i tried out mount&blade, and by that i mean i did all of the tutorial. i probably couldn't pull that off, it was pretty cool. its emphasis on "realistic" swordplay is a little too much for my tastes though - i tend to rather arcade-type gameplay in almost every case. (/me hides from the grammar nazis)
the gf tried out world of warcraft the other night by herself - because of the tv commercials. she thinks its kinda boring. i'm glad she picked up on that. nuff said there. someone's gonna need to come up with something a little more fast paced than that for the casual gamers, though.
i picked up final fantasy 1&2: dawn of souls again, and kept forging forward with my four white mage team. i've restored three of the crystals, and killed all of the bosses in the first two new dungeons - as well as the first two in the third. shin-ryu is whupping my ass right now, but i managed to take him down like 15min ago on the gc-gb player but it wouldn't let me save for some reason! i might bow out and go through the dungeon a couple more times to get more staves out of atomos. 4x judgement staff (flare) ftw!
[edit: killed shin-ryu, now at the top of mirage tower - white mages can't equip thor's hammer! [bawling]]
4wm ff1 is more or less about buffing with spells and items. you can use Giant Gloves for saber and stack it to get a decent amount of damage against any boss. until right near the end, i was doing 2x ~1000 damage against shin-ryu every round because i stacked enough saber on two of the mages. the problem with relying on items is that i've only got one giant gloves, and so i can only saber once a round. that means stacking takes a looong time, and you gotta be able to survive the hammering you're going to take.
i'm talking a little much about 4wm ff1, but it was getting me to thinking about a few things regarding what i'm going to do with actionRPG. multi-target damage, element wheels, using equipment as items, to name a few thoughts off the top of my head.
well i've already got it set up like seiken dentetsu, where you can only give damage to one target with a basic attack. contrasting that, zelda lets you hit all targets that fall within the attack path. i'm still considering taking the zelda path, though. i was thinking more about spells and item effects, though. chain lightning was different in diablo1 and diablo2, for instance - it would chain between monsters in d2 but it would just start as a spread of regular bolts in d1. i definitely want to get some spells on the go, soon.
by this i refer to the rock-papers-scissors systems that games tend to employ with their elements. up until ff5 or 6 (can't remember which put poison in the wheel) the element wheel standard was fire-ice-lightning. instead of coming up with something completely original (is that possible now?), i'm trying to decide which wheel people are familiar enough with that i can go with.
actually, i looked it up again, and ff2 introduced poison into the wheel, and it was basically fire-ice opposed and lightning-poison opposed. using poison against a lightning-based monster would do double damage, where lightning would heal a lighting-based monster. using fire or ice against a lightning-based monster would just do normal damage. it tended to be more about monster classes rather than element based, though, as all other ffs were. the "standard" ff weak/strong against system was best seen in mystic quest.
if i go with the classic fire-water-earth-wind wheel, is it obious which elements are better against others?
i'm thinking that it shouldn't really matter anyways - since any bonuses given by a weapon/armor should be shown in its stat box when you hover over it like in diablo2. all hammers give 150% damage vs undead as a standard in diablo. when you look at a hammer's stats, you always find that at the bottom - and after a while of seeing that you catch on. it should be the same with any game, if you keep to a standard like that. if you pick up a bow and look at it, it should automatically have 150% (or 200% in ff?) vs flying.
how far do you take that though? suppose there's a standard where melee does 50% vs slime-base. do you list that in the item list? i think you tend to only want to see its strengths, right? perhaps having a bestiary that showed its strengths and weaknesses would give you insight into that. an entry for a zombie would show it was weak against hammers, and an entry for a flan would show it was strong against hammers.
as i think on it more and more, i think i'll go with the FF weak/strong/absorb standard. they can't copyright that, can they?