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Unwinnable Encounter(s)?  

275 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you favor having one or more encounters that are unwinnable in game?

    • No, my party is the "ne plus ultra" of this world and we should be able to overcome everything eventually.
    • Yes, but only *one* and only on an optional sidequest.
    • Yes, but only on optional sidequests.
    • Yes, but don't overuse them because I'm here to have fun, not to end up frustrated and ticked off.


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As a videogame, we've decades of conditioning that nothing is impossible. Implementing such a thing would have people spending hours trying to win, and then getting really mad and putting up a huge stink.

 

or spending hours trying to win, and then winning and going YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS

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Yes, I mentioned this a while back in the `random encounters´ topic

 

"I want random encounters to worry me and potentially be scared when they happen.

 

I want some to be un-winnable, were I have no choice but to lay a decoy and high tail it out of the region as fast as I can."

 

 

My opinion is still the same, we need a bit of fear when venturing the world and not to feel like we are unbeatable or the strongest person with no equal. But it can not be overused, as was said in the poll, it would cause frustration and games are meant to be first and foremost fun.

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With the presence of ample foreshadowing, clues, and hints of what's coming -- not to mention an alternative way of "dealing" with the issue (ie. make sure that it's an optional encounter to begin with, make sure there's an opportunity to RUN when things get out of hand) -- then I think unwinnable encounters are not only ok but actually add something to the overall believability of the setting. My characters -- assuming they start out at the familiar "n00b dirt farmer" status level -- should NEVER attain so much power so quickly that they can defeat anything and everything the world has ever produced. Ever. Or, if they DO manage to acquire that much power that quickly, they should utterly self-destruct in in-fighting and/or insanity because they don't have the experience necessary to wield it. So yes, unwinnable encounters do, IMO, enhance the sense of a "greater world" as well as keep me on my toes for the ever-present threat.

 

There are, however, quite a few clauses and stipulations regarding their existence. Many of them have to do with the nature of the games in which they appear -- a linear story-driven game is a poor choice for such things because invariably the mechanics and "belts of immortality" end up showing, thus more than ruining whatever amount of believability was gained. Also, in such games, they end up coming across as being way too forced for my liking. ('course, that holds true of most things in linear, story-driven games, I suppose... ). So, while they can be fun and will bring a certain amount of fun to the game, IMO, the amount of work necessary to pull them off in a convincing fashion might just be prohibitive.

 

... to say nothing of making the fight itself plausible. Anything SO powerful as to be literally unbeatable is very likely going to have a WWIII-style arsenal of firepower at its disposal, and making sure that the party survives long enough to flee in the first place might itself be something of a challenge.

 

Ultimately, this idea falls into the "good idea, but very hard to implement successfully" category for me.

 

I do, however, advocate having areas that are simply too hard for my party. There's a great deal of satisfaction in coming back to a castle later in the game where you previously got spanked and then showing the all-too-smug bastages just what you've learned while you've been away. Again, though... needs to be somewhere else to go and something else that can be done in the interim.

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I agree with the OP but to a certain extent. There should be powerful enemies with upper scale statistics appropriate to their levels. However, it should not be scripted nor should they be unkillable. However, it may be their resistances and HP is so high that it's impossible for the PC even at their maximum level cap to defeat these enemies.

 

However, if future events empower the PC and his companions - e.g. finding a powerful artifact or absorbing the essence of a fallen god (in future expansions), I see no reason why the PC cannot return and whoop the little green dragon's ass :devil:

 

I'm going to have to disagree.

 

As a videogame, we've decades of conditioning that nothing is impossible. Implementing such a thing would have people spending hours trying to win, and then getting really mad and putting up a huge stink.

 

In a PnP game, you know the score, the DM can and probably will kill you (Sometimes repeatedly depending on the DM), in a video game there's no way to communicate to the Player that this is a bad idea.

 

And it'll become exponentially worse once someone finds an exploit and actually does kill it and there's no real reward for it.

 

I'm afraid I have to disagree with your opinion and stick to my guns. You do have some good reasons but I hope you can consider this:

 

1. Firstly, even in a video game - there are plenty of avenues of discouraging the PC from attempting something as unintelligent as attacking a deity like creature. This could be via:

(a) advice or warning from other NPCs nearby;

(b) caution or dissent from party members

© a show of power or warning from the Powerful NPC if the PC tries to attack. If the PC insists on continuing, then too bad

 

2. Besides, if the PC dies after numerous attempts and can't even put up a good challenge, don't you think he or she will get it, that it's not a good idea? Granted, if you're talking about the PC not being aware UPFRONT that it's a bad idea, you've got a point. That's why we'll need something along the lines of point 1.

 

3. Finding exploit and killing a high-powered NPC is a legitimate accomplishment isn't it? Of course, if Obsidian implements these type of "practicably" unwinnable quest, they should prepare for a contigency and reward if the PC succeeds. If the PC wins, to prevent the lore being out of whack, it could turn out the NPC is just a low-level Avatar of the deity or the NPC is just testing the PC. In that case, the PC should be rewarded for their persistence.

 

If you played Dark Souls, there's actually some players that defeated the first Boss the very FIRST TIME with their fists alone taking over 1/2 hour. The reward was the big ass club the Boss was holding. If you didn't defeat the Boss the first time, you wouldn't get the reward. That's the sort of unwinnable quest I envision Obsidian implementing.

 

Dark Souls Encounter below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5L7nXe8ytY

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If it's unwinnable because you have foolishly chosen to charge into battle with no preparations, having no intel on your enemy, being at low level etc., then yes.

If it's unwinnable by default because game designers decided so (that is to say your enemy simply has a god mode or some other cheat on and you can't turn it off by completing a quest, obtaining a certain item etc.), than no, I don't want this.

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This usually doesn't work for a couple of reasons. First, it's hard to convince a player that an encounter is truly impossible because one of the conventions of a CRPG is people telling you "This thing is too powerful -- our greatest warriors have died trying to defeat it" which really means "Quest here: go and kill the thing". Second, in a game run by a human, you generally only get one shot at the enemy so it's possible to have a fair fight where the party is overpowered. In a CRPG, you get to figure out what you are fighting at your leisure after which you can prepare accordingly and seemingly impossible battles become very doable. For example, assuming you get past his normal Lich form, Kangaxx can be beaten by a couple of low-level arcane casters with a few Spell Immunity and Melf's Minute Meteors spells each (i.e. the standard Liches are harder than the Demilich). Now that we have the Adventurer's Hall, I guarantee you that if you try to make an "unwinnable" fight, somebody is going to construct a party that can beat it.

 

The only way for the computer to reliably win is to cheat, whether through minHP items or through cutscenes. Thus, I am generally against such fights, although I suppose once or twice per game is OK.

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Only if it fits the lore, like against an omnipotent being.

 

What I do would like to have however is coming across vastly stronger opponents where it's about survival more than anything.

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I said yes on certain occasions in side quests, partly for the reason Lady Elvenstar gave, but also because I hope for some really challenging encounters when I've walked in on something almost beyond my measley party... Hey, I wrote "almost"! ;)

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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I think there should be stuff you just cant beat in a fair fight, where you have to think outside the box, or run away....there may be a way to win, but not by fighting

I don't think you should ever become the most powerful thing in the world, it breaks immersion when the world revolves around you

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I think there should be stuff you just cant beat in a fair fight, where you have to think outside the box, or run away....there may be a way to win, but not by fighting

I don't think you should ever become the most powerful thing in the world, it breaks immersion when the world revolves around you

Yes I want it more like Baldur's Gate!

..

..

Oh wait.. :)

 

It only breaks immersion if you can't make it plausible!

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As a videogame, we've decades of conditioning that nothing is impossible. Implementing such a thing would have people spending hours trying to win, and then getting really mad and putting up a huge stink.

I was under the impression this game would be made to wake up the gamers, and all the many "safeguards" and "believes" of modern RPG's wont hold true. Just because they insanely hold your hand now doesn't mean PE should. Just because modern gamers want to kill everything doesn't mean we should allow them.

Give them a bit of humiliation, murder them off, and show them, no, you can't just kill everything because you want it.

 

If you ignore the warning signs you deserve it anyway.

I wouldn't want OE to design this game with "but recent RPG's..." in mind. That would only lead to dissapointment...

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^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

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Formerly known as BattleWookiee/BattleCookiee

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Encounters you can't win? Only if: 1. you can flee eventually; 2. you have been warned; 3. there are some story driven "tricks" to overcome the encounter/situation (think about the descent into underdark in BG2, without the silver dragon spell it would be impossible to go there).

"I feel stronger"

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I like the idea of nonbeatable encounters very much. Why should the player who takes part in a huge world, be able to beat everybody, even real living legends of that world ?!

 

Think of the fantastic encounters in Baldurs Gate 2: Drizzt with party, Saemon Haevarian... it would be boring if u could ram everything into the ground... enemies like dragons / kangaxx in bg 2 I liked as well, but they were a bit to easy to call them nonbeatable I think. Why not having a fight against a exceptionally strong enemy mage who cheats the game in some way?

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I think the players ego needs some spanking every once in a while. My party being the ebnd of all things is not onnly stupid, it's also unbelievable.

 

As Spoony put it - dragons should f*** your **** up!

Players should learn some humility occasionally.

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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I like the idea, given that it should be very few and the player is warned of course. Players going for the trial of iron mode would be pretty pissed by a certain death encounter. Preferrably with the option to flee during the battle. Compared to most stories in books and movies rivals have often multiple encounter, one flees and returns to get revenge. This does help to grow a disposition for the rivals. In games one side tends to be dead after an encounter.

 

I would love to the event we the PC is stuck on a battlefield which he can only lose, you can flee, try to make a suicide attack on an enemy officer or hold some tower until it's run over. After the battle you might find yourself hiding in a cave, waking up after you've gone unconcious or being resurrected by someone who found your body. Not every loss should mean you're dead. At least becoming a prisoner shouldn't be completely uncommon. It also creates the oppurtunity for enemies to mock you about losing fights/battles against them.

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I'll take it that unwinnable actually means not possible to win. In my opinion this should be avoided.

 

Due to the range of player capabilities it would be too easy to slip into either extreme: after the 20th reload you accidentally discover that you're not supposed to win and smash your keyboard in anger, or an apparent victory gets snatched from your grasp by a scripted event and you then proceed to smash your keyboard in anger.

 

This is one of the instances where I'd say that a cutscene would be appropriate. I know, that something like getting your behind handed to you can be humbling and an interesting experience for the player, even make the world feel more natural, but on the other hand a player may start asking himself if he's supposed to or not supposed to win an encounter, which is in and of itself meta-gaming, possibly disrupting the immersion. Of course this also largely depends on the linearity of the game and players' expectations as well as the combat mechanics.

 

For examples of "unwinnable encounters" cutscened, we can look at the beggining of BG1 and 2, or perhaps the finale of MoTB (here I particularly liked how the player is shut down if he/she is being hard-headed).

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I was under the impression this game would be made to wake up the gamers, and all the many "safeguards" and "believes" of modern RPG's wont hold true. Just because they insanely hold your hand now doesn't mean PE should. Just because modern gamers want to kill everything doesn't mean we should allow them.

But come on, it's not like there are no unbeatable foes in modern games. Take for example Kai Leng battle on Tessia from Mass Effect 3. A boss unbeatable because of the plot, scripts and cut scenes in all his glory.

Should I even mention most people hated the encounter?

...or perhaps the finale of MoTB (here I particularly liked how the player is shut down if he/she is being hard-headed).

I personally didn't like it at all.

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If unwinnable encounters are in the game, getting into a fight and then realising you are outclassed and running away must actually be feasible. Getting insta-gibbed or hold-personed/confused and mauled to death just so you have to reload and avoid the encounter is not fun, but fleeing in panic can be.

Edited by limaxophobiacq
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Only if the 'unwinnable' aspect is achieved honestly rather than through cheese. A foe with stats so far above your party combined that beating it is impossible or near impossible can add a nice touch of humility.

 

That is the idea. My green dragon was an example of this. The party was in the 5th-6th level range and to the dragon they were little more than uppity chipmunks. The party never did rise to the point where they were able to challenge the wyrm and that's the way I wanted it. As a DM, it's good to have the players aware of the fact that I always have something to hang over their heads should I choose to do so. Gromnir, a poster from the old BioWare site, once used an unstable demi-god looking to test all comers at a particular road intersection to see how well they are able to handle a beatdown. If they fought cleverly and well, they were rewarded. If they didn't.... :fdevil:

 

In both examples the opponents are legitimately unkillable within the rules of the game, not simply because they were designated as invulnerable. This is what I'm hoping for as it'll force us to keep our egos in check and take seriously the idea that our party doesn't have a lock on prowess, be it stealth, magical, or main force.

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/

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If by unwinnable encounters you mean come back later and try again but it will still be hard, then yes that sounds good.

 

If you mean no matter what you do you will never beat this monster, even though you can attack it or will be attacked by it then no, waste of time even putting it in the game.

 

If there is a specific event like being captured by someone/something and first you fight it but eventually lose and are captured then yeah sure but that isn't really unwinnable in the sense that you can't beat the monster, just that storywise you aren't meant to.

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I don't mind high level encounters being available at any given time so long as the player does not necessarily have to enter the area and ample warning is provided that you need to be much stronger to have a chance. Throwing an invincible enemy at players of any level is simply poor game design. It's implicitly assumed by most players that if they hit a random encounter they have some chance of success (unless it's an Enclave patrol in Fallout 2, but the game's proper story never directed you to the Navarro region until you were at that point in the story, and you could run your ass away if you did blunder into them.) The player is the star, it's ultimately the player's story, and some cheap, unfair fight ending the quest just for ****s and giggles is not something we should be seeing.

 

Unwinnable battles are the classic mark of a traditional JRPG, and they should stay that way. Actually, Japan, stop doing that, it's stupid. I know you guys (japan) hate nonlinearity, choice, player initiative and characters who could realistically be capable of lifting a 500lb sword, but really. Come on. At least western RPGs are catching on there finally. Conformist confucionist cowards!

 

No Mary sues in this game....

 

I don't think an unbeatable boss qualifies as a Mary Sue.

Edited by AGX-17
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Only if handled with care. There is absolutely no reason to have an 'unbeatable' creature just for ****s and giggles just so you can 'teach your players a lesson'. Much easier to do this kind of thing in pnp where the players have freedom to go and do what they want. Not quite the same in a CRPG. It jjust comes as cheap, and a 'HAHA!" moment.

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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