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Landfish

When Encountered Randomly...

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Just finished off Jade Cocoon on PSX, and it led me to a good ol fashioned Landfish thought: Random encounters... Stupid and abstract? YES! Think back to the last RPG you played with these things. You''re walking along, trying to figure out whatever is going on currently in the game, and WHAMMO! You''re in combat. 99% of the time, this makes me groan, even if I''m out to do some leveling. The jolting interruption most give you doesn''t help, either. We now have the technology to do so much better. Some games do, but I thought it was interesting what they did in Jade Cocoon... If a monster sees you in the forest, he will chase after you. The areas are small enough so that it''s very difficult to escape from this, but I found myself very happy that each combat phase made sense in context and I had plenty of fair warning before it hit me. It was pleasant. After you reached a certain power level, the creatures would stop attack you, and eventually run at the very sight of you. This is... an ego-rub, to say the least. I liked it, alot. It''s a little like going up to your favorite website and finding a post that says "You are Cool!" and you didn''t even make it! If a creature was asleep, you could walk past it without awakening it. If you ran, it would wake up and attack or run away. There were other, subtle things, too! Like if the opponant got you from behind, they would go first in the combat! It was neat! Has anybody got any ideas about this? I''d like to find some really clean ways to seguay into combat, perhaps less of a "you have entered combat mode" feel. So, donations, please?

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I''m with you, Landfish, surprise combat mode stinks, especially when you have no chance to try and avoid it if you want to. And you''re also right about technology nowadays- we don''t need random combat anymore.

As far as transitioning into combat, I have a few thoughts. First of all, whoever it is has to have motivation for their attacks- be it a troll who guards the bridge, or the black knight from Monty Python, or an ogre that just plain hates _____(fill in the blank). Maybe the location you are in has a reputation- Troll Forest for example- so that you know what you are getting into when you go there. Subtle signs that you are being pursued would help, too. For example, even before you see the bad critter, maybe you hear a twig snap sound. And maybe the program or plot would lay off of "combat on the road" after introduction of new puzzles, mysteries, etc.

Anyway, my $.02.
Best Regards,
Torus


"Impressive!!!"

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I totally agree with both of you on this (shamefully though for my first RPG I must go with Turn based random encounters) but it is definately something that should be considered in every forthcoming RPG. Although I do love an engaging RPG every now and then, heck all the time, but sometimes going through a dungeon and then a battle when you don''t need one! Argh! So Landfish, I have to agree with you. But since you are the bringer of graet thoughts..(so I have heard) what are some great ways of accomplishing these non-random encounter battles? I would love tobe enlightened.

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Ferinorius you miss the ways of the Landfish...You see, Landfish does not tell you the answers. He merely asks the questions to force you to find the answers yourself.

Then, he explains to you why you''re wrong

Just kidding there, LF.

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I agree totally w/ what you all have said about encounters. In Baulder's Gate, I began to hate it when a combat encounter came up. I'd be curious about what might happen next in the story, then this big spider attacks. I find it interesting how in Diablo all ther is is combat, and I didn't mind that. The combat system is fun if not kind of shallow. So maybe the combat random encounters are annoying cause the combat system is just plain boring. Just an alternative look at it...

Edited by - Nazrix on June 14, 2000 12:20:50 AM

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You all must forgive me, this is the first time dealing with Landfish, and I didn''t mean to make a mistake. Anyhoo....

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Stepping into a ravine here by saying this, but I loved Final Fantasy 7, including the battle system, but then part 8 came out, and the battles were simply APPALLING!!! now it seems that battles like this are getting more and more into the moats of despair...why!? Why can''t someone invent a great idea.....


Here is my brainchild, and use caution, he is not trained:

My artist Cody loves the fighting game. I do everyonce in a while, but the thing that irks the both of us is the fact that when someone says the battle system is set to "real-time" it is still primarily turnbased. Something revolutionary would be a full out fighting engine for the battle system, or something like that. I have it all planned out, but this is just the beginning. Real time spell casting, real time escape, real time party member exchange, it gets more complex as I think about it, but it has the potential to be something.

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Nazrix: What, you didn''t mean it? =)

Many people have tried "realtime" combat, fighting game style in RPGs, but it always gets called "Zelda-like". If you''re going to do it, make sure you build it with the subtlty and handling of a fighting game. I think it could be done, but you could also end up with another Granstream Saga.

BTW, Granstream Saga is a perfect example of the bane of my existance... cliche. In the first five seconds of the game the main character is risking his life to save a nest of baby chicks. I kid you not.

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Landfish, yeah you're right I guess I do mean it

Ferinorius, well, everything is technically turn-based if there's only one processor processing everything. I'm not sure if I see exactly what you mean...

I'm starting to stray from the topic again, but I think the important thing in combat is to make it interesting. Not just player attacks...enemy attacks...player attacks...enemy attacks...

I think there should be an option for hitting different body parts as we discussed in the Damage post. Perhaps, options for differnt types of swings (stab, slash, etc)
The more options in the combat, the better.


Edited by - Nazrix on June 14, 2000 12:45:30 AM

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To explain what I mean, I will elaborate...

You''re walking through the world, and (I''m not sure if there will be random encounters, but if there will, you can configure it to where you can have a lot, an average amount, or very little encounters) and you get into a battle. Ok, HP and MP or whatever I decide to do for magic is at the top of the screen much like health is in a fighting game. The opponent is standing there, and after the camera does it''s little cinematic fling the battle really begins. The player is then able to attack with combos and such, or press one of the buttons assigned for a magic spell. Now, the only time when someone can or cannot attack is when the magic is being cast, so the monster goes into a ''trance'' while getting hit by the magic spell, and vice versa if the player gets hit. Then the battle continues on like the fighting game, eachone doing combos and such. Bosses would be faster than normal monsters, also doing combos not yet learned, thus meaning new combos can be learned from the bosses. I''m not saying Legend of Legaia kind of battles, but full out fighting game style battles. This has a lot of potential, is new and exciting, and will possibly bring a lot of people to the RPG market if it is executed properly.

I''m not too sure if this will make the battles more interesting, but it does bring a new approach to normal battles, not to mention what it could do to the random encounters...go into the config menu and set the encounter rate yourself. What about that?

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