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Jarmo

Player skill vs Character skill

  

125 members have voted

  1. 1. The outcome should be

    • Totally based on player skill
      0
    • Mostly based on player skill, with influence from character skills
      11
    • About 50-50 dependant on player and character skills
      35
    • Mostly based on character skill, with influence from player skills
      44
    • Totally based on character skill
      35


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So there are about two kinds of games.

  1. The first kind, where the game character remains constant, but the player learns the game and can pass more and more difficult hurdles.
     
  2. The second kind, where the player doesn't learn anything, but the character becomes more and more able to pass hurdles.

Now, rpg's are always a mix and the second kind of game doesn't actually exist.

 

But there are aspects, like lockpicking. In traditional games you click a lock and the character attempts to pick it,

twenty levels later, you as a player don't do the mousework any better, but the character can do his bit with confidence. (NWN style)

Or there's the mixed way where you do some puzzlework and based on that and character skills, theres success or failure. (Mass Effect, Alpha Protocol, Oblivion)

 

Combat is mostly either (very rarely) totally player skill based, or a combination. But the combination can lean one way or the other.

The totally character based combat model would be clicking towards the enemy and hoping for the best, NWN with fighters and KotOR were pretty far into this direction.

Skyrim and The Witcher or Mount & Blade being more based on player skills. Baldurs Gate and the likes being somewhere in between.

(That's not taking into account the overall difficulty of the games, just the matter in question here).

 

So, just wanting to know what would the folks prefer.

When there's a challenge, should the outcome depend on your characters skillset, or yours?

Edited by Jarmo
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for combat, largely player skill. Really player strategy I guess. The skill is all the character. I tell him to attack but its up to the game skills if that attack hits. For things like picking locks, 100% character skill. I hate lockpick minigames in every game that has them. I guess thats a vote for 100% character skill. I want to tell my characters what to do, but its up to them whether they actually can do those actions or not.

Edited by ogrezilla
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I'm really looking for replies as much as votes, since the poll can't tell what someone actually means.

I'm assuming those voting for 100% character skill, don't really mean players battle tactics shouldn't matter,

but rather something like the timing of attack clickety-clicks shouldn't matter (or exist).

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Player skill is high level (strategy, tactics), character skill is low level (hitting bad guys with swords)

 

I'm not sure how you can quantify that.

Edited by Infinitron
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Player skill is high level (strategy, tactics), character skill is low level (hitting bad guys with swords)

 

That's actually saying it pretty dang clear and precise.

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I'm really looking for replies as much as votes, since the poll can't tell what someone actually means.

I'm assuming those voting for 100% character skill, don't really mean players battle tactics shouldn't matter,

but rather something like the timing of attack clickety-clicks shouldn't matter (or exist).

I picked 100% character skill, but I would consider player strategy and tactics something different than player skill. basically, what Infinitron said. I say who to swing a sword at, but character skill decides how well he swings the sword.

Edited by ogrezilla

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With a single-character game I enjoy supplying a big chunk of the character skill. But for a party-based game I just want to be the element supplying the decision making. That makes character specialization more significant and opens the game up to a wider range of players (including those players that are intelligent but not quite so coordinated).


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I'd say, for everything, about 70% character skill and 30% player skill.


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Without reading the comments I chose:

 

Option A:

Mostly based on player skill, with influence from character skills

 

Now, reading the comments I am leaning more towards the opposite of it.

 

Option B:

More based on character skill, with influence from player skills

 

Just clarifying, my vote goes to option B and not option A.

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I'd probably lean towards the level of control that NWN2 gave you.

 

Note that character skill and player skill are, in most RPGs, very tightly intertwined. Unless you actually build your character to Pick That Lock or Shoot That Bow, the results aren't going to be worthwhile- The ultimate end result, the picked lock or the bow shot, ultimately comes back to a decision made by the player. A big part of the traditional RPG is building your character towards these end results, and pushing the "player development" part of the game tends to take away from the "character development" part of the game. With this in mind, I'm wondering whether the question would be better worded with macrocentric(character creation/customisation, balanced/focused parties) or microcentric(physically dodging blows and connecting attacks).

Edited by LilSaihah

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Generally speaking, my character's skill should dictate the success (or lack thereof) of my choices, and if my choices haven't led the character to be able to succeed in the skill then hopefully I'm smart enough to have a different plan.

 

Too often - using lockpicking as an example - games err on the side of creating a puzzle for the player that high skill only makes easier to solve but players still have to use their manual dexterity with the mouse/keyboard to solve. But sometimes this utterly fails (Mass Effect where it was tedious but relatively easy to bypass most puzzles on skill alone) or annoying where even with a high skill it wasn't terribly fun to deal with (Elder Scroll games). IMO and YMMV.

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Character skill. This is gonna be a cRPG, not an acRPG.

My character need to dodge the incoming hit because he has an adequate amount of agility/dexterity, and not because I was able to manually move it away from the incoming blow.

Edited by DocDoomII
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It depends how you define "player skill". Action gaming skills as in swinging swords and dodging via keyboard/mouse? No! Strategic/tactical skills as in what classes did you pick for your party, what skills, spells and equipment did you choose and how are you using it in tactical combat? Hell yes!

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It depends how you define "player skill". Action gaming skills as in swinging swords and dodging via keyboard/mouse? No! Strategic/tactical skills as in what classes did you pick for your party, what skills, spells and equipment did you choose and how are you using it in tactical combat? Hell yes!

 

I see the former as a skill and the later as a player choices.

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So there are about two kinds of games.

  1. The first kind, where the game character remains constant, but the player learns the game and can pass more and more difficult hurdles.
     
  2. The second kind, where the player doesn't learn anything, but the character becomes more and more able to pass hurdles.

Now, rpg's are always a mix and the second kind of game doesn't actually exist.

 

But there are aspects, like lockpicking. In traditional games you click a lock and the character attempts to pick it,

twenty levels later, you as a player don't do the mousework any better, but the character can do his bit with confidence. (NWN style)

Or there's the mixed way where you do some puzzlework and based on that and character skills, theres success or failure. (Mass Effect, Alpha Protocol, Oblivion)

 

Combat is mostly either (very rarely) totally player skill based, or a combination. But the combination can lean one way or the other.

The totally character based combat model would be clicking towards the enemy and hoping for the best, NWN with fighters and KotOR were pretty far into this direction.

Skyrim and The Witcher or Mount & Blade being more based on player skills. Baldurs Gate and the likes being somewhere in between.

(That's not taking into account the overall difficulty of the games, just the matter in question here).

 

So, just wanting to know what would the folks prefer.

When there's a challenge, should the outcome depend on your characters skillset, or yours?

 

I can't think of a single rpg where the outcome of combat is entirely dependent on player skill. I think of player skill as meaning hand eye coordination, strategy, understanding of game play mechanics. There are a lot of action rpgs where the balance of success is weighted toward player skill with timing, coordination, understanding game mechanics and recognizing enemy actions. RPGs like the ones PE is supposed to be inspired by rely very little on the players physical abilities (hand eye coordination, timing to a lesser degree) for character success. Instead, the players contribution toward character success is in strategy, understanding mechanics and using the tools the characters have creatively.

 

I'll use lock picking as an example. I prefer systems where the character must have skill in lock picking to unlock something. But, I also like there to be wiggle room, so if the characters lock pick skill is a bit low for a specific lock, and the player understands that DEX helps with lock picking and a second character in the party can temporarily boost the lock pickers DEX, that little boost can be the difference between opening the lock and not being able to.

 

For straight combat, it's the same. The characters skill should be the ultimate determinant of success but the player contributes to that success by understanding the game mechanics and using the characters resources intelligently and creatively.

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Player initiates actions, character skill determines it's effectiveness.

 

:thumbsup:

 

This for me. I think that's the whole appealing aspect of RPGs for me. Building my character's skills so he becomes stronger over time, not just because I'm more familiar with the buttons and keys.

 

Obviously there's going to be player input; the better the strategy (ie. which equipment to wear, what party formations to use, etc.), the better the chances of winning. But in terms of actually deciding the individual battles, I want my character's skill to be the determining factor.

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Non-combat skills are probably more haunted by Player skill/knowledge than combat is (unless it's going to be a game in first-person mode, which it is not).

 

Take riddles f.ex. and let's say that INT scales from 1 to 10. And that Player knowledge is barely influencing the challenge.

At INT 1, all options available should be wrong (unless the character very recently found the answer in plain text before the riddle came). At 10, all available options should be right or all the wrong ones should be greyed out. And with a high INT companion available at the time of testing, they should be able to provide hints or the correct answer.

 

Is that good or bad?


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Non-combat skills are probably more haunted by Player skill/knowledge than combat is (unless it's going to be a game in first-person mode, which it is not).

 

Take riddles f.ex. and let's say that INT scales from 1 to 10. And that Player knowledge is barely influencing the challenge.

At INT 1, all options available should be wrong (unless the character very recently found the answer in plain text before the riddle came). At 10, all available options should be right or all the wrong ones should be greyed out. And with a high INT companion available at the time of testing, they should be able to provide hints or the correct answer.

 

Is that good or bad?

intelligence definitely can throw a wrench in this. Because I hate when I know the answer to in game problems but my character doesn't. I think its probably the correct game design, but it is still infuriating to watch. Ideally, the lack of intelligence from the character would prevent him from gathering the information to let me the player know the answer in the first place.

Edited by ogrezilla

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Non-combat skills are probably more haunted by Player skill/knowledge than combat is (unless it's going to be a game in first-person mode, which it is not).

 

Take riddles f.ex. and let's say that INT scales from 1 to 10. And that Player knowledge is barely influencing the challenge.

At INT 1, all options available should be wrong (unless the character very recently found the answer in plain text before the riddle came). At 10, all available options should be right or all the wrong ones should be greyed out. And with a high INT companion available at the time of testing, they should be able to provide hints or the correct answer.

 

Is that good or bad?

 

I would say it would be good. Others may disagree, but I'm all for INT or INT/WIS stats reflecting what my character should know and not being able to come up with the right answer because I happen to know what walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon and three legs at night.

 

But I like low INT dialogue anyhow (and think, reasonably, there should be high int dialogue as well).

Edited by Amentep
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Player initiates actions, character skill determines it's effectiveness.

 

:thumbsup:

 

This for me. I think that's the whole appealing aspect of RPGs for me. Building my character's skills so he becomes stronger over time, not just because I'm more familiar with the buttons and keys.

 

Obviously there's going to be player input; the better the strategy (ie. which equipment to wear, what party formations to use, etc.), the better the chances of winning. But in terms of actually deciding the individual battles, I want my character's skill to be the determining factor.

+1

 

I think this is the best way to go for a traditional cRPG. Action RPGs are another genre in my opinion, so different rules apply there...


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I think this is a really good question.

 

I personally remember a time where I'd play shooters and get sick of being expect to be on my feet AT ALL TIMES with no chance to relax, then I'd play Final Fantasy and get annoyed with not being able to do anything about my characters sucking. Not that they were horrible, just that a fight was DESIGNED to be challenging and nothing I could do could make it easier...cept grind for an hour.

 

 

I'd like an in-between. Again, I know I'm a broken record here, but I loved New Vegas. I liked that guns skill afforded you reasonable sway instead of "OH MY GAWD THIS GUN'S GOT A MIND OF IT'S OWN SOMEONE HELP ME," but it was up to you to aim. Or if you REALLY didn't want to, use VATS and build your character for VATS.

It'd be nice if, for example, character skill was incredibly important (obviously, as with any typical RPG), but if the strategy with character placement was intriguing enough that player skill played a bigger role. Obviously, again, it always does, but for example with Fire Emblem I never felt like I was able to think up a strategy, but rather my goal was to NOT screw up and send one guy too far forward so that he gets attacked 7 times. That's nice and all, but it feels linear in the sense that there was "screw up" and "don't screw up," rarely showing any chance for tactics that were in some way rewarded or opened up new paths or possibilities.

 

Personally I'm in the middle on this. Yes I want to see my character progress, but I also want to feel challenged and forced to think in some way. Grinding or finding some special item just to win a fight? Not something I find acceptable; I wanna think.


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Outside of your tactical input, such as how to use what the character has at their disposal, there should be no player input at all. You might choose a conversation option, but the conversation options available should be a result of who your character is, what they know, how bright they are or how bright they are, how wise they are or how wise they aren't, how charming they are or how charming they aren't and so on and so forth. This extends to combat, your characters statistics, gear, abilities, skills, level and the environment are the true deciders with your input being how to use what's avaiable.

 

There should never be a twitch 'player skill' element in an RPG, the idea of player skill in an RPG of that sort beyond their tactical and decision making input is laughable. Every time someone claims to be great at RPG PvP, for example, I laugh to the point of outright hysteria, because it's either not true or because the game is an RPG in name only, with none of the underlying factors that make it an actual RPG.

 

You are inserting yourself into the role of a character in an RPG, part of it is realizing that your own 'I can shoot way better/aim way better than that' abilities should mean nothing, because that's you. What you can do means nothing and should mean nothing. It's about what you're character can do, and working within those confines, working with what they have instead of what you have.

 

Outside of you deciding what to do with what 'the character' has, you should have no input. Your input is selecting the dialogue option, deciding which quest to take, deciding where to move, whether to flank or not, if your character is even mobile enough/stealthy enough to flank - and that's the key. If your character isn't either of those things then you need to work within the things your character can do. Not what you can do or think you can do. Only what your character can do, and they should never be able to do everything. You're playing a character, and if that character misses or hits it should be a result of their capabilities. The second someone complains that, "I was facing them how could I miss!?" is the second they need to realize that they don't really want to play an RPG at all, at least not a real RPG.

 

There are plenty of mindless twitch ridden action RPGs out there for people that want that, indeed it's darn near the only thing developers are willing to make anymore. If this is really a call back to the oldschool IE games then I expect that sort of twitchy "My reflexes/twitch gaming skills should matter!" mentality to be thrown straight out the window, into the trash heap, where it belongs. Oblivion, Fallout 3, Skyrim and their ilk aren't RPGs in my mind, they're action RPGs, and that's a pretty massive difference, which is fine if you want an action RPG . . . but that's not what I'm looking for here. That's not what this project was advertised as. PE was advertised as a call back to the old IE games, and they were not action RPGs. Action RPG styles nonsense is the last thing I want to see in this game.

 

In short: I'm looking for a full on oldschool RPG, your player skills like twitch/reflex and all that should mean zip, zero nada. Nothing. The player input that 'should' matter are the obvious things, your ability to make choices, your ability to think tactically and intelligently - your ability to think 'as' your character, and operate within the confines of your character. Tactical. Not reflex or twitch.

Edited by Umberlin
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So there are about two kinds of games.

  1. The first kind, where the game character remains constant, but the player learns the game and can pass more and more difficult hurdles.
     
  2. The second kind, where the player doesn't learn anything, but the character becomes more and more able to pass hurdles.

Now, rpg's are always a mix and the second kind of game doesn't actually exist.

I think you've mischaracterised the second type of game. it isn't that the player doesn't learn anything, but that the player's learning isn't relevant.

 

Any game with infinite pausing effectively emulates this. The primary difference between a skilled player and an unskilled player is that a skilled player can make good gameplay decisions faster. So if the game is fully pausable, and the player can take as much time as he would like to make decisions, the impact of differences in player skill are minimised.

 

That should be a design goal - to minimise the impact of differences in player skill, but without removing gameplay options. Players should still be allowed to make suboptimal decisions on-purpose, but they shouldn't be forced into sub-optimal decisions by timer-induced panic.

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