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.

?

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. tiagocc0gender: ⚧ Arcane

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    You should get more of that skill if you are poor at that skill.
    But a warrior won't become a better warrior because he picked a lock.
    Neither a thief will become better at pickpocketing by killing ogres.
     
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  2. Vault Dwellergender: ⚧ Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    XP should be granted for overcoming challenges. If each encounter is a challenge (and not a filler), then you should be rewarded for beating the odds.

    First, it doesn't go against any logic. A fighter who defeats many enemies learns from the experience and gets better. Extensive field experience and all that. So, rewarding XP is not illogical.

    Second, we're talking about fixing combat design flaws, so comparing a proposed solution to other design flaws is meaningless. If a game is designed properly, all ways of dealing with an obstacle (sneaking, talking, etc) should be rewarded.

    Again, you keep thinking in terms of the current, retarded RPG design. In a well designed game you shouldn't be a master of all trades. If you're good enough to sneak past a group of enemies who actually do pay attention and aren't wearing buckets on their heads, returning to kill them should get you raped. Hard.
     
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  3. Vault Dwellergender: ⚧ Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    :brofist:
     
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  4. DraQgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    No reward for pointless combat != no reward for any combat -> mondblut's argumentation is shit.
    I think proper RPG should allow for variety of approaches, combat heavy games are generally either H&Ses or dungeon crawlers (if TB).

    Also, I think that the main thing the exp. system depends on is desired detail versus simplicity and efficiency. If you want detailed and independent on high-level structures like quests, you try to make good use-based, otherwise, if you want simple, reliable and don't really care about detail or if it works outside of the bounds created by quests and such, you should go for goal-based XP.

    Is employing a clever distraction and sneaking away any less of "beating the odds" for a thief than rushing in sword in hand is for a warrior?

    Besides, a system should also be judged by the behaviour it produces - if in-universe a non-paladin, non-crusader and non-zealot in general character would only get in fight with bandits or goblins when they are objective of a task he's undertaking or if they attack, while in-game he benefits from running around actively seeking enemies to slaughter for teh exps, then the system is deeply flawed.

    I was running around seeking bears to slaughter in BG just because they would give me hefty (for a low level party) XPs in BG, and it sure as fuck it wasn't a natural behaviour, especially with druid in the party.

    :troll:

    If the game is complex enough and individual ways are not just simple skill checks, but may involve complex activities involving generic mechanics, rather than unique scripts, not all ways may even be realistically accountable for individually. There is also the problem that accounting for all the ways allows player beating the odds several times over using different ways to accumulate several times more XP than designed, unless specifically prevented by scripts.

    Checking for goal condition assumes that the player has beat the odds somehow because otherwise they wouldn't have triggered the goal condition.
    Simple, fool-proof, effective, efficient.
    If those rather than deep and exact simulation are your goal (and if not, why are you even using fucking XP system rather than designing non-exploitable use-based, reflecting particular skill growth and providing legitimate and logical disincentives for JoATing?), then goal-based and goal-based alone XP is superior to everything else.

    Even in a well designed game you're likely to be the master of few, especially if the game is not party based. Which means that if you allocate your skills to get the most out of redundant quest solutions, you won't get raped hard, but will get at least twice as much XP and possibly make yourself even harder to rape.

    Congratulations! Your game is now broken!
    :troll:
     
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  5. Crooked Beegender: ⚧ wide-wandering bee Patron

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    Wizardry IV isn't shit.
     
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  6. Omicrongender: ⚧ Scholar

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    While I argree prpper RPG's should allow a sizable abount of options to try and complete an objective, the amount of proper RPG's on today's market is lacking.

    I think that making a exp. system that is independent of scripting and at the same time properly balanced would take an incredible amount of work to build and to test.

    A more workable system could be set (goal-based) experience reward for most quests and the like, because designing such a system will be quite hard in a quest where the PC has gathered all sorts of information but to achieve a so called 'best' or 'better' outcome the player must connect some dots and think about what kind of impact will giving who witch kind of information will have.

    therefore I think it is better (in a 'combat/noncombat balanced game) to give quests a given exp reward (of course different for each way of completion) while using a form of formula to account for stuff like random encounters where the formula would include stuff like how powerfull the enemy is, the enemies intelligence, the number of enemies, their organisation (can the player cause the group to quarrel and take advantage of the situation etc.), their condition (have just fought of an attack, finished raiding a village etc.) and the terrain.
     
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  7. Vault Dwellergender: ⚧ Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    Indeed, but not because you can go back and get more XP, but because you've mastered more than 1 skill. The moment you do, the game loses a big chunk of its appeal and not because you can no longer increase a skill but because it completely removes the challenge. What's the point of playing an RPG where you know you'll succeed at everything you try (your primary skills)?

    If by master you meant "good at", then it's relatively easy to make sure that you can't pass both checks. Speaking from experience here.
     
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  8. DraQgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Sure, but even if you can do everything, instead of having a character with a number of strength, a situation with a number of solution and need to evaluate which strengths and solutions overlap, the player can simply always go for the route involving his character's primary skill, making the process of choice fairly mindless and uninvolved. Such approach also disallows characters with varying degree of specialization, which detracts from variety of character building options. Not to mention, always having a route for every single particular skill is unnatural and may lead to rat diplomacy.

    Additionally, skills in RPG are not binary, but have range of values. Even plain explicit skillchecks will involve not just maximum values, which means that in many situations there will be a point in character's development, where a right build will be able to cheese double or triple XP.
    If you wnat to go with XP rather than use-based, using goal based XP simply bypasses the problem in a fool-proof manner, additionally rendering grinding impossible and enforcing realistic behaviour in regards to resource conservation and avoiding pointless combat and other pointless risks.

    Then, the assumption that high skill removes challenge is wrong and stems for a long train of design failure most of cRPG history consists of. High skill should ensure that skill performs optimally (for example - bullets go exactly where I want as long as it's within firearm's capabilities, if I don't play smart I can still get shot or blown up, or flanked if I don't play smart or enemy is much more numerous or has armour exceeding penetration capabilities of my gun or jump me when I reload), not that it amounts to "I win" button.

    I don't think so, because instead of testing globally, for every quest times build times approach, you're building a local, low level mechanics that works right without even checking for high level stuff.

    You can have multiple, mutually exclusive goal conditions, multiple, non-exclusive goal conditions (main + bonus), or even make additional rewards not involve XPs.
    I think it's needlessly complex. If you want detail, XP system won't provide the right kind of detail anyway, because it's inherently meta - there is no such thing as XP IRL, there is perfection of skills, building stats and gaining new abilities. The closest thing to generic XP is the kind of combat experience that amounts to staying cool and not shitting your pants, but it doesn't improve any skill or stat (those are improved by use), but merely boosts your will check against panic and gives you better idea of general behaviour to improve survival, which happens to be nebulous and high level concept, directly infringing on player's control and player's own experience.
     
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  9. mondblutgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Maybe, but I am betting my ass the single most common reaction to an encounter in Wizardry IV was "fuck. not again. :roll:".

    Me, I know better than to waste my life on games that evoke this kind of response out of me.
     
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  10. mondblutgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    So the pointless combats should be there for a sole single reason, to annoy people and give nothing in return. Congrats, you can now apply to join Bioware as junior game designer.

    Protip: if anything, it is those 1 to 3 non-pointless combats in an average RPG that can get away without rewards since experiencing them is kinda reward on its own. Like, people do not expect some kind of superficious reward for completing a meticulously designed scenario in a wargame, they were playing it for the thrill of it. The rest, they are OUGHT to give some compensation to the player for enduring the annoyance.
     
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  11. Crooked Beegender: ⚧ wide-wandering bee Patron

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    What I meant by bringing up Wizardry IV, is that sometimes surviving combat is a reward in itself. In that case, you don't really need an external stimulus such as exp. Granted, Wiz4 had an over-the-top amount of encounters, and you could design those differently/better in a different game, but the basic idea still appeals to me a lot, and I wish there were more RPGs where exp/loot weren't the main rationale behind combat. "Survival RPG" could be a fun genre, I think, and in that regard Wizardry IV has a very good sense of progression while at the same time constantly keeping you on your toes and making overcoming an encounter, not to mention a series of encounters, feel like an actual achievement (and a good deal of luck, of course, which may or may not be a good thing).
     
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  12. 20 Eyesgender: ⚧ Liturgist

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    I'm not a fan of killing things for XP. As others have said, it leads to a "I must kill everything for maximum power" mindset. I don't consider myself much of a power gamer, but in the new Deus Ex (for example), I tend to go out of my way to take guys out when in all practicality Jenson should just be moving quickly to avoid detection. I think combat should be nasty, brutish, and short, and that the player's party should want to avoid it more often than not.

    I'd favor quest-related XP rewards. It doesn't have to all be at the end, you can give it when certain objectives are met.
     
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  13. Vault Dwellergender: ⚧ Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    Because it's piss-easy and can be done without any character skills (i.e. by anyone). You never make any noise and the guards never hear you approaching. They turn at scheduled intervals, but between the turns you're absolutely safe and the only risk of detection comes from other guards who might be facing in your direction.

    Thus, the question becomes "do I quickly crouch through the level toward my objective, which is as fun as walking really slow, and doesn't require much from the player, or do I break the boredom and go after everything that moves?"

    In which case there is no reason not to reward the player for beating a tough encounter.
     
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  14. 20 Eyesgender: ⚧ Liturgist

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    Sure, but I can cover the list of games with such combat on one hand.

    In games where your characters aren't vulnerable to most danger and don't suffer any sort of lingering affects from damage, giving XP rewards for killing just turns the game into a slaughter-fest. For me, it comes down to this: how does a player look at a crossbow bolt? Is it a potentially fatal threat to be avoided or is it just going to remove a small chip from your giant bolder of HP? If the players would answer with the former, maybe XP rewards for combat are ok. But then you have to wonder is the XP worth the potential damage to your squad's health/spell/whatever reserves.
     
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  15. currygender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Not if there's something else to gain such as loot or reputation. The game mechanics shouldn't revolve around XP only.
     
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  16. VentilatorOfDoomgender: ⚧ RPG Codex Staff Patron

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    Should combat be super challenging all the time? It depends on the game, really. Most RPGs largely revolve around combat and combat only, like say, any BioWare game. Combat is what you're doing 99% of the time. In such a game, if you're making all encounters very challenging, pushing the player to the limits each and every time, the game will quickly become an exercise in tedium. If you have only a select number of encounters (no filler, grinding etc) and perhaps even include ways to solve your objectives in non-combat ways then it makes sense to make combat a real challenge generally.

    As for combat XP or not; getting XP for solving objectives/quests regardless of your approach to said quests was one of the (few) things I've liked in AP for instance. Sadly in most cRPGs the non-combat approach is the inferior approach. You will get less (if any) XP and no gold/loot. It always feels like the pussy way of doing things.
     
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  17. tiagocc0gender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Maybe in the game you should divide those kind of encounters. For example, I don't mind limiting the number of combat you're going to have on a game so you won't get tons of XP, but if the only way to get money is by killing things then you limiting more than you should.
    What I mean is sometimes you're in combat to survive, sometimes you're more likely training and sometimes you just want loot.
    If you're on a fantasy world and want loot, go to the forest, you will be rewarded loot.
    If you want to train a combat skill go to the arena.
    If you want to level up, advance in the story or sidequests.
    Just a random thought.

    EDIT: This way you would fight everytime, but each fight would reward you something different.
     
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  18. VentilatorOfDoomgender: ⚧ RPG Codex Staff Patron

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    Absolutely. In pretty much any cRPG (anyone knows exceptions?) your main (only) source of income is to kill everything that moves and then loot it. The endless loot/inventory/selling mini-game is another thing that became really tiring for me over the years.

    "You just saved the kingdom, hero! Here have you 150 gold pieces. If you save up another 50 gold you'll be able to afford a potion of barkskin! Good luck." The main rewards should also come with solving quest, not with looting one million corpses/chests.
     
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  19. tiagocc0gender: ⚧ Arcane

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    That's what I talking about, if a game limits the combat you can have and make only be able to earn xp and money with combat, then it's boring as hell.
    If a game gives you random enemies but you still need to kill them to earn xp and money, it's less boring, but still boring.
    The solution would be to be able to earn money doing other things other than killing or at least divide it like I said into creatures that only give you loot and creatures that only give you xp, you choose what you want. Then you can limit the amount of creatures that give you xp, but you would still be able to find "animals" at the forest for you to hunt everytime you went there.
     
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  20. Vault Dwellergender: ⚧ Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    Which is why it HAS to be challenging. It's not much fun to play an easy combat game, is it?

    While neither is an example of good design, the Arnika road is much better than the Deep roads, no?
     
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  21. Habagender: ⚧ Harbinger of Decline Patron

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    Railroading is boring, no matter where it occurs. I like it when a game takes me out of my comfort zone.

    Here is a fictional scenario:

    You rolled a warrior, you're very good at killing things. Late in the game, you survive a very tough combat encounter but are fatally wounded. To get your wounds mended, you need to travel to the nearest town which is several days away. At this point the game:

    a) Forces you to grind through enemy encounter after encounter, since you rolled a warrior and have no wilderness survival skills that'd allow you to avoid enemies on your way back.

    b) Provides you with the option of trying to evade enemy patrols, making you learn a totally new approach to the game.

    Both scenarios can be equally frustrating, if the only way to make through the path involves random probabilities. But even the illusion of choice is better than having the game lock me on one approach.

    Naturally in a game where there is only combat, the diversity and variety should come from the combat itself. Unfortunately pretty much every cRPG ever has failed in this regard.
     
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  22. NewFaggender: ⚧ Educated

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    Depends on how EXP and encounters are implemented. Striking a perfect balance would consist of satisfying encounters with multiple solutions, no penalty for finding alternatives routes, and challenging enough to negate grinding. EXP should be earned at a consistent rate without having to resort to combat grind, nor forcing oneself to do pointless FedEx side quests.
     
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  23. DraQgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    If a combat gets you closer to whatever is your goal, be it quest completion, reputation or phat lewt, then it's not pointless.
    In case of the quest, you also get the XP for the combat although retroactively (which isn't terribly different from stuff like levels, where you don't gain power immediately when collecting XPs, but later, when you cross level-up threshold).
    Otherwise, why are you running around grinding shitty random encounters?

    Of course, not being pointless doesn't mean it will be worth it compared to some of the alternatives. Without combat-exclusive XPs to pad combatfags XP-bars and with serious cost or risk associated with combat it pays off to think whether or not you should engage, rather than shouting "FOR TEH XP!" and charging mindlessly - after all, with goal-only XP, the game will reward you regardless of how you deal with the obstacles provided you do - killing evil overlord's henchmen will net you the same amount of XP as sneaking by, frightening them senseless with an illusion, or by luring some powerful monster nearby, or buying them off by offering better healthcare plan. As long as it gets the job done it gives you same XP.

    As for the combat, as I said - getting rid of a potential threat while possibly grabbing some loot already slants the balance towards killing shit, you can have reputation points too, for example by killing particularly powerful enemies.
    Combat is attractive option even without additional XP rewards, if anything its attractiveness needs to be balanced out by making costs and risks involved meaningful, rather than "lololo, I'll have to rest for 8h".
     
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  24. PorkaMorkagender: ⚧ Arcane

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    I disagree.

    Challenging fights don't alone are insufficient to make the player bypass potentially rewarding content. So what if the fights are challenging? If they offer a reward the player will simply save load until he wins the fight, assuming that victory is a reasonable possibility. Once he saves and loads enough, each fight will only increase his power.

    Perhaps a better way to prevent the "kill everything" mentality is to introduce the possibility that the player might win a fight, but actually come out of it weaker than he went in. For example, if consumables are important for victory, but finite and relatively scarce, it might start to make sense to not pick every single fight, so that you can save your important consumables for when you really need them.

    This has been done successfully in DC:SS. In DC:SS, one of the most important things to learn is when to avoid a fight, even a fight you can win, so that you don't use up the consumables that you need for an emergency. Of course, with free save/load it becomes more difficult to pull this off, as players will reload until they can win without losing resources.
     
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  25. mondblutgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Reality check: 999 out of 1000 combats in an average RPG are not connected to quests, offer junk loot, and (when implemented) give infinitesimal effect on reputation. They are pure meaningless filler that serves no purpose whatsoever other than bullshit like "pacing" (read: "we have to market our game as 60-hours experience and we have like 30 minutes worth of content, so we have to make sure a player is forced to stop for a minute after every 3 steps he makes"). The experience they give you is a *sole* reason to bother with them at all instead of making an uberstealthy invisithief or toggling off collision in a console right away and angrily giving a finger to, well, 99% of the game.

    But then again, hamfisting the stealth approach is probably the whole point of the closet adventure game fangirls and/or balless pacifists who dream of removing that nasty, ugly violence from vidiyagames, and no way of doing that will be as effective as making that violence boring. Disregard my Bioware offer, you're probably already employed by Spielberg :smug:
     
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