What's up gamers, it's your boy Me here to charge up your day with a brand new GBI so gather your kindred spirits and buckle up because in this thread we're talking charges. What are charges? Why do we need to talk about them? How do we change them so that we don't need to talk about them? All that and not much else will be covered in the nicely formatted sections to come!
Preface- Charges? Charge items?
Definition time, there will be a quiz. These are my own definitions, if anything they're likely more general than most but it'll be how I use the terms going forward:
Charges are any tracked value that can directly increased by an item, and where the intended play pattern of the item is to accumulate that resource and gain some advantage from accumulating it.
Charge Items are any individual or combined items that increase and/or benefit from charges.
These definitions have some notable exclusions/inclusions:
- These definitions exclude cases where the resource is purely negative - usage limits are not charges, stacking self debuffs/enemy buffs aren't charges (unless you have a way to get an advantage from stacking them), trackers for how an effect degrades over time (such as when a skill costs more each time it's used) aren't charges.
- These definitions include items that use permanent statuses that the player can gain an advantage from, items where accumulating the resource has both upsides and downsides, and items that can use a typically non-charge resource as is if it were a charge resource (such as items that consume a status to gain an effect).
- Charges can be spendable (such as with Book of Burns; you spend charges to gain additional uses of the book within a turn), passive (such as with Devil Geiger; armor attacks deal damage that scales with the number of charges it has), or both (currently non-existent, but not impossible to create; for example a weapon could have a passive bonus that scales with charges and a skill that spends charges for an effect).
- Key examples (and attached concepts):
Kindred / Book of Burns / Essence of Carnage (charges that carry over)
Angel Guard (turn delay bonus)
Devil Geiger (capped charges)
Post-Preface - The Problems with Charges
Unlike every other mechanic in AdventureQuest, charges aren't perfect. In my eyes, there's two problems that hang out on opposite ends of a spectrum:
1: The "Skip Gameplay" Button (that takes two hours to press) - Charges carrying over across battles allows players to trade time for power, in a manner that is not healthy gameplay (it would be hard to argue that charging against an easy enemy is intended, since there's obviously no challenge involved and therefore the item might as well just have infinite charges at all times).
2: "Okay, I'm fully charged! What do you mean the battle ended five turns ago?" - Charge items that don't carry charges over across battles are weak, even for builds that play defensively and presumably have the most time to gain charges over the course of a battle; they pretty inherently work on a delay, and they're prone to caps that can limit their effectiveness once the delay is over.
Solutions - 4 Steps to Make Charges Literally Perfect
1: Please Play the Game - Reset all charges to 0 when the battle ends. This removes the unhealthy and unintended gameplay associated with items that carry charges over.
2: UPDATE: Patience Buffed; Now Worth 2 Virtues - Give non-passive charges a turn delay bonus, and have it apply to the charges every turn. As implemented by the Angel Guard guest, charge accumulation should be compensated for the fact that they come on a delay and the delay bonus should apply for each turn that the delay happens. (passive charges are always doing something so they don't need the bonus).
3: Buffing the... Delay... Bonus - Buff the turn delay bonus from x1.01 to x10/9 per turn delayed; if an effect has a 1 turn delay then using it every turn would only allow it to be used 9 times over an assumed 10 turns and the output would have to be x10/9 as a result.
4: No Hats At The Dinner Table - Allow charge items to be uncapped, as is already the case with permanent+stackable statuses (which are already considered to be charge items due to having identical purpose). Capping charges punishes defensive playstyles more than aggressive playstyles (the opposite of the purpose of charges), and to my knowledge is an arbitrary limit on an already-unpopular playstyle that forces them into being basically SP items that don't let you spend the SP anywhere else - it's hard for me to find justification for a cap if the cost matches the benefit, especially in the context of the mechanic that is inherently the slowest. A soft cap could be implemented as a middle ground, although caps already double-dip with bosses having their own soft caps (eg an effect that uses charges to boost damage would be getting reduced value via the boss damage cap, so putting even a soft cap on the charges would result in putting an extreme cap on charge practicality while most other effects don't suffer that issue).
That's all for this edition of My First GBI, stay frosty 'Questers and keep charging.
< Message edited by Dardiel -- 11/11/2023 17:22:43 >