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JRPG Spoils Make No Sense - Editorial

InstaTrentInstaTrent OpinionatorRPGamer Staff
edited January 2014 in Latest Updates
Sometimes it's easy to ignore something you've seen practically everywhere. Precedent, however, is no excuse for illogical design. When it comes to battle spoils, JRPGs are as illogical as it gets.

Editorial
"To tell you the truth, I like drinking tea and eating fresh vegetables, but that doesn't fit with my super-cool attitude. I guess I have to accept this about myself."
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Comments

  • PawsPaws BEARSONA RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2014
    I can carry around 99 milk in a stack, but only 5 bear corpses in WoW. I don't think JRPGs are the only guilty party ;)
  • AngelonightAngelonight Member Full Members
    edited January 2014
    I get what your saying, and I understand. And like you said its something you notice and never really pay attention to. I guess a way to look at it so to not make it seem like developers are lazy is that is IS a fantasy setting and not everything strictly needs to make sense. Though I do agree, and I to like just a little bit of realism with my fantasy particularly in the weapons and armor catagory, That's right looking at you WoW with your 3 foot eagle statues on your shoulder pads.
    That being said I can also see where things like money and items on monsters could be easily explained as being eaten by the monster after defeating another adventurer. The key would be to find a happy medium between fantasy and reality.
    Kain: "Conscience...? You dare speak to me of conscience? Only when you have felt the full gravity of choice should you dare to question my judgment!"
  • coyotecraftcoyotecraft Full Members
    edited January 2014
    It's a disconnect between the game and the setting. It's like you spend hours running around killing enemy soldiers as you may your way to the next story point. And when you get there the main character says something like "We don't want to fight or see people get hurt."
  • Fowl SorcerousFowl Sorcerous Dread News Editor RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2014
    [video=youtube;RZl9KcSywos]

    Then pen and paper tradition doesn't always hold up that great, either. D&D treasure tables have gotten less specific over the years so if the GM decides to let the dice fall rather than use it as guidline, you end up with goblin chieftains with a taste in oil paintings and evil Earth cleric carrying tridents of fish detection.
  • kazrikokazriko Member Full Members
    edited January 2014
    Final Fantasy 12 did away with the random spoils system, and you mostly get drops that are related to to whatever you're killing. I think in 14 it's fairly close to this sort of system as well, with the gil mostly being from completing quests and duties, and most monsters dropping things that monsters would normally have. My memory is a bit fuzzy, but I think FF13 and 11 are the same way.

    My bigger concern is the inconsistency in drops. You kill one toad, and it has a toad skin. The next one you kill doesn't have one? It's for gameplay reasons, really.
  • TwinBahamutTwinBahamut Staff Healer RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2014
    This has never, ever bothered me at all.

    Generally, this is the point where world logic has to give way to making the game play well. This kind of loot system may be less realistic, but I think it generally makes for better gameplay. Sure, various RPGs that try to be more realistic by letting you loot everything off of everyone and giving everyone plausible equipment is somewhat more realistic, but it is extremely bothersome. I don't want to have to look through every bauble in their pockets and collect a giant pile of very heavy items of of every enemy that slowly adds up to affect the inevitable encumbrance statistic. It's tedious and dull.

    The interesting part is that the two systems end up being exactly the same when you get back to town and sell all of your loot. At the end of the day, both results are that you get a certain amount of money and experience from fighting a group of enemies, with a handful of items that are actually useful thrown in. The only meaningful difference is that one game makes you manually sort out the wheat from the chaff and convert the junk into money, while the other handwaves it and automates the process. If you simply imagine that the "money" you get from random monsters in a Tales game is, in fact, just a representation of something equal in value to that amount of money and is directly converted into money the moment you reach a store, then it makes sense just as well as the "WRPG" system. Final Fantasy 12, Persona 4, and the Etrian Odyssey games use a system halfway between the two extremes that actually clarifies how similar they are (and is better than many because it makes the loot meaningful without requiring any bothersome sorting, just sell it all AND get the benefits).

    An important part of making games fun is using abstraction to ignore all the things that are tedious to track so that people can focus on what is actually important. That is why we use HP systems rather than complex damage tracking to individual organs, why we use one-size-fits-all armor rather than require armor to be custom-tailored to individual characters, and so on. Really, the ability to kill a giant orc, take its armor, and let a petite female elf put that same suit of armor on and use it effectively is just as absurd as wolves who cough up gold when you kill them, but it is an essential part of the "WRPG" loot system you praise.

    Also, I may as well object to the use of JRPG and WRPG in this discussion. It is way more complex than that and you know it, and reducing it to "WRPG is good, JRPG is bad" doesn't make for an interesting or meaningful discussion. This is particularly true when the most unrealistic and unjustifiable loot system of all, the Diablo-inspired classic MMO loot system in which killing a monster is akin to drawing a collectable card game card pack with a random chance at the rare loot you need regardless of logic, is one of the most important parts of many of the most popular western RPG series.

    Also, I rather dislike the idea that it is even a laudable goal for videogame RPGs to try to resemble tabletop RPGs, which is central to the first part of your discussion. That's probably worth an editorial from me at some point, though. :)
  • InstaTrentInstaTrent Opinionator RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2014
    TwinBahamut said:
    "WRPG is good, JRPG is bad" doesn't make for an interesting or meaningful discussion.
    It's more along the lines of "realistic is good, and many WRPGs are more realistic." I love me some JRPGs, but dead creatures generally don't explode into gold and items when they walk into the light. There is a place for realism in fantasy environments, and logical drops don't have to be boring or tedious just because they avoid spoon-feeding the player.
    "To tell you the truth, I like drinking tea and eating fresh vegetables, but that doesn't fit with my super-cool attitude. I guess I have to accept this about myself."
  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs The Bemused Administrators
    edited January 2014
    The first Baten Kaitos is somewhat realistic when it comes to its spoils. The monsters don't carry money (even human enemies don't) and instead you have to make money by taking pictures of monsters and sell those (pictures of bosses and rare monsters sold for quite a bit). I say somewhat because monsters do carry Magnus cards. Monsters carrying cards (Magnus cards are artificially created, so it's not as if their Magnus becomes a card upon death) is about as baffling as them carrying money. Baten Kaitos Origins has the monsters dropping money, though.

    I recall Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World has monsters that give out little, if any money. They did drop plenty of monster parts (horns, fur, etc) that could be sold if not used in crafting. Human enemies and humanoid monsters, like ogres, drop money, and lots of it. The original ToS isn't as "realistic," though.
    " I think this is why aging makes humans die! "
  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2014
    Realistic spoils are great... so long as they don't just switch to having monsters drop "junk bits" that you then just sell to get the currency you'd get normally.
  • PawsPaws BEARSONA RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2014
    It doesn't really knock me out of the fiction of the game, but I can definitely appreciate games that take a good middle ground. A good example is Chrono Cross: you get money when you kill stuff, and logical bits to craft new equipment: mechanical stuff drops screws, beasts drop fur or leather, shelled things drop carapace.
  • EthosEthos Member Full Members
    edited January 2014
    InstaTrent said:
    It's more along the lines of "realistic is good, and many WRPGs are more realistic."
    Realistic is good? I'm not entirely sure how to react to that. Are you assuming this is widely regarded and not just an opinion? And what do you mean by realistic? Do you mean a literal interpretation of how a fantasy world should behave by assuming that the fantasy world inherits our world's laws? Because "realistic" could also mean "balanced" or it could mean a realistic sense of accomplishment or a realistic way in which the fantasy world behaves in order to be consistent with its world's laws in addition to the way the game's mechanics behave. Should JRPGs rid themselves of menus because it is not realistic to believe that these characters would be subject to having their world pause arbitrarily to be filled with text? No, instead we make the connection that the menus are a conduit between player and universe. A way of making the player feel like they are interacting with the world. It is a worthy avatar for the party sitting down and using items or changing their equipment.

    Realistic can be heart-stopping when done well as The Last Of Us made no small effort to prove last year, but Flower and Shadow of the Colossus and Skyward Sword and Etrian Odyssey IV are all outstanding efforts (in anticipation of the bevvy of opinions that surely counter mine, I am sure the holders can provide their own examples of what they would deem outstanding) and the rules of their universes are very different than ours or those found in The Last Of Us. Agro feels realistic to control in relation to our world (in that the horse feels like its own creature, and riding it is more of a relationship than the hollow direct control that a game like Twilight Princess provided), but it did not seem out of place for Wander to grab onto the grassy back of an ancient stone creature while it dragged him underwater or for him to follow a magical light reflecting off of his sword.

    I think "consistent" and "thematically relevant" are terms that have far more significance and interest in a discussion such as this. I honestly can't figure out the misplaced obsession with "realistic" people have, beyond a preference. And a preference is something that I can understand, but it has very little to do with what is "good" in the non-moral sense.

    (edited for clarification)
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  • TwinBahamutTwinBahamut Staff Healer RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2014
    InstaTrent said:
    It's more along the lines of "realistic is good, and many WRPGs are more realistic." I love me some JRPGs, but dead creatures generally don't explode into gold and items when they walk into the light. There is a place for realism in fantasy environments, and logical drops don't have to be boring or tedious just because they avoid spoon-feeding the player.
    I'm sorry to say this, but did you really read what I wrote? This is a pretty bad rebuttal to my points, in which you are trying to take a single statement made within my argument as if it were the summation of my argument. It wasn't.

    I'll break it down again, this time starting with your own characterization of your argument.

    "realistic is good, and many WRPGs are more realistic". I'll add in the implied "than JRPGs" to complete that statement. Note that I say "JRPGs" rather than "many JRPGs" here because you never use the term "many JRPGs" in your editorial. You lump them all together, so letting you make exceptions would be letting you move the goalposts, which I'm not inclined to do because I want to make a point of it.

    To start with, the first statement in there is patently false, as I spent most of my own statement trying to establish. People, as a whole, don't crave realism or simulation in games. This is, in fact, seen as one of the most classic traps for game designers to fall into when creating games. Almost any good discussion of game design will, at some point, have to make clear that merely simulating something or being "realistic" is not, in of itself, going make a good game. Making something "realistic" is a tool in a game designer's toolbox, not a goal in of itself. Sim Tower was not any more fun for having been built on top of an elevator planning simulator, and Sim City games stop being fun when they turn into traffic management simulators. Note that they may be fun for some people, but generally not many people. Reality can be tedious, complex, stressful, and often quite dull, which are all traits that games don't want to share. Elegance and simplicity are often much more attractive in games than realism is.

    Now, let's look at "many WRPGs are more realistic". This is also an untrue statement. The "loot everything and either equip it on characters or sell it all in a shop" system is not realistic. It is unrealistic for these bizarre shops, which are willing to buy anything and everything from you regardless of quantity or the shop's own needs, to ever exist. As I said before, it is unrealistic for your characters to actually be able to use this loot for themselves. Often the circumstances of what loot is acquirable is just as unrealistic as any other game (too much equipment, enemies that always wear their armor day-in, day-out, butchering animals without training or the right equipment, items than never spoil, loot that scales to match the player's power level, and so on). Realism is a complex and unforgiving thing, and every game becomes laughably unrealistic at some point. The system you are describing is less abstract than some, but it is not really any more realistic in practice. I find that, the more a game tries to be realistic and non-abstract, the easier it is to see how unrealistic it really is.

    Finally, let's look at "many WRPGS.... are more than JRPGs". This is where your argument simply looks prejudiced. I'll break this down further.

    1) You are explicitly comparing a subset of WRPGS to all JRPGs. This is an imbalanced comparison that is going to be flawed no matter what way you look at it.

    2) You never specify which WRPGs actually use this system. As such, you are comparing all JRPGs to some imaginary, arbitrary WRPG that you don't even prove exists.

    3) Given number 2, it is hard to accept the claim that this imaginary WRPG is actually representative of "many WRPGs". This is particularly problematic given that many of us here have played WRPGs that use completely different systems than the one you describe!

    4) You never give a qualifier to JRPGs, so you are rather strongly stating that all JRPGs use the system you describe. This, however, is blatantly false, as there are a wide variety of JRPGs out there that use a wide range of different loot systems. Your criticisms many apply to some games, but they don't apply well to others.

    Generally, your statement simply falls apart because I can name several WRPGs that don't use the system that you describe, and I can name several JRPGs that use a system that is rather comparable to the one you praise as an WRPG system. To be honest, using the terms "WRPG and JRPG" as a way to refer to particular loot systems and not even making any effort to actually define those terms is just sloppy work on your part. You can't make a good argument if you can't even define terms or break away from relying on stereotypes and made-up examples.

    So, yeah, I think you're making a pretty bad argument.
  • TG BarighmTG Barighm Member Full Members
    edited January 2014
    The entire adventuring party suddenly comes down with food poisoning and gets diarrhea (not an extreme example at all; VERY common problem when traveling actually). They miss their appointment with the king because the party doesn't want to stray too far from a toilet and the messenger sent to inform the king is unable to reach him before he becomes impatient and dispatches his own guards to complete the quest.

    Yeah. Realism is good.
    I love me some JRPGs, but dead creatures generally don't explode into gold and items when they walk into the light. There is a place for realism in fantasy environments, and logical drops don't have to be boring or tedious just because they avoid spoon-feeding the player.
    Remember that when you're exploring a monster filled dungeon where none of the monsters drop healing potions or MP restoratives because beasts an animals would never carry that stuff and your party is in DESPERATE need of healing items.

    And as a few members have already pointed out, you're just gonna sell those tiger teeth and shark fins for cash anyway, so why not just skip the middle man and take the cash straight up? You could balance it out with an item crafting system, but then the dev would have to develop another feature when they could just give you the potions and items you would have crafted anyway as monster drops.

    Game design ALWAYS trumps realism.
  • Severin MiraSeverin Mira News Director/Reviewer RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2014
    One consideration is you can look at stuff like this as a measure of how engaged you are in the rest of the game (provided "accurate hunting/looting simulation" isn't a major point of the game, but if it that and fails on this aspect, well...). If you start to care about this stuff then it seems to me that suspension of disbelief has gone away, and it's probably time to find something else anyway. But if it's a thing that is actively bugging you then it's debatable whether the game's going to hold you even it had a realistic system. All this points to to me is just a preference/different priority on one aspect of game design, I can't see any real argument that when personal preference is removed either way makes a game objectively better, it's just an option. Hurray for options! On a personal front I mostly don't care too much for heavy crafting systems, so I'm in the camp which quite happy with shortcuts like this. Perhaps that means the initial idea I ventured is more indicative for people closer to that preference but hey, something to consider.
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  • InstaTrentInstaTrent Opinionator RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2014
    Not to harp on this, but the point of the article isn't WRPGs. Not even a little. I'm just stating that illogical JRPG spoils generally take me out of the experience.

    You can disagree, and that's fine, but please don't misunderstand my disagreement as condescension.
    "To tell you the truth, I like drinking tea and eating fresh vegetables, but that doesn't fit with my super-cool attitude. I guess I have to accept this about myself."
  • XR2XR2 Member Full Members
    edited January 2014
    My issue was always with the "steal" command. Why does this sword that this monster doesn't even use cease to exist the moment I kill it?
  • RealityCheckedRealityChecked Member Full Members
    edited January 2014
    First off, the idea that purple horned bobcats carry fire rings is ridiculous. It's the red ones.

    Secondly, it's hard to argue against the counterpoints that others have made, though I get your general gripe. You can't expect (and I don't think you want) perfect realism, but it is very reasonable to expect some effort from the game to do something more creative than just handing you random stuff.

    I agree with others that gold in lieu of beast guts is an appreciated shortcut device. I'm not a fan of standard encounter weapon/armor drops or of the synthesis/crafting mechanic since it's too much trial and error, and it is near impossible to convince me to sell ANYTHING during a game. Personally I've always been partial to finding items hidden in various areas (chests, etc.) as the main loot delivery system. However, nothing is worse than digging deep into an area for a 'rare' item, then finding it being sold by the gross in the next town over.
  • KiralynKiralyn Member Full Members
    edited January 2014
    Not sure what WRPGs you've played, but the majority of ones I've played over the past 30 years have used the same exact "random crap & cash" drops that JRPGs have. It's rare, in my experience, to have enemies drop their actual equipment.

    /shrug
  • ironmageironmage chaotic neutral observer SaskatoonFull Members
    edited January 2014
    kazriko said:

    My bigger concern is the inconsistency in drops. You kill one toad, and it has a toad skin. The next one you kill doesn't have one?
    It does, but your black mage had his fire spell tuned too hot, and the skin is badly scorched. The witch-doctor who buys that sort of stuff wouldn't be able to use it, anyway. The fighter isn't innocent, either; when she decides to practice her new attack, then instead of a nice whole skin, you end up with a shredded mess. Nobody wants that.


    Anyway, why concern oneself with minutiae like loot, when there's an elephant in the room?

    I've often noticed, while playing a game, that enemies continuously increase in strength as the game progresses. How could it be that the distribution of enemy strength so closely reflects my party's journey through the world? How come the grunts near the end of the game are twenty times stronger than the elite squadron I fought near the beginning?

    This is beyond coincidental; it's completely unbelievable. It's obvious that the game designers, with flagrant disregard for realism, have tweaked the enemy strength throughout the world specifically to fit the flow of the plot.

    But, nobody cares, because leveling up is fun. The same thing goes for loot.

    Sure, it's possible for the writers/designers to take too many liberties. As soon as you contradict the "common sense" of your audience, you break immersion. But this break point is different for everyone. I think this editorial is just Trent complaining about his particular break point being exceeded. It doesn't really reflect a significant problem in the genre.
    InstaTrent said:
    Not to harp on this, but the point of the article isn't WRPGs. Not even a little.
    Go back and read your own editorial. You have a whole paragraph on how WRPGs are different. Even if it isn't your main thesis, it is a significant point. If you weren't trying to highlight a perceived superiority of WRPGs over JRPGs, then you should have titled the article "RPG spoils make no sense". (They don't. I'm okay with that.)

    I suspect that WRPG vs. JRPG threads, like FF threads, have funnel-like properties.
    I'm just stating that illogical JRPG spoils generally take me out of the experience.
    What about illogical WRPG spoils? Are you okay with those? If so, what makes illogical JRPG spoils worse than illogical WRPG spoils? If not, why do illogical JRPG spoils merit special treatment?
    You can disagree, and that's fine, but please don't misunderstand my disagreement as condescension.
    When in debate, you should defend your points when you believe you are in the right, and gracefully back down when you find you are in the wrong. If you post glibly, but don't make a real effort to participate, people will get frustrated.
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  • smacdsmacd Full Members
    edited January 2014
    I remember thinking about this when I was a kid playing Dragon Warrior. Why did that slime drop gold pieces? It didn't make much sense (and looking back I was probably an abnormal 6 year old for even thinking about it). I still like the reasoning I came up with at the time. It went something like- the game is limited by technology, the players time is limited, so it was a metaphor for me skinning the enemy for its pelt (or taking some sell-able body parts) and selling them- all behind the scenes. I still use this metaphor for myself, although it falls apart when there are games that enemies drop both gold and various body parts.
  • goateguygoateguy Member Full Members
    edited January 2014
    Personally it never really made a difference to me about the amount (or lack thereof) of realism in the spoils system, both when I was 11 and now that I am officially 26. I would put myself in the category of not really caring about it but only caring weather a game got the system right for that specific game. It doesn't matter if X-monster in Dragon Quest gave me a piece of armor or if a skeleton in Dragon Age gave me a note belonging to an old lover, just as long as it doesn't disrupt the wider flow of the game.
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  • ultranessultraness Member Full Members
    edited January 2014
    No, there's a type of logic behind RPG spoils (I'm intentionally referring to RPGs of any origin, as others have pointed out that the editor's frustrations do not just apply to some--but not all--Japanese games). In general, the more difficult the enemy, the better rewards you get for defeating it. You seldom get great items or a lot of experience or money from easy enemies, while hard enemies give you the the good stuff. I'm not sure what game you played in which a regular enemy gave you a Fire Ring (which is why you should use specific examples and not false generalizations), but, frankly, I never care a lot about how realistic item drops are. It's far more important to me whether the game adheres to the logic of good game design. I.e., if I defeat one of the most difficult enemies in the game, I better get an amazing sword or something for killing it. I don't care if it makes no sense for the enemy to have a sword or whatever in the first place because it makes sense, from a game design perspective, to reward the player for doing something difficult.
  • AutismAutism Banned Banned Users
    edited January 2014
    I registered to laugh at you.
  • Daniel36Daniel36 Member Full Members
    edited January 2014
    Spoils are haaaardly the only thing that's unrealistic in most JRPGs.

    The extreme frequency of combat. The fact that species always stick to a very tight region. The fact that worlds in general take about 10 minutes to walk around, that the general population of said world is about 50% protagonists and antagonists and the other 20 are shopkeepers or just randomly walk about. Learning a new spell or skill simply by killing enough squirrels to level up. Oh, and let's not forget how wonderfully open people are to you randomly ransacking their houses...

    Not saying that everything needs to be as realistic as possible, but this is why, from a background perspective and suspension of disbelief, I prefer games like FF Tactics: War of the Lions. The "world" is in fact a single country, combat really only occurs when it matters or when a particularly dangerous region is traversed, and spoils aren't gained in the same way either. And FFT obviously has other issues that might irk you, but there it is...

    I guess all these things are why I haven't really touched a new RPG in a very long while, save for The Last Story.
  • AcathalaAcathala Member Full Members
    edited January 2014
    TG Barighm said:
    The entire adventuring party suddenly comes down with food poisoning and gets diarrhea (not an extreme example at all; VERY common problem when traveling actually). They miss their appointment with the king because the party doesn't want to stray too far from a toilet and the messenger sent to inform the king is unable to reach him before he becomes impatient and dispatches his own guards to complete the quest.

    Yeah. Realism is good.



    Remember that when you're exploring a monster filled dungeon where none of the monsters drop healing potions or MP restoratives because beasts an animals would never carry that stuff and your party is in DESPERATE need of healing items.

    And as a few members have already pointed out, you're just gonna sell those tiger teeth and shark fins for cash anyway, so why not just skip the middle man and take the cash straight up? You could balance it out with an item crafting system, but then the dev would have to develop another feature when they could just give you the potions and items you would have crafted anyway as monster drops.

    Game design ALWAYS trumps realism.
    What TG said.
    Also consider the fact loot could be what remains of previous adventuring party that met it's fate at the claws of the beastie you've just slain...
  • EthosEthos Member Full Members
    edited January 2014
    Autism said:
    I registered to laugh at you.
    C'mon, dude. We all love games and we all love RPGs. Starting a discussion in earnest is never a reason to laugh at somebody. It's one thing to have convicted opinions, but at the end of the day, we should all respect each other. Every conversation should be an opportunity to learn, not to make yourself feel superior.
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  • KiralynKiralyn Member Full Members
    edited January 2014
    Daniel36 said:
    Spoils are haaaardly the only thing that's unrealistic in most JRPGs.

    The extreme frequency of combat. The fact that species always stick to a very tight region. The fact that worlds in general take about 10 minutes to walk around, that the general population of said world is about 50% protagonists and antagonists and the other 20 are shopkeepers or just randomly walk about. Learning a new spell or skill simply by killing enough squirrels to level up. Oh, and let's not forget how wonderfully open people are to you randomly ransacking their houses...
    Again, you could easily knock the "J" off that JRPG. What you describe above happens in many (not all) WRPGs and MMOs as well.


    (and, for the record, I'm fine with it. But, then, I'm really used to stuff like that - and the plot/world destruction being suspended while you run around sidequesting, and "unrealistic" armor & weapons, and similar issues - since I've been running into it for decades. It's part of the genre for me. Consistency (define your world, then stick to that definition), is much more important to me than any sort of "realism".
  • flamethrowerflamethrower Member Full Members
    edited January 2014
    Averted (slightly) in Legend of Grimrock: defeated human enemies always drop their weapon and shield (if they have one, not sure if this applies to ranged weapons) at a minimum. Defeated minotaur enemies always drop their weapon. They usually drop nothing else. It's weird that these guys are patrolling a dungeon with no supplies whatsoever.
  • goateguygoateguy Member Full Members
    edited January 2014
    Daniel36 said:
    Spoils are haaaardly the only thing that's unrealistic in most JRPGs.

    The extreme frequency of combat. The fact that species always stick to a very tight region. The fact that worlds in general take about 10 minutes to walk around, that the general population of said world is about 50% protagonists and antagonists and the other 20 are shopkeepers or just randomly walk about. Learning a new spell or skill simply by killing enough squirrels to level up. Oh, and let's not forget how wonderfully open people are to you randomly ransacking their houses...

    Not saying that everything needs to be as realistic as possible, but this is why, from a background perspective and suspension of disbelief, I prefer games like FF Tactics: War of the Lions. The "world" is in fact a single country, combat really only occurs when it matters or when a particularly dangerous region is traversed, and spoils aren't gained in the same way either. And FFT obviously has other issues that might irk you, but there it is...

    I guess all these things are why I haven't really touched a new RPG in a very long while, save for The Last Story.
    I think CAD would back you up. :P
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  • Super KingSuper King New Member Full Members
    edited January 2014
    Hey, all, first-time caller, long-time listener (since at least 1998, when Final Fantasy VII/VIII and Pokemon Red/Blue were all the rage).

    In agreement with reasons other posters have given above, getting gold from monsters in RPGs (and I agree with other posters that this trope is not confined solely to Japan and that plenty of Japanese games have experimented with alternate rewards) doesn't bother me a bit. To me, tougher monsters should carry better rewards, and money is a better and more useful award for the sake of the game being enjoyable and playable than the vendor trash we see so much of these days, and as long as the rewards are good, the minutiae spoils system otherwise is something I don't concern myself with. All getting the gold does is keep me from having to redeem animal innards/skins at a merchant, and to save me the trouble of crafting a mithril glove when I could just buy it from a merchant, or have it dropped by a mithril dragon.

    Much as we all want to feel like we're living in our RPG worlds, the experience still has to be enjoyable on a technical level, and the game still has to be fun. That means gameplay mechanics and their implications have to be taken into account. How many of us want to be constantly sprinting to the can after eating 200-year-old deviled eggs in Fallout 3? Granted, I know there are mods on Fallout Nexus that will let you do just that, but still. How many of us want our characters to take one unlucky blow to the head from an enemy sword and drop dead from a gushing head wound? Even setting aside the Mortal Kombat gore factor here, getting stabbed in the back by some common robber and dying after having killed huge bosses and racked up tons of loot would put almost anyone off of that game. So I'm cool with money-spiders. I don't want to deal with vendor trash or crafting. I just want some more loot and better weapons.

    Final Fantasy VIII had an interesting solution to the money-spider issue: Squall got paid a regular salary by Balamb Garden, based on his rank. Nobody dropped any money (not even Galbadian soldiers). That said, I am aware that there was plenty of vendor trash to deal with, and some of it wasn't congruent with the enemies you got it from or the purpose you were using for, but it is what it is, and it wasn't a big focus of the game for me.
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