Jump to content
czinczar

Challenging lockpicking process

Please read the thread before voting  

231 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you think of this system ?

    • Very good, I want that !
      6
    • Not bad.
      16
    • Better than nothing.
      10
    • Nothing would be better than that !
      3
    • Don't care.
      8
    • Project Eternity becomes "Lockpicking: The Lockpickening" ? Just no.
      188
  2. 2. Suggestions ?

    • More complexity !
      9
    • Less complexity !
      117
    • More character skill influence !
      77
    • More player intelligence influence !
      38
    • More freedom of action !
      25
    • More guided process !
      7
    • The cake is a lie !
      89


Recommended Posts

Here's my feeling on minigames ilke this from a similar topic--

 I think the more granular the puzzle, the further from the main campaign it should be, basically (but there should definitely be puzzles and riddles in general). Then it's up to Obsidian to decide whether the development effort is worthwhile or not for side content. Could be; I can see such an optional thing in the mega dungeon.

 

I don't mind the rare minigame of this nature, so long as it does not gate any "primary" content (anything major for the main campaign path or each faction, although it might make sense for a "thieves' guild" if there will be one). I HATED those that were required to move onto the next step of the main storyline, like the ship chase in ME, or the door puzzle locks requiring fast and accurate mouse clicking, or the obstacle race in KoTOR. The optional mega-dungeon I think is the best place to showcase more unique challenges that shouldn't be stuffed in every corner of the game. 


The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't mind the rare minigame of this nature, so long as it does not gate any "primary" content (anything major for the main campaign path or each faction, although it might make sense for a "thieves' guild" if there will be one). I HATED those that were required to move onto the next step of the main storyline, like the ship chase in ME, or the door puzzle locks requiring fast and accurate mouse clicking, or the obstacle race in KoTOR. The optional mega-dungeon I think is the best place to showcase more unique challenges that shouldn't be stuffed in every corner of the game.

Agreed. Which is why I firmly believe that a minigame-esque interface for lockpicking should only come into play for complex/difficult locks.

 

There shouldn't ever be a non-optional lock that REQUIRES any certain amount of lockpicking skill. Otherwise, you get to it, and you need 30 lockpicking, but your highest character skill in your party is only 20. What do you do now? Reload the game from 3 hours ago and level up differently? That's terrible design.

 

Obviously no one wants to do the same exact thing over and over again (unless it only takes like 5 seconds every time, and adds to immersion.) The problem with the hacking in Fallout 3/NV and the lockpicking in the Bethesda games is that it's too simple for how long it takes.

 

Take Bethesda lockpicking (which I'm clearly criticizing and am in no way saying was amazing), and add in an Easiness threshold at which the lock is instantly picked by your character, and voila. How much less annoying would that be? "Oh, your skill is 70, and that's a 50-difficulty lock? *click* you win!"

 

It works literally along the same reasoning as combat. Oh, that handfull of Goblins is 5 levels below your party? You really don't even need to target a spell or employ tactics of any sort. Have everyone run in and attack, and all the Goblins die with minimal damage to your party. Now it's just a matter of where to have such low level Goblins, and where not to. Obviously, it's more feasible to have lower-level locks (as they are a definite barrier based on a specific skill/progression-choice) than it is to have lower-level enemies about, but that's only because of different factors.

 

Here's how I see in-depth lockpicking being implemented (that I can think of off the top of my head):

 

1)It's more actually-interesting puzzle than actual twitch-based event (like the Oblivion lock-picking, with the randomly bouncing tumblers...).

 

2)It doesn't allow player skill at a puzzle to override character skill at lockpicking; It's based on the lockpicking skill of the character in question. (i.e. You can't even attempt to pick a lock that's more than 10-or-so difficulty higher than your skill. Also, locks low enough in difficulty in comparison to the character's skill are instantly picked and bypass the "minigame.")

 

3)It doesn't pause the game reality, and doesn't take up the entire screen, which means that you can have tense situations in which you're trying to pick a lock to get through a door before being discovered by hostile things, etc. Also, on this note, I think it should involve cumulative progress. If it's based on tumblers, for example, then any tumblers you've secured in-place should remain that way should your lockpickist temporarily abandon the lock in order to fight some things off, or for whatever reason.

 

4)It's never REQUIRED simply to progress the main story, however this is achieved. As in my example above, I think it's generally poor design to have any kind of lock that requires a certain skill-level in lockpicking for the main portion of the game, because if the player doesn't have that level of skill with any characters, they are screwed and stuck and forced to reload from a much earlier time to reallocate a level-up's skill points, then make their way all the way back to the portion of the story in which that lock exists. A locked door with an procurable key that optionally CAN be picked if you have enough skill? Sure. But nothing mandatory. It's no different from the fact that you should never need a specific class just to beat the game.

 

 

If anyone has anything to add to this list, that would be awesome. That includes criticisms and changes. I love constructive criticism. "Lockpicking is stupid" is not constructive criticism, for the record. "This is a problem you didn't address..." is constructive criticism.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1)It's more actually-interesting puzzle than actual twitch-based event (like the Oblivion lock-picking, with the randomly bouncing tumblers...).

Like I said, I personally wouldn't mind different skills being challenged by the game. Maybe there could be two different kinds of locks, or between lockpicking and trap disarming, one could be more twitchy (I know we're talking about lockpicking here but hey, if lockpicking is a nailbiting event, and disarming deadly traps only takes one anti-climactic click, that's broke).

2) Also, locks low enough in difficulty in comparison to the character's skill are instantly picked and bypass the "minigame."

Sounds reasonable.

4)It's never REQUIRED simply to progress the main story, however this is achieved.

I would rephrase: it's ok if a lock requires high skill to progress the story, as long as there is at least one other way to pass this obstacle. Can't get past the locked gates that barr the bridge you need to cross? Fine, there's a way through the wilderness too if your "Tracking" or "Scouting" is high enough. Alternatively, if your Diplomacy is high enough, you can talk the mayor of the nearby city out of the key. This does not necessarily force much reloading, as long as there's enough of an open world to get some XP and the skill that is required in question is moderate. P:E will use level scaling in the main quest anyway, so this wouldn't break the game. The skill level should NOT only be achievable by a Rogue who has specialized in Lockpicking from day 1.

I think if there are skills that can at some point be mandatory to progress the story this should be hinted at in the manual though. "Lockpicking can yield vast riches and allow you to access all kinds of forbidden places", "Tracking will enable you to survive and find your way in the most barren wilderness", "Diplomacy is a very powerful tool that can be mightier than the sword at times". So noone in your party was interested in obtaining riches, wilderness survival or talking an army of lizardmen out of eating you, instead you put everyone's points into Accounting? Tough luck.

This kind of goes against the "all skills shall be equal" mantra of P:E though.

It's no different from the fact that you should never need a specific class just to beat the game.

It's slightly different in that skills seem to be accessible to all classes though. Edited by Sacred_Path

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like I said, I personally wouldn't mind different skills being challenged by the game. Maybe there could be two different kinds of locks, or between lockpicking and trap disarming, one could be more twitchy (I know we're talking about lockpicking here but hey, if lockpicking is a nailbiting event, and disarming deadly traps only takes one anti-climactic click, that's broke).

 

Well... my only problem with challenging different player skills is that that seems to override (rather than cooperate with) the idea of the character's skill level. In other words, the system should ALWAYS make the lockpicking "minigame" easier when your character's skill is high, and more difficult when your character's skill is low, which is exactly why I don't think you should be able to attempt level 100 locks when your character's skill is 30 (like in Oblivion, etc.), and why, at a certain threshold, the lockpicking should be instantaneous (like a level 50 lock and your character has 65 lockpicking or something).

 

Just like how, in combat, you don't directly affect how fast or accurately your character swings a sword or dodges a sword stroke, I don't think you should decide how effectively a character actually makes individual actions with a lockpick. Which is why I think it should be more of a puzzle-type thing. And maybe you can alter variables based on your character's skill level (just like, in combat, how your character's exact same sword swing might do more damage, or be more accurate, or be faster/more-frequent, etc.), while the player's responsibility is to decide strategy and tactics.

 

An example for lockpicking would be that (just like in Fallout or Skyrim), the better your character is at lockpicking, the less often you break picks. It's assumed your character gets more and more delicate and precise with pick movements, so you get more pick attempts with the same pick.

 

Apply this to lock-type puzzles that vary in complexity (down to the threshold, at which point there is no puzzle and you simply pick the lock), and voila. Your character knows how to operate a pick, and tumblers, and various other lock mechanisms, but they don't inherently know many tumblers are inside the lock, nor their arrangement, or the wardings on a warded-key lock, etc.

 

It's very similar to sight range. Your character's ability to see in low-light allows you, the player, to see what they see when it's farther away from the group, but it has no bearing on what they action they do or do not take. You still decide whether or not they attack it from a range, or hide to ambush it, etc. And, if they can't see in low-light well, and it's quite dark, their sight range is diminished, and you, the player, cannot simply spot that creature 30-feet away in the darkness and override their inability to do so.

 

 

I would rephrase: it's ok if a lock requires high skill to progress the story, as long as there is at least one other way to pass this obstacle.

 

Well, not to get overly technical, but I think it's phrased okay as it is. I didn't intend any confusion. If you don't have to pick that lock, (because you can open the door a different way, or bypass the door entirely), then it doesn't matter if the lock's difficulty is 743 million, or 10. Basically, this goes even for any other method that's skill-based (like speeching someone into giving you the key, etc.). Simply put, if it's possible to get to that point in the game without having that level of that skill (lockpicking, speech, stealth, etc.), then I don't think it's a good idea to put a skill-requirement in for a mandatory obstacle. Like I said, it's fine if you can optionally have enough lockpicking skill to simply pick the door, or you can optionally talk someone into giving you a key, but there should always be a non-skill-requiring means (that's character actual hard-coded, number-value skill) of getting past that obstacle/situation.

 

 

 

It's no different from the fact that you should never need a specific class just to beat the game.

It's slightly different in that skills seem to be accessible to all classes though.

 

Well, what I meant was, in general, in an RPG like this, if you can only have 6 party members, and there are 10-or-so classes, then the game shouldn't say "Oh, you can pick any 6 classes you want to travel about, but when you get to this one spot, you HAVE to have a Paladin in your party, because the main-story is Paladin based."

 

Should you miss out on stuff for not having a Paladin in your party? Sure. Should you be prevented from advancing the core, mandatory portion of the game's story? Absolutely not. It just plain doesn't make sense. Or, I should clarify, you can't require a Paladin AND have the Paladin be optional. You could make it so that you can't NOT have a Paladin available, at that point in the game, but that kinda hurts the game in other ways, methinks.

Edited by Lephys

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well... my only problem with challenging different player skills is that that seems to override (rather than cooperate with) the idea of the character's skill level.

An example: Wizardry 6. The tumblers alternated between being red and green, and you had to press space when all tumblers happened to be green (twitch element). The higher your character's skill was, the more frequently tumblers would turn green. In Wizardry 8, your character's skill decided how long a tumbler would stay "in place", or if at all (non-twitchy approach) Not that I'm even remotely suggesting that I want to see this copied 1:1 ;)

Just like how, in combat, you don't directly affect how fast or accurately your character swings a sword or dodges a sword stroke, I don't think you should decide how effectively a character actually makes individual actions with a lockpick.

True, in an isometric party RPG you don't control your character's sword strokes. But success in combat relies heavily on your skill as a player, as I said before; positioning, choice of weapons and armor, choosing and timing of spells, etc. Vanilla lockpicking doesn't rely on your skills at all; it just happens. But I think we can agree to disagree here, as it's simply a matter of subjective preference if you like twitch elements in your game or not.

An example for lockpicking would be that (just like in Fallout or Skyrim), the better your character is at lockpicking, the less often you break picks. It's assumed your character gets more and more delicate and precise with pick movements, so you get more pick attempts with the same pick.

Sure, sounds like a good approach.

Well, not to get overly technical, but I think it's phrased okay as it is. I didn't intend any confusion.

I think I understood you clearly, I just didn't agree EXACTLY. ;) What you said (and I hope meant) is that "never should progress in the main story be hindered by failure of having a high enough level in a specific skill in your party". I didn't agree 100%, I suggested there should be at least 2-3 skills that allow you to get past a given obstacle in the story.

Well, what I meant was, in general, in an RPG like this, if you can only have 6 party members, and there are 10-or-so classes, then the game shouldn't say "Oh, you can pick any 6 classes you want to travel about, but when you get to this one spot, you HAVE to have a Paladin in your party, because the main-story is Paladin based."

 

Should you miss out on stuff for not having a Paladin in your party? Sure. Should you be prevented from advancing the core, mandatory portion of the game's story? Absolutely not. It just plain doesn't make sense. Or, I should clarify, you can't require a Paladin AND have the Paladin be optional. You could make it so that you can't NOT have a Paladin available, at that point in the game, but that kinda hurts the game in other ways, methinks.

I think you were missing my point in this case. What I meant is that you can't equate a required character class with a required skill level. The first is extremely limiting (out of my 4-6 characters, one must be a thief, one a cleric and one a mage), the other only requires some choice & consequence. If I know there will be a situation in the game that can only be solved by at least 6 ranks in either Lockpicking, Tracking or Diplomacy, I can still build the party I desire (in P:E at least).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True, in an isometric party RPG you don't control your character's sword strokes. But success in combat relies heavily on your skill as a player, as I said before; positioning, choice of weapons and armor, choosing and timing of spells, etc. Vanilla lockpicking doesn't rely on your skills at all; it just happens. But I think we can agree to disagree here, as it's simply a matter of subjective preference if you like twitch elements in your game or not.

 

I'm going to have to disagree to disagree, unfortunately, heh. Allow me to attempt to clarify. In your Wizardry 6 example from above (in which you "twitchily" time the stopping of the tumblers when they all turn green, your skill at timing overrides your character's skill at timing. In the combat comparison, you do sort of "time" your character's attacks, to an extent, but not on such a precision level. If the objective is to strike (as opposed to missing) the foe with your character's sword, the player doesn't time that action. You might not order your character to attack whilst he's blinded (and therefore more efficiently make use of changing factors in combat), but he still decides how to swing. With tumblers inside a lock, your character is operating the lockpicks with their own dexterity and finesse. So, whereas turning the lockpick a certain way, or choosing which tumbler to push on might be fine for player choice, I don't think timing the actual manipulation of the lockpick and tumblers is a good choice for a mechanic.

 

This is pretty much the nature of most "twitch" mechanics, as the player's dexterity/precision/finesse is being tested, rather than the character's. And yes, you can increase or decrease the correct-timing window based on the character's skill, but that doesn't change the fact that you're still allowing the player to have significantly less finesse with an action the character would've already completed by now (because of their skill), or to have significantly MORE finesse than the character is supposed to (a la Oblivion, where, if you were quick with the lockpicking, you could pick master locks as a fledgeling lockpickist).

 

Subjective value is part of it, but, objectively, the sheer twitch/timing element of it always causes a discrepancy between the character and player skill, in a way that pretty much nothing else in the game (combat, dialogue, sneaking, etc.) does.

 

 

I think I understood you clearly, I just didn't agree EXACTLY. ;) What you said (and I hope meant) is that "never should progress in the main story be hindered by failure of having a high enough level in a specific skill in your party". I didn't agree 100%, I suggested there should be at least 2-3 skills that allow you to get past a given obstacle in the story.

 

Fair enough. :). I understood what your meaning, as well, for what it's worth. I simply wasn't sure if mine was muddy or not. Never hurts to check.

 

 

I think you were missing my point in this case. What I meant is that you can't equate a required character class with a required skill level. The first is extremely limiting (out of my 4-6 characters, one must be a thief, one a cleric and one a mage), the other only requires some choice & consequence. If I know there will be a situation in the game that can only be solved by at least 6 ranks in either Lockpicking, Tracking or Diplomacy, I can still build the party I desire (in P:E at least).

 

I got your point, but it addresses differences I had no intention of denying. The only comparison I was trying to make was this:

 

A certain class is something you might not have, and a certain skill level is something you might not have. So, in that, they are both optional things that should not be mandatory for core story progression. I understand their differences, but in that respect, they are the same. Please forgive my poor wording.

Edited by Lephys

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to have to disagree to disagree, unfortunately, heh. Allow me to attempt to clarify. In your Wizardry 6 example from above (in which you "twitchily" time the stopping of the tumblers when they all turn green, your skill at timing overrides your character's skill at timing.

In the combat comparison, you do sort of "time" your character's attacks, to an extent, but not on such a precision level. If the objective is to strike (as opposed to missing) the foe with your character's sword, the player doesn't time that action.

I think you're being a bit academical here. There is no skill that tells your Barbarian to pick the blunt weapon against skeletons; you do. There is no skill that tells your Cleric to heal the Barbarian when it's time, you do. There's no skill that tells your Mage to cast ice spells against fire salamanders. Combat depends to a large degree on your skill, your timing. The difference to my lockpicking example is therefore minimal; in both cases, both character and player skill affect the outcome. The Wiz6 example is more twitchy than what you do in RTwP combat, that's the only difference.

Subjective value is part of it, but, objectively, the sheer twitch/timing element of it always causes a discrepancy between the character and player skill, in a way that pretty much nothing else in the game (combat, dialogue, sneaking, etc.) does.

Dialogue depends entirely on your mental faculties, apart from player skill/ attribute maybe unlocking different options. Stealth in P:E hopefully will be more twitchy than in IE games; I hope you'll have to constantly move between covers, avoid lit places etc. So again, there would be no difference to the lockpicking example.

 

A certain class is something you might not have, and a certain skill level is something you might not have. So, in that, they are both optional things that should not be mandatory for core story progression. I understand their differences, but in that respect, they are the same. Please forgive my poor wording.

Also pretty academical I'd say ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It should be wholly dependant on the character's skill, and the extent to which you've advanced said skills. The entire process of failure or success should be on the character's skills and statistics, on the numbers, not on player skill. Ever. No matter what we're talking about. I want an RPG, not a twitchy action game. You are not the character. You are playing as the character and all your failure or success should be dictated by what the character is capable of, not what you are capable of.

 

No mini games, no multi-tiered nonsense. Just go up to the chest, or whatever. and search for a trap. The check passes, you find no trap, you try to open it, it's locked. You tell your character to pick the lock, and they do it. The pass or failure of the attempt has nothing to do with you or any mini games or other nonsense. Just on your character, their skills, their stats and their gear.

Edited by Umberlin
  • Like 2

"Step away! She has brought truth and you condemn it? The arrogance!

You will not harm her, you will not harm her ever again!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ I concur with Umberlin and...have nothing to add with regards to lockpicking.  *tips hat to Umberlin*


http://cbrrescue.org/

 

Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forests and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoors experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person.----Fred Bear

 

http://michigansaf.org/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It should be wholly dependant on the character's skill, and the extent to which you've advanced said skills. The entire process of failure or success should be on the character's skills and statistics, on the numbers, not on player skill. Ever. No matter what we're talking about. I want an RPG, not a twitchy action game. You are not the character. You are playing as the character and all your failure or success should be dictated by what the character is capable of, not what you are capable of.

 

No mini games, no multi-tiered nonsense. Just go up to the chest, or whatever. and search for a trap. The check passes, you find no trap, you try to open it, it's locked. You tell your character to pick the lock, and they do it. The pass or failure of the attempt has nothing to do with you or any mini games or other nonsense. Just on your character, their skills, their stats and their gear.

So... combat should be the same? Hmm, that would make the game very entertaining.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Skill minigames probably make more sense in single-character, first-person perspective games like Fallout 3 and Oblivion where the primary character responses are strongly influenced by the player's physical responses. In a party-based game, the player should be more like a squad leader--giving directions and planning actions. You can't really model varying characteristics through the finger movements of a single player. Hence it's better to use abstractions.

  • Like 1

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are not the character. You are playing as the character

Poor semantics are poor. First of all, noone argues against character skill being a factor, possibly heavily so, since it's still an RPG. Secondly, for all intents and purposes, you are the character. There's a reason most games (and P:E will probably be no exception) adress the character as 'you'. Maybe you will decide to act like an evil puppy strangler one day, and like a saint the other day. Since we don't know anything about the whims and mood swings of that fictional character, we can only assume that your whims are his whims. Your stupid decisions are his stupid decisions. You're not overriding anything, because the character doesn't have any personality except the one that can be construed from your actions (which are his actions).

and all your failure or success should be dictated by what the character is capable of, not what you are capable of.

See above. Also, as has already been remarked, just looking at what makes up 50-80% of the gameplay, your argument fizzles. There is no success in combat without your skill, there's no way to resolve branching dialogue without using your mental faculties, there are no puzzles that are resolved by character skill alone.

 

All in all I haven't read a single good argument against more in-depth lockpicking (or other skill resolution) in this thread. There have been complaints like:

 

1) It breaks my immersion

 

2) I don't like twitchy elements in my RPGs

 

3) It's not traditional in CRPGs (= the ones I played)

 

4) Not in a party game because it doesn't make me feel like I'm a puppet master

 

all of which are fine by themselves, subjective as they are. But deriving an ideology for game design from that is just silly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It should be wholly dependant on the character's skill, and the extent to which you've advanced said skills. The entire process of failure or success should be on the character's skills and statistics, on the numbers, not on player skill. Ever. No matter what we're talking about. I want an RPG, not a twitchy action game. You are not the character. You are playing as the character and all your failure or success should be dictated by what the character is capable of, not what you are capable of.

 

No mini games, no multi-tiered nonsense. Just go up to the chest, or whatever. and search for a trap. The check passes, you find no trap, you try to open it, it's locked. You tell your character to pick the lock, and they do it. The pass or failure of the attempt has nothing to do with you or any mini games or other nonsense. Just on your character, their skills, their stats and their gear.

Except that without exception, you're making the decisions, because it's not a simulation. And as long as the game is dependent on your own input, you're playing.

And I'm fine with player skill augmenting character skill. After all, combat doesn't play out randomly, you position your party, call targets, choose spells and abilities to play, prioritise actions.

 

Would you rather combat played out according to the numbers of the player skills, with no clicks from you? I'm going to assume not.

So, I believe, the argument that minigames involve player skill rather than character skill, is irrelevant.

Perhaps character skill influences the difficulty of the challenge, but I think it's absolutely fine to have the player do it.

  • Like 1

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And I don't like twitchy either. I don't believe that twitchiness is a requirement for something to be a minigame.

  • Like 1

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

I'm going to have to disagree to disagree, unfortunately, heh. Allow me to attempt to clarify. In your Wizardry 6 example from above (in which you "twitchily" time the stopping of the tumblers when they all turn green, your skill at timing overrides your character's skill at timing.

In the combat comparison, you do sort of "time" your character's attacks, to an extent, but not on such a precision level. If the objective is to strike (as opposed to missing) the foe with your character's sword, the player doesn't time that action.

I think you're being a bit academical here. There is no skill that tells your Barbarian to pick the blunt weapon against skeletons; you do. There is no skill that tells your Cleric to heal the Barbarian when it's time, you do. There's no skill that tells your Mage to cast ice spells against fire salamanders. Combat depends to a large degree on your skill, your timing. The difference to my lockpicking example is therefore minimal; in both cases, both character and player skill affect the outcome. The Wiz6 example is more twitchy than what you do in RTwP combat, that's the only difference.

Subjective value is part of it, but, objectively, the sheer twitch/timing element of it always causes a discrepancy between the character and player skill, in a way that pretty much nothing else in the game (combat, dialogue, sneaking, etc.) does.

Dialogue depends entirely on your mental faculties, apart from player skill/ attribute maybe unlocking different options. Stealth in P:E hopefully will be more twitchy than in IE games; I hope you'll have to constantly move between covers, avoid lit places etc. So again, there would be no difference to the lockpicking example.

 

A certain class is something you might not have, and a certain skill level is something you might not have. So, in that, they are both optional things that should not be mandatory for core story progression. I understand their differences, but in that respect, they are the same. Please forgive my poor wording.

Also pretty academical I'd say ;)

 

 

Unless "academical" means "incorrect," then I merely apologize for being slightly annoyingly technical. It's just how my brain works. *shrug*

 

I realize that player skill does sometimes involve timing, but, it doesn't generally involve the timing/aptitude of the character with specific actions (you can't try harder and make your character run faster, or make them swing more accurately at a foe, or make them be better at Spot, etc). If I knew how to describe the specific facet of character skill I'm trying to describe, I would, but all I know is that it's an aspect of it that's best kept separate from player skill (within the context of such an RPG).

 

The best comparison I can think up is this:

 

In combat, your character's "skill" (Attack rating, or whatever it's labeled in a given RPG) determines the range/modifier on his attack roll, which represents his ability to physically make an attack with a weapon, You tell him to attack, and you even tell him when and whom to attack, but you NEVER get to directly affect that attack roll. Your character makes that roll, every time. Does that make sense?

 

It seems like, if you do a "twitchy," timing-based element in a lockpicking interface, then your character would have a tumbler-timing "roll," which is then overridden completely by the player's ability (or lack thereof) at timing the tumblers. As I said, your character could have a 90 lockpicking skill, and you, the player, could still botch the tumblers, just as they could have a 20 lockpicking skill and you could nail the timing on the tumblers perfectly on a rather difficult lock (if the game allows you to attempt beyond your character's skill rating.)

 

Whereas, in combat, if your character has 90 Attack rating, then he's going to produce better results with swings, every single time. You can prevent him from swinging, but you can't affect HOW he swings. You don't actually time the action of his sword hand, or his aim.

 

Or, if it helps, you don't actually MAKE your character DO things. You just tell him what TO do. With a twitchy tumbler timing interface (say THAT ten times fast, :)), you're actually directly determining the deftness of the character's action. You're essentially making them perform an action with either good or bad timing, regardless of their own ability to time deft hand movements.

 

So, I don't know if that helps, but that is the only reason I don't advocate "twitch"-based elements in the given RPG design. I don't disagree that player skill is integral to an RPG, and that testing that in different ways (such as with puzzles, or dialogue, which is kind of like a puzzle, sort of...) isn't inherently bad. You simply have to make sure the test of the player's skill doesn't stomp on the toes of the character's skill in your game's design. That's all.

 

 

And, @Umberlin, while I understand your frustrations and concerns, I believe you're nuking what could be handled with a rifle.

 

Basically, I want the design of any kind of non-combat "minigame" interface to be handled with the same approach (not to be confused with "I want them to be the same" or "I want them to take the exact same amount of time," etc.) as combat.

 

Think of it... In combat, there's a group of enemies, and you have a group of allies. You have abilities and movement speed, etc. When you've overcome all the obstacles (all the enemies), combat is over, and you are victorious. As your party gets better and better, they become better tools with even more versatility and effectiveness in combat, and you fight tougher and tougher enemies.

 

Well, pretend your Thieves' Tools are your party, and the tumblers/lock-mechanisms are the enemies.

 

In fact, someone was talking about how the "Thieves' Tools" sets in RPGs are representative of historical sets of tools that include far more than just lockpicks. They might've had certain acids that ate through certain metals (lockpicking skill could allow you to identify the metals of components of a mechanism), various picks and such for tumblers, and even punch/chisel-type tools for breaking or jamming certain mechanical components.

 

The way I see it, your lockpickist will know HOW to do things to locks, but not necessarily what all they need to do to the locks to successfully best them. Again, just like combat. Your character doesn't go "Oh, I should use Hack, followed by Leap to this other enemy, then maybe Power Strike, followed by Riposte -- because THAT guy's gonna try hitting me at that point -- then a Whirlwind while the Mage throws a flame wall here and here..."

 

No, you decide all that, as you go, until the battle's won. The character just presents you with all those abilities/capabilities as tools, at your disposal, with which to command your party to victory.

 

Hence, my take on complex lockpicking. With simple locks (relative to the character's skill), your character doesn't really need to make any decisions or "solve" the lock. All they need is their skill. So, they just pick it. With complex/difficult locks, they may scratch their heads a bit, and have to employ some trial-and-error to get through the lock. There are essentially 3 ways to handle this:

 

1) Just say "Eff it," and don't even worry about representing the complexity of the lock, or the challenge to your character's skill, in any way, shape, or fashion. Just make it an instant skill check and the lock opens.

 

2) Represent the complexity of the lock and the challenge to your character's skill with a progress bar, adding a modicum of immersion at the cost of tedious waiting because the player can't make any decisions other than "watch a 30-second progress bar and pretend they're picking a complex lock, or don't even tell them to pick it."

 

3) Actually represent the lock's challenge just like combat, by allowing the player to utilize the options/resources provided by the character's skill to "solve" the lock.

 

 

If lockpicking just plain isn't you're thing, then that's fine. But, I really don't see why people act like I'm crazy for suggesting that Option 3 is a good option. *shrug*

 

Again, it still has to be hashed out and balanced. It's not just "Well, I don't even care if it's an interesting or fun puzzley interface, or if it takes 7 hours, or what... Just as long as those super-basic decisions are made... that it WILL be a minigame, rather than instantaneous skill check, ^_^"

Edited by Lephys

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Except that without exception, you're making the decisions, because it's not a simulation. And as long as the game is dependent on your own input, you're playing.

Remember that a dialogue choice won't succeed/won't appear without the statistical values there required for your character to come up with it, or to pull of saying it properly. This extends to combat, you might try and move ten tiles, but if your character on a numbers level can only move five, well, it won't work. These numerical values dictating what your character is, and what they can do, are essential to proper roleplaying otherwise you have those, "and then I sprouted angel demon ninja wings and cast ultimate super death nova" type players running amok.

 

You might tell your character to swing a sword all you want, that's fine, but whether it hits, misses or whether you even get to your target, in an actual RPG, bow to the numbers of you, the sword, the thing you're swinging at and the numbers of the terrain itself. There are terrain types in many PnP games for just this reason that can hurt you, hinder movement and so on for just these reasons. You character may be able to normally move five tiles, but each 'hazard' tile, shall we call them, might have a numerical value that says, "a single tile of this type takes up two movement to cross". Thus where you'd normally be able to move five, you'd only be able to move two in a single turn, that extra tile worth of movement being wasted potential.

 

As such when you go to pick a lock, if there 'anything' you can do to help overcome your character's inability to pick a lock, then it's faulty, I'm looking for an RPG, not a nonsense twitch game that lets be throw the lockpicking numbers out the window, and sprout the "samurai god elemental demon horns of unstoppable vampire werewolf lock picking" whenever I want to.

So... combat should be the same? Hmm, that would make the game very entertaining.

Combat in an actual RPG it like this. You have no control over whether the swing misses or not, as it should be. This actually does apply to movement as well, if we're talking PnP where the amount of tiles you can move is dictated by certain numbers. You might choose which tiles to move to, and whether to move to the fullest extent that you can or not, but even the movement is still firmly under the rule of the numbers. No extra tiles moved without the numbers to support it. Obviously you get to choose what to do, whether to throw a fireball or a lightning bolt, for example, but whether they hit or not how much they hit for and the surrounding ideas are completely up to the numbers that come together.

 

This is on purpose, you aren't the character, if left to the hands of many players a character could do almost anything, or what the player could do, this is important to move away from in an RPG because the numbers tell you what the 'character' is capable of. How much they can hit for. How charming they are. Whether they're knowledgeable in old languages. All of these things are statistical values to make sure you stay true to what the character is capable of.

Poor semantics are poor. First of all, noone argues against character skill being a factor, possibly heavily so, since it's still an RPG. Secondly, for all intents and purposes, you are the character. There's a reason most games (and P:E will probably be no exception) adress the character as 'you'. Maybe you will decide to act like an evil puppy strangler one day, and like a saint the other day. Since we don't know anything about the whims and mood swings of that fictional character, we can only assume that your whims are his whims. Your stupid decisions are his stupid decisions. You're not overriding anything, because the character doesn't have any personality except the one that can be construed from your actions (which are his actions).

You dictate the character's personality? Only within the context of what the numbers allow. If you didn't stat your character to be charismatic and handsome, then he isn't, no matter how much you want him to be otherwise. If you try and play it like that, and the numbers don't support it, all your rolls come back through that filter. That filter needs to be there. It's the one that tells the NPC you're actually ugly and awkward, and that your character acting otherwise is, to the NPC, delusional by way of the statistical feedback they respond to.

See above.

I see that you're quite confused by modern action/choose your own adventure games that try and pass themselves off as RPGs.

 

Regardless, I'm done.

Edited by Umberlin
  • Like 1

"Step away! She has brought truth and you condemn it? The arrogance!

You will not harm her, you will not harm her ever again!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You dictate the character's personality? Only within the context of what the numbers allow.

Not at all. If I want to play my character as being suicidal, then I can do that (until he actually gets killed), no matter what the numbers are. I choose where he goes (within the limits of the game world), no matter what the numbers are. I dictate who he fights, when he casts, what he buys.

But I'll repeat: Noone is asking for skill resolution that doesn't rely on your character's skill. If your character is completely unskilled/ very weak at lockpicking, then your manual dexterity shouldn't make him a master thief.

If you didn't stat your character to be charismatic and handsome, then he isn't, no matter how much you want him to be otherwise. If you try and play it like that, and the numbers don't support it, all your rolls come back through that filter.

Let's take your hypothetical scenario (which doesn't apply to all games): If I choose the non-charming dialogue line, then my character gets the appropriate reaction, no matter if his charisma score unlocked the "better" dialogue line. I've never seen a game where you get exactly one dialogue line for every stat your character possesses; the problem with such a game would be (even though it would suit your idea of what an RPG is) that the game plays itself, that I can make no choice beyond what my character's numbers dictate. And you'll never see that in a modern CRPG. Edited by Sacred_Path

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<Snip>

 

As such when you go to pick a lock, if there 'anything' you can do to help overcome your character's inability to pick a lock, then it's faulty, I'm looking for an RPG, not a nonsense twitch game that lets be throw the lockpicking numbers out the window, and sprout the "samurai god elemental demon horns of unstoppable vampire werewolf lock picking" whenever I want to.

what I'm saying is that character skill may determine your options, you play them out. I may not be able to swing a sword and hit, but when I am able to, it is my actions that determine whether or not I swing it.

In a similar vein, I think it's perfectly ok to determine the difficulty of lock-picking by character skill (or whether or not you can actually attempt the pick) while still letting the player do it. Just like combat, just like dialogue. Character skill may give you extra dialogue options, but you still pick them.

And MANY games are played without twitchy nervy eye hand co-ordination requiring skills.

Edited by JFSOCC

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with Umberln on this. Success at anything should be determined solely by the characters skill, the player's skill at pressing buttons should not even come in to play. If I play the game drunk, the character should not hit less or fail at lockpicking because my reflexes are dulled by the effects of alcohol. They aren't drunk, so why would their abilities be dulled?

 

You create the character, you decide what their stats will be, what their personality is like, their beliefs, etc, but you are not the character. The reason you make every decision is because you couldn't completely script the character design in to the game completely and have the character act exactly as you designed them.


"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

"...the vote of a black redhead disabled homosexual transsexual Jew should probably be worth the same as at least a hundred white heterosexual Christians."-Rostere

 

"i can think of many women i would gladly sleep with, but not a single one that i would want as a girlfriend/wife... neither real nor fictional."-teknoman2

 

"I'm all for killing dogs in film." - algroth

 

"Iselmyr is the one who did GOMAD... Aloth is lactose intolerant" -ShadySands

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I play the game drunk, the character should not hit less or fail at lockpicking because my reflexes are dulled by the effects of alcohol. They aren't drunk, so why would their abilities be dulled?

Paraphrased: "If I play drunk and therefore do stupid **** my character shouldn't die because he's not drunk." Logical problem obvious?

 

The reason you make every decision is because you couldn't completely script the character design in to the game completely and have the character act exactly as you designed them.

No. The reason why this won't happen is because it result in Sims: The RPG. Noone wants less control over the character (if they're honest) just so the character becomes more authentic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paraphrased: "If I play drunk and therefore do stupid **** my character shouldn't die because he's not drunk." Logical problem obvious?

Your paraphrase is off the mark.

A more accurate one would be: "If I play drunk and therefore my reflexes are dulled by the effects of alcohol, the PC shouldn't start missing attacks or get worse at lock picking because I am unable to press buttons as effectively."

 

 

No. The reason why this won't happen is because it result in Sims: The RPG. Noone wants less control over the character (if they're honest) just so the character becomes more authentic.

Who the hell is noone? How does (s)he figure in to this?

 

Regardless, control over the PC is should not be removed from the player's hands, because there is no other current way for the character to react according to the player's wishes consistently. That does not mean the player is the PC.

Edited by KaineParker

"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

"...the vote of a black redhead disabled homosexual transsexual Jew should probably be worth the same as at least a hundred white heterosexual Christians."-Rostere

 

"i can think of many women i would gladly sleep with, but not a single one that i would want as a girlfriend/wife... neither real nor fictional."-teknoman2

 

"I'm all for killing dogs in film." - algroth

 

"Iselmyr is the one who did GOMAD... Aloth is lactose intolerant" -ShadySands

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

>No. The reason why this won't happen is because it result in Sims: The RPG. Noone wants less control over the character (if they're honest) just so the character becomes more authentic.

Paraphrased: "If I playhouldn't die because he's not drunk." Logical

Who the hell is noone? How does (s)he figure in to this?

 

"noone" is a typo for "no one". :facepalm:

Edited by rjshae

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your paraphrase is off the mark.

A more accurate one would be: "If I play drunk and therefore my reflexes are dulled by the effects of alcohol, the PC shouldn't start missing attacks or get worse at lock picking because I am unable to press buttons as effectively."

Now you're only arguing against twitch elements. I hope you're aware of that.

 

If you're drunk and you make stupid decisions that lead to your character dying in combat, that's ok for you. If you're drunk and therefore not as precise in the movement of your mouse/ not as quick in your reactions, that shouldn't have an effect on the character's performance.

 

I'll spell it out if it hasn't come across yet: your distinction between governing your character's hand movements (lock picking, swordfighting) and governing his leg movements (walking) and intellectual activities is completely arbitrary. Therefore, you shouldn't try to sell this as a good mindset for designing games.

Regardless, control over the PC is should not be removed from the player's hands, because there is no other current way for the character to react according to the player's wishes consistently. That does not mean the player is the PC.

You might want to reread that sentence and then rephrase it yourself. What you're saying is that your idea of the holy grail of CRPG design is to find a way to make the character carry out the player's wishes automatically, which isn't possible yet so sadly the player has to push buttons constantly. If it were possible to make the character act out the wishes of the player automatically, this would make the character more independant of player skill. :facepalm:

Edited by Sacred_Path

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not a damn sim, you should be able to expect something from the player. If the player is a halfwit when his character is not, then that's too bad. Character stats should only determine the options you have available to you, but YOU must play your character.


Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The player's job in a rpg is to choose the character's stats reasonably, so that the character *can* pick a lock when the player want's him to do so.

 

It's like in the business world, the boss doesn't need to know anything about engineering, his job is to hire a competent engineer.

Edited by JOG

"You are going to have to learn to think before you act, but never to regret your decisions, right or wrong. Otherwise, you will slowly begin to not make decisions at all."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...