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Anderson88

Traditional RPGs: Regular encounters

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For many RPGs (especially rpg maker games), you're almost always guaranteed to face enemies who are not bosses... enemies who are just there to be things to smack. I have yet to find any RPG where I actually like random encounters past the first five to ten that get me started and immersed in the game-play. 

 

So what do you guys do to make regular fights as interesting as possible?

What should be avoided when making battles?

 

 

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Make enemy unique. Different enemy would have different normal attack and pattern. Then everytime you advance to the next place, you won't find same enemy which has same attack such as "Slime B Attack". Instead, make it "Slime B uses water bullet". Different animation (or sequence if you plan to use animated battler) for each enemy attack would be nice. 

 

The one should be avoided when making battles is when result is obvious. I mean, just to input attack and win or just select auto battle if you have, watch the battle, and win. At least, you should make player think about the strategy in every battle. Who is should be killed first and when the right time to heal, use limit break, or combo.

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Avoid making enemies too predictable and will only do normal attacks. Even though there js the word "Normal" on Normal encounters it doesnt mean it should be way too predictable. Like TheoAllen said, you can make enemies unique to each other by giving them unique behaviours. Another good option is to make monsters that changes appearance depending on the skill that is used against it. Another good one is to make Leader monsters, like when you beat the leader the lesser monsters either flees or weakens but if the leader is still present they get buffs, its like disrupting the chain of command. (FF Type 0 inspired)

Edited by Kotori-chan

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Most RPGs the monster encounter is one of the highlights, so it's a great idea to try to make the best out of the monsters you create.

You can even make introductory monsters worth fighting just to get the player into the game.P eople like to avoid attack only monster clichés because you know you're guaranteed to win with healing and spamming the attack. I like to have battles where some battles require some strategies or something else than just spamming the attack.

 

When you are like 4 levels, you can add new skills just to make the underpowered monsters still interesting to fight  ^_^

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Always remember that little things go a long way. Have enemies talk to you, have many different normal attacks, have enemies with strange patterns (such as putting you to sleep and then spamming heals). My game currently has at least twenty different variations of Wait. This is mostly good for the early game, but I think it adds a bit of extra flavor to otherwise bland enemies. Contextual battle music is also pretty cool. Y'know, like having different music for certain enemies.

 

It's very hard to keep battles consistently interesting throughout an entire game, no matter how cool your battle system is. It's important to keep that in mind and make the game that you want to make.

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I almost forgot to mention about different battle music :o

Yes, it's add a little interest in you battle. At least, make battle music shuffled when encounter a troop if you couldn't make it different for each enemy. Well, I tend to mute battle music if it's repetitive.

 

Also, make sure to put satisfying "feedback". It could be anything. Such as, if you use a right skill to enemy, it could do a huge damage amount and vice versa. Cool animation could keep battle interesting in my opinion. Since I'm perfectionis when it comes for battle animation

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For many RPGs (especially rpg maker games), you're almost always guaranteed to face enemies who are not bosses... enemies who are just there to be things to smack.

 

Well, for me, most of the encounters solved with a nimble feet and some steps... backwards.  :lol:

No. I'm not being a coward and underestimate the party (party members are superb and supposed to always win anyway) but why bothering that so-lame-and-boring-with-predicitible-weak-normal-attack enemies?

 

Of course, making each of enemies is unique as fella TheoAllen said will spice up each of encounters. Even though you'll find slimes all the way, you may find slimes with different flavor, strength, weakness and abilities. Never heard slime that spits up flammable liquid and resist to fire?

I'm practicing this since the first days of using RPG Maker...

If you think enemies' move list you made are too predicitible, as Kotori-chan mentioned, make unpredicitble behaviors of each enemies so the players will question their own commands to his/her party after a few turns. Perhaps this one is difficult to produce but totally worth it.

From me, make some enemies have disabling skills like Sweet Pollen that puts party to sleep, Entangling Roots that ceases a party member to move and attack, Pulverize that damaging all party members and stun them for a while, and such. Having a golem too dumb that knows only how to punch sucks, so I decided to spice the rockies Pulverize.

Even I put Paralyzing Strike to simple slime so the party member won't know what'd hit him...  :lol:

 

This one maybe too hard to be made, but making certain enemies can steal party's items would be a blast, like in FF3 where the Grizzly Bear stole my precious 8192 golds!

 

Well, the rest depends on you. You handle the game, and you have to make each encounter means.

 

My 50 cents.

Cheers~

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Seems like I am the last to the party...

 

As the previous posters said, its about making combat interesting by adding features to it. Even the most regular encounter should be special in a way. First there are the important points: Unpredictable opponents, interesting skills, strengths and weaknesses. Then there are the little things: Stuff like graphics, maybe animations, music and sound effects, little extras (like icons) that make the combat feel different and makes you want to come back.

 

I'd like to add one more point: Difficulty. This may sound stupid or unfair, but most of todays games are too easy. I remember the old games (like Phantasy Star I or II). These games where really hard and you could lose even during the late game. Every monster group you encountered could be your death and saving the game regularly was your friend.

 

I dont say to make your game too hard. But adding a bite to encounters makes them more interesting. Dont let the party always win, and dont allow the party to flee all the time. On the other hand: reduce the number of encounters, the "encounter steps" in most games are set too low, so you have to fight very often before being able to cross a map.

 

One more thing that I loved back in the days of Phantasy Star I: Being able to interact with the monsters using items or spells. Communicate with monsters or even bribe them. I plan to do something like that with my current project: Before battle, you can try to bribe the enemies with gold or food (you decide). Of course a orc is more likely to be bribed with food, while undead might deny either.

 

Most often its the little things that make me come back!

Edited by Malagar

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On the flip side you shouldn't drag out regular encounters because it implies that progression has no significant benefit.

 

I think assigning roles to enemy types combined with events can make for interesting behaviour

 

For example the captain who boosts morale of enemy party but when defeated the other enemies suffer a stat decrease.

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On the example of slimes, my database has a full set of those in different variations and incarnations of Slime, Goo, Jell-os and Gelatine, each of different elements and sizes.

 

Most of them will, once I got all the scripting and eventing sorted, when attacked with fire elemental skills will transform into poisonous or corrosive clouds, they will all are immune to most types of physical attacks, especially blades, and can even cause a reduction in AGI or loss of equipment.

To protect yourself against the elemental and state altering effects of the different Slimes, the party needs to change into different types of armour....before the battle happens....

 

 

Sentient enemies will come in several experience levels and professions (e.g. Novice Goblin Scout, Experienced Goblin Hunter, Elite Goblin Shaman, Legendary Goblin Grunt, etc...) , each using different types of skills and resistances....

 

Adding to that level specific skills...

 

And I am working myself through the database to give each enemy type this kind of complexity, making tactical decisions essential to get past even low level mobs.

 

 

I am still contemplating wether to use random encounters via step count, or put the random encounters as (more or less) avoidable events on the map.

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