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Tuesday
Feb142012

Introducing: Gloria

Gloria is a healer who has helped people and animals her whole life.

Gloria and her sister Gwen worked as veterinary assistants from a young age, helping with the care of animals. They studied medicine and the healing arts, as well as the martial arts to keep themselves strong and centered.

Gloria's cheerfulness is irrepressible. She's easy going and keeps a positive attitude no matter what the situation. This mental attitude has gotten her through the many tragedies and depressing situations in health care. People and animals die, their loved ones grieve, and someone must support them in these tough times. Gloria was always good at that.

One day, men rushed a patient to them, one of the Bull Beasts who was injured in a mining operation. Though the sisters were not especially familiar with his race, their general knowledge of animal and human physiology was enough to treat the poor soul, and mend his injuries. The grateful beast mentioned that his people could use more healers back in the Golden Plains, especially these days. The rate of injuries there has been increasing, he said. The sisters looked at each other, nodded, and thus began their first of many journeys across the Realm, to heal the injured and the sick.

One such journey was to the north, into the Dreadlands. Gloria and Gwen heard rumors that an expedition there was in trouble and needed medical help. Though traveling here was a huge risk, the sisters decided to go where their help was needed. They didn't find any members of the expedition though. Before they could, they heard the sounds of a struggle through the trees and they rushed to investigate. A man who was obviously injured was fighting some sort of undead monstrosity. Seeing one of their kind in trouble, they leapt to assist.

The monster struck Gwen with its needled arm and she writhed on the ground. Gloria and the man forced the creature to retreat. Gloria rushed to Gwen's aid, but then the man collapsed too. Gloria realized who he was based on the markings of his clothes. This was the Exiled Dragon named Menelker. It looked like his lifeforce had been sucked out of him, and he was deathly weak. Strange, as Gwen was struck by the same creature yet her symptoms seemed completely different. 

Gloria faced a decision all too familiar to her: a triage situation. Her sister and the man each needed immediate medical help. Things must be decided in an instant, and it's the kind of thing Gloria hated the most. Gwen was always better at making snap decisions about risks, while Gloria wanted to help everyone. But Gwen now appeared to be passed out, while Menelker was reeling from serious injuries and his skin was turning gray. Though it broke her heart, the man seemed in more immediate danger of the two. She treated him first with a combination of medicine and healing magic in an attempt to stabilize him, then rushed to Gwen. To Gloria's great surprise, during this time Gwen's skin began to turn blue, and something was obviously very wrong with her, moreso than Gloria had first realized. Gloria tended to Gwen's wounds and gave her the healing touch. Though this returned Gwen to consciousness, it was no cure. From this moment on, Gwen would need Gloria's healing abilities just to keep from slipping into darkness.

Menelker recovered, but in some sense, Gwen never did. Despite Gloria's ever-positive outlook, she can't help but wonder if her split-second decision was a grave mistake.

In gameplay terms, it's tricky to make a healing character work. Healing effects have to be very carefully designed or else they are either useless, or lead to matches that never end. In Yomi, her healing is intentionally unreliable and "puzzley," meaning she has to work to setup the healing effects and they can't be repeated forever. In Flash Duel and Puzzle Strike, she has "symmetric" healing effects that help her and her opponent, but clever use of them gets you more mileage than them. Here's Radiant Healing in Flash Duel:

In Flash Duel Gloria is an unusual character in that she has no "tricks," but she's one of the best characters at the fundamentals. Her abilities let her have more cards here and there when she needs them the most. While Radiant Healing can help the opponent, you'll only use it if you know you need a specific card (often to attack with) and you know the odds of drawing one based on what's been played already. For example, if you were 4 away and needed to draw a 4 to attack, you could use Radiant Healing. If you get the 4, great. If you don't, then you'll move or dashing strike or something to end up at a different range than 4 in case your opponent drew it.

Here's Radiant Healing in Puzzle Strike:

In Puzzle Strike, Gloria heals everyone's wounds, including her own. She can also trash her 1-gems in order to get better money density in her deck. While other players can too, Gloria can time this to favor her, and the extra chip draws makes her more likely to take advantage of the effects than her opponents.

Gloria is a bright spot in the shadowy going-ons of the world. Next time we'll meet her shadowy sister Gwen, who is now afflicted with Shadow Plague.

Reader Comments (4)

Awesome characters so far, can't wait for the expansion and the Fantasy Strike fighting game!

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlunomogo

David, how would Gloria work in a 2D fighter?

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarlos

Good question. I'm really sure what the answer is. I was against a healing character existing at all, but people liked her fan-made Yomi deck, and so we went with it, then we had to figure out how "healing" could be reflected in Puzzle Strike and Flash Duel. I think we'll have to solve that again when it comes to a fighting game, and find a way to allow some healing, but not to create stalling.

February 15, 2012 | Registered CommenterSirlin

Yoshimitsu had a little healing in SC2; Soul Siphon was a throw that had about half the damage of normal throws, but gave him that much health (and also powered up another of his moves temporarily), while Meditate was mostly a mixup alternative, where instead of chasing your knocked down opponent and hitting them on the ground/as they rose, you would sit and gain a little health and force them to come to you, where you could then shift into teleports, launchers, or a few other moves.

Glacius from KI2 could trade super meter for health, and like Yoshi's meditate he could not move or attack while doing so (but didn't even have the stance-ending teleport or anything).

MvC3 has X Factor (and Devil Trigger), which can only restore part of your missing health, but the passive regen nature of it sometimes led to some stalling, since you could move and jump while doing so, rather than sitting on the floor :/ Phoenix's Healing Field was a bit better since it required you to stay close, but that one had the irritation of healing you while you were being combo'd, which punished character with lengthy short-range combos more than the ones with ranged combos or powerful short strings.

Gloria I imagine would have at least one special/throw with reduced damage and lifesteal, and maybe some highly-punishable selfheal for when she gets a knockdown (similar to how some games let you Taunt to gain super meter when you have enough breathing room). Perhaps a super that gives all of her attacks lifesteal for a few seconds? Might be a little too bloodthirsty for her personality, but forcing her to be aggressive to earn her healing would definitely avoid run-away stalling (though would still make games last a little longer than if her supers did raw damage like the other non-Arg characters).

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTurbo164
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