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baby arm

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Some jerk at the Codex posted an article that asks "Are the paradigms of role-playing outdated?"

This may seem a weird notion; yet, games outside the genre seem to offer more appetizing variations on traditional play mechanics of computer role-playing games. It would be easy to attribute this feeling to how the barriers of genre definitions are eroding in favour of more sandbox experiences or how the lack of a formal, universal definition that accurately characterizes the genre and its play mechanics lead many to take the genre at face value. But is this the whole story? Why do some people hold the Thief series above role-playing games when it comes to presenting stealth mechanics, and why do developers like Jeff Vogel seem to have been swept away by the concept of character progression in action titles?

 

Could it be that the role-playing paradigm is becoming outdated by better alternatives? And if so, what alternatives could we look at?

Read on for more!

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I don't understand the post quoted. Thief is above role-playing games when it comes to stealth mechanics? Can we get a flipping "no duh." Next he'll be pointing out that Half-Life is better at shooting mechanics. Computer roleplaying games aren't about stealth mechanics, they're supposedly about replicating PnP roleplaying mechanics, which the genre has diverged so drastically from you'd have to be an idiot to think it lacks variation and change. What it lacks, for many but not all CRPGs, is action, which is the more common draw of many other titles.

 

His entire post is about why he believes intelligence and charisma should be eliminated from affecting dialogue. However, the elimination of these two is blatantly minor in the scheme of the perception, acceptance, overall mechanical systems, and variation of CRPGs.

Edited by Tale
"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."
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I do like Role-Player solution: Knowledge is gained from past experience with the particular subject, but it would demand a pretty huge undertaking by the developer. Maybe i missed it, but i wouldn't prefer to ditch charisma and intelligence entirely, since those options would still depend on the NPC's reaction of the player's knowledge. For example with the buyer and seller scenario, even if the player has the knowledge that it could be bought for a cheaper price, why would the seller sell it? Here comes charisma and intelligence in, it may be cosmetic, but it would correspond to real life. Even car-salesmen has to have a certain amount of charisma when trying to sell their cars.

"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Some guy 

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Some jerk at the Codex posted an article

 

Why bother? You know how this goes: a couple of idiots will miss the point and say I'm wrong, a handful of people will find some merit in it and will try to discuss it until some jackass starts arguing semantics for three pages, and someone that works at Obsidian will dismiss all of it based on a cursory glance and great knowledge and skill over the subject matter that will never be shown.

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Thief is above role-playing games when it comes to stealth mechanics? Can we get a flipping "no duh." Next he'll be pointing out that Half-Life is better at shooting mechanics.

 

I didn't make any special case for Thief, just briefly highlighted what some people feel about Thief versus the traditional representations of gameplay surrounding rogues in cRPGs. That's the full extent of the statement. But feel free to be a git and take it out of context to suggest it's a nonsensical tautology, and that more will follow.

 

 

Computer roleplaying games aren't about stealth mechanics

 

I guess pointing out the obvious is contagious.

 

Nowhere does it say cRPGs are all about stealth mechanics, but neither does it say that stealth mechanics can't incorporate elements from other genres.

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I find it mildly humorous that you'd take offense to someone insulting you indirectly, and then go on to insult people indirectly. You have succeeded in amusing me.

 

I'll never understand how you can manage seeming so bitter over this stuff.

Edited by Pop
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I find it mildly humorous that you'd take offense to someone insulting you indirectly, and then go on to insult people indirectly.

 

It's th first time I hear being on the butt end of attention disorders is fun.

 

 

You have succeeded in amusing me.

 

But then, the bar was set so low to begin with.

 

 

 

I'll never understand how you can manage seeming so bitter over this stuff.

 

Friend, that's not the only thing you'll never be able to understand.

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The mentality of RPGCodex? :brows: Edited by Meshugger

"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Some guy 

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I haven't had the time to read this pile of crap yet, or ever, but

What if convincing someone of your intentions stops being based on incremental changes to a spreadsheet and promotes the experiences and interactions your character has accumulated throughout his time in the gameworld as the primary way under which he evolves?

was kind of what I was going for in my mod - going for character development through in-game choices and decisions rather than an OOC character sheet. But then, this was before Nick the jerk backstabbed me in the back with a dagger and ran off with my design documents to sell to Magical Volo - who ate them. The jerks.

Hadescopy.jpg

(Approved by Fio, so feel free to use it)

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Thief is above role-playing games when it comes to stealth mechanics? Can we get a flipping "no duh." Next he'll be pointing out that Half-Life is better at shooting mechanics.

 

I didn't make any special case for Thief, just briefly highlighted what some people feel about Thief versus the traditional representations of gameplay surrounding rogues in cRPGs. That's the full extent of the statement. But feel free to be a git and take it out of context to suggest it's a nonsensical tautology, and that more will follow.

 

I misunderstood the context. However, I still think the question is still nonsensical. It still seems to imply a comparison between Thief and RPG games, whether you are the one doing it or you are giving credit to the comparison made by others.

 

In general, my main contention in this article is the introduction. It's little more than a rant with superfluous language with the majority of topics it addresses being, at best, tangential to the main topic of the article. Reading through it I find it no wonder that someone would miss the point as you so readily expect many to do. As the point is difficult to decipher between the lambasting of buzz phrases (even though you ironicly use them yourself in the main article), journalists, and fellow gamers.

 

 

Largely though, I think I see the overall point of the article. However, the problem you seem to put forth is not one that I agree exists nor does it seem there is a case made for its existence. There is no argument put forth that this will somehow improve the genre in a fashion that its players find intrinsically desireable over the other conventions. In essence, your "solution" appears to be little more than just another option.

 

I think you are arguing it from the wrong angle. You speak too much of shoulds, both on what you think should be done and as claims others make that you are contesting. When instead you should (lol) be speaking of the benefits as different rules, an expansion of the effects of past action upon present interaction, and mechanics that enable you to more adequately define behavior and personality. It's less confrontational and invites more people to be interested when it's not so obvious you're only speaking to D&D diehards.

 

I think you make a very good point at one point, though.

Unlike physical stats, which can be fitted into the system through much more meaningful ways even if they can succumb to the same issues, social stats like Intelligence and Charisma cause more problems than those they set out to solve for a very simple reason. You can not force players to role-play their stats, and you can't force those stats to help players role-play. This dredges up an earlier point - the absence of a direct mental link between player and character ends up rendering the adherence to social stats trite and ineffective.
This is so good a point, you should get rid of your current introduction to the editorial RIGHT NOW and replace it with an introduction to this concept. This is the basis of your entire article. It's good. It takes you forever to get to it. Which means by the time someone reads it, they'll probably have become offended by the introductory ranting or otherwise not interested if they don't agree with you at the onset. Edited by Tale
"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."
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I can't understand why someone gets called a jerk for writing an analysis of role-playing games as a genre on a website that is so famously serious about, er, role-playing games? It's like bashing someone for trying to make friends on MySpace.

 

Role-Player is a nice guy who cares about the subject. Play the ball, not the man. Personally I like character sheets and journals and micromanaging, but that's because I'm the Wargamer on the Wrong Forum .

 

Cheers,

MC

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I can't understand why someone gets called a jerk for writing an analysis of role-playing games as a genre on a website that is so famously serious about, er, role-playing games?

$5 says Baby Arm was making a friendly jab.

Edited by Tale
"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."
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I liked the ideas to improve roleplaying and they seem ('cause I have little knowledge on whether they are) achievable. But why to totally get rid of charisma and intelligence?

 

One reason they should exist is because they somehow represent (in a generalized form) the character's experiences before the game starts (when he was younger). If someone was a bookworm as a kid he should probably have more intelligence and less charisma than someone that was playing with other kids all day long. The second one will be a better talker but when it comes to discussing science the best he could do is pretend he has some knowledge but won't really be able to take part in the conversation. The bookworm guy will be able to counter every argument presented to him, but probably the others won't understand him or won't bother to listen to him. Also, even if the second guy reads a book about the subject before they start talking we won't be able to understand a lot of things because he never really learned (when he was younger) how to concentrate when reading or how to extract information from the book.

 

Another reason is that they represent (along with professions or classes) the human ability to create abstract thoughts and gain general knowledge from a certain situation. This is the means with which experience and classes are linked to the real world. In a war a trained soldier will learn how to fight better, a poet will learn how to write about war, a cook will learn how to cook faster and with fewer ingredients and a man with high intelligence may learn a lot about mechanics and vehicles. It's wrong to gain knowledge and power only based on class and abilities but they should be a part of that. What does that have to do with the article? Well, abilities (I think) should alter how you affect, see and learn in the world.

 

Anyway, it was a nice, thought provoking article, though sometimes it kinda drifts from one think to another making some of it's points hard to follow.

I think therefore I am?

Could be!

Or is it really someone else

Who only thinks he's me?

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I think the only real flaws with Charisma and Intelligence comes from either bad development or bad character creation. If a player wants to roleplay an incredibly stupid character, does this mean that he should be solving difficult puzzles? The problem comes when developers either force the character to be drastically penalized for low intelligence without reasonable alternatives or when the person creating the character uses intelligence as a dump stat without regard for whether or not he wants the character to be smart or stupid.

 

I think this brings up another contention I have with the perspective taken by the article. Role-Player speaks of not being able to force people to roleplay their stats. Well, what about encouraging people to pick stats that they can more readily play? It almost seems to take perspective that you don't get to pick stats, which within limits you both can and cannot. Or that it's normal to not consider the meaning of the stats that you choose.

 

If someone creates a character with an int score of 2, is it so wrong for a developer to at some point say "whoah, whoah, hold up buddy, this is the smart door. You go over there, that's the strong door." It doesn't necessarilly have to be doors, but it's equally applicable to a conversation.

 

Is the problem that he thinks developers read too much personality into these two stat scores? Or is he in the group that just reads too little into them? I think what would drastically help this is if he actually cited where this problem was present. Name the games, name how this was a problem in that game.

Edited by Tale
"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."
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