Classism, Part 2

Okay, first of all, I just want to say that Guided Fate Paradox looks like an awesome game. I haven’t played it myself, but Nekochan has been glued to it and it’s actually fun to watch and looks really good. Unfortunately for me, I’m embroiled in a speedrun of Kingdoms of Amalur on hard at the moment, which is taking forever- god damn that game is big. But once that is done, I’m totally hooking up with some cosplay angels.
So, in continuation of last week’s rant: What I want the characters to do, with some special previews this time!
Buffers and Healers
I fold these two roles together, because just healing is kind of boring and uninteresting, and doesn’t give that character anything to when people are full up.
Hero
As I’ve said elsewhere before, the Hero is supposed to kind of suck. His primary job is to make everyone else in the party better, without being very good on his own- synergy with the other characters is what I’m shooting for here. That being said, he’s also not going to big weaknesses either.
Strengths: The Hero has four upgradable abilities that you can grow at your pace. Also, he gets to have sex with a bunch of women.
Weaknesses: Not having any particular strengths.
Future Plans: The hero is going to an additional mode- if you remember the test character Viel it’s, going to work in a similar way- that will allow him to double as a tank with some damage capability, letting the player switch up his role for more variety.
Felix/Healbot
Felix is an early game crutch healer who will eventually start giving diminishing returns.I’ve talked about Felix at length before…. Fun Fact: Nekochan hates Felix and thinks anyone who uses him is a pussy. I don’t agree with her, but he wasn’t originally intended to be in the game….
Strengths: He heals you. No, really, that’s it.
Weaknesses: His stats are supposed to be the lowest over time out of everyone in the game, but right now that’s a little academic because the game only supports up to level 15 or so.
 Future Plans: When I actually go and start plugging in stat lines rather than relying on RPG Maker’s automatic settings, I’m going to have Felix’s stats begin to plateau around level 20.
 Diadira (Didi)
Didi is a cosplaying pop star that the Hero sees in concert and decides he absolutely has to at least fuck. She’ll be implemented by next spring, if not earlier. She’ll be roughly a “bard” type, but hopefully suck a whole lot less that most bards.
Strengths: She is all about buffing the team. If she does any healing, it’ll be an incidental kind of thing. For example, by dropping a buff that gives the team regeneration. Her buffs are going to be tremendously powerful, affecting multiple parameters, but…
Weaknesses: …She has to sing to grant them. Singing takes up all her actions, and basically having her on the team means that when you fire up a song buff, you’re fighting with a super-powered three-man team and one meat shield that doesn’t grab aggro. The songs will be temporary, and Didi will get freed up when the song is over. To give her something of a secondary role, she’ll probably have a high Magic stat so she can make decent use out of scrolls and bombs.
Controllers
Meline
One of the more controversial-yet-popular characters, your little specializes in dealing with magical threats and spellcasters.
Strengths: Meline has a huge supply of Mana, which lets her keep casting and resist effects that sap Mana. Her biggest skill right now is Heretical Censure, which prevents enemy spellcasting and opens the enemy party up to elemental damage. She also casts fire-elemental prayers, which slows enemy healing, and radiance-elemental prayers that apply a huge to-hit penalty to enemies.
Weaknesses: She has low initiative and even lower attack.
Future Plans: I’m actually not 100% certain about this one. Her next few skills will have to focus on her ability to screw with regular enemies and not just spellcasters to help round things out, or more skills like Censure that primarily affect spellcasters but aren’t completely useless against normal bad guys.
Larelle
You know, I’ve always been a little disappointed at Larelle’s lukewarm reception. I really like her as a character and I think she plays really well. Plus, she can resurrect dead party members as zombies, and I think that’s awesome. 
Strengths: For a spellcaster, she’s pretty robust and has decent attack power. Plus, her necrotic-elemental magic kills enemy attack power, and she cast Terrible Curse to inflict an HP-drain effect that mirrors Censure’s elemental damage bonus. Also, she can raise your fellow party members as zombies!
Weaknesses: As a spellcaster, she’s supposed to pale in comparison to other primary spellcasters like Meline and Kyrie, with lower Mana and Magic power.
Future Plans: Already in the pipeline is a buff to the Zombie status that increases their threat, making them halfway decent temporary tanks. Other than that, I’m thinking of giving her a second spell element like the other casters. Kyrie would be acid and cold, Meline would be radiant and fire, Chimei would be thunder and lightning (very very frightening!), Larelle would be necrotic and psychic maybe, and force would be provided by tomes.
Chimei
Chimei is a sort of druidy nature mage type who casts very powerful evocations that use lightning and thunder. For various reasons, she’s probably the most  OP spellcaster right now, and evocations in general as well as the lightning element are going to have to be nerfed. Also, she speaks exclusively in Japanese, which is a gag I never get tired of.
Strengths: Chimei actually has really high Luck and Resist ratings, helping her resist status effects and magic damage. She also has Defense debuffs, and lightning-element magic is overpowered as hell.
Weaknesses: Because evocations require Mana and Momentum, Chimei has to make use of basic attacks and her Transfer Essence skill to generate Momentum to use her evocations. This locks her into a two-turn rhythm, where she stores energy and then casts a spell.
Future Plans: First of all, Chimei isn’t learning English anytime soon. However, be assured that nothing she says is of consequence to the plot- the Hero just ignores her most of the time. Easily 90% of her dialogue comes from TVTropes’ list of Stock Japanese Phrases anyway, and if you can’t tell from the French dwarves and the elf-latin I really like hiding little gags and bonuses behind language barriers. As for actual gameplay changes, evocation spells currently target two or four random enemies- which can be rough if you’re fighting big groups of dudes, but against a single foe they basically just multiply your damage as each strike hits the same poor guy. I wanted evocations to feel very different from spells and prayers, and that just isn’t going to work. Also, the way the lightning element works is going to have to change as well.
(Elf Ranger)
This character, who is thus far unnamed, is an elf who acts as a physical controller. Armed with a bow, by using techniques that take the form of special archery techniques and stealing some of the better ideas off of Hawkeye and Green Arrow. If I realigned the spellcasters’ elements as mentioned above, I might add evocations to this character to give her a secondary role with poison spells, but I guess that could just as easily be done with poison-tipped arrows.
I don’t really have a strengths/weaknesses workup for this character, but she’s the least developed, although she should be in the game by this summer. I’ll talk about her story and personality instead.
Basically, when you start on the elf village questline, you find out very early on that the elven princess has a huge fetish for humans and their rounded ears, but she is (at first) forbidden from having sex with the Hero. However, nothing stops her from ordering her bodyguard and handmaiden to have sex with the Hero while she watches. Said handmaiden, the ranger, is forced by her mistress to join the Hero’s harem and help him save the elven people so the princess can have sex with him, since he needs to become the saviour of the elf people before the king will allow the princess to lay him.
The ranger herself isn’t all that interested in the Hero, and only fucks him begrudgingly to please her princess, who the ranger kinda has a thing for. She has a low opinion of humans in general, but is forced to work with one and eventually even comes to accept him and then fall in love with him.
Anyway, I hope all that was interesting for you. Reply with your game balance insight/opinions. Oh, and in case you missed it, last week I enable anonymous comments so feel free to comment with your privacy intact/give me the verbal lambasting you feel I deserve/link all the rickrolls and goatse pics your desire.

42 Replies to “Classism, Part 2”

  1. I personally like Larelle a lot, but as one of the later characters you can recruit she’s one of the least developed personality wise. That may be the reason for the lack of interest and will hopefully change as the character develops.

  2. >The ranger herself isn’t all that interested in the Hero, and only fucks him begrudgingly to please her princess, who the ranger kinda has a thing for.

    Please don’t do this. ‘Converting the lesbian’ is one of the worst and most vile tropes in fiction. Bisexuality is fine; but if you’re going to introduce a gay character, keep them gay. Leave the ‘screwing them straight’ dreck for the crap-tier, this game is better than that.

    1. Oh good lord, no! I have no intention of doing the “screw them straight” thing.

      With that character in particular, I think gender is going to be irrelevant to her- the important thing is that she have someone to dominate or lord over her. A “supinophile” if you will. Really, I just thought it’d be an interesting love triangle to have in the game, that ends up cooling off to a sort of polyamory thing on all ends.

      I certainly don’t want to imply that homosexuals or bisexuals are evil or bad in any way. Even though HC is written by a hetero male for a target audience of hetero males (although if there are any gay fans of HC out there- sup guys, happy to have you), I have nothing against homosexuals of any kind.

    2. I would nor worry too much about screwing them straight. It does not sound as if she will suddenly start digging men, just one guy. As long as the scene does not involve her suddenly falling in love with his dick, or go crazy from him screwing her it should be fine.

      Of course she could also “love/respect” him, but never desire him. That might be a good way to go. Just have her scenes always include the princess. Either watching or getting in on the action. You could also take a picture out of Rance’s playbook, and have him acquire/forge a note saying that she must submit whenever the protagonist demands it

    3. Ah, yes, the Kanami Love Ticket move. That might do.

      Thing is, the code currently determines if a character is male or female and then says “Love” or “Respect” by gender. So without changing JBurton’s script, putting in a “Respect” response would also result in all the relationship-oriented messages saying “he/him” instead of “she/her”.

  3. If you want to cut back on Paralysis you could have it seal normal attacks and techniques. Full stuns might be a bit much but it could be an inverse deafened. Instead of blocking spells/prayers, it allows only spells/prayers.

    I like Larelle as a character and stats but relying on ATK debuffs just don’t sit as well with me when there’s several good tanks to choose from. Another element or more unique stats to inflict would probably see her getting more use in my party.

    The two new characters sound good. I am in agreement with the above that “screw them straight” would be annoying and I would rather her just accept it, especially when the Hero gets to screw the princess. Sure he’d go for the threesome (why wouldn’t he?) but I would like to see someone in the harem (other than Larelle right now and sort of Therese) that isn’t going to fall in love with him. Actually, I would love to see her get a respect quest and not a love quest. Would make her different. My opinion, your script, and I’ll play it anyways

    -DK2

    1. For paralysis, you’re right that could be cool. How would I cut out the basic attack part, but entering “Seal Skill [Attack]” as part of the state’s features?

      …Yeah, that works. That’s a really elegant solution, I’ll throw it in the next build and see what happens. Thanks!

      Like I said above, “screw them straight” isn’t my intention. Heck, I thought I was doing a pretty good job of making the game gay-friendly, at least in the sense that the villains aren’t going to be homosexual or particularly effeminate.

    2. NP, I think I’ll actually make that change now and play with it a bit for ya.

      If you want to cut into Felix’s healing (especially early game) a bit you could drop the MAT multiplier on Cure Light Wounds to *4. Would shave off ~36-62 HP/heal between 1st and 8th level.

      Also (from below), gotta respect the 4e Invoker. Player’s Handbook 2 just had some better and more interesting classes. I ended up running a Revenant (Shadar-kai) Avenger of the Raven Queen. Carried a scythe took to calling myself Death.

      -DK2

    3. Nekochan played a Razorclaw Shifter Warden for awhile who was really cool. There’s really cool synergy between the Shifter races and Defender-type classes.

      My personal favourite from PHB2 is the Avenger, though. I have a Eladrin Avenger build I’ve been sitting on for awhile that would basically be playing Nightcrawler.

    4. There was a great prestige class for teleporters (name of it eludes me), that lets you deal 5 damage every time you teleported next to (or away from) someone if I recall. Cold damage too so the frost-cheese shenanigans could be used. Take the at-will utility teleport (Warlock utility I think) and *bamf* all over the place. Sadly WotC changed the damage effect to once-per-round but teleportation on an Avenger is fun, especially when you can get Isolating Strike.

      Sure 4e isn’t all that close to traditional D&D but ignoring the brand name, I really enjoy the builds and a lot of the classes.

      -DK2

    1. Felix is a minor and wasn’t planned at all from the start, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in this game and then goes off adventuring on his own after it, he is just an apprentice after all. I think I remember NoMosh saying he’s remaining male.

    2. Yeah, Felix is thirteen or fourteen (I forget which) and isn’t going to appear in any sex scenes for quite some time, until he’s of an appropriate age at least. I could definitely see the Hero celebrating Felix’s eighteenth birthday by going all Chinese finger trap on one of the harem girls.

      But that being said, I was kind of surprised by the number of people who wanted to magically turn a dude into a lady and fuck them. Which is cool- that’s why I made Gargan a permanent party member and had him be “cursed” into a girl (BTW, the way that’s going to be resolved will both be hilarious and much less offensive than you might think). There were almost as many requests for Gargan to be made female as there were for Felix, so I went with the one that wasn’t CP.

      By the way, that’s why there is an extra damager and controller. I had originally settled on thirteen party members. When Nekochan demanded I make Meline a harem girl and party member, I just stuck her on controller duty because I was playing an Invoker in D&D4e game at the time and thought the class’s concept was cool. Then, when I added Felix to the roster, I dropped a fairly standard White Mage-type girl out of the game entirely to make room. When I decided to pull the trigger and make Gargan a woman and add her to the harem, I was already committed to the fourteen characters I had by then, so he made fifteen.

      By then, I was concerned about crowding up the game with so many options, as well as the amount of crafting items I would need to be dropped by unique bosses in order to make five weapon upgrades per character. So I dropped out the character I felt was weakest in terms of gameplay and story potential- Viel, a pokemon trainer type who would be able to switch up her combat role and attack elements by selecting different monsters to battle with. The whole changing monsters mechanic ended up really awkward anyway, and I think most people who find one they liked and stick with it rather than switching her up all the time, so she got cut out.

    3. First anon here, I didn’t realize that felix was under 18, guess I didn’t pay enough attention, but that might have been what you were going for. I also didn’t know about Gargan, but that is probably because I had computer trouble, and haven’t played since October.

    4. Well, might it be possible if the hero made a plan to “wife husbandry” Felix as well, like what he planned to do with Ino? Quite his personalities to do so, but I shuddered in case it happened for real…

  4. …damn it. Preview button ate my post… Okay. Short version.

    Hero: Improved Assault fantastic; double attack buff is strong, +10 Momentum makes it easy to spam, and characters like the Momentum boost enough to use it for that alone. Should stay that way; consistent use of Momentum abilities makes the characters more interesting, and doing that keeps the Hero from doing much else, so it’s still fairly balanced.

    Felix: Only current source of on-demand status heals, revives, and magic boosts. Can do the last full-party, even, and the Necronomicon lets him poach Larelle’s elemental gimmick. Therefore pretty amazing right now, especially with Chimei.

    Diadira: Won’t use. Already have the Hero for a non-healer supporter; four characters isn’t enough to have two of those and a healer.

    Meline: Needs a multi-target light spell for random battles. Otherwise very useful and a good character design.

    Larelle: Weaker magical stats + one magical element is doubling down on the same weakness: worse at magery than the other mages. Doubly problematic in a game where all elements debuff/status, especially with lack of other distinctive features. Needs that second element, getting that mentioned Curse ability sooner will help too.

    Chimei: Lightning is hilarious. Multi-hit ice spells turn it into an effectively permanent lockdown. Improved Assault lets her cast two turns out of three, and combined with Felix’s magic buffs makes her actually good at damage. Not anywhere near current Elaiya, but probably second best. Not really a problem, though, because it requires a very specific party.

    Consider replacing the chance of stun with some kind of stun counter: normal enemies are stunned in one hit, tankier ones in two, bosses in four. Nerf stun to only nullify one action too. Lets Chimei be useful in random battles, keeps her from being broken against single bosses, makes Flash Storm feel big and flashy and awesome. For normal battles, getting a +starting Momentum boost from one of her relationship levels would really, really help; a Chimei at 11 Momentum is exponentially less useful than one at 12, and that’s frustrating when most random battles only last two turns and Chimei is kind of slow. Alternatively, make her faster, especially since lightning is getting nerfed anyway.

    Elf: Story concept sounds interesting and different. Looking forward to it.

    1. Something I forgot while being concise:

      The Hero’s Encourage needs to be stronger. Healing is weak (Improved is about equal to single heal from any other healer), Momentum cost is high, defense buff isn’t THAT good, status healing is fine but not enough to boost it. Its cost relegates it to “panic button,” and it isn’t even a very good one.

  5. With regards to Felix (and it seems like I might be a bit late to the discussion), I feel like while he definitely serves a useful role as a crutch character, I’m not sure I buy the argument that, statwise, he should ultimately be objectively inferior.

    Essentially my thought is that Felix’s primary weakness is his lack of specialization. At least in the current built, he’s a very utility-focused caster – he’s got decent healing, he’s got decent single-target spells, he’s got a caster-oriented buff or two, he does alright damage with his slingshot, but he doesn’t really shine at anything (except healing in the early game, but that’s somewhat beside the point here). His lack of a momentum skill also serves to keep in back in a very jack-of-all-trades role.

    And innately, with as many party members as there are in this game, and especially as you unlock more abilities, Felix loses out because he won’t have the same opportunities for outstanding team synergy. Anything that he can do, someone else does better. So I think that even if his stats remain more or less on par with the rest of the party, he innately becomes less useful as the player gains more levels and becomes more familiar with the game. That being said, if his stats do stay at least moderately competative, he’s not total dead weight as the game progresses, and in certain situations a player could find his versatility more useful than a more streamlined and specialized team (for example, if a quest requires the player to bring a character he’s not used to using and doesn’t fit well with his customary team composition/playstyle, Felix’s adaptability might make him quite useful).

    Anyways, that’s just my two cents. I’ll toss in the obligatory “first time posting here” comment. Keep up the good work – not only is the game hilarious, fun to play, and generally “enjoyable”, but your posts on game mechanics and the design process are quite the interesting read.

    1. I think that is the thing they want to avoid for now, Felix being too adaptable. Its as if in higher level, just with Felix being in your team, you cannot lose
      I kinda disagree though with his stats plateau at higher level that it is possible that he might be useless other that being debuff remover and mass healer.

    2. Well, the problem, I think, is not him being too adaptable. The problem is that, in the current state of the game’s content, the individual parts of his kit are too effective.

      A good amount of this comes from the fact that he has a buff that gives magic power and small amounts of momentum to the entire party – this synergizes really well with Chimei (who is also notably OP at present). On a more conceptual level I think that Felix’s adaptability is what will keep him as a viable party member – most characters have distinct specialties and strong points, and there are enough of them that in the ideal case a well-thought-out and well-played party will always or almost always perform better if they don’t include Felix than if they do – he just bring enough “oomph” to the table to make his generalization worth sacrificing a well-chosen specialist.

      That being said, as you touch upon, the problem is that it’s a delicate balance. Make Felix too underpowered at higher levels and he winds up permanently benchwarming, as the power afforded by taking a more specialized character is high enough that the player can effectively overlook the strategic gaps in the party that Felix might have filled. And regardless of how you personally feel about Felix, I think you can agree that ultimately its a bit of a waste of a character if at higher levels he’s only really useful for sitting on the bench and patching everyone up after battle.

  6. A simple game design thing: finding the estate agency at the start of the game is surprisingly hard and could use better railroading for new players. I wandered around for 20 minutes all over the map before I looked it up from the wiki.

    1. Yeah, the game’s first quest leaves a lot to be desired in that regard. Especially since I put a lot of attention into how the first visit to Malak in Fairy Side plays out.

      This is a thing I’ve been thinking on, and will get addressed when I redesign the Northmarket Slums.

  7. Late to the convo, but here’s a few thoughts about how I use characters

    I dump Felix as soon as possible, only using him when I HAVE to. Meline is better, but I still dump her when I get Chimei because of better spells selection, and Chimei’s lightning spells. Eliaya I tend to keep because of her high damage ability. The fourth bounces around a fair amount.

    Do you intend to have love quests for all the girls in the harem? I’d be interested to see what most of them are. Yama’s is fun (obvious Breath of Fire 2 reference!!) and Penelope’s is…interesting, but I’d like to see more of them. Also might want to make it to where you can sleep in the manor/Eastfort condo and have that make it a new day.

    Also, probably SURE you know this, but if you have Doll as a *temporary* member (before the bank says *no thanks* to her) you can manipulate how many slaves/members you have when the Manor Invasion hits. Is that intentional?

    I do love the tongue-in-cheek way you are making this, hope to see it continue!

    1. Regarding Love Quests- yes, every girl will have one, and Felix will have a “Respect” quest. I might put some kind of road bump in there though, so that even if you rush someone’s relationship points you can’t start a relationship quest until a certain point in the game.

      There are lots of ways to manipulate how the Manor Invasion happens, if you’ve figured out exactly how it triggers. The beauty of the Manor Invasion is that if it’s your first time playing through the game, it comes out of nowhere. If it’s not your first time playing, there are lots of different ways you can manipulate the game to see different stuff happen during it. It’s a lot of work for me, so I wouldn’t expect too many events like that though.

      Glad you’re enjoying the game!

  8. I had a few idea for Gargan’s skills to make him/her a bit more versatile, without changing the basic concept of the character.

    Sleeper Hold: Does a little damage and puts an enemy to sleep.
    Simple, effective, classic. If you use this, I’d make it so Coup Degrace works on sleeping enemies as well.

    Cape Veil: Increases Magic Evasion on self for 3 turns. Doesn’t have to be 100%, but even a 1 in 2 chance of negating magic damage would help a lot with tanking magic using enemies.

    Disarming Strike: Greatly lowers enemy attack.
    Talking double debuff here, but have it only last like 2 turns.

    Perfect Counter: Combines Counter and Cape Veil effects, where you counterattack after negating damage from a spell, as well as counter attacking normally.
    You’ll need this script:
    http://www.rpgmakervxace.net/topic/20964-doublex-rmvxa-counterattack-edit/

  9. I think that for meline you should give her some “Stun” status abilities from radiance spells or “Panic” status from Fire Spells. Where Panic would provide a damage bonus done towards a target for the duration. Just imagine if they were on fire.

    I also have a few names for inspiration for you for the elf (Or Elves) Dusk, Dawn, Maya, Sylvir, Sylla, Syl, Marissa, Ava, Eve, or Amara. For more inspiring Elven names look here.

    http://www.candlekeep.com/library/articles/elven_names.htm

    Also I think you should give the elven ranger wind element spells if any.

    These are just some ideas I thought you could use to help you creative juices flow, I’ve done a bit of my own creative writing and I wish this project the utmost luck in success.

  10. IMO, the role of the Hero does not sit well with me.
    I mean, as a lord of a harem of 151 girls in adition to be created as an isperation from Rance, i first imagined him to be a badass normal who with sword skill and unlimited dirty trick under his sleeves, save the day, kick the bad guy;s ass and break girls hymen.
    Not to mention his red hair and his job as adventurer remind me of Adol the Red, another badass normal who is a master swordman with a big harem that included any type of girl like village girl, princess, goddess and many more.

    In the end, what i really hope is the Hero to less being a BuffBot and meatshield and more being a master swordman who is capable to be the center of the party.

    1. I think it suits him- instead of just being a straight-up bruiser, he’s a charismatic and confident guy, able to earn the loyalty and affection of people who have every reason to hate him despite the fact he’s not a huge Conan-level badass. Part of the whole Manor Invasion plan was to show how the Hero is capable of inspiring people to follow him.

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