I’ve been going through a lot of rewrites of the battle system for Ibuki Magica, trying to work out exactly what I want it to feel like, and to make something unique and matches the nature of the rest of the game. I figure I should give an update on where I’ve been and where I’m at now.
Originally, the new battle system was going to have 14 different skills, in seven sets of two. You’d choose an attack that selected one of those skill sets for the attacker, and another for the defender. Then there’d be some random number picked for each set and whoever had the higher number won or something confusing. I have simplified and streamlined it, and hopefully created something unique while not confusing the hell out of the players.
Every character has a set of three offensive ability scores, and three defensive ability scores. Each of these abilities reflects how a magical girl or witch can use their magical powers. Each offensive ability you use will rely on one of each of these: one offensive ability for the attacker, and a defensive ability for the target. The success of your attack will be affected by how much higher or lower your attack score is compared to your opponent’s defense score. Part of the strategy in combat will be working out which defensive abilities your enemies are worst at, and trying to use attacks that target those abilities. Of course, the attacks most likely to be successful might not be the most useful in a certain situation, so figuring out how to make your best abilities more likely to hit is important too.
In addition to the six abilities mentioned above, each character will have a set of traits that will affect different actions. These traits will reflect personality and fighting style more than they will raw fighting ability, and augment the power of certain attacks. For example, the courage trait would impact an attack that’s incredibly risky and daring, while the mindfulness trait might make it easier to analyze and defend against wild onslaughts. While a character’s ability scores will mostly be determined by the nature of their wish and how they fight, traits can be increased both by actions in battle and choices made outside of it.
I’m still working out a lot of this, like the exact number and type of traits, how the defensive abilities will work without overlapping (I want a good reason for why magical shields won’t protect you if you fail to dodge out of the way or something), and how to display different actions. Right now I have actions separated into ‘attacks’, ‘magic’, and ‘tactics’, but I’m not sure how accurate those are. I’m also still debating how to handle health, and protecting one’s soul gem. Thankfully, I’m a lot more satisfied with this current system is working overall compared to what I previously had. I hope to have another tech demo out soon for everyone to play with, and I hope you all look forward to it!