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Thoughts on Mandatory Combat


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Being a pacifist in a game is more of a fun thing to do than a necessity, or a must. Combat is always present, and as far as i'm concerned, that's a good thing. I like combat, i just don't like combat at every turn. Various options to solve a situation is what should be aimed for.

Fallout is a good example of how to do combat in a game correctly. With the exception of the rats, which can easily be killed and/or ignored in Vault 13 exit, there is NO unavoidable mundane character. If you choose to do so you can go on caravan trips, or places like Vault 15, but there is no point is you are talker.

 

However, let us think about what KotOR did right, and IMO that is the adventure game aspect. So it is only logical that Obsidian you design a game more closely to a Fallout, or at least PS:T, where the adventuring aspect is more ubiquitous then the lame combat.

 

And last but not least don't force us to fight with the mini-boss foozles, that is just lame. How much more unbalanced can a game be then force a scoundrel which has sneaked buy everyone to fight a miniboss on a level playing field as a soldier? Its funny none of the rags mentioned this unbalancing, which is almost on par with Arcanum's...

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Incidentally, Malak uses melee feats, but typically the wrong ones. He like to use the crit feat, but most players are sensible enough to get a crit-immunity item, so all Malak ends up doing is hurting his own AC.

I am telling you, KotOR AI is a random number generator, randomly selecting feats and attacks. I even asked D. Gaider, which acknowledged one of my other post, and he was just silent. Keep in mind that these are the same people who built the Infinitely poorly coded Engine. There is no logic or reason behind any of the AI's attacks. ITS A BLOODY RANDOM NUMBER GENERATOR!

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And last but not least don't force us to fight with the mini-boss foozles, that is just lame. How much more unbalanced can a game be then force a scoundrel which has sneaked buy everyone to fight a miniboss on a level playing field as a soldier? Its funny none of the rags mentioned this unbalancing, which is almost on par with Arcanum's...

No more unbalancing than someone who dosnt have any sneak or pick lock skills having to hack their way through blast doors and announce their presence to all and sundry.

 

The Smuggler has advantages outside of combat when they have no choice but to fight thats the price they pay for being a Smuggler. Its not like you cant use your skills to lay mines or disable droids or a multitude of other things.

 

Your basically asking for all the advantages with none of the disadvantages no matter how you try to spin it.

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

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I've never really understood the fascination of the search for the fabled "pacifist build" for FO and other RPG:s. Would it really add that much to the gameplay value? I'm all for a challenging game and different playing experiences but I just feel that the amount of zots spend on making a completely nonviolent path in a game could be spent on coming up with a more advanced combat engine that allows for different combat strategies such as allowing non-lethal takedowns and allowing true usage of cover.

 

This doesn't mean that I'm against the opportunity to speak/lie/convince your way out of trouble but there are situations that one simply should not be able to speak yourself out of.....

Well KotOR did not do other.

 

When you design a game, then designer needs to ask himself what kind of game they are making? Are they making a combat oriented game, or are they making CRPG that allows your to play different roles! Suffice it to say when I played DnD, which KotOR is in space, not everything resorted to combat. And while DnD 3E is certainly more combat oriented, I hear many people talk about solving problems non combat. If a game is going to allow the person the ability to play different roles, then there should damn well be sufficient paths in the game to act out their abilities! Thats just common sense. BTW, my two favorite games are Jagged Alliance 2 and Fallout, one which is very combat oriented and very good, and the other which allows you to play roles. They are good examples of games which have very good design.

 

While I personally believe a game like KotOR needs some combat, I am of the opinion that it does not need a lot of combat. Especially the pointless mundane boring combat with the terribly cumbersome and trivially stupid combat engine it uses. I think combat for a jedi is pretty much the epitome of the its profession.

 

However, Fallout was a much different game. There were no preset professions, and it was very likely that your character came from a completely non-violent life as they new it. The very act of hurting someone might have been completely foreign to the vault dweller. Not to mention more then half of the skills in Fallout did not pertain to combat. The nature behind Fallout, however, IMO was a lot like KotOR in the sense that they both could be played like adventure games. Fallout just did it a lot better.

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Its all relative. Such as the scene with the Rancor. I had my smuggler kill the beastie with a few well placed minds and a frag grenade.

 

I never had much problems doing the sneaking and the killing with the smuggler.

 

Fallout is a better game than KotOR. Hopefully one day we might get a game as good as or better than Fallout, but it hasn't happen yet.

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Its all relative. Such as the scene with the Rancor. I had my smuggler kill the beastie with a few well placed minds and a frag grenade.

 

I never had much problems doing the sneaking and the killing with the smuggler.

With regards to minibosses its not all relative. Because chances are you will not be able to your classes abilities to your advantage. And this is what I am talking about forced, level playing field encounters. There is no bloody point to these things as far as I am concerned. Minibosses are something that should be left to action console games.

 

As for your example, it was about as informative as a 4th graders research paper on nuclear power.

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Well, I never had a problem with my smuggler taking out minibosses. Its called laying in traps and ambushes. Such as the miniboss in the Taris Military Base. I had Bastilla and Carth hang back in the hall and I laid mines in front of the door. I opened it, we had our little talk, then I ran away. The dork jedi ran after me, got hit with the mines, then Carth and Bastila finished him off.

 

Simple eh?

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Let's see. Irenicus has the power to cast spells seemingly without rest for prolonged period of time, throw out powerful death spells for sadistic enjoyment, construct amazing magical equipment, and when you face him all he is is a mage that has speeded through the SOA level progression, with a few extra gimmicks stuck on. Where are the unique spells, special equipment, etc? All he has is defensive contingencies, annoying mazes and a few high level mage spells. Blehhh.

 

And all it took were 2 potions of magic resistance, and a dual weiled Crom Faeyr + Flail of Ages to solo him ;)

 

Irenicus was sadly disappointing.

 

Mellisan on the other hand was annoying, I actually cheered when she died(just because it was "finally" over... how many times must that fool die), I can't believe BI used a Final Fantasy model when making that end boss :p

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Hmm, I agree with most things newc said.

 

what purge?? is this some extended universe thing? because, if it is, i gotta say i don't really pay attention to that stuff.

 

The Jedi purge. You know, not too long (relatively speaking) before episode IV.

 

as for the idea of cortosis weave, that's just plain stupid. if it were so effective against jedi, why wouldn't the more advanced society 4000 years later have it as standard?

 

Because it might have been very expensive and there were very few jedi around?

 

 

face it, if a jedi in the movies can use a lightsabre to cut through most metal like it was butter, then they would be a lot more devastating in hand to hand combat than they are in KoTOR

 

Well, a lightsaber doing only a little more damage than your average plain longsword is indeed a bit strange.

agreed.

 

As for the lightsabre thing....

 

Keep 2 things in mind

 

1) It WAS 4000 years prior to Episode 1... tech improves, so it makes sense Lightsabres wouldn't be as good.

 

2) The ability to damage comes from the user, not the weapon. All the weapon is is a glorified longsword... it's the forceusers ability to use the force that makes it so deadly.

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With regards to minibosses its not all relative. Because chances are you will not be able to your classes abilities to your advantage. And this is what I am talking about forced, level playing field encounters. There is no bloody point to these things as far as I am concerned. Minibosses are something that should be left to action console games.

 

As for your example, it was about as informative as a 4th graders research paper on nuclear power.

So ? Who says you have to have them in every situation. A smuggler is much more likely to be able to aquire a stockpile of mines because of all those extra skill points. Those mines are great for leveling the playing field.

 

The point to them is they are the sub bosses and as such they are stronger than the rank and file and have access to better equipment. Unless you run the whole army yourself then you need to deligate.

 

If you build a character that cant handle themselves on purpose then you have no one to blame but yourself. How likely do you think it is that you can talk your way through every encounter without abusing the reload feature ? Personally I cant think of anything more cheap and underhanded than having to rely on that for success.

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

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So ? Who says you have to have them in every situation. A smuggler is much more likely to be able to aquire a stockpile of mines because of all those extra skill points. Those mines are great for leveling the playing field.

 

Says who? There is no limit stopping everyone from stockpiling everything. Another reason KotOR was less then good. BTW, while I love to ignore your you are getting too stupid to pass up.

 

The point to them is they are the sub bosses and as such they are stronger than the rank and file and have access to better equipment. Unless you run the whole army yourself then you need to deligate.

 

And if I was president I would guarantee jobs for everyone... WTF does this have to do with the price of tea in china.

 

If you build a character that cant handle themselves on purpose then you have no one to blame but yourself. How likely do you think it is that you can talk your way through every encounter without abusing the reload feature ? Personally I cant think of anything more cheap and underhanded than having to rely on that for success.

 

Yeah because I should know ahead of time what the game is going to have in store for me. Are you part of the lame developers of the world fanclub?

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It's too bad mindset and personality are much more important to the role-playing aspect than silly little numbers.

It's too bad those "silly little numbers" are what define your character's possibilities of acting a certain way in a CRPG.

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Says who? There is no limit stopping everyone from stockpiling everything. Another reason KotOR was less then good. BTW, while I love to ignore your you are getting too stupid to pass up.

 

And if I was president I would guarantee jobs for everyone... WTF does this have to do with the price of tea in china.

 

Yeah because I should know ahead of time what the game is going to have in store for me. Are you part of the lame developers of the world fanclub?

Best of luck unless your a smuggler or you take Mission along to disarm all the mines. Of course other classes can buy them, but then thats money that cant be spent on other things. For smugglers they are like free items.

Yep well after that beating you got on volumetric emcumberance it dosnt suprise me you would want to keep your head down. :(

 

You asked why there are sub bosses and I gave you a logical answer.

 

Common sense dictates that if you live in a dangerous world you have two choices. Fight or run away. Look at the SW characters. Leia is a diplomat, but she can still handle a blaster when the situation calls for it. Solo is a smuggler but he still packs a heavy blaster for when his pursuasion skills fail.

 

What does this tell you ? It should tell you that even if you choose a non combat career you still need to know how to take care of yourself.

 

Lets say your a powergamed talkie character who cant fight their way out of a paper bag. You walk into the raider base and you fail your roll, and your attacked at a severe disadvantage. Of course you reload.

 

Now if you actually knew how to fight you might just be able to win even though your first choice approach has failed. Which is not only more rewarding its not totally cheap which is what using reload to allow a character to survive is.

 

If anyone can actually talk their way through FO without reloading I would be very impressed. So you have a path which is totally dependant on the fact you can cheat. Woohoo great design that.

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

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Role-player: really? So... which number tells me I'm a psychotic who loves to murder innocnets? Which number tells me I should try to save the littel boy who was kidnapped? Which number tells me my character opposes guns/missle weapons as wussy weapons and prefers melee ? The list of rhetorical questions I can ask on this issue is unlimited.

 

Numbers are important, and they do HELP define what you can or cannot do ina game; theya re not the be all/end all of ROLE-PLAYING.

 

Period.

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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Yep well after that beating you got on volumetric emcumberance it dosnt suprise me you would want to keep your head down.  :(

 

Its only the most logical way to determine how much someone can carry.

 

Common sense dictates that if you live in a dangerous world you have two choices. Fight or run away. Look at the SW characters. Leia is a diplomat, but she can still handle a blaster when the situation calls for it. Solo is a smuggler but he still packs a heavy blaster for when his pursuasion skills fail.

 

And fight can mean more then one possibility.

 

What does this tell you ? It should tell you that even if you choose a non combat career you still need to know how to take care of yourself.

 

That is what the NPC's are for. However, the NPC AI is worse then a rigged craps die. And controlling the NPC's yourself makes the combat more drawn out then Pool of Radiance 2's.

 

If anyone can actually talk their way through FO without reloading I would be very impressed. So you have a path which is totally dependant on the fact you can cheat. Woohoo great design that.

 

If anyone can beat Fallout as a combat boy without reloading I would be very impressed. As a matter a fact I do not think it is possible to beat FO as a combat boy without reloading. Anyhow, the reason that beating FO as a diplomat is so hard, is because it would not be very fun if it was too easy. That is pretty good design...

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To you. :( Hehe.Like i said, both are improtant; I just feel that personality and mindset are more important because they'll usually be sued by the player to select skills, feats, stats, etc. for their character.

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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Its only the most logical way to determine how much someone can carry.

 

And fight can mean more then one possibility.

 

That is what the NPC's are for.  However, the NPC AI is worse then a rigged craps die.  And controlling the NPC's yourself makes the combat more drawn out then Pool of Radiance 2's.

 

If anyone can actually talk their way through FO without reloading I would be very impressed. So you have a path which is totally dependant on the fact you can cheat. Woohoo great design that.

 

If anyone can beat Fallout as a combat boy without reloading I would be very impressed. As a matter a fact I do not think it is possible to beat FO as a combat boy without reloading. Anyhow, the reason that beating FO as a diplomat is so hard, is because it would not be very fun if it was too easy. That is pretty good design...

And of course has nothing to do with the fact you like to play low str characters who you feel are overly punished because they cant carry anything significant :(

 

I think in that context it's pretty clear.

 

So what is the NPCs motivation for carrying some pansy ass who cant take care of themselves? Because it would have to be a very good one especially if you consider an NPC like Canderous.

 

Well be impressed then because I have :p It's not that difficult FO is pretty short. Even if you do die in a fight with a combat build chances are you have given it your best. Which is very different from reloading just because your chosen way to play the game failed.

 

The good design is that the game allows a well rounded character to approach a given situauation in a way that most suits their outlook on the situation. That dosnt mean powergaming your character and reloading when you fail a speech check or when you come across something with a ranged weapon in a random encounter.

Maybe I'm the only one who builds well rounded characters...

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

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To you. :( Hehe.Like i said, both are improtant; I just feel that personality and mindset are more important because they'll usually be sued by the player to select skills, feats, stats, etc. for their character.

Stats can help you visualise the character depending on where on the scale they happen to fall.

 

That makes them important in that respect. But the way Tri is talking about them is to deterimine the optimum path of his choice through the game. He always plays a specific type of character and he expects the world to shape itself around that character. Rather than the character being shaped by the world which is how it should work.

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

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To you. :p Hehe.Like i said, both are improtant; I just feel that personality and mindset are more important because they'll usually be sued by the player to select skills, feats, stats, etc. for their character.

Oh mindset and the like are probably more important in a PnP environment :(

 

But in solo crpgs I'm thinking the little sprites aren't too worried, or at least not as worried as what your 18 strength will do to them when you whack 'em with a Scythe :D

 

 

*note Scythe's are why I looooooooooooove TOEE :D muhahahahahahaha

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