Back to Forums

Combat System

blooper Posted 5 months ago

Basically I have some concerns with the way moves are given in the combat system.

blooper Posted 5 months ago

(Edited 5 months ago)

Currently, as mentioned by @bananatron in the other thread about bugs and stuff, when an ooze has less than 3 moves, the new move is randomly selected from its movepool, inclusive of moves that it currently already has ready.

As a result, if I have a move that I don't want to use yet (e.g. Revive when none of my oozes are dead), it'll be taking up a move-slot. Then I might get the move again. And again. Now, this ooze has 3 Revives, and literally cannot make an action until the other ooze dies. This applies as well but to a lesser extent to other moves like Mega-Hug, where getting stuck with 3 Mega-Hugs may result in me spending like 6 Energy to heal 2 HP.

This also incentivizes a system where your ooze movesets all have a low Energy cost because having the same move build up multiple times is prohibitive if it has a high Energy cost. As a result, players are disincentivized to use more interesting moves that cost more Energy, as well as moves with niche applications (e.g. Revive, Boo, Cleanse, Coagulate, Shield Bash, etc.), for fear of being stuck with a lot of copies of them without being able to use them. 

I propose that if an ooze is currently ready to do a move, it can't get another copy of that move. If this makes combat too predictable with a small moveset (e.g. knowing only Meditate and another move means you can spam that move to no end), then set a required minimum number of unique moves that an ooze must know before it can go into battle (my suggestion is around 4-5).

blooper Posted 5 months ago

After playing around with combat a little lot more, I have a few more ideas:

- infinitely repeatable combat encounters is definitely too good, as brought up by @wiggleworm previously. Maybe oozes should have a limit on the # of skulls of difficulty they can participate in each day?

- Fist Bump and Hug are the exact same move, but Fist Bump is specifically only usable by Orange/Yellow oozes while Hug is usable by all. There's no unique utility to Fist Bump, making it essentially strictly inferior. I'm presuming that color-specific moves like Fist Bump should be stronger to add more flavor that certain types of oozes can do certain things better than others, so it probably should be buffed (or changed to do something cool like your next attack does double damage!).

- On the note of color-specific abilities, there currently aren't enough abilities to actually give oozes of different colors an individual identity. (e.g. yellow/orange are healers, purple/pink do poison, green/blue do status effects). Maybe some currently non-specific moves should be made color-specific, like Shield/Hug/Revive could be given to Yellow/Orange, or Cough given to Purple/Pink.

- Vomit as a move is truly bad. Really high Energy cost, tiny amount of damage to your enemies, and hurting your allies too?!?

- Spit as a move being strictly superior to Nudge is really un-fun design-wise. Strictly being weaker numerically is just un-fun

- you can get a Tome of Nudge as an item drop. lol. Nudge is automatically known at the Combat Fairy, you don't need to teach that 😂

bananatron Posted 5 months ago

Thanks a TON for the feedback. I truly appreciate it.

The original plan was to have combat moves work like a deck of cards, however the randomization is currently a bit less advanced than that. You can alter your chances of getting any moves by stacking your Ooze's memory with more copies of desirable moves (much like how you'd build a deck in a trading card game). This memory-management part of the game is very much intentional (it's up to the player to ensure they don't have exclusively high energy cost moves etc.), but the current way that moves are pulled (as you're describing) still isn't ideal. In addition, the fact that it stops at 3 moves without the ability to clear moves is still something that's being addressed.


 infinitely repeatable combat encounters is definitely too good
This is a high priority thing I'm thinking about. Part of the balancing act here is to ensure everyone has access to the same encounters (for interaction/assistance) while restricting excessive farming. Currently, the goods you get from easy combat encounters aren't that good (the prizes scale up rapidly), but the risk is very low for good crews.


Fist Bump and Hug are the exact same move

Great catch! This will be fixed - during the tuning of abilities I don't always remember them all.


there currently aren't enough abilities to actually give oozes of different colors an individual identity

I agree - more abilities will continue to be added as the game progresses (the list is LONG). The moves that exist in this early version of combat are just a (albeit poor) hint of what the colors are about.


Spit as a move being strictly superior to Nudge

Moves actually have rarity just like oozes and items. Spit is currently at a higher rarity, which is why it's better. This might be rethunk because Tomes (mentioned below) weren't well thought out.


you can get a Tome of Nudge as an item drop

This is a technical challenge which I know about but just never addressed (it's low on the priority list), but it's certainly not ideal (I believe you can actually train nudge also even though the combat fairy knows it) 😂

(Fun fact) One primary reason this little bug exists is that it's on the plan to have the Combat Fairy teach a move you have not learned every week/month/etc. In general, Tomes are problematic in their current state because you'll just continue to accumulate more and never can get rid of them (this is high priority). The idea of rare moves/tomes is something I'd like to have work, but it falls flat in its current state.

Thanks again and please bear with me while making these kinds of changes (it's slow going as a one-man show). It's still very early days for combat. 🙏

blooper Posted 5 months ago

everyone has access to the same encounters (for interaction/assistance) while restricting excessive farming. Currently, the goods you get from easy combat encounters aren't that good (the prizes scale up rapidly), but the risk is very low for good crews.

Excessive farming isn't as big an issue at lower difficulties, but becomes incredibly broken at the higher ones. With my crew right now, I can crush the 3 skull ones trivially, as an individual! The loot is insaaane. 

A limitation in # of combats per day, so you can only do combat so many times per day in the High Seas, would still allow you to interact/assist others, but restrict excessive farming! If you're out of daily combats, then you can't assist (or you can, but you can't get combat rewards).

Spit is currently at a higher rarity, which is why it's better

My opinion is that it's less interesting than high rarity spells having cool unique effects, rather than just being numerically superior versions of their weaker versions. For example, what if Spit taunts the target, so for the next X ticks they can't target any character besides the one that spat on them? 

I agree that rare moves should be stronger, but just having a numerical increase makes it less fun. In my mind, there should be at least a little bit of give and take for some moves. For instance, the new Fist Bump vs Hug. One is numerically stronger than the other, but its usage is limited to certain colors, so that limitation justifies its strength. (The updated Fist Bump is super nuts though)

The idea of rare moves/tomes is something I'd like to have work, but it falls flat in its current state.

A few things about rare tomes could make them work better. 
1. Maybe it takes having a massive boss fight with creatures so powerful, it requires multiple players to beat, will drop rare tomes? 
2. Tomes should not be clonable!!
3. Tomes for moves you already have can be like turned into some kind of move currency (some like fairy dust) which you can spend to allow the Combat Fairy to teach new moves? 

Thanks again and please bear with me while making these kinds of changes (it's slow going as a one-man show)

You got this! I'm down to help out, actually, but I'm a programming noob myself haha

bananatron Posted 5 months ago

Thanks a ton! These are great suggestions.

Tomes should not be clonable!!
They shouldn't be in their current form (I'm not a huge fan of the cloning booth, in general), but if you're able to get that to happen let me know!

blooper Posted 5 months ago

Oh whoops, I assumed they were clone-able but never actually tried hehe
Reply Back to Forums