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Realism vs Gameplay

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Realism is a very essential part in today's games, but the problem here is that sometimes in order to make the game more realistic, you need to sacrifice some gameplay, especially in RTS games. For example, the following points are common issues in today's well known RTSs: - In RedAlert 2, you use trucks to collect minerals (gold?) that are scattered throughout the map? - In almost all games, Barracks, Warfactories, Artillery Depots, etc... Generate tanks and units... I don't suppose the soldiers are usually "Bred" in a barrack... It's just not realistic to think that the units can be "created" on the battlefield. And do tank factories create the tanks on the spot? - In almost all battle games, there is "Research" and "technology" buildings in which you improve your units and tanks, etc... (Generals, RA2, Rise of Nations, etc...) It is certainly not a general's duty to research and improve weapons... And it's definately not a good idea to do the research on the battlefield... Another hit for realism... - It's also never the General's job to take care of the nation's economy (gathering food, iron, wood, gold etc) yet all RTS games make it. However, if you remove the problematic sides of the game: Economy, Research, Barracks etc... All that's left is battle. Although I personally enjoy the fights more than building, and taking care of the economy, I have to admit that without those the game is boring... The points raised here are mostly RTS-related but I'm sure the same thing can be applied to RPGs aswell... So in your opinion, which do you prefer and what should be sacrificed: Realism or Gameplay? Memento Mori

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In the terms of Fun, I would always sacrifice the one that lead to more fun. This is usually realism as it is Gameplay that the players are playing (and hence having fun with). There are occasions where realisms is prefered (for things like emersion, etc), but there are few and far between.

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I don't think you should ever choose to make a game more realistic at the expense of playability.

If my soldier was shot in the legs and had to lie there and bleed to death for a period of two hours or go to a hospital and have stitches I wouldn't find it much fun. I'd prefer an instant bandage or just to die. It's important for a player to be able to identify with the tokens in a game but not necessary for them to behave in a totally accurate manner.

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I would argue you sacrafice realism. If people wanted to do something real, they would probalby do it in real life. The non-real elements of a game are what make it fun. Its a way for you to fullfill a fantasy and an oppurtunity to try to expirement with new ideas.

That being said, I don't think you would have to think of the economies of RTS games as being unrealistic. A general would be responsible for being sure that soilders are rectruited, and such things take time. Appearing in a barracks is just what the general sees from it. You can imagine a whole other process going on in the background where that soilder is being trained and resources are being spent to recruit them. In this way the units are created on the battlefield.

Generals often do reasearch new weapons on the battlefiled, or at least know wahts going on in some way. General Leslie Groves was the co-leader of the Manhattan Project with Oppenheimer for example. '

If a country is at war also, it becomes the militarys duty to help run the economy. Think of the rationing during world war 2 and the large black market that was created to try and subvert it. (and all the wonderful superman comic books about the evils of hording rubber.)

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Sure the popping of units out of factories in 30 seconds isn't very realistic, but the element of making the most of your resources is very genuine. By adding additional responsibilities you add a lot of depth to the game. I'd rather play a RTS that made me think, react, and strategize on different levels than one that solely focused on having every detail of a single element (battle) be completely realisitic.

Quote:

Realism is a very essential part in today's games, but the problem here is that sometimes in order to make the game more realistic, you need to sacrifice some gameplay, especially in RTS games.


Since Strategy is the key word in RTS, I think they focus on creating a very realistic strategic element without having to sacrifice any gameplay at all. This is opposed to creating a realistic battlefield where you as a general would have much less control over the actions of your units.

I agree with you in the sense that by making RTS's more realistic from a general's point of view would sacrifice gameplay. However, the genre is supposed to be strategy based, and not a RPG where you play the role of a commander. Creating an environment where you have to make genuine strategic decisions (bomb a bridge, take out this outpost, capture a city, secure this area of resources) in order to achieve your objective is what makes the game realistic and strategic, not the logic of the underlying pieces that create those aspects.

You can analyze every aspect of a joke and find no element to be funny, but taken as the whole it is. You can analyze every element of a RTS and no part of it be real, but as a whole the situation is.

IMO, RTS games can be realistic without having to sacrifice gameplay.

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Let's nitpick :

In fact it is also irrealist that a general controls the troops individually. From what I understand, the main job of a top military strategist is to know the people in his army and the people in the ennemy army. He gives orders to 1 star generals or to colonels (take this hill, go reinforce this battalion, flank this front). When pushed to the maximum, realism would require the game to implement psychology, unreliable information systems (aka no map where you can exactly see where your unit is with a 10 ms latency) and would not look like any RTS. To some extent one could say that RTS is basically irrealistic but is an evolution of board games.

I have once read a rant about realism in games. The author was arguing that realism in games has nothing to do with reality but is about coherency in the game itself and conformance with a small subset of reality. In a racing simulation game, you want realistic friction with the ground, accurate acceleration ramps, accurate turning abilities of your car, but you don't care that when it rains the public doesn't change clothes and take umbrellas.

The RTS-genre is not a strategic simulation, it is a resource management game. There are tactical and strategic simulators though, they are not about resource management, you often simulate famous battles, are given troops at the beggining and can not "breed" new units. Maybe you would like to try one of these ?

One feature I would like to see in a RTS game would be the use of different time scales : one for development and one, presumably 10 times or 20 times faster, for conflicts. I am not sure this would really work out, though...

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I totally agree, if in order to make the game realistic you have to kill the fun, then there is no point to it... There's a reason why it's called entertainment...

BUT...

There are some alternatives for the irrealistic sides of RTS.
Example:

- Instead of "breeding" the troops from the barracks, you could "order" reinforcements from your command center, and the troops will arrive in convoys, or parachutes, or even on foot, comming from a "main" base, and not necessarily right away, maybe minutes later.

- If it's impossible to remove the economy part of the game, because that would kill most of the challenge and strategy and reducing your "responsibilities", you could maybe find an alternative challenge... like securing a supply route, or structure, oil wells maybe?
Kindof like the USA supplies in EAGames Generals... The chinese Hackers and GLA Black markets don't make any sense though... Since they don't belong on the battlefield...
Also, money is really useless on the battlefield...

Those are just some ideas i could think of...
But it's weird how all RTS seem to copy each other instead of introducing new features...


Also, I got this idea while reading this...

Quote:
In fact it is also irrealist that a general controls the troops individually. From what I understand, the main job of a top military strategist is to know the people in his army and the people in the ennemy army. He gives orders to 1 star generals or to colonels (take this hill, go reinforce this battalion, flank this front).


Would it be fun to have a game, in which you don't really control each unit, but rather they're controlled by AI. You only give them order as to which town or city to attack and how to do that, and watch...
That's a very realistic approach to a general's role in a battlefield: giving orders and watching.
I mean like Risk2 if you ever played it, but Real Time... Very strategic.. even more strategic than Generals or Ra2, in which you could destroy a whole army with one unit if you had good Micro skills (where's the realism in that)

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Not RTS related but still worth mentioning. I was once a part of a team developing a MMORPG, midway through a new designer was brought in and decided to give the project a major push for more realisam, and the whole game design document got a huge overhaul.

It quickly became apparent the new designer was going for uber realisam overkill. and I was commissioned with working on one of these new uber realistic features...the characters (and players) would have to deal with getting a sunburn...Yeah, we waisted time on uber realistic sunburn modeling and damage tables while developing a MMORPG with all these fantastic creatures, monsters, settings, and locations....worse there was to be hangnail simulation, tooth cavity modeling, a ton of anal retentive uber realistic detailing and simulation just on this crap alone!

Also in the design doc was real time day/night simulation and the goal of modeling the entire world at 1:1 scale...so if a player were to log into the game from london at midnight...they would be in the games representation of london at midnight...that was the plan, and about half the team was behind it, believeing it would be the greatest game ever devised...the rest of us laughed and quit after a few weeks, and not much later the company imploded along with many others during the dot com bursting bubble. :P


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All too often I see RTS games that focus way too much on realism. While it looks neat on the surface I feel it distracts from the goal of actually entertaining the player.

Take a look at Starcraft. Back when it came out, Blizz could just as easily have made something that looked great, but they stuck with 256 colors and a fairly low screen rez. The technology was around to do most of the high end stuff seen nowadays. Some of the things they came up with were unrealistic too.

Westwood came out with some game that took place in the Dune universe. It was one of the first realtime-3d environment modeled RTSs I'd ever seen. The graphics were astounding.

Which do you hear about more now? :)

You'd be surprised how much a programmer can get away with if they want to focus on gameplay rather than realism.

Cheers!
Michael

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Are movies entertainment? Games are art, they doesn't need to be entertaining.

For example look at Harpoon. Imagine a standard low attention span player of RTS, and put him in front of Harpoon. How long he would sit on his butt in front of the screen?

While these types of games would often find players that find them interesting, these games would be considered VERY unentertainming by majority of people.

Realistic games are games that doesn't have a Big battleships roaming countryside on a small legs, without proper and correct explanation.

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I don't think you should ever choose to make a game more realistic at the expense of playability.

Actually this is done all the time. Designers sacrifice playability for realisms. It is not as balck and white as was stated about the soldier bleeding to death. That would be an extreme case and no designer (at least decent designer) would do such a thing unless it did add to the fun. But instead of that extreme, what about a situation where the soldier moves slower because of the injury?

It is less realistic to have the soldier not effected by their injuries and so it doesn't effect gameplay. But, the light realism of an injury effecting a soldier's movment can create a tension and enhance the fun of the game.

If you were to completely ignore realism (this is in the vein of going complete realisms and so an extreme example) all you end up with is some type of abstract game.

This abstract game might be good (like tetris, bejewled, etc), but players will still crave that slight realisms and would be willing to sacrifice a little bit of game play for that little bit of realism that promotes other emotions (tension, emmersion, etc).

Too much realism can be a bad thing, too little can also be detrimental.

Imagine Starcraft and removing all aspects of realism. I don't think it would have been near the game it was or had as much apeal.

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I feel there is a line that needs to be drawn. Games must be unrealistic by nature in order to be fun, but there are some unrealisms that really get on my nerves and serve no purpose for the gameplay. For instance, I cringe every time I see a fighter dual-wielding bastard swords in NWN; even if you were the strongest man in the world you could not fight even remotely effectively with such a setup. Yeah, a bastard sword can be wielded in one hand, but only when the offhand is free for balance. You'd never use two at once. Removing a stupid thing like this doesn't make the game any less fun and stops characters looking completely rediculous.

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Original post by Edtharan
Actually this is done all the time. Designers sacrifice playability for realisms. It is not as balck and white as was stated about the soldier bleeding to death. That would be an extreme case and no designer (at least decent designer) would do such a thing unless it did add to the fun. But instead of that extreme, what about a situation where the soldier moves slower because of the injury?

It is less realistic to have the soldier not effected by their injuries and so it doesn't effect gameplay. But, the light realism of an injury effecting a soldier's movment can create a tension and enhance the fun of the game.


Ok, Lets say that injured soldiers do move slower. Without some game mechanic to restore them to full health, this becomes a loss/loss situation for players useing such soldiers. So you add a medic unit, designed to restore injured soldiers health...this in turn adds another layer of micromanagement to the game, players must generate enough medics and order them to action, which takes thier focus off other more game goal oriented tasks.

But lets say that medic units are generated automaticly, and the game AI orders them to act without player input...this in turn clutters the battlefield with essentialy useless information...in a high tension situation players may accidently order medical units to take out tanks/base instalations...something they arn't equiped to do, and something that takes them away from thier designed task of healing soldiers.

So...remove medics and have soldiers heal themselves automaticly over time. Less realistic, less player info overload, but the overall net result is the same...and you don't have soldiers breaking ranks to return to base to heal, or essentialy useless battlefield traffic of medics running about distracting the player.

And the time, energy, design, and art resources used to develop and fine tune such a realisic medic unit system could then instead be applied to something like realtime deformable terrains which could greatly contribute to the gameplay dynamics.

In the end, the very nature of games is abstraction. We don't play "cops and robbers" with real guns and ammunition. Baby lions don't play fight by really ripping the flesh from each other. Early on in the game design process you define the gameplay focus, and every design decision much contribute to and reinforce that focus..."more realisiam" is a easy no, brainer and lazy design pursuit...bad designers all too often get carried away with it, loseing the game focus, forgetting or ignoreing that games are by nature an abstract form of entertainment.

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Original post by BBHudson
I feel there is a line that needs to be drawn. Games must be unrealistic by nature in order to be fun, but there are some unrealisms that really get on my nerves and serve no purpose for the gameplay. For instance, I cringe every time I see a fighter dual-wielding bastard swords in NWN; even if you were the strongest man in the world you could not fight even remotely effectively with such a setup. Yeah, a bastard sword can be wielded in one hand, but only when the offhand is free for balance. You'd never use two at once. Removing a stupid thing like this doesn't make the game any less fun and stops characters looking completely rediculous.



Given the fantastical setting and fictious creatures the characters must fight in NWN...I'd think it more than a bit anal to expect such a slavish devotion to earthly realisam on such a small scale as dual-wielding bastard swords.

Thats kinda like expecting a Shakespearian level of writeing talent out of an episode of the Power Rangers.

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Original post by MSW
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Original post by BBHudson
I feel there is a line that needs to be drawn. Games must be unrealistic by nature in order to be fun, but there are some unrealisms that really get on my nerves and serve no purpose for the gameplay. For instance, I cringe every time I see a fighter dual-wielding bastard swords in NWN; even if you were the strongest man in the world you could not fight even remotely effectively with such a setup. Yeah, a bastard sword can be wielded in one hand, but only when the offhand is free for balance. You'd never use two at once. Removing a stupid thing like this doesn't make the game any less fun and stops characters looking completely rediculous.



Given the fantastical setting and fictious creatures the characters must fight in NWN...I'd think it more than a bit anal to expect such a slavish devotion to earthly realisam on such a small scale as dual-wielding bastard swords.

Thats kinda like expecting a Shakespearian level of writeing talent out of an episode of the Power Rangers.


Yeah it's being anal, but my point is that removing such things would not remove any aspects of gameplay. So why include them? I don't believe that everything should be uber-realistic, but things should be proportional. I'm fine with allowing magical abilities and the like, as these add different options and strategies and make the game more fun. If say a character was only allowed to dual-wield very small or highly balanced weapons, would this make the game any less fun?

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Original post by BBHudson
Yeah it's being anal, but my point is that removing such things would not remove any aspects of gameplay. So why include them? I don't believe that everything should be uber-realistic, but things should be proportional. I'm fine with allowing magical abilities and the like, as these add different options and strategies and make the game more fun. If say a character was only allowed to dual-wield very small or highly balanced weapons, would this make the game any less fun?



proportional? You are fighting creatures with no reproductive capabilites, no source of food or any other explanation for thier existance in a completely made up setting with completely made up magical attacks...and your personal sense of fun playing this game is ruined by characters who dual-wield bastard swords?

If you really need an explanation then why not just pretend those are small or better balanced swords? After all you are already useing tons of imagination just being immursed in such a fantastical game world...if that is unexceptable then don't equip your characters with them.

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I play games for the fun, not the realism which makes things really annoying...

I'd choose Gameplay over realism, but that's just my opinion.

-Stenny

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Original post by MSW
proportional? You are fighting creatures with no reproductive capabilites, no source of food or any other explanation for thier existance in a completely made up setting with completely made up magical attacks...and your personal sense of fun playing this game is ruined by characters who dual-wield bastard swords?

If you really need an explanation then why not just pretend those are small or better balanced swords? After all you are already useing tons of imagination just being immursed in such a fantastical game world...if that is unexceptable then don't equip your characters with them.


It doesn't spoil the game or anything, it just gets on my nerves. If the horde of goblins you're fighting have to occasionally stop to take a leak or a smoke it would alter the gameplay and hence could make the game less fun, but making weapons an appropriate size wouldn't affect the game at all other than to add realism and stop it looking stupid. Of course you must take gameplay over realism, but on an issue that doesn't really affect the game you should try to make it as realistic as possible. Don't you think?

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I don't think this topic is a black and white issue. You can have fun and useful realism that adds to gameplay. In many games, troops stand around and do nothing even if they get shot at, which isn't very realistic. The game that automatically has soldiers defending themselves is probably more fun, and also more realistic. I'd chose gameplay over realism if I had to, but I don't think things are that easy to judge. I think it also depends on what the scope and genre. I feel a civilization or simulation game would need more realism than a single battle style game. Command and Conquer wouldn't be as fun if they made it more realistic. Civilization and SimCity probably would.

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Original post by BBHudson
It doesn't spoil the game or anything, it just gets on my nerves. If the horde of goblins you're fighting have to occasionally stop to take a leak or a smoke it would alter the gameplay and hence could make the game less fun, but making weapons an appropriate size wouldn't affect the game at all other than to add realism and stop it looking stupid. Of course you must take gameplay over realism, but on an issue that doesn't really affect the game you should try to make it as realistic as possible. Don't you think?


No...dual-wielding bastard swords fits the style of the game...a game where characters arn't always dressed appropriately for thier enviroment, where characters can wear cumbersome restrictive armor and not have thier combat mobility compromised, where monetary denominations of 10/200/30000 can all be carried in the same small bag, a game where one size armor, shoes and clothing fits all...there are thousands of elements in NWN that do not effect gameplay, look stupid and are totaly unrealistic, yet they fit neatly into the style of the game world.

imagine characters carrying around half a million gold coins, in real life they would need a huge sack/bag/chest to do so. It would look quite stupid for them to loft such a treasure as effortlessly as wielding a helium balloon. but to encumber said characters modility while carrying his/her treasure would drasticly effect gameplay. But within the game world it makes sense that such a large treasure of gold coins can be carried unencumbered by a single character...it fits the style of play, and no one complains about it...the seemingly over the top dual-wielding of swords is no different.

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Original post by BBHudson

Yeah it's being anal, but my point is that removing such things would not remove any aspects of gameplay. So why include them? I don't believe that everything should be uber-realistic, but things should be proportional. I'm fine with allowing magical abilities and the like, as these add different options and strategies and make the game more fun. If say a character was only allowed to dual-wield very small or highly balanced weapons, would this make the game any less fun?


It would affect the fun of the game for me by overcomplicating an already complicated rule system. There are already "realistic" penalties to dual weild bastard swords: you get a -4 for the off-hand being heavy, and you need to waste a feat on being able to weild a bastard sword in one hand. In exchange for that, you only get an average of one extra point of damage per attack, which generally isn't worth it. There is no gameplay benefit to having the dual weild feat be "You can weild another weapon in your off hand. Well, everything except a bastard sword." Because then you'll get people complaining that it's unrealistic to be able to weild two flails at once or a hammer and oversized axe, or a morning star and katana, or any other number of stupid looking and unrealistic combos. If you can accept all the other ridiculous things you can hit people with (double-bladed axes? dire flails?), then it's anal to expect them to make an obscure and arbitrary rule change just to accomadate your dislike for double bastard swords.

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You just countered that in your own statement. Limiting the amount of money you can carry would "drastically effect gameplay", which is why I agree with having unlimited pockets in most games; it's there for convenience. On the other hand the relative appearence of your weapons has absolutely no effect, so why choose the unrealistic option when a more appropriate one is available without limiting gameplay?

A similar example can be seen in many beat-em-ups. Often many moves and stances are unrealistic in that the character is at an awkward angle and would in reality be completely unbalanced. Changing the animations slightly would get rid of this, and you don't need to actually alter the moves in any way - just make them look different. For instance, in the Tekken series, Nina's neutral position saw her back bent in a weird hunch position. One look from a specialist would tell you that that isn't an appropriate stance to attack or defend from in any way (this particular example is even funnier since she's supposed to practice Aikido, which is form that specifially emphasises posture and body weight - although that's all irrelavant as she doesn't have a single bit of Aikido in her entire move list ;) ). To make it more realistic you wouldn't have to change her moves in any way, or make her more or less powerful or anything - just make her stand up straight!

Edit: Makeshiftwings: The -4 on the off hand is hardly an appropriate penalty, -50 would be more realistic ^_^

As for the other weapons, I'm against those being used too, I just used the bastard sword as an example.

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Ok, Lets say that injured soldiers do move slower. Without some game mechanic to restore them to full health, this becomes a loss/loss situation for players useing such soldiers. So you add a medic unit, designed to restore injured soldiers health...this in turn adds another layer of micromanagement to the game, players must generate enough medics and order them to action, which takes thier focus off other more game goal oriented tasks.

Most RTS games I have seen include a medic like unit or effect anyway, so no more micromanagement in that department.

Your argument is using only the extremes. You equate any inclusion of realism instead of gameplay as total realism and replacing any gameplay conflics.

Argument from the extreme creates logical falacy.

I am saying there are occasional sacrifices in gameplay for some realism that will improve the fun of a game. And in any game there is this payoff between realism and gameplay and each game has its own balance between them (a far cry from the "all realism in a game is bad" argument).

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Original post by BBHudson
You just countered that in your own statement. Limiting the amount of money you can carry would "drastically effect gameplay", which is why I agree with having unlimited pockets in most games; it's there for convenience. On the other hand the relative appearence of your weapons has absolutely no effect, so why choose the unrealistic option when a more appropriate one is available without limiting gameplay?

A similar example can be seen in many beat-em-ups. Often many moves and stances are unrealistic in that the character is at an awkward angle and would in reality be completely unbalanced. Changing the animations slightly would get rid of this, and you don't need to actually alter the moves in any way - just make them look different. For instance, in the Tekken series, Nina's neutral position saw her back bent in a weird hunch position. One look from a specialist would tell you that that isn't an appropriate stance to attack or defend from in any way (this particular example is even funnier since she's supposed to practice Aikido, which is form that specifially emphasises posture and body weight - although that's all irrelavant as she doesn't have a single bit of Aikido in her entire move list ;) ). To make it more realistic you wouldn't have to change her moves in any way, or make her more or less powerful or anything - just make her stand up straight!

Edit: Makeshiftwings: The -4 on the off hand is hardly an appropriate penalty, -50 would be more realistic ^_^

As for the other weapons, I'm against those being used too, I just used the bastard sword as an example.



countered? You accept the completely unrealistic bottomless pockets in a fantastical RPG full of monsters and magic...but its the dual swords bugs you.

And Tekken is full of hugely exagerated unrealistic over the top theatrical fighting moves more at home in a anime or Jackie Chan movie...but its Ninas stance that bugs you.

*sigh* whatever :P



Quote:

Most RTS games I have seen include a medic like unit or effect anyway, so no more micromanagement in that department.

Your argument is using only the extremes. You equate any inclusion of realism instead of gameplay as total realism and replacing any gameplay conflics.

Argument from the extreme creates logical falacy.


logical falacy?...Wow, talk about the pot calling the Kettle, black.

One of the most common complaints players already have against most RTS games is excessive micromanagement...and gee, is it possable that the battlefield commander takeing the time to order medical units to action (as unrealistic as that is) just might contribute to those players perceptions of unwanted micromanagement?





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Original post by MSW
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Original post by BBHudson
You just countered that in your own statement. Limiting the amount of money you can carry would "drastically effect gameplay", which is why I agree with having unlimited pockets in most games; it's there for convenience. On the other hand the relative appearence of your weapons has absolutely no effect, so why choose the unrealistic option when a more appropriate one is available without limiting gameplay?

A similar example can be seen in many beat-em-ups. Often many moves and stances are unrealistic in that the character is at an awkward angle and would in reality be completely unbalanced. Changing the animations slightly would get rid of this, and you don't need to actually alter the moves in any way - just make them look different. For instance, in the Tekken series, Nina's neutral position saw her back bent in a weird hunch position. One look from a specialist would tell you that that isn't an appropriate stance to attack or defend from in any way (this particular example is even funnier since she's supposed to practice Aikido, which is form that specifially emphasises posture and body weight - although that's all irrelavant as she doesn't have a single bit of Aikido in her entire move list ;) ). To make it more realistic you wouldn't have to change her moves in any way, or make her more or less powerful or anything - just make her stand up straight!

Edit: Makeshiftwings: The -4 on the off hand is hardly an appropriate penalty, -50 would be more realistic ^_^

As for the other weapons, I'm against those being used too, I just used the bastard sword as an example.



countered? You accept the completely unrealistic bottomless pockets in a fantastical RPG full of monsters and magic...but its the dual swords bugs you.

And Tekken is full of hugely exagerated unrealistic over the top theatrical fighting moves more at home in a anime or Jackie Chan movie...but its Ninas stance that bugs you.

*sigh* whatever :P


I accept the bottemless pockets because it's convenient and would be annoying without. I accept the heavily exaggerated super moves because they look good and make the game more fun. However, the awkward stances and oversized weapons serve no purpose in the gameplay, so it would not disrupt the game by removing them.

Think now, why was the term "bastard sword" used in the first place? Why are swords, axes etc. even used at all? If it's a completely made up world then there's actually no reason to mimick real life weaponary other than to add a sense of realism. So you decide to add in a weapon called "zweihander" into your game. Doesn't it make sense for it to be the appropriate size since you're already modeling it after a real life weapon? If you're going to make it too long or too short, why not give it a made up name since the weapon in question is obviously made up also?

Similarly for the beat-em-ups, Nina's style is listed as Aikido yet she obviously doesn't use this style, so why not give it a generic name instead? On the other hand, take Mitsurugi from the Soul Edge/Blade/Calibur series. His sword is the correct size, he swings it correctly, stands on the correct foot, and even has many actual Kenjutsu moves at his disposal. Clearly the makers could have instead had him poised incorrectly, standing on the wrong foot etc. and it wouldn't have made a single bit of difference to the gameplay. Overall though, the game gains an extra glitz from the added realism.

Anyway, I should point out (again) that I of course favour gameplay over realism. It's only when the gameplay would not be affected that I believe realism should be implemented as fully as possible. I'm not in any way suggesting that an opponent should die instantly when Mitsurugi thwacks them over the head with his sword, as this would drastically alter the game.

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