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Monday, February 18, 2013

Stats, and how they work

Some fine people on the ULMF forums asked how stats worked, and so I figure I should make a proper blog post on it so readers on other forums and blog followers can see.

They wanted to know, for instance, why the Overmind's Shade ability is more powerful than Nanshe's spells in spite of her having greater spirit.

Here's a simple breakdown. You have six primary stats.

Max HP - How much damage a character can take
Max MP - How much a character can use their abilities
Attack - Raw damage with non-magic attacks
Defense - How tough you are and how much damage is reduced.
Spirit - A combination of Attack and Defense, but specifically for magic
Agility - How fast you move in combat

The reason that Shade hits so much harder than Nanshe's attacks is twofold.

One: Shade is a more powerful spell than Nanshe's current spells. Spells have "base damage". Stats add to it.

For instance, Shade has a base damage of 400. (I may tone this down later)

Fire has a base damage of 150. When Nanshe gets Fire II (not yet in the game), it has a base damage of 400.

Given spells of equal power, Nanshe will outdamage The Overmind every time (At level 10, he has SPI 48, she has SPI 75, and the gap only grows). Even more so as they level, because the Overmind has a fairly average spirit stat on a flat leveling curve, whereas Nanshe is (as one might expect) an A-list mage, and she'll get more boosts from Spirit enhancing equipment as she levels and recovers her heroic abilities (if not the calculating mind). There's a limit to the influence of spirit, a stat known as "spirit F", which keeps spells from jumping power-tiers just because a character has high spirit. I may raise the "spirit F" on Nanshe's abilities, though.

The second factor is elemental resistance. You almost certainly got Shade in the chapel or just before if you were careful about mopping up monsters. I planned it that way. The enemies there (including Rubati) are weak to darkness damage, making the spell extremely useful in that location.

When you later encounter creatures that are strong to darkness, you'll find that spell is much less useful. Moreover, as Nanshe learns spells of equal power she will highly outclass the Overmind.

On a separate note, there is an issue in the game caused by the fact that the "sprint" and "skip text" keys are the same key. I am not sure if I even can do anything with it. The sprinting and text skip functions are bound to the same key by default, and I haven't yet figured out how to separate them or found a script that could. You can change what keys are bound to your keyboard by pressing F1, but it doesn't look like you can do much about the functions. Believe me though - I read the comments, posts, and PM's talking about the issue  and I've been looking into it. If anyone else knows how to fix it, let me know. I'll implement it immediately.


  1. Oh hey, thanks for the explanation.

    That "Spirit F" limiter seems like a pretty terrible idea for a stat, unless there's something similar for physical weapons, I guess.

    It WOULD explain why in some VX games increases in spirit seem so useless to make spells better, though, I've been wondering that.

  2. There is an equivalent called "Attack F".

    But if you're a new designer and don't know about them, it's easy to screw up and just not incorporate it at all. There's also damage variance, but I don't want to go too in-depth.

  3. I don't know much about RPGmaker scripts themsleves (I messed around with the program a little. Gave up due to lack of ideas) but this is the closest thing I could find:

    Not sure if it'll help but I tried.

  4. That script is for VX Ace, and I use vanilla RPG maker VX. I tried it, but unfortunately it doesn't work and breaks the game. Thank you very much for trying though.