Gameplay - Buffs, Leadership, and Friendship
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. :)