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Update #9

Gameplay - Buffs, Leadership, and Friendship

11 comments
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If you've played our other games, you probably know that we love buffs (abilities that boost or otherwise improve a character temporarily). We continue to love buffs, but we realize that they were a bit overpowered in our other games so we have two small but important changes to fix that. 

First, characters will only be able to have a limited number (probably starting at 3 though in a few rare cases, you'll be able to increase that) of buffs active at once. If an additional buff is cast on a character beyond that amount, it'll replace the oldest active buff. In our previous games, there was no limit to the number of different buffs you could stack on a single character.

Second, most buffs will have a limited duration of X number of turns (although there are ways to increase that turn count). In the past, most of our buffs lasted for the rest of the battle.

We think those two changes should make buffs a bit more balanced in Cosmic Star Heroine (and allow us to do more interesting things with them). And beyond these balance changes, we're also going to make it easier for the player to quickly see which buffs are currently active on their characters.

Now let's talk a little about two of the more buff-heavy masteries in the game: Alyssa's Leadership Mastery and Chahn's Friendship Mastery. Although both masteries focus on supporting the party in various ways, it was important to us to make sure that each one felt unique & went well with each character's personality.

Alyssa's Leadership mastery is very active for a support mastery. She's meant to actively lead her party in the thick of battle rather than hanging back from behind. Here are a few of her Leadership abilities...

Lead by Example: Passive. Whenever Alyssa defeats an enemy, the party restores some HP.
Cheer Up. Buff. Target ally regains some HP. They also get a bonus to all Stats for 1 turn.
Confidence: Passive. Alyssa gets a +10% bonus to all stats as long as no one in her party has been defeated in this battle.
All-Out Assault. Special Effect. All ally attacks & abilities deal 50% more damage this turn.
From the Shadows. Buff. Party gets a boost to Cunning for 3 turns.

In contrast, Chahn's Friendship mastery is much more of a traditional support mastery. Through her giving nature, she actually becomes more powerful the more she helps other members of the group. A few of her Friendship abilities include...

Fortify Mind: Buff. Increases magic defense. 4 turns.
Best Friends Forever: Buff. The Best Friends Forever buff does not expire. Other buffs on this character last for 2 additional turns.
Sharing: Passive. Whenever Chahn places a buff on an ally, she also gains that same buff.
Economize: Buff. Reduces MP costs by X points.

All in all, the mastery system & related abilities are proving to be very fun to design. We could make some really interesting characters just by using a single mastery, but when you take into account that each character will have 3 masteries to choose from, plus further customization through things like equipment, there should be a ton of fun depth to explore with the various characters. :)

Comments

    1. Zeboydlogo9square.small

      Creator Zeboyd Games on October 22, 2013

      @Jessie We're thinking of keeping that system in a modified form. Rather than have a straight "All enemies get 10% more powerful each turn," enemies would vary in how much of a bonus they get (so some enemies you'll want to defeat rather quickly, while others, you can take your time). Also, some of your characters & abilities will be able to take advantage of the same system for various benefits.

    2. Missing_small

      Creator Bruno Albino on October 20, 2013

      I like how this is going, just make sure all skills/habillites/magics have some sort of usefulness.

      Whatever you guys decide to do, just test the hell out of it ;) I trust your decision.

    3. Missing_small

      Creator Jessie Smith on October 19, 2013

      Do you plan on keeping the traditional turns of CStW/BoD7 with enemy damage increasing each turn? As that mechanic effectively places a limit on how many turns you have to defeat enemies, the issue that comes up as a player is if buffs have a duration that would cut into that scarce resource of turns.

    4. Missing_small

      Creator Exuno on October 16, 2013

      You suggested a (minimum) cap of 75 points in each mastery, times three per character, times at least ten characters... comes out to 2250. Though, whoops, the implication that /each/ point in a mastery would have tangible results was just an implication, I suppose. That's a quite a bit more reasonable, if slightly boring.

    5. Zeboydlogo9square.small

      Creator Zeboyd Games on October 16, 2013

      Heh, not sure where you got the 2000+ abilities count, but we should have a few hundred active abilities & passives for playable characters by the time we're done. :)

    6. Missing_small

      Creator Exuno on October 16, 2013

      Visible buffs would be amazing, yes. Trying to guess at where your character's stats ended up was small grievance with your past games, but a flaw nonetheless. A limit of three seems pretty stringent, though, considering all the complexities you like to throw around. Perhaps if it doesn't include all the "for next turn only" effects, I could see it.

      When you say "replaces the oldest buff", do you mean "soonest to expire" or "first applied"? If I had to pick one, the former would probably slightly nicer, but still presents problems. The ideal would to be able to choose which slot which you're replacing, which doesn't sound /too/ complex. (Of course, you're probably just saving that as a passive bonus of it's own somewhere, so!)

      Mmm, only eight of a supposed 2000+ abilities and I'm already enthralled. Even given that a ton of those will be flat stat bonuses or simple upgrades to other abilities, that's still a lot. I'm excited! I can't imagine how much fun you're having trying to come up with all that nonsense.

    7. 19097995.small

      Creator FinalCataclsym on October 16, 2013

      Though I won't tear through it immediately, I'm gonna be super curious as to what info you'll include in that strategy guide. I'm hoping there will be more than just one way to set up each character.

    8. Missing_small

      Creator Martin on October 15, 2013

      Really excited to see that you are planning for buffs to be visible in the UI. Every update it seems you find new ways to justify our faith in you.

    9. Zeboydlogo9square.small

      Creator Zeboyd Games on October 15, 2013

      I'm actually a big fan of the Etrian Odyssey games, although I haven't played the third game (I jumped straight from 1 to 4).

    10. Missing_small

      Creator Brian Rude on October 15, 2013

      The Leadership abilities loosely remind me of the Princess abilities in Etrian Odyssey III. The Princess class was another front-line attacker who supported the entire party with buffs and passive healing - stuff like "if the Princess has full HP at the end of a round, everyone heals a little HP". Considering how the Princess was one of the most unique classes I've seen, it's great to see a spiritual successor of sorts in CSH!

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