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Why are RPG combat systems so boring?


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#101 Evangelion   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 29 December 2003 - 01:30 PM

Shadow Hearts (PS2) has something like that. Whenever you attack an opponent, and "attack wheel" comes up, and you have to hit the "X" button at the right time to get the hit.

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#102 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 29 December 2003 - 02:14 PM

How about a system like magic the gathering turns? You have all your cards that could be played during combat. Cards like grab limb, parry weapon, shoot arrow, any kind of action that could be done. To make it interesting, every turn you draw a different 7 cards from your deck, then shuffle the un used ones back in your deck at the start of your next turn. Some cards are instant reactions, can be done at any time, even in reaction to someone''s move. Some cards have to be done on your turn.
Implementing this idea into a computer gui could be even better to. Each turn you get 5 or 10 different options. Each time your turn begins it gives you a fresh new set. At any time you can click one of these moves. Position relative to the enemy could play a big part in what type of sword swipes you have. Does anyone see where i''m going with this?

#103 Iron Chef Carnage   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1840

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Posted 29 December 2003 - 06:51 PM

I see where you''re going, but my beef with M:TG is the randomness of it all. I have a great Fungus deck, using mostly Fallen Empires cards (old school), but if I don''t get the basic land I need (even with 30% forests, I''ve had games with about three coming up), I''m totally boned. And what''s worse, if I get the land, but all the cards I get to play are secondary cards and I don''t have a good solid core out there, I''m boned by luck of the draw. I''m trying to make it as strategic as possible.

A way to incorporate the good elements of the M:TG paradigm might be to have "states" or "stances". When the turn is starting up, you put your guy into an "aggressive stance". From this position, he can do one of eight different things. Now, depending on your guy''s skill, you''ll get a limited amount of information about the other guy''s move, and if you have a fitting match for it in you toolbox, you can select it. Often as not, you''ll have only moderate information regarding the other guy''s decision, and so you''ll have to fly by night on your move and hope he isn''t ready for it, but against a grossly inferior opponent, you''d be able to succinctly trump his maneuvers, stopping his cut at the letter "c" and so forth.

Of course, if you''ve put yourself into a "stance" that is not conducive to countering his maneuver, you will be at a disadvantage.

It''s like a nested Paper-Rock-Scissors system. I''ll try to give an example:

Turn 1:

Stance selection (done simultaneously, with no information)
You: Paper (Aggressive)
Him: Paper (Aggressive)

You''re in the same stance, and you''re character tries to guess what he''ll do from there, so:

Him: 50% chance rock, 30% chance paper, 20% chance scissors (according to your character''s instincts)

You: Paper (High slash)

Your instincts were right, and he goes rock (low thrust), so you get the better of him, but not by much. He takes a handful of HP damage, and you take few.

Turn 2:

Stance:
You: Rock (Throw)
Him: Scissors (Defend)

You''ve got the edge here, and so the outcoe will favor you (usually)

Him: Paper (broad, weak swipe)
You: Rock (Dodging Grapple)

You lose the engagement, but his Scissors-Paper combo is a weak victory over your Paper-Rock combo, since his stance was at a disadvantage to yours, so he gets little advantage in the exchange.

Had you beaten him on both aspects of the turn, say with a darting takedown, you''d really kick him in the nuts, with an advantageous stance and the trump move.

This way, you have to first try to get into a postition of advantage, and then from that position, act in a way to seize victory. If you mess up the first time, you still have a chance to pull it out, and even if you start out on top, you have to work to stay there.

#104 _buu_   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 30 December 2003 - 08:51 AM

quote:
Original post by Raghar
How can I say it. EEEEEK BUU-chan you are so MEAN. I thought that I provided nearly complete list of fantasy sub genres and you



There is no magic list of sub genres. Thats one of the things I''m talking about.

quote:
Original post by Raghar
quote:

...ridiculously wrong it''s hard to choose which spot to attack



If you can''t attack it, it could be most likely true.



No. I can attack it. The reason I was having difficulty was deciding *where* to attack it. I was spoiled for choice. Too many options.

quote:
Original post by Raghar
quote:

No, there isn''t a magic set of rules that god laid down for all fantasy to ascribe to. You could, possibly, argue that there are certain rules "good stories" must follow, or things of that nature, but saying (or implying) theres a magic set of rules for fantasy is just rankest stupidity.



Star Trek woulnd''t be Star Trek without xxxx. Dune wouoldn''t be Dune without... Goth fantasy would be strangely empty without horror from realisation... There are some commonly shared features that are defining the genre. Doesn''t matter if it would be a Cyberpunk, or a Heroic fantasy.
To don''t aknowledge such restrictions means that story would suffer.



Now your making two seperate distinctions. Star Trek is a specific world with specific conventions, thus it would be logical to say that stories set in that world must adhere to the conventions. Of course the conventions are probably much vaguer then you realize, but I''ll leave that up to you to figure out.

Your other distinction regarding fantasy genres is completely off base. Your problem is you think the "sub-genre" defines the story when in reality it''s the complete opposite. Genres in general and sub-genres in specific are merely attempts to categorize a story. They have nothing to do with determining what is in the story. As in, (well, mostly) people don''t sit down and say "I''m going to write a gothic horror story", they just write the story and later look back and say "Hrm, this story has more gothic parts then anything else, so lets call it gothic horror". This is a crucial distinction.


#105 jerubaal   Banned   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 03 January 2004 - 07:24 PM

OH MY GOSH! 6 pages and none of you fools has mentioned the Mana saga (Secret of Mana, FF Adventure) or Secret of Evermore! They mixed real time with RPG elements perfectly, and they weren''t mindless action like Diablo and Dungeon Siege. Also, Quest 64 gave me the idea of moving around in battle. Mix it with a storyline and music like Chrono Trigger''s, and you have an instant hit! I still can''t believe none of you thought of this before...


#106 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 04 January 2004 - 06:58 AM

jerubaal, could you explain it''s battle system in more detail?

My personal favourite is in Blade of Darkness, in which the fighting is a bit like in duel fighting games (Mortal Combat), only with realistic moves and you gain more moves as you gain experience. Similar system is also used in Gothic 2, but it''s simpler than in BoD (dumber AI, worse moves).

Fighting systems in RPG seem to be in 3 main classes:
1. no skill, random -- FF series, Diablo, Dungeon Siege
2. tactics skills -- Fallout
3. reflex skills -- BoD, Gothic 2

Personally, I can''t understand class 1''s popularity as it is exactly the "boring category". Just watch the animation a million times and run away/recharge when energy goes too low.. I have no problem with games that employ classes 2 & 3, even though of course they still have parts of class 1 or they wouldn''t incorporate character skill at all (thus making it very little an RPG).

#107 Iron Chef Carnage   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1840

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Posted 04 January 2004 - 11:41 AM

Well, Secret of Mana was excellent, and it really did incorporate character skill in an interesting way. For instance, at the beginning of the game, you could swing at a bad guy and it would either duck or dodge or something, or else your guys would straight-up miss it. As you got better, your guy, too, would dodge attacks. By level 98, you''re not even trying to get out of the way anymore, because anything that comes at your character will be evaded handily. My little hero could stand in front of a fire-breathing dragon, and any time it took a swipe at him, he''s just juke right or left, or do a handspring or something, and take no damage.

This leads to a sort of inverted learning curve. In the early stages, you have to be running around all the time, watching your distance and using different weapons in different situations. By the end, you can generally just go toe-to-toe with the guy and overpower them by sheer force of experience levels.

It adds play style flexibility as well. If I want to just twitch my way through the game, I can do it with relatively low levels, but if I put in the time to jack my stats, I don''t have to worry about twitch at all.

Excellent compromise.

#108 jerubaal   Banned   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 04 January 2004 - 05:38 PM

Secret of Evermore was much like Mana, cept'' that it had all kinds of gameplay features. Its magic system involved combining items to cast spells. Also it had great humor, and the best quote ever heard in a game ("We may not have a rat''s chance in a room full of cats, but we''re gonna get that cheese"). While its storyline wasn''t as good as Mana, it had plenty of gameplay features to make up for it.

#109 Iron Chef Carnage   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1840

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Posted 05 January 2004 - 09:00 AM

The alchemy system was good, but not so terribly different as to distinguish the gameplay from Secret of Mana. I think that the same algorithms were used for the hand-to-hand combat.

I was reminded of Star Ocean, and how that system worked. The only real difference was that Star Ocean had "encounters" like a conventional CRPG, where you enter a combat arena. Not my favorite method. However, by designating a "combat situation", it allowed that game to have a more sophisticated combat system without compromising the exploration controls.

A more sophisticated solution for that exploration/combat dichotomy is actually found in True Crime: Streets of L.A. It had three behavioral "modes", which were selected either by specific actions or events, or by button presses in-game. You could be walking down the street and see a crime taking place, then press the "draw guns" button to start fighting. Not only do your guns come out, but your controls change. The "jump" button is now "dodge/dive", your "draw guns" button is now "shoot", and your "frisk" button is now "take hostage". If you get punched, you shift to "kung-fu mode", and that "frisk" becomes "grapple" and the "jump" becomes "jump kick". If during a fight you draw your guns, you switch to shooting mode, and so on. If you want to break off a fight, you can either press the "walking around" button or just get out of distance, whereupon your dancing sidestep is replaced with a normal walk, and you can run to escape or pursue a suspect.

That''s a great system. If it could be incorporated into a true RPG, it would make for a very entertaining game indeed. True Crime had some somewhat RPG elements, but not enough to put it into that category.




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