Cookies and Milk
September 19, 2008
Now we’re done with how to rate, so keep in mind what are the main points to focus on are.
Now we’ll go into most of the aspects in detail. I’m mainly gonna go into tips and tricks for improving characters in most of the sections.
Look out for the Great Conundrums of Character Making, which are quite a few of the doubts which may pop up, and none of them actually have a definite answer
There are thousands of guides on this. I’m not gonna go into too much of detail, frankly because I’m not the best person to ask about this aspect of character making.
1st Great Conundrum of Character Making
Q- Pics are the absolute most important part about character making
Ans- Yes and No.
No. – A lot of great cc makers will tell you that. Ive covered all the reasons in the rating section. And I will stand by it.
Yes- This is the sad bit. A lot of people won’t read my guide, and still believe bad pictures makes the whole character bad. So it’s a decent idea to put some work into your pictures, even if you cant make them flawless.
I have seen a lot of newer char makers, openly tell anyone that pics aren’t important, so they haven’t bothered. That much of hostility to pictures isn’t right. True, they aren’t the defining point of your character, but nicer pictures always healp.
Tip 1- Don’t overwork on your pictures
That’s the one tip I can give you, which I haven’t seen in other places. Sometimes you have to admit that there are a few limits of your photoshop and your abilities, or that you need to have a better screenshot to start off with.
Other than wasting time, the too many effects may work against each other, leading to the pic being worse than it could have been.
It’s a personal experience, and I’ll show an example later.
Other than that, nothing much. However, what I will do is post a lot of screencap sites for all animes that I can find… including rarer ones, for those people who are looking to step out of the simple naruto and bleach zone.
If any of you know of such sites, please pm me, and I will add it.
Keep in mind, downloads are likely to always give you the best quality, but if you have limited time/computer memory.. and you can do a bit of quality editing.. you can make do of quite a few of these. You’ll find plenty of download links in the ‘Where to watch/download anime’ section, so I’m not gonna go into those
naruto-kun- has a few screenshots from shippuden… it had more, but been taken down for now
animay.net- most of naruto shipuden .. go to home page for most recent arc
myfavoritegames- pre-shipuden naruto
Captainnaruto- small screens, but useful as a reference (thanks to hwdphg for giving the link)
Bleach (needs more, pm if you know)-
animay- front page for the most recent arc.. has a few other animes like kurohitsugi
One piece(needs more, pm if you know)-
onepiece.desome german site- but its pretty good
filb.de one of the best… missing a few episodes for now… but you shouldn’t need anything else
pocketmonsters consistent quality- for anything filb doesn’t have
serebii- last choice for pics, but one of the best for info
bulbapedia search for the move you want, and get it… great for info too
myfavoritegames- the best for dragonball… you wont need much more… despite the small size of screencaps
Prince of Tennis
random fansite- if you click on the links of associated sites, you’ll get animes like shaman king, fullmetal alchemist and more… im not gonna go into each one of them
myfavoritegames- ive covered this one thrice.. it has a few other animes, but random episodes of each, so check it out
Yugioh/ Inuyasha (need more)
Not great quality, but considering these anime aren’t so common , this is useful
small collection by enaki
these 2 combined should be enough
screenshot collection by firebane from fairytail arena
great quality, need to be downloaded (still looking for a nondownloading site)
Still looking for-
KHR, soul eater, gurenn lagann
For most of the minor anime, you wont be looking for huge screencap websites. For most characters in minor anime… you can make a character with pictures from multiple episodes
wikiasearch, and you can get info on any anime, along with a few pics (check quality though)
animestocks- has quite a few anime
animegalleries- quite a few anime… but a lot of good facepics if your willing to look
Lastly, search a few anime blogs as they upload pics with their updates.
Some examples are random curiosity, star-crossed anime blog, whatever anime blog etc.
They may not always have enough for a full character, but they may just have a few pics of a rare anime you’ve been wanting to make a character from
Nothing much here. A few tips-
1. Stroking/ Highlighting your text is not at all necessary. You may do it for presentation, but it may go against you, if it becomes unreadable. However, nobody can complain if you follow the simple colour scheme of n-a and s-a.
2. Fancy templates are also avoidable. Most fan-made arenas , also stopped using them recently, because not only are they a pain to edit, they can effect the readability of the text (colours may clash etc.)
3. Stick to the correct size and font. It looks more professional as a whole. In case, your text is a bit long, its not so tough to increase the box size, as long as you’re using a basic template. Just be careful to extend it enough so no line is sticking out more than it should.
4. Chakra boxes should not be extremely far apart, as I’ve seen a few times. This doesn’t mean you have to zoom in 3 times to get the box, but you can be relatively accurate without zoom. (again, this is more convenient in simple templates)
5. A tip I got from Mirrorforce. If a word doesn’t fit in a line, move it to the next, instead of connecting it with dashes/hyphens, Once in a while, for long words like destructable , it may make sense (but only if it is going to save you from increasing the box size or something like that… no other reason), but don’t repeat it many times in a character. Consider this-
Naruto Uzumaki deals 25 dam-
-age to an enemy and stuns th-
-em for 1 turn. He gains 10 destr-
-uctable defense and 5 points of
Damage reduction that cant be pie-
-rced for 1 turn.
Most texts wont be that bad, but I think some computers automatically do this, severely effecting how the character looks. Reading like this may cause someone to miss out one of the effects (Its happened to me)
Also, waterone has made a guide on increasing the box size, so good presentation really shouldn’t be a trouble.
My specialty, and I could analyse a single character’s balance problems for ages, but Lder’s guide to balance will help a lot. I as usual, will just give a few tips, which I haven’t seen in his or mistakes that a lot of people make. But firstly, something that popped up from Lder’s guide itself.
The second great conundrum of character making
Q- Each damage+ effect has a fixed cost. Eg- 1 random= 15 damage
Ans- Yes and No (Again)
No- This is what Lder said. Its more or less true. The cost of a certain damaging skill should depend on the character as a whole, and what role its supposed to have, what boosts are available to its skills etc.
Its perfectly possible to have 1 character deal 30 damage for 1 tai 1 random, and another to deal it for 1 tai, if both have cooldown of 1 (this would only be if the second character has no other skills, and cannot boost it in anyway).
Similarly Shizune and Inoichi can be compared (Note- giving cd of 1 doesn’t always mean 10 extra damage. The extra damage is due to it being his only damaging skill, and the only one which uses random… in fact increasing cooldown to improve damage is not a good idea)
Yes- This is true in the sense that every skill has a basis where you work from. Its better to add the damage as per a fixed standard and balance it depending on the overall result when you see your character as a whole.
So I’m gonna make a tiny table. Don’t follow it as a hard and fast rule, but I have seen many people who have no clue where to start from, so even the balance of simple skills is messed up. This is mainly for them.
Single target aoe
1 random – 15 damage, no cd 1 random- 10 aoe, 1 cd
1 specific- 20 damage + tiny effect 1 specific- 10 aoe + tiny effect
No cd No cd
2 random- 30 damage, no cd 2 random- 15 aoe
1 specific , 1 random- 35 damage, 1 specific , 1 random- 20 aoe
No cd No cd
2 different specifics- 40 damage 2 different specifics- 25 aoe.
Tiny effect, 1 cd
2 same specifics- 45 damage 2 same specifics – 30 aoe+
, effect tiny effect
2 cd 2 cd
3 random- 45 damage, no cd 3 random- avoid for an aoe
Note- heals can be equivalent values to damage
I repeat, don’t follow this guide as an almighty rule, but just use it as a small basis. This guide mainly works for extremely simple chars, so once you progress into better characters, you will have to make your own judgments.
Note that this is a guide for the basic chars, which consist of 2 damaging skills and 1 friendly skill(excluding damage boosts, in that case, the damage of the skills would be a bit less)
By tiny effect, I would mean piercing or inability to reduce damage or something very small. For partial stuns and drains , you may need to add 1 cd or reduce 5 damage. For full stuns and drains, you probably will have to do both.
Remember, for multiple turn and aoe stuns/drains, the cooldown is much higher. I’ll cover DoT skills (damage over time) later
Tips and tricks #1- multiple damaging skills
Simply putting it, the more damaging skills a character has, the comparatively less damage each skill should do (with respect to their cost). So my guide above was considering 2 damaging skills. If you make a character with one damaging skill, it would do relatively more damage as per the cost. If you make one with 3 damaging skills, then they would deal relatively less.
The more damaging skills a character has, the more opportunities it has to attack. It has greater ability to avoid partial stuns and drains (normally, when you give a character 3 damaging skills, they should have relatively different costs, classes and effects, otherwise there is no point).. and hence, the less its damage.
Tips and tricks#2- Damage over Time
One of the most misunderstood concepts.
DO NOT compare the total damage dealt by this skill to the total damage dealt by single turn skills.
Here are all the disadvantages of DoT-
1. You lose a turn of damage, if the target goes invulnerable
2. You lose a turn of damage, if you are stunned (pretty easy to do)
3. Point based damage reduction can screw you over.
4. If you die, the remaining damage is wasted
5. TIME. Each turn is precious. The longer it takes to deal your required damage, the grater trouble your getting yourself into.
So basically a skill that deals 10 damage for 4 turns for 1 blood 1 random is highly underpowered, irrespective of the cooldown. Sometimes, I even see a character doing 15 damage over 2 turns for that cost. (Keep in mind, most DoT are action class, making them instant is difficult to balance)
So DoT is not a bad thing, it’s a great way of putting long term pressure on your opponent , but you need to be a bit lenient with the damage.
So, basically, for each extra turn a DoT lasts, its damage needs to be approxiamately 50% more than the single turn damage for the skill. Eg- 25 for 2 turns, 20 for 3 turns
You usually cant add huge effects for DoT…. But make the changes accordingly when you add small effects. Usually effects like damage reduction on you or the enemy makes sense for such skills
As for cooldown- It should usually be 1 less than the duration (another misunderstood point). This is because their main aim is continuous pressure on the enemy, so you want to use it as soon as it ends.
If it has no effects (like Gin in s-a or KBD in n-a), and its net damage is not huge (less than 50, which is ok for DoT), then you can make the coodlown 2 less than the duration.
In case of effects like cooldown increase, cooldown can be equal to duration (just to give a momentary break), and incase of big effects like cost increase, cooldown should be a bit more than duration .
DoT’s a handy effect with possible creativity, so I hate seeing people muck it up. Hopefully, you wont now
Tips and tricks#3- Chakra/reiatsu usage
The more different chakra a character uses, the more versatile it is, so the moves are relatively weaker.
Most characters use 2 different chakra.
If all the skills of a character depend on the same chakra (excluding invulnerability), theres a good 25% chance that your character wont be able to make a single move . (note this is different from single chakra users. In this case, the character may use 2 different chakra, but 1 chakra will be in all 3 skills, whereas the other may be in one of the skills which costs 2 specific)
So keep in mind the following details-
1. There attacks should be relatively stronger.
2. They should have atleast one good DoT skill with decent defensaes to keep them going
Examples are Kurenai from n-a and ikkaku and sajin from s-a
Tips and tricks#4- Percentages
1. Keep in mind that s-a uses more point based effects, and n-a uses more percentages. Also, n-a has more piercers, so 75% damage reduction for xyz no. of turns is balanced in n-a (for the right cost), but OP in most cases in s-a. Keep that in mind when planning costs etc.
2. Unless you’re planning on making it permanently stack, don’t bother dealing with DR or damage increase in the order of 10%. Mathematically, a normal damaging skill of 30 damage, will only be reduced by 3 or receive a 3 point boost, which is pathetic.Even 50 damage skills will get a 5 damage boost/nerf. Keep in mind that a lot of skills deal even less.
3. To keep calculation relatively easy, rely mainly on these percentages, 20%, 25%, 50%, 75% (most recommended), 33% and 66% (this is one-third, and two-third, so in most cases its decent)
Tips and tricks#5- Preparation skills
1. AVOID THEM. That’s a simple start. It’s a waste of a skill, may kill off some of the flow and creativity, and makes it tougher to balance. This is mainly against simple preps which give some defense and allow use of xyz skill. Damaging skills which act as preps, and skills which act as a boost in innovative ways are still easy to put in, without harming creativity.
2. Incase you’re making a character who severely lacks skills and needs a preparation, keep in mind that skills which require a preparation are stronger than those that don’t. eg- Naruto’s Rasengan. This is not only because you’re using up some chakra for your preparation, but also some valuable time.
3. Keep in mind that a preparation skill’s cost should never be too high. 2 randoms is the most. If both of the character’s skills cannot be used outside of the preparation, never make it cost more than a random.
4. Only if you’re giving access to an incredibly powerful skill or boost, should the prep cost 2 randoms or 1 specific. Even then, the preparation should have some other effects(normally defensive) to make it worth it.
5. If the preparation only gives minor defense, and doesn’t give access to very powerful skills, make it costless.(the skills should still be slightly bit more powerful than normal, cause you still have used up a turn)
6. The duration of the prep is important. Shorter the duration, more powerful the skills can be, because the more turns the person has to use up prepping.
7. If you’re trying to make a prep for an incredibly powerful effect, then its sometimes easier to convert it into a skill boosting effect, for a small duration (basically, allow that powerful skill to be used outside of the prep, just with weaker effects). It makes the character more strategic and easier to balance.
1. The biggest mistake I see here is- XYZ skill is improved for 1 turn but costs 1 more random during this time. That kills the point of a boost. Remember, you’re wasting both time and possibly chakra getting that skill active. And cheaper skills are more effective. This can be ignored for incredibly powerful boosts.. but I’m talking beyond double damage.
2. For preps, and boosts, it makes more sense to lower duration than increase cost for strong effects. Remember, if you’re stunned etc, a lot of chakra will be going to waste.
3. If a damaging skill acts as a prep/boost, don’t make it incredibly weak in the excuse that it allows a more powerful skill. Make it still worth its damage, because theres a chance you may not get to pull off the second skill.