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#1 Vainamoinen

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 07:19

Too late or too early for such a thread? :)

 

I'd still love to hear about your favorite RPGs and especially RPG mechanics. Also, what you'd like to see in Svalbard, both mechanics as well as scenario and execution wise!


Hey Ubisoft, you can keep your "seamless vast online GTA in space" to yourselves. Signed, one of the greatest Beyond Good & Evil fans alive.


#2 Indrid Cold

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 09:33

The one thing stopping me from playing more RPGs is when they require grinding. If I've not run away from battles, by the time I reach a boss I should be levelled up enough to beat it, instead of having to fight more enemies for no other reason than to gain XP.


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#3 Teller

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 03:36

I'm with Indrid Cold.  I play games for stories, not fighting.  I don't like up close battles so if there's combat I rather it be ranged.  But hopefully Svalbard won't have much fighting and they concentrate on story more.  My role playing ideal is becoming the character, making the choices they would make and living in their world.  So in a way, I consider most adventure games as role playing for that reason.  But I'd like more than an interactive movie.  I don't mind action as long as it's not so hard and you don't have to fight just to gain XP, then I'd be happy.


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#4 Edreamer Jamil

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 06:39

The one thing stopping me from playing more RPGs is when they require grinding. If I've not run away from battles, by the time I reach a boss I should be levelled up enough to beat it, instead of having to fight more enemies for no other reason than to gain XP.


There are loads of RPGs especially more recent games that don’t require grinding
Nier automata which I’m playing right now comes to mind. Never once have I felt I had to stop persuing the story content for any reason
(Side quest diversions yes, but that’s a choice).

Even throughout my recent Tales of playthrough with the exception of a couple of the earliest games I did not grind. When I did it was usually because I wanted money for things earlier that it turned out I could have got easily by just playing and returning later
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#5 Vainamoinen

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 10:30

I've been growing up with and still play a lot of games that employ battles as the major gameplay. "Grinding", in my eyes, should be player choice, not utter necessity. But the choice should honestly be there. I recent years I've stumbled on so many games that technically still have a "grinding" mechanic, but curb progress in the most artificial ways possible (fixed number of enemies/battles, huge experience leaps from one level to the next, level ups that simply don't make your character more capable, and of course the most ridiculous crap ever invented: enemies that scale to the player's level).

 

And all that because game designers fear their game gets "too easy" if players grind a whole bunch (or just enjoy exploring the game world for that matter). But that has never been the problem, has it? If you tried to find all the secrets in the relevant Final Fantasy installments (IV to IX, sorry), you were used to the bosses not being much of a problem. And, uhm, it's OK. It's OK.

 

These mechanics can be done right, and easily so.* If a game developer has a distaste for them, she can easily go without, it'll be an action adventure then and not what is commonly referred to as an "RPG". That, too, is totally OK:sotb:

 

 

 

* A recent example of great grinding/progress/upgrade/levelling handling mechanics is Battle Chasers: Nightwar. I didn't much care for the stupid level cap, but the game really knew how to keep me at it. Needless to say, the story was entirely non-triumphant. I expect much better from RTG.


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Hey Ubisoft, you can keep your "seamless vast online GTA in space" to yourselves. Signed, one of the greatest Beyond Good & Evil fans alive.


#6 Mr Moo

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 18:20

I'm with you on the compulsory grinding part, but then again I'm a completionist, and I don't want fights to become total pushovers just because I mostly complete every side mission and objective before finishing the story. :P

 

Until yesterday I was playing the new God of War, which has quite a lot of both side missions and story missions. Even 9 optional bosses (currently stuck doing the final ninth optional boss, as I suck at parrying and she's apparently next to impossible to beat without skillful parrying)

 

So I grind to upgrade my gear and master parrying, not so much because finishing the story is hard, but because I want to do this boss before progressing the story further. I could probably beat her easier if I finished the story first. That said, I love God of War even if I tire of grinding the optional content for gear upgrades I only need for this optional boss. :)

 

Today I bought Detroit: Become Human - so that's my current :wub: . And I'll surely replay it to see some other outcomes. Who am I kidding - I want to experience all the possible content if at all possible. And it sure seems possible.


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#7 Mr Moo

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 18:53

Regarding what I want to see, it would depend on the mechanics which are implemented. I liked the original Fallout way, where you acquired certain perks for certain actions (like Childkiller), and even could complete the game with really low intelligence. But there were no LG/CE meter shown, as some games used to do.

 

I don't really want a modern remake of Fallout, as we have gotten a number of those already. But I want good dialogue which is different based on a variety of factors. Yes, I realize this would cost a lot in a modern game, but it works very well in the old Fallout games and even cool games like Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines.

 

So yeah, I want something amazing I haven't really seen in modern games. Good reactive dialogues are the way to go, in my opinion. And a lot of skills and stuff to influence the dialogue.


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#8 Mr Moo

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 18:56

You should be able to rip off someone's arm and beat them to death with it. Or be nice, if that's your thing. :P



#9 Vainamoinen

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 20:24

I'm not too keen on any kind of morality system, good vs. evil or dillemma choices. It would be somewhat refreshing if the main character was instead acting consistent with her own personality, which preferably isn't psychotic. ;)


Hey Ubisoft, you can keep your "seamless vast online GTA in space" to yourselves. Signed, one of the greatest Beyond Good & Evil fans alive.


#10 Mr Moo

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 21:45

Yeah, simple morality systems tend to suck big time. Reputation systems generally work out well, as long as they are complex enough. A character isn't just 92% "good", 4% "neutral" and 4% "evil". You should get a reaction based on the other character's (reasonable) knowledge (or suspicions) about your character or your character's actions. Words tend to get around when major disruptions happen. Truth or not - probably mostly not. And major disruptions of some sort is mostly what game stories are about. :P

 

If you're widely known as a dragon slayer, no matter if you ever even met a dragon or not, characters should have a neutral, good, bad, fearful or whatever reaction to your (alleged) dragon slaying. :D


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#11 Mr Moo

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 15:36

After having played through Detroit: Become Human (PS4 exclusive) I'm impressed with the amount of branching narrative they managed to squeeze into the game. It's pretty much mind-boggling. After completing each chapter, which mostly has two or multiple outcomes, the remaining chapters may be fundamentally changed. I'm not quite sure how early the main characters may die while still allowing you to complete but it's quite surprising how much choice you get.

 

After completing each chapter you are presented with a huge flowchart of (pretty much) all your important and not so important choices, and the ones marked yellow will impact later chapters. Like learning someone's name, finding a gun or helping an injured policeman. Such things may give options or reaction bonuses later which are rather essential in keeping your characters alive. The game contains a number of QTEs where you must succeed at some percentage below 100. I have never fully completed any of the QTEs I succeeded but I managed to succeed at all but one on my first playthrough. So maybe something like >80%?

 

Branching for Stormy Night, not in any way the most branching chapter but it's pretty eventful. This one will end with two main character's dead, one side character dead or nobody dead. And you may continue no matter which ending you get, but you will obviously miss out on later content if main characters die early. There are generally both pacifist and violent options, and public opinion to androids will generally decline if you behave violently.

 

Link to description of the three main story branches and how to get the 100% rating (requires multiple chapter replays): http://www.powerpyx....alkthrough-100/ (Huge spoilers, obviously)

 

The branching flowchart for this chapter with it's 9 possible endings. All endings have a yellow marker, meaning no matter how the chapter ends there will be consequences. Some are big, others are rather inconsequential.

 

Spoiler

 

I wouldn't mind something like that for Svalbard, but please avoid QTEs! :D


Edited by Mr Moo, 27 May 2018 - 15:40.


#12 Teller

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 17:52

Don't get me wrong, sometimes I just wanna shoot stuff.  I actually encountered an optional boss day before yesterday in Mass Effect Andromeda.  At first I was going to shy away.  I stopped playing because it was too much, of course that was like at midnight.  I came back to it yesterday fresh and managed to beat it with only dying a couple times. 

 

That's kind of the way I prefer things if you have to have fighting, but it's a tough balance.  Make it hard enough that one actually isn't sure they're ready for it, but not that hard that it's impossible to beat. 

 

I encountered a couple bosses in Darksiders 1 & 2 no matter what level you're at, it's extremely difficult to beat them mostly because it's a timing issue.  And I totally suck at timing and doing things fast enough to get something in the sweetspot, and that's where I think game mechanics start to fall apart.  Having something unless you do it just right at the right time will really turn me off to a game.

 

 

... and of course the most ridiculous crap ever invented: enemies that scale to the player's level).

 

What is with that?  I mean new enemies that fit your level, fine, but existing ones?  I mean what's the point of leveling up then?

 

 

I have been a completionest more so I get every bit out of the story, but like I said before, if I hit a boss I can't get in a few days I leave it.  I just don't have time anymore to battle so much that I get upset just to finish a story.

 

However, I'm finding, especially with Witcher and Mass Effect Andromeda, that some of these side quests are far too much.  I mean there's so many that it's taking away from the story and making me forget what I'm doing, so I'm actually thinking about not even doing most of the side quests and concentrate on the story.  So even though most of those have nothing to do with fighting, a developer can still add too much other stuff.

 

 

I'm not too keen on any kind of morality system, good vs. evil or dillemma choices. It would be somewhat refreshing if the main character was instead acting consistent with her own personality, which preferably isn't psychotic. ;)

Well, I don't know, while I don't really play the "evil" side, I do see why it's there.  It is role playing after all and if someone wants to experience being bad for once since they shouldn't in real life, I can see where it would help someone.  Plus, the "evil" side usually has the more sarcastic dialog which is fun.  That said, I totally agree that no matter which way it goes, there needs to be the consistency of the character.  That's just good writing.

 

I was sad that Quantum Dream went exclusive to Playstation.  Between that and God of War, I've been tempted several times to get one. 


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#13 Vainamoinen

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 09:02

Don't get me wrong, sometimes I just wanna shoot stuff.

Judging from the early concept art, that is what we'll do. And I'm fine with it! :)
 

I mean what's the point of leveling up then?

Exactly. If enemies scale to your level, you could dispense with the whole leveling-up system altogether.
 

However, I'm finding, especially with Witcher and Mass Effect Andromeda, that some of these side quests are far too much.  I mean there's so many that it's taking away from the story and making me forget what I'm doing, so I'm actually thinking about not even doing most of the side quests and concentrate on the story.

The obsession with game length is something I increasingly don't understand. I love an intense, focused, and detailed 15 to 30 hour experience much more than a game that pitches TEH HUEGEST open world EVAR, but delivers only the same old, but for 150 hours. No thanks. I loved Horizon Zero Dawn to pieces, but I never once considered buying the DLC. There just wasn't any reason for even more.
 

That said, I totally agree that no matter which way it goes, there needs to be the consistency of the character.  That's just good writing.

I doubt they'll go with "evil" choices in Svalbard, which makes the whole consistency thing much easier. And as to the sarcasm, I guess Zoë Castillo or Kian Alvane sported plenty. ;)
 

I was sad that Quantum Dream went exclusive to Playstation.  Between that and God of War, I've been tempted several times to get one.

You'd be surprised how these things just turn up under your arm at the electronics store check-out counter. Happened to me last year!


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Hey Ubisoft, you can keep your "seamless vast online GTA in space" to yourselves. Signed, one of the greatest Beyond Good & Evil fans alive.


#14 Teller

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 03:09

More April's sarcasm than Zoë or Kian, but in general they write characters very well.  And that's why I'm not worried at all about this.  I'm 99% sure even if they have a lot of fighting, it will be very story and character focused.  Bring it on!


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#15 magritte

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Posted 24 September 2018 - 11:39

Some of my favorites: Ultima Underworld, Planescape: Torment, Baldur's Gate 2, Fallout, Fallout: New Vegas, Dragon Age: Origins

 

Thoughts on game mechanics:

 

I always thought it was essential to see what the character would actually say word for word...until I played DFC.  Now, I think hearing the character's intention is ideal.  But for god's sake, don't go with a dialogue system like recent Bioware games.

 

I don't care for traditional alignment mechanics.  Faction reputation is a better mechanic.

 

I am not a fan of leveling everything so that the challenge is uniform throughout the game, but aware of the risks that fixed power levels in games (need for grinding, frustration at constantly running into unbeatable monsters).  It maybe okay for grinding to be mandatory at high levels of difficulty, but there should be a difficulty level where a player can get through while focusing on the main story line, or with a character who is poorly optimized for combat either for roleplay reasons or just not being that interested in combat mechanics.Maybe side quests shouldn't reward with experience at all, just with gold/items or reputation with particular factions? You could fix it so that the character's level was pinned to progress in the main story line.  

 

While I don't like too much time pressure, particularly on major quests, perhaps some side quests would have a completion window.  If you learn of a murder plot you shouldn't be able to wander across the continent for months and then come back and warn someone that someone wants to kill them.

 

Side quests should make sense in context.  If you're in a desperate race for time to save the world, you shouldn't be running errands.  If you're in a situation where you need money in order to further your goals, then lots of side quests should be available.  Personally, I'm not a fan of adding more meaningless trash fights to pad the gameplay, but for whatever reason game length is an important selling point in the RPG market.  But ideally, I'd like to see all mandatory fights be different from one another and meaningful within the story line.

 

Another popular trend that baffles me is crafting.  It's boring and it makes no sense for an adventurer to be moonlighting as a skilled tradesman.  If you want custom made goods, you could perhaps have certain blacksmiths able to make custom orders if they're provided with the right materials.

 

Quests should have multiple routes to completion, in order to allow for characters with different skill sets, and for roleplay reasons.  There doesn't have to be a pure pacifist line on every single quest, but if it makes sense to be able to accomplish a task through subterfuge or negotiation, it should be possible.  Fallout: New Vegas is a favorite of mine for this--my gold standard for quest resolution is "Beyond the Beef" where they really were very imaginative in coming up with alternative solutions, some of which are truly twisted.  http://fallout.wikia...Beyond_the_Beef.

 

I prefer quests that don't require huge amounts of backtracking.

 

I much prefer the Pillars of Eternity approach to tanking to the conventional one.  No player would choose to concentrate his fire on the heavily armored guy with a sword while the guy in robes is blasting fireballs, so the AI shouldn't be magically fooled into it by "taunts".  If you want to stop the enemy from attacking your squishies, you should have to do it by blocking and engaging them.

 

I'd like to see warrior types actually be good at fighting, rather than just meat shields.



#16 magritte

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Posted 24 September 2018 - 11:45

One other thing:  on the subject of open worlds.  Completely open worlds are invariably rather small.  A world you can walk across in three hours is not "vast" no matter what Bethesda marketing says.  But I am not so fond of the idea that the world consists of a few setpieces with nothingness between them either.  The best compromise I've seen was the expansion for Neverwinter Nights 2 which had detailed 3-D environments for certain areas and a playable overland map for travel between them.






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