Jump to content
Death Machine Miyagi

RPG cliches you hope to see avoided and/or mocked

Recommended Posts

Some light reading: http://project-apollo.net/text/rpg.html Mostly applies to JRPGs, but still interesting.

 

Something I'd like to see done away with - the random encounter. I know that in a IE style game you don't trigger a battle on the field screen and enter the battle screen where everyone's sprites are more detailed. Still, the whole 'we have encountered each other unexpectedly on the side of the road so we must fight to the death!' thing is overplayed. This would be pretty hard to work around but it would be interesting to see.

 

Related is the necessity for total victory. In pnp rules in most cases when an encounter is going well for the PCs the remaining opponents will either flee or surrender (undead or mindless creatures excepted). We never see this in an RPG though. Would be innovative to have something like that implemented, and if your party kept mowing down bandits that had given up they would acquire a 'bloodthirsty' reputation.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be nice if you could sell people into slavery so if you had a hostile encounter during your travels and beat the enemy, you would enslave them and sell them for money or favours. Or let them go free and spread the word of your actions. A slave society will think of you as a lawless heretic, letting the weak go free and upsetting the balance of mankind while a more "liberal" society will look at you more favourably.

Edited by villain of the story

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Foreshadowing done poorly.

You see it in these formulaic crappy CSI like programs. the camera hovers over an object with no clear reason why it is doing so, and you go "Ooh! is this going to come back?"

Foreshadowing can be done well, it was done beautifully in the first Knights of the Old Republic game, but most of the time it's just not subtle, and when it is obvious it completely kills the force of revelation that it is supposed to elicit.

Edit: I think the trick of it is by making it part of "normal proceedings" as it were. it's there, but we don't dwell on it.

Edited by JFSOCC
  • 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

Foreshadowing done poorly.

You see it in these formulaic crappy CSI like programs. the camera hovers over an object with no clear reason why it is doing so, and you go "Ooh! is this going to come back?"

Foreshadowing can be done well, it was done beautifully in the first Knights of the Old Republic game, but most of the time it's just not subtle, and when it is obvious it completely kills the force of revelation that it is supposed to elicit.

Edit: I think the trick of it is by making it part of "normal proceedings" as it were. it's there, but we don't dwell on it.

 

Something that really bothered me:

 

Ok, in KOTOR you had amnesia, so both the player and their PC don't remember anything pre-Endar Spire. In KOTOR II the PC never had amnesia, but the Exile's past is still presented as a mystery to the player for much of the game. If the fixed backstory of the main character is important to the story, isn't it a good idea to let the audience in on it at some early point?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just have to say that this thread is filled with a lot of awesome ideas, love following it, and dreaming of what surprises PE will bring us :)

  • Like 2

"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That which *must* be avoided:

 

The party walks into a room. Several skeletons or corpses are laying about the floor. When we reach the middle of the room (or the spooky altar, or whatever), the undead come to life, surrounding us! Gasp!

 

F*** that noise. If I'm exploring the Lair of Necromancer X or the Cave of Restless Souls or whatever, you can be damn sure that I'll be smashing the skulls (and maybe breaking the arms) of any inactive skeletons that I come across. Corpses? I'll be assuming "potential zombie" and hacking off the heads (and maybe the hands). Ancient king sitting mummified on his throne? I'll be taking that gigantic two-handed sword laying across his knees before I reach for the bejeweled crown.

 

It's funny you mention this, because quite a few of the dungeons in Skyrim follow this tactic. After the first time, you just kill the Draugr before they even get up.

 

Game design at it's finest! (Although sometimes they bust out of the walls, which is okay.)

Edited by Ignatius
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't really want any cliche's mocked. I also think, to some degree, the majority of RPG cliches are unavoidable.

 

As long as they can write a strong story and the gameplay works to propel me through that story, I can probably overlook any cliches that may get thrown at me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With Avellone on the writing team I think there's going to be enough ire towards tired fantasy cliches in the game without us adding to it.

Edited by limaxophobiacq
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Foreshadowing done poorly.

You see it in these formulaic crappy CSI like programs. the camera hovers over an object with no clear reason why it is doing so, and you go "Ooh! is this going to come back?"

Foreshadowing can be done well, it was done beautifully in the first Knights of the Old Republic game, but most of the time it's just not subtle, and when it is obvious it completely kills the force of revelation that it is supposed to elicit.

Edit: I think the trick of it is by making it part of "normal proceedings" as it were. it's there, but we don't dwell on it.

Ah yes, the old 'Look! A Clue!!' thing that everyone seems to do nowadays. I blame people like my dad who would get confused with even the most basic plot...

 

Since you mentioned Knights of the Old Republic though I would like to add that didn't do it too badly, but it was still obvious if you were paying attention. I just wish that if they would do this sort of thing and hint, you can call it out before the 'twist'. Would likely kill replay value though...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nvm.

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

Just have to say that this thread is filled with a lot of awesome ideas, love following it, and dreaming of what surprises PE will bring us :)

 

To be honest, if OE follows all the advice in this thread, there won't be much of a game...

 

"Ok guys, we need a boss for this dungeon level."

 

"No bosses, the community thinks they are cliche'd."

 

"No bosses? Ok... How about... hmmm... what kind of game are we making again?"

 

"We don't know."

 

The End.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you'd played the RPGs that came out in the last five years you'd hate everything about RPGs as well, especially if you also played the good ones back in the day and realize how much better things could be.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just have to say that this thread is filled with a lot of awesome ideas, love following it, and dreaming of what surprises PE will bring us :)

 

To be honest, if OE follows all the advice in this thread, there won't be much of a game...

 

"Ok guys, we need a boss for this dungeon level."

 

"No bosses, the community thinks they are cliche'd."

 

"No bosses? Ok... How about... hmmm... what kind of game are we making again?"

 

"We don't know."

 

The End.

 

Just to be clear. This is not developers' forum. This is not even their sounding board. The only reason for it to exist is to allow all kinds of people to relay their ideas and opinions on certain things.

 

Then comes a developer and sifts through all the crap we post. And maybe (and i can't stress maybe enough) comes up with some idea of his own very losely based on all he have read here.

 

I don't think anyone really considers that all posts are actually notes to developers on how to make their game. If someone does - well, they're pretty dense then.

 

That's the whole point of Kickstarter, really. A model where there are no people who have no idea how to make games telling people who know, how to make them.

Edited by quechn1tlan
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just have to say that this thread is filled with a lot of awesome ideas, love following it, and dreaming of what surprises PE will bring us :)

 

To be honest, if OE follows all the advice in this thread, there won't be much of a game...

 

"Ok guys, we need a boss for this dungeon level."

 

"No bosses, the community thinks they are cliche'd."

 

"No bosses? Ok... How about... hmmm... what kind of game are we making again?"

 

"We don't know."

 

The End.

 

Dungeons are also cliche.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just have to say that this thread is filled with a lot of awesome ideas, love following it, and dreaming of what surprises PE will bring us :)

 

To be honest, if OE follows all the advice in this thread, there won't be much of a game...

 

"Ok guys, we need a boss for this dungeon level."

 

"No bosses, the community thinks they are cliche'd."

 

"No bosses? Ok... How about... hmmm... what kind of game are we making again?"

 

"We don't know."

 

The End.

 

Dungeons are also cliche.

 

As are adventures, quests and dragons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just have to say that this thread is filled with a lot of awesome ideas, love following it, and dreaming of what surprises PE will bring us :)

 

To be honest, if OE follows all the advice in this thread, there won't be much of a game...

 

"Ok guys, we need a boss for this dungeon level."

 

"No bosses, the community thinks they are cliche'd."

 

"No bosses? Ok... How about... hmmm... what kind of game are we making again?"

 

"We don't know."

 

The End.

 

Dungeons are also cliche.

 

As are adventures, quests and dragons.

But are these clichés you would hope to see avoided or mocked?

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

Just have to say that this thread is filled with a lot of awesome ideas, love following it, and dreaming of what surprises PE will bring us :)

 

 

 

To be honest, if OE follows all the advice in this thread, there won't be much of a game...

 

"Ok guys, we need a boss for this dungeon level."

 

"No bosses, the community thinks they are cliche'd."

 

"No bosses? Ok... How about... hmmm... what kind of game are we making again?"

 

"We don't know."

 

The End.

 

Dungeons are also cliche.

 

As are adventures, quests and dragons.

But are these clichés you would hope to see avoided or mocked?

 

Mocking cliches is cliche itself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love (and by love, I mean hate with a passion) how this has turned from "what cliches do you want to see mocked or averted" to a discussion on the relative merits of cliches. It's also amusing (read: annoying) how this discussion is being had without anyone bothering to define what a cliche is. Are we using cliche in a very broad sense? Are we referring to any trope at all? Or do we mean just a trite and over-used trope? I've got no dea; I've read through most of the posts here, and the exact definition of cliche seems to fluctuating wildly between "tropes that I don't like" and "anything ever mentioned or done before in a work of fiction ever".

 

It's just infuriating how quickly the discussion has got out of hand by people immediately going to extremes. People see some other people mocking cliches and, recalling how awfully they've seen such things done in the past, start loudly and boldly dismiss it as pretentious. Some other people, fans of parodies and pastiches, see this and give scathing responses, not stopping to consider where the person they're replying to is coming from. This continues on and on until people have forgotten what was originally being discussed and are shoving words in each other's mouths, no longer listening, just beating away furiously on their keyboards.

 

Now, this might sound harsh, but would it kill people to be a little more civil in their discussion? Yeah, I don't like people dismissing all tropes as boring, unoriginal and unwanted but, hey, guess what; no one here has done that. Also, I'd like to point out, one can dislike cliches for reasons other than the fact that they're cliched. I hate it in crpgs when monsters of dozens of different types (ghouls, kobolds, basilisks, goblns, golems) all decide to ignore each other and gang up on me. I don't dislike it because it's overdone, I dislike it because it breaks my immersion and makes me wonder why none of them bother fighting each other. However, just because I dislike that, want to see it averted (and perhaps mocked in one, small, semi-hidden piece of dialog) it doesn't mean I stick my nose up at every crpg that has ever employed such a trope.

 

I can see why people would feel the need to call out the whole mindless cliche-bashing thing (personally, I would have used the word "trope" instead of "cliche" when forming the original question to avoid the negative connotations), but some tropes are actively bad and there's little harm in a small, good-natured nod to the absurdity of certain tropes. Also, on a final note, I do genuinely love having my expectations played with. If I run into a necromancer's mansion, expecting him to be evil and creepy, but find that he just uses the undead to do chores around the house, I'll be both amused and delighted.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. I think, for the purposes of this thread, the word 'trope' is a better fit for when a commonly used plot device is value neutral. 'Cliche' is a negative term used for a trope which has been so overused as to provoke eye-rolling or feelings of boredom when seen being used yet again.

 

So is dungeon exploration a cliche or a trope? It depends on the player, of course, but I would guess for most its a trope. Complaining about a dungeon in an RPG is like complaining about explosions and gunfights in an action movie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Avoid: A comic relief gnome/dwarf/halfling companion. I want more characters like Mazzy Fentan (BG II) and Magnus (Arcanum).

  • Like 2

Exile in Torment

 

QblGc0a.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I really don't want to see is bosses that you get down to 1 HP, have a conversation with you where the boss says something like "You're pathetic if you think you can beat me that easily", and are then back to full HP. As a player its irritating because you don't know that you have to do the fight all over again and as such you can't manage your party's resources as well. Other games also tend to leave you with almost no health at that point compared to the enemey and that just pisses me off. So you end up spending the first x seconds of the second round just healing yourself up while getting attacked by the enemy. Also seems uncommon to save your game between 'rounds' of the fight so you need to do the first one all over again if you die on the second and of course now that you know there is a second or third round you meta game and play differently knowing that you need to converse your resources more.

Edited by Wench
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't want to see any trope mocked. I don't even want to see it subverted. I want to see it done right.

 

Evil orcs? Sure. I love me evil orcs. But explain why they're evil. Like the orcs of Middle Earth, they live in a violent and degenerate society, in a part of the world where resources are used almost exclusively for warfare - if they don't adept, they die.

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...