EBF5: Backup System

Hey guys. In Epic Battle Fantasy 4, tons of people mentioned that they didn’t use the backup system at all – they mostly played through the game with just 3 characters and ignored the last one. I’m gonna fix that in Epic Battle Fantasy 5, with some of the following changes:

  • You’ve got 5 characters now, so you’ll be missing out on a few useful skills if you don’t use them all occasionally.
  • Players will now revive and heal quite quickly in backup – so it’s free healing that doesn’t cost a turn.
  • Players that die will now lose their turn, even if they are revived. Dying will be a big deal now, because you essentially lose 2 player turns instead of just one.
  • Party buffs like Protect will affect players in backup too, so they will be ready to fight if swapped out later.
  • Some enemy attacks will damage backup players, so that’s a new threat to watch out for.
  • Permanent stat boosting items will be specific to each player, so you can’t neglect anyone.
  • I might remove the in-battle equipment changing option, because it was hard to use, most people didn’t use it, and you can just put alternative equips on your backup players.
  • The interface will also be adjusted a bit so it’s easier to see the status of your backup players.

So yeah, there’s some incentives to swap out your characters when you get into trouble. Easy and Normal mode players probably still won’t need to do it, so there’s not much change for them, but you’ll have to take advantage of it on Hard and Epic.

Also, I’m gonna add a super-easy difficulty mode, called “Practice”, where you can’t die. For them idle game players.

39 thoughts on “EBF5: Backup System

  1. Aule

    By the way, backup system in EBF4 was one of the game’s main attractions for me) Not many jrpgs have a similar system, despite it being so useful. I really can’t imagine how you can finish the game with 3 characters on epic without hours of level grinding. As for party buffs not applied to backup, well, that’s what “guardian” skill was for)

    And I’m glad that this system is going to be expanded even more :stars:

    Reply
  2. a_sh

    I never actively used backup player in EBF4 (didn’t like mechanics of it), and I’d be happy if you wouldn’t force us players to use certain characters )
    The idea of monsters damaging backup seems a little bit annoying, because it will force me to actively shift attention from main arena to not-so-important backups.
    The only way I’d find backup useful if it’d have the built-in auto-revive feature (after N turns). And the twist: the backup “container” should get upgrades during the game, so it’d revive/heal players faster. :stars: Unfortunately this will kill the possibility of cheating at the Battle Mountain, but I can live with that )

    Reply
  3. littlemrdoom

    not a fan of the idea of unique permanent stat items! 😑 it brings up bad memories! :scared:

    Reply
  4. Ecachu

    I personally never used Anna. As soon as I got Lance Anna never popped back up because I never considered her usful. Although I never Ignored her, I did still boost her stats and used her AP. Also, EBF4 was the first one I played, so it’s got nothing to do with previous games. Maybe if Anna got a few buffs that would be nice. :smirk:

    Reply
  5. Unreality

    As someone who’s played and strategized EBF4 way too much, I would like to give my in depth analysis on this matter.

    Before anything else, I only ever played the game on epic. I tried easier difficulties and I just completely destroyed them.
    I never used items. Sometimes I had to reset the fight because I needed to change my strategy but I never needed to use items.
    I did use the backup but it eventually got to a point where my backup(Lance) was only used as backup for when another character needed mana.

    I found the most important thing in the game was spreading out support skills. The second most important thing was buffs.
    Anna had reflexes and could learn protect. Doing that put too much supportive pressure on her though so protect should go on Matt.
    Barrier could be taught to Nat or Lance but Guardian could be taught to everyone except Lance. This usually caused a problem in a lot of strategies.
    There was also Slime Bunny which helped to relieve the healing pressure which was crucial in tougher fights.
    Then there was offense buffs which ended up deciding the damage dealers. Matt and Nat could buff themselves and were self sufficient but Anna and Lance couldn’t.

    90% of the time, your first full turn was Protect, Barrier, Reflex so you wouldn’t immediately lose a player.
    The second turn can be interesting. Temper(Beer) and Charm(Milk) took up 2 player turns. The last player turn could vary. Healmore(if you’re unlucky), Slime Bunny, Reflex or swap Guardian.
    The idea on swap Guardian is to have the person coming be buffed by another player and swapped out again or buff themselves and stay in. Lance can’t do this.

    Because of this, Anna and Matt were basically must have on the front. Lance can be front with Barrier and Nat with swap Guardian but then Lance would have to use Milk.
    Also Lance didn’t have as good magic coverage as Nat did so, for me, Nat was front with Barrier and Lance was never seen again.
    Basically what I’m getting to is that Lance was the one that was really shafted of important skills because of the rest of the team and their dynamic.

    What Lance could do was have a wide array of debuffs. The problem was debuffing wasn’t a reliable strategy.
    Debuffing is strong, it is more effective than buffing your character. Buffed offense gives 1.7x damage while debuffed defense gave 2x damage.
    It was a strategy best used in easier fights because tougher mobs resisted it but buffs last between waves, debuffs didn’t.

    Also I think it would be really important to have a defined front party. If you swapped in a battle, those position changes do not affect the next battle.
    You NEED Protect, Barrier, Reflex on your front party at the first turn of a battle. This would save a lot of time and headache.

    On the topic of reviving in backup, I think you should keep it exactly like in EBF4 but just add the ability to heal from 0 hp.
    Losing a character was usually the sign to restart the battle. It wasn’t simply just 1 player turn to revive them.
    They lose all their buffs. You would need to Guardian, Temper(Beer)/Charm(Milk), Slime Bunny, Bless or whatever them again AND heal them.
    Usually reviving was 1 player revive, 1 Guardian and 1 to heal. You use a whole turn and that still doesn’t bring them to full fighting capability.

    That’s why I laugh at people who put EVERY support skill on 1 character and have a hard time. Trust me on this.
    I have Healmore on Anna, Guardian on Matt and Revive on Nat. In fact, I even taught Heal to Matt because Anna doesn’t need it.

    With the new system, death would probably end up as the character would be ‘out’ until X turns in backup and another round of Protect, Barrier, Reflex.
    I’m not saying it’s good or bad, I think it would be a nice new dynamic to the game.

    About the gear swapping, I can say that it was never worth the player turn. I very rarely used it, even in Battle Mountain rushes.
    At the start of the game, you did need to rely on elemental resists to mitigate damage but getting better gear and skills(and strategy) made that almost irrelevant.
    What was important was status resistance. Statuses were usually rare but extremely crippling.
    Death is death and Dispel was almost as bad as dying while Syphon, Stun and Freeze could usually wipe an unprepared party.

    Keeping Bless on all party members was pretty impossible so getting those resists were usually more important than elemental resists.
    Death and Dispel resist was very important. The person carrying Purify(Anna for me) needed Syphon, Stun and maybe Freeze resist if you didn’t have Regen.
    Also slimes go die in a hole.

    TL;DR
    Epic difficulty or scrub for life
    Items are for scrubs
    EBF4 backup = mana regen
    Lance had no good skill sets
    Reviving on backup = good
    Party buffs on backup = amazing
    Gear swapping = IDC

    Reply
    1. Unreality

      And on the matter of losing your turn on revive and auto revive, from my knowledge of coding and EBF4, auto revive should work the same way in EBF5.

      Buffs and debuffs work on timers that tick down on the END of your OPPONENT’s turn or the START of YOUR turn. That is how it works in EBF4.
      If reviving were to lose you a turn, it would probably just put an invisible incurable stun (cannot act this turn) with a 1 turn timer.
      This would mean the debuff would last until your next turn. Auto revive would(usually) happen on the OPPONENT’s turn so the debuff would be gone by the time it is YOUR turn.

      This behaviour is actually in EBF4 when you use the Crystal Bow for Anna. It counter attacks with stun arrow, placing a 1 turn stun on them.
      However the stun never takes effect because the opponent is stunned AFTER they have acted in the turn. By the time it is their turn again, the debuff has already ticked down and they have no stun.

      Reply
  6. Ariox

    What about auto-reviving status? In situation like the last enemy kill one of characters with autorevive status, would he lost his turn in fight?
    And in all buttles you will be always have your first action?

    Reply
  7. Warchild

    “Players that die will now lose their turn, even if they are revived. Dying will be a big deal now, because you essentially lose 2 player turns instead of just one.”

    Yep, that’s a deal breaker right there. And I know I wont be alone. Lost customers over a pointless design change. Enjoy.
    I remember you “complaining” that EBF4 didn’t make as much as you expected. Expect that to get worse with decisions like this.

    Reply
  8. EnderChain513

    I started to play epic mode in Epic Battle Fantasy and I find it really hard to not die because every enemy is almost killing you in one hit especially in Battle Mountain so the backup is really important. I like your Ideas dude. Buffing not effecting the backup is a problem when I play so yeah that cool. (You better keep Genesis, Cleaver, and Black-hole in the game). :yay: :yay: :yay: :yay: :yay: :yay:
    Also I’m a little sad that Equilibrium isn’t gonna be in the game I loved the design.
    Keep up the Amazing work :stars: :stars: :stars: :bacon: :bacon:

    Reply
  9. Polenen

    I really enjoyed the gear changing option because it allowed for completion of boss rush and godcat on epic difficulty without power leveling. I really feel that it is an element of the game that can be extremely beneficial if used correctly.

    Reply
  10. Twisted Savant

    I personally think that the backup does need SOMETHING to make it better.
    I don’t know about all of you, but i only used backup when in DIRE situations.
    Max out Anna’s healing, heal Natz, spend one turn reviving and get back to the original gang.
    The game is WAY too easy if you don’t NEED backup.
    Anna was never used as a fighter for me, even in epic mode, simply because there never really WAS a need for her.

    As for the equip change, I could take it or leave it.
    Is it useful when against something new you might not be able to guess weakness by first glance, yes, but to me that’s what made things like boss fights INTERESTING!
    I spent who knows how many HOURS fighting a boss with neutral weapons and feeling EXHILARATED when I managed to even get close to beating them.

    Either way, I cannot wait to see what comes out of EBF5 and the literal weeks that will be spent enjoying it, as i’m sure you all are. :stars: :yay: πŸ‘Ώ :bacon:

    Reply
  11. Radene

    Well I approve. Sounds like plenty of good changes! And the hunt for 100% will again begin.

    Reply
  12. Jman37X

    This is very good news I would say, the whole backup mechanic was cool in concept in the 4th game, but I just never found myself needing to use, or more never wanting to use it. I’m very excited to hear that backup members will now get buffs and will be more helpful in general, cannot wait! :yay:

    Reply
  13. joshuas123

    Wow, all thoses casual playing on easy ( Ν‘Β° ΝœΚ– Ν‘Β°)
    believe me people, you have to manage your team and equipments when you are on epic :scared:

    Reply
  14. Jesse

    When will you release Beta/Alpha testing? πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ

    Reply
  15. Zeream

    Erm, doesn’t this make the auto-revive mechanic largely useless? But more than that, doesn’t this also make dedicated healer deaths on bosses a pure party wipe? I often found, on epic difficulty, I needed to keep an auto-revive status on my healer as much as possible because even with max buffs and resistances the healer would inevitably get one shotted. But still, if the healer died in whatever context that healer needed to come back immediately in order to recover what other players were not already dead. The only viable solution I can think of to having a dedicated healer with death-stuns is to have multiple dedicated healers, or diversify party roles more. Is this what you’re going for? I mean, I’m sure there will be new strategies, but it seems the strategy of auto-reviving your healer as insurance is no longer viable.

    I mean, it’d be nice if there was an item ingame that you could equip that negated the deathstun for dedicated healers. I admit I used the swapping mechanic quite a bit, but only to trade between a focused DPS and assorted DPS; other characters were largely support.

    Reply
  16. Darkasinksu

    If characters lose their turn, even when revived, will they be able to be swapped out? If not, I can see bosses snowballing quickly. Without buffs or the ability to swap out, and reviving at low-mid HP, your final turn will almost certainly be spent healing lest they die again, repeating the waste of 2-3 character actions. Furthermore, 2 characters dying in one turn will almost certainly lead to inevitable death, as with the bosses’ current level of power, you need all of your actions to fend off the barrage of reinforcements and ensure your own survival. In addition, swapping out one or both of your deceased companions only delays the wasted turn. Because of this, you’ll likely not have an opportunity to revive them with the compounded effect of multiple wasted actions because any given boss will almost assuredly become more powerful as they near death.

    I have a few suggestions as to how you could keep the system in place without being forced to tone down the bosses:
    -Make single target items and healing spells usable on backup members, and have multi target healing spells only affect the active party. This will further emphasize swapping, as reviving without swapping carries heavy penalties, while reviving a backup member is no more beneficial than reviving a frontliner in previous games.
    -Have backup members incapacitated for a set amount of time (3 turns?) before reviving. As I’m sure you’re balancing each character with strengths and weaknesses, the loss of versatility from a fallen party member will encourage you to expedite their revival, but if it takes you all you have to survive (As is often the case during powerful encounters, especially if the dead member is a crux of survival), you won’t be stuck with a party member dead and losing out on experience (A personal pet-peeve).
    -Add a debuff that disallows multi target attacks, and an extremely rare item that is a multi target revive inflicting this debuff to all enemies. This will be your last resort with your backup members and two of your frontline characters dead. Since the main problem with reviving frontline characters is the potential to be wiped out instantly by a multi-target attack (As your characters revive with middling health at best, and the one healing the incapacitated members has often survived the previous turn having taken serious damage), the debuff will only allow foes the potential to kill one person each, letting you gain some footing.

    I also have some suggestions for the skill system, assuming it’s similar to EBF4. I’ll probably save them for a more relevant post, though.
    Keep up the good work, Matt.

    Reply
  17. Whovian

    Maybe the equip change option should be able to be applied to someone in backup – they just aren’t able to come back in the same turn, and they wouldn’t heal in backup like they would have normally (assuming that’s still the same). At least that way you would still get 3 normal turns and 1-2 equip changes, instead of 2 normal turns and 1 equip change.

    Reply
  18. Thrynity

    Just another things, about the re-equip in fight
    it’s a bit crapped no ? you can scan, flee, restuff and refight
    maybe add effect on weapon deploy (like defense up when deploying a tanky weapon)
    it would make great mechanics if avaible :yay:

    Reply
  19. Thrynity

    Hum Great stuff bro
    I never heard about this newbie player not playing with all ! :scared:
    (maybe because im an Epic tryharder :shades: )

    It’s true that the Switch system was a bit rude and because most of ennemies had only 1 element (like fire)
    and your equipment was for both nathalie/anna matt/lance so only one of them could have the resistance to the specific element (even more in early game)

    Those change will give more importance to the back players but you also have to give us even more dress :love:
    and the fact that lance don’t have for exemple great holy damage make him useless in the graveyard
    so I understand when someone don’t use rotation at all

    just hope that the skill who would be able to hit backup player wont one shoot all 5 player… :skull:

    Reply
  20. Karyete

    Not really related, but now’s as good a time to ask as any I guess – is the ‘Slimed’ ailment making a return? Wasn’t really a fan of that.

    I know it was rare, but Christ was it annoying to suddenly have one character completely incapacitated and become a liability for several turns, out of sheer luck. Most of the time I prayed that I could get away with not directly focusing Slimes, and that they wouldn’t get lucky. Not only that, but it couldn’t be cured, which really sucked.

    Reply
      1. 456link

        perhaps adding a way to cure it or making it less debilitating would make it better? you could make it like the scarecrow status in super mario RPG, where it basically removes your ability to do any physical attacks, sort of like a reverse siphon, except physical skills are affected too instead of just the attack option.

        Reply
  21. StrangeHawk

    Glad to hear that the backup system is being changed! The biggest thing that discouraged me from using it before was defensive buffs not affecting them while they were out, since it always led to them just getting squished the moment they came in. But now that that’s not an issue, not much is stopping me from wanting to swap as needed.

    Reply
  22. nolegs is NEW ...WHAT?

    I we’re play the game on normal for first time so… πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ :phone2: :phone2: :phone: :phone: :skull: :skull: 😑 😑 😑 😑 😑 😑 :shades: :shades: :scared: :scared: :sick: :scared: :sick: :scared: :sick: :sick: :scared:

    Reply
  23. Devin de Vries

    I like the fact that you are fleshing out the backup mechanic. I really like these changes so far.

    I do really like in-game equipment changing though. I costs you a turn, but allows you to switch
    to a different strategy, rather than thinking “well, I’m f*****, lets restart from my last save. In fact,
    I would start experimenting with different sets of equipment more often if we could save
    multiple loadouts. I liked my default setup so much, I didn’t want to switch to anything else to try
    out something new. If I did, I would have to memorise my default setup. If could save multiple
    equipment setups like we could use our save files, people can experiment without worrying about
    memorising their equipment. It would be a nice quality of life thing regardless of mid-battle switching
    as well.

    Reply
    1. Bryan

      Agreed on the equipment presets. In a game like this where there is no “best item” and switching is done often, it should be made convenient, rather than trying to memorize “this is my lightning defence setup, this is my healing…”

      Reply
  24. Cole Bahe Capen

    I’m rather looking forward to this, but I would like to see the equipment changing in mid-battle option to remain. It’s true that it’s not an option that is used often, but when you go into a boss fight, it’s extremely annoying if they are using absorb or resist the element your weapon uses, and this causes someone like Matt to become less usable in the battle. It’s always been a useful thing to fall back on when you need to switch your elemental statuses.

    Reply
  25. Squideer

    Not just with this change (Although I can see it having some big impacts in the game), But I’m hoping some portions of the game can only be done with “x” character. (Like for a random example, Characters have a very low chance to be disabled for the current battle (Illness, Fatigue, …Limb Loss =p?), And would be temporarily swapped into the secondary character slots, Unusable for the current battle.

    Of course this chance would be completely nullified with Boss fights, But I’m hoping something is implemented. I dislike games where you are allotted many playable characters, But only ever end up using a choice few.

    Reply
    1. Squideer

      An example of how this would work/look would be the Battle-Intro when all characters andenemy units enter from the left/right.

      Instead of the generic entrance, Lance would trip be effectively be “Knocked off”, Dragged offscreen by a bush monster, And a random playable character would take his place (The same animation for switching positions with a dead character, Only with no Tombstone)

      Reply
    2. Matt Roszak Post author

      I’m thinking of adding optional/random challenges for battles that increase the rewards you get.
      “Beat the battle without using any fire attacks.” “Beat the battle without using Lance.” etc

      Reply
      1. Kraysis

        I like this idea a lot. It would add a lot more variety and things to do at the end-game, thus more time for hardcore fans that just enjoy your game for it’s battles and style. Plus, if it takes a lot of materials and such to get things done, it’d be an easy and direct way of getting materials or farming instead of dumping a bunch of money into upgrades. I’d really like to see this challenges thing come to life in your game.

        Reply
  26. omegaox

    Not being able to change equipment mid-battle doesn’t really sound like a good idea. That would make boss rushes on the higher difficulties almost impossible. Unless, maybe, you add some skills for increasing elemental resistance by a %, like any other stat?

    Reply
  27. Loop_Stratos

    πŸ˜₯ The first bullet point kills me. Like. I didn’t like to manage team ;-;

    How does it work? Do you have to spend one turn with them in battle for it to work?

    Reply

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