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AI override ideas for non-twitch gamers

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More thoughts on the question of player skill vs. character skill... I know this has been discussed before, but I was thinking that in a game that blends both player actions and character skills, and where NPCs have to be able to do whatever the player can do, why not have a setting players can toggle to automate their character? I was thinking of how many RPG players dislike action elements, and how many action gamers think many RPGs play out too slowly. The best of both worlds would seem to be a game options setting that allowed the results of actions to be either player skill based or character skill based. For player control, this is relatively easy; for character skill, it would be a matter of the AI being able to perform every necessary skill perfectly, then adding error "noise" based on the character''s skill. Example: A timed jumping puzzle between two moving platforms. The action gamer crosses based on timing and his/her own skill. The skill driven player essentially drops into bot mode, and each jump position is off by an error factor commensurate with the player''s character''s skill. Another Example: Autoaiming. Right now FPS games provide this as an option. A simple modification would introduce character skill based random "noise" into the autoaiming skill so that at lower levels the chance to hit was less. Besides the work in bot AI, I see a problem where players with low character skill could bypass challenges simply by being good at twitch. This may be a tolerable problem, though, if it widened a game''s audience to include both action and non-twitch gamers. -------------------- Just waiting for the mothership...

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Deus Ex used a system a little similar to this. While some things (like hacking for example) were a result of character skill alone, other things (most notably shooting) were a combination. Although aiming worked like it does in your everyday FPS, depending on your character''s skill some random noise was introduced to throw off your aim (making it shaky.) At low skill your cursor would shake a lot, and the penalties of recoil were very bad. At the highest skill the cursor would always be steady.

I know your system is a little different, but at least you have an example of something like it being done before (and working pretty well.)

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You''re absolutely right. Wavinator.

I think that the best solution for action parts in RPG games (my favorite game-type, although I still think it lacks a lot. If I had to pick a number, I''d say RPGs are at about 10-20% of their full capacity right now) is to give the player the choice:

do everything yourself


let the computer manage it.

And give the player complete control with slider bars for each and every skill.

Like to fight? Set to manual.
Don''t like to jump and run etc? Set to auto.

Make the game completely customizable. I''d even go as far as for example in combat mode to allow a player to set defense to automatic and control the offense himself.

I think that a skilled player should always be able to outdo the automatic actions. For example, a player manually controlling the actions should be able to jump more precise, a little further etc. But the automated actions should be better than the actions from a bad player.

The progress should be like this:
Player starts the game letting the computer take care of ALL actions.
Player practices certain actions until he feels comfortable with them (and since every skill will be made into an action skill, there will be a lot of them to learn) and then one by one sets them to manual.
Player perfects his chosen action skills, while still letting the computer manage some.
Finally, the player takes control of all actions.

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