Fate of Io
Character Abilities
2003/05/15 11:04:27 PDT by TheGreatJohnzo [0/11]
Edited at 2003/05/15 13:26:12 PDT
Awards: 1 from Dev

Simplify simplify, I suppose we don't want to end up like FF3(6) with a bazillion lil spells that don't really do anything terribly useful. We could simplify synes leadership ability by just giving allowing him to boost every person's best stat, by a %. So like.. dell might get boosted flying speed, rush higher attack rate, rheya's magic att. might be raised too.

It would make sense too, because a good leader knows how to use each person's skills to their full extent for the benefit of the group.

Another energy bar could get messy on the screen too, and if each character could only receive one 'buff' from syne, then I think that would be adequately limited. Scratch the 'sab'.

More later...


Ok, not convinced about ko's combine ability? Well there's a few ways to go about it, or we could just combine diferent aspects to make a very versitle skill. 1st, remember the old adventure games, things like kings/spacequest, and sam & max hit the road? Well they always had large inventorys and sometimes the only way to solve a puzzle, or get to the next area was to combine items in the inventory. one such example is from sam &max. You need to combine a stilt walker's costume with some tar. Then rub different samples of hair all over it. You also need to wear a wig. Once you have this large hairy suit the bouncer at the big-foot party will let you in. All these items are found all over the place too, so you may have them in your inventory for days before you actually figure out what their fore.

Another way to use a combine ability is from secret of evermore. (not nearly as good as SOM, or SOM2 of course) But they combine different things such as wax, brimstone, rocks etcetc. To allow the player to cast a 'spell'. Alchemy I think they refered to it in this game.

more later (again)

2003/05/15 16:31:01 PDT by Siemova [0/24]
Awards: 1 from Dev
[Siemova's avatar]

Actually, Temp, that's just what I was thinking: only one Encouragement allowed per character at any time. Glad you and Johnzo caught on. :)

And Johnzo, to answer your questions, etc.:

I'd imagine range would be limited to line of sight, as Syne would need to see what's going on in order to give the appropriate Encouragement for the situation. Perhaps not, though. It really depends on how we implement battles, so this question should probably wait until we can see it in action and try different things out.

Regarding area of effect, Syne could give one "command" at a time to each party member. Personally, I much prefer this to a constant-effect group performance boost. Indeed, I proposed it specifically as an alternative to such an approach. :) It increases the strategy aspect of battles - which is, after all, what we're aiming for, is it not?

By the way, Temp, I can understand your doubts about the whole thing, but remember that:

  • Battles will be relatively rare in FoI, so this wouldn't be a constant burden.

  • There's a lot of other stuff that might be going on during battle, so this would be neither the only nor the most important thing to worry about - you might not even want or need to use it all the time.

  • This makes Syne's eventual absence from the party more meaningful from a practical standpoint. Losing a good melee fighter who can also carry/push things isn't so bad when you have at least two others in the party, but losing a leader who can increase your entire party's effectiveness is. This could help the player miss him as much as the characters do. And, speaking of the characters, they might even make reference to this in dialogue: "He was always such an encouragement...", "Wow, that battle was a lot tougher without Syne!", etc. (Just an idea I thought I'd throw out. ^_^)

  • Wouldn't hurt to try it, anyway. :)

As for Encouragement's usefulness, we'd just have to make the bonuses significant enough to make them worthwhile (yet be careful to avoid overpowering them, of course).

2003/05/15 23:36:40 PDT by Temporal [manager]
[Temporal's avatar]

Well, I'm still a fan of the idea that Syne's leadership skills don't actually increase anyone's stats, but just cause things to work together better. That is, he will micromanage the group, offloading that work from the player. So, for example, if you select a group of characters which includes Syne, then order them to walk somewhere, they will walk in formation, whereas without Syne they would all just go whichever way they want. If you tell a group including Syne to attack, they will coordinate their attacks automatically, whereas normally they would each do their own thing. Basically, with Syne in the group, AI will automatically take over many of the little boring routine tasks that players usually don't much like anyway.

Regarding Ko's "combine" ability... I think my worries are more in implementation. There are a potentially infinite number of ways a set of items could be combined to form useful tools. If we only make a small number of the possible combinations work, then the player will find it annoying when stuff they try doesn't work. I really hate puzzles which basically force you into repeated trial and error... and I can think of a lot of games in which there were puzzles which required the player to basically guess that two items should be somehow "used" together. If we are going to have a "combine" system, I want it to be governed by strict rules which make the results of any combination fairly deterministic... such that the player can be assured that any combination they try which follows the rules will succeed.

The other issue is that we will already have a system very much like this in Rheya's [TW] stuff. She can create magic weapons, armor, items, etc. by combining certain devices with certain spells. A set of rules governing how this works will be developed later, such that the player can actually go and invent items that perhaps the developers never thought of... in any case, I don't know if I want Ko having an ability so similar.

2003/05/16 08:52:41 PDT by TheGreatJohnzo [0/11]
Awards: 1 from Dev

I was thinking that for the combine ability, there would be relatively few usable items, but have them be almost all interchangable with eachother. At least 80% chance of something working. Somethings might not be all that useful if you combine them, but some could really help you out. Here's a few base items that stand to have a lot of potential:
Rope (gotta have rope!)
Knife blades (or various sharp things)
Magnetic rock (could be used to solve some cool puzzles, or disarm enemys if used right.)
Scrap metal ( to be bent into anything useful, hooks/ plating/ sleds/ shields)
Stretchy Vines( kinda like rope, but with a bungee quality, tons of possibilitys with that!)
Wild Herbs( could combine to make poisons, or potions, poisons could be combined with weapons too)
Springs ( be creative )
Any character's weapons(customize your weapon!)
I'm sure there's a few other 'staple' items that should be there, I'll edit them in later when I think of it, or other people can feel free add to the list. Also, IMHO it would really add to the game if there were some very rare items that would be extremely useful, but hard to find.

As for being too similar to rheya, if we keep her ability to include machinery and magic, while Ko's ability is just normal physical stuff, (like above), then I think even if you had them in the party at the same time, they'd be still be of great value individually.

One more thing about Ko's combine. He'd need some tools for some of the combinations. Maybe once he gets the item 'tools' he can manipulate scrap metal, and add things to existing weapons. Or maybe he has a small tool kit with him at the beginning, whatever makes sense to make him able to combine things that would be impossible with bare hands.

2003/05/16 14:13:31 PDT by Temporal [manager]
[Temporal's avatar]

If you can think of a system for making these combines work logically -- so that it's not just pure trial and error -- I'm interested in hearing it.

2003/05/17 09:51:48 PDT by mystik3eb [0/43]
[mystik3eb's avatar]

Hmm, interesting development. Now that I think about it, we really don't have a King's Quest-like inventory where we could combine a few of only several items...even if we were to make a special section for combinable items (like "extras" or whatever), I'm not sure I would really like that. So, sorry Johnzo, but I don't think the combine could really work in this game, though I know exactly what you're talking about, and I like the idea...just not for FoI. Course, it wouldn't really interfere with Rheya's ability; she's basically just taking weapons and armor (along those lines) and casting spells on them, giving them a certain elemental boost (like casting Fire on a Long Sword, making a Fire Sword, etc). That's what I saw with her TW stuff, anyway.

With Syne's ability, I like the idea of AI being automatic and smart with the characters while he's around, but I also think that while he's in the party, everyone's particular attributes should be increased. Everyone should have a faster agility and/or speed, Rush and Cade would have better strength, Dell better flying strength, Enna better focus and/or range, Rheya, Dell, and Brooke better concentration, etc. Basically raise their specific areas of personal strength while he's around. That's my idea.

2003/05/17 19:19:42 PDT by Morpheus [0/5]
Awards: 1 from Dev

I've just kinda been sitting back watching the post. And just a thought about Syne's ability. What if he was not in the battle, if character's fighting could just think back to a memory of Syne telling them they could do it, or giving them advice, and it boost them somehow. Or if we have a moral meter, the higher the moral the better the attack? But Syne can also do it when he is in the battle too?

2003/05/19 14:06:39 PDT by TheGreatJohnzo [0/11]
Awards: 1 from Dev

Ok kill the combine. But Ko will still need something cool to do. How about a grappling hook climb/rope swing ability? Actually, he's already got sort of "rogue"-ish type abilities. How about lock picking, or something along those lines? Here's another random one, he's small right? What about crawl in small place ability?! Haha, sounds dumb, but think of it kinda like young link in Zelda: ocarina of time. Just getting some more options out there.

As for the memory of syne thing, I think that would dimish the players actually caring about having him around, if they get the same effect when he's gone. That's just me though.

2003/05/19 19:43:56 PDT by Temporal [manager]
[Temporal's avatar]

I also don't like the "memory of Syne" idea... that defeats the purpose of him having the special ability.

Johnzo: Those abilities you list for Ko all sound like good ideas. They're all simple and yet distinct abilities.

2003/05/19 20:28:04 PDT by mystik3eb [0/43]
[mystik3eb's avatar]

I like the grapple hook and crawl abilities. Enna's got the thief-like qualities (aka picking locks, sneaking unnoticed, etc.), so let's give Ko the young Link abilities. Actually, nice connection, one I hadn't made before.

And I also don't like the memory thing. Sorry morphy (Treasure Planet, lol).

2003/05/21 07:49:23 PDT by TheGreatJohnzo [0/11]
Awards: 1 from Dev

Here's another idea. What if rheya's 'Gather Eumonite' ability was a TW device with a sort of light bulb on it. When it gets close to the ore, it starts using a little bit of the power and lights up, or makes a noise or something. Or glows or something a little more dramatic.

Also, Syne could really use another cool ability. His leadership will really help the party, but he should have something to help himself out too. Here's some ideas:

Pole vault: Launches himself with his staff towards an enemy, or over a gap, or dangerous patch of ground.

Pole lift: can stick pole in between 2 objects and pry them apart. Could also be used to move boulders off the edge of a cliff and that sort of thing. Pry open doors etc...

Climb: Syne's in great condition from years of hard work, and is able to free climb most inclines with adequate hand-holds.

Also, maybe brooke's morph ability should be only for herself, but a separate ability 'Form' could change other things. Just and idea.

2003/05/21 13:44:37 PDT by Dev [manager]
[Dev's avatar]

Just remember, Brooke has to be able to change Ko into a skunk (or something like that); it's the part of the story that brings Rush into the picture, so we probably shouldn't get rid of it. I don't see why Brooke shouldn't be able to morph/transform any of the party members (only one at a time, of course). But since you'd lose that member's unique abilities and strengths, it would usually make the most sense for Brooke to use her ability on herself.

1 post deleted.
2003/05/21 14:19:31 PDT by mystik3eb [0/43]
Awards: 1 from Dev
[mystik3eb's avatar]

I like every single one of those ideas for Syne. I'm starting to think that these abilities should be learned over time (like AP required, or gained by reaching a certain level, learned at a certain point in the story, whatever). I'm not too sure about the light on the TW device. Eumonite should pretty much be given either automatically with the story (based on how much you can use to cast more powerful spells) and earned during side quests or as special (rare) bonuses. So, essentially, the detecter wouldn't have too much use, though it's an idea I'm not throwing away.

Brooke can turn anyone into something. What I wanna know is: can more than one person be transformed at the same time (like one turn she transforms one person, then her next turn she transforms someone else with the other person still transformed)? Maybe some cool little side-quest could involve those tactics.

2003/05/21 14:39:13 PDT by TheGreatJohnzo [0/11]
Awards: 1 from Dev

Errm, maybe I wasn't clear. I was just thinking that brooke's ability to "form" other people should probably be a little different from morphing herself. I thought part of why proteans could morph was because of long term exposure to ore, combined with a lil magic knowledge. While morphing others would require ADML. Anyway, I was just thinking that since they are different things, I thought we could track and LVL them differently. Maybe give brooke's abilities a little more depth. But if it doesn't quite make sense, scrap it, it was just an idea off the top of my head. :p

One question though, brooke can only transform living things into other living(animal) things? She can't turn people into things, or vice versa? Like turn syne into a shrub or something?

2003/05/21 17:12:29 PDT by Dev [manager]
[Dev's avatar]

That last is an interesting question, Johnzo. I'm thinking maybe we should limit Protean morphing to animal species. I remember discussing exactly how the morph thing works, like whether it should be thought of as a "spell" (using ADML) or an "ability" or something else. It gets kinda hairy. I think we can have a pretty clear idea of what exactly it allows Brooke to do, and worry about all the details of "how" separately (forces you to be creative, y'know?).

And Mystik, I was thinking that Brooke can only morph one thing at a time. For one thing, it would make it so the entire party couldn't transform into four huge powerful monsters or something. Also, it would explain why Brooke didn't just morph into something to escape from the bandits that kidnap her near Daccha Vira (she uses her ability to save Ko).

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