Battles in Hero of Allacrost use an active turn-based (ATB) system. This page describes the battle style, layout, and features as they are understood by the player. The rest of this page makes reference to the following terminologies.
|Actor||An active character or enemy on the battle field.|
|Action||Actions are what actors execute on the battlefield. They include such actions as attacking, defending, using an item, and more.|
|Attack Point (AP)||A place on an actor that may be targeted for an action. For example, the head, torso, wings, claws, legs, etc.|
|Elemental Effect (EE)||An attack or defense bonus interacts with other elemental properties on a target.|
|Hit Point (HP)||The amount of health that an actor has.|
|Skill||Skills are a type of action and are split into three distinct categories: attack, defense, and support. Skills consume 0 or more skill points (SP) when executed.|
|Skill Point (SP)||All skills require 0 or more skill points in order to be used.|
|Stamina||The amount of time that the actor has to wait until they are ready to take an action.|
|Status Effect (SE)||Changes the status of an actor. The most common example is poison.|
At the start of each battle, multiple actors are present on the battle screen. There are both character actors, which the player controls, and enemy actors which are controlled by the game's AI. There may be a maximum of four character actors fighting in the battle at any given time. There can be many more enemy actors present (however many can reasonably fit on the screen). Both character and enemy actors share the following properties:
- One or more attack points
- Maximum and current hit points (HP)
- Maximum and current skill points (SP)
- A list of the attack, defense, and support skills available for the actor to use
- Experience level
- Strength: affects the physical attack rating
- Vigor: affects the metaphysical attack rating
- Fortitude: affects the physical defense rating
- Resistance: affects the metaphysical defense rating
- Agility: determines how long it takes for the actor's stamina to refill
- Evade: a general evade percentage for the actor
- Physical attack rating
- Metaphysical attack rating
- Physical defense rating
- Metaphysical defense rating
Character actors additionally have these properties:
- Weapon equipped
- Armors equipped (note: these are actually equipped on the character's attack points)
Enemy actors have these sets of properties, which are not shared with character actors.:
- Experience points earned by player upon defeat
- Dorrun (money) earned by player upon defeat
- A list of possible items that the enemy may drop when defeated by the player
note: enemy's do not have weapons or armor equipped since they can have their attack and defense ratings set directly by the game
During a battle an actor may be in one of the following states:
- Cool-down: a period of recovery after the actor has executed an action, but does not recharge their stamina bar
- Idle: the actor's stamina is currently recharging
- Warm-up: the actor has selected an action, but the action requires additional time before it can be executed
- Queued: the actor is ready to go into the executing state and is waiting their turn to act
- Executing: the actor is executing their action
- Expired: the actor's HP is zero, and can no longer take any action
Only one actor may be in the executing state at any given moment in time. With the exception of the expired state, these actor states are cyclic. The cycle an actor goes through is: cool-down, idle, warm-up, queued, executing. The cool-down and warm-up states are optional, and whether or not the actor enters into these states is dependent on the action that the character recently took or is about to take.
When it becomes an actor's turn, that actor must take an action. The possible types of actions that each actor may take include the following:
- Use an attack skill
- Use a defense skill
- Use a support skill
- Use an item
- Swap with another character not presently in the battle (note: valid for character actors only)
- Retreat from the battle
Note that there is no simple "attack" option like in most RPGs, but rather a list of attack skills from which the player must choose. The attack option was not used because it lends the player to repeatedly select that option in battle and thus reduces a battle to nothing more but button mashing on the player's part. Allacrost is intended to be more strategic so that selecting a simple attack option will not usually grant the player an easy victory.
There are three types of skills: attack, defense, and support skills. Attack skills are composed of both physical and metaphysical forms of assaulting an enemy or enemies. Defense skills bolster the physical and metaphysical defenses of an ally or allies. Support skills are used for healing allies or for curing or inflicting status effects. No matter the type, all skills require a certain amount of skill points (SP) to be consume. The more powerful a skill is, the more SP is required to use that skill. The weakest of skills require 0 SP, and these are referred to as innate skills. Innate skills are necessary because if the actor runs out of SP, they must be able to still take an action.
The player can use skills to select a specific target. However, each skill can only use one of three target types:
- Attack point target: where a single attack point on an ally or foe can be singled out
- Actor target: where a single actor can be selected, but a specific attack point of that actor may not
- All target: where either all allies or all foes will be targeted by the skill
These different target types exist so that the player does not have to concern themselves with, for example, whether to using a healing spell concentrated on one ally, or to use the spell across the entire party. Instead, there are two types of healing spells, one which affects a single character and another which affects all characters.
Skills also may have a warm-up or cool-down period associated with them. For example, when the player tells a character to cast a devastating spell, the character would need more time to cast the incantation, thus requiring a longer "warm-up" time before the action may actually be execution. Conversely, a very powerful physical attack may leave a character exhausted, and requires a "cool-down" time from when the action ends to when the character begins to refill their stamina bar. Skills are not required to have a warm-up or cool-down time, but generally the more powerful skills have one or both of them.
A feature unique to Allacrost is the concept of the attack point. An attack point is simply a physical location on an actor that corresponds to a part of that actor which may be attacked (e.g. head, torso, etc.). In Allacrost, the player does not simply attack an enemy, but rather an attack point on that enemy. Most actors have multiple attack points, each with their own resistances and weaknesses. The attack point is one of the most fundamental feature of the Allacrost battle system and is often referred to as MAPS, which is an acronym for "Multiple Attack Point System".
Every attack point has the following properties associated with it:
- A physical defense rating
- A metaphysical defense rating
- An evade rating
- Possible status afflictions that may affect the actor should a successful blow be made
What this implies is that certain attack points may be more or less susceptible to certain types of damage than other attack points, may be more or less difficult to hit than other attack points, and upon being attacked, may cause the actor to be hit with a status affliction. For example, the player may choose to target the more vulnerable head of a foe, but being a small target the head has a higher evade rating and is thus harder to hit. On the other hand, an enemy may choose to target a character's legs and on a successful blow, this may perhaps reduce the character's speed by inflicting a slow status effect on the actor. MAPS was designed to allow the player (and the enemy) to discover and take advantage of multiple strategies to subdue their foes.
Character actors each have four attack points with the following general properties.
|Attack Point||Defense Rating||Evade Rating||Status Effect Afflictions|
Note that an attack point does not have a HP rating associated with it. When an attack point is successfully hit, the damage amount is subtracted from the actor's overall health. Attack points also do not have any elemental effect properties, as elemental effects are applied on the actor as whole.
A change in the state of a character or enemy's status is caused by a status effect. Status effects may be either aiding (increasing strength) or ailing (poisoning the target). There are four levels of "intensity" for status effects: lesser, moderate, greater, and extreme. The higher the intensity, the more potent that the effect is. An attempt to cure a status effect does not necessarily completely negate the effect; It may only lessen the severity of the effect. Thus, sometimes multiple attempts to cure a status effect must be made before the effect is completely healed. Likewise, multiple applications of a status effect will often be required to "boost" the intensity of a effect to its maximum degree. The two tables below list all of the aiding and ailing status effects in Allacrost and provide a brief description.
|Regen||Gradually increases hit points over time|
|Protect||Provides a barrier against physical damage|
|Shell||provides a barrier against metaphysical damage|
|Haste||Decreases the time it takes for a character to recharge their stamina|
|Poison||Gradually decreases hit points over time|
|Weaken||Weakens an actor's fortitude, lowering their physical defense rating|
|Resolve||Weakens an actor's protection, lowering their metaphysical defense rating|
|Slow||Increases the time it takes for a character to recharge their stamina|
All status effects weaken in intensity over time and will eventually nullify, but may be re-generated or boosted by an actor during battle. It is important to note that status effects do not occur outside of battle, nor do they remain after a battle has ended. The status effect system was designed in this way so that the player does not have to tediously heal status effects from a menu after a battle has ended. A weapon or armor may afford a status effect bonus to their character at the beginning of every battle, but these effects are not permanent.
Status effects may be cured by both items and skills. A feature unique to Allacrost is that these items and skills do not target specific status effects, but rather are effective on all status effects. In other words, there is no "antidote" that only serves to cure poison, but instead a general "remedy" that can cure any status effect. Because an actor may be afflicted with multiple status ailments of various intensities at once, the use of these cure item/skills automatically target all status ailments. The strength of the item/skill determines how many levels of intensity that a status effect will drop by. For example, a weaker cure will only drop the intensity of the status effects by one level, while a stronger cure can drop intensity by three levels. The table below contains a list of the possible cure properties that both items and skills may have.
|Cure Name||Target Type||Cure Effect|
|Weaker Cure||Actor||Drops status intensity by one level|
|Moderate Cure||Actor||Drops status intensity by two levels|
|Stronger Cure||Actor||Drops status intensity by three level|
|Extreme Cure||Actor||Drops status intensity by four level|
|Weaker Curall||All||Drops status intensity by one level|
|Moderate Curall||All||Drops status intensity by two levels|
|Stronger Curall||All||Drops status intensity by three level|
|Extreme Curall||All||Drops status intensity by four level|
Elemental effects (not to be confused with status effects) describe types of physical and metaphyiscal damage. Finding and exploiting elemental weaknesses on an opponent may hold the key to victory in a battle. Elemental effects can come from any of the following three sources:
- A part of the natural offense or defense of an actor
- A property imbued in a weapon or a piece of armor
- Included as a property in an actor's battle skill
There are eight elemental effects in total, four which are physical and four which are metaphysical. Physical and metaphysical elementals interact with one another in different ways. For physical elementals, the elemental will only interact with the same elemental property (one-to-one effectiveness). Metaphysical elements, on the other hand, are strong against some elementals and weak against others (circular effectiveness). For an example of a physical elemental effect, if an actor has a defense against "piercing" elementals, that defense will only apply against piercing attacks. If on the other hand the actor has a defense bonus of the metaphysical "fire" elemental, that actor will become weak against water attacks, but strong against earth attacks. The two tables below list the four physical and four metaphysical elemental effects in Allacrost and their interactions with other elementals. Note that all of the physical elementals have a one-to-one type of effectiveness while the metaphysical elementals have a circular type of effectiveness.
|Elemental Effect||Strong Against||Weak Against|
|Elemental Effect||Strong Against||Weak Against|
Elemental effects are applied on the entire actor as a whole, but not on their individual attack points. The reason for this is to prevent battles from becoming too complicated for the player to comprehend. This is also the reason that the elemental effects are relatively few in number, so that the player does not need to account for too many variables. The amount of additional damage or defense that an elemental effect affords an actor is numeric, so the elemental bonus may be any arbitrary value.
Although the maximum number of characters on the battle field at any time is limited to four, the Allacrost battle system allows a player to swap out a character in the midst of battle and fill their place with another character whom is in the reserves party. This allows the player to configure the characters in their active party to best match their adversaries. However, there are strict limits in place that limit the amount (and type) of swapping that the player may do. These limits exist to prevent the player from abusing the swapping system to gain an advantage in battle. The number of swaps that a character may perform are indicated by swap cards, of which a maximum of four can be held at any given time. A single swap card is made available to the player at the beginning of the battle and additional swap cards are provided depending upon the amount of time that has expired and the amount of damage that the player has inflicted upon the enemy party. Swap cards are not granted very often and can not be gained easily, so the player must ration them carefully.