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I was basically raised on the IE games, so I consider RTwP the ideal system. Also, in BG there was always the option to autopause at the end of rounds. The true strength of RTwP is the simultaneous action, without with we don't get realistic tactics.

"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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I'd prefer they'd stick with their RTwP system as they have planned. Queueing up several attacks was mentioned above and I think that would be a good thing to have if they weren't already planning on implementing it. Not only does it help manage a lot going on on-screen, but perhaps it will help it be closer to a turn based style for those who want it. I can't imagine Obsidian having both systems though, you'd likely need to have abilities function and play out differently depending on which system you were using and that would just add more work for a feature that may be unnecessary for most players.

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That's one of those fundamental, binary development choices. Doing both in the same game and doing each well seems like a monumental task, if not impossible. It's not something that can just be tacked on as an option later ... at least not with a game with a budget as small as this one will probably have.

 

I was sure it was something like that. What I would like to ask Tim is if this was discussed at the beginning and would he consider makling another TB game down the road.

Edited by Yarazin
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This is pretty much the most concerning piece of information we got. I would've much more preferred a turn-based system, since it allows for much better pace and control over multiple companions. I think realtime systems are fine as long as they concentrate on either one complex character, or on multiple simple character, so that the player needs to focus only on making high-level tactical decisions, or concentrate on one complex entity, not nitpick on which ability or spell to use next on all of the characters. For example, Dragon Age: Origins probably has one of the worst realtime /w pause systems in existence. And I'd really truly like for Obsidian to avoid the downfalls of such a system. I also remember Baldurs Gate and pals giving me quite a bit of frustration exactly due to its RTwP system (and AD&D, but let's not go there...).

 

The problem lies in too much stuff happening around at a time, lack of a proper queued order system (the new Jagged Alliance remake has pretty awesome order queueing) and dumber-than-a-boot suicidal AI. The latter can fix a lot, but is not a easy thing to do right. But when done wrong, it can ruin everything, forcing the player to pause every second just to make sure the dumb companions do what they're told and micromanage every single little detail. Sure, I don't mind that option, since who am I to deny the pleasure of this from those who desire it, but the game should be designed in a smarter way, not to force player on this kind of style of play - which really isn't everyone's cup of tea.

 

This is essentially exactly what I was saying when I pledged on the kickstarter page. I just did it in a more polite and less detailed kind of way. You're right about Dragon Age Origins. It ruined that game for me. The story was cool but I had to stop playing it because of having to do what you describe. My request on the kickstarter page was for them to make the AI at least reasonably intelligent so that they don't have to be micromanaged. That said, I agree that if you don't need to play your characters to be successful that it does remove an element of gameplay, so I don't know if that's a good solution.

 

As I see it, here are some limitations of RTwP:

 

-pausing lessens immersion in the game. It looks strange to see full motion with many things happening at once to everyone being frozen.

 

-As Delterius was saying, its very difficult to know everything that's going on. Margaretha's suggestion is a good one though that this could help be overcome by intentionally trying to give good textual and graphical cues. Nobody wants to stare at the rolls box instead of looking at the characters. It'd be good to know what they're doing by having animations for each action; ie unique animations for each spell. Also it'd be good to see what they intend to do next, perhaps in text or with a little icon so that way if they're going to do something stupid you can change their next action BEFORE they do it rather than having them miss the entire round because you cancelled it.

 

-Having to pause for easy fights is tedious. It would be better if the player only feels the need to pause for difficult ones.

 

-Having to micromanage AI to do things that require a minimum amount of intelligence. I want to respect NPC's for having the wherewithall to throw down an oil slick when the party is being rushed by a huge group of enemies that can only melee. I loved running with Boone in New Vegas. Boone did smart things and had cool dialogue while he did them. It really increased my attachment to the character and made me care more. As a matter of fact I think it would be great if the smarter npc's did smarter things when they weren't being specifically directed by the player and vice versa.

 

I get that they want to do RTwP. I'm not going to try to change that, I think getting them to change their plan could end up screwing up the game they envision royally. Instead I'd like to help them get it right because I've found it to be a very frustrating combat system. In Mass Effect I kind of enjoyed how the npc's would fight just fine on their own but you had the option of telling them to do something specific if you wanted to co-ordinate with them. I hope it will end up being more like that, where hitting pause feels like optimizing your gameplay in specific situations instead of a necessity in basic ones.

Edited by KenThomas
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This is essentially exactly what I was saying when I pledged on the kickstarter page. I just did it in a more polite and less detailed kind of way.

 

Hehe, trust me, this was me being my most polite self :)

 

-Having to micromanage AI to do things that require a minimum amount of intelligence. I want to respect NPC's for having the wherewithall to throw down an oil slick when the party is being rushed by a huge group of enemies that can only melee. I loved running with Boone in New Vegas. Boone did smart things and had cool dialogue while he did them. It really increased my attachment to the character and made me care more. As a matter of fact I think it would be great if the smarter npc's did smarter things when they weren't being specifically directed by the player and vice versa.

 

I get that they want to do RTwP. I'm not going to try to change that, I think getting them to change their plan could end up screwing up the game they envision royally. Instead I'd like to help them get it right because I've found it to be a very frustrating combat system. In Mass Effect I kind of enjoyed how the npc's would fight just fine on their own but you had the option of telling them to do something specific if you wanted to co-ordinate with them. I hope it will end up being more like that, where hitting pause feels like optimizing your gameplay in specific situations instead of a necessity in basic ones.

 

That's exactly it. The companions should act intelligently AND the system should support a multitude of intelligent options. For example, let's take an archer example. You'd want an archer to keep their distance, but maybe switch to melee if someone closes up. Okay, let's say you have this archer who is also very accurate with a light melee weapon, then they could try something like called shots to the legs in order to slow down and injure the opponent enough for the archer to run further away again and pin some more arrows on the enemy.

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I don't understand the complaint about the need to pause every second and manage everything, because that's exactly what happens in a turn-based game.

 

I know, it's funny because that's what everyone easily thinks, and it sounds like that's how it is, but the reality is that a good turn-based game has a completely different feel to it.

 

I play turn-based games, and I know how they play. Don't be condescending. If you want the strategical and tactical fights in turn-based combat, everything has to be 'paused' and managed constantly, just like in RTwP.

 

Also, you cut out the part where I talked about how Ultima 6 catered to both those who want a non-management heavy combat and vice versa.

 

Turn-based in itself is a way of pacing the gameplay and removing any reaction time factors. A good turn-based game is designed in way to take advantage of the turn-based mechanics. It usually means there isn't that much stuff happening at a time.

 

Of course. You can reduce the amount of stuff happening in a RTwP game too though, and RTwP does reduce reaction time to an absolute minimum. And with a combat log, you can keep up with it just as well as a turn-based game that goes through every animation slowly so that you can see it happen.

 

For example, combat mechanics can be deadlier, because of the extended time each turn takes.

 

There's no reason why a combat mechanic can't be deadly in real-time. It's simply a matter of expectation.

 

In realtime games it's often better to rely on HP sack mechanics, because it gives players more time to see whats going on. Pausable or not, the flexibility is required precisely because of itself: no matter how optimal gameplay, not all people pause every second, because they don't have to. It's tedious.

 

It can also be tedious to play turn-based combat, which can play just as slowly.

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As I see it, here are some limitations of RTwP:

 

-As Delterius was saying, its very difficult to know everything that's going on.

 

Well, if it is difficult to know what is going going on, then there are issues. What should be challenging is to manage everything that is going on.

 

 

 

In realtime games it's often better to rely on HP sack mechanics, because it gives players more time to see whats going on. Pausable or not, the flexibility is required precisely because of itself: no matter how optimal gameplay, not all people pause every second, because they don't have to. It's tedious.

 

It can also be tedious to play turn-based combat, which can play just as slowly.

 

If things are happening slowly in a turn-based game and you're not thanking God that's the case, its because the game isn't challenging you. In my experience it means that encounter design has its issues.

Edited by Delterius
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For a tactical RTwP I think it is important to have the possibilty to chain multiple commands for each character (Jagged Alliance: Back in Action is really impressive in that aspect) and to have group formations just like in Baldur's Gate. A basic AI, that can handle simple actions alone and relieves the gamer from basic handlings (e.g. auto base attack for fighters, if there is no other command available), is also important. The optimum imo at the moment is Dragon Age with its feature to create several routines for your characters. If you have that features, imho RTwP is a alternative to the tactical feeling of turnbased games.

One thing, I've forgotten: Auto-pause, as in bg2: enemy / trap sighted, killed enemy, lost weapon, character died, and so on. Of course with config options.

Edited by Avantenor
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@catmorbid: I opened a similar topic this morning (Rome time) and I totally agree with you. TBC is still the best solution for party-based RPGs. Few characters with tons of abilities/skills/spells need a lot of micromanagment and so a lot of pauses. Consequently a RTP system doesn't give you either the fluidity of RT system and the complete control over the action of a TB system.

And, no: Tb system aren't necesserily slow. They are slow only if they are designed for being slow (read low killing ratio) . Look X-Com or JA for confirmation...

Edited by Baudolino05
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The realtime with pause-system in BG and PS:T is probably my favourite combat system in a CRPG. It wasn't that hard to micro manage my 6 man party and dish out spells and positioning etc, you just needed some timing. I hope it'll be a system similar to that one.

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As I see it, here are some limitations of RTwP:

 

-As Delterius was saying, its very difficult to know everything that's going on.

 

Well, if it is difficult to know what is going going on, then there are issues. What should be challenging is to manage everything that is going on.

 

 

In realtime games it's often better to rely on HP sack mechanics, because it gives players more time to see whats going on. Pausable or not, the flexibility is required precisely because of itself: no matter how optimal gameplay, not all people pause every second, because they don't have to. It's tedious.

 

It can also be tedious to play turn-based combat, which can play just as slowly.

 

If things are happening slowly in a turn-based game and you're not thanking God that's the case, its because the game isn't challenging you. In my experience it means that encounter design has its issues.

 

I don't necessarily agree. All that matters is that it's a well designed encounter. A well designed encounter does not mean that it is challenging, because not all that you encounter in the world will be a challenge to your character(s).

 

That said, I am not against slow, managed combat. Don't quote me out of context.

Edited by Jozape
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I'm personally much more adept at Turn-based Systems, but at the same time I don't have an issue with Real Time w/pause. I've found I appreciate the slight 'flexibility' to them that most TB systems don't really have.

 

(Plus it means on easy fights you can let your characters clean up while you grab a drink or something. Though I admit, this has had mixed results...)

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I don't necessarily agree. All that matters is that it's a well designed encounter. A well designed encounter does not mean that it is challenging, because not all that you encounter in the world will be a challenge to your character(s).

 

That said, I am not against slow, managed combat. Don't quote me out of context.

 

Challenge may not be the best word, best to say Interesting. However, challenge most likely is necessary to keep things interesting. And yes, I should have said 'if combat is tedious, its because encounter design sucks'.

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ToEE had amazing rules and implementation, but terrible encounter design and, as such, shouldn't be cited as a good example of all things turn based ever.

 

I heard this story many times and every time I disagreed. Are you really sure that encounters are better in IE games than I ToEE? I mean, how many times did you use the same exact tactic in BG2 (destroy enemy spellcasters with all your firepower and than dwell on melee scum?); how many "trash mobs" did you fight during your journey?

For me ToEE has the best combats in a D&D game so far, not only the best combat system. Maybe it's because I knew all the balancing issues of AD&D way before I started to play BG of IWD, and used them to my advantage, but I really don't remember tons of memorable encounters in those games. Instead I remember very short encounters with trash mobs and lots of interesting things to fight in TToEE, like the wall of meat....

 

The Infinity-Engine games always were about strategy and melee. Who should be in my group and which spells should be memorized. It always came down to the right strategy in terms of casters and spells. There is no need for turn based combat because there are no tactics. Just a large explosion during which you need to make sure you are the one standing in the end. At least I played this way. Maybe there are other ways ;)

 

This is a fine point. But a finer point is: would they be better games with deep tactical combats? Yes, they would...

Edited by Baudolino05
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I also prefer turn based, but as is a homage to Infinity Engine, it's going to be RTwP. I think RTwP is fine too, provided the party AI is good enough so you don't have to pause every second just to babysit your companions. I also liked those scripts you could make in BG.

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I actually really enjoy the turn based with pause combat system seen in games such as dragon age origins, although perhaps a queueing system such as the one seen in KOTOR would have made things a little easier.

 

Albeit I feel the real time w.pause system in DAO allowed for great pacing as you could simply waste smaller weaker enemies without the burden of purely turn base combat and its time consuming nature, AND you could, if you so choose, utili

ise the pause system when fighting bosses and powerful enemies (giving you a real sense of control and the ability to delve into very tactical combat strategies).

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People mention Arcanum as an example of how having both systems fails, so I will mention a game that successfully implemented realtime and turned based with variance like moving one character at the time, or moving one squad at the time. The game was called Fallout: Tactics and I have played it through in both modes since the gameplay actually changed.

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Thank god. Turn based combat would have turned me off the game immediately. RTwP is much more engaging and exciting.

same here. turned based makes sense for handhelds because of reduced cpu power, but since this will be a pc exclusive there is no reason to not go real time

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I actually really enjoy the turn based with pause combat system seen in games such as dragon age origins, although perhaps a queueing system such as the one seen in KOTOR would have made things a little easier.

 

Queues like in NWN and KotOR would be a big plus. That and the synchronized animations, those looked great. Queues first though.

 

Albeit I feel the real time w.pause system in DAO allowed for great pacing as you could simply waste smaller weaker enemies without the burden of purely turn base combat and its time consuming nature, AND you could, if you so choose, utili

ise the pause system when fighting bosses and powerful enemies (giving you a real sense of control and the ability to delve into very tactical combat strategies).

 

I appreciate the default flexibility of RTwP as well. Turn-based can get pretty close to that standard with additional options for the player though.

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