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What is bad about the gameplay ASIDE from people trying to play this like a shooter?


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#41
Oblarg

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As much as everyone here has been denying it, there is legitimacy to the complaint about the duality of player skill and character skill. However, it is not at all specific to AP (in fact, it has plagued most action RPGs to date). Requiring both aiming (player skill) and RNG (character skill) is a tough balance to get right - you risk either losing the feel of the game being an RPG (too much player skill, too little character skill), having the shooting being clunky (too much character skill, too little player skill), or having the shooting being frustratingly hard (too much of both). I think AP (once you get your weapon skills up) came closer to balancing it correctly than most other action RPGs have, but the system still needs a few tweaks.

Edited by Oblarg, 13 June 2010 - 08:38 PM.


#42
MarteenDee

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What's wrong with gameplay being similar to one of the most popular stealth games ever made? Why waste time reinventing the wheel when you can just go with what works gameplay wise and focus on creating what Splinter Cell doesn't have, and what Obsidian does best - crafting intricate characters and a compelling, branching story? That's what I play RPGs for personally, gameplay considerations are secondary.


If I would want to play Splinter Cell - I would play it. And not Alpha Protocol.
What's wrong with gameplay being similar to whatever? Lack of creativity. And creativity is some really rare gem in gaming industry these days. That's why I prefer games being innovative over clones of the same old sh**t.
Game creation is an art, in case you don't know that, and like every art - should evolve and search for different routes of expression... (unless you still want to play Pong as a "only real" action game, or Wastelands as "only real" RPG)

I disagree.
AP is not even close to being a "true" RPG, nor does it aspire to be. A true old school RPG is entirely character based. You point the character at what to attack, and the rest is dice rolls. A shooter is always going to be primarily player skill based. Stats just add a % chance of failure even when you as a player do everything right.


As I said - this reasoning leads to stagnation. If everybody would think like you do we would be still playing text based RPGs.
Giving another example - is "Vampire -The Masquerade" less of an RPG than "AD&D 2nd Edition" just because in former you have dots and accent put on playing your role, instead of numerical stats and dice roll for every action?

You really want to bring realism into this? Leaving aside the fact that AP is as accurate a portrayal of real world espionage as it is of underwater fly fishing, is it realistic that an elite agent starts out being unable to hit the broad side of a barn at 2 feet and 3 months later can insta snipe enemies at 50 yards with a pistol without a second thought?


You should start thinking more out of the box you've put yourself in, Dan. And get out that cave. The truth is out there...

#43
SNIPER231JRC

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This debate is never ending, there are so many players from different genre's and while you may enjoy the RPG aspect many other players will not. Now, I know that this is a RPG game, but many people will not like the same combat system that you do. I could not stand inaccurate weapons at 5 ft away, but I still played the game and bought my gear as I progressed thru my first campaign. Once I got to the rittergrupen tier 2 and tier 3 weapons I loved the game. It wasn't until I started looking thru the game files later on after, that I saw a way around this to suit my gameplay style. I would be willing to bet that 90% of bad reviews for AP are done by FPS players.

Anyway what I found wrong from my playthru's were very minor errors.
-sometimes when you are crouched up against a wall and some guy walks thru the doorway you can't strike. Its not added to many doorways and walls.
-deactivating timers (using the mouse keys is easy, then you press spacebar. However using the mouse to get to a codeblock on the pc is very problematic. I have heard xbox doesn't suffer from this. Many times I would goto click on a code block and the mouse would be on the wrong codeblock cause it doesn't really follow your mouse pointer on the pc version. Maybe its cause I have 3600 DPI mouse, I am not sure. The mouse codeblock movement on pc version is very jumpy.

These will affects your gameplay bigtime
-When your setup for a strike, then the option to hit him in the throat doesn't popup. You have to exit the wall and sprint with melee before he can raise his weapon. You were waiting on him and then no option to use melee. Due to this error if you are not fast enough to respond it can raise an alarm or allow him to shoot giving away your presence to all enemies. The option to attack from certain walls and doors isn't there. Easily overlooked, but it is a flaw of level design that I would like to see fixed.

I do the stealth route and I do the assault route...
Once an alarm is raised I leave the alarm going and I just go into assault mode switching to APSD rounds and removing silencers from my weapons.

I didn't buy AP for RPG as my favorite game series are easily... rainbowsix, rogue spear, ghost recon, splinter cell, project igi, and swat.

what sold me to purchase AP was... Multiple endings and career paths (That is why I bought it) replayability.

When I think of AP, I compare it to Hellgate London since you have to acquire money and build up your weapons slowly overtime.

Gameplay - I only had 3 complaints when I first had this game
(Combat * fixed now, Unable to melee on some areas, and jumpy responses to mousing over code blocks)
Story and multiple paths - I love this part of the game so much.

The only thing I really see that I notice alot more now is melee strikes with a knife. They appear to be off - as the body is falling mike is digging his knife out of the side of the guys throat. when the 3d model of your dead tango has almost hit the floor.
Another easy one to overlook though. Other modders have fixed the crouch and movement speed for animations I just hope that obsidian fixes the knife kills animation.

This is just my point of view as an FPS player and the only things that I find really affect my gameplay experience. I don't really see or can think of anythingelse at all that is wrong with this game.

#44
Thorton_AP

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What I DON'T want however, is a gameplay system that requires a high degree of player input and micromanagement (in AP you literally control a character's every move) but then has a random stat based chance of failure even if the player does everything right


If you miss at point blank range when shooting in AP, then you didn't do everything right.

#45
Amentep

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All computer based games are going to involve targeting of some kind (otherwise you could swing a sword in front of you and hit the guy behind you). I don't see why that's an issue with AP in relation to its calculation of hits.

What I've found - and I'm doing stealth/martial artist with pistols in a pinch at the moment - is that the pistol tends to work best in certain conditions. Its harder to shoot the guy across the warehouse with than if you're a few feet away.

(There's also an assumption that people can't miss at point blank range when, as far as I know, they can).

#46
Hassat Hunter

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-deactivating timers (using the mouse keys is easy, then you press spacebar. However using the mouse to get to a codeblock on the pc is very problematic. I have heard xbox doesn't suffer from this. Many times I would goto click on a code block and the mouse would be on the wrong codeblock cause it doesn't really follow your mouse pointer on the pc version. Maybe its cause I have 3600 DPI mouse, I am not sure. The mouse codeblock movement on pc version is very jumpy.

Mouse keys? Typo?
Anyway, as soon as you realise your mouse cursor and the block aren't moving in sync, and you just IGNORE THE MOUSECURSOR you will probably notice, like me, that the mouseblock is *much* easier to lock into place than the slow annoying keyboard section.

#47
dan107

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Pressing a magic button that allows you to run completely invisible in a bright room full of enemies is cheap gameplay.

Baldur's Gate 2 got an "Improved Invisibility" spell.
Is that game cheap too?


No, because a) magic exists in the world of BG so it makes sense and b) combat in BG is so abstracted that it doesn't really matter. BG's engine does not allow you to hide and sneak around enemies' line of sight. AP's does.

I understand that you might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but stay with me here.

Do you insult everyone who disagrees with you?


No, only the douchebags that completely discount what I said and imply that I'm a whiner. I don't appreciate being quoted like this:

I want a stealth game "Wääääääääääh"


Alpha Protocol gives you plenty of feedback about your character's inaccuracy, what with the large but shrinking target reticle. Even in celebrated pure shooters like Counter-Strike there is an inaccuracy effect if you don't take care when aiming or if you are using an inaccurate weapon, so don't act like the presence of initial poor accuracy (represented by a large targeting reticle) followed by improvement in accuracy (represented by that reticle shrinking as you aim) is the mark of poor shooter gameplay.


The difference between the inaccuracy effect in CS and AP is night and day. I don't have a problem with a slight inaccuracy effect at a distance, my problem is with playing an elite agent who can't hit a target with an assault rifle at point plank range.

Just one question, when you aim with the pistol, do you wait for the red points to show until they converge in a single red cross hair?...


Of course. When I have time to aim it's not an issue. It's when enemies come charging towards you in the bigger fights and you have to take them down quickly but can't hit them at point blank range with an assault rifle is when it gets annoying.

Sorry, but to clearly state that the gameplay is mediocre, doesn't help you since various members of this forum can "manage" to go through...


I can "manage" to go through it as well, but I think that it's good game design when you have to "manage" getting through the gameplay. It should be enjoyable. Have you played Thief 1&2? That's an example of good infiltration/sneaking gameplay.

About stealth.

Well, I do agree that there should have been more alternative routs, designed for stealth approach around levels. There were a lot of them in Saudi, but after that not so much. But, no one is forcing you to use invisibility. Sure, its easier, but you don't have to.


The levels are not designed to allow for realistic stealth for the most part. Evasion is a cheap as invisibility, and there are spots in almost every level that you cannot sneak past without evasion or invisibility.

#48
dan107

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Just out of curiosity, did you like Fallout 3, Oblivion, or Mass Effect 1?

All three had similar issues, yet none of them seemed to get trashed in the reviews because of it.


Didn't play Fallout or Oblivion. ME1 had that issue as well, but you could pause the game to aim at close range to mitigate it somewhat. Having said that I agree that AP got a raw deal in the reviews. In spite of its problems it's still a very good game. Even the gameplay isn't horrible, it's just not good IMO.

Ahhh, I overlooked that post.

Well, I give up. Don't even try answer to him. He's arrogant enough thinking he knows exactly what an rpg is and brings completly flawed statements.


If you've got something to say to me you should address it to me directly, not talk about me in 3rd person like the little weasel you seem to be.

I especially like:

equires a high degree of player input and micromanagement (in AP you literally control a character's every move) but then has a random stat based chance of failure even if the player does everything right.

First of all, every rpg requires that. Which attack, which skill to choose, which formation etc.etc. But hey, you have your opinion. I'm tired to argue with something like that.


Are you really unable to grasp the difference between selecting an enemy and ordering a character to attack vs. manually controlling a character's aim and dodging? It's not black and white, there's a wide spectrum here, and AP and BG are pretty far apart on it.

As far as what a true RPG is, I only went there because you did. Honestly it's completely irrelevant what an RPG is and if AP is truly one. It's just a pointless label.

Wouldn't you say that saying that (properly horrible way to start a sentence :lol:) categorizing some RPGs as "true" and "untrue" is pretty much deciding what an RPG is on your own?


That was actually more of an answer to him and more sarcastically spoken. I should have used "" to specify this. Sorry. ;)


Really? So this was sarcasm and not an attempt to define an RPG?

Also, a true rpg doesn't have to be turnbased and is not only character based.

First of all, every rpg requires that. Which attack, which skill to choose, which formation etc.etc.


I bow before your wit, sir.

Edited by dan107, 14 June 2010 - 08:41 AM.


#49
Amentep

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The levels are not designed to allow for realistic stealth for the most part. Evasion is a cheap as invisibility, and there are spots in almost every level that you cannot sneak past without evasion or invisibility.


I will say that at least for me I found the level design while fairly straightforward to also mostly allow for stealth at least until you got to a point in which stealth wasn't really possible anymore (like walking into a wide open area with loads of enemy - they the only way to stealth would be to use the fantastical stealth skills).

I've been playing as mostly stealth/martial arts, but I've found several instances where I've had to resort to gunfighting.

I suppose if you were looking to being totally stealthy those areas that have those wide open spaces would be a bit off-putting given the lack of alternate paths.

I guess I don't have a problem with it because I never expected to be able to stealth every level, but I can see where that kind of choice might bug others.

Edited by Amentep, 14 June 2010 - 09:16 AM.


#50
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No, because a) magic exists in the world of BG so it makes sense and b) combat in BG is so abstracted that it doesn't really matter. BG's engine does not allow you to hide and sneak around enemies' line of sight. AP's does.

It isn't magic. It's a skill. Like Chain Shot (which is impossible to do IRL).
While I don't recall BG's specific "Hide in Shadows" routine (never bothered too much with rogues and stuff) I am pretty sure it was indeed still possible. One common tactic heard about fighting Basilisks in BG1 was parking a rogue to see them (in their FoV), then attack then with AoE spells from beyond their LoS.
Also, KOTOR completely allows one to become invisible, and that's without the use of the "Force" (read: Magic). Guess that's a horrible RPG too, even if combat is completely stat-based?

#51
Amentep

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For the IE games, "Hide in Shadows" became a total abstraction of what the intent was in the P&P version. In the P&P game you actually needed shadows, for example, to hide in. Not standing in the middle of Kuldahar. At noon.

In some respect, what we see in AP is an abstraction as well in terms of all aspects of the game. I guess the question is whether the abstraction works for the player - which in Dan's case it doesn't.

Edited by Amentep, 14 June 2010 - 11:22 AM.


#52
C2B

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Well "A wizard did it" itsn't really far from "SCIENCE" (Commenting on the magic remark)

Just because something can be explained with an element from a contunity doesn't mean that it always makes sense in said contuinty. See Hassans post about Kotor II

All the weasels gonna say.

Edited by C2B, 14 June 2010 - 11:23 AM.


#53
Amentep

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Well "A wizard did it" itsn't really far from "SCIENCE" (Commenting on the magic remark)


Clarke's Law! :lol:

I actually don't think this would be an issue (and for me its not an issue) if there was something in Thorton's suit that allowed the camouflage skill to work.

I think though - and its a fair complaint - a guy suddenly being invisible based on his own skills just because he's skilled could be seen as a bit much. This is where I think you can only really counter by saying that the game was designed so that each path could be seen as valid. Just as run-and-gunners would be upset if the game was a corridor crawl full of sneaking, the stealthers would be upset if there was no way to get past melee points. An "invisibility" skill allows the stealther to keep the game moving within their game style. And if, understanding this, the player still feels it "breaks" the game, well that's all there is at that point.

#54
C2B

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Well "A wizard did it" itsn't really far from "SCIENCE" (Commenting on the magic remark)


Clarke's Law! :lol:

I actually don't think this would be an issue (and for me its not an issue) if there was something in Thorton's suit that allowed the camouflage skill to work.

I think though - and its a fair complaint - a guy suddenly being invisible based on his own skills just because he's skilled could be seen as a bit much. This is where I think you can only really counter by saying that the game was designed so that each path could be seen as valid. Just as run-and-gunners would be upset if the game was a corridor crawl full of sneaking, the stealthers would be upset if there was no way to get past melee points. An "invisibility" skill allows the stealther to keep the game moving within their game style. And if, understanding this, the player still feels it "breaks" the game, well that's all there is at that point.


Well, yes. I kinda just argumented with his remark that skills in other rpgs like bg become suddenly all valid and logical. Even the forgotten realms aren't that well written.
I kinda agree that they could have combined it with a gadget though. But I don't see it much of a biggie.

I'm a super spy and shadow operative is kinda greatly inspired by Jason Bourne. Some things he pulls of in the movies aren't that different or any more believable.

''^^

Edited by C2B, 14 June 2010 - 11:54 AM.


#55
Amentep

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Bond is clearly sci-fi as well so a lot of the super-tech fits that style of movie spy.

I guess the problem with defining stealth in AP with a gadget would be that it would put stealth in the realm of gadgets and not the stealth skill (which would probably unbalance the skills). I think it was a deliberate design choice and I for one understand it.

Edited by Amentep, 14 June 2010 - 11:56 AM.


#56
dan107

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The levels are not designed to allow for realistic stealth for the most part. Evasion is a cheap as invisibility, and there are spots in almost every level that you cannot sneak past without evasion or invisibility.


I will say that at least for me I found the level design while fairly straightforward to also mostly allow for stealth at least until you got to a point in which stealth wasn't really possible anymore (like walking into a wide open area with loads of enemy - they the only way to stealth would be to use the fantastical stealth skills).


That's actually another element of bad design IMO. Time and time again I would try to stealth through a level only to have a firefight forced upon me. Not because I got caught, but because the game decided to do so. That made me feel like all my time and effort sneaking was wasted. What's the point of sneaking around in the first place if you're still gonna have to shoot everything that moves at some point?

It isn't magic. It's a skill. Like Chain Shot (which is impossible to do IRL).
While I don't recall BG's specific "Hide in Shadows" routine (never bothered too much with rogues and stuff) I am pretty sure it was indeed still possible. One common tactic heard about fighting Basilisks in BG1 was parking a rogue to see them (in their FoV), then attack then with AoE spells from beyond their LoS.
Also, KOTOR completely allows one to become invisible, and that's without the use of the "Force" (read: Magic). Guess that's a horrible RPG too, even if combat is completely stat-based?


Let's not go to extremes here. KOTOR is not a horrible RPG, and neither is AP IMO. I keep repeating that overall I think that AP is a very good game, I'm just criticising several specific design decisions that keep it from being a great one.

However, there is a big difference between AP and KOTOR. In KOTOR, just like in BG, combat is very abstracted. You select an enemy and an ability, and the rest is dice rolls. The engine is not built for sneaking or line of sight considerations, therefore you necessarily have to abstract stealth as well. In AP, however, the engine is built to accomodate a much more elegant stealth system, however the level design simply falls short.

Having said that, I've always thought that using D&D on the computer was more about making a game that will feel comfortable and familiar to a large audience rather than trying to design the best possible game. D&D gameplay is good for pen and paper, but quite frankly it's crap compared to gameplay systems that the PC is capable of supporting. Comfortable and familiar though they may be, stats are a relic of a more primitive time. BG and KOTOR were great in spite of D&D, not because of it.

Well "A wizard did it" itsn't really far from "SCIENCE" (Commenting on the magic remark)

Just because something can be explained with an element from a contunity doesn't mean that it always makes sense in said contuinty. See Hassans post about Kotor II


Well if it's explained properly, it ought to make sense. If it's just crowbarred in, however, that would also be bad design.

All the weasels gonna say.


Maybe the weasel comment was a bit harsh. I was just pissed off at how disrespectfully you quoted me in the beginning.

This is where I think you can only really counter by saying that the game was designed so that each path could be seen as valid. Just as run-and-gunners would be upset if the game was a corridor crawl full of sneaking, the stealthers would be upset if there was no way to get past melee points. An "invisibility" skill allows the stealther to keep the game moving within their game style. And if, understanding this, the player still feels it "breaks" the game, well that's all there is at that point.


Another limitation of stat based design. If Thorton was made by default to be good at both combat and sneaking (like a superspy really ought to be) then you could have levels that focused on combat and ones that focused on sneaking, without trying to accomodate both and as a result being good at neither.

#57
dan107

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If I would want to play Splinter Cell - I would play it. And not Alpha Protocol.
What's wrong with gameplay being similar to whatever? Lack of creativity. And creativity is some really rare gem in gaming industry these days. That's why I prefer games being innovative over clones of the same old sh**t.
Game creation is an art, in case you don't know that, and like every art - should evolve and search for different routes of expression... (unless you still want to play Pong as a "only real" action game, or Wastelands as "only real" RPG)


I suppose the people that ride bycicles instead of building their own contraptions do so because they lack creativity? Look creativity is good, but you can't reinvent the wheel every single time. You have to pick and chose where to be creative, and a game developer should play to its strenghts. Obsidian's strongpoint is story and characters, not game system design. So instead of mucking about trying to build game systems from scratch, it makes a lot more sense to just go with ones that are known to work, and focus the creativity on the narrative. Just because something is original does not mean that it will be good. Especially if the company lacks experience in that area.

You should start thinking more out of the box you've put yourself in, Dan. And get out that cave. The truth is out there...


It sure is my man. And it will blow your mind. :p

Edited by dan107, 14 June 2010 - 01:31 PM.


#58
Grand_Commander13

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The difference between the inaccuracy effect in CS and AP is night and day. I don't have a problem with a slight inaccuracy effect at a distance, my problem is with playing an elite agent who can't hit a target with an assault rifle at point plank range.

Alpha Protocol's accuracy is probably closer to reality than Counter-Strike's... Counter-Strike gives you single-shot accuracy almost like what you'd get if you bolted the gun down to a table, except it's in a combat situation.

I suppose the people that ride bycicles instead of building their own contraptions do so because they lack creativity?

That analogy fails on multiple levels. You buy bikes and games for different reasons, and the design goals when making them are very different. Bikes are not a creative outlet, games are. Buying a bike rather than building your own is more like leasing a game engine instead of programming your own, not like copying a game's gameplay rather than making your own.

#59
Amentep

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The levels are not designed to allow for realistic stealth for the most part. Evasion is a cheap as invisibility, and there are spots in almost every level that you cannot sneak past without evasion or invisibility.


I will say that at least for me I found the level design while fairly straightforward to also mostly allow for stealth at least until you got to a point in which stealth wasn't really possible anymore (like walking into a wide open area with loads of enemy - they the only way to stealth would be to use the fantastical stealth skills).


That's actually another element of bad design IMO. Time and time again I would try to stealth through a level only to have a firefight forced upon me. Not because I got caught, but because the game decided to do so. That made me feel like all my time and effort sneaking was wasted. What's the point of sneaking around in the first place if you're still gonna have to shoot everything that moves at some point?


I guess I see it a bit differently in that I see it as outside elements forcing my hand. I understand where you're coming from, just ultimately have accepted that the game has these moments where stuff outside of my control happens.

This is where I think you can only really counter by saying that the game was designed so that each path could be seen as valid. Just as run-and-gunners would be upset if the game was a corridor crawl full of sneaking, the stealthers would be upset if there was no way to get past melee points. An "invisibility" skill allows the stealther to keep the game moving within their game style. And if, understanding this, the player still feels it "breaks" the game, well that's all there is at that point.


Another limitation of stat based design. If Thorton was made by default to be good at both combat and sneaking (like a superspy really ought to be) then you could have levels that focused on combat and ones that focused on sneaking, without trying to accomodate both and as a result being good at neither.


If he was good at both, though, it'd nullify the players choice in how they wanted to define Thorton, which is what I think they're going for.

#60
felix88

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I will just come out and say it's your fault if you can't hit target at point blank range.




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