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Radiant Arin

Dear God I'm wasting my life

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So, I recently got done testing my most recent boss fight, and it turns out that the entirety of the boss fight took 15 minutes. I literally took a stopwatch and timed it, and it came out to be 15:38. So then I thought, is there a real benchmark for these "boss fights"? Do you do your boss fights by a "turn-based time", or just guesstimate how long you want the boss fight to be, and if you do the latter, how you go about doing it.

 

I was mainly curious as to what everyone else does on here.

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I rarely time my Boss Fights unless there is a goal that requires said boss to be beat in a certain time. There have been bosses in the past where I go, "That was just way tooo long for that monster!" or vice versa.

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Wow, 15 minutes. 15's probably fine for an action game, but for a TBS where the same strategy is applied (nearly?) every turn, it's a bit of a hard one to swallow. I cap myself at 3 minutes - I like fast-paced games, and I find that people who are forced to endure long sequences tire quickly.

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Unless it's the final boss of the game, and he has 7 different forms, 15 minutes is a really long time.

 

I've never thought of using "actual" time to rate my game's fun, but it's a good idea.  I'll start doing that now.

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Wow, 15 minutes. 15's probably fine for an action game, but for a TBS where the same strategy is applied (nearly?) every turn, it's a bit of a hard one to swallow. I cap myself at 3 minutes - I like fast-paced games, and I find that people who are forced to endure long sequences tire quickly.

 

The thing is, not every strategy can be applied the exact same turn. You HAVE to exploit weaknesses if you want to extend a major advantage over the AI. I couldn't imagine how long it would be if you just used the same strategy every turn without dealing some form of significant damage; it would probably take like a half-hour. :|

 

Combat in The Last Prince is geared significantly towards this ethic, and even regular trash mob fights can extend for minutes on end if you don't utilize strategy. I like to assure myself it's a sure-fire way to make sure players are awake and paying attention.

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Honestly, as long as I find the boss fun, I barely cared about the time ._.)

Instead we count it by turns. Like, omg 20 turns already and it's still not yet dead?!

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Long or short is dependent on the player and the developer.  See, any battle in most RPG's can either be won quickly, won normally, won slowly or lost in the same array.  I've had boss battles where I can beat the boss after about 5 to 10 minutes and others decimated them in less than 2.  Different people use different strategies to overcome their opponents.  15 minutes doesn't strike me as that long unless the fight gets tedious.

 

Trying to find that balance isn't easy.  You'll get it though.

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Hm..  reminds me of the fight with emerald weapon.  would definitely be fun as the secret side boss, or one of the final bosses.  I enjoy long drawn out battles because you feel like you overcome some kind of impossible obstacle.  In the end it's up to you and that's the great part about it  :)

 

 

   Edited by Galvante

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I don't mind long boss fights as long as there is a point to it. If there is some kind of combination of skills (like figuring out a puzzle) that must be utilized in order to beat a boss and it takes a few minutes to figure it out and implement, then that's cool. But if you must use that combo 20 times and it takes 15 minutes to repeat it so many times then that to me is dumb (i.e. the Emerald Weapon mentioned above. Basically just heal with one char and attack with the other two until it's dead. No stratey necessary. It only takes a long time because it had like 1.5 million hp, which to me is dumb).

 

Strategy that takes a little while is enjoyable. Repeating that strategy a whole bunch because boss has insane amounts of HP is annoying.

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I feel like anything past 10 minutes in a standard RPG boss battle is overkill. Exploiting weaknesses and stuff like that is only fun for a few rounds, after that it's just a matter of repeating the pattern.

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As long as the boss has a variety of moves and is fun to fight, it will be fine. I recommend trying to find creative attack patters for bosses to use, if you look at Seymour Flux in FFX, he will zombify party members and cast cure to finish them off, which I thought was pretty unique.

Edited by kijiru

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The Zombify thing is uniquely exclusive to a particular series. It probably wouldn't work the way it was originally intended. The only thing I've managed to get is an attack that Stuns, because I'm afraid if I use anything else, the boss will end up being too borked but without it, seem underpowered.

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I don't mind long boss fights as long as there is a point to it. If there is some kind of combination of skills (like figuring out a puzzle) that must be utilized in order to beat a boss and it takes a few minutes to figure it out and implement, then that's cool. But if you must use that combo 20 times and it takes 15 minutes to repeat it so many times then that to me is dumb (i.e. the Emerald Weapon mentioned above. Basically just heal with one char and attack with the other two until it's dead. No stratey necessary. It only takes a long time because it had like 1.5 million hp, which to me is dumb).

 

Strategy that takes a little while is enjoyable. Repeating that strategy a whole bunch because boss has insane amounts of HP is annoying.

The final boss in Digital Devil Saga was like this, though it could be easy for people who'd really grind levels and could bypass the whole puzzle element. It had a few stages but then by the final stage you ahd to flail around looking for the solution but then just keep repeating the same turn over and over until you won. (Magic Mirror + One person attacks elemental shield + one person attacks boss with the now enabled element -> boss regens shield and loses turn cos its magic is reflected -> again from the beginning) But it actually felt tense and the horrific frustration was never so bad that you wanted to quit more than you wanted to A) kill this asshole and B) find out the solution to all the game's mysteries. And I felt absolutely awesome once I finally won, because it felt like an accomplishment. (Though obviously it would have been MUCH better if it was a fight that had constantly changing strategies instead of just one 'puzzle' to beat and then repeat the same moves til it died)

So really I think a marathon battle can work if the game's atmosphere is such that it fits in and has enough motivation to tough it out, and also its definately beatable and not so hard that you wanna strangle someone. (But still, I spent an hour failing, spent six hours running around grinding and then half an hour actually clearing the fight..)

 

Oh and someone brought up seymour flux. Yunalesca also used a different zombify strategy where she faked you out by zombifying everyone and then casting an attack that would kill everyone if they weren't zombies. So if you just cured that status you're screwed and if you tried to avoid the attack you were stuck as zombies and unable to heal.

Edited by Bunni89

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The final boss in Digital Devil Saga was like this, though it could be easy for people who'd really grind levels and could bypass the whole puzzle element. It had a few stages but then by the final stage you ahd to flail around looking for the solution but then just keep repeating the same turn over and over until you won. (Magic Mirror + One person attacks elemental shield + one person attacks boss with the now enabled element -> boss regens shield and loses turn cos its magic is reflected -> again from the beginning) But it actually felt tense and the horrific frustration was never so bad that you wanted to quit more than you wanted to A) kill this asshole and B) find out the solution to all the game's mysteries.

 

This reminds me of the first final boss in 7th Saga.  You had to use all seven runes, one at a time, in a particular order, or you couldn't defeat him.  And this was after an extremely long dungeon with no healing or save points, that was also a long trek from the nearest town.  I don't even remember how you found out the order to use the runes, but I remember it being a huge pain in the ass to figure out (this was before GameFAQs, or most of the internet, existed).  Oh, and when you kill him? 

He's not even the final boss. You've only finished the first HALF of the game.

 

 

It was 100% not fun.

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That sounds awful and I'm glad the DDS example wasn't like that XD It was just guessing the right moves to bring to the fight and there were multiple solutions, even just strongarming it if your level was high enough. I really don't like stuff where you have to do something unintuitive like that, it was bad enough with Earthbound's final boss where you had to use a random skill like five times in order to call on the help of everyone in the world or something, and otherwise the boss had infinate HP with nothing indicating it T^T I mean its bad enough that it removes all accomplishment cos the end of the game is a scripted event, but its a scripted event that's hard to guess, with no hint it even existed.

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There's never a right or wrong answer. However, you need to figure in what the proper length of time will be to keep people engaged without boring them into quitting. If your game employs unique challenges and interesting battle mechanics, a lengthier fight may not be as bad as if one that just uses the standard traditions. Also, if your game is more story driven, and fighting is kept very minimal, then longer fights are okay, but don't overdo it.

 

As a player, this is traditionally where I am at when it comes to battle length. This is just a guideline and not meant to be followed strictly:

 

Standard Enemies:

1 minute for stock enemies - usually found at the beginning of the game, serves no real purpose but to give you a quick level gain, small amont of gold and get the player used to the battle system.

 

2 - 3 minutes - most standard enemies, at least through the first half of the game.

 

5 minutes - this is okay for those occasional tougher "standard" monsters, but don't overdo it through the first half to 3/4ths of the game. They primarily serve as bonus enemies that either have a tendency to drop good items, or have better EXP and Gold for the player. They should typically be challenging and appear very rarely. Perhaps they are a one-time occurence blocking the way to a secret path or treasure. Late in the game (bonus dungeons, final dungeons, etc), tougher enemies should be the norm, and the player needs to decide if they're worth fighting against or not (assuming the enemies are visible and the player can move passed them without fighting).

 

Boss Enemies:

3 minutes - Reserved for very weak bosses, guarding enemies. Usually found in the early stages of the game.

5 minutes - Standard bosses, usually those guarding the end of a dungeon.

10 - 15 minutes - Special bosses, those that have driven the story for any length of time.

15 - 20 minutes - Final bosses

30+ minutes - Optional / Side Quest Bosses.

 

Not every special boss needs to be 30+, and not every final boss needs to be 15 minutes. If you can lower this time down without sacrificing the quality of your game and the challenges you've created, even better. However, you shouldn't go much over this without a real reason.

 

Keep in mind, in most cases, a player will face off against the major villains at the end, and quite often face fight after fight or multiple variations of the same villain. So if you consider that the player will go against the Super Bad Sidekick (10 minutes), then the Final Boss Phase 1 (15 minutes), then the Final Boss Phase 2 (20 minutes), they've already spent 45 minutes fighting the ending bosses. If any of them were to go upwards of 20 to 30 minutes a piece, you'd be there for well over an hour.

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I rather the final boss be more theatrical than lengthy

 

Like have the initial fight for approx 5mins then have a theatrical scene/evented scene or w/e and have the boss bust out their 2nd form

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The final boss in Digital Devil Saga was like this, though it could be easy for people who'd really grind levels and could bypass the whole puzzle element. It had a few stages but then by the final stage you ahd to flail around looking for the solution but then just keep repeating the same turn over and over until you won. (Magic Mirror + One person attacks elemental shield + one person attacks boss with the now enabled element -> boss regens shield and loses turn cos its magic is reflected -> again from the beginning) But it actually felt tense and the horrific frustration was never so bad that you wanted to quit more than you wanted to A) kill this asshole and B) find out the solution to all the game's mysteries.

 

This reminds me of the first final boss in 7th Saga.  You had to use all seven runes, one at a time, in a particular order, or you couldn't defeat him.  And this was after an extremely long dungeon with no healing or save points, that was also a long trek from the nearest town.  I don't even remember how you found out the order to use the runes, but I remember it being a huge pain in the ass to figure out (this was before GameFAQs, or most of the internet, existed).  Oh, and when you kill him? 

He's not even the final boss. You've only finished the first HALF of the game.

 

 

It was 100% not fun.

You just gave me post traumatic flashbacks.  Thanks.

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