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Do you favor hard & fast or flexible requirements?

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Just a quick question (for a change [smile]) In RPGs we often encounter skill or stat requirements for use of equipment or beating challenges. Some RPGs have strict requirements, such as a Handgun skill of 50% before you can use the .357 Magnum or Level of 12 before you can equip the Daikatana. Others, however, have requirements but still let you use an item or face a challenge, though less effectively. For instance, you can use the gun or sword, but you do so with decreased chance to hit or longer delays between attacks because you don't meet the requirements. Which do you prefer? The first method makes leveling up extremely important, because you're focusing on being able to do something you couldn't do before. The downside is a possible rut as the player hacks or skills their way up to the next level. The second method allows you to face more challenges early, but with the proviso that you can get in over your head.

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What I always wanted was to find an RPG where the game depends entirely on my (real) skills. Another words, to beat the game, I have to learn its dynamics, not spend weeks and months acquiring items and skill points. For instance, when I start playing I'm a novice, know nothing about the game, and can't take on tough challanges. As I play, I learn more about the game, and can engage in more complicated activities. If I accidently wipe out my entire install, and am forced to start from scratch, I'd like to be able to start almost where I left off and base my game on skills I've acquired, not on skill points of my character that take me hours to get. This is why I loved Deus Ex: while it had RPG elements that enhanced the game play, they weren't significant enough to turn the entire game into point-and-click-click-click skill acquisition.

*Puts on flamesuit*

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This is one of my rants about rpgs. Anyone can use a handgun or a sword, not just someone trained in it. Weapons and items should almost always be usable. For example, in Neverwinter Nights, if you aren't trained int Weapon Proficiency(Martial), you can't use a sword. You should be able to use it, just not anything complicated or difficult.

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Original post by a3a2004
This is one of my rants about rpgs. Anyone can use a handgun or a sword, not just someone trained in it. Weapons and items should almost always be usable. For example, in Neverwinter Nights, if you aren't trained int Weapon Proficiency(Martial), you can't use a sword. You should be able to use it, just not anything complicated or difficult.


I agree with this 100%. It just seems really artificial to not let someone use a weapon if they have no training. Now, it may not be a good idea to use a flame thrower with no training, but I could probably figure it out.

It's like the first time I fired a shotgun. It had a real stiff trigger pull so I thought the safety was on. (it wasn't) after fiddling a bit the gun went off when I had the butt a full inch off my shoulder resulting in a huge bruise. Plus I completely missed a pumpkin at 20 feet (not a single pellet hit).

However, I did learn a great deal from this critical failure. It would be cool if a critical failure resulted in a substantial skill gain assuming the person survived the failure.

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Original post by a3a2004
This is one of my rants about rpgs. Anyone can use a handgun or a sword, not just someone trained in it. Weapons and items should almost always be usable. For example, in Neverwinter Nights, if you aren't trained int Weapon Proficiency(Martial), you can't use a sword. You should be able to use it, just not anything complicated or difficult.


That's certainly true with the majority of weapons and equipment, but it's certainly possible that there could be pieces of equipment which require a certain level of training to operate. This may certainly be true in a sci fi environment - weaponry may be so alien and/or complex that even simple operations like turning it on may be difficult for someone without a basic crash course.

There are lots of different ways you could model this. If you wanted to be really detailed, you could keep a record of the player's level of training in every single weapon. You could also categorize equipment so that a player trained in the use of one piece of equipment may also be able to figure out similar pieces of equipment, dependent on the degree of similarity and complexity of the item.

Of course, there's nothing to stop you from experimenting to try and figure it out yourself, although this may be a rather risky exercise - it would be rather safer to get a crash course or RTFM.

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I think that using a new weapon should be a bit like unhooking chicks bras. The first time you ever try it, you fail miserably. However the more often you do it, the beter you become. Here is the essential part. When you find a weapon that you have never used before you should be able to use it if the controls are similar. I got pretty good at undoing chicks bras that hooked in back (I could do it one handed with out the girl noticing), then it went to a dance with the same girl and found out later that night that strapless ones sometime hook in front. Sure, I figured it out. But before I did, she was laughing at me for trying to find the hook in back. All in good fun.

In other words, if you can fire a bow and arrow, you have no clue how a gun works except for the aiming part. If you know how a rifle loads and operates, you will probably be ok with using a machine gun, but you have the knowledge to fire a tomahawk missle. Once you successfully fire any of them, you should be able to repeat that with relative ease. Aiming is completely different.

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Well, I was going to post a similar thread but since you've gone posted first I'll just say my little spiel here.

One thing I hate about rpgs is that fact that everything revolves around critical numbers, and relative values. Take the classic example of levels, in an rpg I may need a million and one experience points to go up a level but even if I go kill bunny rabbits until I have a million experience points my character has not improved in the slightest, however 1 more experience point and all of sudden the character gain a number of bonuses and perhaps even the ability to spit fireballs.

Instead If things where more realistic the character would have already received the bulk of their improvement by the time they reached a million experience.

Well, sorry for that little rant so I'll get back to the topic on hand. I'd prefer to have a system of difficulty ratings that determine success and failure, so If each skill level translate to 100 skill points that would mean that mean at half way to level three in firearms I would have 250 skill points and if a .357 magnum has a difficulty of 50 and a threshold of 1 then the test to see if I fire it properly would amount two d100 rolls and 1 d50 roll against the target number of 50 and more then 1 success is need to pass the test. The more successes I score the better I was able to operate the gun, which could translate into a more accurate shot, less wear and tare on the gun, etc... While if I failed the test then the number of failures I rolled would determine how badly I failed to operate the firearm, which could translate into, lower accuracy, more wear and tare on the gun, chance of the gun jamming, the gun could explore or it could mean that I failed to even fire the gun.

But then that’s just my humble opinion of the subject take how you will.

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In RPGs we often encounter skill or stat requirements for use of equipment or beating challenges. Some RPGs have strict requirements, such as a Handgun skill of 50% before you can use the .357 Magnum or Level of 12 before you can equip the Daikatana.

Others, however, have requirements but still let you use an item or face a challenge, though less effectively. For instance, you can use the gun or sword, but you do so with decreased chance to hit or longer delays between attacks because you don't meet the requirements.

Which do you prefer?


I've always hated the arbitrary numeric restrictions on stuff in RPG's. It never made any sense to me and it felt like I was reliving kindergarden over again: "You're not old enough to play with _THAT_ toy."

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I prefer something between hard and fast and flexible requirements, preferably not direct-feed ones. Punctuated progress is far more tangible to me, but given that I also want to be improving my character steadily and all of a sudden get a bonus on top of the stuff I'm adding. I'm not a strategy guide kind of guy, so when my last point of Hand-Eye coordination nets me a hefty bonus in Crossbow, I'm not complaining, and i won't have seen it coming. I like systems that make me feel the developer put some icing on the cake once in a while.

ld

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indeed, i agree completely. i'm all for the challenge approach, where you can attempt it but aren't likely to succeed. besides, its more realistic. no dragon guards the liquor cabinet . . (sorry, bad example) it just seems like rpgs these days are all about advancement - noone cares about plot, because the time taken for a movie is time not spent killing useless monsters to gain experience points. i think that this would be eliminated if all the weapons/items were allowed to be gained (i'm not saying give them away, but allow them to be picked up/bought/stolen/ect) because then a) the plot would matter and b) because the plot matters the player will have to pay attention to find those challenges that are in his current range of abilities. and yes, one of the most annoying things is battling monsters over and over with a wizard/magic user who throws fireballs, so i can level up and gain (you guessed it) the abilty to hurl MULTIPLE FIREBALLS, and ones that are oddly shaped, but apparently do LESS damage than the previous original. yeah, that was a proud moment for me.

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