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Gatt9

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About Gatt9

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  1. Option 1 is perfectly fine with me. Though I understand where ThreeSon is coming from as I have a collection of boxed games, is it possible to allow people to "Opt-in" to waiting so that people like Threeson interested in collecting are able to do so?
  2. Just because they've never been fully implemented doesn't make them a waste of time. Ideally, a pet should mimic their use in a PnP RPG. A Mage's familiar should be able to act as a scout, or the mage should be able to cast spells through it allowing him to sneak attack an unsuspecting group with a crow or cat. He should be able to use it to eavesdrop on a conversation, or send it to trigger an unreachable area, or obtain a hidden or unreachable item. A Ranger's pet should be able to sneak around an enemy and flank them when combat starts, the Ranger should be able to have his pet hide in the shadows or behind some smallish object and sneak attack the enemy. His pet should warn him of impending danger, and perhaps even be able to communicate the type of danger through body language and animal verablizations. His pet should reduce or eliminate his odds of being surprised. His pet should open dialogue paths along the lines of "Oh my, is that...A Wolf?". Pets are many faceted and have enourmous potential in all aspects of an RPG. Just because they've never been done right, doesn't make them a "Waste of time". Honestly, I find it extremely depressing that these last few years of gaming have been so creatively bankrupt that people no longer bother thinking of the many things that could be done with RPG elements and just assume that everything will be Bethesda style streamlined weak design.
  3. The devs -- especially JE Sawyer -- have discussed degenerate gaming at length and on multiple occasions. They do want to make it a design goal to make a game that discourages it. I agree with them. Degenerate gaming is symptomatic of a design flaw. Why? Because degenerate tactics are not fun. They're repetitive, compulsive behavior. It's characterized by Skinner box mechanics: pull a lever and sometimes -- but not always -- a pellet comes out. It's quite easy to design a Skinner box that traps people. Some do it on purpose, in order to squeeze as much money out of you as possible (slot machines, MMO's). Degenerate behavior in cRPG's is accidental and benefits no-one, not the player, not the maker of the game. It's just an accidental trap that captures the player and makes him waste his time stuck in a loop. Therefore, a game should be designed in a way that does not promote degenerate gaming, as far as it's feasible or possible. It may not be possible to completely eliminate it, but it is certainly possible to push it to the margins. I hope the P:E team succeeds in their effort to marginalize it. This is a very problematic arguement. First and foremost, it's not symptomatic of a design flaw. It's a player behavior. People who enjoy degenerate gameplay look for degenerate gameplay (And they will find it, no matter what you do, there'll be a loophole), people who enjoy "Normal" gameplay, don't look for degenerate gameplay. It's a Player Behavior, and attempting to manage the behavior of Players is a major problem. Because Player's can exploit myriad things. Players can exploit experience rewards, they can exploit character creation, they can exploit vendors, etc, etc. At some point, in attempting to manage the behavior of a subset of players in a single player game, you start making sacrifices in the entertainment factor of the game trying to "Design out" any possible loophole. To what gain? What is the end result of doing this? If players enjoy degenerate gameplay, they're not going to find a game that strives to manage their behavior appealing, quite the opposite. The people who don't enjoy degenerate gameplay aren't going to be thrilled that a loophole they never would have seen isn't there. There's no award for the game that best manages the player's behavior, no bonus for it. Sure, in a multiplayer game this is a necessary goal. In a single player game you end up comprimising fun for "Must prevent someone from exploiting in a single player game". There's no positive yield from trying to design behavior management, the focus should be on designing a fun game and if someone chooses to exploit, let them. That's how they have their fun in their single player game. I seriously do not understand this campaign to prevent someone from "Playing the game wrong" when it has no effect on anyone else.
  4. Probably don't have to worry about this one. I don't think any of us want another Hawke. you think wrongly then while you may be right that many people on this board will share this opinion, i for one, and i'm sure i'm not alone on this, think that few things can lift a game up as much as a well voiced main character the mentioned dragon age 2 (at least the female hawke, which i played), aquanox2 and alpha protocol are only some examples that profited massively from well voiced main characters on the contrary, i would say the missing voice acting for the main char in games like dishonored and dragon age 1 is those games greatest flaw on the point that a community can't do good voice acting, go and play this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tlo_5U6fqqw I really don't think I'd use the term "Massively profited" in the same sentence as Dragon Age 2 considering that it was such a huge train wreck it spawned it's own meme, and irreperably tarnished the Bioware name to the point where EA's now pulling the name from studio's. I'm not commenting on voiced protagonists, situationally each has it's merits. I'm just saying that using DA2 as an example is a bad selection.
  5. That is self-insertion, a characteristic of a LARPS, not an RPG where you have a defined character. Everything you've outlined right there is straight out description of LARPS. You don't take on a role of a character in an FPS (Or in a game like Skyrim), the object on the screen is an avatar for the Player. The Player's skill determines success or failure, the Character does not exist. This is once again, self insertion, LARPSing. An RPG has a defined character with his own intrinsic qualties that affect success/failure and his own personality. Within the confines of those personality constraints, the Player may act. Only if what you're after is a Computer LARPS insteaad of a CRPG. If at any point you're describing you, the player, experiencing the world directly you're in LARPS land. For pushing 40 years now, LARPS has not been a component of RPG.
  6. I'd argue that kiting is actually the end result of RT implementations. The AI has to compete with player input, game state checks, some degree of sound/graphics processing* for a slice of each second. Each unit representing it's own AI. AI requires complicated algorithms to achieve good results, complicated algorithms require time and horsepower. So the AI in any RT system is going to end up with deficiencies simply because it's severely resource limited. Tossing some more processors at it helps, but ultimately, you end up bound by the amount of processing that can occur in around 1 second. Which isn't nearly as much as people think it is with AI, since AI generally consists of NP-complete problems. *While GPU's and hardware sound chips handle most of the processing on their own, the CPU still needs to process the triggers for the graphics at the bare minimum and depending on the implementation may process part of the job as well, older GPU's and on-board sound often require CPU resources during processing. So what you are saying is that the computers we have today cannot handle the AI effectively in realtime due to a lack of basic processing power?! If that was the case I really wonder how the fossil computers that ran games like Dune or C&C (or Baldurs gate for that matter) could handle anything then. The laptop I am typing this on has a CPU that at the basic level is something like 100 times stronger than what I originally ran those games on! In many cases when I run RTS games on my desktop they do not even all my system resources. Claiming that AI deficiencies is then down to my CPU not having the power to run those scripts effectively seems a bit strange. http://en.wikipedia....ions_per_second Yes I know MIPS is not an entirely accurate measurement of the power of the computer, but it really does paint an interesting picture of the increase in processor power over the years does it not? The limitation for the AI is in the programming, not in any way related to the actual power of the CPU (it might have been at some point though, like back in the 1990's). Making an AI that can do as complex things as a skilled human being is technically just about impossible. That is the limitation. Personally I do not expect the AI to be great mainly due to it not really being possible to make an AI that can use 100 different abilities or tactics effectively in a multitude of situations. No scripting the events does not count. The limitation for AI is inherent in the architecture not in the programming. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NP-complete Anything you're going to want to do is going to fall prey to this issue in a RT system, because it's going to have to try and handle NP Complete problems in RT, or problems approaching NP Complete. Shortest path is a prime example, it's NP Complete, and it's something any AI is going to need to handle. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shortest_path_problem Further, lets say you have two enemies (A and B) attacking two characters (C and D), you could have AC & BD, BC & AD, ABC & D, ABD & C. 4 possibilties. Lets give you two enemies (A and B) attacking three characters (C, D, and E). You could have AC & BD & E, BC & AD & E, C & BD & AE, AC & D & BE, ..., it's a combinatrics problem. Which means that the number of possiblities just for attacking scales upwards at an extremely rapid pace as number of combatants increase, for just a simple attack. That doesn't even try to put any logic into it like assessing what the best combinantion is, or to try and assess the right time to use a special ability, or any other logic. If you give each enemy a bow and a sword, double the possiblities. Give them a special ability too and you'll triple the possibilities, and that's still without even trying to determine which is the most appropriate. It's not inconceivable to end up with AI potentially having hundreds of combinations it has to evaluate in less than a second, with each of those combinations introducing even more variables that have to be evaluated (Like if it has an AOE special ability and must then evaluate the position of all of it's allies and their likely future positions). All of this is competing with the game handling the math in the background, any processing that must occur, etc, and it all must occur in a tiny enough timeslice such that the end user cannot detect it. This is all simply brutal on a computer, and it's why a RT game tends to lack any significant degree of tactics. That's before we even discuss the processor cycles lost in the background to OS duties, background tasks running in the task bar, etc. It's quite possible to develop incredible AI's that'll stomp humans, but it's not going to run in a few hundred milliseconds. Just processing shortest path is going to eat all of that time (And still not finish), which is why most games don't try. They instead try to move in a direct line to the Player, which yields kiting and snagging on environment.
  7. I'd argue that kiting is actually the end result of RT implementations. The AI has to compete with player input, game state checks, some degree of sound/graphics processing* for a slice of each second. Each unit representing it's own AI. AI requires complicated algorithms to achieve good results, complicated algorithms require time and horsepower. So the AI in any RT system is going to end up with deficiencies simply because it's severely resource limited. Tossing some more processors at it helps, but ultimately, you end up bound by the amount of processing that can occur in around 1 second. Which isn't nearly as much as people think it is with AI, since AI generally consists of NP-complete problems. *While GPU's and hardware sound chips handle most of the processing on their own, the CPU still needs to process the triggers for the graphics at the bare minimum and depending on the implementation may process part of the job as well, older GPU's and on-board sound often require CPU resources during processing.
  8. If you don't mind, I'll get back to you tomorrow morning on that. It's pretty late here and my brain is starting to go all fuzzy. I should probably preface the following with: I'm not saying Mana-based is bad, doesn't work, or that I don't enjoy games that use it. I would say that Yes, modern PnP RPG's do use it, since 5th edition D&D is reinstating it as the default magic system (With alternate rules if House wants a different system). I would also say that the premium editions of 1st edition, 2nd edition, and 3rd edition are selling incredibly well, with 2nd edition reportedly being the most popular so I think we have yet to see if it's Oldtimer or not since there's a strong possibility that it may be a significant portion of the market that's buying them. Vancian has always been a bit of a divisive issue though, even amongst D&D Players. There's pages of debate on the subject on Wizards forum now, and it's been a front page issue since 5th edition was announced. I doubt it's on it's way out, the system has it's merits that alternative systems are unable to introduce. Like the aforementioned Prismatic Sphere, it's only an issue in a Vancian system due to the strategic nature of spell selection, but becomes trivial in alternative systems because they permit unfettered access to all spells a mage knows. It's that layer of strategy that'll insure that Vancian remains relevant indefinitely, as it's something that's lost with alternative systems. Alternative systems, of course, will remain equally relevant because they offer things the Vancian system is unable to offer. That's one of the problems with Mana based systems, it becomes illogical at times just like Vancian. Unbless costs significantly more than Bless for purely mechanical reasons to try to achieve some of the tactical nature of the Vancian system. When you stop to think about it, it's really no more logical than spells disappearing from the mages mind. Why does it require so much more "Energy" to undo a spell than to do it? If I already know how to do the spell, shouldn't I be able to undo it with equal ease? I'm not saying it's bad, I'm just saying that Mana based systems have their faults too. I can't argue with that. The best non-D&D CRPG's I've seen have all used mana based systems, some of them with facets I really wish would be used and expanded on today (The Bard's Tale mage progression system is quite unique and compelling, Ultima had a very interesting component and "verbal" system) I just wish PE would try to handle the issue better. They've identified that Resting is an issue in CRPG's, but instead of trying to fix Resting, they're designing around minimizing it. Which IMO is a very Bethesda approach, system isn't performing significant function, don't try to improve system, remove it. Tomorrow I'll post my thoughts on how Resting could be improved instead of removed, from a magic-system neutral point-of-view, since honestly I believe both have merits and weaknesses.
  9. What does it add to the game? The purpose of the mechanic is to provide the party with time to prepare their strategy for area they're entering. Whether it's a rougue/assassin preparing poison, a Cleric communing with his/her god to prepare spells, or a mage preparing his spells and components. The mechanic is meant to model things that logically take a significant amount of time. The CRPG eliminates most of the reasons for resting, any form of alchemy is a good example, because in a CRPG it happens instantaneously in any place, without any preperation. The CRPG eliminates components, preparing a trap is a split second event, weapons/armor never need maintenance. It's not all that dissimiliar a topic from Bethesda's attitude towards CRPG's. Bethesda recently removed stats because they claim they serve no purpose, except Bethesda fails to note that they serve no purpose because Bethesda removed all of the things that stats do. Sure intelligence does nothing but increase Mana, Bethesda doesn't implement any meaningful dialogue system. Player skill replaces everything Strength and Dexterity are meant to do. Sure, Resting just reloads health/spells. That's because CRPG's fail to implement any of the more complicated mechanics involved in an RPG, so is it a huge surprise that Resting has numerous issues when you've removed everything it's meant to do? As far as Player's viewing it as a minor inconvience goes, that's a touchy subject. Today you have a number of "RPG players" who've never actually played an RPG, they believe that CRPG's are equivalent to RPG's because they've literally no experience with RPG's. It's really becoming a major issue, because the purpose of a CRPG is to simulate as best as possible the experience of playing an RPG, but there's now a number of people who define themselves as "RPG players" without ever having played an RPG, who are arguing that the genre should deviate from simulating an RPG just because they've no experience (On many topics). So I pose a different question: Is it better to remove the partially implemented resting mechanic, or is it better to fully implement the mechanic and all of it's supporting systems that works very well in an RPG? I would argue that what we really need is for the genre to advance, for it to more fully implement the RPG experience, and in doing so, introduce more people to the real possiblities an RPG can encompass. There's honestly a large number of people who think an RPG is a game where you talk to someone, and trite romance plots are it's pinnacle. Head over to the Bioware boards and you'll find more than a few people who'll insist that any game where there's dialogue is an RPG.
  10. You're right of course. My experience in this forum, and every other forum, has been that things fall apart when you have a topic that pits arch-types of Gamers against one another. Console vs PC, LARPSer vs RPGer, 4th edition vs every other edition of D&D, Vancian vs Mana, at that point you have a battle of philosophies which generally does not end well as at that point the posters are no longer trying to discuss a topic so much as validate their preference(s) involved. IMO, and no offense to the mods, but perhaps those kinds of topics should get one stickied moderated thread and kill off any other threads on those kinds of philisophical topics? It's been my experience that approach tends to be effective in managing topics that tend to be both frequent and inflammatory. Perhaps you could investigate what it was that caused people to quit reading your posts? People don't randomly make those kinds of decisions.
  11. Not trying to argue with you, I just feel compelled to state that what you describe is the result of CRPG's only partially implementing the RPG systems. Vancian systems were recognized very early on in AD&D's life to have a key weakness: The Mage's spell limitations could impede design. It was very difficult to implement a frenetic adventure without eventually relegating the Wizard to a sling and boredom. Worse, Random Encounters during resting with a spent mage could end up lopsided if they were balanced for a full party but the Mage & Cleric were out of resources. The solution was the various Rods, Staves, Wands, Scrolls, and a couple jewelry items. Through these, the Mage was permitted to have backup resources to keep him relevant, or be prepared for unexpected situations (Like a knock spell just in case the thief really does suck as much as you thought he did!) CRPG's have never had this. Mainly as a result of being *really* bad about implementing a rest system. A good implementation of a rest system wouldn't permit the party to Rest Spam, but since the early days of CRPG's, no one's ever bothered to maintain even a "Once per 8 hours" limit. Worse, almost no CRPG's implement any sort of time requirement. A Damsel in Distress will remain in distress while you take 4 years to wander the countryside. An impending demonic invasion threatening to overrun the land will never actually happen until you accidently talk to the right person (One of my favorite examples of bad design, Oblivion. The best solution to the main quest is to never talk to a key character, because then not a single demon will invade, and you win) As a result, CRPG's don't put any pressure on the party to move, and just let the party Rest Spam. Because of this broken mechanic throughout the history of CRPG's, the need for accessory items for magic-users/clerics never becomes visible. So what I'm saying is that the CRPG genre has propigated a broken mechanic, which in turn causes the solution to your concern to never become necessary as a component of CRPG's. Few people are ever interested in Wands, Scrolls, etc, because they can just rest on a whim. In fact, in most CRPG's, you pretty much have to actively intend to have your mage fight without spells, because there's really never any reason for him to not have his spells (Even in a mana based system). I believe that if we actually fixed the broken mechanic, Resting, other mechanics would fall back in line as they are in RPG's.
  12. The other side of the coin is that now the designer has to design around the fact that you have access to virtually every spell at any given time without restriction, which makes many challenges redundant at best. A wizard locked door or chest isn't much of a challenge when a caster can spam magic missles one minute, knocks the next, without any tradeoff. Prismatic Wall/Sphere is completely pointless when the mage will always have the right combination to breach it at all times. These situations exist and present challenges only because of the limited resources found in Vancian systems, and become trivial once you remove that limitation. Many of these instances exist. Blind/Poison/Disease/Stun/Sleep/Hold, they're all much less of a challenge if your spell caster(s) can just access the solution at all times without any tradeoffs. Wall of Fire/Ice/Stone become redundant if your caster can always counter. Vancian's purpose is many fold, and there are major tradeoffs and costs to open spell systems. I'm not wholely against it, but to argue that Vancian has no redeeming qualities and that open systems are strictly better isn't correct. Open spell systems have many downsides to them, at least as many as Vancian does if not more.
  13. Overly complex math for the sake of having overly complex math isn't good game design. At most, a check should be a d100 roll with a Character's skill/modifiers added to it compared to a difficulty value. Anything beyond that is excessive, and starting to enter Simulation territory by trying to model unneccessary (In this context) variables. Going beyond that, requiring players to have advanced understanding of probability and math starts limiting your potential sales very rapidly. Once you get out of basic algebra land you're going to start limiting your potential market because you're demanding the Player have taken increasingly advanced math courses and/or sit there and calculate the probability that an 1/8" thick alluminum lockpick used on a lock manufactured from damascus steel would work, versus using the 1/4" alluminum lockpick. This is one of the major reasons why Wargames are a dead genre, because the Player was expected to have intimate knowledge of units and their qualities to the point where it ended up exceeding all but the most die-hard fans. That type of stuff is fine in games aspiring to Simulation, but for something much more high level, a D20/D100 modified roll against a difficulty is plenty, with modifiers being just one number (Read: 3.x edition D&D style)
  14. Wow, someone knows absolutely nothing about game design. I don't care what the exp model is, if the game is built correctly the devs WILL be able to predict your level and general party "strength" at any given point in it. It is in fact REQUiRED they be able to do this to make a balanced fun game. Even most "grind games" eventually simply give you little to no exp for your grinding and force you to move on with the story where, low and behold, you are really only slightly stronger than someone who just did the quests was. In the end your grinding availed you basically nothing. In games where you are required to grind the encounters became too hard too fast and forced the player to repeat content to compensate. That isn't a exp model, that is incompetent and lazy game design based around the idea of padding the players playtime to keep them in game. Only games that basically suck need to do this, or ones where the devs are just incapable of doing their job effectively. Looking at Diablo and Blizzard here. Or well a game made by an Asian company, Asians seem to think grinding is fun for some reason. You don't happen to be Asian do you? Wow, someone knows absolutely nothing about reading. Try reading what I posted, you just reiterated what I already said, while insulting me for saying it. I think he believes Obsidian is making this game on RPG Maker. You both should probably learn something about programming. It's not complicated... If you're going to turn every encounter into an "Objective" that you solve by both combat and non-combat methods, then you have to check game state for the progress of those methods. Stealth and combat are great examples. how do you determine when the solution is reached? By creating a hotspot on the map? Just stealth your way to the hotspot and you win? That doesn't work, what if the player misses stepping on the hotspot? Your only option is to assign the creatures themselves a variable that states whether or not you successfully passed them, and each one will require their own check, and you'll have to continuously check to see if all of them have been passed in order to reward the player. Which becomes *extremely* problematic if 3 passed stealth, 1 fails, and you kill that 1 that failed. Now you have major potential for a defect, because you cannot reward the stealth "Objective" since all 4 didn't pass. Now you also have to track the combat solution, and you must do it in real time. For every single entity involved in one of these convoluted "Objectives" you're asking to be implemented. It's convoluted because that's what Hassat Hunter is proposing, he's trying to morph "Objectives" to be Solution based rewards without actually implementing solution based rewards. It could be less complicated, sure. It's utterly simple at it's lowest level of implementation, but it's drawback is it's inherent linearity. Objective based xp is inherently ultra-linear, as there's no way to ever progress except with the exact path the Dev's have planned with you. Contrast that to the IE games, especailly Baldur's Gate, where there's nothing that forces you to go from A to B, you can progress asynchronously from the expectations of the developers by crawling your way through a higher difficulty area becoming increasingly adept as you progress. Something an Objective based system precludes, because as the difficulty of the area ramps up closer to the goal, you remain static in power. I'm not ignoring the reason why you might want to see this mechanic. I am ignoring Hassat Hunter and Jethro's responses for the most part. There's a reason for that, go back to the pages in the mid-20's and watch as they twist my arguements in an attempt to avoid dealing with the subject at hand, primarily because both of their posts make it apparent their motivation is to manage player behavior, because they consistently fall back to behavior management arguements when their posts are debated. I have neither the time nor inclination to let either of them drag me off topic as they strawman and twist to try and avoid dealing with the actual subject. As far as making it easier to design and balance, I still maintain it does not. Or more accurately, that compeiting systems are just as easily designed and balanced. As I've said, just add up all of the xp for the mainline, that gives you your min. Add the xp for the mainline + sidequests, that gives you your high end. No need to design or balance for those who choose to play by grinding or exploiting, that's their problem, not the designers. From that point, you just look at your min and your high end, tweak the values of critters/quests/xp of your stuff once, and you're done. You can do all of this in the design phase easily, it's the same thing you have to do with Objective based xp.
  15. I disagree. I haven't seen "better" solutions. And while you are so keen to lump every proponent of objective-based-XP into the "want to sour my fun" category, allow me then to lump you into "I-want-it-all ego gamer" category. Balance must be mantained after all. It's what people are posting. All of these defenses of Objective based xp are trying to manage some subset of Player's behavior. "Someone might go back and kill the guards and get extra XP after finishing the quest", "Metagaming", etc, how is this relevant to the topic of the best way to handle xp such that all solutions are viable? They're not. They're trying to force people whom the poster will never ever see to play the game their way. It's completely irrelevant to the topic, and is not a valid reason. You're also welcome to lump me in that catagory if you like, but you *might* want to go back and read my posts first, you'll find I've been arguing for a solution that doesn't "Give me it all". Because that makes it linear. Since there's no way to gain Xp except by doing quests, you can *never* do a level 10 quest without first having done the level 5 quests. You're forced to walk the straight predetermined path without deviation. Plus, it's trivial to predict with high accuracy the Player's level at any given point in each other system. Your low value is the Player who just followed the main quest path, your high value is the Player who followed Main + Sidequests, and anyone who opted to grind outside of that is on their own (If it's even possible to grind). You're implementing a convoluted system now. You've just increased the complexity and potential for defects by an order of magnitude, and quite possible introduced crippling performance issues. Now you have to continuously check the world state to see if some conditions were met, with a number of different conditions that could each be in a different state, each condition tied to an entity, all in the background. Meaning...if you encounter a mercenary group in the field... -You have to check if a diplomacy condition was met -You have to check if a stealth condition was met foreach entity (Your alternative being a highly exploitable hotspot you must reach) -You have to check if a combat condition was met foreach entity -You have to make sure that if 1 entity has a stealth solution and the rest a combat solution the reward isn't triggered until it's unanimous. -Same thing in reverse. This is not at all easy to do, and exceptionally easy to have defects abound. This is *not* that difficult. There are far, far, less complex and defect prone ways to solve the issue of "Non-combat solutions aren't viable" than hacking in all of these exceptions just to get back to what I proposed pages and pages ago with a simple bool and a modifier table in each entities base class.
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