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Exploration and Random Encounters


  

116 members have voted

  1. 1. What type of map/exploration do you prefer?

    • Baldur's Gate
      57
    • Arcanum
      14
    • NWN2 Storm of Zehir
      26
    • Other
      19


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Well I haven't seen a thread about this (may have missed one haven't been too active lately) so I figured I would ask the community what kind of exploration it enjoys.

 

I personally am suprised with my own choice of NWN2 Storm of Zehir, with it's interactive world map it makes me want to play another game with the same type of exploration where you can see other units on the map, try to hide from nearby trolls or run like hell when said nearby trolls spot your level 1 party. It makes the game world feel more....alive to me and I think that would be a great idea for starting a new IP.

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Another really nice option is an overland map that is sub-divided into regions. Kind of like this screen shot from Eador:

 

EadorMBW-6.jpg

 

Each region would have it's own environmental conditions, movement costs, hazards, and so forth. Within some of these regions are clickable destinations, or maybe just abstracted sites such as inns or villages.

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I like the SoZ world map with how it allows you to take advantage of your party's skills and abilities, and I like how Arcanum's map allowed you to not only discover new locations by passing by, but also gave you free choice wether you used the world map or not (even if not using it was a pretty bad idea).

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Yeah, the SoZ system was decent. But remember it did run on a 3D landscape; I'm not sure how plausible implementing that would be for PE. Besides, the Day/Night system on the overland map was completely wonky.

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

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Another really nice option is an overland map that is sub-divided into regions. Kind of like this screen shot from Eador:

 

Each region would have it's own environmental conditions, movement costs, hazards, and so forth. Within some of these regions are clickable destinations, or maybe just abstracted sites such as inns or villages.

 

A grid/tiles with terrain effects isn't exactly new or innovative. You've just described pretty much every turn-based strategy game's map for the past 20+ years. Let me just jump into Civ V for a moment and... There, now I've got a Hoplite fortified on a hill, yes, the hill cut the Hoplite unit's movement rate by half, but it also gave it a significant combat bonus.

 

That in itself doesn't really apply to random encounters, does it? You're really addressing the concept of terrain effects rather than the concept of random encounters. Why would terrain effects be limited to random encounters?

 

And that's an awful lot of villages for a land with no food sources, farms, etc.

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I voted for NWN2 Storm of Zehir, I was one of those who also enjoyed hthe

Well I haven't seen a thread about this (may have missed one haven't been too active lately) so I figured I would ask the community what kind of exploration it enjoys.

 

I personally am suprised with my own choice of NWN2 Storm of Zehir, with it's interactive world map it makes me want to play another game with the same type of exploration where you can see other units on the map, try to hide from nearby trolls or run like hell when said nearby trolls spot your level 1 party. It makes the game world feel more....alive to me and I think that would be a great idea for starting a new IP.

I agree. I enjoyed the Storm of Zehir map and I also voted for that. I remember running from dinosaurs in the jungle :)

Edited by BruceVC

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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I can say with certainty that I always prefer pre-determined, well thought out and iintricately crafted, encounters that mean something in comparison with any brand of random encounter. I'd rather come up against an encounter where my opponents have specific goals and motivations, even if they aren't a part of the larger narrative. I'd prefer their styles of attack and their manner of approaching a fight with me reflect such things, be it a question of mobility or group tactics or both, as well as tactical approaches such as flanking, surrounding, and making it harder for you as a player to use certain types of counters/attacks/movements of your own (be it through their ability use or their actual positioning, be that positioning in terms of line of sight/cover or by staying in a range of your party that prevents use of your area effect abilities).

 

I like the idea of an environment playing a part in what encounters are present and why, as well as presenting terrain complications and locational hazards.

Edited by Umberlin

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

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

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I can say with certainty that I always prefer pre-determined, well thought out and iintricately crafted, encounters that mean something in comparison with any brand of random encounter. I'd rather come up against an encounter where my opponents have specific goals and motivations, even if they aren't a part of the larger narrative. I'd prefer their styles of attack and their manner of approaching a fight with me reflect such things, be it a question of mobility or group tactics or both, as well as tactical approaches such as flanking, surrounding, and making it harder for you as a player to use certain types of counters/attacks/movements of your own (be it through their ability use or their actual positioning, be that positioning in terms of line of sight/cover or by staying in a range of your party that prevents use of your area effect abilities).

 

I like the idea of an environment playing a part in what encounters are present and why, as well as presenting terrain complications and locational hazards.

But you can have both, there will be certain predefined encounters but when you travel overland to different places certain creatures specific to the area may attack. This is the more random event.

Edited by BruceVC

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Another really nice option is an overland map that is sub-divided into regions. Kind of like this screen shot from Eador:

 

Each region would have it's own environmental conditions, movement costs, hazards, and so forth. Within some of these regions are clickable destinations, or maybe just abstracted sites such as inns or villages.

 

A grid/tiles with terrain effects isn't exactly new or innovative. You've just described pretty much every turn-based strategy game's map for the past 20+ years. Let me just jump into Civ V for a moment and... There, now I've got a Hoplite fortified on a hill, yes, the hill cut the Hoplite unit's movement rate by half, but it also gave it a significant combat bonus.

 

That in itself doesn't really apply to random encounters, does it? You're really addressing the concept of terrain effects rather than the concept of random encounters. Why would terrain effects be limited to random encounters?

 

And that's an awful lot of villages for a land with no food sources, farms, etc.

Hmm... kind of a stupid argument, frankly. :huh:

 

First, I never claimed a grid arrangement was new or innovative; only that it was a good approach. Second, you're saying we shouldn't use good ideas from an entirely different game genre? Nonsense. Thirdly, I never said we should apply every concept from turn-base strategy games. A grid allows you, the player, to access the entire map while implementing movement costs and allowing the player choice. It does not preclude the developers from implementing random encounters, but it does allow them to apply random encounters that are appropriate for the terrain type. It is also readily extensible by modders.

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But you can have both, there will be certain predefined encounters but when you travel overland to different places certain creatures specific to the area may attack. This is the more random event.

 

Yes, you can have both, plenty of games have done it to varying degrees of success. I'm not dismissing that.

 

I'm telling you what I prefer. I do not find random trash encounters in any way interesting or worthy of my time, regardless of how well implemented they are, and several games have implemented them very well. I adore SoZ, and I still do not find random encounters worthy or remotely interesting, let alone rewarding from a gameplay perspective. I can live with them, don't get me wrong, it's not the end of the world, and I don't despise them, they're just . . . forgetable and unworthy of note, even at their best. Telling me I can have both seems silly. I know I can have both.

 

If they're in I'm fine. If they're not I save time, and I'm still fine.

Edited by Umberlin

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

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

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But you can have both, there will be certain predefined encounters but when you travel overland to different places certain creatures specific to the area may attack. This is the more random event.

 

 

I'm telling you what I prefer. I do not find random trash encounters in any way interesting or worthy of my time, regardless of how well implemented they are, and several games have implemented them very well. I adore SoZ, and I still do not find random encounters worthy or remotely interesting, let alone rewarding from a gameplay perspective. I can live with them, don't get me wrong, it's not the end of the world, and I don't despise them, they're just . . . forgetable and unworthy of note, even at their best. Telling me I can have both seems silly. I know I can have both.

 

I'm sorry, I didn't realize you realized we could have both. The last thing I would want to post is a comment about encounters in PE that you already were aware of that would make me sound silly. I just wanted to make sure you knew we could have both, but as you mentioned you already knew this. So my comment is moot, I hope I didn't sound too silly.

 

I'm just teasing :grin: I get your point.

Edited by BruceVC

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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But you can have both, there will be certain predefined encounters but when you travel overland to different places certain creatures specific to the area may attack. This is the more random event.

 

 

I'm telling you what I prefer. I do not find random trash encounters in any way interesting or worthy of my time, regardless of how well implemented they are, and several games have implemented them very well. I adore SoZ, and I still do not find random encounters worthy or remotely interesting, let alone rewarding from a gameplay perspective. I can live with them, don't get me wrong, it's not the end of the world, and I don't despise them, they're just . . . forgetable and unworthy of note, even at their best. Telling me I can have both seems silly. I know I can have both.

 

I'm sorry, I didn't realize you realized we could have both. The last thing I would want to post is a comment about encounters in PE that you already were aware of that would make me sound silly. I just wanted to make sure you knew we could have both, but as you mentioned you already knew this. So my comment is moot, I hope I didn't sound too silly.

 

I'm just teasing :grin: I get your point.

 

Don't worry, despite your sounding silly I do now realize that you didn't want to sound too silly, and that you get my point - my point being that I was aware of your initial point prior to your note of said point in reply to my original response to the thread. Luckily you seem to have fully comprehended that we both realize that we can have both and are not limited to having one.

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

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

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I voted for SoZ. Arcanum's travel is basically only an even more abstract and less interactive/ eventful version of SoZ's map.

 

Games without random encounters tend to have ridiculous (because solely stationary) encounters. Nothing makes the world feel more artificial than knowing exactly when and where you will meet what enemies, then making time to have an appointment with them at your sweet leisure.

 

If I had the choice I would have voted for Realms of Arkania's overland map. The sadly failed Thorvalla promised to have this. SoZ is pretty close to that though, in that your character's non-combat skills are tested while travelling.

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I voted arcanum, because that game was just too insanely good. one thing I would like to stress is that at hte start of a random encounter, have the 'attackers' further away to give the player a chance to recognize and react to the threat. In mine the NPC's always saw them first and charged, so I ended up not even bothering attempting to help since they often won anyways

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I kind of like the idea of having a lot of the purely "this stuff happens to be going on, and you can do something about it or just keep on walking" side quests that typically are just strewn about a town be, instead, "random" encounters. They could even still sometimes occur in towns. Some person who's had something stolen, or who's just had her kid taken or something, and who's holding their battered wounds, crying in an alley. Maybe the quest involves tracking down some human trafficking hideout, so it doesn't really matter which alley the person gets attacked in, or exactly when. So, instead of simply "When you walk over to THIS particular alley, there's a crying person there who'll initiate a quest, it would be more, "Oh, hey... look, apparently something's happened, and that person's crying. They weren't there before."

 

I know it requires more resources, but it instills a sense of change and action in the game world. Also, the random encounters whilst exploring the world map (outside of dungeons and "safe" areas such as towns and cities) should be a lot more varied than mere ambushes and groups of enemies to fight. These could also house a lot of side-quest material.

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

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  • 3 months later...

Fallout

Arcanum

Baldur's Gate

(Didn't play NWN2)

 

I enjoy the maps with freeform exploration and random encounters.  Fallout especially comes to mind, with random encounters and special encounters that create new permanent zones.

 

Some of my favorite D&D style encounters are the good old caravan attack scenarios, and this is exactly the type of random encounter I would like to see in the game.  Add in a couple good ambushes, maybe a road blockade, an old abandoned tower, etc and I'll be quite happy.

 

Games without random encounters tend to have ridiculous (because solely stationary) encounters. Nothing makes the world feel more artificial than knowing exactly when and where you will meet what enemies, then making time to have an appointment with them at your sweet leisure.

 

This.

 

And it would be nice to see some complexity in the special areas too.  Maybe a random special encounter that creates a new map point somewhere out in the map's fog of war.  And then after the adventuring party interacts with the initial special encounter's map, they are sent on a quest/errand to the newly generated map point.

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I wish they would go the Sacred route. Sacred had a huge, open map that seamlessly loaded in the background. It was awesome. The game.. not so much.

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I have always liked open map exploration, like in fallout, darklands and  arcanum. In my opinion SoZ map is modernized version of those, why I usually put it in same category. But BG style map is also okey if it works better from game design perspective.

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And please, let us do a bit of grinding if we want.  I might be in the minority, but I want to be able to spend a little extra time and level up my characters.

 

Without any context as to the size of this game, I can't really give any insight.  If PE is similar to BG2 in scope, then there is plenty to accomplish to get my characters to level up at the rate I choose.  If not, then I would prefer the opportunity to gain a few levels, at my discretion, if I don't feel the party is ready for the next challenge.

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It depends quite a bit upon the gameplay mechanics for me.

 

Of all the types of world map in western RPGs, Fallout 1+2 were my favourites.

 

However, I recall it being mentioned that exp will be granted based upon quests rather than grinding (can this be confirmed or refuted?), which in many respects makes the Fallout map/encounter system feel a bit less rewarding. Also, based upon standard IE fantasy fare and the descriptions so far, I don't think P:E sounds like random encounters will be a necessary part of the economy.

 

So with that in mind I would probably vote for the system of Baldur's Gate 1, where areas need to be transversed to access areas past them. It probably offers the best exploration and scope for interesting encounters.

 

For my sins, however, I've never played SoZ, so I can't rule that one out.

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I thought that SoZ handled the map thing brilliantly. It actually made playing a ranger feel less like playing a gimped fighter for a start!

 

As for the random vs script/fixed, I'm a fan of a mixture.

 

I'd like to see the random occasionally throw up more serious challenges though (random dragon encounter maybe? :p) as opposed to simply trivial nuisance fights. There also needs to be an incentive to make me want to engage in them otherwise they simply feel like something that is wasting my time & party resources.

 

I'd also like to see a true mixture of script/fixed & random. By this I mean that when I reach a fixed encounter in the game, some elements of it are randomised. The big bad guy I'm here to beat will remain the same but he could have a pool of allies which could vary each playthrough. Perhaps the allies could also be influenced by other things e.g. no Lizardmen because you managed to negotiate a truce with the Lizardmen tribe.

 

This kind of thing could possibly be an option you turn on or be part of one of the other difficulty modes.

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Crit happens

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