If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the Forum Rules. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.
Welcome to RPGamer's new forums running under Vanilla Forums! If you're run into any odd or strange issues after our software migration please see this thread for details

Shooter-RPG Hybridization - Active Topical Banter

Fowl SorcerousFowl Sorcerous Dread News EditorRPGamer Staff
edited February 2015 in Latest Updates
When gunplay and stats interact sparks and ideas fly. We capture a few of both for podcast infotainment value.

Listen
Archive
Subscribe
iTunes (turtleneck optional)

Talking Points from the Episode
-May I please hit the thing I’m pointing at/modes of rp integration
-Dumb abstractions getting dumber in an action context
-Gratification cycles
-Gun porn vs. stat porn
-Perk trees vs stat boosts
-Differences of scale vs. kind
-Best example/personal fave?

Next Time: Romance is in the air

PS: delayed episode brought to you by power outages

Comments

  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited January 2015
    I don't like games with guns at all. Well except Wild Arms I guess.

    I don't really like the aiming aspect of them, but it also makes me less likely to play games like Shadowrun (bought it, but haven't tried it yet).
  • daveyddaveyd Turn-based lifeform PAFull Members
    edited January 2015
    I don't like games with guns at all. Well except Wild Arms I guess.

    I don't really like the aiming aspect of them, but it also makes me less likely to play games like Shadowrun (bought it, but haven't tried it yet).

    There's no aiming in a tactical RPG like Shadowrun (assuming you're referring to Returns/Dragonfall & not the SNES Shadowrun, which has a terrible combat system). Mechanically there's not really any difference between using a gun in a tactical RPG and using a bow or crossbow. (OK, SR has assualt rifles / SMGs with automatic firing burst attacks, but there's fantasy RPGs where you can fire more than one arrow at a time, etc.) And there's cover, but that's automatic (i.e., determined by where you position your character). So why would the guns be a turn off if there's no aiming or other shooter mechanics involved?

    Personally I'm not a big fan of shooter / RPG hybrids and have only played a few mentioned in this discussion. I managed to complete and enjoy Deus Ex: HR, but that's because it can be played as stealth game, aside from the brief tutorial-ish segment in the beginning and the boss battles... I also preferred stealthily taking down enemies to shooting them. If I had to play the entire game as a shooter, then I think I would've quit it early on.

    Quit Fallout 3 very early on due to hating the shooter-like elements... As big fan of the first two FO games, I just felt like FO3 was a huge step backward in the gameplay dept. I should probably give the game another chance and build my character to avoid combat as much as possible... Or maybe just try New Vegas, which I'll probably enjoy more.

    I did manage to complete the entire Mass Effect trilogy and despite being among those extremely disappointed with MA3's ending, I enjoyed it for the most part... in spite of not enjoying the combat much fun at all. It's filler. So was the mining. Hell, if there was an option to play through the ME games like a visual novel, making all the decisions and watching cutscenes with no combat (or perhaps only the boss battles), then I would've preferred to play ME that way.

    These were games I played almost entirely for the narrative / non-combat role-playing opportunities. But I really want both great gameplay and a strong narrative. Since I don't enjoy shooters, I don't think it's possible for anyone to make one with RPG elements that I love. Unless they entirely remove twitch elements... which would probably make it an adventure game or tactical RPG.

    I agree that HP are a pretty dumb abstraction in all RPGs. I'd actually like to see more RPGs take a "realistic" approach to combat where a gun shot or sword blow to the head pretty much guarantees death (or at least KO), no matter how skilled a person is. I'm probably in the minority on that, but well, there's plenty of ways to increase the power / skillset of your character will still keeping them vulnerable. It's absurd that many RPGs have your HP go from single digits to over 100 by the end of the game.
    Currently playing (on PC): Hard West, Eisenwald: Blood of November, Dungeon Rats, Wasteland 2, Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire





  • scorpio_7scorpio_7 Tactics Ogre, I choose u! Full Members
    edited January 2015
    I don't like games with guns at all. Well except Wild Arms I guess.

    I don't really like the aiming aspect of them, but it also makes me less likely to play games like Shadowrun (bought it, but haven't tried it yet).


    You don't aim in Shadowrun, its a turn-based tactical rpg.

    In terms of shooters, and shooter-hybrids. I don't enjoy shooters at all, and always avoid gun-action-rpg's.

    I don't mind guns in a game as long as I don't have to aim it, lol. (Now, bow and arrow, Skyrim style, I'm cool with lol)
    Check out my writing and art by following this link to my work: www.stevenmouland.com
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2015
    daveyd wrote: »
    I agree that HP are a pretty dumb abstraction in all RPGs. I'd actually like to see more RPGs take a "realistic" approach to combat where a gun shot or sword blow to the head pretty much guarantees death (or at least KO), no matter how skilled a person is. I'm probably in the minority on that, but well, there's plenty of ways to increase the power / skillset of your character will still keeping them vulnerable. It's absurd that many RPGs have your HP go from single digits to over 100 by the end of the game.

    I've studied a number of pen and paper RPG system that address one or both of these ideas (The sudden jump in HPs and a more realistic approach to combat).

    Statistical inflation is part of making a hero more powerful. In a game, the enemies can kill heroes in three hits if the heroes take no move to actively counter attack or heal themselves. Chances are, by the final levels of the game, it's the same, or maybe changed a few rounds in either direction. The only difference is that all of the states (HPs, damage output, etc) have gone up. Instead of fighting 'goblins', the party is fighting 'dragons', but, essentially, the increase in numbers means little, other than the fact that if they player decide to, they can go back and fight goblins with a HUGE advantage.

    So, I looked into a few other systems. Savage Worlds, for example, has an interesting system. The different between a top level character and low level character is actually pretty minimal, especially in terms of how many hits they can take. Conversely, that also means, using the example above, that a high level character could be taken out by a relatively small number of Goblins (especially if they roll well a couple of times). It certainly feels more 'realistic.' The challenge is that it doesn't really lend itself to the players feeling exceptionally heroic. While its all just numerical smoke and mirrors, players like knowing that they have the power to go back and squish lower level monsters/opponents...even if its nearly never used like that. (after all, those goblins aren't worth many xp).

    From a more practical standpoint in computer/console RPGs, it means that there's nearly no point to level up to take on a tough boss. When level ups give small incremental bonuses (let's say +1 Hp per level instead of 10), an extra level or two means very level in terms of handing those rough guys. If an RPG is balanced really well to reward well through strategy, balanced parities, etc., that can have a pay off in making you feel it was your brains, and not your time grinding, that enabled you to get through a situation. However, if it is not balanced super well, and an encounter is made a bit too difficult, it can frustrate players as they have recourse to address the situation. Normally, in computer / console RPGs, you can spend an hour or two leveling before a boss to give yourself a significantly better chance in taking on that boss.

    Personally, I'd like to see a compromise... perhaps a system that has you 4-8x as powerful by top level than level 1, instead of 40x more powerful.

    As to damage impacting your character more realistically... it becomes a double edge sword. On one hand, tracking specific damage and effects would be more accurate. On the other hand, it's more rules to keep track of. More importantly, it can hamper the player more than the bad guys. Let's say a hero suffers an unfortunate brutal strike to the arm, severely impacting his ability to use it in battle. Now, his chance for a 'come behind victory' are more severely hampered... and he'll probably die. Even if he makes it through this battle, there's three more battles before he can make it back to the inn and a temple or whatnot. Reload! Now, if this happens to a bad guy, it's not such a big deal. After all, bad guys are a dime per dozen. The next round of bad guys will have no such ill effects.

    You see this problem a lot with status ailments in RPGs. Spells like Poison, and stat debuffs are nearly meaningless on non-boss encounters. The enemies die quickly before the players get a real pay off for them. It's easier just to kill them outright. But, against players, it's a different story. At best, it usually means little in battle and drains players resources a bit as they use items to cure the debuffs. At worst, the status debuffs mean a lot more if the players cannot heal them quickly through items/spells. Regardless, a system that utilizes a degradation system tends to be unexciting, at best... and feels punishing to the player, at worst.
  • OcelotOcelot is not declawed RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2015
    Yeah, after trying a few (PnP and video) games that try to make combat more realistic and deadly, I've learned to embrace hit point systems. Can they get out of control when you end up with hit point sponge bosses? Oh yeah. But on the other hand, when they're reasonably done, they let the player have more fun by not having to worry about constant death and dismemberment. I'm just not into the feeling that I should play super-conservatively in heroic fantasy.
    Becky Cunningham, Staff-at-Large
    Twitter: BeckyCFreelance
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2015
    Ocelot wrote: »
    Yeah, after trying a few (PnP and video) games that try to make combat more realistic and deadly, I've learned to embrace hit point systems. Can they get out of control when you end up with hit point sponge bosses? Oh yeah. But on the other hand, when they're reasonably done, they let the player have more fun by not having to worry about constant death and dismemberment. I'm just not into the feeling that I should play super-conservatively in heroic fantasy.

    Indeed. One of the things we do is a critical hit rule which allows for the possibility of a debuffing injury. A few players were skeptical, at first...with one hanging onto the logic above (That such things tend to impact players longer term than mobs). However, it happen infrequently enough (confirmed critical hit) to spice the dish rather than it taking center stage as a constant issue every time someone gets low on health. (It also helps the players crit a lot more often than the bad guys)
  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited January 2015
    I know you don't aim in Shadowrun, that's why I said "but" and not "because of that".
    It's more a connection my mind made unconsciously "guns = bad game", which originally came from me not liking to aim but also affects games that don't have aim just because they have guns.
    I mean there are a few other things that bother me about guns, for example limited ammo and that all are ranged (less variety).
    I'll give Shadowrun a try eventually.

    As for the HP discussion, I personally prefer to have HP and stats. I like see them going up. I like to notice how much stronger I have become over the course of the game. Of course many modern JRPGs are sooo linear that you will never notice that you actually became stronger at all, even though you have the numbers going up. Often it's just the same "When you reach a town you buy all new equip that slightly increase your stats and move on" that makes you never really notice any meaning to your level or equip. I liked the older games where you couldn't afford most equip and when you finally bought one you were noticably stronger.

    More realistic "wounds" seem rather annoying, hard to keep track of and probably force you to go back to a healer often, meaning a lot of backtracking or pressing reset.

    As for how much a level up should increase your power... I say it depends. On a linear game, a single level up should mean ALOT. Like dealing 50% more damage and chance to miss halved. So that if you can't beat a boss you can grind for a level or two, come back and notice how much stronger you've grown. On a more open world game, this isn't needed. Because if you get stuck in a dungeon because the monsters have become too hard, you could simply first go to one of the other five dungeons and check if you can survive in those easier first. And then when you finally come back to the dungeon you were originally at you are several levels higher and will still notice how much you've improved since your first attempt, giving you a good feeling about it.
  • GaijinMonogatariGaijinMonogatari RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2015
    OK, I'm tempted to get out Crime Crackers again (PSX 1st-person shooter RPG that looks like some of the reeeeeally old ID Software games)
  • daveyddaveyd Turn-based lifeform PAFull Members
    edited January 2015
    JCServant wrote: »
    Normally, in computer / console RPGs, you can spend an hour or two leveling before a boss to give yourself a significantly better chance in taking on that boss.

    Personally, I'd like to see a compromise... perhaps a system that has you 4-8x as powerful by top level than level 1, instead of 40x more powerful.*As to damage impacting your character more realistically... it becomes a double edge sword.

    On one hand, tracking specific damage and effects would be more accurate. On the other hand, it's more rules to keep track of. More importantly, it can hamper the player more than the bad guys. Let's say a hero suffers an unfortunate brutal strike to the arm, severely impacting his ability to use it in battle. Now, his chance for a 'come behind victory' are more severely hampered... and he'll probably die. Even if he makes it through this battle, there's three more battles before he can make it back to the inn and a temple or whatnot. Reload! Now, if this happens to a bad guy, it's not such a big deal. After all, bad guys are a dime per dozen. The next round of bad guys will have no such ill effects.*

    As I'm sure I've mentioned before, I hate grinding, endless respawns, and other filler content. If an RPG basically requires most players to grind to advance then that is poor design. I know some gamers actually like it and many others tolerate it, but I just don't have the patience for it anymore; and if it is just about making your character / party strong enough to beat a boss, then that can be solved with multiple difficulty settings. I'd find grinding more tolerable if it was restricted to an arena, which could be kinda fun, but generic trash encounters with goblins, slimes, etc. are not fun. If there was a general trend towards fewer combat encounters that were interesting, gave players a stronger motivation to fight (not simply monsters = evil), or offered a unique challenge, RPGs would be shorter, but more exciting... and we'd be more inclined to replay the ones that offered narrative choices (or able to finish more games and reduce our backlogs).

    While ultra realistic HP systems might only work well in games with very infrequent combat, your compromise would be great for the rest. Keeping HP lower would mean faster combat encounters and less repetition.

    One thing I dislike about D&D is the huge HP disparity between classes... I can accept that a muscular warrior in heavy armor is going to be able to take a beating better than a frail wizard in robes, the fighters getting over twice the HP that mages get per level is a bit extreme. I like the way Shadowrun handles it much better (in SR Returns /DF at least... not sure how PnP differs). Any character can spend some Karma to increase body, which increases your HP, but there's a limit. And most players won't invest a lot in HP, because getting more skills and other attributes is more interesting and ultimately more useful. Only Trolls can get a crazy amount of HP which seems fair because they're huge.
    Ocelot wrote: »
    Yeah, after trying a few (PnP and video) games that try to make combat more realistic and deadly, I've learned to embrace hit point systems. Can they get out of control when you end up with hit point sponge bosses? Oh yeah. But on the other hand, when they're reasonably done, they let the player have more fun by not having to worry about constant death and dismemberment. I'm just not into the feeling that I should play super-conservatively in heroic fantasy.

    I think the more realistic HP system would work really well in an RPG where combat is rare / usually avoidable (which is also something I'd like to see a lot more of). I haven't played the early Access version of "Age of Decadence" but from what I've read, it sounds like it fits this model... and I have seen players complain that some fights are unwinnable by all but the strongest warrior builds.. but with this type of game you aren't necessarily supposed to fight.. if you are seriously outnumbered, then the wise thing to do would be not to attack everyone you disagree with. I know a lot of RPG fans want to play as a super hero, so that sort of realism will turn them off.

    In an action RPG, or any RPG where you spend the majority of your time in obligatory combat... then I tend to agree that it generally wouldn't work very well, and just lead to players feeling frustrated at having to repeatedly replay battles because even one mistake equals death. However, the upcoming tactical RPG Liege has a really interesting take on this... Your characters will level up and gain special abilities but from what I gather, they will stay very vulnerable; it's more about out-smarting your enemies than overpowering them.
    Currently playing (on PC): Hard West, Eisenwald: Blood of November, Dungeon Rats, Wasteland 2, Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire





  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2015
    daveyd wrote: »
    As I'm sure I've mentioned before, I hate grinding, endless respawns, and other filler content. If an RPG basically requires most players to grind to advance then that is poor design. I know some gamers actually like it and many others tolerate it, but I just don't have the patience for it anymore; and if it is just about making your character / party strong enough to beat a boss, then that can be solved with multiple difficulty settings. I'd find grinding more tolerable if it was restricted to an arena, which could be kinda fun, but generic trash encounters with goblins, slimes, etc. are not fun. If there was a general trend towards fewer combat encounters that were interesting, gave players a stronger motivation to fight (not simply monsters = evil), or offered a unique challenge, RPGs would be shorter, but more exciting... and we'd be more inclined to replay the ones that offered narrative choices (or able to finish more games and reduce our backlogs).

    Most of the RPGs I play, outside of dungeon crawlers, (and, granted, I tend to gravitate towards those that review well), don't require grinding, par se. However, they are a way for players to even the table on more difficult boss encounters where the player doesn't handle strategic come well, or have the most optimized party possible. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of 'grinding,' required or no, but I find it more tolerable (and even enjoyable) when the game sports a great combat system. Grandia comes to mind. Man, I do love myself some Grandia III combat.

    One thing I dislike about D&D is the huge HP disparity between classes... I can accept that a muscular warrior in heavy armor is going to be able to take a beating better than a frail wizard in robes, the fighters getting ov[qer twice the HP that mages get per level is a bit extreme. I like the way Shadowrun handles it much better (in SR Returns /DF at least... not sure how PnP differs). Any character can spend some Karma to increase body, which increases your HP, but there's a limit. And most players won't invest a lot in HP, because getting more skills and other attributes is more interesting and ultimately more useful. Only Trolls can get a crazy amount of HP which seems fair because they're huge.
    Pathfinder address this...to an extent. Wizards now get d6 hps, bards and rogues move up to d8 and rangers now use d10. Furthermore, there's now a 'favored class bonus' that most people use to get an extra HP/level. Finally, toughness gives +1 hp/lv instead of a flat +3. So, in English.. comparing a Con 12 Wiz and Con 16 Fighter at level 10...with Toughness (give or take a few hps and my failing memory)

    D&D Wizard: 40hps.
    D&D Fighter: 92hps (231% of Wizard)
    PF Wizard: 67hps
    PF Fighter: 109hps (163% of Wizard)

    So, as you can see, they've closed the gap a bit. In a campaign I run, our ranger has 114hps at level 11, and the wizard has 70. (Wow...I just looked this up...had no idea it would come so close to my hypothetical numbers, rofl).

    In an action RPG, or any RPG where you spend the majority of your time in obligatory combat... then I tend to agree that it generally wouldn't work very well, and just lead to players feeling frustrated at having to repeatedly replay battles because even one mistake equals death. However, the upcoming tactical RPG Liege has a really interesting take on this... Your characters will level up and gain special abilities but from what I gather, they will stay very vulnerable; it's more about out-smarting your enemies than overpowering them.
    Ironically that's how it works in most RPGs with even a leveling mechanic in place. In most of them, I'm rarely more than a few rounds away from dying if I'm not careful, specifically, in boss fights. Sure, we all have higher numbers, AC, whatevers...but so do the bad guys. Number inflation FTW!!!

    I really don't care whether a game uses a very small progression through the levels, or not. As I pointed out above, it only impacts your ability to level your way through more difficult (boss) encounters should you need to. So, if you use a low stat progression, you better make sure your game is pretty well balanced and allows parties of various compositions succeed with proper strategy. Anyway, what appeals to me most is getting additional skills, spells, etc which add depth the combat as I level up or progress through the game. Megaman is a great example. There's no stat, xp, etc progression in most Megaman games. However, as I clear each boss, I gain his weapon adding to my arsenal. Now, as I have more ways to dispatch my foes and tackles difficult challenges. Pathfinder is fun because... while I don't care about the stat progression (I get more hps, attacks, defense...so does the monster. Battles still last 4 rounds on the average), I have choices, while leveling, which add depth to the game.
  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited January 2015
    I think grinding is a much better system that having a difficulty setting you can change any time.
    And yes as jcservant said, I see it also so that grinding shouldn't required be par se, but it is a way to make up for not figuring out the perfect strategy or simply having an unoptimized build. A perfect player should never have to grind, but it should be an option for all other players.

    Let's just look at it via the example of "can't beat the boss".

    a) If there was a difficulty setting, I'd try the boss, can't beat it, reload, set difficulty to "easy", try it again and win. This feels cheap. It doesn't give me any sense of accomplishment. Sure I can continue with the story, but there was no fun involved with the boss battle.

    b) If the game neither allows grinding nor has difficulty setting, I'd try the boss, can't beat it, go to gamefaqs, check which tactic I need to use, try it again and win. This feels cheap as well, ruins the immersion and can pretty much kill all your motivation to play the game.

    c) If the game allows grinding however, I'd try the boss, can't beat it, go somewhere else to fight more monsters and become stronger, go back to the boss and beat it. Now this time I have beat the boss via my own personal efforts. It gives me a sense of accomplishment, a sense of getting stronger. Unlike in the other two situations I win the boss battle with a good feeling.

    So in the end I must claim that grinding really is the best solution. It just needs to be implemented really well so that a perfect player never has to do it but it helps a not so perfect player to overcome a challenge by his own efforts.


    By the way, in D&D E5, the HP are more like in Pathfinder. Wizards get 1d6, Rogues and Clerics 1d8 and Fighter 1d10. Not to mention that Constitution matters quite a bit which all classes need. Say everybody has 12 constitution, then the HP modifier per level is +1. That means Wizards get 2-7 HP per level (4.5 on average), Rogues and Clerics get 2-9 HP per level (5.5 on average) and Fighters get 2-11 HP per level (6.5 on average).
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2015
    Ok...got to listen to the podcast today (Hard to do when I have so many WWE ones to catch up on this week with that whole Royal Rumble fiasco). It's pretty good, though a wee short :)

    I pretty much agree with the sentiment that when you try too hard to combine RPG and FPS, you tend to lose something. For example, I didn't much care for Borderlands. The "RPG Mechanics" did not add enough to that experience for me to enjoy it. In fact, it seemed to detract. I would get a cool gun that could kill a generic bad guy in 1 hit. In a few levels, 2 hits. In a few more levels, 3 hits. Time to buy/find a new one!! Sure, my stats would go up (such as HPs), but so would bad guys damage. The quest mechanics also fell flat, as I felt there was too much filler. This might have been fun as a 10 hour single player FPS experience.

    On the other hand, I enjoy the Ratchet & Clank series. After the first game, they started adding in an XP bar (which would increase HPs when filled) and added an upgrade method to each weapon based on how much you used it. This system felt more satisfying, as I upgrades in weapons from xp increase/use really made them feel more awesome.

    As most people know, I'm not a huge fan of FPS games. I play some of the best ones that tell a good story. I usually play RPGs because aside from featuring deeper stories, they also feature deeper combat system relying a bit more on brainpower than reflexes. So, merging a genre that I do enjoy traditionally, and merging it with elements from another genre I generally disdain would predictably cause lukewarm results, at best. However, the first person perspective does have the power to draw one into the game world in a way that the traditional isometric view does not. Facing a dragon screaming at you in anger, from that angle, gives one a better appreciation for the ferocity of the foe in question than the traditional "Dragon hits you for 231 pts of damage" message.

    And I'm glad Mac validated my decision to pass on Amibos. I was very, very tempted.
  • daveyddaveyd Turn-based lifeform PAFull Members
    edited January 2015
    I think grinding is a much better system that having a difficulty setting you can change any time.
    And yes as jcservant said, I see it also so that grinding shouldn't required be par se, but it is a way to make up for not figuring out the perfect strategy or simply having an unoptimized build. A perfect player should never have to grind, but it should be an option for all other players.

    Yeah, I'm fine with having it as an option. Like I said, I'd greatly prefer that RPGs limit grinding opportunities to an optional arena or "endless dungeon", rather than fill the entire game world with respawning enemies or random encounters. Even if I have the option to run away, it's still tedious.

    The problem is there's a lot of RPGs (many JRPGs and virtually all "Action RPGs") that may not require grinding, but are filled with so many generic trash encounters with the same mundane enemies over and over again, that they feel very grindy to me. One may contend that as long as players fight through all of these encounters while exploring the world, their character/s should be strong enough to beat the bosses without needing to back track, so technically there isn't any grinding. But if the game is designed this way, it's just as bad and boring as a game where you're expected to grind.
    Let's just look at it via the example of "can't beat the boss".

    a) If there was a difficulty setting, I'd try the boss, can't beat it, reload, set difficulty to "easy", try it again and win. This feels cheap. It doesn't give me any sense of accomplishment. Sure I can continue with the story, but there was no fun involved with the boss battle.

    b) If the game neither allows grinding nor has difficulty setting, I'd try the boss, can't beat it, go to gamefaqs, check which tactic I need to use, try it again and win. This feels cheap as well, ruins the immersion and can pretty much kill all your motivation to play the game.

    c) If the game allows grinding however, I'd try the boss, can't beat it, go somewhere else to fight more monsters and become stronger, go back to the boss and beat it. Now this time I have beat the boss via my own personal efforts. It gives me a sense of accomplishment, a sense of getting stronger. Unlike in the other two situations I win the boss battle with a good feeling.

    So in the end I must claim that grinding really is the best solution. It just needs to be implemented really well so that a perfect player never has to do it but it helps a not so perfect player to overcome a challenge by his own efforts.

    Personally your option (c) feels a bit cheap to me... If a boss hands my *** to me, backtracking to kill feeble goblins and slimes so I can level up doesn't feel very heroic to me either. It seems artificial and like bad game design.. Although for some reason I think having the monsters in an arena style segment helps it feel more "organic" and less gamey.

    But assuming the game has a good battle system that allows for a range of different tactics, I'm a player that would prefer to exhaust every tactic I can think of before resorting to grinding. And I rarely look at walkthroughs for suggestions on tactics; only time I'll look at them is if I'm stumped on where to go next.

    I also almost never turn down a game's difficulty setting below normal. If it's a game with combat I really enjoy, I'll often play it on the highest difficulty setting. However, it's great for games to have a variety of different difficulty to accommodate people of different skill levels (or different levels of patience / persistence). There's no shame in playing a game on "easy" if that's how you find it most enjoyable.

    In a nutshell, I think it's best when games give players as many options as possible. The issue I have with so many RPGs is that they put in a ton of filler combat for the people who want to grind, but don't give people like me, who don't want to waste my time fighting through hordes of mundane enemies, an enjoyable way to get through the game. I really appreciate when game developers respect my time, rather than trying to pad a game so they can impress people with "100+ hours of game play".
    Currently playing (on PC): Hard West, Eisenwald: Blood of November, Dungeon Rats, Wasteland 2, Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire





  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited January 2015
    Battle encounters are probably a whole other story. Encounters are extremely flawed in 90% of all RPGs in that they completely lack in variety. Dungeons have at least 3 different monsters types and battles can often have 6 or even 8 monsters put together. That allows for hundreds of different encounter formations. Yet most RPGs will only have 3-5 different formations. This is something that could easily be done much better but yet is rarely done well.

    Bad encounters don't mean that grinding is bad itself, though. It just means that low variety in encounters turns grinding into something negative for more players.
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2015
    Personally your option (c) feels a bit cheap to me... If a boss hands my *** to me, backtracking to kill feeble goblins and slimes so I can level up doesn't feel very heroic to me either. It seems artificial and like bad game design.. Although for some reason I think having the monsters in an arena style segment helps it feel more "organic" and less gamey.

    But assuming the game has a good battle system that allows for a range of different tactics, I'm a player that would prefer to exhaust every tactic I can think of before resorting to grinding. And I rarely look at walkthroughs for suggestions on tactics; only time I'll look at them is if I'm stumped on where to go next.

    I just hit this exact challenge in Demon Gaze. I enjoy the battle system well enough...typical JRPG stuff, but very, very fast. I take my time, beat up lots of stuff...and the first two demon bosses went down with careful tactics. However, immediately after beating the 2nd boss, the story drives me to a third boss...which proceeds to hand me my posterior. In asking Wheels, who beat & reviewed the game, I learned that I needed to grind more... against the game's versions of goblins and such. Combat moves fast enough, but my low xp gains insured that I would be at it for a while. No, I don't feel that's good gameplay design, myself. I feel that, at the very least, that players should have the ability to defeat the bosses on the first go around with a solid team using good tactics. Grinding, from a game design perspective, should serve as the backup plan for those parties not very balanced, or players who do not plan well.

    Thankfully, I found a way to explore a tougher dungeon which I can use to get a few more levels relatively quickly before attempting to take on the worm boss of death once again.

    I pretty much agree with you about developers respecting my time. I appreciate the ability to speed up combat in games such as Demon Gaze and Bravely Default.
  • VictarVictar Member Full Members
    edited February 2015
    I loved the part about Amiibo addiction at the end. As a recovering collectibles addict, I sympathize.

    I almost succumbed and bought a Luigi Amiibo, even though I have no plans to get a Wii U or Smash Bros. But... the Luigi Amiibo is in a very idiotic pose. (It's his Smash Bros. taunt/win pose where he acts like one of those perpetual motion bird toys). I couldn't go through with it. The pose is just too dumb.

    I've seen pictures of another Luigi Amiibo with a much better pose. But now I realize... this means that the Amiibo influx WILL NEVER END. After they make an Amiibo of every Smash Bros. or Nintendo character, they can KEEP MAKING MORE AMIIBOS with the same characters in new poses. Once you become an Amiibo addict, you are doomed to purchase INFINITE AMIIBOS.

    Unless... you get out now! Right now! Sell your Amiibo collection on eBay, and don't look back! Maybe you can turn a profit?
  • OcelotOcelot is not declawed RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2015
    Ha, that pose was the only reason I even considered buying a Luigi Amiibo... but the plastic part holding him up just looks too dumb. My collection is going to be limited to my current Three Amiibos (Yoshi, Kirby, and Pikachu) plus Lucario (currently winging its way over here from Japan), Charizard, and Lucina. I'm hoping Nintendo releases enough Lucinas since she'll be compatible with Project S.T.E.A.M.

    Glad I'm not a person who has to collect 'em all when it comes to physical goods (I save that for my Pokeymans games). I just get the ones I really like. If Nintendo ever starts actually doing Pokemon series of Amiibos, though, I could be in trouble.
    Becky Cunningham, Staff-at-Large
    Twitter: BeckyCFreelance
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited February 2015
    Victar wrote: »
    I loved the part about Amiibo addiction at the end. As a recovering collectibles addict, I sympathize.

    I almost succumbed and bought a Luigi Amiibo, even though I have no plans to get a Wii U or Smash Bros. But... the Luigi Amiibo is in a very idiotic pose. (It's his Smash Bros. taunt/win pose where he acts like one of those perpetual motion bird toys). I couldn't go through with it. The pose is just too dumb.

    I've seen pictures of another Luigi Amiibo with a much better pose. But now I realize... this means that the Amiibo influx WILL NEVER END. After they make an Amiibo of every Smash Bros. or Nintendo character, they can KEEP MAKING MORE AMIIBOS with the same characters in new poses. Once you become an Amiibo addict, you are doomed to purchase INFINITE AMIIBOS.

    Unless... you get out now! Right now! Sell your Amiibo collection on eBay, and don't look back! Maybe you can turn a profit?
    All good suggestions...if only I knew how to quit.
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • nephyonephyo New Member Full Members
    edited February 2015
    I apologize for posting such a long post in response to your last podcast. I meant no offense. I did not setup an account just to make that post. I've been a member since July, 2012, just lurking and listening to your podcasts and I've probably been reading the website for far longer. I enjoyed the recent topic and felt I had something to say about the matter. Anyway, I've never been much for concision and I don't really believe in it. But if I choose to write another lengthy post in the future, by all means feel free to ignore it. Or if there's a rule against posts over a certain length that's fine too.
  • Fowl SorcerousFowl Sorcerous Dread News Editor RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2015
    we weren't upset, but we felt odd at having that set of thoughts dropped in was very different than our usual comments and I was not sure what to say about it.
Sign In or Register to comment.