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Good and Bad Design Philosophy- Control over Spells Effects

By Thothus#6662 - MEMBER - May 28, 2021, 01:34:21

A support usually aids the roles of other characters to perform their job better - increase the range and mp of a healer, increase the % DI and critical chance of a damage dealer, giving a positioner more AP etc.

In wakfu there are a myriad of spell effects, but among them, there is one that I find very unhelpful and disruptive.

The easiest and most effective ones are the ones that grant their effects immediately, for the purpose of supporting the role of your party members or giving immediate effects. This include things like Sadida's Gust, Iop's AP granting combo, Feca's wave, Xelor's Devotion, or simply doing damage directly.

Some requires the party members to have a fundamental understanding of how the spell works, like portals and rails, but their graphics are reliant on cultural understanding that is easy enough to understand how to use them - portals are connected so you can teleport between them, but you need to learn that it costs 1MP, doesn't break lock, and gives debuff beyond a certain distance. Rails are fundamentally easy enough to understand that you travel quicker on them (spend less MP), but you need to learn that its a conversion of 3 tiles -> 1MP.

Then there are things that you must ask the casting player to learn what they do to make use of them- i.e. learning about the other class, but you can still do your job after knowing what it does - mechanisms like glyphs, bombs, sinistroes and cogs, Eniripsa's marks. Either that, or you can safely ignore it, and the caster will make their own judgments to using those mechanisms/spells by playing around you.

The 4th class of spells I find very disruptive and unhelpful to both newbies and veterans, are spells that not only require you to learn about what it does when you are not that class, but also play around it. This includes things like firedamp explosion, poisons, and in more recent patches, a bunch of Feca shields, Magma, Orb and Volcano.

This 4th class of spells often require the non-casting party member to have their stat window open to read and learn about the spell of a class they don't play. It is not helpful to newbies, and annoying for veterans, given the short turn timer. 

For poisons, both the caster and the party members need to remember that the mob has the poison, and gauge whether or not the damage it will potentially apply is enough to kill off the monster before committing AP to hurting it further. This not only is easy to miss, easy to forget, hard to gauge, but poisons in general are a fairly useless mechanism if they don't bypass invulnerability, which they don't, currently.

For Feca's shields, state bearers need to actively play around their original role (not using WP-consuming damage spells for Volcano) or perform otherwise restrictive conditions that they don't know about (avoid getting damaged for Orb)

You're expected to know your own spells so you can aid your teammates, which is fine. But ceding control of how or when your spell effect triggers to your teammate, AND that they have to know how it works and play around it, is just bloated and superfluous design, and is not gratifying for either the caster or the state bearer.

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Reactions 5
Score : 4374

I personally find keeping track of status effects on enemies and yourself as an essential part of gameplay, especially at later levels where a state can mean the difference between you dealing damage or getting tripple reflected damage back in your face (looking at you badgers) or murdering half your team (spectrex the tormentor).

But yeah some kind of mark above enemies that are poisoned and a popup that explains how a mechanism that was placed on the field works (like portals, rails, sinistros) would be helpful imo

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Score : 369

Keeping track of states and such is an integral part of the learning curve for the game, especially later on in endgame content. Understanding each classes capabilities is what separates newer players and veterans, and makes the working as a team aspect much more prevalent. I can agree with your points on the short turn time, though if you are not planning outside of your turn during the other X turns in the fight then you aren't maximizing your time. Like cody5 mentioned, I think that adding more transparency on what states are active/how they work would be helpful. For example, in the next patch they are adding an indicator for stabilized targets.

On the topic of poisons, there are some things that are just better for PvP than PvM. Sram Hemo, Panda's Poison Chalice, etc have limited usage outside of PvP, which in my opinion is fine as they are not the only options the class has.

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Score : 10190

I love poisons but yeah, sometimes allies tend to finish off an enemy that was going to die at the start of the turn anyway which can be frustrating because it means that you wasted valuable AP. And I don't blame them, having to constly check monster's info screens to find out what's going on with the states IS annoying, considering the 30s window or if you aren't paying attention to the battle.

I feel like this issue would be mostly fix with better indicators. For reference, I love how Final Fantasy Tactics Advance displays all the different status effects applied on a target and constantly reminds you about it, for example when an enemy is poisoned they get a green glowing effect or if they are inmune they get a Shield icon over their heads, QoL stuff like that is what can make the difference and improve the player's experience around the game.

Another cool thing that some Turn-based games have is the possibility to preview the damage that you will deal to the enemy. It could be extremely helpful specially for classes/characters that use Poisons. I've noticed that players tend to poison enemies either at the end of their turn OR when the enemy is about to die which often results in overshooting the enemy with the poison. Just an idea.

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Score : 4374

While I completely agree that a "posion/glyph/bomb damage preview" would be amazing, I worry players woud be mad if the enemy blocked the damage or you got hit with a debuff and the enemy didnt die from it

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