By Mayu_Zane 9 Comments
I've been thinking a bit about the turn-based combat systems a lot of RPGs have. Some would have turns decided by how agile the characters are, others by using a time-gauge system or an 'Action Points' bar. Regardless of how it's set up though, it always seemed jarring to me for everyone to just stand still while one person did one thing.
I had an idea about how to add a bit more excitement to the combat: Time-freeze. Allow me to elaborate.
Let's say you have a party of three. The main character is a mage, with a long-range bow-using companion way in the back and up in front we have a tough bruiser. The enemy is three Evil Refrigerators.
The tough bruiser has the fastest reflexes and so begins first. Time suddenly freezes; no breathing animation, no movement at all while the action menu is up. The player chooses 'Attack Evil Fridge 1', and the combat animation immediately follows. However, instead of Tough Bruiser just hitting Fridge 1 and then returning to pre-combat position, the fight continues until the Mage finally manages to pull out the big and heavy spellbook from the bag. Time freezes once the book is finally open; the player now selects 'Lame Tier Fire Spell' and the Mage casts the spell.
However, before the Mage could finish saying all the words for the spell, Fridge 2 has made a move. Before the Fridge reaches the Mage, time freezes again; it's the bow-users turn.
At this point, the Bow-user can attack any of the Evil Refrigerators, but the player can issue a special command: Rescue. This is basically an attack that delivers enough damage to distract the enemy from a weak ally, but also risks the rest of the enemy team to focus only on the rescuer.
The bow-user chooses to Rescue the mage from a cold death, and two Refrigerators have shifted attention to the bow-user. Now the Mage can return to finishing the original action (Cast Lame Tier Fire Spell).
I prefer the idea of a battle that's constantly continuing, instead of everyone standing around and just waiting for their turn. I like the idea that it would look like your commands are actually the split-second decisions of the in-game characters.
Apologies if something like this has been used before. I don't have much time for a lot of RPGs and I haven't seen something like this ever implemented in a game. However, if it has been attempted I'd like to have a look myself.