Sign in to follow this  

Do you favor hard & fast or flexible requirements?

This topic is 4905 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
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."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by CoffeeMug
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*


You should play Puzzle Pirates then. RPG [sort of] where the skills are gained as you become more proficient at various puzzles. Puzzles tend to stick in people's heads better.

Back on topic:

I've always thought a mix of the two was best. Some things like a sword and a gun are dumb. Anyone can use them without training. Some things do require training though...

But that's for realism. Realism doesn't always make for fun gameplay. Sometimes things need balanced more severely to keep things fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My quickie thoughts on the matter:

Allow usage of any weapon at any point in the game, but allow more complicated techniques/skills to be learned with a certain weapon only if you dedicate training time to it.

Any goof can buy a $1300 katana and swing it around, only somebody who has put man-months of practice in with it can sucessfully use it to even a fraction of it's possibilities.

To keep it from being a simple "choose a weapon, level up skills with that weapon" game to swap out for the "choose a skill, wait for the next good weapon" style, toss in multi-weapon combos that get stronger as multiple skills increase. If you want pure overkill style, say the sort of thing where your character uses a katana to deflect a blow from an enemy with one hand, then uses the other to pull a gun and deliver a point-blank shot. Only if the skills on BOTH weapons are high enough, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Relisticly any one can pick up the uber powered sword and use it, however they would be very inefective with it with out training. Second if they are not strong enough they might not even be able to move the sword, let alone swing it in combat.

For somethign such a gun the character would half to be smart enough to be able to remove the safty if it has one, and to shoot in the right direction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by gamegod3001
Relisticly any one can pick up the uber powered sword and use it, however they would be very inefective with it with out training. Second if they are not strong enough they might not even be able to move the sword, let alone swing it in combat.

For somethign such a gun the character would half to be smart enough to be able to remove the safty if it has one, and to shoot in the right direction.


I think it would be more a matter of fidgeting with the weapon for a minute before firing. This would make sense, and be kind of fun - "ooh, I got a crossbow - I think I'll walk out to the empty field outside of town to fidget with it until I can figure out how to fire the damn thing".

IMHO, the coolest way to model this would be by making an RPG as an FPS entirely based on gesture-based inputs. You bind the left-mouse button to the obvious action (pull trigger, swing sword) and right-mouse to gesture-based input, where you have to learn "click-up-down" is to release the safety, and "click down-left-right" is to remove the clip.

Personally, the ultimate approach would be as an MMO with no skills, no world, only crafting and raw materials (including animals and magic crystals). You buy a chisel that someone else crafted out of metal and wood with a sharp rock, find some stone, and learn how to carve blocks, then get some people together to help you move the blocks to build a wall or something like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IMO it depends on how realistic you want it, my favourite option would be that you would need a certain percentage of a skill to use it EFFECTIVELY but it would be weird if you cant equip something cause that is alwasy possible. But if your percentage is lower then the requirement you just will hardly be able to use it at all, you would handle it very clumsy and couldnt even hit an elephant if he would be sitting on top of you... Just my 2 cents

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i hate not having access to any weapons in rpgs, just let them have access to them, but make it ridiculous for them to even use such a weapon if they arn't strong enough or skilled enough

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You know I have a completely different opinion. I don't think the use of weapons should ever be restricted altogether. I guess thats kind of similar to the second example where a player is punished for using something he is not quite skilled at for a little. However, my perspective is that this learning period should only last so long, and immediately following a player should be able to do more things with a certain weapon.

After all, weapons are only items, what can be accomplished with an item is based on the skill of the user, and the nature of the weapon itself. Personally I think this forced choice between a lesser of two evils is a direct result of over-simplified representations of weapon-use in games. Characters who pick up a weapon they never used before should not be able to engage in highly complex duels, but they should intuitively know how to bash someone on the head with it. An increase in proficiency with the weapon should open doors that the player is not expecting, instead of allowing him/her to pick up another weapon that is "+4 to damage" instead of "+3".

(PS, please comment on my skills advancement system found at the bottom of this thread: http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=254414)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Also keep in mind that some weapons are easier to just pick up and use.

i.e. club you can pick up and hit someone over the head, simple right. But take nunchucks, pick them up, hit someone over the head and if you have no training the part you hit will is likely to fly back and hit you in the head.

Sure everyone can pick up a loaded gun and start firing, but not everyone knows how to load a gun, not to mention what do you do in the middle of a fight and the gun jams. This is a case where a little training will go a long way. Also, some people will think nothing of looking down the barrel of a loaded gun to check for dirt, etc.

Another example would be a tank. Do you think anyone could just hop in a tank and start firing the main gun with no training. Trying to find the fire button (or whatever is used in a tank) could take a while.

Another way to represent this in the game is to have either a mishandle chance for people using a weapon without any training or to increase the cercal failure by 5 to 10 times depending on how simple the weapon is to use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree with Run_the_Shadow, that anyone should be able to use any weapons, but the difference is how you use it (weapon skills).

The level restrictions in RPG is linked to the leveling system. In which a weapon has a restriction because otherwise a new player will be able to do ungodly damage at low level. Also, being able to equip their dream weapon is always a motivation in RPG.

I don't like leveling system, but to comment on the original post, the two methods are statistically the same, a low level player won't be able to deal higher dmg statisically with a high level weapon. However, second method is inferior, because (depending on how weapons are obtained) a player maybe able to look badass so early on that he no longer has incentive to play the game.

I think, in the end, the leveling system will dictate what kind of weapon requirement is better.

NOTE: If you do it in Run_The_Shadow's way, in which only the weapon skills are different, the problem is not solved but transcended from skill required to use a weapon to skill required to use weapon skill. In this case the situation gets worse because, now everyone looks badass, and the only time you can look more badass is when you are fighting, and the noobs are watching.

My way of transcending the problem further, is to make acquiring a weapon and acquiring weapon skill binary. In which the weapons and skills are rewards from quests. Again, the problem is not solve, because of the difficulty of the quests, so you still have to be a certain level (either in your character or the player) to accomplish it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It important to consider the kinds of weapons and technology behind them when deciding on when they can be used. After all most people will figure out that pointy end of the sword goes into the other guy in at most one or two trys. However when it comes to more complex things such as if one of the weapons a player can use is a remotely operated floating gun drone, then without some training and users manual then more the likely they won't be able to even use it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think the biggest problem with the 'hard requirements' is not that they're necessarily unrealistic in themselves, but they are a total pain in the arse to meet.

Let's suppose I wanted to fly a helicopter. I've never flown a helicopter, and I have little doubt that if I attempted to do so I'd probably crash it fairly quickly - assuming I could even get the thing started and off the ground to begin with.

However, I don't necessarily need to kill 500 goblins in order to level up and acquire a spare skill point to spend on the Helicopter Flying Proficiency. I could probably learn enough to at least take off and land it with some basic lessons and/or a decent amount of research - how much depends on how smart I am. After the basics, it's really just practice.

On this basis, I think it would be nice to include a slightly more interesting skill training system. For any piece of equipment, you'd need to have some basic training in order to be able to use it. That basic training can be acquired by getting proper instruction, or by finding a manual or something. It could also be gained by trial and error - but the risk of doing so depends on the complexity and inherent danger associated with an item. Finally, it could just be common knowledge, depending on the character's background. A character from an reasonably advanced civilization might find hand guns utterly trivial to use - you point the end with the hole at someone you don't like and pull the little lever. On the other hand, a character from a primitive backward world might have absolutely no idea how to use a gun, and attempting to do so would probably result in him shooting himself in the face.

Interestingly, low tech equipment is likely to be harder to use than the high tech stuff. New technology tends to be more user-friendly, whereas older stuff can actually be quite complicated. How many people here know how to load and fire a flintlock rifle?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Sandman
For any piece of equipment, you'd need to have some basic training in order to be able to use it. That basic training can be acquired by getting proper instruction, or by finding a manual or something. It could also be gained by trial and error - but the risk of doing so depends on the complexity and inherent danger associated with an item.


So to flesh this out, you'd have a base requirement below which you wouldn't even be able to turn the thing on, having never seen the controls, never played a simulator nor seen a movie.

Then there'd have to be a proficiency level, below which you could fly the chopper, but you'd be making alot of (potentially harmful or fatal) mistakes.

If you blended both systems, it would be interesting if your knowledge in other areas was somehow a factor. If you have skills in logical problem solving, for instance, or aerodynamics, you might be able to figure out how the equipment works more quickly. AD&D sort of does this with their system of refering to your stat (in this case, Intelligence) whenever you don't have a skill.


Quote:

Finally, it could just be common knowledge, depending on the character's background.


Yes, this could be alluded to by default allocations in skills based on starting culture. If you're from a farming town where hunting is a pastime, for instance, your rifle skills are more likely to be higher.

I think this could also be reflected in per-character skill costs. If you're from a low tech agrarian society astrophysics might be very hard work. You can be just as intelligent as your modernized equivalent, but culture plays a huge role in how we solve problems and learn new information.

Quote:

Interestingly, low tech equipment is likely to be harder to use than the high tech stuff. New technology tends to be more user-friendly, whereas older stuff can actually be quite complicated. How many people here know how to load and fire a flintlock rifle?


[smile] Excellent point! Getting older stuff to work might be a part of some History skill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by CoffeeMug
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.


When you're replaying then, am I right in thinking that you're drawn by something else, like the combat or puzzle solving or story?

btw, I think a major problem which relates to this in replaying RPGs is that it's not all that fun to restart as a weakling after you've tasted power.


Quote:

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 the famous debate between player skill and character skill. But what do you do for those activities which have no associated gameplay, like hotwiring a car or pickpocketing something? Either the RPG has to be entirely action based, or you have to let some of this rest on the character.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is why I think inventory + gesture-based gameplay would be ideal. The player has to get the tools and learn the gesture to hotwire a car. Of course, then you'd just have extensive reference manuals on the gestures, but it would be an interesting approach.

Would come out sort of like those Sierra games where you wonder "if I do X with Y, will it do Z?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is 4905 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this