PDA

View Full Version : Best Combat System in an RPG



Wolf Kanno
12-30-2015, 06:47 PM
Loony BoB brought up an interesting point in the other thread about bad systems. What RPG has your favorite combat system, and why?

Spuuky
12-30-2015, 07:09 PM
Action: Dark Souls, so well-realized and challenging-but-fair

Turn-based: Divinity: Original Sin, while it has room for improvement the use of elements is great and there's a lot of variety in how you can approach fights

Honorable mention: Dragon Age: Origins, for being half of each (which is cool) and letting me combine spells in interesting ways, marked down slightly for how overpowered healing is

Ayen
12-30-2015, 07:32 PM
Chrono Trigger. No invisible enemies or breaking off to a new screen. Monsters are on the map you're exploring and battles are done all on the same screen. It honestly ruined other JRPGs for me, the combat was that good.

Laddy
12-30-2015, 09:55 PM
Wasteland 2, Final Fantasy XII, Wizardry 8, Persona 3, Xenoblade Chronicles.

Pumpkin
12-30-2015, 09:57 PM
Predictable answer but FFX-2. Not too fast, not too slow, ATB, getting to control all of my characters, getting to switch jobs/roles in battle. Overall just a lot of fun to me

Wolf Kanno
12-30-2015, 10:31 PM
Probably Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne's version of the Press Turn system. P3 and its brethren kind of dumb it down too much and removed the defensive game it develops into. The battle system takes elements from popular TCG games like Magic The Gathering where building a defensive based party can actually take you farther than the usual RPG Blitzkrieg style offense favored in most games of the genre. In terms of a modern JRPG that actually requires tactical thinking and long term strategy, it's easily the best in the genre of turn-based battle systems.

Vyk
12-31-2015, 01:59 AM
Divinity: Original Sin is a spectacular choice, so much fun things to do when you build up an arsenal of tar bombs and magic arrows, and a variety of spells and stuff. Everything plays off of each other so nicely

My favorite is probably still Tales of Xillia, the closest thing I'll ever have to playing a JRPG with Soul Calibur combat

Fox
12-31-2015, 02:15 AM
Just gonna go with FFX. I love the CTB and I love the character switching. Really makes you consider your entire party.

X-2 best ATB.

Tales of Xillia probably best action system - the linking is great. Although I'm less keen on an action system compared to a good turn based.

Mister Adequate
01-02-2016, 10:45 PM
FFX

BreakfastGrilledCheese
01-03-2016, 01:00 AM
For RPGs I'd say either FFX or Tales of Vesperia.
As for tactical RPGs, I'd say either Disgaea D2 or Disgaea 5.

Pike
01-03-2016, 01:03 AM
FFX omfg I love it so much it's so fun and you can just switch characters on the fly and ;lakseru;alskdhjasdg

Yellow_Magic
01-03-2016, 06:24 PM
Probably Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne's version of the Press Turn system. P3 and its brethren kind of dumb it down too much and removed the defensive game it develops into. The battle system takes elements from popular TCG games like Magic The Gathering where building a defensive based party can actually take you farther than the usual RPG Blitzkrieg style offense favored in most games of the genre. In terms of a modern JRPG that actually requires tactical thinking and long term strategy, it's easily the best in the genre of turn-based battle systems.

Nocturne definitely has one of my favourite battle-systems and I do appreciate the defensive aspect of it ,- but I feel that the execution in practice could have been a lot better. Enemies getting extra turns just to cast instant death spells is a total pisstake IMO.

Skyblade
01-03-2016, 06:59 PM
Chrono Trigger
Bravely Default

Vermachtnis
01-03-2016, 07:08 PM
Chrono Trigger, it was a lot of fun and had a good pace.
Xenoblade games have great combat too.

Slothy
01-03-2016, 07:46 PM
I'm going to go with FFXII. Not because it's necessarily the absolute best but because damn I had a lot of fun with it and it never seems to get enough love.

Also, FFV.

Pete for President
01-03-2016, 09:53 PM
I think Valkyria Chronicles and Vagrant Story deserve a mention.

Slothy
01-04-2016, 12:24 AM
You're right. They do deserve mentions.

Vyk
01-04-2016, 02:31 AM
I do love the gameplay in Valkyria Chronicles. But that difficulty spike with the giant tank... Totally killed my momentum with the game. I need to go back through it. Not too many games like it out there

Slothy
01-04-2016, 02:48 AM
Which giant tank? There are a few. :exdee:

Del Murder
01-04-2016, 06:48 AM
Final Fantasy Tactics is my favorite overall. I'd play 100 games with that tactical grid system, and the jobs and had much more variety than other similar series like Fire Emblem.

X-2 was the best ATB. Chrono Trigger almost beats it.

Xenoblade Chronicles is the best of the modern action-turn-based hybrids where you control one character with the others in AI.

Fynn
01-04-2016, 12:51 PM
Hard to pick one favorite, but Grandia II had a pretty unique one that was later copied in Child of Light (which was lauded for it). It was pretty great, what with managing a turn order in real time.

Wolf Kanno
01-05-2016, 06:08 AM
Nocturne definitely has one of my favourite battle-systems and I do appreciate the defensive aspect of it ,- but I feel that the execution in practice could have been a lot better. Enemies getting extra turns just to cast instant death spells is a total pisstake IMO.

Yeah, but by the time those types become more consistent, you should have protection from instant death magic. Let's face it, SMT is the Turn-Based RPG version of Dark Souls where you're constantly evolving your party to deal with each new creative way the game tries to kill you with. :D

Yellow_Magic
01-05-2016, 07:48 AM
Yeah, but by the time those types become more consistent, you should have protection from instant death magic. Let's face it, SMT is the Turn-Based RPG version of Dark Souls where you're constantly evolving your party to deal with each new creative way the game tries to kill you with. :D
Ahahaha, okay, agreed...

Pete for President
01-05-2016, 02:26 PM
Hard to pick one favorite, but Grandia II had a pretty unique one that was later copied in Child of Light (which was lauded for it). It was pretty great, what with managing a turn order in real time.

I really liked Child of Light's battle system. I could easily nominate that one in this thread. Never played Grandia II though :p

Fynn
01-05-2016, 02:31 PM
Hard to pick one favorite, but Grandia II had a pretty unique one that was later copied in Child of Light (which was lauded for it). It was pretty great, what with managing a turn order in real time.

I really liked Child of Light's battle system. I could easily nominate that one in this thread. Never played Grandia II though :p

It's actually more robust. Not only do you get four party members per battle, but you also get two basic types of attacks - one that just hits hard, while the other is weaker but sets back the enemy on the action bar. You should check it out! I think it was actually rereleased on Steam recently.

Shauna
01-05-2016, 03:02 PM
All the Grandia games have some iteration of that battle system. Both Grandia and Grandia II are worth your time.

Pete for President
01-05-2016, 07:12 PM
Hard to pick one favorite, but Grandia II had a pretty unique one that was later copied in Child of Light (which was lauded for it). It was pretty great, what with managing a turn order in real time.

I really liked Child of Light's battle system. I could easily nominate that one in this thread. Never played Grandia II though :p

I gave this a little more thought and I think what I liked most about Child of Light's battle system was that all characters, enemies and bosses are susceptible to all status effects. I don't think I've seen a more honest battle system anywhere.




Hard to pick one favorite, but Grandia II had a pretty unique one that was later copied in Child of Light (which was lauded for it). It was pretty great, what with managing a turn order in real time.

I really liked Child of Light's battle system. I could easily nominate that one in this thread. Never played Grandia II though :p

It's actually more robust. Not only do you get four party members per battle, but you also get two basic types of attacks - one that just hits hard, while the other is weaker but sets back the enemy on the action bar. You should check it out! I think it was actually rereleased on Steam recently.


All the Grandia games have some iteration of that battle system. Both Grandia and Grandia II are worth your time.

Thanks, I'll check out Grandia! I do need more single player experiences to draw me away from the time-sink that is Dota 2 :ohdear:

Zanmato
01-05-2016, 07:38 PM
I love CTB in FFX and this is my most favourite system. :love:
This is the best variant of turn-based combat system so far. :D

Depression Moon
01-05-2016, 07:45 PM
I might have to go with Final Fantasy XII or X-2, but Valkyrie Profile is up there too and now Indivisible is taking that Valkyrie battle system. I'm very interested to see what the end result will end up being.

Forsaken Lover
01-05-2016, 08:10 PM
Why people be sayin' Trigger but not Cross? I really liked Cross' system. It's a lot more unique than CT.

Speaking of which, I think I'm gonna be a special snowflake and say Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean. I hear the sequel is even better but I didn't like the changes it made to the battle system.

But yeah, there's a lot of really cool elements to Bk's combat. I wasn't even good at some of it but it's still really addictive.

Fox
01-06-2016, 01:07 AM
I gave this a little more thought and I think what I liked most about Child of Light's battle system was that all characters, enemies and bosses are susceptible to all status effects. I don't think I've seen a more honest battle system anywhere.



Smurfing finally!!!

This should be RPG Design 101 but so few games do it. In fact I literally cannot name one that does (except Child of Light, now). I imagine CRPGs like Divinity: Original Sin do it properly but I've not played recently enough to be sure.

Even in the games I love the most, I absolutely despise how in boss battles - and often times even just regular mobs in high level areas - half your arsenal of magic becomes meaningless. What's the point in giving me Transform, Manipulate and Poison materia if they won't work in any of the battles where I might actually need to use more complex tactics!! It's no good having them only for regular enemies, they're no threat anyway so why would I need to be creative?

Spuuky
01-06-2016, 01:55 AM
Divinity:OS has some status effects work against some bosses as is appropriate. Etrian Odyssey often has bosses weak to them, as another example.

Here are the reasons you don't normally see that:

a) Status effects aren't used by most players anyway
b) Status effects tend to be grossly overpowered when they work and would trivialize boss encounters

Fox
01-06-2016, 02:04 AM
Here are the reasons you don't normally see that:

a) Status effects aren't used by most players anyway
b) Status effects tend to be grossly overpowered when they work and would trivialize boss encounters

It must be far more b) than a). If player's just weren't using them anyway you wouldn't go to the trouble of making bosses resistant to them, or heck maybe you'd just be better served removing pointless abilities from the game entirely. No, it's mainly the problem of being overpowered as you say with b).

But to me that's just a balancing issue that some sensible design and testing should iron out. Is an ability overpowered? Nerf it! But you should almost never render it completely unusable.

Spuuky
01-06-2016, 02:54 AM
Many "status effect" type things can't be nerfed. Let's take some common examples:

Stone - ends the fight, can't work
Death/OHKO - ends the fight, can't work
Sleep - typically trivializes fights it works in
Defense down - often works on bosses
Blind - has to either be really bad (so why use it) or trivializes most fights
Poison - Just a damage spell really
Confusion - Nope
Stun - typically trivializes fights it works in

I mean you can't make most statuses do anything because most of them result in a boss not doing anything, or dying outright. And it isn't fun to have a spell just have a low success rate for a marginal effect (like sleep for 1 turn at 10% success) - you'll just never, ever use it.

Skyblade
01-06-2016, 04:33 PM
Many "status effect" type things can't be nerfed. Let's take some common examples:

Stone - ends the fight, can't work
Death/OHKO - ends the fight, can't work
Sleep - typically trivializes fights it works in
Defense down - often works on bosses
Blind - has to either be really bad (so why use it) or trivializes most fights
Poison - Just a damage spell really
Confusion - Nope
Stun - typically trivializes fights it works in

I mean you can't make most statuses do anything because most of them result in a boss not doing anything, or dying outright. And it isn't fun to have a spell just have a low success rate for a marginal effect (like sleep for 1 turn at 10% success) - you'll just never, ever use it.

Another one for that list:

Silence - Trivializes most fights

In a similar vein for most useless useful magic:

Demi - Cast this twice, and three quarters of a boss fight is skipped? Yeah, that's not broken.



It's really obvious why most of these don't work on bosses. Unfortunately, it does make most of them useless, because, as pointed out by TV Tropes (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/UselessUsefulSpell), with enemies it does work on, there are easier and more efficient ways to dispatch them.

Del Murder
01-06-2016, 05:30 PM
I like it when the status effects can be used on bosses in unconventional ways to give an advantage but not trivialize the fight. For example, if a boss does not cast any magic other than a massive cure spell, Silence would make the fight easier but not trivial. Or perhaps it keeps respawning minions which may be better to put to sleep instead of constantly killing. Or maybe Blind works for a few seconds and you can use it to avoid it's most dangerous physical attack with proper timing. I always felt the status effects in FFXI were pretty useful on certain bosses in this way.

Fynn
01-06-2016, 05:31 PM
I think it was FFIV that allowed you to Slow down most bosses, which was the only way to survive in the DS version, really.

Pete for President
01-06-2016, 08:02 PM
Many "status effect" type things can't be nerfed. Let's take some common examples:

Stone - ends the fight, can't work
Death/OHKO - ends the fight, can't work
Sleep - typically trivializes fights it works in
Defense down - often works on bosses
Blind - has to either be really bad (so why use it) or trivializes most fights
Poison - Just a damage spell really
Confusion - Nope
Stun - typically trivializes fights it works in

I mean you can't make most statuses do anything because most of them result in a boss not doing anything, or dying outright. And it isn't fun to have a spell just have a low success rate for a marginal effect (like sleep for 1 turn at 10% success) - you'll just never, ever use it.

Another one for that list:

Silence - Trivializes most fights

In a similar vein for most useless useful magic:

Demi - Cast this twice, and three quarters of a boss fight is skipped? Yeah, that's not broken.



It's really obvious why most of these don't work on bosses. Unfortunately, it does make most of them useless, because, as pointed out by TV Tropes (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/UselessUsefulSpell), with enemies it does work on, there are easier and more efficient ways to dispatch them.

But with these examples maybe it's better to question why they are in the game in the first place. If a status effect could break boss fights it is just a bad implementation, or should not be in the game at all.

Fox
01-06-2016, 08:12 PM
Many "status effect" type things can't be nerfed. Let's take some common examples:

Stone - ends the fight, can't work
Death/OHKO - ends the fight, can't work
Sleep - typically trivializes fights it works in
Defense down - often works on bosses
Blind - has to either be really bad (so why use it) or trivializes most fights
Poison - Just a damage spell really
Confusion - Nope
Stun - typically trivializes fights it works in



You can nerf all of those in two ways:

1) Adjust the effects - just because Stone ends the battle in game X doesn't mean it has to in every game. If a status effect is just gonna instantly end a fight it doesn't sound like a very interesting effect to begin with. Also if an effect is too powerful you can add a downside.
2) Adjust the cost. The easier an effect makes a fight (e.g. 'Sleep', the higher it should cost).

A good nerf will balance both of these elements. So, for a few examples assuming a turn based system like FFX where 1 'turn' is a single character's action on the CTB:

Stone - Enemy is encased in stone and immobilized for 3 turns. Enemy's physical defense increases while afflicted.
Sleep - Enemy falls asleep for between 3-5 turns and is woken if attacked. HP recovers 10% per turn while sleeping.
Blind - Enemy's physical accuracy drops significantly, but gradually recovers over a number of turns. Enemy magical power increases.
Silence - Enemy's chance of successful casting a spell drops significantly, but gradually recovers over a number of turns. Enemy physical power increases.
Poison - Pretty self explanatory. Just a damage spell. I would have it be quite low damage, but long lasting and ignores things like armour.
Confusion - Enemy will deal damage to random battle participant including itself. All damage is amplified.
Stun - Enemy attack delayed by one turn. Stun is only a % side-effect of other abilities, not something cast in its own right.

Now I think of it, FFX was pretty decent when it came to allowing effects on bosses. Stuff like blind was used well in Wakka's abilities, where you could have 'Dark Attack' which had a low % chance to blind the enemy for 3 turns, or 'Dark Buster' which had a high % chance to blind the enemy for 1 turn. Although blind itself was a very powerful status effect, the short duration (coupled with the lower % but not TOO low chance of success on the more useful ability) was a decent nerf.

Slothy
01-07-2016, 02:05 AM
Yeah, I'm pretty firmly of the opinion that if something as simple as status effects break a game of they're used on bosses and they simply make harder enemies immune to everything then the game designers have failed to do their job either due to laziness or simple lack of imagination. Neither is desirable.

Depression Moon
01-07-2016, 02:31 AM
Pokemon is the perfect example of great status effect usage. I would have never beat Blaze Black 2 without Attract.

rhophiehalul78
02-23-2016, 04:24 PM
Probably not the best but I enjoyed the battle system in Chrono Cross. It also helps that me and my friends have different experiences on who was the hardest boss. I was having a very tough time fighting Garai while my friend's hardest boss fight is Miguel.

Fynn
02-23-2016, 04:28 PM
I've recently come to really appreciate the beautiful simplicity of DQ's classic turn-based system

Formalhaut
02-23-2016, 04:41 PM
Many "status effect" type things can't be nerfed. Let's take some common examples:

Stone - ends the fight, can't work
Death/OHKO - ends the fight, can't work
Sleep - typically trivializes fights it works in
Defense down - often works on bosses
Blind - has to either be really bad (so why use it) or trivializes most fights
Poison - Just a damage spell really
Confusion - Nope
Stun - typically trivializes fights it works in



You can nerf all of those in two ways:

1) Adjust the effects - just because Stone ends the battle in game X doesn't mean it has to in every game. If a status effect is just gonna instantly end a fight it doesn't sound like a very interesting effect to begin with. Also if an effect is too powerful you can add a downside.
2) Adjust the cost. The easier an effect makes a fight (e.g. 'Sleep', the higher it should cost).

A good nerf will balance both of these elements. So, for a few examples assuming a turn based system like FFX where 1 'turn' is a single character's action on the CTB:

Stone - Enemy is encased in stone and immobilized for 3 turns. Enemy's physical defense increases while afflicted.
Sleep - Enemy falls asleep for between 3-5 turns and is woken if attacked. HP recovers 10% per turn while sleeping.
Blind - Enemy's physical accuracy drops significantly, but gradually recovers over a number of turns. Enemy magical power increases.
Silence - Enemy's chance of successful casting a spell drops significantly, but gradually recovers over a number of turns. Enemy physical power increases.
Poison - Pretty self explanatory. Just a damage spell. I would have it be quite low damage, but long lasting and ignores things like armour.
Confusion - Enemy will deal damage to random battle participant including itself. All damage is amplified.
Stun - Enemy attack delayed by one turn. Stun is only a % side-effect of other abilities, not something cast in its own right.

Now I think of it, FFX was pretty decent when it came to allowing effects on bosses. Stuff like blind was used well in Wakka's abilities, where you could have 'Dark Attack' which had a low % chance to blind the enemy for 3 turns, or 'Dark Buster' which had a high % chance to blind the enemy for 1 turn. Although blind itself was a very powerful status effect, the short duration (coupled with the lower % but not TOO low chance of success on the more useful ability) was a decent nerf.

This sounds like a pretty reasonable balancing, there. 10% heal over time with sleep sounds high, for me. Maybe a slightly lower percentage (I'm thinking just how much health bosses have), but other than that, it seems good. FFX had one of the better ailment systems. FFXII was decent as well. Sap was cool, if someone useless on enemies. But Disease was good to prevent enemies who powered up after breaching a health threshold from powering up.

For me, the best combat system balances magic and physical attacks. Too many times have either physical or magic attacks triumphed over the other (looking at FFXII, here. Yes, you know what you did!). In that game, partly due to technical necessity, high end magic was all but useless sans the healing spells, and even then items did a better job of that in tight situations.

Night Fury
02-23-2016, 04:45 PM
Line 5 - Find me among needles

Pete for President
03-11-2016, 07:29 AM
I had an idea to balance Death and make it a valid spell to slaying bosses;

Let's say a party consists of 4. A Death spell works by channeling for a set number of turns. For normal fiends, having 1 party member channel the spell for 2-3-4 turns (depending on the strength of the fiend) will kill it. While channeling the party member cannot act and is dependant on the other party members to keep him/her alive and healthy.

Bosses would require multiple party members to channel for the same set amount of turns. For example; Boss A would need 3 party members to (co-)channel the Death spell for 3 turns. Getting stunned/petrified/k.o.-ed would interrupt the channeling ritual and cancel it. The 4th party member could be used as a sentinel/healer to tank and keep the party healthy while they are busy channeling. Also the party might want to think of putting the boss to sleep first to make sure they can channel safely.

Stacking spells I think is a good way to balance status ailments on bosses. Say a single Sleep spell wouldn't work, but if 3 party members can co-cast it (trading their damaging potential to help make the disable work) it would be effective.

Ffamran mied Bunansa
03-14-2016, 05:26 AM
Probably Final Fantasy X or Breath of Fire IV. Which felt similar in a lot of ways. I just love the ability to switch in other party members on the fly in a turnbased system, should be mandatory.