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Friday, January 30, 2015

Battle Gem Pony Classes (Part 2)

     In an older post I explained the concept of elemental match-ups. This time, I'll be focusing on each class of pony and the chaos I went through to get the icons to look so nice. In addition to the expected elements seen in Pokemon, I've added a few of my own and changed some rules around to fit the balanced style of play I'm looking for.

Get a breakdown of each pony class and a look at the fancy new chart below the break.

     The image above is the class match-up chart based on the moves and planned mechanics of the game. Green is "super-effective", red is "ineffective", and blue is "no effect". The chart has changed about 7 times since I first wrote it but this version seems to be sticking well.

     With each pony and each move having up to 2 classes at once, things can get pretty crazy when certain class combinations are thrown into battle. You also have to consider energy attacks versus contact ones that are based on different stats. In addition to all these, there are class neutral moves and ponies that have no STAB damage, weaknesses, or advantages.

    This makes sure that no two matches play out the same way.

Fire class ponies use intense heat to damage foes.
Move Examples:
  • Fireball - A speeding ball of flames is hurled at the foe. This move always goes first.
  • Pyroblast - Spews searing flames that can destroy consumable held items.
  • Ember Tornado - Creates a spiral of fire that traps the target for 2 to 5 turns.
Aqua class ponies hose down enemies with water.
Move Examples:
  • Aqua Pulse - An ultrasonic pulse of water is ejected at the target, possibly dazing it.
  • Tidal Crash - The user slams into the opponent like a vicious wave.
  • Steam Burst - The user expels scalding steam that sharply lowers its energy attack stat.
Surge class ponies attack with high voltage electricity.
Move Examples:
  • Bolt Buck - The user forms a static cloud and kicks electricity out of it toward the opponent.
  • Scatter Bomb - Tiny shock bombs are scattered at the foe's feet, triggering 2 to 5 explosions.
  • Wonder Bolt - A wicked thunderbolt crashes down on the target and may leave it paralyzed.
Plant class ponies utilize the power of nature for self-defense.
Move Examples:
  • Seed Mortar - The user launches a shotgun style barrage of hard-shelled seeds at the target.
  • Grass Bash - The user draws power from the ground to deliver a powerful blow.
  • Tangle Vine - Vines forcefully pull the foe to the ground. Does more harm to airborne targets.
Ice class ponies chill foes with freezing temperatures.
Move Examples:
  • Ice Needle - The user freezes its horn with magic before jabbing it at the foe. It may freeze.
  • Frost Breath - The user blows freezing cold dragon breath at the opponent, lowering its speed.
  • Snowball - The user kicks a snowball at the foe. Its power depends on the user's speed bonus. 
Ki class ponies have mastery over hoof-to-hoof combat.
Move Examples:
  • Power Buck - A muscle-packed kick to the face.
  • Lights Out - A knock-out buck that could put the target to sleep.
  • Megaton Kick - An exploding kick launched with muscle-packed power. May leave the target dazed.
Toxic class ponies use poisonous attacks to weaken foes.
Move Examples:
  • Toxic Sting - The foe is stabbed with a toxic barb that may leave it poisoned.
  • Sludge Splatter - Globs of foul-smelling sludge are ejected at the target, possibly poisoning it.
  • Black Mist - Creates a black haze that eliminates all stat changes.
Earth class ponies use strength to weaponize the ground.
Move Examples:
  • Earthquake - The user attacks with a ground-shaking quake of random intensity.
  • Hidden Spire - A floating rock trap that damages the target as soon as it switches forms.
  • Bone Toss - The user summons 2 to 5 bones from the ground that fly at the foe to inflict damage.
Air class ponies attack with airborne maneuvers and wind.
Move Examples:
  • Wonder Bullet - Slices the foe twice at an incredible speed. Always strikes first and never misses.
  • Gale Force - A violent vortex of air tears at the target. It has a high critical-hit chance.
  • Rainboom - A 2 turn attack where the user breaks the sound barrier and color spectrum.
Esper class ponies possess incredible psychic powers.
Move Examples:
  • Force Field - A barrier sharply raises the user party's energy defense.
  • Foreshadow - The user predicts a shield-breaking psychic energy that will strike 2 turns later.
  • Alicorn Blast - A full-power assault laser that harshly reduces the user's energy attack stat.
Bug class ponies often drain life from their enemies.
Move Examples:
  • Blood Siphon - Drains much of the foe's blood. The user's HP is restored by half the damage inflicted.
  • Swarm Spawn - Unleashes a swarm of insects that attack the enemy. It has a high critical-hit chance.
  • Bug Bash - The user rams into the foe with a hardened exoskeleton.
Ghost class ponies assault enemies with ethereal attacks.
Move Examples:
  • Phantom Horn - An unavoidable attack by a ghostly horn emerging from the shadows.
  • Shared Soul - Both combatants will have their HP reduced to the lowest of the two.
  • Petrify - Frightens the target into paralysis.
Draco class ponies have dragon strength and thick armor.
Move Examples:
  • Draconic Fury - The user goes berserk, lashing at the foe 1 to 3 times in the same turn.
  • Drake Fire - The user exhales a mighty gust that may leave the target paralyzed.
  • Meteor Shower - Comets crash into the target. This move sharply reduces the user's energy attack stat.
Steel class ponies fight with energy-infused hard edges.
Move Examples:
  • Missile Launch - A barrage of missiles are fired at the foe. This move has a high critical-hit chance. 
  • Hyper Cut - The user slashes the target with a sharpened razor. It may stagger the foe.
  • Drill Rush - The user charges the enemy while spinning like a drill, always striking first.
Light class ponies manipulate light waves for protection.
Move Examples:
  • Luster Crest - A crest of light pierces the foe then strikes again when it returns on the next turn.
  • Morning Sun - The user concentrates intense sunlight on the target that may leave a burn.
  • Final Flash - A full-power blast of damaging light that sharply lowers the user's energy attack stat.
Dark class ponies viciously assault foes from the shadows.
Move Examples:
  • Dark Stars - Shurikens formed from shadows are thrown at the target. Hits first, 2 to 5 times. 
  • Lethal Pounce - The user lunges at the target for a vicious attack. If it misses, the user hurts itself.
  • Moonfall - The user commands a forged moon to crush the foe in two turns.
Chaos class ponies distort reality and attack with sound.
Move Examples:
  • Shapeshift - The user transforms into a copy of the opponent, taking on its moves and stats. 
  • Sonic Boom - A destructive shock wave rockets slams the target, always taking 40 HP.
  • Crazy Weather - The user makes the weather quickly cycle through hail, sun, sand, then rain.
Magic class ponies generate powerful mystic energy.
Move Examples:
  • Decoy - The user uses a quarter of its full health to create a decoy that takes hits.
  • Sonata - The user sings a lullaby to put the opponent to sleep.
  • Friendship - The magic of friendship makes the target lose its will to fight, lowering its attack.
This is where class icons are born.
     I got a lot of feedback by asking friends around school what they thought each symbol represented. I didn't stop until I got at least two new people to name them all correctly. Their feedback turned a bunch of shoddy 16x16 icons into really nice images to represent this game's equivalent to Pokemon's types. They'll be used in the game to represent classes which should save some screen space.

    It actually took 2 days to get all the icons right and now I'm just really proud of them. I forced myself to squeeze them into 16x16 boxes (making the actual icons 12x12) so I could make really strong silhouettes. It was a really good exercise in pixel art making, and I even taught some developer friends about making pixel icons as they helped me come up with symbols that actually fit in the boxes.

     What do you think of the icons? Are they pretty and clear? Do they look terrible or confusing? Is any class your favorite so far? Any move examples catch your eye? Comments let me see if people are as excited as I am about how this will turn out. I'd really love to read all your feedback.

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