Let's talk about Tuxemon techniques

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By Sanglorian 24 Feb 2016 12:35

Champion · 491 comments

Hi folks,

I feel like it's a good time in the project to talk about techniques (i.e. Pokemon's moves).

Why do we have them, and what form do we want them to take?

At the moment, we follow the PKMN template pretty closely, including the special/physical split (which usually corresponds to no-contact/contact) and power.

However, there's a few unusual features:

  • "Normal" is a type of technique, but not a type of TXMN (whereas it's both in PKMN)
  • There's no PP specified, so each move can seemingly be used any number of times.
  • There's no Accuracy specified, so each technique is seemingly as likely to hit as any other. Like PP, Accuracy is an important balancing method in PKMN.
  • There's no Effect Chance specified, so each technique - if it has some accompanying effect - is as likely to trigger that effect as any other.
  • There's no Priority specified, so no technique occurs sooner or later in the turn order than any other.

These might all be planned to be added in the future, and maybe that's a good thing - but it also means we have a chance to mix it up and make techniques our own thing.

Here are some thoughts I've had:

Upgrading Moves


Instead of getting a new technique every few levels, and having to figure out which technique is best, and should you swap it out for that one you got from a TM, and so on, you could have many fewer moves but make them increase in power and versatility.

An easy start would be to make a technique's "power" a multiplier, not a flat number. So Pound might have a power multiplier of x0.5 and Poison Sting a multiplier of x1, and then if a levle 1 TXMN's Pound did 40 damage, its Poison Sting would do 80 - but when it reaches level 100, its Pound may do 60 damage and its Poison Sting 120.

You could also introduce status effects, and increase the likelihood of them occuring. Headbutt might do damage at level 5, damage + 10% chance of paralysis at level 15, and damage + 50% chance of paralysis at level 80.

Naturalistic vs Thematic Moves


From my observation, the PKMN video games follow what I'd call a "naturalistic" approach to their moves. Each move is designed, and then assigned to PKMN, depending on what feels right and seems to suit the fiction.

For example, if a PKMN has a horn, it will probably get the Horn Drill move. And if a PKMN has the Horn Drill move, it almost certainly has a horn.

There's a move that's identical to Horn Drill, called Guillotine - right down to the typing (they're both Normal). But Guillotine is available to PKMN who have pincers or claws.

In fact, the few PKMN that have Horn Drill or Guillotine but don't have horns or pincers/claws get called out on Bulbapedia, because they're aberrations.

This is one possible coherent, logical approach, but the end result is that while PKMN feel very natural and sensible individually, it's unlikely for a broader theme to emerge across a type, because ultimately the moves suit the logic of the PKMN's body and nature, not a theme.

An alternative can be found in Magic: the Gathering (and the PKMN TCG). In these games, colours/types have strong identities. You can show a card with its type obscured, and it's often possible to identify which type it belongs to, because it has a particular quality or serves a particular game purpose.

This means for example that someone can describe their preference for a particular play style, and people can meaningfully respond which which types would suit them: https://www.reddit.com/r/Magicdeckbuild … _suits_me/

In addition, these strategies are not assigned randomly to the types - they make sense given the personalities of the type, and so reinforce the story behind the types. Here's a good overview of how it works for Magic: the Gathering: https://forums.geekandsundry.com/discus … ing#Item_2

However, they do lack some of the naturalistic quality of the PKMN style of doing things.

Here are some examples of how each type might reflect a different approach:

Types


Metal:
  • Insurance: Lots of guaranteed effects, doing half damage on a miss, multi-attacks, moves with lots of PP, versatile moves
  • Subtle synergies
  • Reliance on items

Water: "What to expect when you're unsuspecting"

  • Misdirection, trickery, turn their strength against them
  • Sabotage thir plans or actively reverse them
  • Lure them into a false sense of security
  • Create chaos and unpredictability

(Maybe this could be split into two)

Wood: "Failing to plan is planning to fail"

  • Build up to a big manoeuvre
  • Buffs/debuffs, status effects, battlefield/weather effects, synergies, conditional powers
  • Lots of walls that suddenly become sweepers

Fire: "When the going gets tough, the tough get going"

  • Benefit when you're the underdog
  • Big bold risky gestures
  • Lots of "attack + rider" techniques

Earth: "Crash through or crash"

  • Ignore the niceties of your strategy and theirs, just attack/defend/attack and defend
  • Walls, sweepers
  • Immunities and resistances - but also not particularly affected by buffs

Techniques


Following from this is that you could express a particular technique in different ways, depending on what type it is.

For example, self-destruction could be Earth - because it just wipes out you and (hopefully) them, not fussing about subtle buffs or type resistances or the like - or Fire - because it's a big bold risky gesture.

Laying spikes that hurt creatures when they're swapped in could be Wood, because it sets up the battlefield to your long-term advantage, or Water (spoiling their plan to swap out at an opportune moment).

Healing


Healing could be expressed in a number of ways:

  • Re-Rage (fire): Your TXMN damages the opponent and heals itself for equal to half the damage it did.
  • Quick Use (earth ability): When you swap in this TXMN, you can choose an item to use on it immediately.
  • Font (wood): For five rounds, whichever of your TXMN is active at the start of the round heals 1/8th of its HP.
  • Springtime (wood): Do nothing this round. Next round, you heal to full health.
  • Reboot (metal ability): In any round where you use an item, your Defence and Special Defence stats increase by one stage for that round.
  • Washback (water): You heal all damage you take this turn, and if your enemy would heal this turn, you heal instead.

Note how the two Wood techniques emphasise different parts of the Wood strategy.

I've also included abilities as well as moves here, although we haven't decided yet whether we'll have them.

Poison


  • Burning Fever (fire): Your TXMN damages the opponent. If your TXMN is under half HP, the target is also poisoned.
  • Toxic Blood (earth ability): When you are attacked by a physical technique, the attacker is poisoned 10% of the time.
  • Reciprocate (water): Your TXMN damages the opponent. For each status effect you have, there is a 50% chance that the opponent gets it too.
  • Radiate (metal): Your TXMN damages the opponent. If your TXMN misses, the opponent is poisoned instead.
  • Deadly Poison (wood): Your TXMN damages the opponent. They also experience the Bad Poison status effect.

Multiattacks


  • Firestorm (fire): Your TXMN makes one attack, and one attack for every 1/8th of its HP that it's lost.
  • ? (earth): Your TXMN makes one attack (50%), two attacks (25%), three attacks (12.5%) or four attacks (12.5%).
  • ? (metal): Your TXMN makes three attacks.
  • ? (water): Your TXMN makes one attack for every dmaaging technique that your opponent has.
  • ? (wood): Your TXMN makes one attack, plus one for every time in this combat that you've used this technique.

Last edited by Sanglorian (24 Feb 2016 12:37)

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By benneti 24 Feb 2016 13:46

Member · 38 comments

I like your idea on the attacks, but i think a mix with the natural attacks would be nice (that pokemon seemed natural as a complete being was probably one of the reasons i played the games this much)

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By Leo 24 Feb 2016 20:57

Moderator · 70 comments

Related to types, here are a few thoughts:

You proposed many different types elsewhere, like 'sound'. I think it should not be a type, but a property of moves, like 'physical' is a property of moves. Tuxemon could allow arbitrary properties for attacks -physical, sound attack, etc. and then some creatures would have some effects related to properties - for example, do not take damage if the attack is sound-based, or take more damage, etc.
Poison for example should also be a property of moves.

Normal should definitely be a type; it's not in the circle precisely because it's out of the circle regarding strength and weaknesses, as it's "neutral". There's no reason to ask all creatures to be affiliated to an elemental type.

Upgrading attacks: definitely. It would be a way to streamline the classes of attacks (which is somewhat present in pkmn, but not explicit).

There should definitely be priorities for attacks. Probably something more fine-grained than in pkmn, like a speed multiplier associated with every attack, and in general the stronger the attack the slower it is to activate.

About having strategies associated to types, it's probably a good idea to have general themes, and some creatures that break the pattern. However, be careful with effects like "half damage on all miss", as it seems utterly broken.

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By Sanglorian 25 Feb 2016 11:52

Champion · 491 comments

And a few more:

Shake It Off (Earth): Cancel all battlefield effects and stat buffs and debuffs in play.

Bounce (water): An attack that would target you targets your opponent instead, if your Speed is higher. It uses your stats for the attack. If they don't make an attack, you take 1/8th of your HP in damage.

Luck Lockdown (metal ability): Every time an attack or special attack roll is in the top or bottom 10%, reroll it.

Unstoppable Force (wood): Miss a turn. Next turn, your opponent is 1HKOed.

? (earth): Your opponent takes as much damage as they have HP remaining.

? (fire): Do damage. If it's a critical hit, it's a 1HKO.

? (metal): You are both 1HKOed. If you fail to knock them out for any reason, you are restroed to full health.