EBF5: Challenge Runs

Something a lot of people requested for Newgame+ was additional challenges, like perks for monsters or different upgrade options. I’m not going to lock content like that behind a 2nd playthrough. Instead an idea I’ve had for a while is “Challenge Run” settings that you can set at the start of the game and cannot change after that. Ideas I’ve got so far are:

Content Remixes: 
• Randomised locations of equipment.
• Alternative weather throughout the game.
• Different foes appearing in battles.

Added Difficulty:
• Perks for foes such as more resistances.
• Dead players lose their turn, additional cooldowns, or other handicaps.

Basically stuff that will make the game feel fresh if you want to play it again, but you won’t feel like you’re missing out if you only play through it once. It doesn’t involve any new content, just a bit of remixing.

This won’t be a feature at launch though. I’m saving it for a future update if sales are good.
(along with lots of other leftover ideas, such as bringing back old bosses and making some totally new enemies!) 

Also here’s an unrelated video.

23 thoughts on “EBF5: Challenge Runs

  1. Jon

    While a great idea, you might want to add something for the idea of people who beat it before you update with that.

    Otherwise it will still feel locked out becuase you just said it would be “untill sales are good”

    I mean id be buying the game, wanting the challenge mode, only to not be able to have it untill OTHER people buy it? :scared:

  2. HackneyedTrope

    IDEA: Enemies attack first.

    Just because I can, see below.
    :smirk: :yay: :hurray: :ooo: :tongue: :love: :love2: :stars: 🙁 😐 :meh: :bleh: 😥 :sick: :scared: :shades: 😡 :wut: ❓ ❗ ➡ :skull: 👿

  3. manolis

    Consider a custom battle mode that will be unlocked after you finish the game. You could choose the characters for your team (could be everyone – inclulding the main heroes, enemies, bosses) and also choose the enemies (number of waves and enemies – again could be everyone). The non-heroes characters could be controlled by AI or even the player!
    Why not create a database with user-made custom battles?

  4. Drake

    Here again, how I imagine NG+ could receive a challenge mode. This time with (hopefully balanced) numbers and some more details or comments. Every challenge setting can be enabled individually, so a player can choose out single ones or take out a real challenge, enabling every single one of them. They can be enabled/disabled anytime in the NG+ if restrictions do not prevent it, see 6) and 7).

    1) “First Strike”: Enemies Strike first at the beginning of the battle and between waves. During this enemy turn all players have the status Defend. Remaining actions of a player will be skipped(Using Defend) or they get a supportive turn which means they can do an action, but not attacking foes with it.
    Bonus Reward: +20% Gold from battles
    Comment: Player will have to wisely choose how they beat waves and start the battle at disadvantage. Things like enemies charging their attacks early can happen like this. The gold bonus is to make it up taking extra time challenging and playing longer battles.

    2) “Experienced Enemies”: Enemies will be 1-5 level(can be adjusted) higher than the parties average level.
    Bonus Reward: Grants +3% extra experience per higher level.
    Comment: If a player chooses to take the +5 level challenge he’ll receive 15% bonus experience to compensate the long paced fights by having tougher enemies.

    3) “Prepared Monsters”: Enemies will have a random buff effect when entering the battle. Those are any random from this list…
    – +20% Physical Defence, +20% Magical Defence,, +15% Evade, +15% Accuracy, 3 Turns Good Luck status, 3 Turns Morale status, 3 Turns Regeneration status
    Bonus Reward: The likehood of dropping Stat enhancing food is increased by 20%(from base value), rounded up. e.g: 4% drop rate would result in a 5% drop chance.
    Comment: Beefed up enemies can be very difficult to deal with. At the same rate, when player characters are getting stronger aswell, they come closer to a level where they can withstand such enemies.

    4) “Secret Weapon”: Enemies unlock an additional ability(Like it was done with Slimes at higher difficulty having a poison debuff regenerating them) which they can use or their attacks apply various status effects.
    Bonus Reward: +10% Gold from battles
    Comment: Eventually causing to buy more healing items or buff food since enemies might require unexpected reactions.

    5) “Epic Bosses”: Bosses have +50% more hitpoints, extending battle time by a large amount.
    Bonus Reward: +25% experience and gold earned from boss fights
    Comment: As before, the reward to encourage taking the longer battles.

    6) “Heroic Challenger”: When selected, all enabled challenges can’t be disabled during the playtrough. To lower difficulty the game has to be restarted and quest progress needs to start from zero again. Requires at least one of the challenge modes enabled.
    Bonus Reward: 10% experience gained from battles; Unlocks “Heroic Epic Battle Fantasy Player” trophy/medal
    Note: Can only be enabled when starting NG+ and not during playtrough

    7) “Hardcore Challenger”: All challenge options are active and can’t be disabled outside of resetting the quest progress.
    Bonus Reward: Unlocks “Hardcore Epic Battle Fantasy Player” trophy/medal
    Note: Can only be enabled when starting NG+ and not during playtrough

    Some extra medals/trophies:
    – “Easy Challenger”: Complete a 10 battles with any challenge enabled
    – “Heroic Epic Battle Fantasy Player”: Unlocked by enabling this challenge and completing the game
    – “Hardcore Epic Battle Fantasy Player”: Unlocked by completing the game with all challenges enabled. This medal/trophy could enable to accelerate battle speed by a factor of 2.
    – “Great Challenger”: Complete the story with “Heroic Challenger” and 3 challenge settings enabled. Activating a bonus to the player by unlocking this if wished.

    Final statement to this suggestion: Such challenges could be enabled by earning medals/trophies. Since it is a challenge, those options can’t be used for the 1st playtrough and only counts toward NG+ games. The reward system should, as several times alread mentioned, encourage the player to take longer fights without feeling to not be compensated for it(Like players using easiest modes for speed farming specific content). I’m not sure if any more challenges would make sense or at least I don’t have additional ideas for now. Feel free to comment on it.

    1. bormoth

      To be honest most of bonuses look a bit broken and defeat challenge purpose. More gold for same battles just for playing first turn defensive, is only perk, unless you ohko everything but then game has problems first place.
      Exp bonuses, it is just begging for disaster. Slower and fair feeling starting enemies and bosses, but then you out-scale faster than you had options.
      Stat boosting items(to be honest I have beaten third game without ever eating stat enhancing item), but experimented with save after, feels a bit cheaty. They boost base stats so in the end it seems you get lots of power and out-scale challenge.
      Heroic challenge… And you reward it? this way?

      I mean achievement is good reward, art is good reward, music, some dialogues. Something making worth the challenge but not devaluing what it does.

      1. bormoth

        Thinks a bit and adds: Especially that 5 levels higher. You get extra exp for mobs being higher level plus bonus. I would rephrase it as stats except exp given as if 5 levels higher. or better 20% higher stats. Because this way stuff like accuracy and evasion would matter a bit more. And actually at end of game monsters stronger… hmm though probably difficulty sorta does similar thing.

        1. Drake

          Hmm, I’m not sure how to properly response to all of this:
          – “Exp bonuses, it is just begging for disasters.”
          We are talking of +25% max and just additional +25% for bosses but they take longer, meaning, you invest more time beating them. It’s not too outrageous imho.

          – “Slower and fair feeling starting enemies and bosses, but then you out-scale faster than you had options”
          There is no outscaling if opponents levels are balanced around your party level. Maybe you leveled a bit more after completing a challenge run but during this you surely did 1) spend more time doing so, 2) the opponents will get more difficult too as you grow stronger and 3) taking the risk of restarting tougher battles more frequent than you would do when fighting opponents on easy levels(grinding for XP and loot).

          – “Stat boosting items”
          That’s the only theoratically way to outscale enemies, but for this you need to be terribly lucky with loot chances. Actually you’re taking tougher enemies for a slightly better chance to get stronger, means, you eventually gain nth. if unlucky but still take the challenge. In previous games stat boosting items were the thing which allowed strategies like having a mage Matt(who knownely has poor magical affinities but access to such skills). It allows great individualizing in character developement and massively inproves replayability. I think I had like 3-4 different save files because I felt like I want to have a healer Matt, a magican Anna or fighter Lance (who has better magical than physical capabilities). Can’t say how it will work out in EBF 5 though.

          – “Heroic Challenge… And you reward it? This way?”
          You take some risk of overestimating yourself and eventually end up playing a challenge run where you can’t find yourself being succesful at it. If there is no reward this feature is sth. you did do once(for achievement) and will never do it again because do don’t feel the need of it because it isn’t rewarding at all. Like this confident players beating a challenge they feel they are prepared for get a slight boost of merely +10% experience and since challenge runs would be a NG+ feature where imo enemies should scale with party level it just means you grow higher levels faster but don’t make enemies feel more easy to fight against, since it is at all time balanced around your party level.

          – “Especially that 5 levels higher. You get extra exp for mobs being higher level plus bonus…”
          I can’t say how 5 levels of stronger enemies would impact the experience gain and so I can’t say if 3% for each additional level is even necessary. It’s just a suggestion if higher levels and experience gained are in bad relation to the extra time spend at battling opponents and eventually end up losing and restarting multiple times because it is, well, a challenge.

          – “I mean achievement is good reward, art is good reward, music, some dialogues. Something making worth the challenge but not devaluing what it does.”
          And such things are quite good, but encourages only “Doing it once and then never again” challenges. You want to challenge yourself more often for better replayability, right? Here come some minor bonuses handy to encourage you taking challenge at higher risks. Just because you get advantages of it it doesn’t mean you can make use of those advantages if you fail at beating the game properly or in time. Surely there are also people which would rather farm materials on low difficulties rather than playing on epic difficulty. People love speedfarming usually and don’t feel hooked to unnecessary long battles if they don’t serve a purpose other than wasting time on sth. which hinders you at reaching your goal.

          Conclussion: I don’t want to implement perks or anything, just options which feel appealing enough to use but without feeling like having no advantages when taking extra time trying it. Time-spend/Speed efficiency!

  5. Vara

    I like the idea of optional, unchangeable challenge runs! It sounds to me like you’re trying to go for a sort of “Epic++” difficulty regarding giving the enemies additional perks or resistances. It sounds clever. The same goes for the idea of randomizing equipment and encounters, though I don’t know how difficult that would be for you in terms of balancing enemies depending on their level. For example, I don’t know if encountering a level 1 Monolith is any easier than a level 5 cat, as an example.

    “Dead players losing their turn” sounds simple yet so game changing, especially on higher difficulties. Same goes for the debuffs they’d get as a penalty for being revived.

    1. bormoth

      Could be easily done if roadblocks are not one area before after.(sensible randomisation). For others strongest latest creature shown. (though this kind of run only sensible if enemies don’t respawn. Because grinding lower level mobs would be relevant.

  6. bormoth

    I have idea. No grind run:
    Enemies doesn’t respawn.

    Loot required to upgrade all equipment(+stat items you would get from chests) is redistributed randomly within chests or monsters(all of it to prevent situations of I bought wring item, though if some of that should be bought in shop I am ok as long as gold accounted from drops). Gold required to buy all equipment also redistributed between chests monsters as drops.

    with random option, loot redistributed randomly but weighted of cheaper and more characteristic to earlier zones to spawn earlier, and higher tier later. Equipment is switched places with shop and between equipment chest. (Maybe higher levels of randomness or variants, might redistribute between all chests and shops randomly(switching places), and higher equipment might get as part of drop from certain monster fight. This is just random idea. Dunno if all levels should be included or certain random level would be enough.

  7. Civael

    I like the sound of challenge run options, maybe something simple like ‘Enemies always attack first’ or a passive regen for enemies can be added. :smirk:

  8. Devin de Vries

    I like the sound of this. Being able to turn all kinds of mutators on and off would make for more interesting ways to increase or decrease the difficulty.

    Some modifier ideas:

    -ALL ENEMIES ARE INTELLIGENT. This includes things like having enemies know what damage types their allies absorb, thus a fire enemy possibly firing an attack at a low health ally that can absorb it. Or all enemies effectively targeting weaknesses like the wraiths, electric enemies focusing on a wet enemy, using their debuffs on a player character with the highest stat to debuff, ect.

    -ENEMIES HAVE SEMI-RANDOMISED RESISTANCES/ATTACK ELEMENTS. This way two of the same enemy types don’t have the same weaknesses/strenghts. This also means you can’t fully equip yourself to cheese through an encounter. Also, the resistances will be visible on each enemy like always, but the attacking elements (not the moveset) need to be figured out on the fly. You could also have very slight differences in enemy stats: think pokémon natures.

    -PACIFIST. You need to make all enemies flee. Enemies can only be reduced to 1 hp or killing an enemy causes a game over.

    -HURRY UP!! You must defeat all enemies within a certain amount of turns/time (displayed on the top of the screen). Failing to do so results in a game over or (even better)
    a championt enemy with hyper inflated stats/ a miniboss spawning. To balance out the insane difficulty of this new enemy, it takes out all the remaining enemies while spawning (imagine how badass this would be).

    -JUST YOU AND ME. No summons or limit breaks can be used.

    -I CHOOSE YOU. You can only use moves from summons. This means you’ll have to start out with a damaging summon, and then catch more to obtain elemental moves, team buffs, enemy debuffs, ect. The player characters become like trainers that need to be protected by their pets. You can adjust the SP system to fit this mode better.

    -UNPREDICTABLE WEATHER. The weather changes every 1-5 turns. Also the effects of the current weather type become stronger/weaker between each turn (Implement a scale from 1-5 or 1-10 maybe?).

    -HUNTING SEASON. One player character will get an uncurable “targeted” status ailment between turns. All enemies will now target this player during that turn. Only one player character can be affected each turn, also some turns no player character is targeted.

    -BOSSFEST. Every non-boss battle adds an extra wave at the end where you fight against a hyper inflated enemy/(mini)boss. Similar to my “hurry up” event, except a boss is always added after you’ve cleared the original waves of that battle.

    -INCREASED/DECREASED ENEMY CAP. For when the game wasn’t already hectic enough for you, if you wanna feel like a badass slaying ton of enemies, or if you want a lower enemy cap to make the game less overwhelming/test drive a higher difficulty.

    -UNSTABLE DNA. Every turn, each enemy will completely absorb (200%) one random element (other resistances/weaknesses still apply). This element will be different each turn, and all enemies are assigned an individual element. Alternatively, each player character will have one random element be a -100% resistance (again, changing every turn for each player). You could also make these elements the same for every enemy player instead of individually.

    -IRON WALL. All enemies have double defenses (and maybe slightly higher evade).

    -MAGIC BARRIER. Each turn, one enemy and one enemy only receives the “protected” buff, thus blocking most damage. A different enemy is affected each turn.

    -UNKNOWN POWER LEVEL. All enemies will appear as a blurry shadow. Enemy info will not be displayed, (except maybe health). When the enemy uses a move, only the corresponding particle effects, positional movement and sound cues will trigger. The sprite will still be a blurry figure. The enemy is only visible to the player when it dies/flees or when you capture it.

    ALCHEMY CLASS. All enemies are assigned a random status effect they can inflict on players characters at the start of the battle. The status resistance calculations work the same, except the chances of being affected are slightly higher than usual. This means that even with a full resistance to a status ailment, you still have a very small chance to be affected.

    POWER SURGE. Every turn, each enemy has a small chance (like 10-15% or something) to receive a power surge, increasing their stats by x1.5 during that turn only. Because of the chosen percentage, this phenomenon always comes as a surprise when it happens, but will still occur regulary. Also, multiple enemies can receive a power surge on one turn, if RNG allows ir (although the chance of this happening is very low).

    1. Devin de Vries

      Also, I like the idea of sorting modifiers by content remixes and difficulty modifiers. But maybe after playtesting, you could
      give the difficulty increased a rank from F to S, to indicate how much harder it will make your game.

      This is important, because choose 2 Rank F modifiers doesn’t nearly have as much impact as choosing one Rank S modifier.

  9. Meiko Pfaffmann

    Do some boss changes too, give them new attacks or something like that.

    Do you plan on adding a battle mountain kind of area?

  10. Meiko Pfaffmann

    I understand that you dont want to *lock* content. But my oppinion is you should have a bit more content at least weapons that you wouldnt see otherwise in new game+.

    Good Idea matt

  11. alex

    please make a crossover between under my skin, into battle and rim of the battle mountain songs

  12. alex

    could you please think about making a crossover between rim of the battle mountain, into battle, and under my skin…it would be legendary
    :stars: :stars: :stars: :stars:

  13. Jeff the Horse

    Some ideas for some handicaps! (Some may be more ridiculous than others):

    Famine: Food items are disabled
    Pestilence: Players start each fight or wave with random debuffs
    War: Number of waves of enemies in a fight are increased, or more enemies will flood the battlefield at once
    Death: Every 3 turns, a random unit on the battlefield dies; cannot kill bosses
    Conquest: Killing an enemy grants all players 10% more damage, but they also take 10% more damage
    Redemptionless: In-combat reviving is disabled
    Brittle: Resistance and armor values for players are halved
    Dull Weaponry: Physical attacks deal 30% less damage
    Dunce: Magical attacks deal 30% less damage
    Slow: Evasion disabled for players
    Revenge: Killing an enemy makes all remaining foes on the battlefield deal 7% more damage
    “It’s my turn!”: Cannot switch out characters unless that swapped character is dead
    Vampirism: All enemies have life-stealing attacks
    Diffusion: Spells cost 50% more mana to cast
    Kamikaze: Killing an enemy will cause them to do an AoE explosion that deals damage based on a % of their maximum health
    Thorns: Attacking an enemy will deal a % of the damage back to the attacker
    Enfeebling: During a fight, every turn causes the players to lose a % of their stats for the remainder of the battle

    I’m sure there are many epic ideas to be had, and I look forward to seeing what you come up with!!

    1. Gerard

      sounds cool but the stat decrease ones would get just make the enemies more bullet spongy and make the grind longer instead of actually making the game hard

  14. Dragonite

    Ridiculous idea time: implement a scoring system like in BH2 with toggle cheats/handicaps to augment said score. Perhaps this can be done instead of the usual “Easy/Medium/Hard/Epic,” to let players make more specific elements easier or harder.

    On the other hand this risks the “too many options and I dunno what to choose” issue that certain other games have. (Also I dunno how complete the battle system is and how much or little you still want to mess with it anyway.)

  15. djcian

    Awesome! Sounds like it will be alot of fun. Looking forward to it!

    Doesn’t sound much different from just having an extra difficulty level though. Not that its a bad thing.


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