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Boku San

Diablo's packin heat

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Just reading through this Grand List of Console Role Playing Game Cliches ( here found from another topic), and I wondered, how would you play Diablo differently if the primary weapons were ranged? That game handled spell-casting and archery quite well, but neither of those things include pausing to reload. Another thing, what if the wackier weapons from Japanese (mainly) RPGs, including umbrellas, books, combs, and megaphones, were used in a more action-oriented combat system? How would that work? I've been planning a single-player RPG, but in trying to create a design document I realized the thing I really had not thought much about was in the dynamics of the battle system. Just want a few ideas here. "Billy, what are you trying to do, scare me to me?" --The Grim Reaper

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Quote:
Original post by Boku San
Just reading through this Grand List of Console Role Playing Game Cliches ( here found from another topic), and I wondered, how would you play Diablo differently if the primary weapons were ranged? That game handled spell-casting and archery quite well, but neither of those things include pausing to reload.


Probably play like Crusader: No Remorse, which was very fun but had some serious problems with turning and aiming precisely.

Quote:

Another thing, what if the wackier weapons from Japanese (mainly) RPGs, including umbrellas, books, combs, and megaphones, were used in a more action-oriented combat system? How would that work?


Phantasy Star Online has a bunch of things like this, including a huge frying pan and a parasol that blasts out energy. They kept them as special weapons, which increases your desire for them simply for the novelty factor. But as a rule they maintain the "cool" factor by giving you normal weapons.

Quote:

I've been planning a single-player RPG, but in trying to create a design document I realized the thing I really had not thought much about was in the dynamics of the battle system. Just want a few ideas here.


You're probably going to get some very generic (and useless) feedback unless you're more specific. What type of audience, what type of enemies, what type of moves, etc?

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Ideas for battle system dynamics in RPGs:

1. Traditional - the duh factor here is that probably 90% of RPGs out there are turn based, for the most part. So I'm sure you're aware of this possibility.
Things you can take to another level could include:
- Active user input - think FF8 or Mario RPG
- Dynamic wait bar - if you get hit, you lose readiness, etc.
- Advanced combo system - pretty much up to your imagination,
but I always think there's room for improvement in this area
- User controlled/automatic allies
- Customization - intricate equipment/weapon effects

2. Hack-n-slash - Also a popular choice, definitely a refreshing break with some actual gamePLAYING in it, not just gameREADING...
Things to consider implementing:
- Largely positional based techs/spells - things like
distance, elevation, affect the outcome of the spell
- Enemy co-operation - improved AI would be a welcome addition
in place of 'EVERY ENEMY FOR THEMSELVES' type tactics...
so very unimpressive, even if they are just stupid minions
- Environmental effects - climb trees, throw rocks, wade in
rivers, summon animals

3. Strategy RPGs - your basic Tactics type game, FFT, Tactics Ogre, tile based usually, heavily class oriented
A couple of possibilities
- Not tile based - make different characters have different
stride lengths, controlled more freely
- Combining units - the dragon can be ridden by the archer,
or two mechanical units can transform together, or magical
units can merge together, etc
- Equipment customization - intead of customizing by class

4. Other - I say other because although I can't think of any games that include them to date, there are any number of combinations of genres you could do with the RPG.
The screen shatters, you're drawn into battle, what happens next?
FPRPS - First Person Role Playing Shooter - You load your
semi-automatic, and wander about a smallish game field
hunting for the enemy. If the battles were short
enough I would find this really engaging
RPTF - Role Playing Tournament Fighter - Now nobody gets to do
this until I finish my game along these lines =P. But
seriously, why not use the fast paced twitch tactics of
Marvel vs Capcom (or anything like that) in a full blown
role playing adventure? It'll be great!
RPP - Role Playing Platformer - A short level riddled with
enemies for you to bop on the head, or slash with your
sword. Experience dependent on time in battle and
number of enemies killed. Hard to incorporate teammates
though.
RPP(2) - Role Playing Puzzler - Instead of whipping out swords
and axes, you throw down your 1337 tetris 5killZ, or
puzzle bobble them to death. Not very realistic, but
certainly interesting.
?RP? - Think of anything really, and just make that happen when
your screen shatters instead of a turn based clichee-fest.
The sky's the limit!!

Anyways, just some simple ideas which I hope inspire you to come up with a kickass system.

All the best,
As ever,
****Cosmic****

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Oh, wow, that was a good list. So many of those things clarify exactly what it is I hate about the latter Final Fantasies and other recent RPGs. The big, spiky hair, the cliched storylines, the oversized (over-compensation?) swords, the stupid weapons (umbrellas? parasols? jeez...), the corny dialogue, the bad melodrama, etc...

At any rate, in the case of pausing for reloads in a game like Diablo, you've just changed the whole basis of the game. Diablo is founded on fast-paced action and the wholesale slaughter of countless hordes of monsters. Levels are densely packed with great mobs of guys just standing around and doing nothing until the hero shows up. Pausing for reload every shot or every few shots is tantamount to suicide.

So it all really depends on the overall pace and 'feel' of the game. In Diablo (especially the second one) the intention from the start was to be a slaughterfest; that was a design goal, and skills and weaponry were designed with that in mind. There is relatively little tactical strategery (Bush-isms rule) going on, outside of simple countering of enemy weaknesses.

Frequent reload times and very limited ammunition belong to a slower-paced game, with fewer enemies at any given time.

As far as the so-called wackier weapons--I don't really want to speculate on how they would work in an action-oriented combat system. For me, they would most likely serve only to make me put the game down and walk away-- unless there was a very good reason for them to be there, or if the entire theme of the game was structured such that they would not be so blatantly ridiculous. There have been a few games in which such idiotic weapons have shown up, which I've gritted my teeth and tried to enjoy the game anyway; but lately it seems more likely that if stupid, illogical weapons show up then there are many other things wrong with the game in addition.

/rant

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