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Combat takes place in predefined areas, tailored to match the locale. There will be two main types of combat: Story battles and Random battles. Story battles will be carefully-tuned scenarios integral to the story’s progression. Random battles will be dynamic combat scenarios activated occasionally during the story, but generally when exploring areas without any new story content (such as when backtracking). They will be available whenever you want, without being a burden to play.
Combat uses a point and click system to control your party of heroes. Each hero has abilities they can use in battle, and the use of these abilities depletes either their mana (magic reserves) or their stamina. Tactical play and the combination of different heroes will be the main factors in your success, as well as taking advantage of the following conditions:
- Terrain: Terrain comes in two different heights, so you can use the lay of the land to your advantage. For example, the pathfinder character's scouting ability allows them to see farther on the battlefield when occupying an higher vantage point. Furthermore, attacking enemies from the high ground grants combat bonuses to the player's squad. There are also destructible elements to damage or slow down your foes. Some units also get a movement advantage in different terrain to allow for more strategy. The pathfinder and ninja classes also have the ability to spot danger lurking out of the player's line of sight.
- Fog of War: Apart from special scenario objectives, the combat map will be hidden until explored. This helps keep things exciting and suspenseful and also gives you plenty of opportunity to use the scouting abilities of particular heroes.
- Threat Management: Generally enemies will target those they consider the greatest threat, or a specific target when the story dictates. However there are character abilities to redirect their attention to another character. Not only does this lend itself to structured defensive play – knowing who the enemy will target will allow you to set up some cunning traps!
Of course, no JRPG is complete without memorable, awe-inspiring bosses, and we have plenty of those as well. These challenging scenarios will have you focusing your entire party on an epic enemy, using your skill to win the day.
Animated Combat Stances and Movement[edit | edit source]
When we first talked about how the game's squad-based combat system would work, we highlighted the idea that squads would be assigned specific stances, which define how the squads would then react to changes to their environment. The basic stances include an attack-oriented stance that emphasizes offensive power, a balanced stance that balances offense and defense, a defensive stance, and a stealth stance.
As you might expect, squad members will act and move in different ways when they’re in various stances. For example, a squad in attack stance will move along aggressively while those in a defensive stance will be much more cautious, raising their swords or shields to repel attacks. Those who are in a stealth stance will do their best to lay low when they’re idle or slink along to avoid detection. Sometimes, you might decide that they’ll need to move more quickly while in stealth mode, but the tradeoff is that your squad might be discovered more easily.