15 January 2011

Resonance of Fate examination- Part 2: Bullet time. - by Josh Bycer

      Posted 01/15/11 01:57:00 am  

Welcome back to my look at Resonance of Fate, if you missed part one you can find it here. For those just starting to play RoF, I highly urge you to run through the tutorial section that can be found in the area south west of the starting town. Being able to practice each mechanic separate from each other is a great way to learn the game.

Let's start with damage, in RoF there are two types that you can do, scratch and direct. Scratch damage is done by SMGS while direct comes from handguns and grenades. Direct damage will lower the enemies' health bar and once it hits zero the enemy dies. Scratch damage is done at a faster rate than direct damage but does not kill the enemy. Instead it overlaps the enemies’ health bar depending how much of it the enemy is hit by. Since scratch damage doesn't kill anything why would you want it?

The reason is that scratch damage will become direct damage when the enemy takes direct damage. Meaning if I do two hundred points of scratch damage then hit the enemy for one point of direct then that means that I just did two hundred and one points of direct damage. Common logic would dictate that scratch damage is the way to go from the start but of course things aren't that simple.

Past the first chapter of the game you will start meeting enemies who have layers of defense indicated by additional bars surrounding the enemy. The position of the bars shows you what sides of the enemy are being defended. For example some enemies have arm guards which show up as multiple bars on the sides of the enemy. In order to kill the enemy you have to reduce their main health bar to zero which means that you will have to eat away at their defenses.

Also it bears mentioning that scratch damage will heal over time which makes it important to sometimes use direct damage to just make the damage permanent when dealing with large enemies such as boss fights.

While SMGS do more damage than handguns the handguns have a chance at what is called "gauge break", when this occurs a portion of the bar that you are attacking will be destroyed and this is a great way to deal with defended foes.

Moving on we can finally talk about how you actually attack enemies in RoF. RoF is somewhat turned based . During combat you can switch to any member of your party at anytime to control them. Once you have someone selected you have an active time gauge that empties when you move. When the bar runs out or you attack, your turn ends.

When you confirm the attack the reticule in the middle of the screen will start to fill, each complete fill is considered a charge level. The charge level plays into the skills that each party member has, with different skills associated with the different weapon types. For each charge level it will increase the potency of the skill, such as increasing the change of gauge breaking.

The max possible charge level is determined by the character's level in the respective weapon type. At higher levels you will unlock additional skills that will take affect if the charge level reaches a certain point. The rate that the reticule fills up is dependent on the gun's stats along with how close you are to the target.

One other important detail, while you are charging, your active time gauge will be continuing to run out and if it hits zero before you attack you will not attack the enemy. There is an accessory you can buy that can make you auto attack when it hits zero if you want.

While you are running around and charging the enemies will be making their moves at the same time. When an enemy has someone targeted a bar will fill up and once it's full the enemy will attack. The person the enemy is targeting is very important to consider as it can both mess with your plan and can be used to your advantage.

If you are controlling someone who is not being targeted then it is easier for you to move around and attack the enemy from an angle that doesn't have a layer of defense. If the enemy's charge bar maxes out while you are charging, then the enemy will not attack until your turn ends. It is possible to interrupt the enemy by either knocking them airborne (which your attacks have a chance at doing) or breaking one of their gauges.

Now if you are one of the targets then that changes things, once the enemy gauge is at max the enemy will attack you and the enemy has a chance at interrupting your attack. If multiple enemies are targeting your character then they can effectively lock you down from charging your attacks.

If you get stuck like this you can try performing charge level one attacks to get some damage going or using grenades as they have a higher base direct damage then handguns. This also makes fighting groups of 3 or more enemies very hard as being outnumbered makes it hard to get decent attacks going. I find it easier to deal with one enemy who does major damage as oppose to a group because of this.

To finish this part I want to talk about secondary equipment. Besides wielding guns each party member can equip a secondary piece of equipment which adds more options to combat. A grenade box is required for someone to use grenades (duh) and an item box will allow them to use healing items. Lastly a magazine case can be equipped to allow the person to use specialty bullets that have a variety of effects, such as increase damage to organic enemies.

We're just about finish talking about the combat system, for part 3 I'll be going into detail about heroic actions which are your trump cards and finishing up my talk about combat.

Josh.

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