy that whole approach irrevocably.  Damn.  It was borderline too complex of a mechanic anyhow, and adding on more rules to try to fix it would just push it squarely over into the territory of too complex. 

It's removed.

On the bright side, I had already been planning on a shorter-term twitch sort of combo system.  That would still have the same sort of low-power/high-power risk, but that could be worked around, I think.  Mainly because if these modifiers were a special effect of certain spells (such as dousing with water in your Magicka example), then that could work well.  Of course, I seem to recall hearing that a lot of those combos in Magicka, while fun at first, became game-breakingly unbalanced pretty fast in the hands of players.  That's the problem with open-ended combo systems.

I still want to do something along those vague lines, but it will require more thought.  Both of the two models I'd been thinking of, including the one I'd implemented so far, were too rife for abuse.  Perhaps the notion of "combos" will mainly be limited to spell crests, we'll see.  That allows a lot of spell customization and splitting and so on.  Will have to think on this more -- and thoughts on potential models are of course welcome as always.  Coming up with one that is simple, fun, and not exploitable will be a challenge, but I think it's worth putting some brainpower into.
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Offline FallingStar

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Re: Elemental Damage
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2011, 10:52:03 PM »
Just a thought reading this, but maybe you could move the combo effects/stacking from the enemy to the player glyph?

Idea would be that your glyph itself could color shift as you used a particular type of spell type.  Perhaps you're "draining" it of power in that element.  Accounting for different power level spells would be as easy as having less powerful spells shift the color less, and the color on the glyph could be a visual indicator to the player of what they should use for best effect.  Once the combo completed the color could snap back to neutral (or just move in that direction depending on what you're trying to do with the system).

Not sure if it would fit the lore on glyphs or how to account for it, but at least its a simple mechanism that retains the original function (as I understood it).  Also gives the player some visual indicators. 

You could go crazy and make certain elements do weird things, like light brightens any spell type color already on the glyph or entropy always moves towards neutral, then change baseline damages to those spell types balance it . . .but well that's just weird things I thought of as I typed it out.

Anyways, hope it sparks some ideas, and looking forwards to having some time to play this weekend again.

Offline x4000

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Re: Elemental Damage
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2011, 10:57:47 PM »
See, that's a really good idea for a way to make it so that players can't just spam a single element -- tying it to the player themselves in some fashion.  And you're right, colorizing the glyph itself could work well for that, although there are some challenges inherent with that.

More to the point, perhaps we simply should do some sort of three-stage combo system where you can get different effects by mixing fire, fire, water from fire, fire, fire and fire, water, fire or whatever.  Something that encourages customization and experimentation and mixing of 2-3 spell elements in tandem.  That would be a lot more interesting and organic anyhow, especially if it were bonus-based rather than some penalty-based thing.  That has the advantage of getting players to mix and match without forcing them to.

I'll have to think about that more when my brain isn't so tired (now it's time to sleep), but I think that something more along those lines would be the way to go.
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Offline Nalgas

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Re: Elemental Damage
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2011, 12:42:47 AM »
I seem to recall hearing that a lot of those combos in Magicka, while fun at first, became game-breakingly unbalanced pretty fast in the hands of players.  That's the problem with open-ended combo systems.

That's exactly why they're fun, and why the game in general is fun, for that matter.  The sheer absurdity of what you can do is what makes it so entertaining, along with having to learn to restrain yourself so you don't end up killing everyone on your own team constantly or waste time casting spells a few orders of magnitude more powerful than you need when something much weaker and faster would've finished casting before you got killed.

Unrelated, the glyph color shifting as you cast spells, particularly having three color combos, reminds me distinctly of Chrono Cross.

Offline Teal_Blue

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Re: Elemental Damage
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2011, 03:28:22 AM »
I am certainly not a programmer, but here goes an idea that came to mind when Chris said combo's of spells that the player could use, and not spam.

What if each spell has a certain percentage add when used in combo, like:

Each spell has its base, but certain combo's add more damage and strings, of say up to 5 spells can max damage out at say 50% more damage than the base spell.

rock adds 5% more damage to whatever spell is being used.
tidal pulse adds 10% more damage
electrical pulse (the half moon thingie icon) adds 15%
plus others...

but say i can add a second rock, but only if i have something else in between, so i am not hitting the same button twice.
like say,

fire + rock + electrical pulse + rock again (for base + 5% +15% + 5% again = 25% total)

:)


Just an idea,
I am not sure if you could code it that way, but well... I just wanted to see if i could help.

-Teal


 
« Last Edit: November 04, 2011, 03:30:33 AM by Teal_Blue »

Offline Yuugi

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Re: Elemental Damage
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2011, 10:53:05 AM »
Teal_Blue, I don't think a simple system like that is the way to go.

All that'd lead to is people holding down three mouse buttons (I do this for Lieutenants and Overlords already) to alternate three spells as fast as possible and to let that combo bonus compound rapidly.