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Accessi-bilities: The Utility of Movement Abilties


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This was touched upon in several other threads, but I felt its own thread would do it some good...

 

The thought that started it was this:

 

Remember those games in which you couldn't jump? So, you came to terms with that, but then you got to some place where it became excrutiatingly frustrating that you couldn't jump, because another part of the level was 2 feet away.

 

Well, isometric cRPGs tend to follow this "no active jumping" trend, and sometimes the level design has something you COULD easily jump (hell, probably even step) across to, but you can't. And yeah, the terrain and areas should probably just be designed differently IF you can't jump.

 

BUT, what if you could? A realistic kind of jump. You know, a distance jump, not so much a 10-foot vertical leap or anything. But, what if you could have an agile, acrobatic character who was better at jumping, and that allowed you to get to certain plateaus (jump across small cliff gaps or raging rapids, etc.)?

 

The Jump ability, for example, could be ground-targeted, and the higher the skill (and/or stat), the longer the range (just like targeting an AoE spell/ability). You could even jump across gaps, carrying one end of some rope, and tie it off on the other end to construct a makeshift "bridge" for the not-so-jumptastic members of your party to get across. That's just one potential use for it.

 

You could also have some quest with the goal of figuring out what so-and-so is up to, in the upper portion of some building, and jumping could provide one of your characters access to the rooftop of that building (from an adjacent rooftop of an accessible building), so you wouldn't have to talk your way in or get to it by other means. *shrug*. Again, just an example option.

 

The same could go for Climbing, really. Climbing certain walls and such.

 

*shrug*. 'Twas just a kind of mental image I had, that lead to some thoughts, that led to a thread.

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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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Oh yes!
I would love to have some opportunities like, for example in Jagged Alliance 2. I would like to have the ability to:

 

- Jump over waist high walls and hide behind them.

- Climb on a roof with your shooter to pick of your enemies, while your fighters guard the ladder/the way up

- Hide behind objects and in bushes and ambush your enemies

- or maybe taunt your enemy on ground level with a fighter and then, when he attacks you, your rogue slips (?) down the roof he was hiding on, sneaks up from behind and backstabs the bastard!

- jump over a chasm to infiltrate an enemy base and avoid the heavily guarded main entrance

- climb to a balcony with your rogue, sneak through the mansion and open the doors from the inside

- and I really like the example with the makeshift bridge in the original post!

- etc. etc. etc.

 

That would be really cool (and would REALLY add some flavor to classes like the rogue), but I am not sure if it can be accomplished with the engine easily and I think it would be a rather big change to the IE-ish gameplay (you would need the ability to crouch or prone your party members etc.) they want to attain.

 

So, again: I would really like to see a fantasy game with combat and movement opportunities similar to JA2, but I it is okay with me, if PE will "just" be like the IE games.

 

A cool idea, but no must-have!

Edited by pipboy2000
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English is not my first language, so please forgive me any mistakes!

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^ Yeah, I would love as in-depth a system as possible, but what's feasible and what isn't pretty much depends on the contextual design choices.

 

If it's between no jumping (no utility jumping, that is...) or climbing and a fairly simple jumping/climbing system, I'd be more than happy with the simple system.

 

I just remember from my D&D days, various people in the group basically looking through handbooks and noticing various item tables and saying something like "Rope is pretty much useless," or "Who would buy rope as their starting equipment?", or "Why would a Wizard put points into climb?".

 

To which I was all "... Challenge ACCEPTED!" Haha. I surprised people a few times with some crazy utility use for a skill. Often, they're so simple, the DM didn't even realized he had created a scenario that allowed jumping/climbing/ropery to be so useful.

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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Remember all those times you needed to jump straight up in the air two feet to get to higher ground in real life? No? Exactly.

 

Climbing, sure. Jumping over chasms, gaps and other hazards that could be leapt believably, sure. But an IE-style game isn't exactly a platformer or parkour. And the barriers you're referring to are typically the limit of the area, in the vein of "invisible walls" and "rubble heaps."

Edited by AGX-17
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Remember all those times you needed to jump straight up in the air two feet to get to higher ground in real life? No? Exactly.

Remember all those times I advocated the ability to jump straight up in the air two feet to get to higher ground? No? Exactly.

 

Respond unto others as you would have them respond unto you, u_u. Nothing personal.

 

And I'm well aware that those barriers are "typically" the actual edge of the area, but sometimes they aren't. That's precisely why I was referring to the times when they weren't.

 

If you get to the edge of a cliff, and there's another plateau at approximately the same altitude 5 feet away (which totally occurs in nature all the time due to gradual fissures in mountainous/cliff-like rock formations), I'd rather a simple, ground-targeted jump ability let some or all of my party jump across than have the level design force me to wind my way around the map just to get to the other cliff (or abitrarily rid the land of ALL easily-jumpable gaps, anywhere.) Maybe that's just me.

 

You yourself just said climbing reasonably climbable things and jumping chasms and gaps are totally cool. I don't think either one of us wants Mirror's Edge-ternity, which is why I don't feel the need to point out obviously-terrible forms of implementation, such as "We shouldn't be able to jump over entire cities, or swing through busy streets like Spiderman" as if anyone was suggesting such things were in any way viable. *shrug*

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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I just remember from my D&D days, various people in the group basically looking through handbooks and noticing various item tables and saying something like "Rope is pretty much useless," or "Who would buy rope as their starting equipment?", or "Why would a Wizard put points into climb?".

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.
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Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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CURSE my inability to watch Youtube videos from this computerrrrrr!!! *shakes fist*

 

I shall check this out at home, when I get the chance. :)

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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Remember all those times you needed to jump straight up in the air two feet to get to higher ground in real life? No? Exactly.

Remember all those times I advocated the ability to jump straight up in the air two feet to get to higher ground? No? Exactly.

 

Respond unto others as you would have them respond unto you, u_u. Nothing personal.

 

And I'm well aware that those barriers are "typically" the actual edge of the area, but sometimes they aren't. That's precisely why I was referring to the times when they weren't.

 

If you get to the edge of a cliff, and there's another plateau at approximately the same altitude 5 feet away (which totally occurs in nature all the time due to gradual fissures in mountainous/cliff-like rock formations), I'd rather a simple, ground-targeted jump ability let some or all of my party jump across than have the level design force me to wind my way around the map just to get to the other cliff (or abitrarily rid the land of ALL easily-jumpable gaps, anywhere.) Maybe that's just me.

 

You yourself just said climbing reasonably climbable things and jumping chasms and gaps are totally cool. I don't think either one of us wants Mirror's Edge-ternity, which is why I don't feel the need to point out obviously-terrible forms of implementation, such as "We shouldn't be able to jump over entire cities, or swing through busy streets like Spiderman" as if anyone was suggesting such things were in any way viable. *shrug*

 

 

Remember those games in which you couldn't jump? So, you came to terms with that, but then you got to some place where it became excrutiatingly frustrating that you couldn't jump, because another part of the level was 2 feet away.

A person of average height can easily walk two feet in one stride. Edited by AGX-17
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There's no point in having a jump or climb skill unless there's a cost for failure. If it's a certain succeed then the designers might as well just make the barrier walkable and add a suitable animation. For a chance of failure, players can just reload whenever the attempt fails.

 

A middle ground would be to make a certain obstacle circumventable only if a character meets a specific skill requirement. Thus you can have a wall that can only be successfully climbed if the skill level is X or higher. This type of barrier may be useful for creating obstacles that require a certain experience level, or for creating the potential for a party split (which may be tactically interesting).

 

A rope can be simulated by making it an item that temporarily applies the climb/jump skill level of the wielder to the other party members. I'm not sure about a rope and grappling hook combination; perhaps the game designers will need to decide where it can apply (i.e. gain a hold).

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

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I looked into 4E rules a while back, which offers Athletics like Climb, Jump, and Swim. And whether applied to PnP or cRPGs, it seemed to come down to two distinct scenarios involving sensible level design, IMO:

1. Allow an athletics check to access areas for hidden loot, à la Tomb Raider.

2. Design a level where failure of one type of Athletics check leads to a non-fatal outcome involving another type of Athletics check.
- Failure to jump an underground river leads to swimming.
- Failure to jump a ravine leads to climbing a steep incline/vine-strewn-cliff.
- Failure to climb a steep incline/cliff leads to swimming.
- Failure to swim means being washed up (or swept against) the nearest embankment/shoreline, where you can get out and try again.

What's great is that it's a Strength check, so *high five* for fighters.
 

Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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Remember those games in which you couldn't jump? So, you came to terms with that, but then you got to some place where it became excrutiatingly frustrating that you couldn't jump, because another part of the level was 2 feet away.

A person of average height can easily walk two feet in one stride.

 

That they can. Which is why all naturally occurring pits/gaps are typically not 2 feet wide. It was the unjumpable 2-foot gaps that happened to spark the idea in my head, or at least the basis for it. I never said we need a jump skill for 2-foot gaps that I want specifically coded into the game everywhere. o_o

 

There's no point in having a jump or climb skill unless there's a cost for failure. If it's a certain succeed then the designers might as well just make the barrier walkable and add a suitable animation.

 

If that's the case, then they should get rid of the lockpicking skill and just make all chests instantly unlockable with a suitable animation.

 

The use of the skills I'm suggesting would have the game designed around the idea that some characters, if built correctly, would have a high enough jump/climb skill to overcome a given obstacle (exactly like lockpicking works). Why is there a need for failure, or even any uncertainty for that matter? Your character knows how far he can jump. The range on your jump ability would be the pass/fail indicator. "Oh, look, this gap is 7 feet, but I can only jump 5 feet. Guess I won't be jumping that anytime soon."

 

It's the same as when you go to cast a spell in combat, and the targeting indicator says "Out of range" on an enemy (or visually shows the range). Your Wizard isn't like "Man, I have ABSOLUTELY no idea how far this spell travels before dissipating, or how far away I'm able to summon a ring of fire. Trial-and-error time!"

 

The only thing I see accomplished by a chance of failure in jumping/climbing is an unnecessarily delayed version of "Your skill is not high enough" in the form of an attempt, death, and (best case scenario) reload from right before the attempt. It would be like if failure with lockpicks could cause your character to stab himself in the heart accidentally. :)

 

"Well, the good news is, the REST of your party can now access the contents of the chest..."

Edited by Lephys
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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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The use of the skills I'm suggesting would have the game designed around the idea that some characters, if built correctly, would have a high enough jump/climb skill to overcome a given obstacle (exactly like lockpicking works). Why is there a need for failure, or even any uncertainty for that matter? Your character knows how far he can jump. The range on your jump ability would be the pass/fail indicator. "Oh, look, this gap is 7 feet, but I can only jump 5 feet. Guess I won't be jumping that anytime soon."

Mmm... there might be borderland cases where you are less than sure. But I guess the game can be conservative and only let you perform jump if you can definitely make it. Okay.

Edited by rjshae

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

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