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Lord Vectra

Can a game have too many status effects?

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I don't think it's as much of as case of how many status effects you have, but rather how useful they are.


A lot of RPGs have a terrible habit of making the more useful status effects either rarely happen, or making all of the stronger enemies that would be worthwhile using the status effects on them immune to those status effects.


If you've got a status effect that has an incredibly low rate of success or all of the stronger enemies are immune to it, you may as well get rid of that status effect.

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The answer is, Nevar!


But, yeah, it's possible. Especially if they're almost useless.


Edit: Wait, are we talking about too many status effect types in the game? Or too many status effects happening in the game?

Edited by lianderson

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For types, the question is... is this important or not?


A status effect that reduces 1% of agility does not need to be in a game. Unless you got some crazy LoL meta going on, I'm sure you can leave that one out.


oh, and let's not forget status effects that don't explain themselves naturally or in any way possible. By that's more of a writing issue.


For amount, the question is..... is the player casting this or the computer?


If the player is casting it, it better be reliable like the previous poster pointed out. And if it is unreliable, there better be a damn good reason why. Like it'd be overpowered otherwise.


If the computer is casting it, it better be both "Not annoying and Not unfair." (but mostly focused on the fairness part. Some annoying can work. But it's dangerous. Best if it fits the theme of the area. Blight town from dark souls anyone?) 


If a player keeps getting hit by an attack that stops them from doing any actions, over and over again, all through out the game, with little to nothing they can do about it... you will soon lose a player.

Edited by lianderson

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I think it's more reasonable that if you want a lot of status effects, you switch to having individualized active effects for each skill. There are a bunch of games like that, ones where rather then (or in addition to) a set of general status effects, each skill basically becomes active for x rounds where it has y effects. In practical terms for RPG Maker that probably just means having a state with the same name and icon as the skill which is placed on the target, and the skill description explains what the state does. It makes it much more intuitive if you have a "taunt" skill that describes it's self as "enemies will target you more often for x rounds" and you can see the same icon on the status list to let you know that individual effect is active. Of course if you want to do a bunch of skills that do the same thing but have different names/icons then you might want to make a general status effect.

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As long as they all make sense in terms of the gameplay then I don't think you can have too many. I love using states in battle formulas and with skills. They can add some flare if done correctly. I agree with the other poster though that if they are repetitive or useless then they may as well not be there.

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As far as variety goes, I agree with what previous posters have said: what matters is how different they are. So long as each of the statuses have unique effects, then you can make up as many as your heart desires.


In terms of how many should be active in battle at once...I say no more than two should be possible on an actor at any given time. Otherwise it's too much to keep track of, in my opinion. I also don't think that they should trigger too often on the player. I get incredibly frustrated when I have to waste a move every turn removing a status effect that has been placed on my character instead of actually attacking the enemy. Let them trigger often enough to keep the player on their toes, but not so often that they become overwhelming.

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I'm just going to say in my own, honest opinion... yes. Personally, i just don't see a concrete, objectible reason for why someone would need/ want like 30 status effects. To me, as a player, it just looks kind of messy, clumsy, and it gets overwhelming to manage.


I don't know about you, but i don't know anyone who's ever wanted, or thought, "Hey, this game could use more status effects!". If anything, my thoughts are usually, "this sucks", unless i can cast most of the statuses myself, or i can defend myself somehow.


Are the effects being added to make the game tougher? Is it because the battle system is too basic? Is the environment too boring? Maybe the battle mechanics are the issue, or the monsters and armour, and not the fact that someone needs 9 other status effects to balance out Regions A, B, and C.



Personally, i like having ~10 or less status effects. Can you have more? Of course. Should you? Maybe, maybe not. There should be a point where you ask yourself why there are so many "band-aids" for what appears to be a larger issue. An issue that you could also probably fix in better ways than simply adding status ailments.

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Personally, more than 2 Status effects at any particular given time on an Enemy or Player, annoys me. I understand how Status Effects can play a key role for some of the Player skills which would otherwise have multiple status effects.


I normally just do either one of these things : 

- If too many Status effects exist, I won't bother displaying the Status Effect Icon for ones that are too insignificant

- If a Buff skill granted Heal and Protection to the Player, I would just display only one single Status Effect Icon for both functions and let the Player know what it would be by cleverly naming the skill - "Healing Barrier" perhaps.


I would normally look at a Battle to be aesthetically pleasing and let players make decisions easily, Not a big pile of mess with confusing Status Effects that all look extremely different. I also prefer enemies to have one kind of status effects (Non boxed display) and Players to have another type (Status display inside a box).


Personally, for me in any game, the less Status Effects in a game, the better. If there are more, You can just let the Player know through notes on Items, Weapons or Skills Description boxes.

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It depends. Personal opinion, but the player should be able to quickly and easily identify what each effect does without having to resort to a manual to remind themselves. Way too many effects wind up doing the same thing: freeze, stun, paralyze may all prevent a player from moving; poison, sick, virus may all wind up depleting a player's HP. The trick is to make them all unique and to maybe find a benefit as well. So while both freeze and stun do the same thing, perhaps in frozen mode the player is now immune and can even repel an ice attack back at the enemy.

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As all other posters have said before me it just depends on the type of game. As a few examples I'll use my status effects and the status effects of some other games out first the other games.


Pokemon has 5 main status effects.

Sleep, Paralysis, Poison, Burn and Frozen. Each are annoying when they strike but some can be a great thing when paired with pokemon that have the ability Guts.

Sleep makes your pokemon unable to move to two to five turns but if they know a move like sleep talk or snore they can still attack.

Paralysis havles your pokemon's speed and sometimes they can't attack.

Poison and it's deadlier sibling Toxic are self explanatory.

Burn is just like base Poison but with the added effect of halving your attack.

Frozen is the rarest status effect and makes your pokemon unable to do anything for two to five turns or until hit by a fire type move.


The Final Fantasy series has used the same stats of above but in a different manner at times.

Sleep: Same as before but you wake up if hit with a physical attack.

Paralysis: Lasts for one turn usually.

Poison: Same as above.

Burn: If you do any attacks you die.

Frozen: If you are attacked by an enemy you die.

But FF also has other status as well.

Blind or Darkness: Limits your hit rate.

Petrified: Turn to stone unable to move, can cause game-over if whole party is affected.

Slow: Halves your speed.

Stop: Stops all movement for two to five turns in most games but in some acts like Petrified.

Haste: Doubles Speed.

Peerless: Makes you Immune for one turn.



And one final example before my status.

Dark Souls has 3 status effects.

Poison, Toxic and Bleed.

Poison is basic loss of health.

Toxic is super fast loss of health.

Bleed is a set amount of damage done all at once to your hp.


Now to my status effects and what they do.

Fallen: KO.

Poison: 5% HP loss per turn.

Blind: -95% hit rate.

Seal: No skills.

Confusion: Can attack anyone lasts for one to five turns can be fixed by being attacked.

Sleep: Cannot move for one to five turns, EVA at 0%, MEV at 0%, can be fixed by being attacked.

Burned: 1% HP loss per turn 1% MP loss per turn ATK at 75%, DEF at 75%, AGI at 75%, Water damage at 50% lasts three to five turns, Immune to Fire.

Frozen: Cannot move for three to five turns, EVA at 0%, MEV at 0%, Fire damage at 50%, Immune to Ice.

Paralysis: Cannot move for three to five turns, EVA at 0%, MEV at 0%, Immune to Electric.

Petrified: Cannot move, EVA at 0%, MEV at 0%, Immune Earth, results in Game Over if whole party is affected.

Slow: AGI at 50%, EVA at 50%, MEV at 50% for five to ten turns.

Stop: Cannot Move, EVA at 0%, MEV at 0% for five to ten turns.

Berserk: ATK at 200% but no longer in control of character for three to five turns.

Cursed: EVA at 0%, MEV at 0% EXR at 0%.

Protect: PDR at 50% for five to ten turns.

Barrier: MDR at 50% for five to ten turns.

Wall: PDR at 25%, MDR at 25% for three to five turns.

Reflect: MRF at 100% for five to ten turns.

Haste: AGI at 200%, EVA +5% EVA +5%.

Provoke: TGR at 1000% for three turns.

Regen: +5% HP recovery each turn, +1% MP recovery each turn for five to ten turns.

Shadow: EVA +50%, MEV +50% for three turns.

Hidden: TGR at 10% for one to two turns.


It may take a while for you to balance out the game but it can be done.

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I'm know how to balance status effects and make them useful; but in one of the games I'm creating, it has 50 status effects. I'm probably adding more later into the game but I just wanted to know is there a limit to how many you can have.

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In my honest opinion Vectra the only time there is too many of anything is when the other things are redundant. I hope your project goes well.

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Do not make too many generic status effects, you'll just confuse the player more than anything.


You're better with straightforward effects that do multiple things


10 positive and 10 negative should be enough for everything you can think of

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