I'm working on a turn-based RPG with classes. I want one of the spellcaster classes to have standard magic points, but another to have abilities with time limitations, one or more of
- Use ability every N minutes of real time
- Use ability every N turns of combat
- Use ability once or N times per day (sleep to restore, or wait out day-night cycle)
There would be restorative items that could restore your "charge". These abilities would be more powerful than regular spells but constrained. This spellcasting class is a burster: gives you big hits but infrequently because of the limitations. The party carries them along as baggage until they get in a jam or run into a boss, then unleashes the hammer. I like it as an option to add depth, and it has interesting speedrun possibilities.
The last one is easy enough to balance if the party has to trek back to town and sleep to recharge, but I have a day-night cycle. Here are the problems as I see it:
Real time / N times per day
Player can just wait. I can make the duration punishing, but then it greatly reduces the utility. It also means that the player is not playing the game, this is after all supposed to be about entertainment. No fun.
Every N turns in combat
Player can just have every character defend/heal every round until the burster unleashes another round of big damage. I actually want this to be viable, but I don't want it to become the obviously best strategy for battles. So far it doesn't seem to be a huge issue as the caster just cycles through lesser powers until the big bang recharges. It's rough in the early game, but that's part of the balancing. The problem is that I'm having trouble getting it to be not so OP'd as to be obviously the best while still remaining good enough to be useful.
Any suggestion on how to balance these mechanics to mitigate camping/turtling?