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RPG Liposuction: How much fat should be trimmed?

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Posts

  • BeltaineBeltaine The End of TimeRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    There was definitely a difficulty gap between different classes in Dragon Age though.

    On my mage playthrough, I ended up controlling Alastair for the early third of the game because of the lack of usable tactics and spells/abilities in the beginning. However, late in game, there was no reason whatsoever for my other party members to be there, except maybe boss fights, because my mage was wiping the floor with entire rooms of enemies in one blast.

    If the option to control whichever party member I wished hadn't been there, DA:O would have had playability problems, I think.

    Trepanning is the art of cutting the skull open to let the gods in.
    PSN: Beltaine-77
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  • infernoviainfernovia Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    My love with JRPG has definitely been cut short. Nowadays, I ignore it. I used to feel so good for defeating some awesome monsters in those old school games. That is, until I realized the truth of the matter. Anyone can beat these bosses. There is no reason to feel epic, there is no reason to think I was any good at games, they were just easy.

    These games do not deceive anymore. Each step in the Final Fantasy series, is one step closer to showing its ugly head. Think you are intelligent for figuring out this battle? Now you realize that most of these battles can be solved through 6 if then else statements. You don't need to play this game, just watch. And keep watching, because you know that you are here for the movie, not a game.

    Somehow it became ok for this kind of game to be released. What happened to carefully crafted design for challenge? Don't need it, we have levelling. What happened to letting the players actions unfold in the world? Don't need it, we have on-rails stories. What happened to programming great mechanics? Don't need it, we have menus. What happened to interesting characters? Don't need it, we have marketing, and from them, the masses.

    Streamlined? I guess. All it does for me is show how far the term "role-playing games" has been taken apart.

  • -Loki--Loki- Don't pee in my mouth and tell me it's raining. Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Beltaine wrote: »
    There was definitely a difficulty gap between different classes in Dragon Age though.

    On my mage playthrough, I ended up controlling Alastair for the early third of the game because of the lack of usable tactics and spells/abilities in the beginning. However, late in game, there was no reason whatsoever for my other party members to be there, except maybe boss fights, because my mage was wiping the floor with entire rooms of enemies in one blast.

    If the option to control whichever party member I wished hadn't been there, DA:O would have had playability problems, I think.

    I've only gotten past Lothering, and my mage can already destroy enemy groups this early. Cone of Cold/Flame Burst will decimate most groups if you position yourself well, and fireball/winters grasp it great against ranged guys. There's no point in a elemental mage characters development that it's not overpowered. That is, of course, if you go for those spells. If you for another line, you might well be correct.

  • BeltaineBeltaine The End of TimeRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    infernovia wrote: »
    My love with JRPG has definitely been cut short. Nowadays, I ignore it. I used to feel so good for defeating some awesome monsters in those old school games. That is, until I realized the truth of the matter. Anyone can beat these bosses. There is no reason to feel epic, there is no reason to think I was any good at games, they were just easy.

    These games do not deceive anymore. Each step in the Final Fantasy series, is one step closer to showing its ugly head. Think you are intelligent for figuring out this battle? Now you realize that most of these battles can be solved through 6 if then else statements. You don't need to play this game, just watch. And keep watching, because you know that you are here for the movie, not a game.

    Somehow it became ok for this kind of game to be released. What happened to carefully crafted design for challenge? Don't need it, we have levelling. What happened to letting the players actions unfold in the world? Don't need it, we have on-rails stories. What happened to programming great mechanics? Don't need it, we have menus. What happened to interesting characters? Don't need it, we have marketing, and from them, the masses.

    Streamlined? I guess. All it does for me is show how far the term "role-playing games" has been taken apart.

    Totally agree.

    We go from the original's generic Thief, Fighter, White Mage, Black Mage, to named characters with different skillsets, to the same 3 characters the entire game, but they can be any class by just changing their dress.

    Trepanning is the art of cutting the skull open to let the gods in.
    PSN: Beltaine-77
    Steam: beltane77
    Gamertag:Beltaine
  • jammujammu Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I like how Oblivion handled this - the enemies didn't have any set levels, but rather leveled with your character. So for example, if you increase your skill in alche ... waaaiit.

    They should have spread the pain and made npc level up random stuff like noobs.

    Highwaymen who likes to jumps too much and has athleticism maxed up,
    City guards with high sneaking and maybe few leet npc:s who realized that it is all about weapon skills.

    calvin1.png
  • VeritasVRVeritasVR Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Beltaine wrote: »
    infernovia wrote: »
    My love with JRPG has definitely been cut short. Nowadays, I ignore it. I used to feel so good for defeating some awesome monsters in those old school games. That is, until I realized the truth of the matter. Anyone can beat these bosses. There is no reason to feel epic, there is no reason to think I was any good at games, they were just easy.

    These games do not deceive anymore. Each step in the Final Fantasy series, is one step closer to showing its ugly head. Think you are intelligent for figuring out this battle? Now you realize that most of these battles can be solved through 6 if then else statements. You don't need to play this game, just watch. And keep watching, because you know that you are here for the movie, not a game.

    Somehow it became ok for this kind of game to be released. What happened to carefully crafted design for challenge? Don't need it, we have levelling. What happened to letting the players actions unfold in the world? Don't need it, we have on-rails stories. What happened to programming great mechanics? Don't need it, we have menus. What happened to interesting characters? Don't need it, we have marketing, and from them, the masses.

    Streamlined? I guess. All it does for me is show how far the term "role-playing games" has been taken apart.

    Totally agree.

    We go from the original's generic Thief, Fighter, White Mage, Black Mage, to named characters with different skillsets, to the same 3 characters the entire game, but they can be any class by just changing their dress.

    Interesting.
    Think you are intelligent for figuring out this battle? Now you realize that most of these battles can be solved through 6 if then else statements.

    tactics (noun)
    - a plan, procedure, or expedient for promoting a desired end or result.
    We go from the original's generic Thief, Fighter, White Mage, Black Mage, to named characters with different skillsets, to the same 3 characters the entire game, but they can be any class by just changing their dress.

    So we've finally arrived at the apex of flawed JRPGs, circa 1990. All downhill from here folks, they know our weakness.

    CoH_infantry.jpg
    Let 'em eat fucking pineapples!
  • BeltaineBeltaine The End of TimeRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I forgot about V's job system.

    I think it worked ok for V, but in X-2 it was just really contrived.

    It carried over into Tactics, which wasn't awful. But if you talk about FFT, you've got to eventually arrive at Disgaea.

    I couldn't get into Disgaea, but I'm sure there are people on this forum who would be ready with sharpened claws for someone to say something bad about it.

    Trepanning is the art of cutting the skull open to let the gods in.
    PSN: Beltaine-77
    Steam: beltane77
    Gamertag:Beltaine
  • RanadielRanadiel Registered User
    edited February 2010
    First off, X-2 doesn't exist to me.

    Second, Disgaea. To me, that was a Puzzle game wrapped in a strategy RPG.

    While I did the standard fare of leveling my skills and spells to unlock new skills and spells, the real fun came from playing in the Item World, where I'd be dropped into a new floor and literally stare at the screen, going over every possible scenario until I figured out a way to clear all the colored panels in less than 2 turns, although in some cases it was literally impossible to do so.

    I own the game but there's still a lot I haven't accomplished in it - hitting the max level with a character, reaching the true Item God, defeating Uber Prinny Baal...I couldn't help but think of how high a mountain I had left to climb and decided I'd had enough. I think the highest level character I had at max was Laharl at or near level 3000, and that was with 90 or so hours clocked into the game.

    I did have a lot of fun with it, but in the end it there was just too much expected in order to really "complete" the game. I couldn't help but figure I was doing something wrong, or there must have been a much easier way to gain levels than what I was doing.

  • AroducAroduc regular
    edited February 2010
    Ranadiel wrote: »
    First off, X-2 doesn't exist to me.

    Second, Disgaea. To me, that was a Puzzle game wrapped in a strategy RPG.

    While I did the standard fare of leveling my skills and spells to unlock new skills and spells, the real fun came from playing in the Item World, where I'd be dropped into a new floor and literally stare at the screen, going over every possible scenario until I figured out a way to clear all the colored panels in less than 2 turns, although in some cases it was literally impossible to do so.

    I own the game but there's still a lot I haven't accomplished in it - hitting the max level with a character, reaching the true Item God, defeating Uber Prinny Baal...I couldn't help but think of how high a mountain I had left to climb and decided I'd had enough. I think the highest level character I had at max was Laharl at or near level 3000, and that was with 90 or so hours clocked into the game.

    I did have a lot of fun with it, but in the end it there was just too much expected in order to really "complete" the game. I couldn't help but figure I was doing something wrong, or there must have been a much easier way to gain levels than what I was doing.

    No. It takes too long to complete the game if you don't want to abuse the hell out of the mechanics, or I suppose understand them enough to abuse them.

  • Ragnar DragonfyreRagnar Dragonfyre Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    In my opinion, all the fat necessary has already been trimmed. JRPGs used to be my absolute favourite genre, but due to various factors, they no longer interest me in the same way. We're getting to a point where too much has been trimmed and RPGs need to be fattened up again.

    Things that I'm glad were trimmed:

    - Slow paced, turn based combat
    - Random encounters

    Not quite on topic, but something that should be fixed:

    - Homogenized, unevolving characters
    - Rehashed story

    Random encounters and turn based combat has been relegated to oldschool games for the most part now. I really don't miss these two features. They were neat when I was a kid and game hardware was limited, but they're unnecessary these days. I think watching hyper realistic characters take turns stabbing each other is downright retarded.

    Turn based (or ATB) would still be fine by me if the presentation was changed. Characters do not need to line up in row adjacent to the enemies row and take turns. Why can't they be in constant combat, pausing the action (ala Grandia) when it's my turn to act?

    Things that should be added back:

    The loss of a world map and travel time is probably one of my biggest problems with RPGs these days. I always feel somewhat dismayed when I leave town for the first time to be greeted by the world map with waypoints. I prefer the old way, where travel was eventually sped up with the introduction of ever improving vehicles.

    Equipment management too. Going from FFVI to FFVII was a jarring experience for this reason. In one game you could equip VARIOUS weapons on each character, helmets, armor, shields, accessories, etc. Then we went down to three equipment slots and one weapon type for each character. If it fits within the context of the story, that's fine... but I miss having a real choice when it comes to equipment.

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  • BeltaineBeltaine The End of TimeRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Aroduc wrote: »

    No. It takes too long to complete the game if you don't want to abuse the hell out of the mechanics, or I suppose understand them enough to abuse them.

    That was the snag I hit. I hear the sequels got even more complicated mechanics.



    also: Level-based progression without random encounters seems odd to me. If I kill everything in sight during my progression and reach a boss I simply can't defeat, without random encounters how do I go about gaining more experience to level up?

    Trepanning is the art of cutting the skull open to let the gods in.
    PSN: Beltaine-77
    Steam: beltane77
    Gamertag:Beltaine
  • PataPata Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    No not again.

    Turn based combat has never been about hardware limitations. It has always been about a concious game design.

    Dungeons and Dragons is turn based. Are you going to call that outdated and slow? Chess is turn based. Neither of these games require any hardware. Reality can handle real time. So why aren't these games real time?

    Oh yeah, because they were made to be turn based

    Spoiler:
  • infernoviainfernovia Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    a plan, procedure, or expedient for promoting a desired end or result.
    Thanks for defining tactics. I hope you don't think that takes away from my point.

    Certainly, there are tactics for Espgaluda, DMC, Ninja Gaiden, Street Fighter II, Magic: the Gathering, Chess, Fire Emblem, Advance Wars, and Go but at least they are a bit more demanding and complex (and thus more interesting) than FFXII's.
    So we've finally arrived at the apex of flawed JRPGs, circa 1990.
    The defining traits of JRPGs are flawed. Their only inheritence from role-playing games were the dungeon crawling mechanics, the level-up stuff, showing user's stats, and the very limited combat system. They basically took the least complex situation, the least interesting idea, and kept removing the interesting bits (as I showed in the previous post).

    This is why, among the stat-heavy games released from Japan, the best ones are usually stuff like Fire Emblem.
    Random encounters and turn based combat has been relegated to oldschool games for the most part now
    lulz, Civilization. Chess. Any board game, any card game. etc. The reason that it irritates you here instead of Magic/Civilization is because JRPGs system aren't complex/interesting.

  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Pata wrote: »
    No not again.

    Turn based combat has never been about hardware limitations. It has always been about a concious game design.

    Dungeons and Dragons is turn based. Are you going to call that outdated and slow? Chess is turn based. Neither of these games require any hardware. Reality can handle real time. So why aren't these games real time?

    Oh yeah, because they were made to be turn based

    Thank you. I loves me some well-implemented turn-based combat.

    steam_sig.png
  • AroducAroduc regular
    edited February 2010
    Beltaine wrote: »
    Aroduc wrote: »

    No. It takes too long to complete the game if you don't want to abuse the hell out of the mechanics, or I suppose understand them enough to abuse them.

    That was the snag I hit. I hear the sequels got even more complicated mechanics.

    D1 and D2 (not sure if D3 too) are all about capturing monsters to quickly/easily create a team of 9,999 things and then just using Braveheart to fill in the damage you need. Phantom Brave is farming Failure dungeons for absurdly powerful items and/or the really fucked up fusion mechanics. Alternatively, a couple skills bypass enemy defense entirely, so you can just create a chained-team of super high level suicide bombers. Soul Nomad has some insanely broken decors that work with certain skills to make levelling one character at a time a snap, and then it's easy to rubberband, not that there's really any significant post-game stuff. Makai Kingdom's pretty much the odd one out. There are some tricks to get yourself a billion mana in an hour or two or some powerful items, but no good quick way to level really.

  • jeddy leejeddy lee Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I actually don't hate one particular style of RPG or not. I can go back through the Final Fantasy's withouot finding them frustrating, including the original. Chrono Trigger, Mario RPG, and dozens of other "classic" RPG's are just fine. Hell, I even really, really liked Blue Dragon because it was a smooth and quick version of classic RPG turn based systems. What I don't like is when things have really, really clunky menu's and inneffective controls. I liked Fable 2 a lot, but those menus took a lot of the fun out of what makes that type of RPG great. Same thing with their spell system.

    Backlog Challenge: 0%
    Spoiler:
  • PataPata Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Disgaea 3 changed the monster capturing mechanics so that you can't catch monsters higher leveled then Mao.

    It's all about Class World abuse to duplicate dozens of maxed out Statisticians so you can level to 9999 in minutes

    Spoiler:
  • Ragnar DragonfyreRagnar Dragonfyre Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Pata wrote: »
    No not again.

    Turn based combat has never been about hardware limitations. It has always been about a concious game design.

    Dungeons and Dragons is turn based. Are you going to call that outdated and slow? Chess is turn based. Neither of these games require any hardware. Reality can handle real time. So why aren't these games real time?

    Oh yeah, because they were made to be turn based

    How could Dungeons and Dragons be anything but turn based? Honestly. By it's very nature it must be turn based. Otherwise you'd have the fantasy equivalent of schoolyard guns. "Bang, I shot you!" "No I shot you first!" etc. It must be turn based to have structural order to proceed in a playable fashion.

    Video games do not NEED to be turn based. Indeed it's a conscious design decision, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily a good one. Again, this is all my personal opinion... but if turn based combat is such a good design decision, why do FMVs played throughout various RPGs show combat in real time? In the context of a turn based world, the heroes and their enemies should take turns stabbing each other.

    steam_sig.png
  • infernoviainfernovia Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    So Ragnar Dragoneye, do you have problems with Civilization being Turn Based? Spectromancer? Magic:The Gathering?

  • PataPata Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    ...because the world isn't turn based. The game is.

    A video game is not reality. It is not trying to present a world. It is a game. A game is always an artificial construct of rules that a person can use to play with and have fun. There can be a story to provide something to build the game around, but this isn't needed. See: Tetris.

    Spoiler:
  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Pata wrote: »
    No not again.

    Turn based combat has never been about hardware limitations. It has always been about a concious game design.

    Dungeons and Dragons is turn based. Are you going to call that outdated and slow? Chess is turn based. Neither of these games require any hardware. Reality can handle real time. So why aren't these games real time?

    Oh yeah, because they were made to be turn based

    How could Dungeons and Dragons be anything but turn based? Honestly. By it's very nature it must be turn based. Otherwise you'd have the fantasy equivalent of schoolyard guns. "Bang, I shot you!" "No I shot you first!" etc. It must be turn based to have structural order to proceed in a playable fashion.

    Video games do not NEED to be turn based. Indeed it's a conscious design decision, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily a good one. Again, this is all my personal opinion... but if turn based combat is such a good design decision, why do FMVs played throughout various RPGs show combat in real time? In the context of a turn based world, the heroes and their enemies should take turns stabbing each other.

    Because game mechanics and the actions they represent don't always line up exactly.

    steam_sig.png
  • DrakeDrake Blow it all up ForeverRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Video games do not NEED to be turn based. Indeed it's a conscious design decision, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily a good one. Again, this is all my personal opinion... but if turn based combat is such a good design decision, why do FMVs played throughout various RPGs show combat in real time? In the context of a turn based world, the heroes and their enemies should take turns stabbing each other.

    I know this is your opinion and all, but it's one of the worst arguments I've seen. If you don't like Turn Based mechanics, fine. Don't play those games.

    As far as your reasoning goes, I don't even know where to start. Using cutscenes to justify your gameplay opinions just doesn't work.

  • Ragnar DragonfyreRagnar Dragonfyre Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    As I said in my first post, I would be fine with turn based RPG combat if the presentation was changed up. Why must we settle for a presentation that is in essence over 23 years old at this point. In an age where computer animation and graphics have almost reached a point of photorealism, characters don't need to line up in rows to do battle with each other. The battle could play out in a believeable fashion and pause for your input when it's your turn.

    If you're fine with the decidedly oldschool presentation of something like Lost Odyssey (and I liked this game mind you) then that's fine. Personally, I'm not happy with it anymore.

    Certain games must be turn based. I recognize that. I enjoy games like Magic greatly, but then again, there's no way it could play in "real time". There isn't a "better" option. Games like Civilization I do not enjoy as much because I prefer RTS.

    I used to be completely in love with JRPGs, but year after year after year of just playing essentially the same game has become very dry to me. Some can hold my attention with an enthralling story or interesting characters, but for the most part, I end up putting down the majority of todays JRPGs before I finish them.
    Drake wrote: »
    Video games do not NEED to be turn based. Indeed it's a conscious design decision, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily a good one. Again, this is all my personal opinion... but if turn based combat is such a good design decision, why do FMVs played throughout various RPGs show combat in real time? In the context of a turn based world, the heroes and their enemies should take turns stabbing each other.

    I know this is your opinion and all, but it's one of the worst arguments I've seen. If you don't like Turn Based mechanics, fine. Don't play those games.

    As far as your reasoning goes, I don't even know where to start. Using cutscenes to justify your gameplay opinions just doesn't work.

    I didn't flesh out my argument enough. Essentially I'm trying to say that we are capable of displaying dramatic action onscreen in real time without the need to line up and take turns fighting with todays technology. Why not take advantage of this in turn based RPGs?

    steam_sig.png
  • El FantasticoEl Fantastico Oh myyy Toronto, ONRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I would love to see a mix of Dragon Age's real time combat, with Valkyrie Profiles attack setup. Basically have your 4 party members all be commanded by the colour buttons on the controller. Your dudes mixing it up with the enemy group in real time and combat can be made a bit more interesting by holding the corresponding colour button (say, Triangle/Y for your main character) to bring up a ring menu with various skills to activate. That way, you can blow your load in one shot, but then you'd wait for the internal cooldown on skills to come up. While you're waiting, you'd see a lot of parrying/dodging or lucky auto-hits going on but nothing that would be powerful than activating your party's skills.

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  • Chrono HelixChrono Helix Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Beltaine wrote: »
    Aroduc wrote: »

    No. It takes too long to complete the game if you don't want to abuse the hell out of the mechanics, or I suppose understand them enough to abuse them.

    That was the snag I hit. I hear the sequels got even more complicated mechanics.



    also: Level-based progression without random encounters seems odd to me. If I kill everything in sight during my progression and reach a boss I simply can't defeat, without random encounters how do I go about gaining more experience to level up?

    Go back to a previous screen where enemies have respawned?

  • PataPata Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Or perhaps move on to the next area?

    Spoiler:
  • JurgJurg In a TeacupRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    One thing that I thought Brave Story on the PSP did really well was that there was a penalty for heal/defensive spells. The longer you went without healing, the more you could get your combo meter up which results in more MP restored. Get your combo meter up high enough and you could end up casting spells & actually gaining MP.

    I plan to do something similar in the game I'm working on. You want to build up your combo count since that boosts certain attack skills & restores more MP at the end of battle, but if you use healing spells or an ally dies, the combo resets. Thus, you have a nice risk vs. reward mechanic in place instead of the usual "Attack, Attack, Attack, have your healer cast Heal All, Repeat" strategy that all too many RPGs fall back on.

    THANK YOU.

    I was going to mention this. While I think Unlimited Saga has the best HP system, Brave Story definitely has the best MP system.

    Healing, as has been stated, is a huge problem in turn based games. Unless the enemy can out-damage your healing ability, there is simply no way for them to win, and that makes games boring.

    Choosing to use resources on healing should be a conscious player decision, not a requirement. Smart use of abilities should negate the need for constant healing.

    This is also a problem in MMOs- tanks and DPS are mixing it up with enemies, while healers stand in the back, just chilling. Once in a while they'll raise their arm. When I saw my friend's high level druid doing this in WoW, I wondered how he could possibly find that sort of gameplay compelling.

    This is easier to fix in Action RPGs - dodging attacks negates damage. I also like how TWEWY handled it- using fusion skills recovered HP, but they were hard to use, not just pulling from a giant MP pool.

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  • El FantasticoEl Fantastico Oh myyy Toronto, ONRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Jurg wrote: »
    Healing, as has been stated, is a huge problem in turn based games. Unless the enemy can out-damage your healing ability, there is simply no way for them to win, and that makes games boring.

    Unless they can, in which case it makes it un-winnable. Sure, this may be a design flaw, but a player should never feel forced to level up just to get through a section of the game.

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  • BeltaineBeltaine The End of TimeRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    As I said in my first post, I would be fine with turn based RPG combat if the presentation was changed up. Why must we settle for a presentation that is in essence over 23 years old at this point. In an age where computer animation and graphics have almost reached a point of photorealism, characters don't need to line up in rows to do battle with each other. The battle could play out in a believeable fashion and pause for your input when it's your turn.

    People have already complained about the length of time cinematic actions like summons take to play out when they're used over and over again.

    I can't imagine playing a game where even simple "Fight" commands are given full cinematic sequences. After about the 20th encounter with a slime, I'd just want to get it over with.

    Aren't the big cinematic sequences that require no input from the player the part that most people are complaining about in the modern RPG?

    Trepanning is the art of cutting the skull open to let the gods in.
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  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Jurg wrote: »
    Healing, as has been stated, is a huge problem in turn based games. Unless the enemy can out-damage your healing ability, there is simply no way for them to win, and that makes games boring.

    Unless they can, in which case it makes it un-winnable. Sure, this may be a design flaw, but a player should never feel forced to level up just to get through a section of the game.

    THANK YOU. Boss encounters shouldn't rely on grinding out levels on otherwise useless enemies to eventually gain enough HP and/or defense to win. They should force the player to use what skills they've gathered (both in the form of in-game attacks/magic/whatever and learning the tactics in how best to use them) to progress. This is what I like about games like Mass Effect - if you play on normal difficulty, you'll be able to progress no matter where you go. Sure, some of the encounters may be difficult (I chose Noveria first after leaving the Citadel in my first playthru - Benezia is pretty hard that early on), but they're not impossible. Moreover, the limited, non-random encounters feel like a natural fit for the plot. No bullshit grinding, no boss battle walls. Just encounters that provide a decent amount of difficulty while not feeling like an obvious artificial obstacle to overcome just because.

    For me, ME2 was a few steps in the right direction. A robust R&D system with a multitude of viable options at each step/node of the process is where I'd like to see the genre go as a whole. Similarly, more customization across the board - talents, the way armor and weapons look, how they behave, etc. Have characters age, get scars, makeup, tattoos, all during the natural course of the game. I'd love to be able to pimp out whatever transportation options my characters get, not just behind the scenes (more armor, guns, and whatnot), but visually as well.

    I want control. Leave the characters stay true to who they are, but let me outfit them and change some of their look, their abilities, their weapons and armor.

    Keep in mind, this is coming from someone who loves 'god' games (Civ, Sim City, The Sims, etc) and spent more time in Forza 2 creating new cars than actually racing, so my POV may not mesh with the majority.

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  • Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak Registered User
    edited February 2010
    I want more action RPGs with real-time combat in the spirit of Secret of Mana/Evermore, Terranigma, Chrystal Chronicles. In my experience, like 70% of the things that usually bug me in JRPG aren't a factor in those game. Light story and dialoge, no cutscenes, fun if sometimes simple combat system, no random encounters, option for multiplayer, that's what I want in my JRPGs. Why don't they make them anymore?

    I want more RPG/strategy hybrid games with tactical turn-based combat in the spirit of Heroes of Might and Magic or King's Bounty. Especially the later got the concept right, but is somehow missing the fun part. I'm ok with the trend torwards FPS RPGs, as the shooter mechanics are usually solid and still more enjoyable than the pseudo-MMORPG combat Dragon Age had (I'm alone with this opinion, I know), but it's also getting tired. Western developers, bring something new to the table.

  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Ranadiel wrote: »
    I would avoid drawing on a MMORPG as your resource for good ideas, as they are notorious for appealing to the least common denominator when it comes to pretty much everything.

    Your unnecessary elitism is showing.

    A good idea is a good idea, regardless of where it comes from.
    A developer shouldn't try to balance an encounter based on whether or not the player walks into it on their last leg or on peak performance. They should just try to make an encounter engaging, challenging and rewarding

    Yeah, as said previously, this is just a dodge. Design a combat encounter that is engaging, challenging, and rewarding for both a character with 5 HP and no spells remaining and one with 100 HP and all his spells and three potions of rejuvenation.

    Go!

    It is, as numerous tabletop DMs from across the years will tell you (and yes, I'm one of them) ridiculously freaking hard. And we have the benefit of being able to read the table and adjust on the fly using the single greatest piece of heuristic analysis software in the business. Video games, even really, really good ones, just ain't there yet - if they ever will be.
    - it's up to the player to not underestimate their environment and the tasks ahead of them, and to go in as prepared as possible.

    "As prepared as possible" is a meaningless phrase when it comes to CRPG encounter design. "As prepared as possible," from the player perspective, could mean you enter the dungeon, fight once, expending no permanent resources, leave, and rest. You're at 100% for each and every fight, until you've defeated the whole thing. No one, however, is really going to do this ("Scry and Die" and "15-Minute Adventuring Days" notwithstanding).

    Or, from the player's perspective, it could mean grinding out a bunch of gold, then buying up 1,000 potions and running into the dungeon until they run out.

    Or, from the same perspective, it could mean making an educated guess as to how many healing potions to bring (say, 3 per person), how many arrows, at what rate to use their spells, etc.

    On the tabletop, I can perform a lot of jiggery-pokery to prevent my players from running into true no-win situations or, possibly just as bad, complete steamroller situations. Either way indicates that something, somewhere, is not balanced: the goal, after all, is to make a player feel challenged but not overwhelmed (in the sense of, "Man, I totally could have lost there if A and B hadn't worked"), and while occasionally you want to throw an easy ball over the plate for the players to smack home, demonstrating exactly how BA they've become, a long string of cakewalks is not desirable.

    The two worst possible outcomes for the RPG encounter's designer are: 1) "that was a meaningless, easy fight" or 2) "that was cheap" (either for or against the player) The fact that you reference liking Demon's Souls points out that you understand this, at least on some level: there are no battles in Demon's Souls which are meaningless cakewalks (even at high levels, standard skeleton badguys will still mess you up if you get careless) and there are none which are "cheap" (barring the glaring error in how enemies handle long-distance missile fire).

    Most of the methods I can use at the tabletop to achieve that balance (and, thereby, fun) are not available to the CRPG designer - and won't be, for many, many years.
    If you're strolling through a dungeon and don't bother to take the time to heal up after every few battles or use up all your resources before reaching the end, you should be at a disadvantage, if anything for being a careless adventurer.

    How, as a player, do you know when you're reaching the end? How do you know that the left turn you just took adds another two hours of dungeon crawling (and three more fights), whereas going right would bring you to the boss in near-tip-top shape?

    Moreover, why is "heal[ing] up after every few battles" completely kosher, but healing up after every battle a completely foreign and unacceptable concept? Is it okay if the game lets you auto-heal after three fights? Four? Two? Where is your line in the sand drawn?

    Even using your "every few battles" system (we'll set the number at 3 for discussion purposes), there's massive variance between a party's capabilities if the boss fight is position 1 vs. being in position 3. How do you, as a game designer - who knows that the "boss fight" is in the next room - let the player know that, hey, coming into this one after just resting will result in a balanced, difficult, but rewarding fight, but trying it after two medium fights will probably get you killed?

    Again, at the tabletop, I can steer gameplay such that the above becomes obvious (or I can adjust the dungeon map to have the boss two rooms over, or not here today, or something), but the CRPG designer is not as blessed as I am.

    Or, I can take the path offered by MMORPGs, SWSE, and 4th Ed., and say, "Screw it - assume everyone has full HP and full MP for every distinct encounter." And thus, eliminating hundreds of variables from my calculation, have an easier time balancing (and thereby making fun) my encounters.

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  • SigtyrSigtyr Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Turn-based combat is fine.

    As long as it's like FFIV. More games need to adopt it's Battle Speed. Shit was intense when you fought certain bosses with BS1 and ATB.

    And the SaGa Frontier games.

    What's that, you're having difficulty at the boss and decided to go grind? He was 1.5x stronger than you. Now he's 2.5x. Tarot Card "The Grail"(?) I'm looking at you.

  • FalstaffFalstaff Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Turn based combat is for strategy games, not for RPGs. Why? Because turn based combat is simply unfun without challenge. Like playing a game of chess where all of your pieces are queens and all of your opponent's are pawns.

    You may think you enjoy mowing down legions of purple slimes by recycling [Fight] > [Attack], but this is pure self-deception.

    Bosses are challenging, yes, but remind yourself how much time in any given RPG is dedicated to boss fights. 2%? So turn based combat is 2% fun? Yeah.

    Still verbing the adjective noun.
  • SigtyrSigtyr Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Falstaff wrote: »
    No one else can have fun unless the thing they're doing is something I have fun with.

    There we are. Summed that up pretty well.

  • DrakeDrake Blow it all up ForeverRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Falstaff wrote: »
    Turn based combat is for strategy games, not for RPGs. Why? Because turn based combat is simply unfun without challenge. Like playing a game of chess where all of your pieces are queens and all of your opponent's are pawns.

    You may think you enjoy mowing down legions of purple slimes by recycling [Fight] > [Attack], but this is pure self-deception.

    Bosses are challenging, yes, but remind me how much time in any given RPG is dedicated to boss fights? 2%? So turn based combat is 2% fun? Yeah.

    Guess where RPGs come from? Table top strategy games. It's a direct progression. Dungeons & Dragons started out as a homebrew ruleset built around Chainmail(IIRC), a medieval miniatures strategy game.

  • FalstaffFalstaff Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Sigtyr wrote: »
    Falstaff wrote: »
    No one else can have fun unless the thing they're doing is something I have fun with.

    There we are. Summed that up pretty well.

    Not quite: I get just as much joy from leveling up my dudes, micromanaging stats and trying out new ability combinations as the next guy. I'm just not so thick as to associate that pleasure with the vacuous grind that constitutes 98% of turn based combat.

    Drake: You are right. Now what is your point? My argument is that, when there's no strategy involved, using a strategy game's ruleset is stupid.
    Fire emblem is progression
    Final Fantasy clones are regression

    Still verbing the adjective noun.
  • SigtyrSigtyr Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Falstaff wrote: »
    Sigtyr wrote: »
    Falstaff wrote: »
    No one else can have fun unless the thing they're doing is something I have fun with.

    There we are. Summed that up pretty well.

    Excuse me while I prove your point.

  • FalstaffFalstaff Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Argument and (admittedly anecdotal) evidence, meet retroactively reworded insults. Ah, the internets.

    I mean, I know that I'm presenting my opinions as fact. If you wanted me to admit that, I guess you win or something. I just assume everything on message boards has an implicit "IMO" floating in front of it.

    But seriously, bring some substance in so I can shoot you down.

    Still verbing the adjective noun.
  • DrakeDrake Blow it all up ForeverRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Falstaff wrote: »
    Sigtyr wrote: »
    Falstaff wrote: »
    No one else can have fun unless the thing they're doing is something I have fun with.

    There we are. Summed that up pretty well.

    Not quite: I get just as much joy from leveling up my dudes, micromanaging stats and trying out new ability combinations as the next guy. I'm just not so thick as to associate that pleasure with the vacuous grind that constitutes 98% of turn based combat.

    Drake: You are right. Now what is your point? My argument is that, when there's no strategy involved, using a strategy game's ruleset is stupid.
    Fire emblem is progression
    Final Fantasy clones are regression

    My point is that strategy, even in real time action RPGs, is pretty vital to the genre. If there is a lack of strategy and tactics involved in the gameplay it's not the fault of whatever mechanic. It's just bad game design.

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