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Has anyone here played Bravely Default? I know JRPGs may not be the bag of some folks here, but it's a damn fine game for what it is, and there's one aspect of it I think PoE could learn from. The game teaches its mechanics not through one mandatory slog of a tutorial, but through a staggered group of fifty wholly optional "quests" that give very slight in-game rewards to you for completion. So, for example, it'll tell you that items may be hidden in unexpected areas in the gameworld, and then tells you to go to a certain building and find the item hidden there in order to "clear" the "quest." Do it, and you get not one, but two minimally useful items. Most of the "quests" are like that.

 

I realize this probably sounds pretty annoying and intrusive, which is why I'm hoping for someone who has played the game to speak up, because this is anything but annoying or intrusive in practice. In fact, it's the opposite. People who engage with it are gently led through the ins and outs of the systems of their own volition and at their own speed. Those who know how to do everything already or want to learn on their own can simply ignore it, as the rewards are inevitably things you will have earned a jillion of before you ever complete the "quests." Most importantly, when the game starts, it starts. There's no "Now we're gonna show ya how ta walk, Marine!" tutorial section. You're just in the world and that's it. If you never pursue a single one of those "quests," then you don't. The game doesn't force you to be taught.

 

Now, I realize PoE is a different sort of RPG for a different sort of player, and I'm not - I repeat, not, once more for the inattentive, NOT - suggesting that this system be transferred as is into PoE. I think it's safe to assume a certain degree of literacy with RPGs on the part of the player who pays like twenty bucks for this thing, so we can skip the "quests" that teach you how to equip weapons and explain what leveling up means.

 

My idea is to take this basic idea, tie it to a certain early-game quest giver, and then have it be a checklist of advanced tactics you can go down at your liesure if you take the quest. So maybe there's a mad old veteran obsessed with tactics holed up in your stronghold, and he promises to give you a great reward (that ends up sucking) if you try all the tricks he wants you to try in your battles. Or maybe he's an author writing a book on tactics whose only problem is that he's terrified of actual combat, so he needs you to go and prove his assertions right. Or whatever. The point is for interested players to be guided through the ins and outs of the game's systems over the course of the game without feeling like they're being led by the nose, and for experienced players to be able to bypass the system entirely without feeling like they've missed something.

 

Thoughts? Oh, and if anyone's played Bravely Default*, please do speak up.

 

* - No, not the demo. The full game. The demo fails where the full game succeeds.

Edited by Ffordesoon
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text

 

Nice post.  Don't feel bad posting your thoughts, people here just like to act tough.  I for one played the game and truth be told while the tutorials were not obstrusive or annoying, I still felt that they should have been able to be disabled or not.  If you didn't read them you just had this big "NEW" text flashing next to your journal.

Edited by Lord Gorchnik
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@Gorgon:

 

My feelings are similar. I think tutorials are a necessary evil, but should always - always - be optional. It's also nice when they're clearly signposted as tutorials. Mandatory tutorials (mandatorials?), on the other hand, pretty much always make me want to punch the person(s) responsible. The amount of times I want to punch them can vary, however. For example, whoever designed the tutorials in Assassin's Creed III deserves to be punched in the stomach constantly forever, whereas the fellow(s) who designed the tutorial in the first Halo deserves one soft brotherly punch to the upper arm.

 

@anameforobsidian:

 

I liked the idea of New Vegas' tutorial more than the reality of it, but I see what you mean and agree.

 

@Lord Gorchnik:

 

Don't worry about me. I only spend ten percent of my day wondering if the scary people on the internet will like me. Well, maybe twenty percent. :)

 

(Other eighty to ninety percent: procrastination.)

 

I agree about the flashy "NEW" thing, incidentally. I should have mentioned it in the original post, but I didn't want to spend too much of the post delineating BD's system instead of explaining what I thought PoE should take from it.

 

Shot in the dark here: your handle wouldn't happen to be a Best Show reference, would it?

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All tutorials should be the tutorial from Half-Life: Opposing Force.

 

I mean literally that one, for all games ever. Climbing ropes and crawling under barbed wire while getting yelled at by a drill sergeant forever.

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This subject has come up before. Imho the best tutorials are those that are entirely separate from the main campaign and as such can be entirely ignored once one understands the mechanics (and, as a result of them being separate, can be rerun at one's leisure if a certain mechanic is unclear or one returns to a campaign after a long break)

 

Case in point: the tutorial of Baldur's Gate 2 (which, contrary to popular belief, was *not* Irenicus' dungeon as there was exactly 0 explanation of gameplay mechanics in there), I assume BG1 also had such a tutorial, but I never looked at it since I Played BG2 first, so I already knew the mechanics.

Edited by marelooke
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A good tutorial doesn't insult the player and takes place during the entire game. It eases you in without being an explicit tutorial.

 

Generally it doesn't hit you over the head with "do this" but rather would set it up so you are rewarded for "doing this" without asking.

It helps too if the player can see other NPC's 'doing that' before trying themselves. (again without the game going: "look! look! see that, that's what we want YOU to do!")

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I think the best tutorials shout "HEYYYY! LEEEEEEEEEE-STEN!!!" in a high-pitched fairy voice approximately every 37 seconds throughout the entirety of the game. 8)

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 don't know what's so special about Bravely Default:Flying Fairy aside from the stupid name and bizarre amalgamation of erotic (dem hips) and childish (everything else) bodily builds. AHEM. THAT SAID. The bulging-veined rage against JRPGs (or, rather, anything Japanese,) is more of a Bioware Social Network thing. I play the jerpuhgs without mandatory tutorials all the time.

 

Tutorials, strictly speaking, ought to be optional, but in general it's a good idea to design early combat encounters in a way that teaches players the ins and outs of the gameplay, both generally and of the specific class they may have chosen, without inattentive players/observers perceiving it as a tutorial.

Edited by AGX-17
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The only thing I want Pillars of Eternity to take from Bravely Default is the way the demo was handled. The demo had some quests, mostly fetch quests and some boss battles. These were nowhere to be found in the main game. This way, the story of the main game was not spoiled. You could also not max your levels or get all jobs. You got enough to either make you yearn for more or not bother with the full game. There were also some small bonuses for completing the demo that you could import to the final game. (The items become irrelevant two or three hours in.)

 

I wish more sutdios had the means to do demos like the ones Bravely default had but I know that is asking for too much.

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