Balancing RPGs ( Because Lulu Cares ;) )

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#1 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (10284 posts) -

Here are a few things Many Many Many RPGs suck at.

I particularly like the part emphasising the importance of Mechanics, they should matter more than stats.

But honestly I think Pillars of Eternity is gonna suck massive donkey balls, I doubt its actually going to adhere to any of the things mentioned in the article. which is why TRINE will always be the BEST RPG EVER. no stats whatsoever !!! You just can't beat that. Yeah Yeah I know Trine is a Puzzle Platforming Beat'em Up but I often find that many non-RPG games are better at these things than actual RPGs, I mean just look at Bioshock (don't give me that look, You know what I mean). Ironic huh ?

anyway what do you guys think ? (Don't hold back... Lulu wants Brutal Honesty.)

#2 Posted by mastermetal777 (974 posts) -

Look at Chrono Trigger for one of the most well-balanced RPGs in the entire gaming world. No stat management (something you obviously want) as characters level off pre-determined scores, skill is based on specific characters and their specific weapon specialty and what kind of gear they get, battles are in a more refined version of Final Fantasy's ATB system which is both turn-based and real-time, and beating some enemies relies less on trial and error and more of listening to the townsfolk, reading their moves, and getting subtle hints from them instead of dying over and over.

#3 Posted by udUbdaWgz1 (631 posts) -

that's a good article stating the basic components of rpg's and the dumbed-down casual-fests that are put out in today's gaming world are easily seen.

however, good mechanics and balance should NEVER be negatively impacted by "stats" or attributes and should, instead, increase a game's depth, meaning and customization.

as well, i'm not even going to start comparing simple upgrade, non-rpg's like bioshock and, especially, masseffect2 with tes, fallout or witcher games.

#4 Posted by Gamerno6666 (521 posts) -

There is nothing wrong with stat based gameplay. deal with it. And stop picking on good rpg's.

#5 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (10284 posts) -

@Gamerno6666

Hey this time it wasn't me.... You heard from an actual developer of games.

Its not really the stats being there that bothers me, its how they are used that bothers me, especially in non-combat scenarios like lock picking or conversations, things that I know Pillars Of Eternity is going to fuck up.

#6 Posted by Ish_basic (3999 posts) -

Nothing wrong with incorporating stats into conversation. Just because you can talk doesn't mean you are as good talking your way into or out of something as anyone else. A lot of times stats reflect off-the-cuff thinking in conversations, so options become available to certain characters that aren't to others. That's completely fair and sensible. Similarly, personality types are a method of stat-tracking designed to offer different choices...so, if I'm playing Shadowrun and at character creation i set my background to gang-affiliated, when interacting with gang members in the game, I'm going to be able to work that conversation more than someone who is corporate, because I know the lingo. That makes perfect sense, too. Yet a third option doesn't so much affect your choices as it does your ability to influence the character you're talking to with them, and that's your relationship with that character. There's a wrong way to this, but there's a very right way to do it, as seen in Alpha Protocol, which was made by the dev this guy works with.

When it doesn't make sense is in instances like Mass Effect where being a bad guy stops you from being able to take the good guy route because your meter isn't high enough. That's just stupid. But that's BioWare, and please don't mistake anything BioWare has done this century as good RPGing. It's not.

But still. We have to acknowledge that an Obsidian guy talking balance is like an Activision guy talking about the importance of new IPs. I've enjoyed very many Obsidian games, but they are usually broke as fuck. Whether it's a dual-wielding, pistol-toting scoundrel burning down hordes of dark jedi in Sith Lords or multi-shotting your way through AP, combat balance is never something I've seen Obsidian achieve.

Honestly, the only RPG i would say was balanced was Guild Wars, because it didn't revolve around leveling, locked all weapons around singular base stats (just like good ol' D&D) and offered only a minimal amount of stat points to manage. They also rebalanced skills monthly, sometimes weekly patches, and this includedjust altering values to revamping the entire skill to completely rebuilding classes (as in the case of the Dervish). The one thing this article gets right is that you can't anticipate what players will come up with, so you need lots of post release patching to keep things balanced...and all that patching will just shift the unbalance to a different area, so you have to keep at it.

But this isn't a flaw. The fact of the matter is imbalance is inherent to life...some weapons are just better than others. There's a reason we don't ride horses into battle anymore.

#7 Posted by BranKetra (48164 posts) -

Please be more coherent.

#8 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (10284 posts) -

@BranKetra

You'l have to forgive me, I haven't done this in a long while, its actually my 3rd Thread this year. :p

#9 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (10284 posts) -

@Ish_basic:

"Just because you can talk doesn't mean you are as good talking your way into or out of something as anyone else."

Doesn't bother me at all. Infact the more abstract... The better, Up to a point ofcourse.

"....doesn't so much affect your choices as it does your ability to influence the character you're talking to with them, and that's your relationship with that character."

This is actually the part that pisses me off the most, there is no right way to weave stats into this at all. Trust me, developers have wrecked their brains trying to figure this thing out just for Role Playing's Sake because "RPGs are suppose have stats". Its very annoying.

"Honestly, the only RPG i would say was balanced was Guild Wars, because it didn't revolve around leveling, locked all weapons around singular base stats (just like good ol' D&D) and offered only a minimal amount of stat points to manage. They also rebalanced skills monthly, sometimes weekly patches, and this includedjust altering values to revamping the entire skill to completely rebuilding classes (as in the case of the Dervish). The one thing this article gets right is that you can't anticipate what players will come up with, so you need lots of post release patching to keep things balanced...and all that patching will just shift the unbalance to a different area, so you have to keep at it."

Now thats good game Design.... but it kinda has to be that way being that its got Multiplayer and all. I want single player games to follow this philosophy, The CPU should have a fair chance too.

"But this isn't a flaw. The fact of the matter is imbalance is inherent to life...some weapons are just better than others. There's a reason we don't ride horses into battle anymore."

Thats just redundant, why don't they just make game about a fat guy complaining about RPGs on the Internet, thats "life" too. I don't want "life" when I boot up my console. I wouldn't be gaming if I did.

#10 Posted by mastermetal777 (974 posts) -

Stats are more than just simple numbers though. They allow people to connect more to their player character. For example, a character with a high faith stat in an RPG would indicate that they're very devoted to whatever religion the world is a part of, or are a prolific magic user because they believe in the power of it so strongly, just as an example. The game doesn't flat out tell you that, but you can infer that based on the character's choice of clothing/armor, weaponry, and other related items.

As another example, take a, say, base knight class. They might start off with +5 strength, +2 dexterity, +6 willpower, and -1 faith (just as the most basic of examples). That faith and dexterity don't start off so high because maybe the knight isn't exactly the most skilled warrior or the most devoted person. But that's just the start. As the game progresses, you might see fit to make him a more capable wielder of weapons for more devastating attacks, and you might also make him more devoted, meaning he might be able to use magical upgrades to his abilities because he believes more in that mystical power the world has. Stats have just as much a purpose in character building and narrative as it does being an actual mechanic.

And as a mechanic, the most well-made RPGs don't tend to make the game all about the stats. As I've studied, stats in a good RPG are there merely to show the player's skill with certain weapons and armor. It's a way of showing the character's growth in the game and the control we have in making sure we grow the way we want, just like we as humans grow in our own lives according to what we deem are appropriate "stat boosts" so to speak. We might become stronger at one thing and remain average or weak in others. So life goes, and so it has gone for many years. RPGs and their stats take some of the attributes of humanity and put it into numbers for the purposes of a game because video games are dependent on numbers and equations in order to actually function. There is a function to the mechanics of stats, but there's also a deeper meaning behind them in their "show, don't tell" narrative purpose.

And as for the article, I've always been weary of Obsidian's games because they are some of the buggiest and most unbalanced released games when they're launched. I don't know about you, but when an RPG launches and has balancing issues, it shouldn't have to wait for fan complaints in order to be patched and fixed. Games like Dark Souls weren't released with (major) balance issues, and while there have been patches here and there to address common bugs in the AI and the game itself, there was never a need to rebalance the game in a patch because the game itself was challenging and fair to begin with. And I'm supposed to trust the devs in the article when they're responsible for such buggy releases? No thanks.

#11 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (10284 posts) -

"They allow people to connect more to their player character. For example, a character with a high faith stat in an RPG would indicate that they're very devoted to whatever religion the world is a part of, or are a prolific magic user because they believe in the power of it so strongly, just as an example. The game doesn't flat out tell you that, but you can infer that based on the character's choice of clothing/armor, weaponry, and other related items.

As another example, take a, say, base knight class. They might start off with +5 strength, +2 dexterity, +6 willpower, and -1 faith (just as the most basic of examples). That faith and dexterity don't start off so high because maybe the knight isn't exactly the most skilled warrior or the most devoted person. But that's just the start. As the game progresses, you might see fit to make him a more capable wielder of weapons for more devastating attacks, and you might also make him more devoted, meaning he might be able to use magical upgrades to his abilities because he believes more in that mystical power the world has. Stats have just as much a purpose in character building and narrative as it does being an actual mechanic."

RPGs are very idealistic like that, but practically speaking its very simple, There is no mechanic for faith, developers may try their best to hide it but a stat like faith will always resemble that crap from Mass Effect. simply ask yourself these questions:

What does it do mechanically ? How do I acquire (more of) it ?

That should give some perspective on how stupid it is.

".... the most well-made RPGs don't tend to make the game all about the stats. As I've studied, stats in a good RPG are there merely to show the player's skill with certain weapons and armor. It's a way of showing the character's growth in the game and the control we have in making sure we grow the way we want, just like we as humans grow in our own lives according to what we deem are appropriate "stat boosts" so to speak."

- Its the character's skill, not the player's, even in Action RPGs, relatively speaking, as the character's stats go higher, the less effort is actually required from the player. Its classic complacency. You can't say I've grown as a Racer if you have a better vehicle than everybody else.

- Usually through some sort of tedious repetition. "Slay 300 this, collect 5 billion that, heres a skill point, put it where ever you want." I can't believe I ever liked this crap in the 1st place. :(

- I feel the exact opposite, I feel like the stats actually take control away from me, if such a system was put into competitive games like say Street Fighter, you are robbed the opportunity to actually improve your skills, you see this a bunch of times in F2P games and Microtransactions, sometimes people just have better character's/gear than you do, wheres the control in that ? this doesn't just magically disappear in Single Player games either, theres just nobody there on the other side to complain about it. Unless you play something like Dark Souls where the tables... or rather the stats... are turned against you, good thing the AI is dumb, its the only reason that game is actually beatable.

- In real life theres actually no such thing, everything requires hard work, don't get better at stuff by repeating it the exact same way every single time, you have to out do yourself on each iteration. You have to be better, faster, stronger... smarter, and if you don't practice your skills will decay and atrophy. Real Life is exactly like Tekken or Street Fighter...

"There is a function to the mechanics of stats, but there's also a deeper meaning behind them in their "show, don't tell" narrative purpose."

The function is simple... the meaning is an illusion people buy into. Quite literally, actually. Also if you watch Extra Credits as much as I assume you do then you know their mantra is "Do, Don't Show" but thats an argument for cutscenes not RPGs.... atleast not yet anyways.

I'm so lucky I've never played an Obsidian game.I could've been much worse if I did.

#12 Posted by commonfate (12252 posts) -

Dude discusses good game design. Not sure what we're supposed to be arguing here or why you've setup some kind of predetermined argument here as if RPG fans should be disagreeing with him.

#13 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (10284 posts) -

@commonfate

Thats just how I role. I'm the master of self contradiction. :)

#14 Posted by Planeforger (15535 posts) -

But honestly I think Pillars of Eternity is gonna suck massive donkey balls, I doubt its actually going to adhere to any of the things mentioned in the article.

Sure. They've been discussing great RPG design for the entire development run of Pillars of Eternity, only to churn out the next Bound by Flame.

#15 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (10284 posts) -

@Planeforger

Theorists usually suck in practice, doesn't mean they're not onto something.

#16 Posted by Treflis (11480 posts) -

Okay, I'll be brutally honest.

Why pitch this to us when it's developers you really should pitch this too? We don't develop games, We play them. Of course you can voice that you want it to be like that but it's not like we can do anything about it, thus making the whole debate on if it is a good idea or not rather pointless. About as pointless as Which console is better or what the best game ever made is, opinions will be different. Some will agree, some will disagree and some will disagree so much they start to foam at the mouth. But in the end it doesn't matter if you only point at it and go " Look" to a crowd that's not developing games.

It just boils down to a pointless thread intended to spark debate rather then actually change.

#17 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (10284 posts) -

@Treflis

Uh... Because I was bored... I mean is there really any other reason to create a thread ? ;)

Besides developers know these things already, most things I hate about RPGs aren't accidental, they are carefully crafted that way because its more addictive, its not their fault gamers are so gullible and susceptible to even the most transparent illusions. I mean just look at Skyrim... Bethesda knows they suck... So I decided to take this issue directly to the sauce... The community.

#18 Posted by udUbdaWgz1 (631 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu: i'll tell you what i and a lot of rpg gamers hate: stats not impacting abilities, such as, lockpicking. there should be a zero chance of an amateur picking a high level lock. and, i won't even talk about abilities, such as, lockpicking where increased stats don't impact the game in any meaningful way. thus, in a rpg game the classic "lockpicking" ability has been relegated to and useless gameplay mechanic and turned into mere "roleplaying" fluff.

btw, attributes are NOT simply modifiers. they impact or, i should say, SHOULD impact EVERY single mechanic in a meaningful way. there's a reason why they are the core building blocks of all mankind. and, well-made games don't eliminate or attempt to replace core attributes and pass it off as: upgrades, perks, conglomerate statistics or any other kind of tier-based simplification.

i'm tired of using my imagination to replace ACTUAL, IN-GAME MECHANICS that should already be there.

at least, for god's sake, add optional toggles.

#19 Edited by Planeforger (15535 posts) -

@udubdawgz1: Oh god, I was just reminded of how Oblivion mishandled lockpicking - not only did they reduce it to an easy minigame, but they then provided players with an unbreakable lockpick that made the entire skill tree completely redundant.

Your post also reminded me why I love Age of Decadence so much. In that game, stats are GOD. If you have not specialised your character's stats and attributes towards combat, then you will die in battle. Similarly, if you don't specialise in being the most charismatic or devious person around, you're not going to be able to talk your way through every encounter. With certain skills, some quests are a breeze. Without certain skills, some quests are impossible.

Your choice of profession, your stats, your skills and your allegiances impact the outcome of every single quest in the game - to the point where you can replay the game ten times over (or more!) and see different quest outcomes and significantly different story paths.

It's really quite brilliant!

#20 Posted by bussinrounds (2036 posts) -

@udubdawgz1: Oh god, I was just reminded of how Oblivion mishandled lockpicking - not only did they reduce it to an easy minigame, but they then provided players with an unbreakable lockpick that made the entire skill tree completely redundant.

Your post also reminded me why I love Age of Decadence so much. In that game, stats are GOD. If you have not specialised your character's stats and attributes towards combat, then you will die in battle. Similarly, if you don't specialise in being the most charismatic or devious person around, you're not going to be able to talk your way through every encounter. With certain skills, some quests are a breeze. Without certain skills, some quests are impossible.

Your choice of profession, your stats, your skills and your allegiances impact the outcome of every single quest in the game - to the point where you can replay the game ten times over (or more!) and see different quest outcomes and significantly different story paths.

It's really quite brilliant!

Oh god, giving me nightmares of that hideosity Oblivion. How about that persuasion mini-game ? Holy shit..talk about complete retardation. Along with Beth's other terrible RPG systems.

And hell yea, really looking forward to AoD, but worried about Pillars and this devs obsession with over balancing everything though.

Ahh Lulu...the man who hates RPGs...yet seems to be obsessed with them for some reason.

#21 Edited by udUbdaWgz1 (631 posts) -

@bussinrounds: i'll keep this quick;) i agree that oblivion has lots of issues unmodded and i only have a 360. however, due to my long list (which is second nature now) of hardcore self-imposed restrictions and rules (inspired by bigwooly and other internet gamers) i have turned oblivion into a great game, including, the speech wheel. (stop laughing:)) ditto for skyrim, fallout3, etc. mechanics.

in fact, that's the beauty of those games, as opposed, to the non-rpg's like masseffect, where you don't even have the possibility to create long lists of individual and customized game rules for every character you create.

that doesn't mean i let the devs off the hook for their crappy mechanics and dumbed-down casual-fests, but, the inherent greatness of tes/fallout games dominates other "rpg's."

#23 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (10284 posts) -

@udUbdaWgz1

I'm alil confused but hey... Its never stopped me before.

I get that you want to to see a big difference in the way your character plays, grinding and looting aint fun so the pay off had better be freaking worth it.

Or you can give up on the idea of crafting the ultimate character build and play a good game for a change, something so enjoyable you don't have to get rewarded for it in the end.

Or if there is a reward, its a new mechanic to play with, like the batman games let you do.

Anyway heres the part that confuses me:

"i'm tired of using my imagination to replace ACTUAL, IN-GAME MECHANICS that should already be there."

Are you saying you want a more mechanical experience ? The 1st part of your post gave me the impression that you prefered doing things statistically.

#24 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (10284 posts) -

@bussinrounds

Because I like the idea, I just hate the execution.... Still waiting for the mechanical RPGs to be developed consiuously... Dragons Dogma almost nailed, I mean they were so fucking close and then they fucked it up.... :( hang on... I need a minute.....

#25 Edited by udUbdaWgz1 (631 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu: that question really gets to the crux of immersion, gameplay and mechanics issues for me and it often leads to misunderstandings and arguments, at times. i want BASIC core mechanics that greatly influence the game (imo) to be done in-house and NOT left up to me to have to make it up as a personal rule/restriction. otherwise, FOR ME, it simply becomes a mental exercise and god knows that can be a chore, at times, lol! now, i'm not talking about simple stuff here (imo), but, core and very significant GAMEPLAY mechanics.

the rationales, "just don't do it or use it" are invalid, imo. if there are no in-game CONSEQUENCES than it simply a mind exercise. i shouldn't have to limit potion spamming by counting numbers to myself between uses. i shouldn't have to imagine i can't swim in armor. i shouldn't have to add my own "death with consequences" ruleset in the year 2014 for a roleplaying game with the tech that's available. i should be able to set my encumbrance. i shouldn't have to limit my characters lockpicking level with a rule of my own when the devs should have had the rpg understanding that amateur thieves would fail every single time at complex locks. THE GAME should force me to eat and sleep because if i don't my non-existent stats will decline and my character might die or fail or, gasp, not be able to do everything during that one playthrough. i shouldn't have a hud/audio system, that, when turned off becomes useless because the devs were too stupid to make it competently.

now, there is a line that can obviously be crossed and you get into sim territory, but, i find that extremely convenient and lazy and invalid. fine, simply, add toggles and/or "hardcore" modes for those of us who like games with depth, meaning and ultimate customization. and, btw, sleeping and eating in a video game is NOT like doing it in real life and the ole "we play video games to get away from life" is an invalid rationale.

because, we're going to roleplay ANYWAYS. but, to make us roleplay BASIC, CORE MECHANICS that should have IN-GAME CONSEQUENCES, is, imo, unacceptable at this point in gaming technology.

enough of the graphics and neat screens and voice-acting and meaningless fluff if it gets rid of the rpg-ness of supposed rpg's.

immersion, stats and core gameplay mechanics work hand in hand.

or, something like that, lol. (takes deep breath)

#26 Posted by bussinrounds (2036 posts) -

Being able to dress ur character up and go anywhere you want in some crappy 3D gameworld, and the rest is UP TO YOU !

That's why they're called LARPing sims folks.

#27 Posted by SovietsUnited (1916 posts) -

Being able to dress ur character up and go anywhere you want in some crappy 3D gameworld, and the rest is UP TO YOU !

That's why they're called LARPing sims folks.

I will never understand the circled hate for this type of RPG
That's like if I called Planescape: Torment, Baldur's Gate 2 or Ultima 7 reading simulators or visual novels: it's missing the point

#28 Posted by bussinrounds (2036 posts) -

@bussinrounds said:

Being able to dress ur character up and go anywhere you want in some crappy 3D gameworld, and the rest is UP TO YOU !

That's why they're called LARPing sims folks.

I will never understand the circled hate for this type of RPG

That's like if I called Planescape: Torment, Baldur's Gate 2 or Ultima 7 reading simulators or visual novels: it's missing the point

Maybe Planescape, but other old school RPGs don't have THAT much reading. Come on now.

#29 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (10284 posts) -

@udUbdaWgz1

Ah yes... Simulations... Not a big fan of those, they're usually far too abstract for the basic gamer to understand. Infact they seem far too abstract to be immersive.

#30 Posted by SovietsUnited (1916 posts) -

@SovietsUnited said:

@bussinrounds said:

Being able to dress ur character up and go anywhere you want in some crappy 3D gameworld, and the rest is UP TO YOU !

That's why they're called LARPing sims folks.

I will never understand the circled hate for this type of RPG

That's like if I called Planescape: Torment, Baldur's Gate 2 or Ultima 7 reading simulators or visual novels: it's missing the point

Maybe Planescape, but other old school RPGs don't have THAT much reading. Come on now.

They don't; what I said was unfair, but I wanted to illustrate a point.

The action RPG is just the other side of the same coin if you ask me, and there have always been action counterparts for each of the big names among old-school RPGs
What I don't get is, why is this big split among the community happening only now?
In particular, why is TES "the devil"?

#31 Edited by bussinrounds (2036 posts) -

I have no problem with action rpgs as a whole really. Not a fan of modern (post Morrowind) Beth game design AT ALL.

Bad gameplay/combat....bad story elements....bad RPG systems/mechanics. 3 big strikes right there.

#32 Posted by Ish_basic (3999 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu: Thats just redundant, why don't they just make game about a fat guy complaining about RPGs on the Internet, thats "life" too. I don't want "life" when I boot up my console. I wouldn't be gaming if I did.

Stop it. No one wants to play anything completely artificial. That you're okay with some concessions being made, means nothing; everyone has a line where a game becomes unbelievable and just not enjoyable. Some reality matters. It really is lame when people fire back with "well I don't want life!" That's a straw man, Lulu. I wasn't arguing for complete realism.

That weapons like the bow and spear were dominant on a battlefield wasn't because of any statistical measure, but because of inherent properties of the weapons. You can only do so much balancing before the character of the weapon or ability is lost. You can make a spear do less damage, but if it doesn't penetrate armor, it doesn't feel like a spear. And even if you debuff that damage, you can't change the range of the spear without turning it into an entirely different weapon, yet that range will always grant it an advantage in combat allowing players to attack from outside their enemy's range. Same with bows...you can't take out the distance factor. Yet these factors will always create imbalance.

There's also the issue of taste when it comes to how certain devs and players want their combat to perform. Many people think magic should be overpowered because...it's magic. So you get games like Unleashed and Lichdom where magic is designed to be out of balance in the first place. When it is the developer's intent to express specific levels of power, I think the notion of imbalance no longer applies. If one doesn't like the game, he should find something else to play rather than criticizing it over his mechanical preferences.

#33 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (10284 posts) -

@Ish_basic

Games don't need reality... They need consistency and good internal logic. All RPGs try to do this on some level.

Speaking of Armour, RPGs have the laziest implimentation of armour I've ever seen, its not practical and localized to each part of the body its suppose to protect. Each piece you put on counts towards the total protection regardless of what part of the body its, so why put on a helmet that covers your characters face when you can just put on grieves and vambraces that offer an equal amount of proection, anyway, this the problem stems from not using proper mechanics, its not like the game lets you aim for a headshots or leg shots to topple over baddies or arm shots to disarm them, but I'm sure theres RPGs out there that have stats for that too, critical chance.

#34 Posted by Ish_basic (3999 posts) -

@Ish_basic

Games don't need reality... They need consistency and good internal logic. All RPGs try to do this on some level.

Speaking of Armour, RPGs have the laziest implimentation of armour I've ever seen, its not practical and localized to each part of the body its suppose to protect. Each piece you put on counts towards the total protection regardless of what part of the body its, so why put on a helmet that covers your characters face when you can just put on grieves and vambraces that offer an equal amount of proection, anyway, this the problem stems from not using proper mechanics, its not like the game lets you aim for a headshots or leg shots to topple over baddies or arm shots to disarm them, but I'm sure theres RPGs out there that have stats for that too, critical chance.

Lulu, you would not even recognize good internal logic if it didn't have some basis in reality. It's just the nature of logic.

But you're getting dangerously close to talking about preferences rather than mechanical issues. That some RPGs don't require you to aim isn't a flaw, it's just an emphasis on a different brand of gameplay. For example, RTSs tend to be about managing resources, efficiency and broad battlefield tactics...the particulars of the actual blows being exchanged are irrelevant and handled by a system that the player has only marginal control over. That isn't a flaw. And everything is built up from that emphasis, so it wouldn't make sense if a game not emphasizing a one-to-one representation of combat forced you to micromanage individual armor slots.

There are, however, RPGs out there that treat your armor choices on an area basis so that if you get hit in an area with lighter armor equipped, you take more damage. It's not an oversight when an RPG doesn't do this, though. A big part of RPGing is character and people like to wear unique armoring to standout...they'd prefer to toss out that bit of reality so they could instead have a unique looking character, so devs work around it, creating an armor system that allows players to play the character how they intend while looking how they want to look.

It is a bit ironic for you to say "game's don't need reality" and then spend the next paragraph complaining about what amounts to a lack of reality.

#35 Posted by Planeforger (15535 posts) -

Lulu, there are plenty of RPGs thst let you target specific body parts for different effects. Check out Fallout 1-2, Age of Decadence, or Silent Storm for really great examples of this.

They don't just use critical chances either, but actual targeting systems.

#36 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (10284 posts) -

@Ish_basic

My Mario has no basis in Reality yet has great internal logic. Perhaps you wouldn't recognize it but I would, one of they components to proper internal logic is how you learn it, a good tutorial can make anything seem like second nature, play Portal, eventually you'l learn to start thinking with Portals, which can then make for some pretty trippy dreams. oh dear I'm getting sidetracked...

Anyway I still need to penetrate the RTS genre, controlling more than one character is uncharted territory for me so the big question is how can one maintain depth without bogging the game down with a bunch of stats. A real overlord has to deal with stats too just not the same kind of stats you would find in games. It should feel like chess, I love chess, very complex game but numbers are pretty simple, it doesn't take more than an 24 hours to learn the basic numbers of chess. RTSs (from what I can see on the UI) burry you in so much of these stats.... Too much to memorize, I hate memorizing stuff.

Look heres how I see things, a game doesn't have mechanics designed for different types of armour then it shouldn't have all that armour in the 1st place, its just causing unecessary clutter and frustration. If certain things are just there for cosmetic purpose then don't let the stats interfere, I can't tell ya how many times I've played an RPG where the cool armour is usually the weakest and the ugly armour is the best.

#37 Posted by PapaTrop (498 posts) -

I didn't read the whole article, but what I will say is this.

I dislike stats, I dislike menus, I dislike dialogue trees, etc etc etc. They are all things that, to me, interfere with gameplay, and only serve to disrupt the pacing of a game.

Give me seamless experiences. Something like Zelda games where you "level" by collecting hearts, items, and gear while playing through your journey and the only determining factor to your success of the game is whether or not you are actually good, and not whether or not you said the right phrase to some main character, or chose the right combat spec.

#38 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (10284 posts) -

@Planeforger

Depends what you mean by "different effects".

Are they practical or does each part of the body have its own stat or something like that, "effects" in RPGs are not the same as "effects" everywhere else.

In Some RPGs, being set on fire and being poisned is pretty much the samething from a practical standpoint, they both make you lose HP continuously over a certain duration of time, I just call decaying. Then you got crap like Final Fantasy (or any JRPG really) with Like 10 different types of damages yet are functionally and mechanically indifferent from one another. Some baddies are only susceptible to a specific type of damage, its the most arbitrary hurdle I've ever encountered in a video game, Mass Effect was also like this.

I could go and on and on if somebody doesn't stop me I probably will.

#39 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (10284 posts) -

@PapaTrop

I really have to play one of these Nintendo games at some point, all the games I considered to be well designed are usually Inspired by Zelda and Metroid. :p

#40 Posted by Maddie_Larkin (6384 posts) -

Well TC If you have to ask the question, the answer is simple "Because you don't like, or understand RPG's" easy huh?

#41 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (10284 posts) -

@Maddie_Larkin

I understand RPGs, I don't understand their fans. You're welcome to disregard that if you want... Because thats easy too huh ?

#42 Edited by PapaTrop (498 posts) -

@PapaTrop

I really have to play one of these Nintendo games at some point, all the games I considered to be well designed are usually Inspired by Zelda and Metroid. :p

If that's the type of game you're looking for then you'd really like Zelda and Metroid.

#43 Posted by Maddie_Larkin (6384 posts) -

@Maddie_Larkin

I understand RPGs, I don't understand their fans. You're welcome to disregard that if you want... Because thats easy too huh ?

No you seem to question what is the basic principle guiding an rpg, I would say it is safe to assume that you don't? Since RPGs are imitating PnP.

for the sake of it, how should you as a player in a statless RPG be good or back at picking the beforementioned Lock? Or would you rather the player be omnipotant? (very much against everything an RPG stands for).

RPGs have always been about Building a character, making choices at what they are good at and what they are not given no living being can be omnipotant, those choices then feed into the choices you would have in a given situation.

The stat rolls are a leftover from PnP RPG's which govern if the character is skilled enough to pass a stat check, and since RPGs on console and PC strives to imitate those (aswell as the choices and concequences of the player) The stats form the very framework upon which the game and gameworld is built.

See what you seem to be describing is an action adventure game (almost to a fault) makes me take a wild guess that you don't understand RPGs, atleast not the core of what an RPG is.

Oh wait you are going to bring the "well on a console or PC you do not need stat rolls" right? well in that case it would not imitate the PnP RPGs they aim for, and thus not be RPGs would they? I know shocking.

#44 Edited by Planeforger (15535 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu: I actually meant different effects, and not just interchangeable JRPG 'elemental' damage (or whatever).

For example, in Fallout 1+2, hitting someone in the eye can blind them (reducing accuracy), hitting their arms can cause them to drop weapons (or break arms, preventing them from using two-handed weapons), hitting their legs can topple them (or cripple them, reducing their movement speed), hitting their head or groin can stun them or knock them out (but they're much harder to hit).

Silent Storm does it even better, throwing in a large number of functional effects to your attacks. For example, nearby explosions can make characters deaf (so they can't notice enemies through walls), concuss them, or cause them to panic.

There also lots of RPGs that use simple bashing/slashing/piercing damage types and resistances, but those are admittedly a lot like JRPGs that use fire and ice damage. That's why I prefer games like Age of Decadence, which give each weapon type a different effect (so daggers don't simply say "piercing damage", but rather they do standard damage that functionally ignores armour; axes break shields; spears interrupt eneny movement, and so on). Plus different weapon types (and different weapons within each type) can be swung in different ways - so lighter daggers can hit in a flurry of attacks, heavy hammers can be swung in arcs, etc.

#45 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (10284 posts) -

@PapaTrop

Will there be Co-Op ? :D

#46 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (10284 posts) -

@Maddie_Larkin

WOW ! After hearing that I'm even more confident I understand RPGs even more than you do ! :p

@Planeforger

I'm assuming I'be needing a PC to play any of these games.... I'm also assuming they won't be in Real Time.

#47 Posted by Maroxad (8084 posts) -

@Ish_basic

Games don't need reality... They need consistency and good internal logic. All RPGs try to do this on some level.

Speaking of Armour, RPGs have the laziest implimentation of armour I've ever seen, its not practical and localized to each part of the body its suppose to protect. Each piece you put on counts towards the total protection regardless of what part of the body its, so why put on a helmet that covers your characters face when you can just put on grieves and vambraces that offer an equal amount of proection, anyway, this the problem stems from not using proper mechanics, its not like the game lets you aim for a headshots or leg shots to topple over baddies or arm shots to disarm them, but I'm sure theres RPGs out there that have stats for that too, critical chance.

There are plenty of RPGs which have individualized armor slots for various parts: Wizardry, Mount&Blade (ok, not really an RPG, but if you consider Skyrim to be an RPG, this is an RPG too), Titan Quest all use indivual armor for each part of the body. In Mount and Blade, different weapons have different playstyles where spears and pikes can pierce through armor, lances can be coughed on horseback, scimitars cant stab, hammers tend to be nonlethal and can crush through shields and armor and knock people down, axes break shields with ease, crossbows are very accurate, easy to use and quick to fire but need reloading, some weapons are unbalanced but powerful and so on. And despite this, it is still not as indepth as Age of Decadence :D

Planeforger brought up some good games where you can aim for specific body parts, but I would also like to throw in Vagrant Story in there.

#48 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (10284 posts) -

@Maroxad

Can I throw in Dragon's Dogma ? Its no as extensitive as those other games but you can topple cyclops or knock stuff out of they're hands, what sucks though is how much emphasis is placed on items, theres specific strategies that can only be used in the form of an item, to drag an ogre or a griffin to the ground requires a scroll, theres no game mechanic for it, well there it but it basicly amounts to using bruteforce.

#49 Posted by PapaTrop (498 posts) -

@PapaTrop

Will there be Co-Op ? :D

No co-op in Zelda (except Four Swords) or Metroid sadly :(

#50 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (10284 posts) -

@PapaTrop

It will happen one day... ;)