The Real Problem With Turn-Based RPG Combat Is Mages

Wizards, mages, sorcerers, mystics — call them what you will, when the weapons are brandished and blows start getting traded in orderly fashion, they’re only going to slow you down, as evidenced by this documentary footage captured by the folks at Cinevore Studios.

I realise turn-based battles are simply a way to present what would otherwise be real-time combat in an easy to control and digest fashion, but let’s get real-ish here. In a battle where blades and clubs are involved, the guy fumbling through a heavy spellbook is either quickly dispatched, or doesn’t get a mystical word of power in edgewise until the battle is over.

“Thou art a douche bag.” Truer words, my friends — truer words.

The Continuum – Limit Break [YouTube]


  • I don’t know who you play with but casters are typically quite fast as they don’t have to worry about counters-to-counters. Acrobats are good though. Thieves are so-so as they tend to hide from most encounters :\

    • Until they want to summon something. Then it’s all ten minute cut scenes of some ice monster dancing around like a drunk.

  • haha yeah they over do it just a tad, selecting a spell takes as much time as making a decision other then “attack” for any other class in any game. They are just the glass cannons 🙂

    • That’s why my Yuna never used her summons unless it was to absorb an otherwise fatal attack, she was all the way round the sphere grid and could 1shot yu yevon with a melee attack

  • Freakin’ casters in D&D… always not knowing their moves… then 4th gave -everyone- that many moves >_<

  • The generic “Attack” command is a flawed game design concept when compared to “Magic” and mana/mp

    If you look at FFXIII where you have a time bar, Magic is incorporated well in that you are not punished via time/resource management for using it. This is also done well in KH birth by sleep where you could magic without resource punishment.

    In previous final fantasys the generic attack was alot quicker and does not require you to balance mana vs consumables.

  • Mages play like any other class when I play RPGs. Just spam the most powerful spell/attack for bosses, and spam the melee attacks for trash mobs (maybe a high-level elemental attack if it’s a physical resistant enemy) with a top up of MP every so often and maybe a heal here and there. It’s surprising just how many RPGs that works in.

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