This blog entry is a follow-up to my [previous article] on the topic of random encounters. Hopefully you figured out already that it was, of course, written with a hearty dollop of fun sarcasm. Even so, I must stress out the fact that everything I mentioned earlier is true.
- Random encounter is the core feature of the game, unlike its predecessor.
- Encounter occurrences are cyclic and repetitive.
- They can’t be avoided or turned off.
- Troops on the field are invisible.
- It’s totally impossible to run away from a battle.
- Encounter rate in EE5 will possibly be the craziest in the gaming history.
- You might have to fight a dozen of consecutive battles without even having a chance to take a single step on the map.
- Grinding can be an extremely slow process in EE5.
Don’t be shy, come right out and say it: it’s a freaking recipe for disaster. Right? Indeed. BUT my revelation was only one side of the coin. Combined with some other core features, random encounters in EE5 will be a blast. Well, I truly hope the concept will resonate with most gamers out there.
Why don’t we sit down and enjoy a slice of cake or two while I give you a closer insight into the concept?
My new take on the Random Encounter concept
When we hear the term ‘random encounter’ in this day of age, it dredges up painful memories of the past. We’re struck by that dreadful, unpleasant mental picture of roaming some fantasy settings and then, sporadically, our exhausted heroes are hurled into another screen packed with a horde of relentless enemies—time and time again. The frustration behind this mechanism is akin when tv commercials break in the middle of our favorite shows just when the fun gets started. Rest assured, I have no intention of torturing anyone with such mundane, humdrum gameplay. In my opinion, random encounters are one of those things of the golden age of video games that are no longer relevant and shouldn’t be used again in new games, even for nostalgia factor.
Now that we’ve got this detail out of the way, let’s cut to the heart of the matter.
One of the ways in which Eternal Eden V differs from other classic games of the jRPG genre is through its highly interactive anti-random encounter system. In fact, random encounters in EE5 occurs under-the-hood and you will never be interrupted by them during dungeon exploration. In fact, you can run through an entire dungeon without doing a single fight if all you want is to push through the main story. It’s your call.
Wait. Won’t this make the game too darn easy or short?
Not particularly. This passive approach doesn’t mean enemies are completely absent from the game. Monsters are awaiting for you, somewhere. You see, each time a random encounter occurs, a troop of fiends is automatically stored in a special list. You can think of this concept as an air purifier device that captures nasty particles into a HEPA filter. Sooner or later, you need to take care of that filter, and it’s exactly what you have to do in the game, once in a while.
Which brings me to an important feature of the game that is fully tailored to make random encounters delightful in EE5.
Eidolon Boards (or Dreamcatcher)
The Eidolon interface is the management system for every fiends that become captive after random encounters. When an encounter occurs, a new phantom-themed icon appears on that board. I won’t reveal the mechanism in details today, but suffice it to say that you’ll most positively find yourself glued in front of your screen for hours by pure addiction thanks to the puzzle-oriented nature of that feature. In summary, the arrangement and alignment of objects displayed on the board have a great impact on rewards and bonus points when fighting troops.
This first prototype attempt (screenshot above) gives a sneak peek on how battle encounters are managed in the game. More info coming in due time.
Speaking of which, do you remember when, in EE1, you were awarded with the dungeon’s sacred treasures only when all monster troops were wiped out? Well, that very same rule is transposed to the Eidolon system. Each Eidolon board you find in the game comes with special rewards and unique character progression attributes.
The are two approaches to get rid of monsters in EE5; single or chained mode.
Single mode means that you engage troops one a time, like any other turn-based JRPG. The battle starts and then ends when every enemies are defeated. It’s the easiest method, and also less risky. The downside of this approach is that grinding can be extremely time-consuming and unrewarding.
Chained mode means that you sign up for a succession of battles on the trot. This mode can be very challenging. For one thing, you can’t run away of a battle. Also, items during battles have a limited number of uses, depending on your inventory rank. So, if you sign up for dozen battles in-a-row, you have to make sure you can stay alive to the very end. All in all, it’s the easiest way to level up faster and earn a crazy amount of bonus points.
You’ll figure out that it’s always a good strategy to combine single and chained battles when you decide to cleanse an Eidolon board of its fiends.
That’s it, folks!
As a game developer, I’m interested in evolution, or at the very least explore old ideas differently. I’ve been exploring this concept before Square-Enix started to popularize the option of turning random encounters off, and I sincerely believe you’ll have a lot of fun with my special take on random encounters given it’s deeper and more engaging than simply toggling an option on and off. It’s literally blending the battle system with a solid mini-game. Encounter rate in EE5 will possibly be the craziest in the gaming history–but in an addictive way.
Thank you everyone for all the support! I’m excited to be working back on my projects again and stay tuned for updates as development continues!
In the meantime, please feel free to join my Discord community via this invitation: [ Click Here ] (you’ll need to create an account first).