An anime styled RPG inspired by JRPG classics from the Playstation era like Final Fantasy, Breath of Fire, Suikoden, and Persona.

Report article RSS Feed Soul Saga - Update 9 - Items, Skills, Debuffs, Oh My!

Soul Saga's 9th official update! This article is loaded with recently implemented game design decisions such as the item and skill system, debuffs, and the active defense mechanic. Tell me what you think and what you want to know more about!

Posted by Disastercake on Mar 11th, 2013

It's time we sat down and had a long chat, friend.  A very personal chat.  Don't give me that look!  You know what I'm talking about...

That's right, Items!
I'm a little tired of items being the exact same concept in EVERY game.  Seriously, as if deciding whether one number is bigger than another is a strain on our intelligence.  If there's only one thing you know about Soul Saga, then let it be this: Soul Saga is different.

I mentioned in a Dev Diary a while ago that I had implemented the item system.  While implementing the inventory an idea sparked in my head...

What if the item's WERE the skills?

I thought about it for a little while then quickly realized that I loved the idea.  A system where you don't just pick the best skills and the items with the biggest numbers.  Soul Saga's system urges the player to be constantly making the decision of whether a higher stat item is worth the upgrade considering the new skill attached to it.  For example, take the two tooltips below as an example:

Soul Saga Blink Tooltip

Soul Saga Ice Ball Tooltip

Both items have relatively the same statistics.  1 power won't make much of a difference.  However, the skills attached to each have night and day differences!

The item on the Gladiator's Kris is a ice ball that deals AoE damage near the first enemy it  hits, and then applies 9 stacks of Burn.  This burn increases damage taken by all these enemies by 4.5% for 5 seconds.  This burn effect can be refreshed by another skill that applies burn, and it will also increase the effect.

The Mercenary's Ward has a blink skill attached to it.  The blink skill is VERY useful.  In Soul Saga you will probably want to make sure you have at least 1 movement based skill attached on your character at all times.  However, the cooldown on the blink skill is pretty large, and the damage is tiny.

Now you must make the decision of which you need more: the utility of blink, or the increased power of the ice ball.

This new system adds an extra dynamic to the strategies you'll create while building your character, and will constantly encourage you to think fresh as new skills enter and leave your arsenal.  You can't hold on to this level 10 blink forever when you're finding level 50+ items, so you may eventually find yourself without the blink skill!

Got Debuffs?

Soul Saga Vitals Bar

Why yes, Soul Saga DOES have debuffs now!  I'm not a fan of complicated debuff systems, so I streamlined the types of debuffs in Soul Saga into just 5.  This is subject to change later if I feel like there's a good reason to add more, but for now these 5 debuffs encompass reducing the effectiveness of the 3 base stats: Health, Power, and Haste.

Burn - Each stack** increases damage taken by 0.5%.

Slow - Each stack** reduces total haste by 1%.

Weak - Each stack** reduces damage dealt by 0.5%.

Silence - Can not cast skills during the duration.

Stun - Can not take any actions during the duration.

**Different skills can apply different amounts of Burn, Slow, and Weak debuff stacks.  Each time an application is applied, the cooldown on the debuff is refreshed (currently 5 seconds).  There is a current cap of 50 per stack.

The Best Offense Is A Good Defense

Soul Saga Parry

I am a big Super Smash Bros' nerd, and I always wanted to implement a similar fast paced and skill-centric blocking system.  So... I did just that!  You are now able to block by simply right clicking at any time.  Blocking allows you to absorb all incoming damage, but your shield's power drains as you hold it.  When blocking you will also see a meter of your shield's remaining strength below your character.

A few important facts:

  • When the shield is not active, it regains strength at a rate of 10% per second.
  • Your shield's total strength is 30% of your maximum health.
  • If your shield runs out of strength, you are stunned for 3 seconds.
  • You can parry** incoming damage by activating your shield within 0.1 seconds before you incur the damage.

**When you parry incoming damage, it means you take 0 damage!

There are also passive skills that strengthen your shield in interesting ways.  For example, one of these skills is "Reflect".  When not on cooldown, this skill will reduce the damage taken by the next blocked or parried projectile, and reflect it back in the direction it came from.  The reflected projectile will then damage enemies in the same way it would have damaged you.

I'm Glad We Talked, Friend
Whew!  That feels great to get off my chest.  How are you feeling?  Let me know what you think by tweeting, facebooking and google plussing!  Your words inspire me to keep my 13 hour a day, 7 days a week schedule to get Soul Saga into your hands fast!  I'll also be launching a Kickstarter in April, and I'm taking requests of things you'd like to see during it! =D

Post comment Comments
booman
booman Mar 14 2013, 2:21pm says:

very nice update. I really like your stats idea pertaining to items and weapons. Upgrade your items to upgrade your character... awesome!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Disastercake
Disastercake Mar 15 2013, 4:33am replied:

Thanks booman! I haven't seen the concept done before, so I really wanted to try it out.

It came to me when I was planning how to program skills to be equipped like items, then I just thought "you know what a cool idea might be...".

I definitely want to hear your opinion once you get your hands on the beta. Working with new systems is a territory that requires a lot of balancing and views from different angles!

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Soul Saga
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Windows, Mac, Linux
Developer
Disastercake
Engine
Unity
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Coming Jun 2014
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