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Belongs to the 90s: that depends heavily on the implementation of the TB combat. Deadfire's implementation isn't native so it's normal that it doesn't address all quirks. For example the fights have too many combatants in TB mode which makes them take forever.

But Turn Based combat is the original way to play all major Pen & Paper Role Playing Games out there (on which cRPGs are based on). So if you "convert" a known Pen & Paper experience to a computer game it's the most natural thing to implement TB there, too. If you don't do it you have to change the ruleset (e.g. the attack speed mechanics).

For players who also played Pen & Paper RPGs TB mode should be the most convenient way to play a cRPG. Because they know it. People who started with Infinity Engine games will feel that RTwP is the most convenient way to play. It's  about familiarisation and what you're used to. 

RTwP leads to faster combat of course - especially if you let AI handle things - which is great if you have a lot of enemies and/or party members.  But it also tends to be a lot more messy and obscure. That's the reason why Obsidian had to implement stuff like visual effects transparency on pause and take away a party member: it became too messy (higher difficulties with more enemies). One of the core complaints about PoE was how messy the combat was.

Why was it messier than the infinity engine games? That has to do with another complaint that many (non-D&D-grog) players had with them: fighters, rogues etc. can't do much besides auto-attacking while casters get all the cool stuff. So in later cRPGs and also PoE those "mundane" classes got more active abilities. But having to execute more abilities in RtWP makes it more messy. You will pause a lot more and you'll also have a lot more vfx during fights.

The more active abilites you have to trigger as a player and the more you have to pause the more the game gravitates to TB mode. You'll have dedicated phases for taking action and move and the following vfx fireworks which won't interfere with the movement and action taking of another character. 

Add some action points or something and you'll also have a more tactical approach vs. the more action-oriented one RTwP gives you. 

With a good AI you can help RTwP to regain footing: less pausing is needed, you loose less time and the combat feels more fluid again. But the AI has to be good so that the player doesn't feel the need to constantly correct its decisions.

I personally prefer Deadfire with RTwP (without AI since it can't compete with my decision-making at all even if the scripting feature is awesome) but I can hardly see why TB combat in general should be inferior. Would Deadfire have come with TB mode as native implementation (and taylored encounter design etc.) I'm sure I would have used that. Because I would have learned to play the game that way right from the start.

Here's an example of RTwP vs. TB from the same developer (Subset Games): "Faster than Light" uses RTwP while its successor "Into the Breach" has TB mechanics. It doesn't feel absurd nor like something from the 90s at all. It's just a game that works best with TB mechanics.

Imagine "Battle Brothers" with its 12+ party members as RTwP game instead of TB. What a wild mess that would be. It wouldn't work.

After all it boils down to personal preference. I guess if you like Action RPG mechanics in general you also don't have much problems with RTwP. If Diablo and stuff is too hectical for you I assume you'd like TB better. Just a random thought though...

Deadfirewas build as a RTwP game. That it works ok with TB mode is a sign how robust TB mechanics generally are (or can be due to the rigid slices into which combat gets divided). RTwP can be fun but it's definitely not as robust. A few changes here and there (more abilities, more vfx and more combatants) can make it unpleasant to play - it becomes more chaotic. You have to fine-tune it a lot more then. So any addition to the combat can mean you'd have to tune the RTwP mechanics again. I presume that is difficult and resource-hungry and that may be a reason why developers prefer to implement TB over RTwP (partly answering the question "why oh why?"). I can only speak from my own experience as a software engineer though. I haven't implemented RTwP not TB combat - but I have experience with real time vs. sheduled systems or asynchronous vs . synchronized systems and the first ones aren't nearly as robust - way more prone to errors. 

Also - and this might be the biggest motivation to push TB in many different games: it plays a lot easier on consoles. RTwP is not nice when played with a traditional console setup (TV + controller on a couch).

Edited by Boeroer
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12 hours ago, Boeroer said:

but I can hardly see why TB combat in general should be inferior.

RTwP (and without it) is way more immersive. It's an actual battle. It's the legendary showdown in which the dragon thrashed, wailed and fell. TB is transmogrified Chess. By no means do I refute your arguments for why people might prefer TB. I agree with them, but this is what heavily tips the scales for me.

It's also why I wished for (with little hope of it coming true) battle replays back in Pillars 1. Note that this video is not me hiding the UI and letting the AI play, by the way. I had autopause for completed actions, at which point I turned the UI on, gave an order and turned it off. It wasn't fun to edit that video, and you can see I got a bit lazy in the end 😛

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4 hours ago, omgFIREBALLS said:

RTwP (and without it) is way more immersive. It's an actual battle. It's the legendary showdown in which the dragon thrashed, wailed and fell. TB is transmogrified Chess. By no means do I refute your arguments for why people might prefer TB. I agree with them, but this is what heavily tips the scales for me.

It's also why I wished for (with little hope of it coming true) battle replays back in Pillars 1. Note that this video is not me hiding the UI and letting the AI play, by the way. I had autopause for completed actions, at which point I turned the UI on, gave an order and turned it off. It wasn't fun to edit that video, and you can see I got a bit lazy in the end 😛

Wayyyy more immersive and I completely understand what you mean when you say it's an actual battle. For instance, with RTwP the typical combat experience my party may run into could be relatively short depending on how well I'm playing it, but when an epic battle pops off it feels very natural. The first time I took on the Kraken in POE 2, it took, idk, at least 10 minutes to beat him and I was soooo excited and happy once I did. The feeling I get after an epic battle with RTwP reminds me of how I feel when I beat a boss in Dark Souls - like I want to jump up (and a lot of times I do) in enthusiasm and excitement. I don't like how turn-based makes things artificially long and drawn out and by the time I'm done with a turn based battle, I might get some excitement, but overall I'm just relieved it's over with so that I no longer have to wait in suspense to see if the enemy is going to pull some crap that screws me over and makes me have to redo everything while I have no control of my forces. I like having that consistent control over my party and I believe that RTwP is better perhaps for people who want to be more aggressive in combat. It seems like turn based, with it's forced pauses between your instances of control, degrades the utility of aggression and quick thinking in many of its capacities. Some of my favorite games outside of cRPGs are games like Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Nioh so it's probably a given that I prefer the utility of aggression and quick thinking.

Plus, I'm not a patient person and sitting around waiting for my turn feels quite redundant.

Anyways, so far I've gotten Spellforce 3 (it's supposedly longer than Soul Harvest so I'm starting with this one first) and Tower of Time.

Edited by Jill7894
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12 hours ago, omgFIREBALLS said:

RTwP (and without it) is way more immersive. It's an actual battle. It's the legendary showdown in which the dragon thrashed, wailed and fell. TB is transmogrified Chess. By no means do I refute your arguments for why people might prefer TB. I agree with them, but this is what heavily tips the scales for me.

I think you hit the nail on the head with it there.

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I strongly agree. I did try D:OS2 and even Bard's Tale IV, and the turn-based combat simply isn't immersive. I know that RTwP also has strict mechanics running in the background, but at least it gives a proper impression/illusion of things in free flow. In TB, the combatants simply stand around most of the time, giving the impression of transmogrified Chess (nicely put!). I know perfectly well which one's more suited for me.

This is probably a question of temperament -- some people prefer one, others the other. I think it's good that both are there, but I'll always pick RTwP.

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On 12/29/2019 at 10:39 AM, omgFIREBALLS said:

 

What I wonder is, why didn't Obsidian introduce WeGo gameplay, like in Combat Mission. It would be ridiculously easy to implement and to me it seems to be the best of both worlds. There will be turns where the game would be automatically paused, say, each 4 seconds and the player will have to give order to his units. Then the player unpauses the game and the action unfolds simultaneously in real time, but there is no way for the player to pause again (or give orders) until the next turn after 4 seconds. So the player will be forced to think carefully and calculate what he wants to achieve instead of hitting the space button each half-second, which is tiring in itself.

Maybe a better system for queuing of commands will be needed though.

Edited by wih
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1 hour ago, xzar_monty said:

How is that the best of both worlds? To me that sounds the opposite, the worst of both worlds. Automatic pause is not a good idea: I want the game to pause when I say, and not be unpausable at any time.

Because you'll have to think ahead. Not have the superpower of reacting immediately to everything. The player already is able to see everything, thanks to his elevated point of view. But of course, this is also a question of taste and I didn't mean for it to be the default game mode, just an option.

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Ok, I see what you mean but do not agree -- at least in the sense that I would like to play the game like that (no problem in this for either of us, I'm sure). I would argue that you'll have to think ahead anyway, even in RTwP, because while you can in a sense react immediately to everything, often this cannot actually happen because there are action speeds, cooldown times, all that. But yeah, that's one of way of doing it, sure, just not the one for me.

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17 hours ago, Jill7894 said:

Wayyyy more immersive and I completely understand what you mean when you say it's an actual battle. For instance, with RTwP the typical combat experience my party may run into could be relatively short depending on how well I'm playing it, but when an epic battle pops off it feels very natural. The first time I took on the Kraken in POE 2, it took, idk, at least 10 minutes to beat him and I was soooo excited and happy once I did. The feeling I get after an epic battle with RTwP reminds me of how I feel when I beat a boss in Dark Souls - like I want to jump up (and a lot of times I do) in enthusiasm and excitement. I don't like how turn-based makes things artificially long and drawn out and by the time I'm done with a turn based battle, I might get some excitement, but overall I'm just relieved it's over with so that I no longer have to wait in suspense to see if the enemy is going to pull some crap that screws me over and makes me have to redo everything while I have no control of my forces. I like having that consistent control over my party and I believe that RTwP is better perhaps for people who want to be more aggressive in combat. It seems like turn based, with it's forced pauses between your instances of control, degrades the utility of aggression and quick thinking in many of its capacities. Some of my favorite games outside of cRPGs are games like Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Nioh so it's probably a given that I prefer the utility of aggression and quick thinking.

Plus, I'm not a patient person and sitting around waiting for my turn feels quite redundant.

Anyways, so far I've gotten Spellforce 3 (it's supposedly longer than Soul Harvest so I'm starting with this one first) and Tower of Time.

Exactly! In a battle things are supposed to be chaotic and confusing, and outcomes should be sub-optimal. When TB fans say that TB allows them to plan out every move and every action get everything exactly right, to me that is both mind-numbingly boring and completely immersion-breaking, and I cannot at all understand why someone would want their battles to happen that way. I want things to be a mess and to go all wrong and for crazy things to happen in my battles. That's the only way battles in RPGs are even tolerable.

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2 minutes ago, xzar_monty said:

Ok, I see what you mean but do not agree -- at least in the sense that I would like to play the game like that (no problem in this for either of us, I'm sure). I would argue that you'll have to think ahead anyway, even in RTwP, because while you can in a sense react immediately to everything, often this cannot actually happen because there are action speeds, cooldown times, all that. But yeah, that's one of way of doing it, sure, just not the one for me.

I realise that I didn't really explain why I think WeGo would be the best of both worlds. Sorry for that and let me fix it.

It is my thinking that many people prefer turn based gameplay, because it is more comfortable, gives precise control and is just more orderly. There is no way to accidentally miss the moment to give orders to one of your units. In RTwP there is this problem: you have three characters and you give them commands. Then you unpause. Your characters won't finish their orders at the same time. One of them will be finished after 2 seconds, the second one - after 3 seconds and the third one: after 5 seconds. So you have to pause the game at different intervals, sometimes forgetting to give orders to somebody. Pause-unpause, pause-unpause and so on. This is tiring and it is not an orderly way to control your units. And you don't have much opportunities to watch and enjoy your units while they are moving and fighing for any prolonged period. Rather, the game is mostly paused while you "play". So the point of the realtime action and all the dynamic effects is somewhat lost.

Now, with WeGo system, you have the opportunity to plan your actions for as long as you want in the commands phase and after that you have the opportunity to watch the action without having to worry that you aren't giving orders to somebody. Combat Mission has the option to rewind and rewatch the action phase for as many times as you want before proceeding with the next phase. Many players greatly enjoy watching the action phase many times and from different angles. Which, by the way, helps the player to understand exactly what happened; and to understand the game mechanics.

 

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7 hours ago, wih said:

What I wonder is, why didn't Obsidian introduce WeGo gameplay, like in Combat Mission. It would be ridiculously easy to implement and to me it seems to be the best of both worlds. There will be turns where the game would be automatically paused, say, each 4 seconds and the player will have to give order to his units. Then the player unpauses the game and the action unfolds simultaneously in real time, but there is no way for the player to pause again (or give orders) until the next turn after 4 seconds. So the player will be forced to think carefully and calculate what he wants to achieve instead of hitting the space button each half-second, which is tiring in itself.

Maybe a better system for queuing of commands will be needed though.

Uggh, ever play red light green light when you were in elementary school? This combat system sounds like that. :(

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4 hours ago, kanisatha said:

Btw @Jill7894, as a RTwP fan you should also keep your eyes on two games that will/may be releasing in 2020: The Dark Eye: Book of Heroes; and, Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness.

I've been staying updated on Black Geyser for a while, and I'll take a look at The Dark Eye right now. Also, keep in mind that the makers of Pathfinder Kingmaker announced a few weeks ago that they're working on an indirect sequel with updated graphics and mechanics, if you haven't heard about it already. 😄

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4 hours ago, kanisatha said:

Exactly! In a battle things are supposed to be chaotic and confusing, and outcomes should be sub-optimal. When TB fans say that TB allows them to plan out every move and every action get everything exactly right, to me that is both mind-numbingly boring and completely immersion-breaking, and I cannot at all understand why someone would want their battles to happen that way. I want things to be a mess and to go all wrong and for crazy things to happen in my battles. That's the only way battles in RPGs are even tolerable.

TB may allow for that but as you alluded to, any military strategist can plan their strategies on a board down to the finest detail, only for unexpected variables and the rigors of chaos to take precedence and throw everything into upheaval. Like you said, I like for crazy things to happen in my battles lol and to quickly react to the mess that unfolds. Combat with RTwP is really fluid and potentially hectic and that's what I prefer, it's just so much more exciting. I don't see how I could ever prefer a battle against trash mobs artificially taking forever like in turn based, when I could tear them to pieces in less than a minute with RTwP.

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21 hours ago, kanisatha said:

The Dark Eye: Book of Heroes

Anyone else find this looks like Torchlight?

Also the moral of the discussion on page two is: Some people value immersion over control, and some don't. *nods sagely*

Edited by omgFIREBALLS
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Out With The Good: The mod for tidying up your Deadfire combat tooltip.
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17 hours ago, Jill7894 said:

I've been staying updated on Black Geyser for a while, and I'll take a look at The Dark Eye right now. Also, keep in mind that the makers of Pathfinder Kingmaker announced a few weeks ago that they're working on an indirect sequel with updated graphics and mechanics, if you haven't heard about it already. 😄

I check the Owlcat forum almost daily. P:K is my most favorite cRPG coming out of the recent RPG reawakening, even slightly edging out the PoE games. I didn't put a lot of money into the P:K KS because Owlcat didn't yet have a reputation. But for a WotR KS I look forward to investing quite a bit.

In addition to the PoE games and P:K, I also invested in the KS campaigns of Black Geyser, T:ToN, Realms Beyond, and Solasta. I supported the TB games mainly because they are classic old-school RPGs borrowing heavily from D&D. But RB, for example, even though TB, has included some interesting mechanics to alleviate the usual complaints from RTwP fans like us. You can remove the action animations of enemies so that their actions happen instantaneously. You also can have the AI handle the entire battle, in the cases of any trash fights that you find boring, for example.

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18 hours ago, Jill7894 said:

I don't see how I could ever prefer a battle against trash mobs artificially taking forever like in turn based, when I could tear them to pieces in less than a minute with RTwP.

Usually TB titles don't have (a lot of) trash mob fights. Those are a thing in Action RPGs (where it's nearly all trash mobs) and to a lesser extent in RTwP RPGs.

Because TB fights take way longer designers try to avoid meaningless encounters as fillers.

In RTwP games players tend to do the "select all, attack opponent x" routine once fights become too easy. I don't see that as an advantage per se - but it takes less real time (not game time) since you don't have to issue a lot of commands via pausing. The outcome of the fight will be suboptimal - but who cares if you regenerate health and resources after every combat anyway (this was different in PoE where even the most laughable encounter could take away some precious health or spell uses).

That's also why TB mode in Deadfire is too lengthy for some folks - because the encounter compositions didn't change to accommodate for the longer fights.

Luckily Deadfire doesn't have a ton of trash mob fights (for a native RTwP game) so it still works ok.

I'd generally say that people who like action games tend to prefer RTwP while players who prefer tactical/strategy games prefer TB. Funny then that RTwP plays less good on a console though. I mean if it's a party based RPG where you control all characters (unlike Outer Worlds and such).

Also RTwP is pretty impossible to do as multiplayer version. Another reason why it's not the preferred option of most devs I'd wager.

Edited by Boeroer
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1 hour ago, Boeroer said:

That's also why TB mode in Deadfire is too lengthy for some folks - because the encounter compositions didn't change to accommodate for the longer fights.

Luckily Deadfire doesn't have a ton of trash mob fights (for a native RTwP game) so it still works ok.

I'd generally say that people who like action games tend to prefer RTwP while players who prefer tactical/strategy games prefer TB. Funny then that RTwP plays less good on a console though. I mean if it's a party based RPG where you control all characters (unlike Outer Worlds and such).

Also RTwP is pretty impossible to do as multiplayer version. Another reason why it's not the preferred option of most devs I'd wager.

I keep wondering how many people have actually beat megabosses on TB mode for precisely the length reason. I mean I know someone beat the Ultimate but I don't think they shared their videos anywhere. Dorudugan sounds like an absolute chore in TB mode.

The original IE games did have multiplayer RTwP. I think it works reasonably well for casual players on a lower difficulty setting (I tried it a few times with a few friends), but anything more than that and everyone is constantly stepping on each other's toes trying to pause/unpause the game. Definitely not feasible for like BG2 dragon/lich battles. Though it was like a real authentic, low-level AD&D experience in BG because we'd keep getting each other killed by wandering off and getting crit by gibberlings and there's no real way to reload so we'd have to keep importing new characters in the multiplayer arbitration menu.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, kanisatha said:

I check the Owlcat forum almost daily. P:K is my most favorite cRPG coming out of the recent RPG reawakening, even slightly edging out the PoE games. I didn't put a lot of money into the P:K KS because Owlcat didn't yet have a reputation. But for a WotR KS I look forward to investing quite a bit.

In addition to the PoE games and P:K, I also invested in the KS campaigns of Black Geyser, T:ToN, Realms Beyond, and Solasta. I supported the TB games mainly because they are classic old-school RPGs borrowing heavily from D&D. But RB, for example, even though TB, has included some interesting mechanics to alleviate the usual complaints from RTwP fans like us. You can remove the action animations of enemies so that their actions happen instantaneously. You also can have the AI handle the entire battle, in the cases of any trash fights that you find boring, for example.

I just hope Obsidian doesn't give up on making RTwP cRPGs like POE... I mean, I know that we have evidence that they are making another one (despite Sawyer's denial), but during such a reemergence of this type of game, the thought of them giving up is downright frightening for me. I didn't play isometric RPGs in the 90s because I was just a little kid - I played Fallout Tactics when I was like 11 and then played Fallout 1 and 2 but didn't even know of Icewind Dale or anything. It was POE 1 that really got me into the genre in 2017. I absolutely love the style and writing and combat and armor+weapons and abilities in POE 1 and 2 and POE 2 immediately became one of my top three all time favorite games. Maybe we'll see some announcement soon after POE 2 is released on consoles, like at the upcoming Microsoft/Xbox conference or E3, still though the thought of them giving up is genuinely disheartening. I'm definitely glad though that the isometric RPG genre in general seems to be making a notable comeback.

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On 12/29/2019 at 12:39 AM, omgFIREBALLS said:

Again, I can't speak for other titles than Soul Harvest, and that includes base SF3. To me, Soul Harvest is more cRPG. For starters, for a majority of the content you do not play RTS, although that's not an easy thing to measure; if you struggle with RTS, those missions will take a long time, and thus comprise a larger portion. Even when you play RTS, you also play to some degree cRPG: There's always more stuff to do on a map than just destroy the enemy base, although it can be nice to do that first so you can do the other stuff in peace and quiet.

I've also devised lazy ways to win every RTS mission, even at the highest difficulty (frankly, the difficulty tuning ain't all that for RTS). Also, your heroes can eventually become powerful enough that you don't need to RTS. You just control your four man army destroying, base razing machine. That said, I have read stories about people who just wanted to RPG and couldn't get past the RTS missions even at the lowest setting, I think perhaps because the AI doesn't play differently no matter the difficulty, just the damage numbers get skewed in your favor.

Soo what are these lazy ways you've devised to win every RTS mission? :p

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You went for base SF3, didn't you? Not Soul Harvest 😛 I haven't played base SF3, still waiting for the uh, adaptation.

That said, the general theme is simply that the AI sucks at macroing or perhaps is slow to get started, so I tend to drown them in a continuous stream of basic melee/ranged units that I don't micro beyond attack moving them somewhere. I don't even use control groups, just the "select whole army" key.

Usually I have to defend myself with just my heroes until I've gotten the deathball rolling, but after that the RTS part is lazy-easy. The army comp isn't varied at all, just 1-2 unit types, and all I do is attack move them.

Then there are mission specific tricks, for example the first RTS mission (after the tutorial if you count that) where you have to bring down a magical barrier before you can begin the RTS in earnest, where you can just amass a full army and a massive resource stockpile before you actually dispel it, because the AI on the other side is inactive until you do.

If you can confirm you're actually talking about Soul Harvest I can give you every trick I remember.

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Maybe a little late, but a relatively obscure cRPG that I've enjoyed is Expeditions: Viking. Didn't expect much from it, but it went a very different direction from the first game, and I found it to be somewhat of a sleeper hit. It's TB, you build up a viking village, pillage and raid the brits, and it has some survival/camping aspects. Definitely worth a look if you're a Fallout or Baldur's Gate fan.

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