Pacing and Accessibility are 2 things that are not directly linked. Vs is for things like fast vs slow, good vs evil, male vs female. Also i think this 2 topics are both good topics that can be separately discussed. Reading through your post, i think the crux of your post is how to make jrpg more accessible to rpg newcomers. Is that so?
Monster's Den (Kongregate) does not so much as make menu-based faster or more accessible; it just adapt a menu-based meant for console and adapted it for web browsers. Another similar example is The-West, a browser game from innogames. In The-West, you have only 1 character which you can pre-set your command( where you want to hit for each round). Then you just click attack on other player and the game will resolve the conflict.
View Postspires, on 15 July 2012 - 02:24 PM, said: Exploring to me is walking off the beaten path. Doing things outside of the main quests. So basically, there is no exploration on the main path? That sounds restrictive. I think the player explores the game whenever they're not fighting (in fact once could argue they even explore the battle system everytime they're shown new enemies).
Restrictive? Hardly. Just defining what is the spirit of exploring in RPG to me. Take for example, you have a quest to set an npc free from prision. The main or default path will be fighting your way through. Say the game allows you to bribe the guard or set a fire as distraction. That to me is exploring; allowomg player to try different ways to solve a problem. The more unrelated to the main quest, to the core mechanics of combat the more i regard as exploring. Skyrim is a good example of it. There is a lot of things to do outside of the main quests.
I like mini-games, but I can't help but feel they are a solution applied to a problem by lack of a more organic one. You see this happening when there are too many of them, or when they are too clearly minigames (Brainlord, raise your hand please).
Agreed. When mini-games are poorly implemented, they do feel lacking. There are some key points to note: 1) Mini game should be challenging. 2) There should be an appropriate reward with respect to the challenge.
A good example is grand theft auto taxi mission. There are 10 levels of it. At each higher level, you need to pick up more passengers in a row and get them to their destination on time and safely. Drive too fierce and your taxi is fried. Drive too cautious and you do not make it in time. And completing 10 levels, unlocks Infinite Nitro on your taxi.
A bad example will be kingdom of amalur card game. Just a variation of guessing big/small.
Does the score have any impact in-game whatsoever?
I would say the score is a reward in itself. A bragging right or just an indicator of how well you do. I heard in mass effect score is used to decide the ending. You can also use the npcs you used or decision you made or whatever else affect the ending.
To sum up, I would say provide good positive feedback will encourage players to explore alternative and have fun doing so.
Exploring to me is walking off the beaten path. Doing things outside of the main quests.
It can only be done if the level design of the game allows for multiple paths to get to where you need to go. Some ways a game can reward players for exploring can be:
1) Visual / story experience
Like rushing to the aid of an enemy besieging the town. You can rush straight to the town , or go up the mountain to see the full scope of devastation. So upon travelling up the mountain, you are rewarded a cutscreen of the devastation.
Or visiting a temple in a far flung location will tell you about the story of what happened in this world in the past. Or events leading to the story of the game.
2) Using mechanics to find hidden
Pokeman using flying to access places otherwise unreachable.
Using martial arts/ skills in chinese rpg to do the same.
Or having certain npc in your party to unlock certain places.
And giving items(sword of infinite truth), summons(Ifirit), .... for doing so.
3) Using mini games
Demon doors in fable which requires players to guess a riddle to open the door. Card game(final fantasy series) which completed at the highest level gives the user something in return. Or grand theft auto doing 50 photoshots to gain a cache of weapons at your base.
4) Side quests
Having optional side quests only available by paying attention to dialog of npcs. Best example Planescape Torment. Having certain stats or items will trigger side quests upon talking with your npc companions.
5) Achievements points
Grand theft auto uses exploration mechanics to score how well a player does. +2% for completing taxi mission. +3% for finding all 50 hidden photo shots.
Note that all of the above is not required to complete the game yet they reward players for not trying the most efficient path to complete the game. To explore places and mechanics.
A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
To me, bashing the “Fight” command is precisely that. It can be removed without reducing the game depth in it. The only reason it is there is like what others here have said to give players a way out if they run out of potions to use the other options. There are many ways to prevent users running out of potions and therefore get into a point of no return.
I think the issue is bigger than just the problem of always bashing the “Fight” command. The issue with those Retro/Console (J) RPG i played is that All Attack commands(Fight, Magic, skills, summon) or whatever you called it is strategical irrelevant.
In a roleplaying game, there are 3 components: Resource Management (getting enough hp and mana pots) Character Power(Levels, Skill power of attacks, Stats) Tactical decision in fight( Who to choose to fight who, with which attack command)
The problem is that if Character Power is high enough, you can kill anything just by bashing the “Fight” or any attack command for that matter.
The solution is then to a) keep the balance between Character Power and Tactical decision in fight or b) Make them incomparables.
Allow players to have the choice of faction along with diminishing returns on the size of a faction
Players can join an existing one or create their own small one. Joining a large one leads to more protection and item sharing, but limited responsibility or involvement. Roles within a faction, such as Marshall of War, or Minister of Treasury, can only be filled by one person, can go through cycles to create fairness but only really appeal to experienced players. Players who become more experienced and want an active role can create an off-shoot faction. To add more to the mix, maybe attacking larger factions reaps more rewards? Or requires more administration costs?
Addressed player motivation
To prevent player dissatisfaction; promote co-operation through real life friendship etc; preventing the creation of overly large factions and superpowers.
Used in what game
Not that I know of
+Balancing the size of all factions
+Freedom of players to chose allegiance
+Opportunities for players to have significant roles
-Creation of many small factions; creation of coalitions and reversing the purpose of this mechanic
-Constant migration of players
-Difficult for new players to understand; may automatically join the big factions, not knowing the disadvantages
Allowing players to create their own faction or secede from the faction is an excellent idea.
I am of the idea of creating factions with npc leaders at the start.The factions will have different hierarchy structures(roman republic, middle age feudalism). As the players progressed, they may take over the faction.
Players can choose
to climb the kingdom ladder
secede existing town from the faction(as mayor of town)
create a town not related to any faction(must be in area unclaimed yet)