Typically the player's goal in RPGs is to reduce their opponent's HP to zero, but in order to give the player more tactical options and thus create more gameplay depth many RPGs will feature a variety of status effects. These can help the player's going of depleting enemy HP, provide an alternate way to defeat opponents, or have other effects.
However, frequently status effects in RPGs are underwhelming. Since they may not directly advance a player's goal (defeating the opponent(s) ), the opportunity cost for using them often isn't worth it. Many RPGs suffer from thus issue. One the other hand, a less common but no less important consideration is that if a status effect is too effective it may become a dominant strategy and then gameplay loses strategic depth. With those things in mind, how do we want status effects to work in Unsung Story?
Here are 3 common ways RPGs have used status effects:
- Status Effects added to other Skills/Attacks - A status effect in addition to other effects of an Attack or Skill. For example, an attack that does damage and also may poison the opponent. This avoids the problem of opportunity cost in choosing between damage and a status effect since the player can do both at once. The other effect doesn't have to necessarily be damage either, it can be anything else that's beneficial. This offers a wider variety of attacks and skills.
- Major Status Effects with low chance of success - Oftentimes status effects will have a low chance of success, and if that's the case then their effect when they do succeed has to be major in order to give the player a reason to use them. An example of this is often instant death or equivalent effects.
- Minor Status Effects with high chance of success - Opposite of the above, status effects with a more minor outcome need to have a high success rate in order to give the player a reason to use them. Even with a high success rate the effect has to be significant enough to overcome the opportunity cost of using other attacks or skills.
Out of the three, I think adding status effects to other skills or attacks handles the issues associated with using status effects the best. Again, this doesn't necessarily have to be an attack that does damage and also has the chance of applying a status effect, it just means status effects should not stand alone. What do you think?