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Paul Cunningham

Ability to kill a game.

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Why is it that all characters and classes in RPG have to be so super human to be fun? I think that this is leading most RPG into the Genre of being a sub FPS or something similar. Shouldn''t rare abilities like detect evil/good and other almost magical abilities be preserved for characters that have made accomplishments rather than just starting the game as a wizard or paladin etc. Just to be called a wizard should be a status in itself little lone being able to cast wall of fire after killing 100 enemies. Why not just start the game with an ordinary human and work you way up from there. I love Game Design and it loves me back. Our Goal is "Fun"!

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remo    122
I think that''s a pretty cool idea... i find character classes annoying. I think it would be cool if you could chose a character''s gender, hair color, eye color (well...), and so on, and then start the game and build up your character''s statistics based on what you practice, not on where you want to distribute your 5 point when you get a level up

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ahw    264
I''ll repeat myself, but I still can''t believe that computer RPG seem to be still living ten years ago when it come to the rule system. Why oh why this obsolete class system, while using a skill based system you will obtain classes indirectly and much more, first all satisfying this need of players for control ove their character. The only danger I know of is the "collectioning" of skills in a very unrealistic manner, just for the sake of spending XP (a wizard spending all his points on improving his skills in two handed weapons ?).
You might suggest that this class system allows for specific class powers to be given to the character. I''ll say, who said you couldn''t join a guild of such or such profession (wizards, thieves,etc) and receive a special course, teaching new those specific skills ... rather than suddendly waking up one morning being able summon level 3 elementals. (read that one to understand what I mean ).

As for heroic characters vs normal characters ?
First of all, getting your character to start from a mere apprentice and work is way upwards is a very rewarding experience only if the plot helps it... I loved having my character starts as a squire, and after 4 YEARS of playing, become a champion of the Emperor, captain mercenary, and finally retire in a castle offered by the Emperor for saving his life ... (the Imperial Campaign, for Warhammer RPG). Now how the heck do you implement this correctly in a CRPG ?
As well, it''s really just a question of design to decide wether to start poorly/greatly. For instance see Birthright (an extension ? to AD&D) where you start as a King, an Archmage, etc. everything in the game is planned to accomodate the scale of power given to the players.
On the other hand, my most memorable night of roleplay was through the role of a ghoul in Vampire RPG (the ghouls are extremly limited compared to the their vampire masters and are totally dependant on them).

anyway.

youpla :-P

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remo    122
it looks like we''re all agree with each other so i guess this is not much of a discussion, just a moan about the annoying things about RPGs

the other thing that irritates me is the way mana and health are dealt with... it''s such an ''un-mystical'' way of going about magic power by having x out of y mana. Surely you could simply make it so that the rate of fire of a fireball spell, for example, depends on how learned the character is in that particular spell... or you could change the power of the spell depending on how long the use hold the mouse down for... but the more powerful the spell is, the longer it takes for the character to recover, or whatever.

Also, instead of having a ''spells list'' for each character, it would be better if the player (the person sitting in front of the monitor) has to learn the spells him/herself. You could do this a bit like how it has been done in Black and White - different mouse movement combinations result in different spells.

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Facehat    696
I like this idea, the only problem that I see is that you''ll get a lot of middle of the road, jack of all trades, characters. I''m guessing that the best way to fight that is just to reward specialization, and give the middle-ground characters less potential for becoming powerful.

----------------------------------------
Whenever I see an old lady slip and fall on a wet sidewalk, my first instinct is to laugh. But then I think, what if I was an ant and she fell on me? Then it wouldn't seem quite so funny.

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Ingenu    1629
Paul, simply open the most recent RPG books and look at how you must create a character.
Classes are dead and I''m happy !

Characters are based on proficiencies like nayone in real life.
Restrictions/abilities can be ''bought'' at birth...



-* So many things to do, so little time to spend. *-

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AlekM    100
That is pretty much the premise of my RPG. I really don''t like how players are forced to select specific classes, it makes the game very linear and everyone in the game the same. My goal is to make a game character class system that can be unique and is completely driven by the players in-game decisions.

For example, there is no levels in the game, there is still experience, but exp is used to be able to purchase ability points or attribute points. How these points are purhased can reallly have an impact on the characters final/overall game experience. A character can use these points to apply them to any and all abbilities and attributes, regardless of occupation.

There are no classes, I refer to them as an occupation that a character will wish to pursue. Characters are free to venture into other occupations and are not restricted. Each character in the game is ranked by their achievements , their age and their experience. I have a hierarchy based occupation tree. A character can traverse the tree in any field they wish. If they wanted to pursue a different occupation, they would start back at the beginning.

I''m experimenting with character personalities and how personalities could directly or indirectly effect a characters game play.

Magic is a key part of this RPG, but there is no mana. A characters ability to perform any action, regardless of what they have decided to pursue as their occupation is driven by the characters fatigue/energy level. So if a character casts a spell, they will drain some of their energy. When a warrior swings his/her sword, they will use this energy as well.

As much as I tried to remove the life indicators from my design, it always came back that I needed some form of health indicators. People just like knowing what their health is.

That''s about it.

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Landfish    288
I think you might be able to solve the problem by limiting the speed at which you progress. perhaps at the end of the day you only increase incrementally in the skill you performed most? I don''t like that idea very much because it creates a glass ceiling, but that''s what you want, right?

Or you could do it this way... if skills imporve REALLY slowly, and it takes more and more time to raise them to higher levels, eventually the player will not have time to raise them all, or even most of them. She will have to stick with the ones most important to her character. IF you start them off in the middle of this kkind of situation, things should balance out.

You guys are on the right path, though. Welcome to the dark side.

======
"The unexamined life is not worth living."
-Socrates

"Question everything. Especially Landfish."
-Matt

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Luxury    122
yeah...i hate having be so constrained when creating a character. i hate wizards, i hate warriors...etc. they are all too limiting.

if everyone were to have the same stats...then it would be much more like real life. i think that the best way to "level up" would be to just have stats for certain things. the more you hack and slash at a tree, the higher your "lumberjacking" skills reach. i know that this is really simple...but i think that its the most effectvive. just like in real life. im sure that if i were to go out and chop down trees right now...i would really suck at it. but if i were to do it over and over and over and over again...then i will start to become much better at it.
so what if a thief likes cutting down trees? (although there wouldnt really BE any theives)


this is probably in the wrong forum, but it pertains to stats, so ill say it anyways....

i think that if you dont use a certain skill for a period of time...then your skill level for that should start to decrease. just like im forgeting it. for example...i am a thief and i build up my pickpocketing stats really high...then i dont do it for a long time. i think that my pickpocket stats should decrease. im out of practice, so i am sloppy now. guess i will have to re-learn everything.

i was going to say something else...but i forgot now...oh well.

-Luxury

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Luxury    122
ahh yes...i remember now...

having to do with magic...i think that magic is way to overused. i think that (and this only applies to MMORPGs) when you create a character, there should be no magic anything. it is just assumed that you will not have magic at all. then you have a randomizer so that maybe 1 out of every 100 people has magic. and you are created with it when you create your character. THEN you have to go and learn spells...probably from one of the other people who has magic. i know that this would make a lot of people mad...but much more realistic as far as percentages are concerned.

the only drawback i would see would be people creating a character...discovering that they dont have magic, and immediately create a new character. and so on and so on until they get lucky. so of course you would only have the option of creating one character per account.

-Luxury

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AlekM    100
The only draw back that you see....

No one would play your game. Although you have some valid ideas , of which i have already am using in my game, for example, forgetting abilities if they are not used over a period of time.

Seriously, why would someone want to physically sit there and chop at wood to get better?

Have you not heard of trainers? The concept is used in todays society. There are trainers, professors for everything that you would like to do. Why is that any different in computer games? Or, why should it be any different?

The line between reality and fiction has to be one of the most difficult decisions to make. To real, and the game is boring. To fictional, and the game gets old quickly.



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That magic idea reminds me of Spellfire from Forgotten Realms. But i think that if every player is given a special ability then they should never know that they have it. There should just be behind the scene modifiers being calculated that the player has to work out if and where these are happening. If at all.

I love Game Design and it loves me back.

Our Goal is "Fun"!

Edited by - Paul Cunningham on July 25, 2000 2:43:36 AM

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MadKeithV    992
You were right about the drawback, in one incarnation of the idea, Luxury...

quote:
Original post by Luxury
Then you have a randomizer so that maybe 1 out of every 100 people has magic.



In my personal opinion, randomising is no good. People do not want to play random characters, generally ( there are exceptions ).
What you could ( and should, IMO ) do, is have a points-system for character creation, and make the "Magic Ability" really expensive. I mean REALLY expensive, not just "a bit more expensive than your average shoemaker skill".
That way, you can play a magic user, but any average shoemaker can still kick your ass physically until you''ve trained for a while. Find the balance, make it so that only 1 in 100 people will actually have the courage and perseverance to make a magic user character that survives. It''s frustrating for the people that don''t, but they were warned beforehand, by the points system.





Give me one more medicated peaceful moment.
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Freakshow    122
You might make it so that anyone can be a magician, they just have to find someone to teach them. And even then, learning magic should be long and unrewarding (like a certain dungeon-crawling table top RPG I once knew...) That way, those who want to play magicians right out have some kind of recourse.

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Why not just make magicans a farce. Yeah, there''s these wonderful people who can make magic and all that but when they are put to the test they''re really never that good at it. Its kind of like reality bites

So if your character (ordinary individual) wants to learn magic then they never really get amazing spells and the spells that are fantastic take some time to cast. I think this would help bring back the wonder of magic to RPG''s. "Wow, He actually casted a fireball!!!"

I love Game Design and it loves me back.

Our Goal is "Fun"!

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Niphty    122
quote:
Original post by Paul Cunningham

Why is it that all characters and classes in RPG have to be so super human to be fun? I think that this is leading most RPG into the Genre of being a sub FPS or something similar.

Shouldn''t rare abilities like detect evil/good and other almost magical abilities be preserved for characters that have made accomplishments rather than just starting the game as a wizard or paladin etc.

Just to be called a wizard should be a status in itself little lone being able to cast wall of fire after killing 100 enemies. Why not just start the game with an ordinary human and work you way up from there.

I love Game Design and it loves me back.

Our Goal is "Fun"!


Ok Paul, here''s the deal. Without classes, things are like a Dahli painting, they tend to run and not hold shape. The point of defining a "class" is because we humans tend to generalize anything and everything. There is a class for all things. What i dislike is the fact that you can''t be two classes at once without some major penalty or some such. I mean, i may not be the best of all things, but i know a little about everything. However, i don''t know about some things.. like how to play an instrument. I can play the drums, that''s about it everything else is beyond me.

By allowing classification, you allow the player to say "this is the general way i''d like my character to turn out". There''s no reason that that should mean "this is ALL i want my character to be". And that''s an important thing i think no one has yet understood.

True, skill-based systems allow you to do what you want and fall into a category. However, they lack any real bonus for certain things. You can go with the "what you use in the first 5 minutes" rule, or you can try to guess based on what they use most. This leaves a LOT to chance, and means that bonuses are hell to figure out. In class-based, you have bonuses in areas you will be working with. I believe classes, sub-classes, and multi-classes are the best way to go. D&D had some form of optimizing the character, but lacked the skill-based side of things, using proficiencies to determine things. This kept you from being able to power-max a particular skill. But, it also kept you from defining a more individual character. You should be able to work and build skills, but classes make a difference. If i''m a wizard, i want to be able to get bonuses in wizard things. Let''s say i''m a fighter, and i perfer to use longswords and swords similar to those. I''m not gonna be terrible with a broadsword, but it''ll be different.

I think there''s also other points lost to skill-based games. What you use most is gonna be what you remember most. Now, if you use a longsword all the time, and suddenly are forced to use a broadsword, you''re gonna suck for the first 5 minutes while you adjust to the sword. Now, once adjusted, you begin to learn about the sword and how it works. This, however, is only a temporary thing. Why? you don''t use the sword enough to remember it. This goes back to attrition. If you use an item less, you forget more. This is a pretty basic concept. The percentage of time spent using a weapon on a weekly basis should determine the ammount of skill you remember, and this translates to how fast the skill does or doesn''t fall.

What you say about the status of wizard isn''t true always. I''m actually conjuring up a game where wizards rule the lands, and warriors are few and far between. To be a mighty warrior and successful takes a LOT. And it''s like what you say about wizards. You only consider them to be cool as heck because they''re rare (like, none). However, if they were common, you wouldn''t think "to be called a wizard should be awesome" but more like "a wizard is common, why not be a warrior, they''re cool!"

Just to make ya think..

J

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Well i think we''re talking about two completely different games niphty. Your''s would be good maybe brilliant i don''t know but i was mainly talking about how i could be done without classes or a least game-imediate-classes. Letting the player wonder around for a while in civilan clothes whilst they are emersing themselves in the game environment. If they want to be a fighter then they could go to the training yards and get some basic training if they so wish, but that''s up to the player.

I''m mainly talking about having a game where you don''t have to be a class just to get in to the game.

I love Game Design and it loves me back.

Our Goal is "Fun"!

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
Well on the subject of classes for characters I am in the process of writing a RPG with a few freinds which we hope to turn into a game after the intial bases are set but how we are creating the classes are as follows:

there are no set classes just a skill index like in fallout but the skill index will be able to be added to, like if you want to use a big gun some one has to teach you how to use it or you simply cant as you dont know.

and the more you do something like fire that gun, or chop a tree like in the lumber jack example the higher it is,

so if you are a wizard and cast spells you will get better the more you cast, and if you like to hack people up the more skill you get doing that, so you can be a wizard and a warrior but its harder to acheive than being only a wizard, as you need to practice to skill bases.

the only draw back is having to start out as an idiot and teach your dude things, but then sometimes thats fun if the game is built right, and thats the hard bit, bringing in the game play.

cheers

Roy

oh and we are thinking of setting up a few class templates so that you may have abit more of a start in one dircetion but that still wont stop your character from learning new skills.

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What about ditching skills altogether? and attributes. How about a system that relies entirely on the magical powers of items to boost your characters ability and give your character new and differing abilities to other players. This way you can pass your character on to a new character by merely exchanging items.

So you make and boost items abilities to make your character more powerful.

I love Game Design and it loves me back.

Our Goal is "Fun"!

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draqza    122
quote:

I think that''s a pretty cool idea... i find character classes annoying. I think it would be cool if you could chose a character''s gender, hair color, eye color (well...), and so on, and then start the game and build up your character''s statistics based on what you practice, not on where you want to distribute your 5 point when you get a level up



I agree totally with this. While character classes are obviously there to try to structure the game, I think computing power and SDKs have made enough advancements that "we don''t have enough computing power" isn''t a legitimate excuse anymore. I don''t have anything against good graphics, but I still kind of like sprite graphics--with all the blending and anti-aliasing and stuff, they should be able to look pretty good--and this would free up more power if they don''t have to computer polygons.

I can''t remember the name of the game, but there''s a new game coming out with both magic and tech in it that I think is going this route a litte bit--in case you haven''t read about it, you can either learn magic or technical abilities, which will tip a meter one way or the other. The stronger your ability in one type, the weaker the ability in the other, to the point that a really strong magician can cause a machine to malfunction just by his proximity.

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dwarfsoft    1229
If in the game what you do is play out the role (ie RPG ) thenyou should gain skills and attributes that reflect those of the role that you follow. It should not be a pre-game choice, but a continuous concious decision based on your own experiences etc.

I rant enough


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quote:
Original post by draqza
I agree totally with this. While character classes are obviously there to try to structure the game, I think computing power and SDKs have made enough advancements that "we don''t have enough computing power" isn''t a legitimate excuse anymore. I don''t have anything against good graphics, but I still kind of like sprite graphics--with all the blending and anti-aliasing and stuff, they should be able to look pretty good--and this would free up more power if they don''t have to computer polygons.

I can''t remember the name of the game, but there''s a new game coming out with both magic and tech in it that I think is going this route a litte bit--in case you haven''t read about it, you can either learn magic or technical abilities, which will tip a meter one way or the other. The stronger your ability in one type, the weaker the ability in the other, to the point that a really strong magician can cause a machine to malfunction just by his proximity.


Yeah, i know the game you''re talking about. It''s by the same people who did Fallout1/2. It sounds something like Arcanium or something like that. That''s exactly the game i''m keeping a few dollars saved up for.

The way magic and technology work i believe is that magic bends physics whilst a technician re-enforces it. So when the 2 battle the one who''s the highest level will have the advantage with the behind the scene modifier calculations. Plus the graphics look spectacular and the player abilities, 80 spells, make your own weapons, yes please

It''s a sure hit and who said originality means jack these days. I''ll bet you a fiver on this one!!!


I love Game Design and it loves me back.

Our Goal is "Fun"!

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