Balancing Issue: Shield with Spellcancelling

(I dont know if this is the right forum section, but dont want to post in games in progress because i wont post regular updates and stuff)

So im making a game with spells like Fireballs and stuff, and i have a Shield spell.

(when the shield is hit, the shield loses hp until hp < 0)

when upgraded and cast, this shield can shoot objects that cancel (either destroy or trigger collision) other spells before hitting the shield. (objects are shot at current spell position, maybe upgradeable so it hits position where spell will be in a few seconds)

when triggering collision, it costs the player no mana, when destroying it (when destroying a Fireball, it will not explode, just vanish) costs the same amount the other used by casting it (is that also a good idea? should it be more/less - should it be upgradeable so it costs a percentage of the casting mana?)

i was thinking how to balance this, and make it upgadeable… (shooting these objects currently costs no mana)

by balancing i mean that the user of the shield has some advantage and doesnt feel useless, but the enemy can circumvent or endure it somehow (by endure i mean something like: shoot at it till it does nothing anymore)

my ideas were:

  1. have charges in the shield that deplete when shooting one cancelling object, replenished either: (then upgrades would be more charges)
    a. all say 5 seconds all charges (upgrades: recharge rate)
    b. all say 5 seconds 1 charge till max charge (upgrades: recharge rate)
    c. say 5 seconds after sending the last cancelling object either a or b (upgrades: waiting time after last shot)

    then i would have to make an indicator so the player knows when it will shoot cancel objects and when not

  2. no charges, have the cancel objects cost mana (upgrades: less mana cost)

then the shield would only be viable with a lot of mana

What are your thoughts on this?

I would have holding a button put up the shield, and it burns mana while on, making it a skill/timing power.

onimishu had ‘Hamido’ where when you pressed defend at the last possible instant, you dodged the attack completely and struck them instead…

hmm… i could make another spell out of this :smiley:

like a small magical round shield so you have to aim too

(oh and btw my game is a 2d sidescroller so you can aim nicely)

This is directly part of your games game play. We can’t really advice you on that.

Such things depend on what you want to achieve. Balancing is to find a balance between making a game’s play that hard that it is still challenging without making it frustrating. Additional the long-time motivation should be high. These are very subjective factors. What is good to you is not necessarily good to me.

Typically balancing is done on evaluating statistical data. I guess you are the only one that plays this game. So your statistical data come from a single player with just a few plays. The results will be very poor and mostly guessing.

On an indie game this is fine. You should be prepared on feedback after publishing. So I suggest you implement some ways for easy adjusting the factors you think have impact on balance. Be aware, sometimes small changes have huge effect. There are indirect effects too.

I suggest to look for some “balancing reviews” on popular games to get a feeling about this topic. Especially on player vs player games you can find such information in release notes as this has direct impact on championships and ranking.

Ok ok this is blah blah and does not really help. So here are my thoughts:

A) do it simple. I expect a shield blocks damage, nothing more.
B) do it logical. I expect a shield to get damage before getting health damage
C) adjust the costs. I expect a shield to have other costs than for example health or items. As a player I would scarify my shield before items, before health. Costs can be buffs, multiplier to attributes, duration of the shield …
D) make it unique. I expect a shield is not health or item. There should be a huge difference. E.g. it recharges (costs), damaging costs mana rather than health, it catches specific damage only (e.g. magic damage, physical damage), it has a timeout, it needs manual activation, it has automatic activation on a certain condition, it makes the attacker taking damage on receiving damage…

You can have many different kind of shields. All with different buffs and behavior. Avoid to create strength without weakness.

What crosses my mind: a shield should not shoot. This makes it a weapon. A weapon that protects and attacks is most-likely not a good balance. The player does not need to decide between protection and damage output. This easily leads to “good characters” - making the game no challenge. You can do but it should be on high costs.

This is really hard to tell.