- Role-playing battle systems
Role-playing battle systems is a systematic set of rules to determine how battle should flow in an
role-playing game. There are three main types, with different variations.
The main concepts to overcome during battle in an RPG are as follows:
* How time should flow.
* When a character can act and for how long.
* What a character can do when action is allowed.
* How attributes come into play.
Dice Based Battling
This type of system is heavily influenced by the table top role-playing game "
Dungeons & Dragons". Dice Based Battling involves heavy usage of dice (or a random number generator) to determine a multitude of factors, such as accuracy, success rate, and damage. Almost all equippable items can affect the dice conditions in battle. The idea of having randomness affecting a number factors it to present the idea of luck (i.e. "Is it fair that a skilled character always succeeds, or can that person mess up because luck was against that character?"). While most other battle systems may contain random number generators to determine factors, the usage of dice allows for players to easily calculate factors using simplified formulas. With video games, the computer can calculate a complex algorithm.
Although dice based battling is a staple system for all table top role-playing games, there are a few
video games that do use dice based battling, including " Neverwinter Nights" (which is actually based on "Dungeons & Dragons" rules) and "".
One of the first forms of battling in video game role-playing games and is the most widely used. The most famous game to popularize turn-based battling is "
Dragon Quest", although it was not the first game to have it.
There are two main types of how the system works.
#Group turn system: The player can input the commands of all of the characters before the action begins. This tends to have more strategy to it and is considered to be the traditional turn based system.
#Individual turn system: The action of a character or enemy is immediately executed once a command is inputted.
Turns are based upon the participant's speed (or agility) attribute; the one with the highest speed goes first, then the one with the second highest goes next and so on. If there are several participants with the same speed stat, one of them will randomly go first. Once every participant has gone in sequential order, this usually marks a larger turn. If the speed attribute of a participant was affected during this larger turn, some games put it in effect in the next larger turn, while others have it immediately in effect as long as the participant hasn't had his or her turn.
This type of battling involves the character attacking without having to wait for a turn. The difference between this and an adventure style game (one example would be "
The Legend of Zelda series") is that the character(s) and equipment do have stats that affect the overall conditions of battle, whereas in Legend of Zelda, a number hits to defeat the enemy and damages from the enemy remain the same, only being decreased by one or by half if the player gains a more powerful weapon or armor (which are few). Because the concept of the turn is not around, the stat "speed/agility" plays little or no factor, unless it determines the actual movement speed or some other factor of the character. All a character has to attack an enemy is use the attack command (usually by pressing a button) when the enemy is in range. So if the character has a sword, the enemy must be in the character's swing to get hit. If the character is using a bow and arrow, the enemy must be in the arrow's path.
MMORPGs use action-based battling. Some variations of the system do exist, but only on the matter of the area of battle, notably the "Tales series" where the battles were side-scrolling and later to a small area, and the " Star Ocean" series, where battles are fixed to a small area.
One of the first games to use action-based battling was "
Crystalis", although the system probably never gained popularity until " Secret of Mana" was released.
Unique battle systems
Final Fantasy battle systems— Square Enix(formerly Squaresoft), has developed three different combat systems based upon turn based combat. The three main systems used are Active Time Battle (ATB), Conditional Turn Battle (CTB), and a real-time battle system (called Active Dimension Battle specifically for Final Fantasy XII).
Individual turn systems with variating turns — several games have used something akin to Conditional Turn Battle, which is the name given to Square Enix's implementation. The Xenosaga series uses a battle system in which there are larger turns, but turns are not guaranteed a specific pattern. uses "Active Cost Time Battle" (ACTB), where a participant is in a queue, which can be knocked back through certain attacks.
Tactical Arts Battle System
Legend of Legaia's Tactical Arts Battle System combines the elements of 'turn-based RPG' and 'traditional fighting game' elements into this unique battle system.
Linear Motion Battle Systemis predominately used in Namco's "Tales" series. When the player interacts with a monster by touching it, it will go into battle screen. All stats are in effect, such as accuracy, strength and defence. "Tales of Symphonia" and "Tales of the Abyss" have a more 3D environment in battle, while the other games are 2D. The battle system slightly resembles that of a 2D fighting game such as " Street Fighter", the only difference being that the player can control several characters and that special moves can be bound to individual controller buttons.
Positive Encounter and Tactics System (PETS) is a battle system used exclusively by "". This two-part system involves a real-type strategy-esque interface, where the player can choose to battle or not, or set up the actual battle environment with traps and lures. The actual combat takes place on a turn-based tactics system.
Parasite Eve", the game combines the Active Time Battle system with a real-time system. While the player has to wait for a turn to act, the player must control Aya to dodge attacks from the enemy. Also Aya's actions are interruptible from enemy attacks.
On a different note, "
Hybrid Heaven" used an interesting battle system in which the character moved around fairly freely and charged a time bar as game time flowed. Attacks could be made anytime by pushing a button — which brought up a menu — and then choosing an attack to execute. The enemy then would have a chance to dodge or counter the attack, and then the time bar would empty. Attacks could not be made at all until about 20% of the time bar is filled; from then on, more bar showing would indicate a greater attack power. The time bar charged extremely quickly when the character would stand still, but doing this generally would leave the character open to attack — therefore, the slower but much safer method of moving around and dodging attacks was arguably the better strategy to employ.
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