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. Vault Dwellergender: ⚧ Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    It depends on way too many factors.

    First, you should not be able to save during combat. Second, if combat is tactical, save-load (before combat) isn't an exploit. As for XP increasing power, it's a matter of balance.

    Certainly. We used this design in AoD, using temporary party members as such resource.
     
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  2. DraQgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    It is as it allows for skewing probabilities and for foreknowledge.

    Combat is already an interesting alternative, even without extra XPs to skew balance even further.


    So in other words RPGs are 99.9% garbage. Problem?
    :troll:

    I thought that the first step conceived by you, along with other balllessrinas, would be making this violence not so nasty and ugly in addition to boring. Forcefeeding player with filler shit he has to put up with in order to maximize XPs accomplishes this perfectly.
     
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  3. mondblutgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    As if anything else isn't 99.9% garbage.

    This being somewhat worse than forcefeeding player with filler shit he has to put up with for no reason whatsoever exactly how?
     
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  4. DraQgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Because without reason to put up with it player doesn't have to put up with it, pumpkin.

    Shit mobs become something of an environmental hazard - you don't step into acid just because it's there and you shouldn't attempt to kill everything just because it's there. For both you should need a reason.
     
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  5. mondblutgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    I see. While pressing a "crouch" button to enter the one step per minute movement mode whenever something moves onscreen is as entertaining and fun as fighting shit filler combat, it thankfully only involves a single button. That's a massive incline of streamlining, indeed.
     
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  6. Damned Registrationsgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Furry Weeaboo Nazi Nihilist

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    The answer to this question varies from game to game. For reasons Draq pointed out much earlier in the thread (post apoc themes, emphasis on character options aside from combat) quest only xp makes much more sense for this game. If the themes were different (like in say, Might and Magic, where you run around scourging the world of evil, saving everyone, and becoming godlike) enemy xp makes more sense, even though you could just as easily balance the challenge of the game with quest only xp. Xp rewards reinforce the idea that killing stuff and fighting in general is a good thing. For a party of renowned heroes it is. For a party of desperate survivors, it is not.

    That said, boring combat isn't just a disincentive. The pace of the game is affected by it. In some games it's good to let the player play whackamole with weaklings so they can chill out and be more freaked when a really serious fight or event happens. Being moments away from death isn't as exciting when it's old hat. Super Meatboy isn't a more exciting platformer than Super Mario Bros 3 just because the latter lets you spend a while doing something simple and safe (filler) like swimming around or climbing a beanstalk for a while.

    You might want to do this with something else (maybe have lots of trivial lore and exploration in between fights like in morrowind, or relatively massive amounts of time spent on party tweaking like in FFT or SMT: Nocturne) but it's a design tool, not an automatic flaw. You can't make an exciting movie by playing something exciting for 2 hours straight. Some part of it has to be mellow to make the stuff you want to stand out, stand out.
     
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  7. Surf Solargender: ⚧ cannot into womynz

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    All this talk about the topic here made me think about the actual worldmap. Villian of the story mentionend it, travelling on the worldmap in FO1/2 was just waiting, till you get where you want (with forced encounters depending on your outdoorsman inbetween). Now, I toned them drastically down and the diminishing xp per enemy type kicks in (there will be a set xp amount for "winning" (no matter how) an encounter though) so eventually, those worldmap encounters becom trivial, even with the "hunting ground" maps I built in. What if, there would be no worldmap travelling at all? Would it be considered a crime towards Fallout if I just make it a travel instantly to location XY when clicked on, like it was in the Infinity Engine games? On the other hand, I would miss out on the "flavor" encounters then... :/ ("You see: The Remains of an old battlefield, burned corpses lined up against the wall. You can't tell what happened here, but the thought alone makes you sick"). I'm a bit torn on this one, as I personally like both approaches (if designed around properly)

    EDIT: I am with Vince on this one, I rather have much less encounters, but well designed, than lots of trash encounters with no real value.

    EDIT²: I guess the best would be, if I release a demo similar to what Vince did with AoD where I only showcase how quests and combat will be handled then, eh? Fuck it, I wanted to do that anyways, you play a character who is an npc in the normal game then.
     
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  8. Damned Registrationsgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Furry Weeaboo Nazi Nihilist

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    I hope you have some other sort of filler in mind then. Mouseover descriptions are good in this sort of game. There's never a shortage of interesting stuff to look at and read descriptions of, but it's not going to make your heart start pumping either.

    Regarding the travel; how about putting the flavour encounters onto the map, and unlocking them through random conversations (someone references something they saw and you go check it out basically). If you scatter them among enough branches in dialog trees on seemingly unimportant npcs and hide some behind skill checks, people won't find all of them on a single playthrough, which preserves the random, replay worthy feel of random map travel encounters, without including the filler combat to deter people from scouring the map for the damned things.
     
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  9. Surf Solargender: ⚧ cannot into womynz

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    I've rewritten all of the Fallout mouse over textes (they are bound to the respective graphic) and wrote lots of new stuff for my custom graphics, yeah, this will be in ofcourse. My scriptress says, I even go a bit over board with stuff 90% of players will never read, but eh who cares.

    Yep, that's exactly how I had it in mind. Hm, this would completely eliminate the worldmap stuff I feared people would abuse... Need to think about it. :P
     
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  10. Vault Dwellergender: ⚧ Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    Draq-bro, with all due respect, if I can beat most fights without reloading, the combat is shit.
     
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  11. Damned Registrationsgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Furry Weeaboo Nazi Nihilist

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    You could always add a crappily hidden reference to a secret passage/loot stash early on in the game in one of the texts that can't be found otherwise; then all the aspies will be scouring every last pebble for words. :troll:
     
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  12. Crooked Beegender: ⚧ wide-wandering bee Patron

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    I'm starting to sound like a broken record ITT, but well, Wizardry IV. Really, I wish more RPGs would take clue from that one and improve upon some of its basic ideas.

    Basically, this. Wizardry IV has survival, regaining powers, and escaping as its goals, and it works really well.

    Not necessarily. The main difficulty should lie in surviving a series of encounters, not a single one, and making use of limited resources, i.e., in resource management. Saving before each and every encounter heavily skews the management aspect in your favour.
     
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  13. tiagocc0gender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Instead of random encounters like Fallout where you jump into it or you are asked to avoid, why not take advantage of the situation and create a bunch of custom made encounters. Even something simple you could transfer to text and make the player more willing to participate like:
    "While walking you notice some footprints, you can't recognize what kind of creature it is. What do you do?"
    1. "Screw the footprints, keep moving! (No skill checks)"
    2. "Try to follow the footprints to see where it goes. (Small survival skill check)"
    3. "Try to recognize what creature it is before taking a decision. (Great survival check)"

    1 You keep moving while wondering what the fucker would look like, probably nothing worth wasting your time"
    2 Success 4. "You follow the footprints until you find a cave, would you like to enter?"
    2 Fail "The footprints are hard to follow, you keep going until you grow bored and says 'fuck it, I'm done'"
    3 Success 5. "It seems this is the footprint of a one-legged mutant. Do you want to follow it?""
    3 Fail "It looks like the footprint of two lizards making out, you got disgusted and left."
    4 "You enter the cave and find a one-legged mutant sleeping. What do you want to do....

    And it keeps going. The player could find something shitty or a great opportunity to fight.
    I think someone mentioned something about this in another game on this forum.

    Then you hardcode lots of encounters like this and then thrown in some random encounters in the middle but make them rarer, so the player won't really care since he will be jumping in the chair when he finds a good one.
    The only downside is someone who wants to see all encounters keep traveling until they are exhausted and then only random encounters will be left.
     
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  14. VentilatorOfDoomgender: ⚧ RPG Codex Staff Patron

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    The difficulty of the Arnika road stems not from single particularily challenging encounters but from the fact that 1) you're at the beginning of the game with shitty equipment and hardly any resources and 2) the game spams encounter after encounter upon you without giving you the opportunity to rest up. Each encounter taken for itself isn't all that difficult. And what do you do if you're out of mana and just can't go on? You seek a corner and reload until you could rest undisturbed.
    A real bitch of an encounter, as I remember, was the first Rapax patrol near Trynton. Eight 400HP Rapax against my poor team with like 60HP each. If every fight would have been like that, given the sheer number of fights you have to wade through, then I doubt I would have finished the game even once. Fortunately Wizardry 8 isn't like that but has a nice mixture of trivial, moderate and difficult encounters. Exactly like KotC, for instance. Most of the fights there were trivial but you'll have a moderate or big challenge every now and then. I consider this more fun than a constant excercise in frustration.
     
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  15. PorkaMorkagender: ⚧ Arcane

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    There is one school of thought in game design where the player is supposed to save and reload multiple times to get past challenging encounters. That design philosophy has def. been used a lot and it can work ok.

    But there are definitely a number of alternatives to create difficulty without encouraging constant save scumming. These alternatives have been used successfully in the past and some would say they create a more enjoyable experience.

    Plus, in some ways a non save scum based model may be easier on the developer; encounters that are challenging on the first couple tries can be trivialized through constantly retrying via save/load. The patterns and weaknesses of the encounter will be made more obvious when you re-try it multiple times. I imagine it would be very difficult to design 40 hours of truly challenging content when the game's ruleset allows and incentivizes constant reloads.
     
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  16. tiagocc0gender: ⚧ Arcane

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    There are three types of combat we see most, one where the outcome is based on luck, another is based on repetitive tasks and the last is based on tactics.
    The first is boring as hell and will make you save and load all the time.
    The second is usually for action or realtime rpgs, so doesn't apply.
    The third is where things get interesting.
    Using the third concept you can give the player the feeling of a hard encounter but still avoid save and load, given that the player is well prepared.
    Making a world where the player has the opportunity to prepare himself to a difficult encounter is another issue that cause players to save and load.
    If consumables are scarce the player probably will win fights where he will load the game to try to use less consumables.
    Want to make a good game? Forget luck and long repetitive battles and for god's sake give the player the chance to rest/find items/find gold or you will be making a survival game and that's a totally different matter.
     
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  17. DraQgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    I'd say yes. BG really lacked the sense of scale which is a must if you're travelling across a PA wasteland.

    I can easily counter that:

    If it is impossible to beat most fights without reloading if you play near optimally, exploiting available information, then the combat is shit, because it's ultimately resolved based on luck, not on (tactical) skill.

    Sure, it shouldn't be easy, but neither is failing repeatedly just because RNG hates you hard.

    Also,
    :salute:

    Randomness in RPG combat shouldn't be about whether you randomly win or lose. It should be about randomly needing to change tactics or use limited resources, but all in all tactics should be the decisive factor.

    Randomness shouldn't affect if the battle/series of battles is won or lost (or should affect it as rarely as possible), it should affect HOW you have to play in order to win or at least survive.
     
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  18. Grunkergender: ⚧ RPG Codex Ghost Patron

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    I agree - and to top it off I think Deep Roads are better than Arnika Road. I love Wizardry 8 but Arnika Roads are Derp Roads^2. Shorter, yes, but also considerably more interesting and with better encounter-design at some places.
     
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  19. Vault Dwellergender: ⚧ Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    The most memorable battles are the ones I've had to try more than 3 times to beat and I'm not talking about fishing for better rolls. They are the ones who create a sense of accomplishment.

    Battles I could beat easily (and by easily I mean on the first try; and naturally, I mean playing "near optimally") are the most forgettable and if the game has too many of those, they ruin it.

    Tactics (the way I see it) is about trying different things to overcome different challenges. You need to know exactly what you are up against, which requires trying and failing so that you can learn and fail better to learn and have a chance to win. That's why encounter design is important and that's why predictable filler combat sucks.

    If I succeed on the first try, I have no reasons to use different tactics. Simple as that. There is only so much you can do on the fly in a computer game. In DnD, for example, the wizard's versatility is his strength, which means that the player has to know what he's up against to prepare in advance and memorize the most suitable spells. Etc.
     
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  20. Tigranesgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    I don't see how this makes sense. How is any player playing 'near optimally, exploiting available info', in a tactical RPG with character development? In most good RPGs, whether old school or relatively new, when you reload you're reloading because:
    • (a) you made a judgment / reflex / control / etc error,
    • (b) you weren't aware of the particularities of the challenge or did not react adequately to that challenge,
    • (c) you have come up against a particularly difficult fight due to the game design and/or your own choices thus far, and
    • (d) luck of the draw.
    What you say would only be true if we were playing a rather linear RPG where the designers know what skills you have and you should be proficient at the rather limited number of abilities you currently have, and they decided to throw you a challenge which required the luck of the draw/roll to win. In such cases, we actually end up with only (a) and (d), which is similar to some challenges in linear FPS games or something. You either didn't shoot fast enough, or you need to be lucky and hope the enemy's sniper shot misses. i.e. it would be comparable to someone playing an IE game and reloading until their thief succeeds in rolling a 20 crit backstab at the start of the battle, because without that they would get wiped. That would indeed be bad design (or horrendous character building by the player), but that has nothing to do with reload-based combat challenges in general, yeah? So essentially you're building your argument about randomness on an extremely partial and arbitrary context.

    In fact, it's a combination of (a)-(d) which produces the fun and the challenge in combat where you reload. Even when we take relatively casual players (i.e. not your grandma, but someone who actually plays games), when they first come up against an enemy, and that enemy introduces a new ability, or spell, or a tactical maneuvre, and you die, the response isn't "Fuck this shit". You're surprised, and maybe think that's pretty cool, and now you know, so you reload to try and get around that. There's a problem here if the number of hoops you have to jump is so many / so difficult / so different that you feel like you're undoing the knot from hell; you want challenges to make sense fairly quickly, and at the same time be effective. You don't want to reload 15 times just to figure out how to kill this guy, you want to reload once or twice for that, then after that you're reloading (or winning), but you're trying to crack the challenge. You need a good combination of a real threat of death (but not insanely), different challenges that provide learning curve (but not ones that take 20 reloads just to figure out), and tactical options for the player (so you're not just trying the same thing 20 times).

    So take the Kraken in TW2, for instance. It varies depending on the player and difficulty level, but many people complained and even quit, not necessarily because the Kraken was too difficult, and certainly not because you needed luck of the 'draw' or randomness to win. It was because the Kraken introduced too many mechanisms and challenges that were too different from combat challenges in the rest of the game, and because there were not adequate feedback mechanisms to allow the player to take it in without many reloads. i.e. you not only need to learn to dodge the tentacles, you also need to learn to dodge or cut apart the sticky stuff, you need to learn to hit the tentacles in exactly the right spot, you need to learn to dodge the tentacles when they're flailing around, THEN you need to learn to scale its body while dodging tentacles that again move differently. All the while, the massive size of the kraken & the camera angle makes it difficult to see what exactly is going on, and although they give you tips from the witch and the mouse button signals, combined it was all too much for many players = they spend too many reloads not getting why they're dying and how they're meant to win = frustration.

    Now, one solution is obviously to make the challenge a lot easier, i.e. every one of those challenges remain, but they deal less damage and are less punishing, so the player can take their time. I'd argue this is a suboptimal solution. Not only is the player still going to have to spend a lot of time figuring stuff out, as they're doing so, the generosity of the challenge takes away from the excitement. In other contexts, thus you have people saying "Oh just ignore all that shit, just go in and hack it with swords and it dies". It's not fun to reload 50 times to figure out the Kraken, but it's also not fun to sit there and let it hit you 20 times while it deals 3 damage as you figure out how to kill it. A much better solution is to retain or even strengthen the challenge, but reduce and/or make clearer and more intuitive the various challenges presented at you. In the context of the Kraken, that might mean allowing you to strike at the tentacle at ANY given point, rather than having a scripted spot and timing, so that people can stumble on their own ways of killing the thing. It might just mean taking out one of its special unique abilities, or even just giving the whole thing a wider camera angle.

    The implicit point here is that reloading isn't a sin in and of itself. Reloading 10 times in one context can be frustrating, in other cases it can be a seamless part of an exciting challenge for the player. I know that if I'm reloading 10 times because the challenge is just far too difficult and I'm hoping for random luck, or the challenge is too different / badly explained / obtuse and I just have no idea why I'm dying, it sucks. But if I find that the enemy presents a comprehensible challenge that is nevertheless effective, reloading 10 times isn't a chore, because every time I think I can win, I know why I died, I want to do it again so I can do it better. And if that's the case, it's much better to be reloading a few times to win this fight, rather than winning it in one go - because if that happens often enough, I end up just not bothering. Imagine playing a tactical RPG. Initially you find the enemies throw interesting things at you. You learn to dodge their nets, you learn to use silence on mages, you learn to put up fire shields against certain enemies, etc. But soon, you find that in the end you're winning every time first time. Then why do I need to bother? I just end up playing suboptimally, not taking advantage of the various options and complexities in the combat. The threat of death needs to be real, and actually carried out at times (though obviously not too much) - that complements the tactical options in battle. You need both. Difficult combat without tactical options is just reloading until you get lucky/twitchy. Tactical options without difficult combat just deflates the player.
     
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  21. tiagocc0gender: ⚧ Arcane

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    I agree with you, but I don't think winning the first time or the need to reload the game even though the player might not be bothered with it is something you should consider at development.
    Winning the first time doesn't mean it's easy, you could got lucky by trying the optimal strategy or you used your past experience in the game to figure out what you should do. If it takes a one, a few or some more reloads it's perfectly fine. But a developer should not think this is a battle players need to reload, this is a battle the player should win without reload. Although you can use this to rate a game or a part of a game, a developer should be more concerned at the combat/tactics itself and leave this kind of talk when beta testing.

    If your beta testers are hardcore gamers they might tell you your game is too easy and that they won most fights on their first try.
    While if your beta testers are casual gamers they might tell you just the opposite.

    The real question here is, do you want to please hardcore gamers or casual gamers?
    This will tell you if the combat should be made more difficult or easier. And of course if you do try to please hardcore gamers please do it using tactics/strategy.
     
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  22. Surf Solargender: ⚧ cannot into womynz

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    Since I don't have to rely on any sales and just do the game for fun, it's aimed for people who already know Fallout and similar games and know what they are doing. ;) So naturally, it gets harder over all. I personally found Fallout always too easy, and I'm not even that much of a Min-Maxer or "pro" at gaming. Making everything a wee bit harder and adding more possibilities in combat is what I want.

    By the way - the discussion is quite derailed, but I don't care, it's a good read. Thanks guys!
     
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  23. Vault Dwellergender: ⚧ Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    Tigranes needs to post more.
     
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  24. DraQgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    If you can "naturally" play them near optimally, then they are easy because finding optimal or near optimal solution is a no-brainer.

    What I'm talking of are battles that can be won reliably without foreknowledge (player can obtain all the necessary information and knows of it) or counting on blind luck. Battles for which an optimal solution exists and can be figured out, but is difficult to figure out and involves a lot conditional stuff making it branch a lot depending on how the battle will unfold.

    Reloading for better rolls isn't challenge, but neither is reloading for better information, nor reloading while blindly trying to bump into a viable tactics. In the first case you reload till the randomly behaving game does something desirable, in the last you reload till the randomly behaving player does something right. Both are as vacuous as they sound.

    Second is simply using save&reload as cheap scouting tactics, which is rendered unnecessary by making necessary information available to the player, by implementing scouting, in-game sources, clues and so on.


    By that logic tactics is impossible IRL, because real life has no quickload functionality and doesn't allow for retries.
    You DO realize how monumentally dumb such idea is, right?

    In a well designed game b) reduces to a) because inadequate reaction is a judgement error, so is not obtaining relevant information beforehand.

    If the information is unavailable, then the game is shittily designed, because it uses learn-by-dying paradigm, presenting player with a set of mutually exclusive survival tactics where only one is valid, and forces player to choose randomly by not providing necessary information (AKA mushroom design - keep player in the dark and feed him manure).

    c) reduces to a), b) (which reduces to a) if the game is well designed) or d).

    d) should be minimized if outright elimination is impossible without throwing the baby out with the bathwater. It isn't inherently fun, but some degree might be an inevitable side effects of producing random behaviour in game which increases entertainment factor and challenge of a).

    It is irrelevant whether the game is linear or not and whether it supports variety of builds, because it doesn't affect what a)-d) are all about, although it influences viability of various design strategies. For example heavily non-linear game with very rich mechanics and variety of possible builds doesn't really allows to make any assumptions about player's character/party, so the only thing you can do is to provide relevant information and enough wriggle room so that player won't be, for example, forced to duke it out with a dragon in a narrow passage even if he plays a pacifist diplomat wearing no armour.
    Fortunately if the game has very rich mechanics, it means that almost in any given situation player has access to a very large number of possible actions and, in terms of a mathematical model, it's difficult to trap someone inadvertently in a space with very many dimensions.

    To sum it up, a) is the only point that should ideally count, and since it involves player error it means that the encounter could be handled without reloading if played flawlessly, without requiring any sort of additional information or anything.
    d) is a side effect (possibly inevitable), of additional mechanics making a) interesting and non-trivial.

    But how about witnessing someone else getting shafted instead during enemy introduction, or getting a suggestion to flee, then learning of the introduced stuff from in-game sources?

    Reloading makes for shit storytelling and any, but the most abstract games are telling stories. They may be non-storyfag, highly mutable stories, that simply flow from player's interaction with mechanics, but they are effectively stories.

    "Johnny gets incinerated by dragon's unexpectedly fiery breath and dies - the end knows for no reason that dragon's breath will be fiery so he gulps a potion of fire immunity"
    makes for a shit story.

    Those aren't the problems with Keiran battle.

    The main problem is that you're not informed that the tentacles will start flailing around, you're not informed that the beast will suddenly chuck pieces of bridge at you and you can never be sure of what exactly are you attempting to do, due to the battle being based on shitty QTEs and having no unified control scheme of any sort, relying on same two buttons doing whatever arbitrary shit devs saw fit at that moment, so, for example you'll get flung into walls many times before figuring out when to let off.

    The last one was also the reason why said goodbye to optional QTEs for good in TW2 - dear nonexistant god, they were so shitty.

    Sluggish controls and iffy collision also didn't help.

    How about providing player with responsive controls and clearer idea of what he's attempting to do?
    Cut off the tentacles, then what? Charge it and poke it with a sword? Oh, it dropped a bridge on itself, how cute. Now it flung me against the wall. Wat.

    If the hazards need to be presented in action, you can always make a warning shot - an event that doesn't kill the player but presents the risk adequately - for example sniper missing or hitting another target, tentacle breaking a trunk of an ancient tree like a twig, if all else fails, some exposition dialogue. After that player is a fair game.

    Figuring Keiran's weak spots didn't exactly take an Einstein especially considering optional dialogue with Triss. Yrden was suggested by Sheila when you were rolling around trying not to get mashed, so it was also no-brainer.

    What was really derp was that you didn't even have any clue what will you do for most of the combat - did Geralt expect that the thing will collapse part of the bridge on itself and that it will fall so conveniently that it will become a ramp? Is he a fucking clairvoyant?

    Same with Keiran trap - why only the two outer tentacles? Shouldn't I be able to deploy it in any location and aim at any tentacle?

    Another problem is that player is prevented from exploring the situation by non-obvious instakill hazards.

    The last thing is unreliability of controls - it's no fun to have to do something that makes character completely unresponsive when certain death is flailing about. It's common issue with modern cinyeemathigifagic experiences, though, that doing stuff roots your character in place, that power attacks make him dash in random direction for a second or two before even executing them (hi, oblivious) and so on. Consolefag shit.

    Of course, better FoV would be useful, I wouldn't have much problems if it was wide enough to allow simultaneous tracking of both tentacles and ground. I probably would also fight the battle relatively easy in FPP, with standard responsive FPP control scheme, but to sum it up, the reloads in Keiran battle were frustrating because you either knew perfectly well what to do exactly and how (yrden, now dodge you faggot! dodge I say! FFFFUUUUU-) while dying constantly, or you were killed for not reading devs' minds and figuring out what you're expected to do.

    Remove those reasons, you'll remove the reloads. The battle will also turn rather easy, because other than unresponsive controls and not being given any clue regarding what to do there is no challenge but being fast with your keys to it and being fast with your keys is what you should have perfected halfway into prologue.

    The threat of death should be real, but death shouldn't be used to explain the challenge to the player, only to punish him for failing. Also, as many failures as logically plausible should not lead to game over, because while death may be an ultimate punishment for the character, player will just reload, making it rank low on player's punishment scale.

    Being advised (by NPCs, or sources you obviously seek and read at every opportunity) to avoid melee with zombies, then after the fight, good night sleep and several insignificant encounters you nevertheless saved after learning that you feel sick, that it's because you've caught something nasty, that it WILL kill you, and that only way to avoid this is finding a really good healer, who will demand most of your precious stuff in exchange is better than having "you contract a deadly disease and die shortly after, reload (y/n)?" pop up during the combat, because while the latter is technically harsher on character it's much softer and very forgettable for the player, who can just reload.
     
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  25. Damned Registrationsgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Furry Weeaboo Nazi Nihilist

    Damned Registrations
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
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    11,335
    It's better to have the player reload a very long challenge comprised of a series of smaller challenges, than to reload an individual challenge multiple times. An easy way to do this is simply make long term resource management important, whether those resources are HP, mana, items, or whatever. If on your first attempt, you struggle through the dungeon to reach a major boss fight, and then die in a very hectic challenge, it is much much better for both pacing and maintaining challenge to ahve the player rerun the entire dungeon leading up to that point, doing better on all the previous challenges, making the final challenge easier to begin with in combination with having a better plan the second time around. The alternative of maknig the player breeze through the dungeon trivially, and reload right before the boss over and over again, completely breaks the pacing of the game and the intended challenge of the encounter and overall arc of the story.

    When considering challenge, the very, very first question you need to ask yourself is, what will ideally be the average number of attempts taken to complete this? 1 Is obviously too low, as it means nobody has ever failed it. Going past 2 is probably bad as well, since it means that either almost everyone failed more than once due to some sort of impossible to fathom gimmick, or a portion of players are getting through the encounter with many many attempts, completely destroying the encounter as part of the game and turning it into it's own subgame. And chances are that subgame is going to be shitty, even in a good system. There just isn't enough interesting shit in a single combat encounter to warrant it being replayed 5+ times in a row, unless it's some sort of insanely long multi stage battle. And you can't use those for all of your battles, since there's pretty much no plot or setting that could possibly warrant it, and it's hard to fit such a thing into a game anywhere except shortly before a climax.
     
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