Ranger Meldon

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About Ranger Meldon

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  1. What have been the good things about past CRPGs?

    Quote:Original post by Jiia Quote:30) Games that have enough AI to make your character fight back automatically when attacked, at least in a rudimentary way For MMO, maybe. For single player, just pause the game. But even in MMO situations, if the result is rudimentary, is it really even helping? If your AI is anywhere near decent, it's going to counter your "dumb-auto-ai" and beat you to death anyway. And if it's smart enough to defend against humans and smart AI, it's just unfair and shouldn't be added.Well, mostly I just meant that something would be infinitely better than nothing, as far as this is concerned. It would at least make me die less quickly. If I'm out of the room for longer than that, I deserve to die anyway. At least I would feel like my guy fought back. It would be the equivalent of him fighting while being distracted or preoccupied, in the sense that his apparent skill level would be much less without me playing him. I like the pausing idea for single player mode. But I did also have LAN multiplayer co-op in mind too. Oh, and I like games that allow you to select someone to follow around in a cooperative situation, and also especially when those games allow you to still attack and heal, etc while following. Quote:Original post by Jiia There's also something very cool about hiring henchmen. Having to actually pay them for their job or time is very realistic and adds a lot of depth. For example, you could hire a bodyguard when you play a theif character, so that you never need to fight. It isn't cheap and lame, because you have to actually pay the bastard.I like this idea, and I agree with it very much. There are very few people in life who are going to be willing to follow you around blindly, much less without compensation for their time. Quote:Original post by Jiia You need to force the player to make decisions beyond where to click. Like called shots and types of thrusts.I highly agree with this. I have had something like this in mind for my own combat system, but I didn't think to mention it, so I'm glad you did. Stuff like this is going to prove very important in making the next generation of innovative games. Quote:Original post by Jiia Lastly, do not ask the user if they are sure they want to exit on your main menu. Or anywhere for that matter, unless it can result in losing progress.Oh, I HATE that! They give you credit for being able to make complex strategic and planning decisions, not to mention coordinated timing and reflex choices, but they apparently don't expect you actually meant to click 'exit'. Right. Thanks for responding with so much detail! ~Ranger Meldon~ M.M. .: [Edited by - Ranger Meldon on July 15, 2005 2:25:55 PM]
  2. What have been the good things about past CRPGs?

    Quote:Original post by KingRuss Personally I think the "good things" are really just relative to the bad and can really only be generally explained without citing specific systems. So, in general, games that allow you to customize your characters stats upon level up, games that are multiplayer rpgs, multiplayer rpgs that have a good item distribution method (ie: not first one to pick it up). Games that have enough choices so Wizard Bob and Wizard Jim can have different stats and different spells, but still be as effective as each other. Elemental differences generally don't count in those situations. In essense, all good things can be linked back to variety, choice, and ease. (for me at least) These are some very good points. I know the good things are going to be at least somewhat relative to the bad, or else this wouldn't be the sister thread to "what have we not liked?" However, in the course of posting on that thread, I came across several instances where I really wanted to make mention of aspects that I really have enjoyed, but it would have been out of context for that thread. So here we are. I don't mind if people cite specific systems. Perhaps in so doing, we can approach an amalgamatory perspective that encompasses multiple systems. Here are some of the things I have been wanting to say that I have liked or loved: 1) RPGs and especially FPS RPGs that have any kind of multiplayer option available. I particularly like it when they offer a LAN option and not just an internet server. I also really like it when there is a cooperative mode. 2) Ample inventory space and encumberance (or no emcumberance). 3) Games where what you do determines what skills you improve in. 4) Games where there are no specific classes. You do what you want to do, and you become some "type" by virtue of being better at it than anything else. 5) Games that actually show little things like bowstrings and sheaths. 6) Great graphics, music, and sound never hurt. 7) Realistic, believable physics. 8) Games that employ a reputation system at all, even if somewhat badly done (i.e. with omniscient NPCs, etc). 9) Games that avoid repetitive and annoying sound effects. 10) Games that do a good job of hiding or obscuring the limitations that all games must have and avoid "invisible barriers." 11) Good, strong, combat AI that supports mob teamwork. 12) Games that don't put obvious, relatively low caps on level maxes, like Lvl 60 in WoW. 13) Games that have good implementations of running stamina that a character can level-up in, or no stamina concerns. 14) Games that use numbers well, and don't show them in inappropriate ways that shoot immersiveness in the head. I don't want to see damage numbers popping up out of some monster's hide. 15) Well-developed and compelling storylines. 16) Games that don't make the player do anything specific if he or she doesn't want to. Games that let you wander and explore indefinitely, if you so choose. 17) Well-developed and detailed world/cultural histories. 18) Inventory systems that help you organize, store, and find things more easily. 19) Potions that you can drink part of, and save the rest for later, like in Dungeon Siege. 20) Games that allow you to customize armor and weapons in various ways. 21) Variety of terrain, climates, cultures, architectures, dress, allegiances, weapons, spells, quests, and skills. 22) Games that give you multiple ways to move yourself across the landscape more quickly than walking or running. 23) Skippable cutscenes, intros, and company logos. 24) Cool front-end menuing systems, like Dungeon Siege or Starcraft, which have animated panes, good transitional and activation sound effects, and background "idle" animations. 25) Games with in-depth character creation processes, and the ability to shortcut through most of it by taking a "test" of some sort to determine what attributes you would probably be most comfortable with your character having. 26) FPS RPGs that also allow you to view your character and items from all sides in a third person view, either in the main viewing area or as a special side-pane. It's especially cool when you can run around in third-person for as long as you like and see all your moves externally. 27) Good power balance. 28) Overhead maps, especially ones that only show what you've actually seen so far. I also like maps that let you place little note "pins" that show your comments to yourself about that area when you mouse over it. 29) Games that don't require you to click like a madman to win a fight. A single click-and-hold should suffice for many attack or landscape navigation tasks. 30) Games that have enough AI to make your character fight back automatically when attacked, at least in a rudimentary way (i.e. using no special strategies). I hate running out of the room to get something real quick and when I come back I'm dead or standing still like an idiot while being wailed on. Nobody would ever react that way. Now, I suppose you could say that me being out of the room is equatable to my character's mind being elsewhere. However, unless I'm the victim of a lobotomy, I'm going to respond when attacked. In real life, I have even woken up from a deep sleep filled with dreaming just because I heard a noise, much less if I had been being beaten on! Now I realize this comment borders on qualifying for "what I don't like in games," but I have played games that let your character fight back automatically, like Dungeon Siege or StarCraft. In the case of an FPS RPG, you could perhaps require the player to switch to a special third-person mode in order to have the computer take over if attacked. 31) Games that let anyone use or wear anything, regardless of class or abilities. They may just not use it very well at all, but at least they can don it and try. 32) Games with avocations, like fishing, hunting, and dancing. 33) Games that let you acquire (build, buy, steal, whatever) a house or houses to sleep in, store you stuff in, etc. 34) Games that do a good job of portraying the passage of night and day cycles. 35) Games that allow stealth, subterfuge, lockpicking, and subtlety (politicking, networking, persuasion, intimidation, etc) to be acceptable and accessible alternatives to combat. 36) Games with some gore! 37) Games that don't perform constant disc checks, so I can play my own custom music CDs without having to have two CD-ROM drives. 38) Games that allow companions and minions/followers/henchmen. If done well, it's just plain cool to have friends. Being done well would entail having companions that offer quests or require quests to find them. They can heal you and fight for you. You can take pleasure in upgrading their gear as you can afford it. You can also enjoy developing a relationship of awareness and trust with them, and possibly even romance. 39) Games that feature cameo appearances by David Hasselhoff. 40) Long view distances (i.e. far +z direction frustum.) 41) Games that introduce concepts other than just magic. Like psionics or technology, or the interfacing of these with magic, like in Arcanum. 42) Games with a good balance of normal vs. magical items and non-random epic, unique, and set items. 43) Games that feature minigames for some of their aspects, like for fishing, lockpicking, and puzzle-solving. Ok, this should be good for starters. Hopefully this will serve as a good list unto itself and also as a spark for further ideas and discussion. As always with any of my posts, feel free to respond critically. Oh... and one of these items is not serious. Can you guess which one? ~Ranger Meldon~ M.M. .:
  3. Characters manipulate player?

    This would be a really great idea, so long as certain things are true. Namely, the player would need to be made aware before playing the game of the fact that NPCs might try to trick them. They're fair game after that, no pun intended. Still, there needs to be a way in most if not all of these duplicitous situations for the player character to be able to respond proactively to a given doublecross or attempted dupe. Otherwise, the player is going to feel like they're spending most of their time "putting out fires," so to speak. I know the world can be cutthroat, but please. ~Ranger Meldon~ M.M. .:
  4. What have we really liked or loved about the implementation, storyline, concepts, or overall fun of past RPGs and FPS RPGs? This thread is spawned from, and is the sister thread to, this thread about what we thought was bad or even hated. ~Ranger Meldon~ M.M. .:
  5. What have been the bad elements of past CRPGs?

    Ok, I feel the time is ripe to make the sister thread to this one: what we have loved about RPGs and FPS RPGs. I shall return shortly. Edit: Ok, here's the link. ~Ranger Meldon~ M.M. .: [Edited by - Ranger Meldon on July 15, 2005 10:42:46 AM]
  6. What have been the bad elements of past CRPGs?

    Quote:Original post by MSW Okay, fair enough...I just don't understand how people get so worked up over a village knowing your name when you have never been there before in a game. Its not a big deal to me, I am playing the hero in such games. I'm out to save the world or whatever, NPCs should know my name. Besides I can walk into any shop in such games and buy perfectly fitting clothing and armor, the corpses of monsters leave money/spells/other items behind when its clear such beasts have no use for them in the first place...there are tons of other unrealistic things RPGs do, yet people complain about simplistic reputation systems and the lack of weapon sheathes and drawstrings on bows? I just don't get it. This is actually a very reasonable response to make. I can see why you wouldn't understand, because at first glance I have a hard time putting it into words myself. But after thinking about it, I believe I can tell you what the deal is. People will probably always have their eyes to the horizon, so to speak. You could make the most awesome game in history, and people will still eventually end up sitting around thinking of ways it could have been better. Honestly, since this seems to result in better games being made over time, I can't see that this aspect of human nature is a bad thing. But I can see where it could get annoying, like "will you people just be happy for two seconds?!" :) This is the very motivation for me wanting to see better reputation systems, weapon sheaths, and bowstrings -- because it's the next thing that could be done. Where do you go from up? Higher up, if you can. These would be the "higher ups". Sure, you're the hero, and people should know your name, but not until it's realistically plausible that they could. Otherwise, it cheapens the effect of your growing coolness dramatically. Also, I look at it like, why not? If you can add these things to the game, and thereby make it better for some people while not negatively impacting gameplay or fun for everyone else, then why not? It's not hurting anything to think about such additions, unless it causes you to never get your game released, which is always a possibility anyway. As far as the other things you mentioned that you feel are unrealistic: most of those are things I have also already listed earlier in this thread as being unrealistic. So we are in agreement there. As concerns vendor armor and weapons fitting perfectly, this could be explained away as being the result of the fact that the game doesn't always portray the passage of time continuously. In other words, the game also doesn't show the character going to the bathroom or sleeping, but you know these things must happen at some point. So the game just skips over them and it is assumed that they happen. So in the case of the vendors, no one wants to sit around and wait for armor to be fitted to them, so it is just assumed that this is done, and we are allowed to get back to the action. What makes less sense to me is how you find armor out in the wilds that fits perfectly without having to be taken back to town to be refitted. Maybe in some cases this can be assumed, but at other times, this might be implausible, like if the character is working against a time limit or is trapped in some cave or dungeon. As to monsters, since we don't have any monsters in real life (terrorists notwithstanding), who knows how a real monster would act, or what it would value? Intelligent monsters (i.e. not animals or "beasts") might like to collect certain items, spells, potions, or gold just because they think it looks neat, or sparkly, etc. Maybe they use gold too. Or maybe they just eat it. Or maybe they were carrying the loot they dropped to some monster overlord who is preparing for an invasion. Who knows? I try not to look too much into this unless it's some animal like a wolf or bear or whatever and it drops some really awkward loot like full plate or a claymore. At any rate, I have always tried to limit my suggestions and criticisms to things for which I can think of solutions myself, and solutions that would not be insane (difficulty) to implement. I'm sure there are some people who think the reputation system I suggested earlier in this thread is insane difficult, but that's what people said about realistic physics at first, until somebody sat down and did it. Now it's relatively commonplace. We have to start somewhere. If not with realism, then with ideas for improvements in general. ~Ranger Meldon~ M.M. .: [Edited by - Ranger Meldon on July 15, 2005 9:13:54 AM]
  7. What have been the bad elements of past CRPGs?

    Quote:Original post by MSW Okay...I'll take this slowly...I appreciate you taking the time to elucidate me as to your meaning. Quote:Original post by MSW There is a ton of info about Britney Spears online. If you are one of her fans, you already know this... if not, then you could care less about such info... the key point is you are online, you still have access to this info... So, how would NPCs be any different? I'm not saying NPCs would be any different from that (as long as we're having them conform to commonly-observed human nature). What I'm saying is that most "common" NPCs would probably not be able to afford such a mage guild's prices. It is also within the bounds of human nature to be greedy, to charge as much for something as the market will bear. Why would a mage guild charge a smaller fee to poorer people than it would to a king? The king would just pay poor people to get information for him at a cheaper price. So the mages wouldn't charge a cheaper price to anyone. Which means many people will get left out. This is in addition to the other politics that would become involved here. Information is knowledge, and knowledge is power. As long as there is power, there will be those who seek to control it possessively. This means there'll probably be some king or emperor who will take military control of the information sharing infrastructure in order to prevent spying and keep certain information and education out of the hands of commoners. Even in the real world model of the internet to which you refer, there are many information blocks in place. We will never hear about most of the heroic deeds that occur on foreign or even native soils, because they are all classified. Other times, news only makes it to the internet when someone feels like making a web page about something, or when the news media considers whatever it is (the event) to be noteworthy enough to make the news, be it on the internet or television. Could a village pay some mage or magic-using rogue to go spy on you? Sure, if they weren't too poor and had an interest in you. But what I object to the most is when you show up at some random village where none of the inhabitants has ever laid eyes upon you before in their lives, and they somehow already know your name or at least that you've been doing heroic things in some other village or country. Most true heroes go unsung in real life, unless they do a LOT. Another political aspect is that most people with power want to preserve and increase their power. You don't accomplish that by sharing your power with anyone, except in extreme cases or when tons of money are involved. Even when getting paid for the service, you risk having people know what you're capable of, and either fearing you, mistrusting you, or seeking to dominate you. So you still are looking at having a (realistic) situation where mages would not want to work together in any kind of constantly-sharing network, and they certainly wouldn't want to work for the entire non-magical world at large. If you think they would, then you don't understand the nature of what would make someone a wizard in the first place. Quote:Original post by MSW this was entirely related to this statement you made: Quote:Original snippet by Ranger Meldon But having everyone (every NPC), no matter how poor or remote, be able to have access to that information seems like a very bad, very unrealistic idea. If village A is being tormented by monster rats and the player slays them, well it would go without saying that the residents of village A would be interested to hear that...and by consulting with the mage info brokers, they could all learn it very quickly...This DOES NOT mean all the residents of village B,C,D,E,F have learned this information even though they all have access to the mage info brokers whom would share it if so asked...this is not unrealistic, its entirely plauseable(hell, just think of a Mage News Network given voice by common town criers)...plus the concept of mage info brokers adds story potential well beyond what is typical in CRPGs. Do you understand now?Yes, I do understand your meaning now. Thank you. However, I still disagree. My reasons why have already been amply stated in the above paragraphs of this post. I'm sorry if that still doesn't seem to ring true. I'm all for using my imagination, but this scenario just doesn't work, given the more base aspects of human nature. ~Ranger Meldon~ M.M .:
  8. What have been the bad elements of past CRPGs?

    Quote:Original post by MSW Unrealistic? Look, you HAVE access to the internet! Does that make you omniscent? have you seen every webpage? read every document? Would you even want to? of course not! So why would a NPC blacksmith have the knowledge to farm corn from info brokers...and why would a NPC farmer have the knowledge of forgeing weapons? I would try to respond to this, but I'm not even sure what you're getting at here, no offense. What does knowledge of how to farm corn or forge weapons have to do with political and action (deed) information about the player character? It sounds like you're misunderstanding what I'm saying altogether. Or maybe I misunderstood you to begin with, although I doubt it, based on what your actual words were. Try making the above statements a little more clear (and sounding more relevant) and I will do my best to respond. Oh, and if someone else understands what MSW is saying here (and agrees with it) can you please let me know? I could be just being dense or something, but I doubt it. Thanks! ~Ranger Meldon~ M.M. .:
  9. What have been the bad elements of past CRPGs?

    Quote:Original post by MSW You already have a means (use of magic to spy) and a motive (need to explore, discover, gather info) ... and hell publishers are already makeing $$$ on selling game guides in addition to the game itself ... so exactly why is it stupid?It's not a matter of not thinking outside the box. Magic should be special. If it's not, then it's not really very magical, is it? I can understand having guild wars over magical misinformation, or whatever. But having everyone (every NPC), no matter how poor or remote, be able to have access to that information seems like a very bad, very unrealistic idea. If you want to have a gameworld where everyone in it knows so much about you before you even meet them that they might as well be omniscient, then you go ahead and do that. Think outside that box! And think outside my wallet. ~Ranger Meldon~ M.M. .:
  10. What have been the bad elements of past CRPGs?

    More things I don't like: 1. No weapon sheathing. Games that don't show you unsheathing your weapon before using it. Games that don't show you resheathing your weapon when putting it away or switching to a different weapon. Games that don't show a sheath at all. Where do I stow that longsword? Ouch. 2. Games that don't show a bowstring on your bow. That just annoys the crap out of me. Oh, hey, look ma, I'm propelling arrows with thin air! Will you send me to Jedi school now? 3. Games that don't have a very long view distance. Come on, fog and/or haze are really not THAT common in real life. I really like the new view distance I see in screenshots for Elder Scrolls IV. 4. Games that don't keep dead things dead. If I kill something, I want to know that if I go back later to that same cave it was in, that it won't be up and crawling around again, like nothing ever happened. Stuff like that makes me feel ineffectual as a player and less inclined to keep playing. I understand the supposed importance in some games of respawning an endless supply of monsters for level-up and quest purposes (especially in MMOs), but I'm not making an MMO. Games can get away with it when it's just some random horde of monsters. But when bosses come back to life for no apparent gameworld reason, that's annoying. Besides, it's just cool to go into a cave again after a month and see all these dead monster skeletons, and to know that it was your bad ass that saw to their current disposition. 5. The lack of extra-planetary exploration, even in a medieval fantasy setting. I want to be able to visit mage cities on those moons circling my planet. 6. The lack of developer experimentation with ideas like psionics and inner essence, soul fire, etc. 7. Games that don't let me learn to fight with my body, like a martial artist. This means kicks, punches, flips, kneeing, elbowing, blocking, fall recovery, etc. 8. Games that handle learning languages poorly. I want to be able to learn a new language slowly and have my slow progress be reflected in the amount of translated text or speech that appears or is heard. The rest would look or sound garbled or nonsensical, as you might expect. 9. Games that don't allow you to customize a piece or set of armor or a weapon with your character's name. I would love to see "Meldon's ass-whuppin mace of +3 annihilation" or whatever. For that matter, it would be cool to be able to make a custom set of items marked with your name, and then give them special properties when worn in conjunction. All of this would cost a LOT of money, and/or require completion of special quests, and/or collection of special components, not to mention a high crafting skill. 10. Games that treat armor as one solid unit instead of as a collection of pieces that can degrade individually. I also don't like the concept of generalized damage. If I shoot a monster in the foot, it should limp around unless it's really tough. The same should go for me. I shouldn't be able to take 200 HP of damage in my arm and still be able to use it, when I've only got 250 HP total. I would like to see games keep track of different body regions separately. Implementing stuff like this will make the player feel more effectual and actual. But then again, depending on how it's implemented, the body areas thing could be a pisser and detract from the fun of the game. I'll have to see how it works out when I get there. For now, it seems like a good idea. 11. Games that handle water effects badly.What I would like to see: A water surface should be semi-transparent and allow ripples (and refraction! ooh), and water should include bubbles, light distortion, and possibly even shafts of shifting light. I know that to implement all of these would be a little grandiose, but hey, why not aim high? I'm a water effects nut. 12. Games that have unrealistic flame effects that look obviously like sprites. 13. Games that flash red or some other color across the entire screen when I get hurt so that I can't see a damn thing and couldn't defend myself if my life depended on it. I have stuff to do now. More later as I can. I highly encourage you all to evaluate these critically, as always. ~Ranger Meldon~ M.M. .:
  11. What have been the bad elements of past CRPGs?

    Quote:Original post by Jiia I find myself generalizing my game object components like this all the time. So I really do build models in my game editor in the manner which you're describing. I'm just not sure how it could be realistically tied into the game. Do you find handles? Find handle designs? Or are they all available from the get-go? And what difference does the handle make on the weapon? IRL, it's just a gripping device. But some allow you to slide your hand while other provide extreme friction. Way too much detail for most game combat systems. So your handle just ends up being a cosmetic thingo. Okay, once again I find myself needing to have been more explicit. When I said "creating custom submodels from scratch", I meant that I did not say anything at all about the player doing this creating. Of course we, as developers, would have to make them! That seemed to go without saying. As far as finding handles or handle designs, what would be the appreciable difference between those two possibilities? As far as whether they should be available from the get-go, like I said in that post, "Forging ability should perhaps limit the number of different possible (weapon subpart) designs that a player is capable of attempting(/selecting)." And depending on the nature of the handle, it could be either purely aesthetic or serve some bonus function. A better grip could translate into a higher dexterity bonus (since the added precision of not slipping would add to accuracy) or a higher attack speed (as being able to slide your hand allows you to change attacks more easily). In addition, the handle could have runes carved or etched into it, giving it additional arbitrary magical powers, and it could have magical gems encrusted into it. It could be made of some mythical magic metal that empowers it. In other words, a handle should never be considered "just a handle." Quote:Original post by Jiia It's not an assumption. Check out any game world where billions of weapons and armor exist. You'll find the only people not wearing the "clone-gear" are the people who can't afford it. So you think that by splitting the weapon into several parts, this will stop?I think we're talking about different things here. You're talking about having more weapons that still don't do as much (aren't as cool) as a few well-known weapons. I'm talking about allowing the player to completely design his or her own weapons, without regard to "epic" or "unique" weapons. Certainly, unique weapons might have a stronger benefit in one category than could be found in any custom-made weapon, or a unique weapon might have some special ability that is not available for selection when making a custom weapon. But there would only be certain limited situations where that unique weapon (or armor) would be more valuable than your custom weapon(s). "Clone-gear" is basically a cookie cutter mentality, and I will avoid that at all costs. Players will be able to imbue a certain limited number and magnitude of spells, abilities, and effects into each item they make, and no more than that limit. That way, they can't have a super kill-all weapon that will always work in all situations. Like in real life, it might work most of the time, but sometimes it will be better to use something else. Requiring true versatility from the player is a must. Quote:Original post by Jiia If a monster whacks you in the head, and you recover in 1.4 seconds, then a 10% reduction has you recovering in 1.4 minus 0.14 seconds. Or am I missing something? The only thing you're missing is that I'm trying to say that no games I've seen tell you what a monster's "hit stun" time is. You just have to kind of guess, or figure it out, which can be deadly against some bosses. More information is better than less information. And according to your formula, regardless of how long an enemy's hit is supposed to slow you down, if you have 100% or better hit recovery, then you won't get affected at all. But this doesn't play out. I've had better than 100% hit recovery before, and I would still get stunned, at least slightly. It wasn't noticeable unless I got surrounded by multiple enemies, at which point it became extremely obvious. I felt cheated, or lied to, or something. It made me enjoy the game less, because I felt like I didn't really understand what the numbers were referring to, or at the least, that the game wasn't telling me everything I needed to know. Try explaining to me some time how you think percent chance to find magic items works. It's bizarre and obscurely complex. Quote:Original post by Jiia You don't think different mosters or even different attacks should take longer to recover from?It makes sense that some monsters might hit harder than others, but if so, you'd think the heaviest hitters would be one of the three prime evils, but no. I got hit harder in some cases by individual minions. It made very little sense. I can suspend disbelief if I look at it like maybe Baal's biggest power IS his minions. But it would be nice if the game would at least tell you what a monster's base "stun-duration-on-hitting-you" is. Quote:Original post by Jiia Most games are going to make three stackable 10% effects have a 30% effect. Or at least I hope so.Well, I hope so, too. But then you have cases where the item says "half freeze duration" but that doesn't stack. Two "halfs" equals one-quarter the original freeze duration. There's no apparent consistency, if only because they don't specifically state anywhere whether the effects stack or take effect successively. Quote:Original post by Jiia I'm talking about week-long training here. Because that was what was suggested. That training should always result in the same progression, regardless of how good you get. If you meet a master who believes they can get much better in a week at what they do, I'm not sure why they consider themselves a master. They would most likely be training for years to get any noticeable improvement.I think they would disagree with you. You can't look at things only in terms of per week. I think they would tell you that they notice at least slight improvement every day, no matter how good they get. It's all subjective, but then so is gameplay. Everything's relative. What does master even mean? It means better than almost everyone else. It never means perfect. What makes you think that a person couldn't learn something every week and not still be a master? They're only masterful compared to something else, something lesser. Quote:Original post by Jiia I've yet to play any role playing game where traversing from level 79 to 80 is anywhere near as easy as stumbling from level 1 to 2. That design is there for a reason. It would be less work to do the opposite.I'm not saying I think the transit from 79 to 80 should be anywhere near as easy as from 1 to 2. I know that design is there for a reason. But I'm not talking about the transition time going from 79 to 80 versus 1 to 2. I'm talking about the dramatically lower additional skill benefit yield you receive for your troubles. This is especially true considering how it was obvious that the monsters you were fighting were levelling up too, and yet didn't seem to have the same waning skill benefits at each of their level-ups. This wasn't always the case in Diablo 2, but with many skills it was. You could level up once around level 30, let's say, and get more benefit from that one level-up in terms of skill improvement than you could by leveling up five times between 75 and 80. To me, that's just stupid. If I'm going to take three days (or three weeks) to level up again, I want to receive the same benefit for the new level-up that I did for the previous level-up. It's already taking me twice as long to get to the next level as it did to get to my current level from the previous level, so why should I also get half the benefit when I do finally level-up again? Even if I agree with you for the sake of argument, it still means that the "realistic" way in this case would not be as fun as some other way. That makes it deserving of being scrapped. But I don't think it's a realistic way to begin with. Quote:Original post by Jiia If one attached the potion to a quick key, they could down a batch every time they get a scrape. It would remove a bit of strategic planning. Besides, most people would have no idea how many tea-spoons of health potion it takes to regenerate an arm :)You're missing the point. You could design things the way I'm suggesting and still make the game so that the character cannot drink more than one potion every x number of seconds. And maybe even have a delay while you animate their character model's arm and hand, showing them taking out the potion, uncorking it, taking a drink, and putting the bottle back (if you're worried enough about strategic timing). Problem solved. As far as people determining how much potion would be required to regenerate a limb, they wouldn't need to know. They could just keep drinking until their arm came back. Or didn't come back, depending on the nature of the wound. It would be kind of cool if the game represented a growing expertise concerning drinking from potion bottles. That is, over time, the character learns to conserve potion by drinking more slowly or steadily, and also gets a better idea of how much potion will heal what size of wound. This could be reflected in a potion bottle giving a range of effectiveness in HPs, like 50-75, and over time, that range becomes more precise, saying 72-75. But that's just an idea. ~Ranger Meldon~ M.M. .:
  12. What have been the bad elements of past CRPGs?

    Quote:Original post by MSW My biggest pet pieve is the over reliance on the same cliched Tolkeen/AD&D inspired game setting. Its gotten to the point that I wont even consider playing a RPG game if its got the same old elves, dwarfs, orks, magic, etc. at least the Final Fantasy tries to explore different fantasy settings mixing airships, guns, and such.I like the idea of making a custom, completely original universe, but you have to keep in mind that one of the biggest reasons that Tolkien's Middle Earth is so successful is because it has its basis in a lot of real-world history and historical concepts. Even the division of the races into Elves, Men, Dwarves and Halflings, is merely a covert description of the various facets of human personality and essence. We like the Elves because the higher part of ourselves resonates with their concept of purity, spirituality, and nature conservation. We like the Dwarves for their earthy qualities, like growing thick beards, chugging beer, dominating in a fight despite their short stature, and their gruff, Scottish-sounding voices. In short, these "races" are actually archetypal subdivisions of our own psyches. On the other hand, there is the issue of vampires, werewolves, etc. How do you reinvent these icons of evil and still get the point across that they are, in fact, evil? A vampire is especially potent in our minds as being evil, even if we know nothing more about the person than that they are a vampire. I know of no other word, title, or concept that would serve as a ready replacement. As far as creating a different style of universe, Arcanum did a good job of mixing in technological elements with magic. Quote:Original post by MSW Second, I don't get this drive for "more realisam" in some of the postings here...seems there is a overal lack on creativity and imagination.If you understood the importance of having realism in games, then you might also come to understand why realism is not mutually exclusive with creativity or imagination. Quote:Original post by MSW I mean here we have RPGs where magic users routinely shoot fireballs from thier finger tips and exotic monsters run around attacking people. And instead of haveing fun with such worlds, people are complaining about simplistic reputation systems!?Who says we're not having fun with the concept of magic? And simplistic (i.e. ineptly handled) reputation systems are not all we are complaining about here. This is also hopefully not "empty" complaining we are doing. We are trying to put together a list of areas we feel need improvement. As far as magic itself is concerned, when you cast a fireball in a game, you don't feel it sizzle out from your fingertips or feel the heat wave as it flies forward from your hand. You don't feel whatever it would feel like to be drained of the magical energy it cost you to cast it. So in short, you are really just using the spell like you would any other ranged weapon effect. Such effects cannot be savored, because they are only being visually and auditorily simulated. As such, they are all kind of getting old. Let the gamers have fun with "such worlds" once we have created them. But we, as developers, need to focus more on things such as reputation. Quote:Original post by MSW Come on folks, you have wizards that can teleport and cast invisablly spells. That makes for near perfect "information brokers" whom secretly spy on the player, or other things of intrest...If anything, developers arn't fully exploreing the possabilities with the systems they have.That idea only works if the player is worth spying on. It's utterly ridiculous to think that someone spied on me while I was out slaying the group of diseased dire rats for the little starving village. Nobody cares but me and the village. But often in such games, you could get back to the small impoverished village and they would already know about the fact that you did the deed, as well as knowing about any other heroic deeds you did along the way. It's stupid. Now, I can see where it could be used as an element of distinctive coolness to find out indirectly that some king must have hired an invisible, teleporting agent to watch your progress. ~Ranger Meldon~ M.M. .:
  13. What have been the bad elements of past CRPGs?

    Quote:Original post by Jiia Maybe it would have been easier to write a list of things you do like [wink]Oh, you don't know the half of it! I'm a very picky person. :) But I believe that my strict nitpicking encourages me to foster better game design. Quote:Original post by Jiia Quote:Original post by Ranger Meldon 5) How games that use weight-based carrying limits don't offer any recourse to physically wimpy mages. There needs to be some kind of "magic bag of holding" or something, that only mages (or characters beyond a certain level of magic skill) can make and equip that allows them to carry somewhere near the same amount of stuff a warrior can. I also think a packmule and/or wagon are good ideas too.Later on (#19), you argue that different classes should offer much different gameplay experiences. But here you're saying the opposite; that we should try to make this one skill equal for vastly different character types. No, I'm not saying the opposite. I'm simply referring to something else than you are thinking. Different classes should offer different gameplay experiences, but not at the expense of fun. Having to worry about being encumbered or having to go back to town to sell things every two minutes really sucks. If a result of greater strength is greater carrying capacity, then wimpier characters (like magic users) need to be able to carry as much loot as strong characters, even if not by virtue of their strength. So in other words, they need to have a way that is based in their own "strength": magic. Either an extradimensional storage bag, or a carrying spell, or an expensive spell that teleports individual items back to your stash in town, etc. Quote:Original post by Jiia I believe it already suits the character types, as is. For example, warriors have to carry swords or guns, where mages carry a staff or some paper.It may suit them in terms of sheer realism based on strength considerations alone, but why should that be the only consideration in a magical world? Quote:Original post by Jiia I also doubt most players are going to accept 'magic bag' as the reason. What other choices are there to present, if a designer actually wanted to make his character classes less unique?Why would players be hesitant to accept the concept of a magic bag of holding if they are playing as a magic-using character? The "physics" of magic are not always what we might consider realistic in this world, but in a virtual world where magic is prevalent, it could be the epitome of normality. All that is necessary for magic to be a Law is consistency of implementation. And I'm not suggesting we make character classes that are less unique. I'm suggesting we don't use character classes at all. Quote:Original post by Jiia Quote:Original post by Ranger Meldon 8) How uncustomizable the weapons are in practically every game I've ever played, especially if it's an FPS RPG. I want to be able to forge my own custom sword that has a large chance of looking unique even in an MMORPG setting. This would just be an issue of mixing and matching different weapon subparts, i.e. hafts, handles, blades, blade tips, edges, guards, pommels, runes, effects like glowing or flaming, etc. This would be so extremely cool, and if you coded it right, it wouldn't have to be that much more complex.Customizable weapons sounds great. But it sounds like you're talking about having the player build the model of the weapon. Isn't that taking it a bit far?Yes, if that had been what I meant, it would be taking things a bit far. Having to design models is not most people's idea of fun. But that's not what I meant, as indicated by the part I said about "mixing and matching different weapon subparts." Nowhere in my post do I mention creating custom submodels from scratch (i.e. on a vertex level). Quote:Original post by Jiia Even if you offered a thousand combination possibilities, most players are going to regard the same look as 'cool', and so most players will be weilding the same identical weapon anyways.This is your supposition only. It may have no basis in fact. Personally, I would enjoy making different-looking custom weapons just because I could. Quote:Original post by Jiia I like the idea of building / designing the weapons, but I don't think it should be based on looks or model parts. The whole purpose of a weapon is to kill.I can tell you right now that this is a comment worthy of sparking its own separate debate. I say that the purpose of a weapon is what you make it. In addition to cutting, a dagger can block, cut bread, slice apples, threaten people, cut rope, shave, spread butter, etc. Not to mention that a weapon can just as easily save lives as take them. Quote:Original post by Jiia Only kings and emperors care about how pretty their weapon is.All the more reason to have the ability to custom-design the look of a weapon, so that its owner might feel more like a king or emperor, with the luxury to debate over such things. And I wasn't just talking about how pretty a weapon is, but also how distinctive it is. Quote:Original post by Jiia Perhaps if it was based on metal types and forging ability. It would also be possible to draw the shape of a blade and handle (this would be mostly unreasonable in any MMO type game). The color and look of the weapon, other than it's shape, should be from the metal types. As well as it's weight, damage, and other little details.I do largely agree here. I hadn't touched on this mainly because it seemed to be a matter of details instead of the general idea. But I do like these ideas. I think the metal type should reflect the color of the weapon, and other details should reflect other aspects of the weapon's appearance. Forging ability should perhaps limit the number of different possible designs that a player is capable of attempting. Quote:Original post by Jiia I think all games of any decent length must handle reputation stupidly. What is your suggestion in handling this situation?Now, this one I have answered in a (rather long) previous post. :) Quote:Original post by Jiia Quote:Original post by Ranger Meldon 15) Games (such as Diablo 2) when they give numbers (especially percentages) for an item that don't really tell you any more than you knew to begin with. Example: What does 10% faster hit recovery even mean? 10% faster than what? .. Annoyingly vague.10% faster means you recover in 90% of the time. Makes sense?Of course I understand how percentages work. But 90% of how much time? And why do some monsters slow me down more than others, even though I had the same hit recovery against both? I'm not saying that percentages are bad, etiher. I'm just saying they should have done a better job of making it clear what each ability does, and perhaps also done a better job in making the indexing more intuitive. Quote:Original post by Jiia Whether it's stackable or not isn't really an issue with displaying percentages, as any type of representation would be just as vague.And yes, it does matter whether it stacks or not, because 10% of something compounded three times is going to be more than just 30%. Quote:Original post by Jiia Perhaps a suggestion on how to improve this as well?Just make it more intuitive, partially by revealing more information about what's actually happening, either beforehand in documentation, or during the game. Quote:Original post by Jiia Quote:Original post by Ranger Meldon 16) How in games like Diablo 2, your skills give you less and less additional benefit each time you put a new level into them. After a while, it's almost like, what's the point? Especially since the monsters don't seem to gain skills in such a diminishing fashion.That's just life. If you start practicing with a gun right now, next week, you'll most likely double or tripple your ability. A week after, you will not make the same progress. Eventually you will not learn anything new at all.Not true. You will never meet a Master who does not believe that they could be better at what they do. Only perfect practice makes perfect, and nobody practices perfectly, or they wouldn't actually need to practice in the first place. Yes, you will progress more slowly the longer you practice something, because per unit of time, you're not learning as much. But this doesn't mean, when you reach a certain new level of skill based on having done a certain number of repetitions, that you will have gained half as much benefit (or less) than the last such instant. Having a logarithmic curve describe how much increasingly more experience is required for each new character level AND having each new level grant half the benefit is twice the penalty. It's not realistic, and it doesn't feel right. Why else do you think there aren't many level 80+ characters online in Diablo 2? Because people get tired of playing past a certain level. Because there's no more feeling of progress. And that's just not fun. You can make your game the Diablo 2 way if you want, but I'm not falling into that trap. I'm shooting for much longer term gamer enjoyment. Quote:Original post by Jiia Mastering anything requires devotion and obsession.Agreed. Quote:Monsters are supposed to be tough. Otherwise, everyone would be a hero [wink]Tough is one thing. Not fun past a certain point is another thing entirely. [wink] Quote:Original post by Jiia Quote:Original post by Ranger Meldon 22) When potions get used up in one drink when the player needed far less health etc than what the potion could optimally provide. Each potion bottle should "remember" how much liquid has already been consumed from it. Preferably, bottles should be able to be mixed, such that one partially-filled bottle can "top off" another partially filled bottle of the same type of potion.Again, what are you suggesting? That the player choose 1/3 or 1/2 from a selection menu every time they down one? What if 1/8 is more than they need? I don't see much improvement over just having a hundred tiny bottles.Um, no. I'm suggesting that potion bottles possess an integer descriptor of their remaining healing efficacy, in terms of how many more hit points they can recover. How hard is that? Do it exactly like Dungeon Siege did, if you prefer. If a bottle starts out with 100 HP healing capability, and the player drinks from it once, and only needed 20 HP, don't have the bottle just disappear (what a waste!). Instead have it still contain 80 HP worth of healing. Simple. ~Ranger Meldon~ M.M. .:
  14. What have been the bad elements of past CRPGs?

    Quote:Original post by Daniel Miller Quote: Only the ones that we have made not to be so. ;) There are many games that derive fun from conflicting aspects of reality. I'm not arguing with this, but what does that mean? It means that games are only not based on reality when we make them that way. We can much more easily make a game that IS based on reality. By "easily" I mean conceptually easy, i.e. it is much harder to imagine something that does not exist than something that does. There are many games in which the main points of fun are derived from the aspects of reality built into the game. The fun is derived from these aspects by the ways in which the objectives of the game interact with each other in relation to the parameters of realism. For example, the main point of many games is to stay alive. Other objectives could include fighting monsters or venturing into hostile environments, both of which are contrary to the objective of staying alive. So these objectives conflict with one another, and a priority hierarchy must be established. The fun comes from being able to figure out how to complete as many objectives as possible while violating as few as possible. When viewed from a logic system perspective, we could say that the goal is to make the evaluation of the conditions of the objectives consistent. While it is entirely possible to have a consistent unrealistic system, the mind tends to reject such a system beyond a certain point. We want to motivate players to play our games. Designing games that do not relate sufficiently to the real world creates apathy in the player's mind; they cannot identify with the action taking place. There is no direct association between the player and his or her actions. Therefore, the player is unable to have a feeling of accomplishment from playing. This is because the concept of self is integral to a feeling of accomplishment, and games lacking realism are too far removed from a player's concept of self to evoke feelings of accomplishment or progress. As an aside, I must also mention that realism is sometimes desirable more for instilling addictiveness than fun, because of these elements of accomplishment and progress. Needless to say, addictiveness should coexist with fun. However, if affecting fun is not an issue, the addictive feeling of accomplishment can be just as additionally gratifying as fun. At any rate, for some games, realism may not be as necessary as in other games. For a first-person RPG it is absolutely essential, "so long as it does not interfere with fun." (twitching now with the aneurism I said I would have if I had to say that one more time.) ~Ranger Meldon~ M.M. .: [Edited by - Ranger Meldon on July 11, 2005 2:54:13 PM]
  15. What have been the bad elements of past CRPGs?

    Ok, I've gone about condensing the meat of people's various comments into one post. This is something of an addendum to my original post of 23 things, only these are the summary of everyone else's ideas. I hope no one minds me taking a little paraphrasing license here for the sake of consistency and elaboration. I like how we've been able to come up with almost double the total number of items compared to what I first posted. I know several of you posted some really good ideas that are not included here, but this compilation only covers what we haven't liked in RPGs thus far vs. what we would do about it, and not what we would like to see in general (as removed from what has been done wrong first). I do plan on making a separate thread soon that will cover what we would like to see. I expect it to end up having at least twice as many pages as this thread! :) 1. Spell variety and random spells. Most RPGs or MMORPGs seem to have a lot of spells that do the same exact thing. There should be spells for levitation, moving objects with mind power (telekinesis) etc. And what about having spells that you find randomly that are completely unique? I heard that WoW does a little of that. There is a lack of non-combat orientated spells. Magic usually seems totally geared around either damaging monsters, combat protection, or healing. Sometimes you get a few extras, like 'identify' spells, but combat is what it's all about. Where are the spells to do other useful things like make it rain, or forecast the future? The few examples I can think of are things like Morrowind which had door-opening spells and levitate. (Levitate was really all I ever used.) One of my favourite series of all time, the Quest for Glory games, even gave the combat spells like Flame Dart and Force Bolt non-combat uses (like lighting torches and knocking things over). 2. Concerning quests, I hate having to run across the whole world twenty times. In all reality, when someone goes on a quest, they don't leave from Britain, go to Japan, go back to Britain, go back to Japan, then go to South America somewhere. I don't like running everywhere; why can't there just be more obstacles per unit distance instead of having to travel for miles to come upon a quest? 3. Bad combat systems. Since most CRPGs use combat as the bread-and-butter of their gameplay, it pains me how bad they can be. This seems to summarise a lot of your list. Usual characteristics are: ___A. Bad to non-existent combat AI. ___B. Hack-and-hack-again (not even advanced enough to have slash) no-brainer combat. ___C. Tough guys being tough purely by having increased damage and health, not skill (ties into A. again). 4. Bad role-playing. This should be the core of these games, but most of these games have the same failings: ___A. Linear plot lines ___B. Lack of interaction with the environment and NPCs. If my character is a burly guy with a sledgehammer and is faced with a locked wooden door, there is an obvious solution that is not "find the key"! This goes double if my character is a mage armed with the "armageddon fireball" spell! ___C. Inappropriate NPC reactions. For example, if I'm an armoured knight with a massive broadsword crackling with lightning-based magic, and the NPC is a thug dressed in rags armed with a stick, the NPC is going to have second thoughts before trying to attack me! 5. Lack of variety in combat when using spells or skills; typically it's a numbers game involving the target having a weakness to certain types of elemental damage that may modify a base damage number. Occasionally, ice spells will freeze/numb/slow, or flame will cause some kind of burning, but that's about it. It's nothing more than a glorified melee or ranged weapon that happens to do more damage. Such spells could be replaced functionally (if not visually) by a sword with a high-percent-chance proc. 6. Storyline. Players need to be given more ability and opportunity in-game to develop their character(s). 7. Questing systems. There need to be better motivation techniques to encourage players to pursue quests. This relates to having a better quest log system that includes "where you left off last time", lists unfinished main quests separately from unfinished minor quests, and can search for quests meeting only certain criteria. Quest development should include the character more completely, making NPCs react differently to the character according to reputation and/or fame and permitting creative responses to situations. Quest development should allow the player to be more proactive, determining his or her character's personality with every quest. 8. Interface design. Poor menu design, and combat information access. 9. How games don't weaken an enemy when they are close to death. There needs to be some way that a monster with 5,000,000 HP is at least slightly weaker when it only has 1 HP left. 10. The ubiquitous focus on leveling and powerups as the point of play. Isn't it time we moved the RPG hobby past adolescent power fantasies? Games keep dangling the carrot of character skill/power advancement to keep players artificially interested. Focus on advancement gets in the way. Games have uniformly catered to the 'steady-climb-to-godhood' as the central, game-supported mode of play. 11. Grave, obvious mismatches between story/scripting and gameplay. In scripted sequences, people may get killed from getting their throats slit, yet during gameplay, it's more often than not impossible to kill with a single cut, even if the opponent is unconscious. I can understand that single hit kills are often avoided for gameplay concerns, but when they occur anyway at specific, predetermined points, I really feel cheated. In KotOR, it gets downright ridiculous. Thermal detonators are talked about like they are mini-nukes, capable of obliterating anyone within a sizeable area. But later on, you can have them explode right at your feet for only 15% HP damage. 12. If you're using cut-scenes for explanatory transition, they should not be cooler than your game. An example (not RPG) is Red Alert: You get to see some really cool, somewhat realistic video clips, but actual gameplay is totally different. I would have liked the game better if it didn't have those action clips to remind me of just how limited and unrealistic the game is. 13. A lack of balance between story and gameplay. Integrate the story seemlessly but interruptably and keep the action coming. 14. Games in which I do not have to get close enough to reach my hand out to push buttons, flip switches, etc. 15. The limited gameplay and combat focused around a reverence for antiquated board game RPG rules. Game designers need to come into their own, in terms of creativity. We need to think more outside the PnP "box." 16. Critters shouldn't drop coins or equipment. Where was the dire wolf hiding that +2 longsword? I'll give you a clue: his proctologist hates him. 17. Unclear stat meanings. When I'm given my stats and choices on how to distribute the stats, but unclear information on what they do. If I need to decide whether or not to put some points into Dexterity, I want to know what concrete effects that is going to have, not just "Dexterity represents how dextrous you are." Everquest in the early days was a good example. The instructions and in-game text gave no clues as to what all the stats actually did, so it took a few months of players figuring it out and posting it on the net until people actually could build the characters they wanted. And in EQ, Dexterity ended up mostly being a stat that increased the percentile chance that a magic weapon with an on-hit ability (a "proc") would be set off when you were using it. To me, that has next to nothing to do with the description "how dextrous you are." 18. When I'm given the "choice" of being good or evil, but for some ridiculous reason, all the evil choices amount to just being a dim-witted greedy bully, which is in the end useless since the good characters get almost as much, if not more, XP and GP. Games shouldn't have obvious moral leanings toward benefitting good characters over evil ones, or making evil characters stupid and pointlessly mean. Real evil people who are smart generally discover that it is more selfishly beneficial to help people and to appear good sometimes. Being the DnD equivalent of chaotic evil is a good way to get yourself killed IRL. 19. Save/reload as the main gameplay balance. Saving and reloading should be something that I do when I want to stop playing and then start playing again later. I'm sick of all the new games that expect you to save before every fight and give you no choice but reloading when you die. I'd rather have some kind of respawn/resurrect; I don't care if it's unrealistic... so is my character's ability to reload and mysteriously know everything that's about to happen to him. At the very least, if you're planning on setting up battles that kill the player the first time and make him reload and try again until he figures out the "trick", you'd better autosave me before the battle, because I hate quicksaving every five minutes. 20. Magic is often employed as an arbitrary "rabbit out of the hat" to get the world-builder out of a corner (I don't care if the rules are fantastic, I just want them to be dependable -- or to be told that they're not dependable). 21. Inconsistency of gameworld physics and properties. 22. Having arbitrary limitations or restrictions regarding a certain aspect of the game, such as magic users, wherein a character cannot wear armor heavier than cloth and still cast spells. There should instead be a beneficial reason to wear cloth. Remember when contemplating possible features that "people may say they don't like something, but dislike the effects of its absence even more." ~Ranger Meldon~ M.M. .: The following posters are responsible for contributing the ideas above, and they have my sincerest thanks: Drethron EasyRaider Kaze makeshiftwings Namire Nytehauq sergeant_x Trapper Zoid Wavinator Way Walker wildhalcyon