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Your most depised game "features"


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#41 SunTzu   Members   -  Reputation: 286

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 11:47 AM

Quote:
Original post by Kest
Possibly. But how can you succeed with danger intact? If there's nothing to lose by failing, there is no danger.


The only thing they have to lose is their own time. Time is something that means a lot to people, especially if they only get a few hours a week to play games. No matter what you do, this will remain true.

Therefore, make them want to succeed by creating a sense of immersion, an attachment to the game, the world, and the characters in it. Of course, this will not materially change what they have to lose, because they can always restart and try again. But that's something you can't change anyway. It's just a game! If you attempt to make it more "dangerous" by forcing them to re-invest large amounts of time if they lose, all you will succeed in doing is pissing people off.

Artificially inflated difficulty was fine when you only had 16KB to play with, or were writing an arcade game where you had to keep sucking in the next 10p. If you're not working under either of those conditions, and feel a need to make the game more difficult than it needs to be because you are too incompetent to find a better way to keep people playing, then you are writing the game to make yourself feel good by punishing the player, and that's not a game I, for one, want to play.

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#42 lord_balron   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 11:55 AM

Threads like these get our game design skills honed, to make sure we don't mess up. It's a pretty good learning experience in here.

#43 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4692

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 01:01 PM

Quote:
Original post by Trillian
Quote:
Original post by Alpha_ProgDes
Game: Megaman and Megaman X
Feature: Sequels which don't carryover weapons from the original
Comments: Why? I got all these weapons and enhancements in Megaman X5 (for the record it could be any megaman) and in Megaman X6 I have to find the same enhancements again and start off as a weakling that doesn't have access to anything I had before. Why?


Do you really see yourself playing Megaman X8 with the weapons from megaman 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,x1,x2,x3,x4,x5,x6,x7? That'd be a bit crazy lol

Game: Megaman X7(?)/X8
Feature: 3D
Comments: Don't even try, megaman will always be cooler in 2D with sprites.

Game: Megaman Xes
Feature: Repetitive storyline
Comments: Here's the average megaman X storyline : a new group of malicious robots was formed. Meanwhile, the resistance welcome a new crew member (*cough* Double *cough* Axl *cough*). Zero has been killed, it's part must be found to build him again. The shadowy mysterious head of the new group sends out 8 mavericks to destroy stuff. You collect Zero's parts, build him back. The new resistence member is a traitor, you kill him. You get in the dephts of the enemy base and see the shadowy mysterious dude... OMG IT WAS SIGMA! You beat him, then he comes back with his new "ultimate body", you beat him again then credits with megaman talking on a hill with the enemy base exploding in the background.

Seriously they could vary the scheme a little bit


Technically, Megaman and Megaman X are two different people. But yeah! If I got all these weapons from Megaman X 1 - 7, I better damn well be able to access them in Megaman X8. Especially the weapons, armors, and hearts, that upgrade Megaman himself!

And why can't Megaman ever be 2 player? Why can't I have Zero and X on the same screen? Is that soooooo bad?

#44 Kest   Members   -  Reputation: 547

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 01:08 PM

Quote:
Original post by SunTzu
The only thing they have to lose is their own time. Time is something that means a lot to people, especially if they only get a few hours a week to play games. No matter what you do, this will remain true.

I agree. I would never suggest throwing players back to the beginning of some stage or area when they die to repeat something decently scaled over again. They've already successfully finished that area.

Quote:
Therefore, make them want to succeed by creating a sense of immersion, an attachment to the game, the world, and the characters in it.

In my opinion, checkpoints before bosses remove exactly these elements. If you want me to become immersed into a game where I can repeat a small specified event until I eventually win, it would be a game where the avatar is actually able to do so without means of reloading the game (Sands of Time). If I'm immortal, then make me immortal. Why the foreplay with loading screens? Designers are not tricking players into thinking they didn't have to die and reload to eventually win.

Quote:
It's just a game! If you attempt to make it more "dangerous" by forcing them to re-invest large amounts of time if they lose, all you will succeed in doing is pissing people off.

If I could pretend that you didn't include the word 'large' in that statement, I could say that it's not always true. With games such as Mario, Hitman, Halo, and Half Life, I enjoyed being thrown back for dying. Without that, the games would have had no challenge at all. I may as well have had infinite health.

Quote:
If you're not working under either of those conditions, and feel a need to make the game more difficult than it needs to be because you are too incompetent to find a better way to keep people playing, then you are writing the game to make yourself feel good by punishing the player, and that's not a game I, for one, want to play.

Even if someone did get jollies by punishing others, I doubt satisfaction could be gained by dishing it out passively to gamers. Geez man, what fun would that be? At least torture someone you can observe during the suffering.

Sorry, I didn't mean to veer the topic off-course. Just wanted to post my thoughts on the fact that this problem is, as far as I can tell, currently un-fixable. There doesn't seem to be an answer that makes 30% of gamers happy.

#45 Sneftel   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 1781

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 01:14 PM

Quote:
Original post by Kest
If there's nothing to lose by failing, there is no danger.

Do you lose all interest in a book or movie after having read or watched it once? Are suspense and immersion entirely absent because you already know how it ends? Or does the atmosphere of the work itself draw you into its emotional conceit regardless?

#46 Trillian   Members   -  Reputation: 410

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 01:44 PM

Game: Viewtiful Joe 2
Feature: Sylvia
Comments: Is there so much to add?
Feature: No fun unlockables
Comments: Come on how could they have about 4 unlockable characters in the first game and none in the sequel?

Game: Geometry Wars
Feature: No co-op
Comments: A co-op mode in this game would be simply amazing

Games: Doukutsu / Cave story, Yoshi's Island, Zelda 2, Zelda : A link to the past, Zelda : Ocarina of Time, Super Metroid, Super Mario 64, Jet's 'N' Guns and a bunch of others
Feature: Ending
Comments: Why did these game have an ending? I would have spent the rest of my life playing them if it wasn't for this feature!! That clearly was a bad design decision. :P

Game: The game I'm working on
Feature: Uncompleteness
Comments: I seriously think this game would be better if it was completed

#47 jasjas   Members   -  Reputation: 262

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 02:03 PM

Game: Most console RPGs, adventures
Feature: Long-winded text or FMVs at the beginning
Comments: Whatever happened to the old days of being able to play immediately after starting the game? In the original Legend of Zelda, you can play right off the bat. Hmmm, there's a cave nearby... I wonder what's inside? In modern console games, you are usually "treated" to a cheesy save-the-world storyline. And if that story is shown as text boxes, like the 10 minutes at the start of Super Paper Mario, it makes it even worse.

Disclaimer: The games in the Zelda and Mario series are still among my favorites. When I start a new game, I just want to play, dammit! Let me find out the story myself by talking to NPCs, fighting monsters, or exploring the countryside, just like the old days.

Game: Metroid Prime 2
Feature: Very long boss fights
Comments: Some of the boss fights in that game, like Emperor Ing, take forever to kill. Each shot generally knocks off less than 1% of the boss' total hit points. If you want to make a boss fight more difficult, why not just increase the boss' attack power and also increase the attack power of your shots so it takes less time to fight the boss? I don't want to die 30 minutes into a boss fight and have to do it all over again. This problem is especially worse if the boss has multiple forms.

Game: Metroid Prime 2 again
Feature: Very difficult boss fights in relation to the rest of the game
Comments: Why does this game let you breeze through the levels, only to be confronted with a boss fight that is an order of magnitude more difficult that the rest of the game? Sure, make the boss fight challenging, but do not make it so much more difficult than the rest of the game. It doesn't make for smooth gaming.

#48 Kaze   Members   -  Reputation: 948

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 02:21 PM

Quote:
Original post by jasjas
Game: Metroid Prime 2
Feature: Very long boss fights
Comments: Some of the boss fights in that game, like Emperor Ing, take forever to kill. Each shot generally knocks off less than 1% of the boss' total hit points. If you want to make a boss fight more difficult, why not just increase the boss' attack power and also increase the attack power of your shots so it takes less time to fight the boss? I don't want to die 30 minutes into a boss fight and have to do it all over again. This problem is especially worse if the boss has multiple forms.


id like to extend this

Game: lots of games
Feature: Very long boss fights
Comments: bosses that have very little attack power, attacks are easy to avoid and are generally harmless and would be easy to win except your thumb starts to go numb after 20 minutes of mashing the attack button

#49 Kest   Members   -  Reputation: 547

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 02:28 PM

Quote:
Original post by Sneftel
Quote:
Original post by Kest
If there's nothing to lose by failing, there is no danger.

Do you lose all interest in a book or movie after having read or watched it once? Are suspense and immersion entirely absent because you already know how it ends? Or does the atmosphere of the work itself draw you into its emotional conceit regardless?

I enjoy many movies the second and third time just as much as the first. Sometimes more (Fight Club, Donnie Darko). But I enjoy them for the atmosphere, characters, and nostalgic effects. The suspense is mostly gone for me. Even more toward your point is the fact that suspense is still there when I'm gaming, even on the 30th attempt. Because at any one point, I could screw up and get whacked. And that would mean losing.. something. But that something always needs to exist, or there's no challenge.

With that said, I wasn't implying that the checkpoint-before-a-boss system removes danger. As long as the boss fight itself is a worthy challenge, then just getting the boss half-dead presents the danger. My point was that it's impossible to have a challenge without some type of loss that's inflicted when you fail. And in 80% of video gaming, that loss is repeating earlier stuff. Even when the earlier stuff is just 30 seconds.

Games like The Sims are impossible to fail, but they still have punishment. For example, losing your sim's job for staying up late, or angering their spouse for making out with other sims [smile]

#50 Sneftel   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 1781

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 02:33 PM

Quote:
Original post by Kest
Just wanted to post my thoughts on the fact that this problem is, as far as I can tell, currently un-fixable. There doesn't seem to be an answer that makes 30% of gamers happy.
It is unfixable if and only if you assume full rationality. The only thing players have to lose is time; therefore, the only thing to threaten them with is loss of time; therefore, they will only feel threatened if faced with potential lost time. Luckily, players are not rational.

#51 __sprite   Members   -  Reputation: 461

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 02:43 PM

Game: Battle for Wesnoth
Feature: Escape the forces attacking your home.
Comments: In the standard campaigns at least, you're given a choice as to which route to take while you run away from someone or other. Either way will lead to ambush (mountains -> orcs, swamps -> undead). The first time it's a pain. After that it's just plain ridiculous. Especially as you can simply beat the enemies attacking you if you're not so focused on moving your main character to a random signpost somewhere.

Game: Starfighter3000 (DOS version)
Feature: Fog.
Comments: I've never seen so much fog anywhere. Ever. It's even in space. The original Acorn version of the game didn't have any. Just why? Enemy fighters need to have little red rings drawn round them on your display, so you know there's something there. Even so, they start shooting at you before they show up on the display. The game might almost not bother with the actual graphics, and just have some red rings on a murky grey screen.

#52 lord_balron   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 02:47 PM

Game: Almost everyone
Feature: Video settings detection
Comments: Almost every game mis detects my proper video settings, notably Half-life 2, I can turn almost every setting to full, but it always sets it to medium or low. Argh!

#53 JBourrie   Members   -  Reputation: 1204

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 02:56 PM

DANGER! DANGER! Thread is beginning to discuss savegame styles! Everybody calmly proceed to your bunker and wait for the battle to end. This might take a while. [lol]

Check out my new game Smash and Dash at:

http://www.smashanddashgame.com/


#54 Roots   Members   -  Reputation: 724

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 07:16 PM

Quote:
Original post by SunTzu
Quote:
Original post by Roots
Game: various RPGs
Feature: always putting the save points right before a boss
Comments: not only does it give away that a tough battle is coming up very soon, but it also cheapens the danger sense of the boss, because the player knows that if they screw up, they can easily reload the game and not lose very much progress at all.


Good.

I am playing games for fun. It is a pastime. I have better things to do with my time than replay an entire level plus the boss at the end because you decided I'm not allowed to save. Let me play the game my way.


Don't want to dwell on the save game topic, but I had to retort this. I understand where you are coming from. I also play games for fun. But if there is no challenge, there is no fun. And if there's a save point everywhere that I need one without penalty, there is no fun.

I think a game that does saving very well is Legend of Zelda, Link to the Past. You can save essentially anywhere in the game, and when you reload the game you start off in the town/castle/whatever safe area. That way, if I suddenly have to stop playing (ie house on fire or something) and I haven't saved in 20 minutes, I don't have to scurry around trying to find a save point.

Another quasi-save system that I think is great is in Skies of Arcadia. In that game if you are defeated in battle, you are given the option to re-try the battle from the start. Its absolutely wonderful! If I get defeated by a boss, I don't have to work my way back to him from the last save point. If I win after the 2nd, 3rd, etc. try, I get a small penalty of my XP/gold earned.

My game is incorporating both of the features I just mentioned. This gives the player *a lot* more freedom than just providing a save point where its convenient (and obvious) to them. So don't be so quick to judge that omitting said save-point-before-boss feature will make the game annoyingly difficult.
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Latest release Oct. 10th, 2010.

#55 SunTzu   Members   -  Reputation: 286

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 11:07 PM

Quote:
But if there is no challenge, there is no fun. And if there's a save point everywhere that I need one without penalty, there is no fun.


And if there are insufficient save points for me to be able to make continual progress through the game, there's no fun.

Let me guess... you're a student? Or unemployed? Or otherwise have lots of free time? That's fine for you then, wish I was still a student, but I get, typically, about seven hours a week (one hour a day) to play computer games because I have a busy, busy life. The threat or danger of having to waste my precious time if I fail does not add suspense, or a fear of failure. Really, it doesn't. It adds frustration and annoyance and, very quickly, the result of me taking the game back to the shop for a refund.

You can play the game the way you want to play it - that's fine. Save very rarely and convince yourself you're having more fun. Let me play the game the way I want to play it, too. I will save very frequently and get to actually see all the cool stuff that's in the game.

One design decision (save when you want, or at least have frequent save points) allows both of us to enjoy the game - you don't have to save at all, and if you want to go back more than one save point you can. The other design decision (can only save at certain widely spaced save points) only allows you to enjoy the game, as I won't enjoy having my valuable time wasted.

If, as a game designer, you make the choice based on what you like, not what other people might like, then the chances are very high you are not designing the the kinds of games I (for one) want to play. If you feel comfortable with restricting your target audience just so you can feel the game is "challenging", I guess nothing more I can say will convince you otherwise. When I design games I prefer as many people to enjoy them as possible, not just myself.

#56 Calabi   Members   -  Reputation: 124

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 01:39 AM

Quote:
And if there are insufficient save points for me to be able to make continual progress through the game, there's no fun.

Let me guess... you're a student? Or unemployed? Or otherwise have lots of free time? That's fine for you then, wish I was still a student, but I get, typically, about seven hours a week (one hour a day) to play computer games because I have a busy, busy life. The threat or danger of having to waste my precious time if I fail does not add suspense, or a fear of failure. Really, it doesn't. It adds frustration and annoyance and, very quickly, the result of me taking the game back to the shop for a refund.

You can play the game the way you want to play it - that's fine. Save very rarely and convince yourself you're having more fun. Let me play the game the way I want to play it, too. I will save very frequently and get to actually see all the cool stuff that's in the game.

One design decision (save when you want, or at least have frequent save points) allows both of us to enjoy the game - you don't have to save at all, and if you want to go back more than one save point you can. The other design decision (can only save at certain widely spaced save points) only allows you to enjoy the game, as I won't enjoy having my valuable time wasted.

If, as a game designer, you make the choice based on what you like, not what other people might like, then the chances are very high you are not designing the the kinds of games I (for one) want to play. If you feel comfortable with restricting your target audience just so you can feel the game is "challenging", I guess nothing more I can say will convince you otherwise. When I design games I prefer as many people to enjoy them as possible, not just myself.



I think the simple solution is just, to not have any saves points. Have restart points(like beginnings of levels) and give the player a choice to have all the monsters respawn when they die or keep the game state from the point just before you die and then reset the players position to a restart point. It may be annoying having to track through areas over again but at least you wouldnt have to keep killing the same monsters or redoing things and would be quicker to get back to the point that you were.

Anyway to get back on track

Game: Diablo 2 and almost every RPG
Feature: Character development
Comments: The large majority of RPGs do not allow you to test skills/stats, change them or adequately analyse which ones are good. This annoys me because in them you have a limited pool of skills/abilities and so you must choose carefully which ones you build up. But you are playing the game blind as you do not know what you will encounter in the future, and so you could end up creating a character which is unable to or only with difficulty able to continue. Generally to adequately build your characters in these games you need to look at a walkthrough(unless you dont mind playing for hundreds of hours like they did to make the walkthrough).

#57 Nathan Baum   Members   -  Reputation: 1027

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 04:54 AM

Game: Nearly every space sim ever.
Feature: Outer space is full of water.
Comments: In the real world, outer space is nearly a vacuum. In the alternative universe which nearly every space sim ever is set in, outer space is filled with water. There is a top speed which is only a few km/s at best, and continuous thrust is required to maintain constant velocity.

Quote:
Original post by SunTzu
... [ Excellent, but ultimately futile, arguments ] ...

What he said.
Quote:
Original post by Torquemeda
I think the simple solution is just, to not have any saves points. Have restart points(like beginnings of levels) and give the player a choice to have all the monsters respawn when they die or keep the game state from the point just before you die and then reset the players position to a restart point. It may be annoying having to track through areas over again but at least you wouldnt have to keep killing the same monsters or redoing things and would be quicker to get back to the point that you were.

How is that a solution? It's not going to satisfy either Roots or SunTzu!

Roots finds the presence of a save game system he doesn't have to use offensive. No doubt he's going to be annoyed that there's the option of teleporting to an earlier location without having to face the same challenges for the 100th time. Apparently that won't be fun.

SunTzu doesn't ever want to be forced to replay part of the game unless it's on his terms. You'll probably argue that it's not "replaying" since the game isn't the same the second time around, because there are no monsters. That's true: the first time you die. Every time through that level after the first is the same.
Quote:

Game: Diablo 2 and almost every RPG
Feature: Character development
Comments: The large majority of RPGs do not allow you to test skills/stats, change them or adequately analyse which ones are good. This annoys me because in them you have a limited pool of skills/abilities and so you must choose carefully which ones you build up. But you are playing the game blind as you do not know what you will encounter in the future, and so you could end up creating a character which is unable to or only with difficulty able to continue. Generally to adequately build your characters in these games you need to look at a walkthrough(unless you dont mind playing for hundreds of hours like they did to make the walkthrough).

I sort of agree to the extent that you shouldn't have to have supernatural knowledge of the future to complete the game. (Unless your character can see the future.)

What method of character development do you prefer?

1. Character progression is essentially fixed. When you gain a level, the game's designer chooses what happens to your abilities. Exceptions are not relevant: e.g. you can choose to train in swords or axes, but your choice of weapon has no effect other than combat animations.

2. Character progression is fully under the player's control, but the game ensures that the challenges presented usually complement the character's abilities. Exceptions are either heavily foreshadowed (so it's your fault if you get it wrong), or part of optional side-quests (so you probably have to play repeatedly with an assortment of different builds to complete all side-quests).

3. In a party-based game, the main character's progression is fully under the player's control, but the game controls the supporting characters' progression to ensure the party is balanced.

4. Character progression is fully under the player's control, and the game's designer provides several different methods of overcoming challenges. Often, none of the methods will suit the character and he won't be able to overcome that particular challenge. This implies a significantly non-linear game design in which the distinction between the main quest and side quests may not be clear, if it even exists.

5. Character progression is fully under the player's control, and the game's designer providers precisely one way to overcome a challenge. If your character can't do it, you lose.

Character development is pretty stupid anyway. In the average RPG, your character has been training intensively for eleventy billion years, yet after maybe a week of adventuring, he becomes hundreds of times more powerful in almost every facet.

#58 gharen2   Members   -  Reputation: 520

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 05:59 AM

Quote:
Original post by Nathan Baum
Game: Nearly every space sim ever.
Feature: Outer space is full of water.
Comments: In the real world, outer space is nearly a vacuum. In the alternative universe which nearly every space sim ever is set in, outer space is filled with water. There is a top speed which is only a few km/s at best, and continuous thrust is required to maintain constant velocity.


I agree that realistic physics have merit, but I think for most people it also detracts from the "fun factor" of a game. Keeping track of physics in 3D space in the middle of a fast paced fight would be highly unfun. Personally I think realistic physics should only be used in 2D space games, as the physics are easier to visualize.

#59 Calabi   Members   -  Reputation: 124

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 07:33 AM

Quote:
How is that a solution? It's not going to satisfy either Roots or SunTzu!


Ah! but then thats the good thing about games you could have many options to satisfy a large number of people you just have to program for it and ask the player at the beginning of the game how they would like to play.

Quote:
What method of character development do you prefer?


None of those to be honest. Although its not much of a problem with single player RPGs, because they are for the most part quite easy. Even if your character is poorly optimised all you would perhaps miss is side quests and such but as long as you gain a few levels then the game can generally still be completed.

With a game like Diablo though, and it being online the problem is exaggerated and highlighted with the large number of build guides which you would be foolish not to conform to.

What I would like to see is one where all skills are useful(and proven to be) throughout the game. You dont have redundancies where a slightly more powerful skill replaces the previous one. Not all stats need to be on an ever increasing scale. It should not have weapons or quests which rely on skills/stats which you are not able to change to after acquiring the knowledge of them.

#60 Nathan Baum   Members   -  Reputation: 1027

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 08:11 AM

Quote:
Original post by Torquemeda
Quote:
What method of character development do you prefer?

None of those to be honest. Although its not much of a problem with single player RPGs, because they are for the most part quite easy. Even if your character is poorly optimised all you would perhaps miss is side quests and such but as long as you gain a few levels then the game can generally still be completed.

With a game like Diablo though, and it being online the problem is exaggerated and highlighted with the large number of build guides which you would be foolish not to conform to.

What I would like to see is one where all skills are useful(and proven to be) throughout the game. You dont have redundancies where a slightly more powerful skill replaces the previous one. Not all stats need to be on an ever increasing scale. It should not have weapons or quests which rely on skills/stats which you are not able to change to after acquiring the knowledge of them.

To the extent that this sounds like character development at all, this sounds like type 1 from my list. Your character's development is basically chosen ahead of time by the game's designer, and the choices you make have no significant effect on the outcome, in this case not because your choices have no effect, but because they have no permanent effect.

But it sounds more like you're arguing against any kind of character development. To my mind, character development is not easily reversible. If it takes you 5 hours of game time to specialize in magic, then changing your specialization to melee combat should take you between 5 and 10 additional hours of game time. That should be much longer than it would take to just find a magical solution to your problem.

Character traits you can swap around as easily as you'd swap a piece of equipment should be thought of as equipment.




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