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Post news RSS Dev Log #2 - Ability Design

In the second developer log of Rapture we'll be taking a look at the various abilities that characters can use in Rapture.

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Recently I've been working on revisiting combat mechanics and fine tuning their balance as the release day inches closer. For today's developer log I'm going to be talking about a crucial part of combat - character abilities.

An Introduction to Combat

Your primary objective during a combat encounter is to incapacitate all enemies by lowering their Health to zero while making sure your party survives. Each party takes turns to act with each active character taking one action per turn. In Rapture, the player's party will always act first in combat giving you a chance to cause some serious damage before the enemies have time to react.

Character Abilities Explained

Each character has six different abilities in combat plus one powerful Limit Break that can be used after the Limit Break Gauge is maxed out. These abilities are divided into five different categories based on their function:

  • Physical Attacks
  • Special Attacks
  • Shield
  • Healing
  • Utility

Battle Mechanics 1

Physical and Special attack abilities are primarily focused on dealing damage using the appropriate attribute - Attack for physical attack and Special for special attacks. They also tend to have secondary effects such as dealing increased damage to low health enemies, inflicting status effects, lowering a target's stats etc.

Battle Mechanics 3

Shield abilities provide temporary Shields that act as a buffer to your Health. They are a great source of damage negation since they can be applied before the enemy acts. However, unless the target has the status effect Persistence, Shields will expire at the start of your party's turn. Furthermore, certain abilities have effects that directly manipulate Shields such as instantly breaking all of the target's Shields or converting them into healing.

Battle Mechanics 2

Healing abilities can be used to restore health to your injured allies while also providing them with secondary beneficial effects, such as applying positive status effects or raising their attributes. Rarely, certain healing abilities can also be used to revive incapacitated party members, with a portion of their health. Be careful as the Corruption status effect will cause any healing received to be turned into damage instead, making it a great tool to prevent or punish healing abilities.

Battle Mechanics 4

Finally let's talk about Utility abilities, they provide little in terms of damage or healing but instead focus on secondary effects such as applying status effects, raising or lowering stats in combat. Appropriate use of Utility abilities is the key to overcoming the odds in Rapture as they can greatly enhance your party or cripple the opposition.


Once again I'd like to thank you for taking the time to read through this dev log - we've been working hard to prepare for release and you can expect the game to be released by the end of August. In the next developer log we'll be taking a more in depth look at some of the characters that you can add to your party in Rapture.

I'd like to remind you that you can contact me via Twitter or through Discord. If you're interested in Rapture you can wishlist the game on Steam.

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