While talking at forum with Shurrikhan about FFXIII content adaptability an idea appeared…the elemental trigger actions. These actions would be a 100% affinity, high cost actions that would change based on the current role trigger action/UI.
While this idea is based on FFXIII and, being so, oriented specifically to Disciples of Tactics classes, it actually would simulate the FFXIII’s paradigm shift with a role change mechanics.
They would be composed by 3 main aspects:
a) The placeholder action. This is the action you equip at your action bar…it would just have a generic name like “Earth Trigger” or “Fire trigger”. These actions would change effect based on the current role and have an increased action slot cost (around 5).
b) The role trait. Each role would have a small slot cost (only 1). While they add no real effect (maybe they can later on with a higher tier version…but I prefer not having unless active) unless set as active at role trigger, they would have a tremendous impact to this mechanics since they would be the one defining what roles would be accessible. These would be named like “Earth Role”, “Fire Role” or, if the role name was needed, “Earth Shield” and “Fire Attacker”.
c) The role trigger. This one can be a cost 0 action or even a UI feature similar to the current target mode one. I particularly prefer it as UI since the action triggers are already going to action bar. It would just be a UI or action that rotates between the equipped role traits.
It would be like, if you have Earth Shield and Fire Attacker only equipped, the role trigger would only list Shield and Attacker as role options. But as soon as you equip the Ice Caster, Wind Healer, Water Support or Lightning Jammer the respective role would also be available at role trigger UI. Also, if no role trait is equipped the UI can just become hidden (better than adding a “none” flag).
So now we have them all…the action trigger, the role trait and the role trigger. You go, equip the actions and traits then set a role at trigger UI. When you set the role, automatically 2 things happen:
a) Role trait effect becomes active. If you selected Shield role, the “Lessens damage taken” effect from Earth Shield would activate.
b) All action triggers would change to the respective role one. If you changed role trigger to Shield then Earth Trigger would change to Rock Armor (temporarily increases defense), Fire Trigger would change to Duel (provokes the target), Ice Trigger change to Vendetta (temporarily redirects part of the damage taken back to attacker), etc. If after changing to shield he changes to healer, automatically the action triggers would change again, with Earth Trigger becoming Earth Heal (restores HP over time), Fire Trigger into White Flame (heals target HP) and Ice Trigger into Icy Breeze (heals one status ailment).
In short, the action triggers will change based on role trigger selection, allowing the player to change roles w/o the need of changing a single piece of armor or action.
Also, there is another point here…you might be thinking “So what? If I’m geared as mage and with mage point allotment, just some actions change and one trait effect won’t turn my mage into a tank…”…well, this would be a valid point indeed if we didn’t have the next part…the elemental affinity.
The actions and traits were related to an element for a reason! The trait and actions effect potency (this is why the description of Earth Shield said “Lessens damage taken” instead of “damage taken -10%”) are all affected by the character’s elemental affinity, having direct impact to the role performance. For these actions and traits, a high elemental affinity is way more important than role-based gear. A CON with extremely high earth affinity would surely take way less damage than a GLA with tank gear and minor earth affinity because the trait and actions potency being affected by elements.
About the elemental trigger costs, it’s also important to say that they would use a fixed amount of MP and TP and have a constant recast. I believe 10 MP, 100 TP and 30 sec recast would probably be enough as a base cost and, if needed, balancing could be done later.