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templewulf

real-time action in a CRPG

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I know a lot of you have probably played Demon's Crest on SNES (a game I LOVED, by the way), but how many of you played Demon's Quest on NES? It was standard RPG fare, but when a random battle hit, it switched to side-scrolling combat similar to Ghosts'n'Goblins, which was recycled into Demon's Crest. During the SNES era, I had the idea of combining a CRPG and Street Fighter-y combat, but would there be enough of an audience for it? I LOVE fighting games, and I LOVE CRPGs, but are there enough people who appreciate the tedium of dialog-saturated adventures AND the reflexes to put up with high-speed battles? Also, on a purely theoretical aside, would Soul Calibur-style combat be possible in a MMOG?

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[IMO] Perhaps on a console, and probably not for some time, respectively.

Personally, I'd hate the game, as I dislike using player skill instead of numbers for RPG ability, and because I generally dislike Fighters. Kingdom Hearts did something like this, and its combat was... passable.

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Personally, I'd hate the game, as I dislike using player skill instead of numbers for RPG ability


That's cool, but I want to avoid the eventualities of getting the super-best uber lewt and power leveling associated with that type of thing.

Ultima Online addressed a little bit of the PLing with all skills instead of XP levels (right? I haven't played it in a while) but the problem remains of the combat system being fairly abstract and dissociated from the player.

Ideally, your fighting moves would be based on the weapons you're using and the moves you've learned. That way, the RPG aspect opens up the fighting aspect.

What kinds of ideas do you think would spice up combat? I think everyone is pretty tired of jamming the X button to kill something with physical attacks.

P.S. (I'm currently developing my battle system, and right now, I'm deciding between a Magic: The Gathering style to encourage strategy, or action style to encourage replayability)

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The only game I've played that replaced combat with a skill-based system rather than levelling/rolling well was Puzzle Pirates.

Combat involves players playing a simple drop puzzle [go figure], which will have effects on an opponent's board. I like the puzzle setup, since it's the sort of thing that nobody gets a great advantage at, but it's something that people have no choice but to get better at with practice.

[IMO] Fighter games don't have that sort of design. An elite player will whoop a non-elite's ass pretty much every time, and after a time people just won't get any better. If you put in learned moves, that's just more to power level in a different form.

I like the MTG idea better, though that would still lend itself towards power-levelling [or collecting in this case].

Personally, I don't see anything wrong with the standard Final Fantasy combat setup, or even something like FF tactics/DnD Gold Box/Master of Magic combat.

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I've heard great things about Puzzle Pirates, but how do you level up in RPG terms?

Plus, if I go the non-realtime-combat option, I'm already planning on integrating a puzzle mechanic as a sort of amplifier to the spell system (think the boost mechanic from FF8's GFs, but far more interesting). I just don't want to make ANOTHER falling object puzzle. Any suggestions?

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Fighter games don't have that sort of design. An elite player will whoop a non-elite's ass pretty much every time, and after a time people just won't get any better.

I'm going to have to disagree pretty heartily on this one. After years of different puzzlers, I'm fair at them, but my grandparents ONLY play Dr Mario & Tetris. To this day, I've never been able to beat either one of them. So, I'd say there is an "elite puzzler" level.

I do see your point about move-learning being power-leveling, though, but ideally I'd like to have moves that aren't just incrementally better (e.g. firespell1, firespell2, firespell3), but more rock-paper-scissors like real martial arts. That way, learning new moves isn't necessarily power-leveling, it's just expanding your options.

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I recently played X-Men legends which used player skill really well. The key to a perfect combat system of course is to make every fight enjoyable on some level and not have the tedium of grinding or nonsensical random encounters. Thinking back, Legends covered this really well with the inclusion of new abilities making me want to get through the next fight to try using a new ability or bringing in a different x-man to play with.

For "massive" online games, apart from the technical difficulties, the main reason you won't see action (fantasy style) RPGs is because the business model doesn't fit. But let's assume that the technical aspects aren't a problem and you aren't answering to investors. You are going to turn off a lot of players and attract a far tighter niche, possibly of people that you wouldn't want forming your community. You create a higher level of competition which might not be the best thing for a community game like current MMORPGS are. Currently in MMORPGs players can see that if they keep at it they can become a top player too. The path to the top is often well defined however if advancement is based on twitch ability rather than mental you will find far more players give up or realise they aren't going to get to the top spots because they don't have the reactions. Not sure I'd be interested in playing a game where all I was ever going to be was one of the grunts, although I would love to play a game where I was one of the heros and other players were the grunts.

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I've heard great things about Puzzle Pirates, but how do you level up in RPG terms?


Eh, this is a little tricky. In game terms, you don't. You can buy swords which change your 'attacks', but swords aren't prohibitively expensive. The 'levelling' in the game rather comes from social levelling. The more renowned/skilled/persuasive/rich you are, the better you can get your fellow players to work with you. The more pirates working together makes more of the game open as options.

Heh, and yes, there's a rather large distinction between puzzlers. That's why the required combat in PP is always multiple vs multiple [with a might balance system to prevent egregious griefing]. You might not beat either of your grandparents, but 2-3 of you might.

Anyways, I'm just offering opinion. If you think your game would be cool, likely others would as well.

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You create a higher level of competition which might not be the best thing for a community game like current MMORPGS are.

I totally agree to the extent that current MMOGs treat combat. As in, it's the center of the game. Largely, I just meant in a general CRPG context, that line about MMOGs was just whether Telastyn thought it was technically feasible.

The problem with current MMOGs is that they're stuck in D&D roots, but without the benefits of being a table-top game. I'd like to have a MMOG with such diverse options that combat is less than 1/3 of the game.

(I hate giving MMOG ideas, because it sounds so pretentious to think you could actually build one) But in any case, consider a game where being a merchant is actually viable, or where you could advance through political positions in which you have REAL impact on the city as the mayor or king. By real, I mean you control it as you would SimCity.

@Telastyn: For your complaints about twitch gameplay scaring away non-hardcore-action-gamers, I think providing political / mercantile / artisan / community outlets would allow more RPG elements (in the tabletop sense, as opposed to the CRPG sense).

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Original post by templewulf
I know a lot of you have probably played Demon's Crest on SNES (a game I LOVED, by the way), but how many of you played Demon's Quest on NES? It was standard RPG fare, but when a random battle hit, it switched to side-scrolling combat similar to Ghosts'n'Goblins, which was recycled into Demon's Crest.

During the SNES era, I had the idea of combining a CRPG and Street Fighter-y combat, but would there be enough of an audience for it? I LOVE fighting games, and I LOVE CRPGs, but are there enough people who appreciate the tedium of dialog-saturated adventures AND the reflexes to put up with high-speed battles?


I haven't played either "Demon" title, but I'd like the concept, as personally I hate the combat in most CRPGs (I like the rest of the game contents, however. But the combat is bad enough that it can kill the game for me, such as in FF6). I prefer the RPGs that have more strategy or tactics in their battles to make the interesting, but arcade action would work too. When I make my RPG in quite a few years time, it will be action based (but that's because it will be more in the vein of Zelda than most CRPGs).

The idea sounds a bit like that used in Quest for Glory IV on the PC (I was a big Quest for Glory fan). All the Quest for Glories have an arcade combat element, but IV had a side scrolling view that looked a bit like Street Fighter. The particular implementation in that game actually sucked quite a lot, but the idea was sound. The main limitation is that it only really works in one on one fights. If you had a more side-scroller orientated, then one on many might work (I'm thinking something like Super Smash Brothers here).

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Also, on a purely theoretical aside, would Soul Calibur-style combat be possible in a MMOG?


I'm not sure whether the presence of lag between the computer and the server would make something like action-based fighter combat work properly. But I've never really looked into the mechanics of it (MMO games are way beyond my scope for pretty much all eternity, it seems).

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During the SNES era, I had the idea of combining a CRPG and Street Fighter-y combat, but would there be enough of an audience for it? I LOVE fighting games, and I LOVE CRPGs, but are there enough people who appreciate the tedium of dialog-saturated adventures AND the reflexes to put up with high-speed battles?


I see not too many people here are playing snes games, oh well, too bad.

Have you ever played any of the Tales of games?
You should try Tales of Phantasia on SNES and Tales of Destiny 2 on the PSX.

Both have side scrolling combat just like street fighter, you can get slash attacks and thrust attacks, you can activate all kind of skills based on how far you're from the target and/or what kind of attack you did (Slash or Thrust), you don't have to do the down, forward, backward stuff or half cycle or anything else like that though...

Yeah, I think these kind of games would be even better if the combat system would have been exactly like a fighting game, so that it would take more than just pressing a button and perhaps some strategy/tactic, but rather you have to know how to execute the special attacks, just like in street fighter.

So go for it!

I think Soul Calibur kind of combat should be possible in a CRPG if you design it correctly.

Edit: Oy, I was thinking of CRPG when I thought about Soul Calibur...
As for Soul Calibur style, I don't know, but look into this game: Namco X Capcom
It's a 2d MMO based on fighting games that also include RPG characters and other characters as well, it came out in japan but is only available on the PS2.

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