Practical Role Playing Interactions

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#1 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (8611 posts) -

Traditional Role Playing Games can get a little impractical at times, In Mass Effect saving Wrex on Virmire is not a matter bonding with him through out your adventures as part of the Normandy's Crew, infact once he's on board you can literally ignore his scaly ass all the way up until Virmire and still manage to convince this Stranger living on your ship to put down his weapon before you bust a biotic cap in his scaly ass. You know why ? Because all the choices you make in the game are welded together by the God Awfull Morality System.

This is how Shepard interacts with many of the characters, most of them only exist just help boost Shepard's Paragon/Renegade status for unrelated scenarios that take place later in the game. For instance throughout the citadel you'l encounter a series of quests whos only purpose is to serve the Morality System, like that jelly thing and the c-sec officer or the Asari Consort. Those quests, along with others, will net you the necessary amount of Paragon/Renegade required to save Wrex on virmire despite those things having nothing to do with each other at all, hell, to make things even worse, you don't train the morality system, you purchase upgrades for it like you do with shepards other skills using the exact same type of currency, the skill points, which are earned by leveling up, which you can do just by killing badies, meaning you can literally improve Shepard's Charm/Intimidation by shooting aliens in the face, oh boy that makes perfect sense, its practically just like real life, wow! And to top it off, Shepard will talk about Wrex as if she knows him regardless of how much time they spent together, if any at all. Oh but it gets a whole lot worse, this scenario practically plays itself out because by now the player will have learned the best way to resolve any scenario is to pick the Red/Blue option in the Dialog wheel and Shepard will do the rest, the player needn't know anything about how to charm or intimidate someone to execute those abilities when the scenario requires them, atleast in shooting games you know some rudementary knowldge about how guns work if you wana be good at them, but Mass Effect literally plays itself during these scenarios.

And you know whats funny, This is exactly how Traditional Role Playing Games are,

its practically a requirement for them to pull stuff like this all the time. Fallout had simular problems. They don't create practical mechanics for the abilities your character has, nope, they just use crap like "intelligence" or "charisma" and then attach it to an arbitrary number which will be used to determine the success/failure of the outcome, thats not intelligence or charisma, thats alil something I like to call total bullsh!t, lol, infact its bullsht that plays itself since the player needn't understand any of these qualities to make their avatar execute them. "I don't know what charisma, I just know the game says I need it to complete the quest"

the Traditional RPG genre is impractical and broken at its core. Why is this okay ?

Why can't they interact with the gameworld the same way as games like The Walking Dead Or LA Noire ?

#2 Edited by wiouds (4992 posts) -

One of my biggest problem with the many RPG that are coming out. They want to be like game such LA Noire or the interactive story like the The Walking Dead.

They are becoming all about pretending to be the character while taking out the role playing from the game.

#3 Posted by ZZoMBiE13 (22911 posts) -

Video games, as a medium, is still growing up. It's stuck in the teenager years now though, which is a bit sad since it's around 40 years old. Games are mostly about empowerment fantasies though. Escapism through which we play out scenarios that are, by design, meant to be a house of smoke and mirrors.

But the hobby is growing, changing, becoming more every year.

I don't want to go all Keanu on you, but the simple answer to your conundrum is that you can't interact with the world because there is no world. It's a directed play experience. Even L.A. Noire is just a thin veneer through which we experience the story. You're not really interacting with the world, you're given a problem with a set solution which you either pass or fail in most cases. Finding the right clues, noticing and cataloging evidence is not much different to collecting loot in Diablo. Strictly speaking, they are more akin to math problems than simulation. To beat [X], you must have [Y]. In Diablo the answer is better gear, in LA Noire, it's having the right clues to trigger the proper response from suspects. In old adventure games it was having the right key to whatever the puzzle dictated.

This hobby being so closely tied to technology means that it's constantly changing and evolving into something different. Games offer a wide array of experiences that appeal to different players, but the idea of a real living world where you can interact in meaningful ways is still a long way off I'd wager. Maybe once Quantum computing is the standard rather than x86 architecture, they can create a proper simulation like you describe. Maybe the Oculus will have a big impact, though I'd see that as more of an extension of what we have now than a big leap forward, but I haven't been "In the rift", so who am I to say. It'll get there eventually. But I'd wager it'll still be many years off.

#4 Edited by platinumking320 (642 posts) -

That's no surprise. Nuanced interactions aint' as easy to code for. They'll end up writing a tremendous amount of extra game rules to make up for all the grey area you could play at free will instead of seeing numbers or visual cues.

If every RPG fundamentally changed, I wouldn't expect a new title every two to three years. Three to four at the very least.

Sure the statistics could be downplayed for more organic gameplay, but imagine if there were no cues at all to symbolize any sort of achievement, and you 'grinded' in a total vaccuum. How would you know if you were ready for that biggest boss battle? Or if your ship had enough minerals to fortify its walls against some meteor shower etc. Some things might be too subtle to show visually.

Not to say they couldn't just make a controller or combo button setup purely for unique interaction (just like the ones for driving mode, fighting mode, flying etc.)

#5 Edited by platinumking320 (642 posts) -
@ZZoMBiE13 said:

Video games, as a medium, is still growing up. It's stuck in the teenager years now though, which is a bit sad since it's around 40 years old. Games are mostly about empowerment fantasies though. Escapism through which we play out scenarios that are, by design, meant to be a house of smoke and mirrors.

But the hobby is growing, changing, becoming more every year.

I don't want to go all Keanu on you, but the simple answer to your conundrum is that you can't interact with the world because there is no world. It's a directed play experience. Even L.A. Noire is just a thin veneer through which we experience the story. You're not really interacting with the world, you're given a problem with a set solution which you either pass or fail in most cases. Finding the right clues, noticing and cataloging evidence is not much different to collecting loot in Diablo. Strictly speaking, they are more akin to math problems than simulation. To beat [X], you must have [Y]. In Diablo the answer is better gear, in LA Noire, it's having the right clues to trigger the proper response from suspects. In old adventure games it was having the right key to whatever the puzzle dictated.

This hobby being so closely tied to technology means that it's constantly changing and evolving into something different. Games offer a wide array of experiences that appeal to different players, but the idea of a real living world where you can interact in meaningful ways is still a long way off I'd wager. Maybe once Quantum computing is the standard rather than x86 architecture, they can create a proper simulation like you describe. Maybe the Oculus will have a big impact, though I'd see that as more of an extension of what we have now than a big leap forward, but I haven't been "In the rift", so who am I to say. It'll get there eventually. But I'd wager it'll still be many years off.

I'd suppose you're onto something. the OP would almost prefer to exist in the the Matrix or the closet MMO equivalent of it. Now that's NOT to poke fun at all but think about it....(game wise it has everything on an organic level you could possibly ask for, and the ability to hack it.) Only problem is it's tied to real-world suffering. That last part is a turn-off for me.

#6 Posted by wiouds (4992 posts) -

That's no surprise. Nuanced interactions aint' as easy to code for. They'll end up writing a tremendous amount of extra game rules to make up for all the grey area you could play at free will instead of seeing numbers or visual cues.

If every RPG fundamentally changed, I wouldn't expect a new title every two to three years. Three to four at the very least.

Sure the statistics could be downplayed for more organic gameplay, but imagine if there were no cues at all to symbolize any sort of achievement, and you 'grinded' in a total vaccuum. How would you know if you were ready for that biggest boss battle? Or if your ship had enough minerals to fortify its walls against some meteor shower etc. Some things might be too subtle to show visually.

Not to say they couldn't just make a controller or combo button setup purely for unique interaction (just like the ones for driving mode, fighting mode, flying etc.)

Downplaying the states would suck. I defined a RPG by player control character growth which I break down into: player control stats growth, player control abilities growth and player control gear growth.

When you remove or hid the stats you reduce the amount of choices the player have to interact with the game.

#7 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (8611 posts) -

This is all very Good stuff! Don't stop Now ! Lulu needs more Data ! Hehehe :D

#8 Posted by platinumking320 (642 posts) -

Video games, as a medium, is still growing up. It's stuck in the teenager years now though, which is a bit sad since it's around 40 years old. Games are mostly about empowerment fantasies though. Escapism through which we play out scenarios that are, by design, meant to be a house of smoke and mirrors.

But the hobby is growing, changing, becoming more every year.

I don't want to go all Keanu on you, but the simple answer to your conundrum is that you can't interact with the world because there is no world. It's a directed play experience. Even L.A. Noire is just a thin veneer through which we experience the story. You're not really interacting with the world, you're given a problem with a set solution which you either pass or fail in most cases. Finding the right clues, noticing and cataloging evidence is not much different to collecting loot in Diablo. Strictly speaking, they are more akin to math problems than simulation. To beat [X], you must have [Y]. In Diablo the answer is better gear, in LA Noire, it's having the right clues to trigger the proper response from suspects. In old adventure games it was having the right key to whatever the puzzle dictated.

This hobby being so closely tied to technology means that it's constantly changing and evolving into something different. Games offer a wide array of experiences that appeal to different players, but the idea of a real living world where you can interact in meaningful ways is still a long way off I'd wager. Maybe once Quantum computing is the standard rather than x86 architecture, they can create a proper simulation like you describe. Maybe the Oculus will have a big impact, though I'd see that as more of an extension of what we have now than a big leap forward, but I haven't been "In the rift", so who am I to say. It'll get there eventually. But I'd wager it'll still be many years off.

said it better than I could. reminds me of that guy vsauce on youtube. when he talked about why humans play any games physical or computer in the first place. He said something along the lines of...the intention is to create an illusion or fulfill some sense of more immediate achievement. Contrast that to reality in all it's uncertainty, monotony, and confusion is harder to realize, and where nothing is assured, even if you play by the rules.

#9 Edited by ZZoMBiE13 (22911 posts) -

@platinumking320 said:
@ZZoMBiE13 said:

Video games, as a medium, is still growing up. It's stuck in the teenager years now though, which is a bit sad since it's around 40 years old. Games are mostly about empowerment fantasies though. Escapism through which we play out scenarios that are, by design, meant to be a house of smoke and mirrors.

But the hobby is growing, changing, becoming more every year.

I don't want to go all Keanu on you, but the simple answer to your conundrum is that you can't interact with the world because there is no world. It's a directed play experience. Even L.A. Noire is just a thin veneer through which we experience the story. You're not really interacting with the world, you're given a problem with a set solution which you either pass or fail in most cases. Finding the right clues, noticing and cataloging evidence is not much different to collecting loot in Diablo. Strictly speaking, they are more akin to math problems than simulation. To beat [X], you must have [Y]. In Diablo the answer is better gear, in LA Noire, it's having the right clues to trigger the proper response from suspects. In old adventure games it was having the right key to whatever the puzzle dictated.

This hobby being so closely tied to technology means that it's constantly changing and evolving into something different. Games offer a wide array of experiences that appeal to different players, but the idea of a real living world where you can interact in meaningful ways is still a long way off I'd wager. Maybe once Quantum computing is the standard rather than x86 architecture, they can create a proper simulation like you describe. Maybe the Oculus will have a big impact, though I'd see that as more of an extension of what we have now than a big leap forward, but I haven't been "In the rift", so who am I to say. It'll get there eventually. But I'd wager it'll still be many years off.

I'd suppose you're onto something. the OP would almost prefer to exist in the the Matrix or the closet MMO equivalent of it. Now that's NOT to poke fun at all but think about it....(game wise it has everything on an organic level you could possibly ask for, and the ability to hack it.) Only problem is it's tied to real-world suffering. That last part is a turn-off for me.

If the Matrix were a real thing, who wouldn't sign up though? I mean in that world it was a perversion of Asimov's design in that the robots who were once slaves then in turn enslaved their creators. Whereas Asimov envisioned a world where they coexisted.

But in our reality, in our world, when the Matrix is made manifest people will line up to be in the beta. Hell I'll probably be there too. "Yes Mr. huge corporation, plugs wires into my brain so I can experience a true RPG experience first hand before all of my friends and before the dirty console peasants get a port!!!"

The Matrix (tm) by SkyNetendo.

:P

#10 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (8611 posts) -

@ ZZoMBiE13

Uhm.... :l . I'm not really after the matrix experience, I just don't want the character I created to do stuff for me in a condescending way. LA Noire is perfect, the player collects the evidence and solves the puzzles and detects the lies. Theres no part of that Cole Phelps will do for you. Theres no Lie Detector attribute that determines the outcome. It all makes perfect sense and the mechanics support it very well. Ofcourse I want more but the technology isn't here yet so I let it slide. RPGs on the hand delibetate keeping going backwards, the technology to allow the player to investigate/interact more practically than numbers and stats is already in place, they just neglected to use it just "to preserve the idenity of the genre". I always maintain the only reason so stats are important in RPGs is because back in the 70s it was literally the only way to effectively play the game. However thats no longer completely true today and I'm gona use An example from Mass Effect 2 to prove it.

Spoilers

In Samara's special request mission she asks you to help her hunt down her daughter, Morinth, because shes an Ardat Yakshi. Anyway this is the only part of the game that demanded the most out of me as a player because all that Renegade Paragon nonsense was no longer a necessity to find and talk to Morinth, instead now you are givin a simple profile from various sources, the 1st one being Samara herself, about how to lure out Morinth and her likes and dislikes and how to conduct yourself when talking to her, literally any version of Shepard can do this because all these things must be done by the player themselves. If the player misses a key piece of information or simply doesn't know how to court a sex crazed super powered murderer then they're scewed (actually you can still salvage the situation with a colour coded dialog option but lets ignore that part). Its literally the only time outside of combat that it felt like my decisions mattered and weren't influenced by the need to score some points to give Shepard enough Renegade to act on her own again . They couldve handled the other side quests like that, but they didn't.

Why is it that LA Noire can create like 40 cases that require you to actually do some detective work but Mass Effect still doesn't need me to actually know Wrex if I wana I wana talk him down. In LA Noire previous cases you solved are not gona give matter in the case you're working on now, yet In Mass Effect you gotta jump through a bunch of unrelated hoops just to have the privelage of having a full set of choices near the end. In other normal games you improve by trying harder and putting in more effort, In RPGs you improve by doing the exact same sh!t the exact same way, who needs practice when you can level up. Lol stats.

RPGs can evolve, they just don't want to.

People gotta let these stat based conventions go, they are poison.

#11 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (8611 posts) -

@ platinumking320 "imagine if there were no

cues at all to symbolize any sort of achievement,

and you 'grinded' in a total vaccuum. How would you know if you were ready for that biggest boss

battle?"

Theres no need to imagine anything, in games like Devil May Cry or Street Fighter, your character is practically already well equiped to beat the boss stats and everything have already been balanced thoughtfully/carfully, its simply a matter of how effectively you can wield them. As for feed back well thats a whole other animal. Personally I don't need it. I'm not even mildly amused when a burst of light shoots out of my character's ass signaling that I've levelled up. You do realise by boosting your stats you are infact, actually becoming a worse player. With a more powerfull character, you won't have to try as hard. The same applies to the legendary Dark/Demon Souls games. Which is why I believe the game is not really difficult, its just cheap or broken. On equal ground, it wouldn't be able to challenge you like Devil May Cry can.

#12 Posted by ZZoMBiE13 (22911 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu: That's why I enjoyed Skyrim so much. There was no stat boosting by just increasing a number. If you wanted your single hand sword skill to improve, you used a single handed sword and it would improve. Same with the bartering stat. The more you interact with shopkeepers, the better you get at securing deals. etc etc.

That game has it's faults, sure. But it did a lot of things that I really liked. And I hope that whenever they get around to making Fallout 4 they stick with that kind of level system. :)

#13 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (8611 posts) -

@ ZZoMBiE13

Thats just another form of stat boosting. It solves the issues of using Xp/skillpoints earned in combat to boost stats used in interaction, but what does it do for complacency, difficulty and balance ? The equation of: avatar improvement = player complacency is still there :(

I'm more of a Batman kind of upgrades, genuinely new gadgets/abilities that dont affect stats, Metroidvania Style (never actually played either game before)

#14 Edited by wiouds (4992 posts) -

One way to make RPG better is to get rid of things like the moral and dialog picks. That way the can focus on what makes a good RPG while not worrying about time consuming worthless parts.

In a good RPG you are groing as a player with more skill and combo as the character(s) does. Unlike in Devil May Cry which is most about how fast your body can press the same buttons again and again. I want growth to the character in the game. I do not want the player complacency that come from games like Devil May Cry and God of War.

Encouraging player complacency is why I hate the stupid ideal that interactive stories is RPG since many times it lead to the game developers to focus less on the RPG of the game. This leads to more simple game play that allow player to worry less about growing as a player of the game and just use their old tactics.

#15 Posted by ZZoMBiE13 (22911 posts) -

@ ZZoMBiE13

Thats just another form of stat boosting. It solves the issues of using Xp/skillpoints earned in combat to boost stats used in interaction, but what does it do for complacency, difficulty and balance ? The equation of: avatar improvement = player complacency is still there :(

I'm more of a Batman kind of upgrades, genuinely new gadgets/abilities that dont affect stats, Metroidvania Style (never actually played either game before)

Sure, but it beats just earning a point and placing it. It's a more natural way of upgrading the skills most important to the character you're trying to Role Play.

But I'd never be one to say any game is better than Batman. Unless Frank West was in it. He covered wars you know.

#16 Posted by platinumking320 (642 posts) -

@ platinumking320 "imagine if there were no

cues at all to symbolize any sort of achievement,

and you 'grinded' in a total vaccuum. How would you know if you were ready for that biggest boss

battle?"

Theres no need to imagine anything, in games like Devil May Cry or Street Fighter, your character is practically already well equiped to beat the boss stats and everything have already been balanced thoughtfully/carfully, its simply a matter of how effectively you can wield them. As for feed back well thats a whole other animal. Personally I don't need it. I'm not even mildly amused when a burst of light shoots out of my character's ass signaling that I've levelled up. You do realise by boosting your stats you are infact, actually becoming a worse player. With a more powerfull character, you won't have to try as hard. The same applies to the legendary Dark/Demon Souls games. Which is why I believe the game is not really difficult, its just cheap or broken. On equal ground, it wouldn't be able to challenge you like Devil May Cry can.

Well sure mastery in DMC is an example of a loose way to measure your capabilities, but Dante is already a well agile, and endowed warrior from the start, IMO. We're not building a warrior out of the cradle when we play as that guy, plus he doesn't have to worry as much about multiple exhausting random encounters in the middle of nowhere. The only things he's missing nuances that can give an extra edge in battle.

Consider another game where combo and pattern mastery is a non statistic way of measuring strength. "Tekken" and guess what pro players are doing to perfect their timing.

They're reading "frame rate and hit point data" statistics for moves and combos. Although these stats serve a different purpose than a HP or XP gauge they still inform a lot of those player's actions.

#17 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (8611 posts) -

@ wiouds

Whoa, Those dialog picks are awesome, the just need restructuring.

And I can't think of a single RPG that allows both The Player and Avatar growth, character progression in RPGs usually follow a positive feed back loop, you play well, you level up, which allows you to to play better which leads to more leveling up, which makes playing the game easier, and so on, RPGs literally get easier the longer you play them. Also Devil May Cry is about variety, you can still win by pressing the same buttons and doing the same moves but the game will give you a low score, This encourages the player to try new stuff, amping up the challenge and staving off complacency. Atleast thats my Experience.

#18 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (8611 posts) -

@ platinumking320

I don't read framerates and Hitpoints Data when I play Tekken, I just fight yes that stuff does play a role but the player doesn't have to know the actual numbers, they just need to be faster. In RPGs you have to know your stats and enemies stats to play. Infact the one thing that pisses me the most about RPGs is that play is only about following one simple cognitive process, use the ability with the highest stats against a target with the least amount of resistance to it, this applys to all most every aspect of the RPG, lockpicking, combat, social interactions. Everything is a proverbial tug of war and boils down to to just stat comparisons. Thats something I really hated about Mass Effects Combat and Conversations are just about comparing stats and the one with the highest numbers wins , they're literally the same thing. Same with elemental types of damage and resistance in Final Fantasy. My cognitive process never really changes from "I have high strength/charm and he's got a low resistance to it, attack/seduce !" thats the problem with attaching a number to every single thing your character character can do.

You wana know whats the Best RPG I've ever played ? Its Trine 2, each character is uniquely different and requires you to change you thought process when approaching different scenarios for EACH character, unique classes that actually do change the way you think and play.

Sorry I know my examples suck.

#19 Posted by Planeforger (15401 posts) -

Traditional Role Playing Games can get a little impractical at times, In Mass Effect saving Wrex on Virmire is not a matter bonding with him through out your adventures as part of the Normandy's Crew, infact once he's on board you can literally ignore his scaly ass all the way up until Virmire and still manage to convince this Stranger living on your ship to put down his weapon before you bust a biotic cap in his scaly ass. You know why ? Because all the choices you make in the game are welded together by the God Awfull Morality System.

[...]

And you know whats funny, This is exactly how Traditional Role Playing Games are,

its practically a requirement for them to pull stuff like this all the time. Fallout had simular problems. They don't create practical mechanics for the abilities your character has, nope, they just use crap like "intelligence" or "charisma" and then attach it to an arbitrary number which will be used to determine the success/failure of the outcome, thats not intelligence or charisma, thats alil something I like to call total bullsh!t, lol, infact its bullsht that plays itself since the player needn't understand any of these qualities to make their avatar execute them. "I don't know what charisma, I just know the game says I need it to complete the quest"

the Traditional RPG genre is impractical and broken at its core. Why is this okay ?

Why can't they interact with the gameworld the same way as games like The Walking Dead Or LA Noire ?

I don't know if I'd call Mass Effect a Traditional Role Playing Game. It's just another one of Bioware's formulaic 'My First RPG's, albeit one with great presentation and production values.

I'd put the blame on

those

games (starting with KOTOR) for all of the more recent RPGs with God Awful Morality Systems.

As for Fallout (and I assume you're talking about Fallout 3?), yeah, I really didn't like that they showed you a big flashing [SCIENCE: 43/75] box next to your clever dialogue options. It made everything feel too gamey. The older games didn't do that - your character would simply have a range of dialogue options to choose in any given situation, and while those options were determined by who you are and what you're good at, that all happened behind the scenes. It was much more organic, and because you couldn't see what other options your character could be working towards, it didn't feel quite so "jack-of-all-trades"-y as the more recent Fallout games.

Anyway...morality systems can be done well. KOTOR 2 is a fine example of that, since it gave you a binary all-important morality system, but then threw you into frequent grey situations that made you actually think about which option to pick (hell, the entire plot can be read as one big critique of KOTOR 1's morality system). Another example might be Baldurs Gate 2...which still used a good/evil mechanic, but also included a lawful/chaotic mechanic to make things more interesting, and also offered enough rewards for picking the other options that you'd stray from the path every so often.

So I don't think the problem is with morality systems as such. The problem is that most developers don't know what to do with it, and basically just treat it as a way of giving you a second way to play through the game once you're done with the Good path.

As for the intelligence/charisma/etc. systems...I think I disagree with you. Maybe.

Character stats in RPGs are a game-y, imperfect way of representing your fictional character's capabilities. They're difficult to avoid in anything other than heavily DM'd pen'n'paper roleplaying games - I mean, how could the game know your character's strength or intelligence, if not for the little numbers next to each stat demonstrating their strength and intelligence?

So...when it comes to having your charismatic character talking his way through a situation, clearly the easiest way of representing that in a digital RPG is just to have the game make a stat-check against your Charisma ability, maybe modify that by racial/sexual/factional relationships, and give you either a success or failure depending on the result. To be honest, I don't really know how else the game would do that - maybe it could give the player a range of options based on their stats (so a high charisma gives you three new options that you'd have to pick between), but that's basically the same concept.

Importantly though, there needs to be a distinction between player skills and character skills. You call it crap when "the player [doesn't] understand any of these qualities to make their avatar execute them"...but that's basically the point of an RPG!

For example, I might be a modern-day Casanova in real life, but if I'm roleplaying as an ugly caveman in a game, there really shouldn't be any way that my character should be able to talk his way out of any situation (outside of pure luck or complete misunderstandings). Similarly, I could know nothing about chemistry in real life, but if my character has a high Science skill, they should be able to make the bluest meth around, regardless of my lack of knowledge.

So no, I completely disagree with you on that one. The player shouldn't have to understand what charisma is to play a charismatic character, just as the player doesn't have to be a wizard in real life to play as a magical genius.

That's not to say that games can't use the LA Noire dialogue formula. Plenty of RPGs have murder investigation missions, whose passes or failures depend on more than just your stats. Similarly, there are a handful of RPGs where picking the 'wrong' options can have beneficial effects (eg. Alpha Protocol),or RPGs where the 'morality' system is more about rewarding you for taking particular approaches to any given situation (eg. Alpha Protocol, Rise of the Argonauts).

There's variety out there beyond the standard, boring morality/stat-check systems...you just have to look beyond the most mainstream RPGs to find them.

#20 Posted by Planeforger (15401 posts) -

@ ZZoMBiE13

Uhm.... :l . I'm not really after the matrix experience, I just don't want the character I created to do stuff for me in a condescending way. LA Noire is perfect, the player collects the evidence and solves the puzzles and detects the lies. Theres no part of that Cole Phelps will do for you. Theres no Lie Detector attribute that determines the outcome. It all makes perfect sense and the mechanics support it very well.

It might be a great detective game, but I wouldn't call it a roleplaying game, because...well, you're playing as Cole Phelps.

Sure, you could play as "crap policeman Cole" or "super-sleuth Phelps", just as you can play Half-Life as "always-misses-everything Gordon" or "combat god Freeman", but without any way of selecting or specialising your role in the story, or any way to significantly influence the flow of the story based on the role that you've selected for Phelps, then...I don't think it'd count as 'roleplaying'.
Indeed, the player's cognitive abilities are being tested, not Phelps', so it's just a standard adventure/puzzle/detective game.

If they had given Phelps a bunch of stats that made him good at some things and bad at others (like your Lie Detector attribute, or Friend Of The Streetwalkers, or whatever), and you could train in some of those stats, and if those stats influenced the way the cases played out (for example, the friend of the streetwalkers is clearly going to get very different evidence than a violent thug cop)...then you'd have a game where you have selected a role to play and that role has its own particular way of tackling each situation. So, you know, you'd have a roleplaying game.

#21 Edited by Krelian-co (10041 posts) -

Traditional Role Playing Games can get a little impractical at times, In Mass Effect saving Wrex on Virmire is not a matter bonding with him through out your adventures as part of the Normandy's Crew, infact once he's on board you can literally ignore his scaly ass all the way up until Virmire and still manage to convince this Stranger living on your ship to put down his weapon before you bust a biotic cap in his scaly ass. You know why ? Because all the choices you make in the game are welded together by the God Awfull Morality System.

This is how Shepard interacts with many of the characters, most of them only exist just help boost Shepard's Paragon/Renegade status for unrelated scenarios that take place later in the game. For instance throughout the citadel you'l encounter a series of quests whos only purpose is to serve the Morality System, like that jelly thing and the c-sec officer or the Asari Consort. Those quests, along with others, will net you the necessary amount of Paragon/Renegade required to save Wrex on virmire despite those things having nothing to do with each other at all, hell, to make things even worse, you don't train the morality system, you purchase upgrades for it like you do with shepards other skills using the exact same type of currency, the skill points, which are earned by leveling up, which you can do just by killing badies, meaning you can literally improve Shepard's Charm/Intimidation by shooting aliens in the face, oh boy that makes perfect sense, its practically just like real life, wow! And to top it off, Shepard will talk about Wrex as if she knows him regardless of how much time they spent together, if any at all. Oh but it gets a whole lot worse, this scenario practically plays itself out because by now the player will have learned the best way to resolve any scenario is to pick the Red/Blue option in the Dialog wheel and Shepard will do the rest, the player needn't know anything about how to charm or intimidate someone to execute those abilities when the scenario requires them, atleast in shooting games you know some rudementary knowldge about how guns work if you wana be good at them, but Mass Effect literally plays itself during these scenarios.

And you know whats funny, This is exactly how Traditional Role Playing Games are,

its practically a requirement for them to pull stuff like this all the time. Fallout had simular problems. They don't create practical mechanics for the abilities your character has, nope, they just use crap like "intelligence" or "charisma" and then attach it to an arbitrary number which will be used to determine the success/failure of the outcome, thats not intelligence or charisma, thats alil something I like to call total bullsh!t, lol, infact its bullsht that plays itself since the player needn't understand any of these qualities to make their avatar execute them. "I don't know what charisma, I just know the game says I need it to complete the quest"

the Traditional RPG genre is impractical and broken at its core. Why is this okay ?

Why can't they interact with the gameworld the same way as games like The Walking Dead Or LA Noire ?

walking dead an la noire are games focused on interactions, that is their gameplay but lack in other areas, sometimes i want to play a stat based rpg where i can kill things and look good doing so, like dragon age

#22 Edited by platinumking320 (642 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu said:

@ platinumking320

I don't read framerates and Hitpoints Data when I play Tekken, I just fight yes that stuff does play a role but the player doesn't have to know the actual numbers, they just need to be faster. In RPGs you have to know your stats and enemies stats to play. Infact the one thing that pisses me the most about RPGs is that play is only about following one simple cognitive process, use the ability with the highest stats against a target with the least amount of resistance to it, this applys to all most every aspect of the RPG, lockpicking, combat, social interactions. Everything is a proverbial tug of war and boils down to to just stat comparisons. Thats something I really hated about Mass Effects Combat and Conversations are just about comparing stats and the one with the highest numbers wins , they're literally the same thing. Same with elemental types of damage and resistance in Final Fantasy. My cognitive process never really changes from "I have high strength/charm and he's got a low resistance to it, attack/seduce !" thats the problem with attaching a number to every single thing your character character can do.

You wana know whats the Best RPG I've ever played ? Its Trine 2, each character is uniquely different and requires you to change you thought process when approaching different scenarios for EACH character, unique classes that actually do change the way you think and play.

Sorry I know my examples suck.

That's probably because of RPG's reliance on the pen and paper RPG tradition where gamemasters needed stats to represent everything you couldn't see. Only recently are folks realizing that with images on screen they don't necessarily need so much data on to represent whats going on. But I think some studios probably wondered how much of the RPG definition they were losing in their projects, if the action was in real-time and there were no bars or statistics whatsoever. Even during GTA San Andreas development, some devs bugged the houser bros that CJ's customization was turning the game sorta into an RPG (because they hated RPGs).

The real definition of an RPG is more flexible than stats, but there can be a slippery slope between RPGs and 3rd person action.

#23 Posted by Evil_Saluki (4870 posts) -

And add exhale inhale buttons to keep breathing while we at it.

#24 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (8611 posts) -

@ Planeforger

I disagree about morality being done properly. I think you should just get your choices straight up, Heavy Rain style ! The only thing they should add is consequences. Not statiscal consequences, actual consequences.

"Character stats in RPGs are a game-y, imperfect way

of representing your fictional character's

capabilities. They're difficult to avoid in anything

other than heavily DM'd pen'n'paper roleplaying

games - I mean, how could the game know your

character's strength or intelligence, if not for the little numbers next to each stat demonstrating their

strength and intelligence?"

I disagree, maybe I shouldn't have used strength as an example, but intelligence, charisma and other such things can be implimented in a practical way, if LA Noire can impleminent lie detecting in such a practical way then surely theres a way to do the same for intelligence, and charisma (it may help if I actually new what Charisma is). There has to be a way. Remember, I'm not looking for a way to measure these characteristics, even LA Noire can't do that..... yet, I'm just looking for a way to execute them, we can deal with how to figure out a way to measure proficiency/magnitude once we nail practical execution. Also After reading Robert Greene's Art of Seduction, I'm convinced theres ways to impliment these characteristics even more than I was before, his approach to how relationships are is so meticulous and formuaic that, maybe ...... Just maybe we could get the practical dating simulator this industry has always needed.

"Importantly though, there needs to be a distinction

between player skills and character skills. You call it

crap when "the player [doesn't] understand any of

these qualities to make their avatar execute

them"...but that's basically the point of an RPG! For example, I might be a modern-day Casanova in

real life, but if I'm roleplaying as an ugly caveman in

a game, there really shouldn't be any way that my

character should be able to talk his way out of any

situation (outside of pure luck or complete

misunderstandings). Similarly, I could know nothing about chemistry in real life, but if my

character has a high Science skill, they should be

able to make the bluest meth around, regardless of

my lack of knowledge."

Role Playing is a very old genre. And this convention of RPGs being a character focused affair was not a choice back in the 70's, it was a necessity back then, there was literally no other of executing actions and and measuring proficiency/magnitude other than the stat based model. Now that its no longer necessary (atleast not completely), now that it has gone from tabletop to electronics and the technology for practical mechanics is now partially available, don't you think we should revisit the defining features of what constitutes Role Playing ? Every other genre has evolved and made use of the new resources so why can't RPGs do it too ?

As for the Casanova-Cave Man dilema, I see what you mean, theres no way to "limit" the player from executing certain tasks or characteristics that the caveman simply just do not have. It a massive inconsistency in execution.

And then theres the other issue with fictional stuff like magic......

You know what this is all too much data to process at once so uhm...... I need a moment...... Talk amongst yourselves *sips some water*.

#25 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (8611 posts) -

@ Planeforger "If they had given Phelps a bunch of stats that made

him good at some things and bad at others (like

your Lie Detector attribute, or Friend Of The

Streetwalkers, or whatever), and you could train in

some of those stats, and if those stats influenced

the way the cases played out (for example, the friend of the streetwalkers is clearly going to get

very different evidence than a violent thug cop)

...then you'd have a game where you have selected

a role to play and that role has its own particular

way of tackling each situation. So, you know, you'd

have a roleplaying game."

Letting stastics decide the proficiency of certain tasks undermines that very task even if it is action oriented, in an action game you can be certain each outcome is determined by you, mostly, but in an action RPG your input is "tainted" by the RPG Elements, your actual skill (the player skill) can be called into question in that scenario. I get that the genre has an Identity to preserve but this effect makes me wonder exactly just how much autonomy a player has in the game, I found myself wondering, am I great wizard or is my avatar just f#cking with my mind for sh!ts and giggles, exactly how much am I contributing to this game, what am I really doing ? These two me are very importtant questions to ask.

Does Factoring character growth/progression as part of a genre's characteristics excuse it from the negative effect it may be having on the overall experience ? I really don't want that to be true.

Infact I already believe we are at the point where its okay to say "its not a bad game because its an RPG". Atleast thats what Dreman999 keeps saying everytime I point out the inconsistencies.

I personally believe that these inconsistencies stem from the genre its self, perhaps we should be reviewing the genre instead of the games in it. I give Role Playing a four out of ten...........million. Lol ! :D

#26 Posted by wiouds (4992 posts) -

@ wiouds

Whoa, Those dialog picks are awesome, the just need restructuring.

And I can't think of a single RPG that allows both The Player and Avatar growth, character progression in RPGs usually follow a positive feed back loop, you play well, you level up, which allows you to to play better which leads to more leveling up, which makes playing the game easier, and so on, RPGs literally get easier the longer you play them. Also Devil May Cry is about variety, you can still win by pressing the same buttons and doing the same moves but the game will give you a low score, This encourages the player to try new stuff, amping up the challenge and staving off complacency. Atleast thats my Experience.

You can have a linear story and still have a great RPG and a player affected story does not mean something is a RPG.

I was use the extreme to prove my point to. A low level run in a RPG force you to plan what you will do. Planning not just how to deal with short term problem but long term as well.

What if I don't care about the score? I find many beat them up discourage the use of long combos with other enemies coming in to attack. It is better to use small combos since long combos are many times broken.

#27 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (8611 posts) -

@ wiouds

Dude, thats a strategy game, infact thats essentially what JRPG and a few RPGs are.

#28 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (8611 posts) -

@ Evil_Saluki

Actually Heavy Rain and Beyond allready did that, the context was so awesome that you barely even notice. which is more than I can say for Alone in The Dark's blinking button. God that was awfull.

#29 Posted by platinumking320 (642 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu: I duuno. I saw them as RPGs with an emphasis on strategy.

Kinda like how the Crysis series, Rainbow Six and Splinter Cell series arent thought of as strategy games simply because they prioritize planned-out execution over pure run n gun.

#30 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (8611 posts) -

@ platinumking320

The real problem is the genre doesn't have a clear cut simple definition. In fact I doubt its even a genre anymore. I believe you can strip any modern RPG from its defining characteristics and still find a recognisable genre lurking underneath. For Mass Effet its TPS, for JRPGs its strategy, for Dungeons and Dragons its wargames (the genre it spun off from). Role Playing is more like a formula, a broken formula.

#31 Posted by SleepyDawg (10 posts) -

Here's the problem.

You make a game where, instead of Evil Choice and Good Choice, you just have lots of choices. It's up to the player to decide how to charm/intimidate/seduce/trick somebody.

Result?

A whole bunch of crying gamers.

A character died who I wanted to live!

But I thought that line *did* sound seductive!

I didn't mean to kill this person in conversation but I did!

I wanted a good ending but got a bad one! NOW I HAVE TO REPLAY THE GAME!! NO!

adinfinitum

#32 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (8611 posts) -

@ SleepyDawg

Worked out well for Heavy Rain.

"A character died who I wanted to live!"

"I wanted a good ending but got a bad one! NOW I

HAVE TO REPLAY THE GAME!! NO!" These are Consequences.

"But I thought that line *did* sound seductive!" "I didn't mean to kill this person in conversation but

I did!" these are just lazily designed games. And they happen in RPGs aswell.

Admit it, you want a game to play itself because your afraid of scewing up !

#33 Posted by Ish_basic (3895 posts) -

Lulu, please play Alpha Protocol. The gameplay is just okay, but the RPGing aspects are miles ahead of anything anyone has done since Torment.

I'll give you an example. There's this one NPC in the game that's very professional. He's got this old soldier mentality and despite not working for the nicest of people he doesn't believe that's a reason to be blood thirsty or, worse, dishonorable. I know this as a player. I can read him like a book and every time I talk to him, I act like some gung-ho merc who joined the military to escape jail and has no respect for the uniform. I make sure he hates my guts, but that's not who I am...that's just who I am in front of him. And later it pays off. Instead of escaping, he hates me so much from all our dealings, he decides to stick around and finish me off himself, giving me the chance to finish him instead. This result is the culmination of half a dozen encounters throughout the game with this character. No dialogue wheel allows me to accomplish this. There's no red or blue choice. THere's just who he is and who he believes I am.

Now, to others, I put on a very different face. Maybe I play the game as a sociopath, getting on everyone's good side so I can exploit our relationships later. Maybe I burn my friends. Maybe I stick by them, and in the end fight alongside them as they come to my rescue. And there's this element of acting within acting - i'm pretending to play as this super-spy who is now pretending to be "x" so that I can accomplish "y." To me, that's the pinnacle of RPG, when you can roleplay a character who is roleplaying.

The point is, people will try to sell you on the limits of technology when the fact of the matter is RPGing in games can go so much further than it does already if people take the time to make it happen. Most RPGs fail to even come close to Torment, and how old is that game? It's no coincidence that AP and Torment come from the same people, as well. For every one else, it's a matter of laziness and lack of vision. The industry believes you won't play a game more than once, and if you don't play the game more than once, the illusion of choice is enough to reel you in, so why invest in making a better game? BioWare has proven this utterly with the mediocre RPG content it's shoveled out over the past decade or so and people eat it up without question. I see more and more people starting to noticed the BioWare's gilded edges, but of course they blame it on EA, which is ridiculous. Having played them going back to their PC roots, they have the same shortcomings they've always had. BioWare might be what we have, but they are by no means indicative of what RPG devs can do.

#34 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (8611 posts) -

Having Trouble finding this game hey, believe me, I'm looking for it. Problem with my country is niche games run dry fast, ofcourse if you promise not to judge me I could get it on PC by some less than unsavoury methods ;) just Give me the word.

#35 Posted by Ish_basic (3895 posts) -

no Gog.com? You could get Torment, which is also an excellent RPG. Pretty sure the devs aren't receiving money for that one anymore, so feel free to steal that one ;).

#36 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (8611 posts) -

@ Ish_basic

is that planescape torment ? Yeah sounds like a great idea. Thanks.