Buffing & Debuffing

Justin Rodriguez
Justin Rodriguez

How important should buffs and debuffs be in a game, do you think? How complex should such a system be? Specific damage types and enemy types? Buffing specific buffs? Permanent or with durations? Cooldowns?

How large should the range of boosting be and with kind of effectiveness when stacked? A linear growth or exponential growth/diminishing returns?

Should you be able to debuff an enemy into being completely harmless? Stacking exponential status effects and stat modifiers until they can't even move?

Should it be a character-based resource like magic or tied into items?

And just general stories about buffing/debuffing, I guess.

Jace Murphy
Jace Murphy

In Dragon's Dogma, it's pretty much essential to buff up because of the way damage works. Like in Souls games, you need to do at least a certain amount of damage to exceed their resistance before you see any real damage.

So while most others are reliant on items, the Magick Archer becomes rather overpowered due to its innate self-buff which can be stacked four times for a 2x damage boost.

Dylan Rivera
Dylan Rivera

Alternatively in gachashit mobage you just do it for the big meme numbers.

Leo Campbell
Leo Campbell

You don't need to bump your own thread every couple minutes, you halfchan refugee fuck.

Dominic Davis
Dominic Davis

How important should buffs and debuffs be in a game, do you think?

Essential. A JRPG simply shouldn't be completable unless you properly buff/debuff. There should be (de)buffs for every major stat, with practical effect on gameplay. The same applies for ailments.

James Bell
James Bell

Games that have useful buff/debuff mechanics are a thinking man's rpg. Lunar was a prime canidade considering you had to worry about buffs and debuffs WHILE moving around the field depending on if the boss was going to use a targeted attack that hit a certain part of the battlefield.

Evan Torres
Evan Torres

I hate that shit. You need full buffs / debuffs to survive the boss, but then they go and have it have it spam mass dispels every few turns, forcing you do spend 90% of the fight buffing.

Henry Bennett
Henry Bennett

A properly played D&D Wizard is less about damage and more about buffs and debuffs, same with a cleric though they are more focused on the buffing. An evocation wizard tends to go through his entire stock of spells within 3 battles, a conjuration wizard on the other hand can debuff everyone forever.

Lucas Barnes
Lucas Barnes

It should be important but shouldn't mire the gameplay and slow it down. As pointed out it's obnoxious to have fights that turn into a slot of rebuffing every turn so you can get one turn of damage in without dying. I actually like the idea behind The Witchers buffs, having to prepare for your specific fights by learning about what the monster is weak against and acquiring the right materials to apply the right buffs. Granted the sequels didn't really execute this concept well but as a concept I think it's my favorite form of buffs.

Lincoln Anderson
Lincoln Anderson

Then switch to using ailments :^) But more seriously, a boss shouldn't be designed in such a way that it becomes a boring cycle of buff/debuff->dispel->buff/debuff etc etc. That's just lazy. Perhaps have a system in place which gives every enemy/boss a decaying additive chance to block and/or reduce your debuffs, depending on how many times he has been debuffed in the last x turns. Similar to the way the Etrian Odyssey franchise handles ailment infliction, but instead with debuffs.

That'd provide enough incentive for the devs to not throw in one of those gay bosses that just dispel everything periodically, or at least no more than once a game as a sort of skill-check and fuck you.

Camden Morales
Camden Morales

I always liked bosses that used debuffs and buffs as a puzzle. FFX had a boss where you had to cast zombie on your party to avoid an instadeath spell. Nowhere did the game tell you to do this, it was expected that you knew that being a zombie nullifies instadeath skills.

Cooper Watson
Cooper Watson

The worst example I can think of is probably the Elder Scrolls' games. Being absolutely unnecessary for the game while at the same time being able to absolutely break everything is just bad design.
Nah, it's just that I have javascript turned off, so I can't post multiple files in one post. Also, breaking up my "OP" into several examples helps clarify that shit.

You'd think that would be the obvious conclusion, rather than me bumping once a minute for three posts, but maybe that's just me.
Only played the Witcher 1, but it had a pretty good system. I remember loving the ever-loving fuck out of the Blizzard potion.
Tiamat's Femme Fatale form is a great example of this; the cunt spams absolutely every kind of debuff up the ass. The highlight of that however is that she does it to her own allies as well.

Bentley Reed
Bentley Reed

BUFFS
GET
BITCHES

Angel Harris
Angel Harris

Any good games that have playable classes dedicated to debuffing?

Adam Torres
Adam Torres

Extremely important tbh

Christian Perry
Christian Perry

Most tactic games and party rpgs usually have one, so you're gonna have to be more specific.

The Log Horizon anime had a buff-specific magic class, which the main character plays.

Leo Cooper
Leo Cooper

The Log Horizon anime had a buff-specific magic class, which the main character plays.

Shirou was almost certainly based on old-school MMO Enchanters, specifically Everquest. So that other dude can go play Project 1999 if he wants to get the full experience of buffing/debuffing/cc.

Elder Tales never ever ;_;

Nathaniel Torres
Nathaniel Torres

mesmers and necromancers in guild wars were pretty fun

Lincoln Williams
Lincoln Williams

Shit, I don't know man, I'm just looking for something that lets me play a character whose skills focus on casting curses and debilitating.
I'm not much of a classic RPG guy, especially jRPGs. Mostly because the story tends to just drags on for ages and I don't particularly care for story beyond just the bare minimum or the game just bores me to death with endless grind. But I can enjoy them from time to time if the gameplay is engaging enough.

Anything from a game that's not dead? I would have liked to try those out though, people always seem to say guild wars was pretty fun.

Charles Foster
Charles Foster

I really like binds from Etrian Odyssey because they make the enemy weaker in ways that make sense. Bind the giant frog's legs so it can't use it's powerful jump attack or a quick enemy so it can't run away.
Status effects are good too. P4 Gold has a super difficult mode and it was a lot of fun because early in the game you didn't have the overwhelming damage to take out threat targets. You'd have to rely on moves that had confusion or rage to stop spellcasters from instantly wiping your party but of course confusion is gimmicky and rage makes their basic attack twice as powerful.

But I don't like straight buffs/debuffs, those are just the worst. If you expect me to buff myself for every fight why not just make that my baseline offense/defense? Tie it to a status effect or a weak point or party affinity, just anything that isn't casting a spell so your numbers go up/down.

Jacob Thompson
Jacob Thompson

Buffing/debuffing is way overused because it interacts with the player's and opponent's stats and provides a way to gain advantage in a battle by means other than just spamming attack, making a game more than one-dimensional attack spam with defend occasionally, so the devs provide ways of doing that more often and it breaks the game, so devs balance the game around that. There's much unexplored routes you can take to avoid this outcome.

Possible outs include: Characters with buff resistance (chance for buffs to fail completely or flat-out decrease a portion of them received), introduction of better skills or even completely new mechanics to set buffing/debuffing back on a priority list (What if some SMT had reusable items that you needed 2+ Turn Press icons to use that provided significant benefits?), introducing proper status ailments or making debuffs center around specific types of damage (fire, physical, etc).

Nathaniel Nguyen
Nathaniel Nguyen

For me at least, one of the most fun parts on Bl2 is how to achieve maximum efficiency, it's really fun to look for the equips that will go best with each char skill sets

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