Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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No xp for killing things - but xp rewards for quests?

Discussion in 'What Remains' started by Surf Solar, Oct 28, 2011.

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No xp for killing people/mobs etc - but xp rewards for quests?

  1. Yes! No xp for killing at all to remove the grinding!

    18 vote(s)
    38.3%
  2. Yes, but give the monsters some base value of xp.

    8 vote(s)
    17.0%
  3. No, I prefered the old Fallout way.

    12 vote(s)
    25.5%
  4. I don't really care...

    4 vote(s)
    8.5%
  5. I've some other idea (elaborate in the thread)

    5 vote(s)
    10.6%
  1. Surf Solargender: ⚧ cannot into womynz

    Surf Solar
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    So, as SCO, Destroid and Dogffdog explained the idea of not having experience points for the act of killing things here, I tried to look at the existing encounters and quests to see if it would work.

    It does, though the problem is that there is lots of branching, you'll never see the entire game and all quests in one playthrough. This makes the number of quests/stuff to do appear a bit smaller than the sum of them all is on the paper. This would mean, that I either have to increase the xp values gained through these actions Destroid described, I do even more quests (time consuming but will do anyway), or the game stays entirely as a low level campaign (which could be interesting too, but I'd prefer the players having access to late game perks and mechanics to make the character progression more interesting.

    So, here's a scenario what could happen with random encounters:

    - You'll still meet them on the worldmap just like the ones you know from Fallout/Fallout 2. They are a bit fewer, but the travelling speed is a bit slower (depends on more factors than just outdoorsman, I will later explain) - the chance to avoid them (making them optional) is much higher though because: They aren't those open plain maps like you know from Fallout (where you could just escape in all directions to the next exit grid), they're rather large (most of them) and use the terrain (different heights, places to hide) much more. This was again inspired by various Infinity Engine games (mostly IWDII) - I wanted to design those random encounters more like traditional encounters there, not just the "shoot thing xy till its dead - or you" approach fallout did, because quite frankly, it gets boring after a while.

    - You'd get no xp for killing creatures in these encounters, but (provided you have the knowledge) can loot an animals hide, the claws and whatnot to use for crafting your own stuff or for bartering.

    - There'd be multiple ways to go through those encounter maps (sneaking, setting traps and luring the critters in, taking the more dangerous route across a hill etc) and upon leaving the map, you'd get xp for solving the encounter (as if it was some kind of adventure).

    - Due to the more increased amount of crafting components then, you'd get little to no xp for crafting (so no one can collect hundreds of molerat claws and upgrade some gloves (=creating a new item) like a madman to level up..

    Another option would be to scrap the encounters on the worldmap completely and implement some "hunting grounds" - maps you can buy from trappers which then pop up on your worldmap to go hunting. This would completely remove the "barriers" on the worldmap discouraging low level players to travel to higher level areas, but I have already inserted some small barriers in the level design, so one cannot go directly from the first to the last location without preparation.

    Option three would be to mix them both, not sure.

    As for the no-xp-for-killing mechanic in actual quests, this is pretty straightforward. As Destroid described, depending how you solved the quest (sneaky, diplomacy etc) you'd gain an xp reward. This'd be the easiest thing to do, aswell as removing the actual (*gained n-xp for slaughtering this creature) mechanic.

    Tell me what you think. ;)
     
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  2. Zedgender: ⚧ wahoo

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    combat is a learning experience. like in fallout, I think experience should be gained upon ending the encounter. base this exp on enemies killed. as long as killing everything isn't the most rewarding route it should be fine.
     
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  3. Jaesungender: ⚧ Fabulous Moderator Patron

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    Since the Fallout's are typically a combat heavy game, some base XP should be given in combat, but make it a small amount.

    I'd love to see large XP rewarded for finishing quests, and bonus XP rewarded for finding "alternative" ways of finishing them.
     
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  4. currygender: ⚧ Arcane

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    The game shouldn't encourage players to choose combat over other ways of solving quests, so I think xp should be given only when completing a quest regardless of how it was done.

    Getting loot should be an adequate reward for winning fights.
     
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  5. Surf Solargender: ⚧ cannot into womynz

    Surf Solar
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    A middleway could be in a similar way that FOnline had for a while: all monster types have a base value of xp, but the more of that type you kill, the more the xp gained diminish, to the point where you get 1 xp per creature...
     
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  6. Destroidgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Another option is you could make quest monsters give 0xp for killing, but random encounters monsters and the like still give xp. This would equalise the xp growth between combat/non-combat approaches to the quests at least. On the downside this could confuse or frustrate players, unless you did it in a sneaky way such as those monsters still giving normal xp on kill but also giving an equal xp penalty to the reward when you complete the quest.
     
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  7. KickAssgender: ⚧ Scholar

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    a nice incentive for exploration would be giving XP only for the 1st enemy of a kind the PC kills (he learns about killing the enemy or something) and have a relatively large variety of foes
     
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  8. DraQgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Removing kill based XP seems like an obvious fix.
    If you feel adventurous, you could add XPs for handling threats and such regardless of the way you did it, but only once per threat, so you don't get an incentive for sneaking by, backtracking, persuading, then killing. Of course, quest or goal based XP would generally handle this already, especially with inclusion of optional sub-goals, so I don't really see any point in being particularly detailed apart from maybe incentivizing stuff like ghosting without backstabing shit out of everyone to maximize loot - for example you could offer bonus for not leaving any sort of mess behind you at the end of the quest and either make the location or NPCs unavailable later on for post-quest killing and looting or make them involved in further gameplay, and make leaving mess bite the player in the ass later on.

    That's generally my main beef with XP systems - if given for kills, they inevitably make the game very combat centric. If given for quest and goals alone, they work fine, but require excessive amount of scripting, without any viable option to implement character development as part of the actual game logic. Of course, you can give XP for every fucking thing you do, but then you just turn it into a very poor case of use-based, except with no internal logic whatsoever.
     
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  9. currygender: ⚧ Arcane

    curry
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    I think it worked pretty well in VTMB.
     
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  10. DraQgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    DraQ
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    It will work well when it can be used, but it's limiting and inefficient, since you have to sit there scripting and balancing XP rewards instead of working on actual content, and it precludes any kind of large world or procedural approach, since it would blow the amount of rewards for you to script beyond human manageable levels.
     
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  11. Excidiumgender: ⚧ P. banal

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    I'd say giving XP for completing objectives is the best way, but it might be hard to balance in an open game so "Yes, but give the monsters some base value of xp ".
     
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  12. DraQgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    DraQ
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    In an open game XP system is broken by default.

    The only system (other than static, mostly static) that seems workable in this context is use based, but it must be well made use based, accounting for difficulty of the task, rapidly diminishing the rewards for repetitive actions, accounting for limited potential (so no master of all trades), and generally closing off possible grinding options.

    XP is inherently worse, because at best, if you make all kinds of actions yield XP rewards (so that non-combat types aren't screwed by default), it becomes a poor man's use based, but without any means to control what the fuck is happening within.
     
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  13. Make America Great Again Humanity has risen!gender: ⚧ Arcane Patron Repressed Homosexual

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    I don't like these approaches because it means you will go out of your way to avoid spending ammo, especially precious ammo and other such valuables, and only use them when you have to fight tougher enemies towards the end of the quests. I think that the player shouldn't feel constrained in regards to his actions when encountering regular enemies in a hard situation, so killing regular monsters should still entail a decent reward.

    Xp gains scaled by level (your level in regards to the monster) is probably a better solution. I know that Divine Divinity had that system.
     
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  14. Destroidgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Ammo and weapons have a separate economy to XP though. I have never in my life considered the XP gain when deciding which weapon/ammo to use on a target.
     
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  15. Grunkergender: ⚧ RPG Codex Ghost Patron

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    What do we want to reward players for? Succeeding through any means the game allows them to. Therefore, XP for killing stuff makes no sense. Why should killing be favourised over other solutions? Even a base amount of XP means a combat-centric character will benefit more than other characters, and I simply don't see the sense in that.

    XP for quests only.

    EDIT: And whatever you do, please DO NOT listen to DraQ and make a use-based XP-system. I have never played a game where that kind of system wasn't a complete chore.
     
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  16. Gondolingender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Get a spear. Ammo problem solved.
     
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  17. DraQgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    DraQ
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    Sounds like post-apoc alright.

    Problem?


    This.

    Chill.
    I don't think implementing good use-based is feasible in what basically amounts to a TC of Fallout system, and if the world isn't huge and procedural XP system can work relatively well, as long as it's quest-only XP.
    I just pointed out inherent limitations and downfalls of XP systems.

    Other than that I was saying the same as you.
    That may be because I've never seen a game where even a nominal amount of thought was put into use-based. It's rather baffling, really - are all developers handling character development in cRPGs fucking morons? If no, then why can't they ever come up with the most basic and easily implemented improvements and fixes?
    :retarded:
     
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  18. Grunkergender: ⚧ RPG Codex Ghost Patron

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    Relax BRO, I simply thought you were suggesting something like Wizardry or Morrowind, so I had to jump the 'no please god no' button.

    In theory I agree with you. No XP systems have been able to function both as a reward for handling stuff in the way you like, AND as a reward when you FEEL you should be rewarded (i.e. when stealthing brilliantly, picking a difficult lock or killing a monster).

    So in theory, a use-based XP system would be best, but I'd like to see a functional one before I applaud the idea in praxis.
     
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  19. Jim Cojonesgender: ⚧ Augur

    Jim Cojones
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    It doesn't matter which system is more balanced, realistic or whatever. Spending skill points, choosing new perks etc. in level based game is fun. Watching your stats grow on their own isn't.
     
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  20. Grunkergender: ⚧ RPG Codex Ghost Patron

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    It's not a question on realism in my mind, it's a question of what to reward, and although I'm generally very pro quest-only XP there is a disconnection between action and reward in its case.
     
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  21. Awor Szurkrarzgender: ⚧ Arcane In My Safe Space

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  22. DraQgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    DraQ
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    Well, it wouldn't be that hard to improve Morrowind's system, to be honest.

    The problem with XPs is that unless they are XPs for a simple task, like killing stuff, they are situational and independent from low level logic. This means that you have to assign all the rewards by hand.

    They also don't enforce any constraints on how you spend your XPs when leveling up, so they lack internal logic as well.

    Take Morrowind's system.
    Remove skills that cannot fail (acrobatics, athletics) and integrate them into attributes.
    Make failures contribute to skill gain just like successes do.
    Make skill gain on success proportional to probability of failure and vice versa (probability can be 0 in MW system, so decent swordsman won't learn anything slaughtering mudcrabs).
    Make skill gain proportional to magnitude of effect of your action (so trading one item at a time doesn't train your mercantile skill better than trading them all at once, neither does using shitty, low damage weapon make for a better training than using the top of the line one as long as your target has the same amount of HP).
    Make all skills contribute to level up.
    Make the level of your highest skill influence the difficulty of raising any of your skills to dissuade grinding of misc skills.
    Scale benefits from skills so that raising skill never becomes pointless but at the same time skills don't get broken above certain level (like enchant does), preferably don't cap skills at all.
    Scale skill gains so that skills raise at approximately same speed if they are used to similar extent (a summon or bound weapon can help you win entire battle, while you'll probably need to cast several destruction spells to achieve the same effect).
    Nerf training mechanics by introducing lower bounds for trainers (don't waste my time n00b), or by making them influence something other than direct skill gain (lower difficulty of raising given skill, raise skill cap), do the latter for skill books as well.
    Make enchanter's or blacksmith's skill matter when enchanting or repairing something in town, introduce possibility of failure.
    Add critical failures.
    Add need for sleep and nourishment, along with associated costs discouraging unproductive activities like casting fireballs at walls.

    You now have a decent use based system.
     
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  23. Make America Great Again DragoFireheartgender: ⚧ all caps, rainbow colors, SOMETHING.

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    XP for combat should be done at diminishing returns. Kill a rat for the first time, get 10 xp. Kill a few more, get only 8 xp. Killed your 20th rat or so, get 1xp or 0xp. There comes a point where fighting the same monster should yield no new gains: you've already learned all that can be learned from killing rats. That's the biggest flaw in just about every RPG and it gives the player the ability to grind xp (which is retared). On the other side of the spectrum, killing a challenging monster should reward the player with a great deal of experience.
     
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  24. DraQgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    DraQ
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    It still gives you additional incentive to kill things. The incentive is already there, called loot, convenience and safety. You don't need extra incentive for killing things, since it's already rather desirable.

    The whole point of a fucking RPG is to allow and incentivize the game to be played differently with different characters - like stealth specialist who's more than just a wimpier warrior who attacks from behind/strikes from the shadows FOR MASSIVE DAMAGE!!!1
     
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  25. Surf Solargender: ⚧ cannot into womynz

    Surf Solar
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    After the poll now went for some time, I think I will go for the second approach (base value for each crittertype) mixed with the diminishing xp. DraQs ideas sound very interesting, but I doubt I could pull that off with my limited ressources, while the other option is actually doable. :oops:

    I really appreciate the idea of this "receive xp for use xy" - if done right this can be a very cool mechanism, I'd love to see it done in a proper way eventually in RPG.
     
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