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Do you prefer to see the details? (Action/RPG)

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I simply can't stand not to see the details of my character. I need to know exactly how much defense he has, how that relates to how often he will be hit, his chance to hit enemies, his resistance to various elements, etc. Diablo II is a perfect example of the level of detail I feel comfortable knowing. When I switched over to City of Heroes, I almost went insane because they hide all but the most pertinent information such as hit points and power. I had no idea what my damage range was, what my chance to hit was, etc. In some games I often see things like "You gain +1 to defense!" and it can only leave me to wonder how that affects anything at all. It leaves me feeling like I haven't accomplished anything at all, because I can't tell if that +1 to defense makes me 10% harder to hit or merely 0.5% harder to hit. My question is, do you think giving the player a large amount of information about his or her character detracts from gameplay? In my opinion, it doesn't, and just the opposite may be true. Games that hide everything tend to lose my interest far sooner. Finally, I was thinking about developing a system where the details were hidden by default, (for what I assume is the majority of players' benefits) but you could select a menu option to show the gory details, ala Diablo II. Do you think that could work?

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i think the system you mentioned is a good approch. Becouse If there is too much info for a non experienced player thay will be turned down directly.
But I am like you i want to see the bonuses but still not. I want to know that the new item i got is better then my last item and so on. I think its importent to show the reward for putting more points into skill to the player.

but mostly its always hihger numer = better even if it dosnt show.


Greetings Athos

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You should always give them the option of seeing detailed information, unless it hurts gameplay. The people who LIKE the details, will find it and use it. Those who DON'T LIKE the details, won't bother to pull up that screen.

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i like to be able to see all the stats,
its frustrating enough to lose to a boss 50 times, let alone loss without knowing why, especilly since on games where you cant see the stats the game desighners tend to abuse this.

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D&D optimiser freaks vs. casual players. Depends on who you´re designing for. Personally, I prefer to be able to view the stats on everything.

I think the problem with games that do not give the full information is that they fail to do so in a convincing manner. The player always knows that there´s a mathematical system behind everything, so if you´re not telling it better be integrated so well that the player never notices, or wants to ask.
As far as a believable, immersive game world goes, stats can be quite detrimental...

A good middle way is probably to describe your objects / stats without giving out the numbers. I.e. a sword can have "fast attack" and "high slashing damage" - this lets the player work with the stats without having to resort to number crunching.

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Possibly it is a bad idea to design a combat system to have so much numerical detail in the first place? The game Vagrant Story, for example, has a crazy system where the character had 5 different pieces of armor, and each piece of armor had 6 different stats, and it all had very little effect on the gameplay. Even worse are the systems which have a strong random component, or where you have to collect stupid little potion bottles which each change one stat by only one point out of 100 or more, making them effectively meaningless.

In my personal opinion, a combat system should only show (and possibly only consist of) details that are large enough to perceptibly affect gameplay. It's not a question of experience, it's a question of are you forcing the player to pay attention to details they find meaningless and thus boring? I second Hase's point that stats can be detrimental to immersion.

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maby hiden if the battle system is more (player)skill based but show all the info if its more stat based

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My feeling is that it depends on how players influence the outcome of battle.

If outcomes are heavily based on the player's physical skill at controlling the game (Kingdom Hearts, Zelda, FF: Crystal Chronicles, Prince of Persia) then the most you want to know about two swords is how they differ qualitatively - one attacks faster; the other deals more damage - and possibly some idea of the relative magnitudes of those differences - one attacks twice as fast, but deals 1% less damage; or one attacks 1% faster but deals half the damage - any further details about the weapons are unimportant for the choice between them and, most of the time, the player will judge the difference largely through trial and error anyway. Additional details do, or course, offer a chance to add flavour, so details like the material of which the weapon is forged are worth including even if there's no mechanical effect. Details that merely add another row of numbers aren't useful for flavour, so should be left out.

If the outcome of a battle is primarily decided by the character's statistics going in (Final Fantasy N) then the player should at least have the option of seeing the relevant statistics, and knowing the effects of their choices of equipment etc on those statistics.

If the outcome of a battle is mainly decided by the player's tactical decision-making during the battle (XCOM: UFO, the Total War series, FF: Tactics) then again, detailed statistics can be skipped in favour of qualitative descriptions and (much) better/worse comparisons.


The catch is that every game has to run off numbers, so the combat system, whatever it is, is going to be built off numbers - meaning that the (number-oriented) guy who actually designs the system is going to want to be able to show off his hard work - not just in terms of having a well-balanced system, but by actually waving the numbers at people so they can see how clever he is. (A side issue is the difficulty of representing crucial numbers like health and damage in a non-numerical way that isn't just an obvious cipher.)

The problem with giving the player all the details of your implementation is that it turns it from an immersive world to experience and solve with your gut, to a series of mathematical optimisation puzzles to solve with your head...

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Quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
Possibly it is a bad idea to design a combat system to have so much numerical detail in the first place? The game Vagrant Story, for example, has a crazy system where the character had 5 different pieces of armor, and each piece of armor had 6 different stats, and it all had very little effect on the gameplay. Even worse are the systems which have a strong random component, or where you have to collect stupid little potion bottles which each change one stat by only one point out of 100 or more, making them effectively meaningless.

In my personal opinion, a combat system should only show (and possibly only consist of) details that are large enough to perceptibly affect gameplay. It's not a question of experience, it's a question of are you forcing the player to pay attention to details they find meaningless and thus boring? I second Hase's point that stats can be detrimental to immersion.


No one here is saying that bad game design need be followed with stat issues. Obviously useless stats are bad, no matter what the game is. That's a non-issue.

The issue is, assumming the stats serve a real purpose, should people be able to see them? You say it's very likely bad for immersion. How? There are very many people for whom dealing with the stats makes the game MUCH more compelling. There are many other people who find stats, if not compelling, at least interesting. As I already stated, the best solution, in most (not all) cases, is to make the stats available to those who want to focus on them, and keep them out of the way of the people who don't want to deal with them. The idea of a game is to entertain. Immersion is just one variable on the entertainment horizon and to say you have to choose between immersion or making the numbers available is not correct. Just don't REQUIRE that players have to dig into the numbers.

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Drop all stats and have your abilities described in relation to other characters. You select someone to attack and the game will tell you "This guy will sqish you like a bug" or "You could kick his arse all the way to Tim-buck-Too".

The idea is that you don't know exactly how many hits you can take, but you know you can take more than a 8 stone weakling and less than a champion wrestler.

It doesn't have to be just strength either. Comments could be made on your speed, intelligence, looks.

I do like having lots of stats in a game. I just think there should be a bit more mystery about what they are.

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