New RPG concept

What if you had a system where the unknown was literally the unknown. Enter my idea. Basically at the beginning of the game you introduced to 8 vaguely described characters that all have a huge role in the story. Each character you assign a name and class(separate from their role in their story.). Each one of these characters get different abilities and statistics out of the same jobs though. Ex.-1 character might be able to steal tons of gold as a thief, while another learns a powerful assassination technique,etc. Now you’ll have to play the actually game to witness who gets what as each class, but everything would be balanced, so one ability over another is mere preference for the player. There are five basic job which are basically the first FFs but as characters develop you’ll notice the twists and techniques that diversify your characters. I believe this to be an excellent concept.
Please comment (the idea is to venture into the unknown, so don’t say make things more clear.)

Please note-I have specified there are no generic characters, but if you fail to read there aren’t.

This kind of sounds like SaGa Frontier - but SaGa Frontier did it in less refined, broader strokes. You ought to check that game out if you haven’t.

How about this: making every character a blank slate who gets better skills based on how you use them and loses skills you don’t use, sans the retarded class system, and who aren’t capable of being maxed out in every way possible.

You know, like real life.

And how about this: A game that doesn’t use some variation of “MP” to fuel magic that’s weaker than the physical attacks that cost nothing? Why shouldn’t physical attacks require stamina points or something? Or how about they both drain from the same source? I find it fucking silly to have weak magic systems that somehow drain you when strong physical attacks don’t. I’m looking at you, every RPG ever.

Hades, I think the first part of what you say is Morrowind? It’s been 6 years though (and it lagged as hell on my pc).

It’s funny that the most recent Castlevania, of all games, has both melee and magic attacks deplete MP, as they are nominally all glyphs (spells).

Anyway, I probably support every kind of concept ever put forward, but what makes or breaks a game is the implementation. Rage of Mages is based on a strict Warrior/Mage dichotomy, but that still made a hell of a fun game. The first time I played it I didn’t even notice you could buy anything other than armor & weapons in the main store (i.e. magic weapons, potions, spell scrolls -the interface was cluttered) and it still felt congruous to the rest of the game.

Not to discourage you; just giving a heads up.

A game I think did magic right is Suikoden II. You could only use it a limited number of times, but it was insanely powerful, to balance it out.

Whereas a game that does it very wrong is FFX. Lulu’s spells cost way more than they should, keeping in mind that even the best ones don’t approach the damage of a physical attack, even on elementally weak monsters.

It’s not that I don’t want to have to worry about running out of MP. I just want my mages either more involved or more powerful, to keep the field level :stuck_out_tongue:

I haven’t played Morrowind, but if it works that way, more games should be like it.

Drognar: By unknown, do you mean characters that the player knows almost nothing about, but has to take a chance with when playing? For example, you decide to play the warrior-like one, thinking “well, this is the typical hero” only to find that the character is less than noble as they play the game? That has potential, but I think most of us prefer to either know from the start what we will be playing as, or to have the power to decide what path to follow as we play (ala Fable.)

Hades: I’ve seen games were magic does come across as more powerful than physical attacks- Ar Tonelico comes to mind, though the game forces a balance by having the spellcasters need to charge for at least one round and be really easy to interrupt (or kill) forcing the rest of the party to protect them. Personally, I prefer it when the mages acquire progressively stronger spells as the game progresses, so that the fighters start more powerful, but are eventually overshadowed. It makes more sense, especially when you have to fight those bosses that supposedly no one has ever defeated. At least that way you can say, “They beat it because they had acquired Meteor or Ultima” instead of “they just grinded enough to beat the final boss.”

My own idea: This isn’t really a new concept so much as a reinterpretation: you know how people always complain that characters get healed instantly just by sleeping, or how they can die irrevocably despite the game including resurrecting items like phoenix feathers? I think the explanation is simple: HP do NOT represent wounds. Rather, they are “Stun Points”- representing a character’s ability to tolerate pain. 0 HP means the character is unconscious, not dead. Reviving magic merely wakes someone up, not revive the dead. This explains both the “healed after a resting” and “dead as part of the story” problems.

You’ll have a short description giving off some various facts and see a sprite for that character that is pretty much it. Even the sprite will change when assigned a job though. So you basically you have no idea what will happen, but ponder the random facts and you may discover something. This is basically your typical JPRG expect you’ll know something about the characters early on and you’ll have some control over their statistics/abilities.

I hated the SaGa series, it used that annoying system in FFII that should have been burned.:mwahaha:. I didn’t like it because ever discussion effected your stats it was annoying as hell, I couldn’t play the game without having to worry about str -2 points for casting a spell in battle. I highly prefer leveling.

I’ve long since subscribed to Wil’s interpretation of HP, largely because it’s the only one that makes even the slightest bit of a fragment of sense.

Hades- in Oblivion you do require stamina to swing around weapons, at least at lower levels (by the time you get to level 20 you’re basically a tank so running out of stamina never becomes an issue)- and you also use it to run and jump and otherwise frolic around Cyrodiil.

I’m aiming for having high replay value and sporadic changes. The best example of system close to mine would have to be Secret of Mana 2. One of my favorites action rpgs, you choose 3 out 7 characters, and the first character you choose the story would revolve around, the other 2 you’d run into later on. Their was a also a class system which you could branch of 2 seperate class 2X, but they weren’t all that varied. The diffference here would be the starting classes and there won’t be any branching off either, and of course not action rpg.:hahaha;

I would have hated the SaGa games too, if they did that. You don’t like stats for anything in the SaGa games, ever. :stuck_out_tongue:

However, it does have what you’re talking about - where characters can try to build themselves in the same way, but have different results. This is because for every skill /spell you can learn, or stat you can raise, each character has little modifiers that facilitate or delay the learning of specific skills or leveling up of specific stats. So, using two different characters on swords, sure, you might wind up with two competent sword-users in the end, but one of them might have had a much easier time learning skills, while the other person might have much better stats.

So, even though there’s technically no class system, it does, more or less, what you’re talking about.

Even still, if realism is what you’re striving for, losing stats like that is somewhat realistic, if implemented better than FF2 did. Still, I’m totally not talking about FF2 :stuck_out_tongue:

When I think about magic, it’s a hard thing to balance without putting a lot of thought into it. And, I don’t mean like, gameplay balance, I mean a balance of efficiency in gameplay vs fun factor. Like, Suikoden 2 sounds like an excellent way to balance magic in the gameplay, but it doesn’t sound as fun. It’s fun to be able to cast magic all the time!

What I think is this:

In traditional RPGs, the point of magic should be to exploit elemental weaknesses, use buff/debuffs, and healing. Single target spells shouldn’t be weaker than physical attacks. Perhaps casters should come with a non-elemental, single target spell that hits (usually) harder than a physical attack, while the single target elemental spells do less? This would give the elemental spells a strict purpose of being used on an enemy with a weakness, because using it in any other case is just nonsense. The only thing I can’t think of is, should the non-elemental spell cost more or less than the elemental spells?

In action/tactics RPGs, magic should be weaker than physical attacks. The whole point of magic in those games should be the range advantage. This doesn’t matter much in traditional RPGs, where you don’t have to worry about space on a map. However, in games where it does matter, physical attacks carry the greatest risk of retaliation; therefore, they should be the strongest. Magic attacks should be there to hit multiple targets, or to hit them from long range.

Oh, and if you want a game where both physical and magic attacks draw from the same source, play Enchanted Arms. …Only, don’t play it, it’s TERRIBLE! I know we disagree really hard sometimes, but PLEASE believe me!

I’ll have to disagree with you here. In my latest playthrough I used everyone as equally as I could (Lulu for the first time ever… hah). Lulu was doing more damage than just about anyone and didn’t have any real problem with MP at any point in the game. Her only downpoint was her overdrive. Compared to Attack Reels, it just sucks. It was probably a bit worse than Blitz Ace or Ace Blitz or whatever it was.

Being weak and ranged vs strong and risky is understandable, but the weak and ranged shouldn’t also have the MP cost. If there’s MP, it should be ranged AND really powerful, which is why it only gets limited uses.

Strong and risky: swords.
Weak and ranged: bows.
Strong and ranged: magic, but you can’t use it often.

That’s the kind of balancing that makes sense to me.

Properly raised magic users generally ARE strong, though. There are few RPGs I can think of where magic is literally useless. Most RPGs people tend to just not try to use them. For instance in FFT magic is devastating. The ranged aspect of it means that you will kill someone before they can even reach you. And I don’t understand the MP gripe. Past the very beginning of most games few mp users have problems

Hmm, Hades, I agree somewhat with you on that topic, but there are games that balance it well. IE: LotR: The Third Age. Normal physical attacks are weak as hell by the second area(East Moria), but all special attacks cost a certain amount of Action Points(AP). Though by the fourth area(East Emnet Gullies), the “magic” attacks(called spirit attacks in that game) do a lot less then the special physical attacks, though it costs less. And they also essentially pierce through the enemies defenses. And you can also get accessories to power up the magic attacks by searching extensively. :stuck_out_tongue:

I like that system, it’s why I’ve played through it multiple times.

Another system I like is Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation 1 and 2. Both have just about the same battle system. Instead of physical and magical attacks, you have melee and ranged weapons and every weapon costs EN or Ammo(each weapon comes with it’s own ammo). There are only a few weapons that don’t use either, and they are generally weaker then all the other weapons(except a mech called Grungust’s Boost Knuckle attack, but even that is weaker then it’s other attacks).

Essentially, you have to watch the EN left for your mech and it’s weapons Ammo amounts.

You won’t kill someone in FFT before they reach you. It takes like 8 rounds to fire off a spell, man.

And if few magic users have problems… why is MP even there?

Hmm…can’t think of a good example to use, but I’ll just point out what I’ve seen.

Soma Bringer has it where magic is somewhat balanced (IMO, more powerful even) with physical skills. Of course, the spells are pretty SP intensive early on, so if you spam spells, you’ll be out of SP quick (but you got lots of healing items, so it balances out somewhat). But I think the big kicker is with its Rank 4 spells for Somas (the game’s term for Mages). They eat up a good chunk of SP, and deal really good damage from the start (VERY powerful and expensive when fully powered up). But to keep you from spamming the big stuff, you’re stuck with a 2 minute cooldown for all Rank 4 spells. (The game has a technical excuse for the cooldown, but some Epic bosses will spam them like no tomorrow when they’re about to die.)

Of course, in that game, Somas are very fragile, so bosses and some normal enemies can really kick your ass if you’re not paying attention.

Edit: I agree with magic in FFT being only somewhat useful. Summoners aren’t gonna fire off a Bahamut fast enough to kill anybody. Damn CT charges…

That makes sense. I wasn’t really thinking about it with bows in mind, but that works much better. Still, I’d probably put the damage of Magic at some kind of medium between swords and bows, just because of its ability to hit multiple targets at once, and other inherent abilities it might have (damage over time, status effects, knockback, etc.)

Yeah, if it hits multiple dudes, for sure you’re right.

So you use magic intelligently and it usually doesn’t take more than a couple turns to charge. Normally you’ll advance on someone before they’re in range. Let the enemy use an action and you’ll fire off a spell in just a couple turns. They’re called tactic rpgs for a reason.

And I don’t understand what you’re asking about mp

One thing that does suck is that somehow WoW has done the best job of any game in terms of magic user itemization

FFT for example has it’s excaliburs and other amazing knightswords, but no offensive caster items of the same caliber.

And it’s definitely possible to kill entire teams before they can reach your single unit in FFT.