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The Current Generation: Game Play Innovations Due to New Technology

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    HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    Spoit wrote: »
    Anyone have that one article about how people were praising that HL2 mod for having better AI when all it did was increase the enemy's health so that people could actually see it run the AI routines rather than just dieing?

    This was a thing? Oh man.

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    Death of RatsDeath of Rats Registered User regular
    The point is we're already there. That's the point.

    We're not, though.

    Your argument is that if AI were better, games would get much more difficult...but they'd also get easier. You'd think casuals would want easier games.

    Why do we still have games where committing a crime out of anyone's view still makes you "wanted" or puts the guards on alert? Why do we still have games where if one guard sees you, instantly all guards know your exact position? Have you ever played a game where one guard has to walk up to another and literally point at where he last saw you...and that really means where he last saw you, and not where you currently are?

    Why don't we have games where we can only be caught based on evidence we leave behind, and thorough players can do things like wipe down a gun after using it, etc.?

    Heck, why do townspeople in every game just wander randomly in circles? AI won't "be there" until everyone has Sim-like needs and has to eat, go to the bathroom, sleep etc. on a realistic schedule.

    AI is still largely in the dark ages, unless specifically programmed to be extra-intelligent to the point of where it's the whole focus of the game...and even then it's far from perfect.

    All of this is perfectly possible on current hardware. It's the developers who need to implement it. A couple of generations ago the AI routines that you're talking about wouldn't have been possible. Now, however, they are. Some games do take advantage of this or things like it, but most don't.

    No I don't.
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    TurkeyTurkey So, Usoop. TampaRegistered User regular
    FEAR, Halo and Half Life have pretty much the best human AI you can have while still being fun.

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    SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Really, I'm not sure that there is really much point in improving FPS AI beyond what it already is at. If you make them too much smarter, players will either not notice, or it'll become more frustrating than fun.

    Strategy game AI on the other hand....can always use more work to be challenging without resorting to cheating. Also, strategy game AI? Something that can really benefit from additional CPU power....and probably RAM

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    lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    slash000 wrote: »
    The point is we're already there. That's the point.

    We're not, though.

    Your argument is that if AI were better, games would get much more difficult...but they'd also get easier. You'd think casuals would want easier games.

    Why do we still have games where committing a crime out of anyone's view still makes you "wanted" or puts the guards on alert? Why do we still have games where if one guard sees you, instantly all guards know your exact position? Have you ever played a game where one guard has to walk up to another and literally point at where he last saw you...and that really means where he last saw you, and not where you currently are?

    Why don't we have games where we can only be caught based on evidence we leave behind, and thorough players can do things like wipe down a gun after using it, etc.?

    Heck, why do townspeople in every game just wander randomly in circles? AI won't "be there" until everyone has Sim-like needs and has to eat, go to the bathroom, sleep etc. on a realistic schedule.

    AI is still largely in the dark ages, unless specifically programmed to be extra-intelligent to the point of where it's the whole focus of the game...and even then it's far from perfect.

    The AI is in the dark ages because there's not enough incentive to make it much better. Having 3 or more additional CPU cores at faster speeds isn't the bottleneck. And yet, people seem to think that with all this extra processing power we're automatically gonna have all this incredible AI, as if it was the restrictions of previous generations' CPUs that didn't allow AI to stretch beyond the limitations you just listed.... Sheer processing power, number of cores, amount of ram, is not the limiting factor, I guess, is the point.

    Exactly this.

    The problem is that AI is hard in general. Even when consoles are as powerful as today's supercomputers game AI might not be that impressive. Consider how much power it takes for world class Chess play and the fact that Chess is much more suited for a computer than most strategy games because the number of possible moves at any given time is more limited. Not to mention that any given console game won't have a huge number of PhDs spending their careers working out the best algorithms.

    And for the most part, games like Civ that could really use better AI are PC games.

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    override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    Spoit wrote: »
    Really, I'm not sure that there is really much point in improving FPS AI beyond what it already is at. If you make them too much smarter, players will either not notice, or it'll become more frustrating than fun.

    Strategy game AI on the other hand....can always use more work to be challenging without resorting to cheating. Also, strategy game AI? Something that can really benefit from additional CPU power....and probably RAM

    Yeah definitely on strategy games

    Starcraft 2 for example, I just played a Starcraft Brood war custom game and the AI was doing strategies like storming where it thought I had spider mines, DA drops to steal a siege tank, neat stuff

    SC2's ai is nowhere near as complex, it pretty much spams units and they show up every X minutes

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    UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    All of this is perfectly possible on current hardware. It's the developers who need to implement it. A couple of generations ago the AI routines that you're talking about wouldn't have been possible. Now, however, they are. Some games do take advantage of this or things like it, but most don't.

    Oh, I thought you were saying that AI shouldn't improve, due to not being what casuals would want, when I was arguing that it still should. I think we both are saying that it's not due to processing power; you're saying that it's because game AI generally doesn't need to improve, while I mostly chalk it up to developer laziness (probably because it's easy for them to say it doesn't need to improve).

    I do disagree that a couple generations ago the AI I was talking about couldn't exist. Thief and MGS came out in 98, Morrowind in 2002. They both took quite a few steps in the right direction, and I bet there were predecessors that are better examples too.

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    SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    Isn't FEAR last gen? That still has pretty good AI

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    Death of RatsDeath of Rats Registered User regular
    All of this is perfectly possible on current hardware. It's the developers who need to implement it. A couple of generations ago the AI routines that you're talking about wouldn't have been possible. Now, however, they are. Some games do take advantage of this or things like it, but most don't.

    Oh, I thought you were saying that AI shouldn't improve, due to not being what casuals would want, when I was arguing that it still should. I think we both are saying that it's not due to processing power; you're saying that it's because game AI generally doesn't need to improve, while I mostly chalk it up to developer laziness (probably because it's easy for them to say it doesn't need to improve).

    I do disagree that a couple generations ago the AI I was talking about couldn't exist. Thief and MGS came out in 98, Morrowind in 2002. They both took quite a few steps in the right direction, and I bet there were predecessors that are better examples too.

    Actually what I was saying is that it doesn't need to improve for the types of games that typically boast having crazy awesome AI. FPS and Third person shooters don't generally need to have much better than path finding, using cover, and shooting. That's really it.

    Now stealth games, strategy games, and roleplaying games (and anything between these) require a lot more than the FPS basics. These games are where things like hearing, line of sight, shadows, in game objects, ext come into play. Having a stealth (theif) game where if a guard sees anything out of place since the last time they were in the room and investigating would be great. Having it so guards look where they think you are instead of where you are would be great. Getting rid of group think and making it so guards might accidentally attack each other in a dark room would be great. But again, none of this has much to do with processing power.

    The only thing that would require more processing power is scope. Having an intimate stealth game wouldn't require an increase... but image a thief game that takes place in a town as big as any of the cities in AC, where all of this is done on a massive scale. Where guards all across the map have shifts, have to use the restroom, get tired, have an individual knowledge of the world. Where it's not just guards, but the people in buildings, who would alert the closest guard if they hear a bump in the night. Where that knowledge would actually spiderweb out and make an area very unsafe. That might require quite a bit more processing power. And as far as I know, it's not something that has been done before.

    No I don't.
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    UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Registered User regular
    As for the OP, I'm curious why Skate couldn't have been made last generation?

    Both PS2 and Xbox had mandatory right analog sticks, unlike the PS1's Dual Shock

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    chocoboliciouschocobolicious Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Didn't the ai in the new splinter cell only react remotely unless other people were in ear shot, and there was even that ghosting effect to show where the ai believed you were?

    I honestly didn't play it enough to really see how that worked out though.

    Edit: oh yeah, metal gear solid. Even the first game had enemies that followed noise and foot prints, only reacted to what they could see/hear. Later letting you shoot out radios so they couldn't call in help.

    They could be pretty dumb at times but the intent was there.

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    V FactionV Faction Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Now stealth games, strategy games, and roleplaying games (and anything between these) require a lot more than the FPS basics. These games are where things like hearing, line of sight, shadows, in game objects, ext come into play. Having a stealth (theif) game where if a guard sees anything out of place since the last time they were in the room and investigating would be great. Having it so guards look where they think you are instead of where you are would be great. Getting rid of group think and making it so guards might accidentally attack each other in a dark room would be great. But again, none of this has much to do with processing power.
    Interesting pick on that one. I've counted on the fact that in many RPGs there's an enemy pattern you need to figure out so that I may beat a boss or encounter. Imagine if a random NPC mob knew how to dodge all of your attacks, null your spells, keep you from healing yourself, didn't rely on 1 or 2 pre-based attacks. And now imagine if that was every enemy, boss, mid-boss, fight, random encounter, etc. etc., from Lv 1. We'd probably go crazy!

    Thinking back to some of the recent games I've played in the past few months, I'm not sure if I personally would want better or smarter A.I. flowing through NPC veins (unless it was a friendly helper character, which often gets screwed up regardless). There are times when I screw up a scenario and am able to scuttle through thanks to the wonkiness of A.I. "Tricking" the A.I. also qualifies under this, because you probably wouldn't be able to outsmart it being a programmed computer--ala characters in fighting games blocking impossible attacks anyone? And forget a variety of enemy types that attack in specific ways; if they're all smarter than you, what's the difference?

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    Death of RatsDeath of Rats Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    As for the OP, I'm curious why Skate couldn't have been made last generation?

    Both PS2 and Xbox had mandatory right analog sticks, unlike the PS1's Dual Shock

    More than likely it could, but not with the all the bells and whistles. Skate had it's primarily physics based control scheme (I'm fairly positive on this, but I could be wrong), an open world (from what I remember there wasn't any loading going from place to place if you didn't fast travel), a pretty good number of NPCs roaming around, a picture/video online mode, and apparently a pretty good online mode. Each one of these could be handled on older systems on their own, or even some combined... but I'm pretty sure all of these things combined wouldn't have worked out so well. Maybe I'm putting a little too much stock in Skate's physics, but I remember it being pretty damn impressive at the time, especially considering the alternative of THPS, which might as well have been incorruptible scripted sequences for things like grinds.

    Also, at V Faction, I was more talking about western RPGs that JRPGS... but I do believe JRpgs could deal with an upgrade themselves. Considering how simple most turn based rpgs battles systems actually are, it'd be nice to have some sort of rock/paper/scissors mechanic, and have the enemies actually be smart enough to use it.

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    Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    Demons Souls/Dark Souls is pretty innovative in how it deals with multiplayer. It possibly COULD have been done last generation but online play was nowhere near as popular, so it likely wouldn't have been done.

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    Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    How about the AR cards with the 3DS? I don't think anything prior had done the combination of camera, 3d, and gyro motions to make you interact with the world in quite that way previously. Making it appear things are in the room that really aren't seems like a very new gameplay mechanic.

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    EVOLEVOL Registered User regular
    How about the AR cards with the 3DS? I don't think anything prior had done the combination of camera, 3d, and gyro motions to make you interact with the world in quite that way previously. Making it appear things are in the room that really aren't seems like a very new gameplay mechanic.

    This is a good point, but as far as I know these haven't been utilized in any meaningful ways... yet.

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    chocoboliciouschocobolicious Registered User regular
    PSP had invizimals, which was basically an entire game based around using the camera to capture monsters using AR symbols. No gyro motions but... I dunno how integral that would have been to the experience. It was a pretty damn cool game though.

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    Ragnar DragonfyreRagnar Dragonfyre Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Do we have to talk about consoles specifically? Mobile phones with touch screens and gyroscopes have really unlocked a bunch of new gameplay options.

    Something like Infinity Blade wouldn't have been possible in the previous generation of consoles. Swiping with your fingers to get nigh on 1:1 swordplay is an amazing feat. Potentially it could have been done with a mouse to replace gestures, but I think it would be clumsy at best.

    And then you have games like Tilt to Live which uses gyroscope entirely to control your "character". A game like this would have been possible on PS3 with the Six Axis, but in practice the Six Axis was too finicky to be practical. Since mobile gaming really took off, I've seen much better utilization of this feature on iOS.

    Then again... using a gyroscope to control a "player" isn't a new concept. It's essentially this:

    mzl.dbvatfoo.320x480-75.jpg

    So while it may be a newish gameplay feature for video games, it's an old concept. When I start to think about it, it's really amazing how many gameplay concepts are timeless and harken back to games we had before video games.

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    AngryPuppyAngryPuppy Registered User regular
    I remember being blown away by the first screenshots of Dead Rising. I think that processing power definitely helped make a 'proper' zombie game a possibility, with regard to sheer numbers.

    When you think the first Resident Evil could only handle 4 zombies at a time, I know I'm cheating by skipping two generations back but it's still a stark contrast.

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    Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular
    I guess I'd have to agree on Scope being a huge factor. Hell, when was the last time you even stopped to look up in a game and decide how good a skybox it has? Scope for level complexity, size, scaling, and superior loading arrangements.

    Who knows how they'd do Half-Life 2, if they were gonna do it now. It's still a gorgeous, well-designed game, but...it would be totally different if it was made today. The famous 'potemkin village' of City 17 would probably be real.

    Beyond improvements of scope, I really have to go with improvements for lighting effects fundamentally changing how things are done in game worlds. The overall production values for this have dramatically impacted what is possible and what can be made to look good easily.

    Also, online play has become much more widespread and possible. It was being done last gen of course, but the number of people playing online, and the number of developers getting people to play their game online, has been an exponential jump over last generation.

    The infrastructure for digital downloads seriously improving has also been a killer thing. There are more download-only games I want now than store-bought games I'd buy. Would that ever have been possible last generation?

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    lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Something like Infinity Blade wouldn't have been possible in the previous generation of consoles. Swiping with your fingers to get nigh on 1:1 swordplay is an amazing feat. Potentially it could have been done with a mouse to replace gestures, but I think it would be clumsy at best.

    How does it compare to Mount and Blade?

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    Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    AngryPuppy wrote: »
    I remember being blown away by the first screenshots of Dead Rising. I think that processing power definitely helped make a 'proper' zombie game a possibility, with regard to sheer numbers.

    When you think the first Resident Evil could only handle 4 zombies at a time, I know I'm cheating by skipping two generations back but it's still a stark contrast.

    I think Dead Rising is a great example of a gameplay mechanic that couldn't have been done properly in prior generations. In fact, I would say the Wii version vs the HD console versions is one of the clearest illustrations of how the scope effects game play. It just isn't even the same game when you get rid of the swarm of enemies.

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    LitanyLitany Registered User regular
    How so? The Wii version is running on a Modified Resident Evil 4 engine - it seems like there was no effort to "port" Dead Rising as Dead Rising. And, if Wikipedia can be trusted as a source, the Wii version can apparently display a hundred enemies at once (versus the eight hundred the 360 can).

    If anything, the Dead Rising port does more harm than good to this discussion.

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    fragglefartfragglefart Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Do we have to talk about consoles specifically? Mobile phones with touch screens and gyroscopes have really unlocked a bunch of new gameplay options.

    Something like Infinity Blade wouldn't have been possible in the previous generation of consoles. Swiping with your fingers to get nigh on 1:1 swordplay is an amazing feat. Potentially it could have been done with a mouse to replace gestures, but I think it would be clumsy at best.

    And then you have games like Tilt to Live which uses gyroscope entirely to control your "character". A game like this would have been possible on PS3 with the Six Axis, but in practice the Six Axis was too finicky to be practical. Since mobile gaming really took off, I've seen much better utilization of this feature on iOS.

    Then again... using a gyroscope to control a "player" isn't a new concept. It's essentially this:

    mzl.dbvatfoo.320x480-75.jpg

    So while it may be a newish gameplay feature for video games, it's an old concept. When I start to think about it, it's really amazing how many gameplay concepts are timeless and harken back to games we had before video games.

    Yup, phones have all sorts of things going on right now.

    It's not new, but Zombie, Run! is one example of a game I've certainly not played anything overly-analogous to compare with prior to 'this gen'.

    But as a gameplay concept, 'run away from stuff' certainly isn't particularly innovative in and of itself, although zombies could lend 'kiss chase' or 'it' a creepy twist!

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    Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    Litany wrote: »
    How so? The Wii version is running on a Modified Resident Evil 4 engine - it seems like there was no effort to "port" Dead Rising as Dead Rising. And, if Wikipedia can be trusted as a source, the Wii version can apparently display a hundred enemies at once (versus the eight hundred the 360 can).

    If anything, the Dead Rising port does more harm than good to this discussion.

    While I wouldn't really question Wiki's numbers, I can say that the entire game changes between the Wii and 360 versions. The game is not even remotely the same in feel. You can basically avoid all the zombies. 100 may sound like a lot, but in a large mall area it means you can just run around or pluck them off one at a time with no need to worry about being surrounded by a huge swarm of them.

    If you want a zombie to bash you might actually have to walk up to one instead of having that claustrophic feeling of 20 around you at all times trying to grab you. The scope changing completely changes the gameplay mechanic.



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    fragglefartfragglefart Registered User regular
    Also, daft as it sounds, Just Dance 3 on Kinect.

    Before this gen the closest we got obviously was the Dance Dance series, so we had dance mats, which basically were a stompy-fun way for a couple of people to hit lights in sequence. But the gameplay experience was essentially hitting four fixed-location buttons with your feet, with only the enthusiast meta-game evolving into something resembling throwing your body around and using different limbs to hit the arrows in increasingly technical and expressive ways.

    Now, with JD3, you can have four people all tracked without requiring mats, no controllers, just full body routines which can be moved around the 'dancefloor' pretty much at your leisure, which makes for gameplay demands on every part of your body, simultaneously, and on different players concurrently, with both separate and complimentary routines in some cases.

    If this existed last gen, I certainly didn't play it. Although I'm sure some folks will argue to which degree you can innovate within the theme of 'dancing' as a gameplay experience, the two experiences feel very different to me, especially with friends.

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    RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
    Litany wrote: »
    How so? The Wii version is running on a Modified Resident Evil 4 engine - it seems like there was no effort to "port" Dead Rising as Dead Rising. And, if Wikipedia can be trusted as a source, the Wii version can apparently display a hundred enemies at once (versus the eight hundred the 360 can).

    If anything, the Dead Rising port does more harm than good to this discussion.

    Doesn't the fact that they didn't even try to port the Xbox 360 Dead Rising engine to the Wii lend credit to the idea that the Wii (and by extension, the weaker last-gen systems) couldn't handle it?

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    SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    Something like Infinity Blade wouldn't have been possible in the previous generation of consoles. Swiping with your fingers to get nigh on 1:1 swordplay is an amazing feat. Potentially it could have been done with a mouse to replace gestures, but I think it would be clumsy at best.

    How does it compare to Mount and Blade?
    Or what's it called....monster hunter?

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    Ragnar DragonfyreRagnar Dragonfyre Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Something like Infinity Blade wouldn't have been possible in the previous generation of consoles. Swiping with your fingers to get nigh on 1:1 swordplay is an amazing feat. Potentially it could have been done with a mouse to replace gestures, but I think it would be clumsy at best.

    How does it compare to Mount and Blade?

    To be honest, I don't know. I haven't played Mount and Blade since before it went full retail release. It bored the pants off me. I didn't find it as enthralling as the thread on this page made it out to be.

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    LitanyLitany Registered User regular
    Litany wrote: »
    How so? The Wii version is running on a Modified Resident Evil 4 engine - it seems like there was no effort to "port" Dead Rising as Dead Rising. And, if Wikipedia can be trusted as a source, the Wii version can apparently display a hundred enemies at once (versus the eight hundred the 360 can).

    If anything, the Dead Rising port does more harm than good to this discussion.

    While I wouldn't really question Wiki's numbers, I can say that the entire game changes between the Wii and 360 versions. The game is not even remotely the same in feel. You can basically avoid all the zombies. 100 may sound like a lot, but in a large mall area it means you can just run around or pluck them off one at a time with no need to worry about being surrounded by a huge swarm of them.

    If you want a zombie to bash you might actually have to walk up to one instead of having that claustrophic feeling of 20 around you at all times trying to grab you. The scope changing completely changes the gameplay mechanic.

    I agree - I simply think despite the stated intention to 'port' Dead Rising, Capcom cut corners from day one by using an engine designed for a completely different game, with the "feeling" being the major loss.
    Doesn't the fact that they didn't even try to port the Xbox 360 Dead Rising engine to the Wii lend credit to the idea that the Wii (and by extension, the weaker last-gen systems) couldn't handle it?

    I certainly have doubts that the Wii could run the engine running Dead Rising on the Xbox, but putting no effort doesn't mean can't be done. Which is why I suggested Chop 'Til You Drop was a poor point of comparison. State of Emergency was a last gen game that certainly looks the part on the outside. Dead Rising certainly has a more going on under the hood, but so does the Wii in this comparison.

    If Chop 'Til You Drop had been an honest attempt... who knows?

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    lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    slash000 wrote: »
    Spacewar! - truly ahead of its time.


    Definitely due for an HD re-release.

    How about this?

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    V FactionV Faction Registered User regular
    Also, at V Faction, I was more talking about western RPGs that JRPGS... but I do believe JRpgs could deal with an upgrade themselves. Considering how simple most turn based rpgs battles systems actually are, it'd be nice to have some sort of rock/paper/scissors mechanic, and have the enemies actually be smart enough to use it.

    I'm not discluding RPGs made in the West either here. In Skyrim for instance, an enemy's general tactic is to run straight at you with a sword or summon a creature and lob spells at you from a distance. Other tactics include healing themselves religiously or running away. They'll still walk over trap doors and teleport around a room if that's their programming. Which has to be done, in serivce of the player character's Level and general skill, because the combat system is limited (i.e. melee range, mana, ammo, etc.)

    In Kingdoms of Amalur, the combat system rocks, so the enemies do more than just run at you while you're expected to Roll, Block, Parry, Dodge, and combo the crap out of them. However, there's still enemy-types, and they all have their patterns, and the difficulty comes in things like numbers. By mid-game, you've gotten accustomed to seeing and fighting certain enemy A.I. routines.

    Strictly in terms of A.I., I'm not sure if making these enemies able to perform out the player's expectations is necessary or compelling or a case for new technology. That's part of what your original statement refers to, right? When talking about A.I., most players probably care about the scenario-to-scenario emergent gameplay that is claimed to happen--or at least I assume that's what they want. Basically, no two encounters play out the same, whether it's an enemy flanking you or climbing up on a rock or using a health potion.

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