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Darkhold
Feb 19, 2011

No Heart
No Soul
No Service

Alpha Protocol had a really good system. Points to do whatever but if you played maps 100% stealth you got a stealth perk. Get shot alot? Endurance perk. Etc.

Your build and your playstyle fed into each other very nicely.

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GreatGreen
Jul 3, 2007

THIS IS HOW YOU REMIND ME OF WHAT I REALLY AM

I think a use-based system could work if usage-based perks were entirely self contained and did not have any contributing effect on your character's overall level or XP gain or anything that had to with character development.

In other words, with that Paladin I was talking about from my earlier example that I wanted to specialize in casting... under a normal use-based system, I'd have to gimp him by forcing him to not attack anything so he wouldn't burn xp on melee that could have gone to casting. However, if simply hitting things with your sword made your "sword hitting" skill improve in isolation while contributing nothing to your actual level, it could work. In order not to game the system and become grossly overpowered though, you'd have to cap the melee skill to the character's level so you couldn't hit a tree for 10 hours at level 1 and have a sword skill of 5,000 or whatever.

But if you bothered with capping the melee skill to the player's level at all, why not just auto-max the sword skill to the player's level every time you leveled... or in other words, eliminate the use-based aspect entirely?

As far as I can see, the only good reason to keep a use-based system around is so you can use it to add some slight granularity between power jumps between levels. So if your fireball at level 1 does max 10 damage and at level 2 does max 15 damage, a use-based system could be good to show you slowly ramping up your fireball damage as you used it to max 11, max 12, 13, 14, then eventually max 15 damage right around the time you'd be normally expected to hit level 3, where you could then unlock and ramp up to fireball max damage 20 or whatever.

So basically it only works when it acts like weapon skills used to be in WoW. Just something to add flavor on top of your actual progression system.

GreatGreen fucked around with this message at Jun 30, 2016 around 18:08

Zore
Sep 21, 2010



Well, usage based systems could work if they let you start at 'basic competence' and work up from there.

Instead what usually happens is that everyone starts okay at hitting poo poo with a sword and loving terrible at anything magical/stealthy/ranged/summon. If your basic level 1 fireball and level 1 sword attack were both viable options to killing enemies right away you'd specialize organically as the mage would just use their magic. Because it actually worked from the start.

System designers for these kinds of games just seem to have this ridiculous hard-on for everyone being forced to fall back on melee because you cast a spell once and oops now your out of magic. Or you summoned a rat that died in one hit, better summon it ninety more times before you can summon something that does damage. etc.

Zore fucked around with this message at Jun 30, 2016 around 16:55

Zulily Zoetrope
Jun 1, 2011



Muldoon

The only use-based game I've played was Skyrim, but a lot of these complaints seem way overblown. Just don't spend 10 hours hitting an invulnerable enemy or 90% of the game not playing how you want. I'm assuming the devs are capable of designing a system that won't gently caress you up because you hit level 60 in fireballs before getting tongue wagging to level 45.

bongwizzard
May 19, 2005

Then one day I meet a man,
He came to me and said,
"Hard work good and hard work fine,
but first take care of head"

Grimey Drawer

Kajeesus posted:

The only use-based game I've played was Skyrim, but a lot of these complaints seem way overblown. Just don't spend 10 hours hitting an invulnerable enemy or 90% of the game not playing how you want. I'm assuming the devs are capable of designing a system that won't gently caress you up because you hit level 60 in fireballs before getting tongue wagging to level 45.

Exactly. I also feel like people have this ideal set of mechanics that they want every game to have, which to me would make things way to boring. I love real time w/ pause but don't need every rpg to have that to enjoy them.

idonotlikepeas
May 29, 2010

This reasoning is possible for forums user idonotlikepeas!


Kajeesus posted:

The only use-based game I've played was Skyrim, but a lot of these complaints seem way overblown. Just don't spend 10 hours hitting an invulnerable enemy or 90% of the game not playing how you want. I'm assuming the devs are capable of designing a system that won't gently caress you up because you hit level 60 in fireballs before getting tongue wagging to level 45.

Well, that's what I meant when I said this:

idonotlikepeas posted:

What an ideal player in a system like this looks like is someone who doesn't really care about the details, since the levelling system is automatically worrying about those details for you, and I'm not sure how much overlap there is between that kind of player and typical RPG players. (And, let's face it, Tyranny is not going to be the game that gets non-RPG players interested.)

If you're a player that is willing to just say "I'll do as I like and let the chips fall where they may, and everything will probably be okay in the end", a system like this is fine and in some ways preferable. So what that you won't get the ultimate firestorm spell because you spent too much time hitting things with swords? You'll still beat the game, even if it's a little tougher. I just don't think that a lot of people that play RPGs do think like that, and I know for a fact that I don't, hence my concerns. Part of the desire here is to have a more active role in shaping exactly the character you want, whereas this type of system tends to be a bit sloppy unless you exert very precise control over every action with an eye towards what it will do to your skills in the long-term in an environment with finite XP (which is exhausting).

bongwizzard posted:

I also feel like people have this ideal set of mechanics that they want every game to have, which to me would make things way to boring. I love real time w/ pause but don't need every rpg to have that to enjoy them.

I think it's fair to say some people have expressed worries or concerns, but I haven't seen anyone saying "USE-BASED SKILL SYSTEMS ARE poo poo AND TYRANNY IS poo poo" or anything like that. That said, variety is the spice of life, but it doesn't mean all options you can select from are equally good.

Fair Bear Maiden
Jun 17, 2013


Use-based progression *is* a weird fit for an isometric RPG with a relatively constrained design and playtime. I'd really like to read a longer blog post with some rationale on why the system was chosen and how they figure it will work throughout a playthrough, but I'm guessing their earlier blog post on character development is all we'll get.

wizard on a water slide
Aug 20, 2005



Kajeesus posted:

The only use-based game I've played was Skyrim, but a lot of these complaints seem way overblown. Just don't spend 10 hours hitting an invulnerable enemy or 90% of the game not playing how you want. I'm assuming the devs are capable of designing a system that won't gently caress you up because you hit level 60 in fireballs before getting tongue wagging to level 45.

The Elder Scrolls games are actually pretty poorly balanced, in that you absolutely can gently caress up a character and hit difficulty walls because of it. Fortunately you can also just turn the difficulty slider down to compensate, but if you're moving an option menu slider around to adjust for your build choices everything starts to feel a little pointless.

Captain Scandinaiva
Mar 29, 2010

Insektsfarfar Fan Club
Ride hard, ride free


Fair Bear Maiden posted:

Use-based progression *is* a weird fit for an isometric RPG with a relatively constrained design and playtime.

How so? I feel a used-based system would be much more awkward in a long and complicated game like PoE, where how you play at the start may affect your character tens of hours down the line. People also seem to think 'isometric RPG' will mean it's going to be very complex and require a lot of planning for different builds. I don't think that's what they're going for with Tyranny really. I think of it more as Alpha Protocol with a party in the PoE engine.

Anyway, like others have said, it all depends on how the system is constructed. I haven't read the latest blog post but I think the best way to do it would be to keep the skills, attributes and enemies separate in their progression. Like, you use AoE spells and level them up but can then choose to increase one attribute to make them do more damage or another attribute to make their area and duration greater, similar to PoEs attribute system. While enemies are static and don't level up as you use your skills.

That seems to be the biggest gripes people have with The Elder Scrolls games. You level up one skill, which gives a bonus to a certain attribute, which in turn affects every other skill. Meaning you can only use the "right" skills. But if you level up a non-combat skill too much, enemies outgrow you.

surc
Aug 17, 2004

Tenuki Tanuki.


Leveling mechanics are only bad when the game is not balanced properly around them.

Also not all RPGs are designed to be min-maxed to the optimal ending, that is mainly a legacy of people being trained to play that way by poor game balancing in the past (sup, Baldurs Gate), combined with people's need to feel like they always made "The best" decisions. Isometric RPGs in particular have been pigeonholed as that style, but the presentation of a game doesn't actually require it to follow a specific gameplay mechanic, or even be designed with the same target audience as other games presented in the same way.

Furism
Feb 21, 2006

Live long and headbang


surc posted:

a legacy of people being trained to play that way by poor game balancing in the past (sup, Baldurs Gate)

Doorknob Slobber
Sep 10, 2006





Use based systems work best in completely classless systems. I have a certain fondness of them from playing MUDs for a greater part of my youth and totally wish that some of those old RPG systems made it into more games these days.

SNAKES N CAKES
Sep 6, 2005

DAVID GAIDER
Lead Writer


Captain Scandinaiva posted:

Anyway, like others have said, it all depends on how the system is constructed. I haven't read the latest blog post but I think the best way to do it would be to keep the skills, attributes and enemies separate in their progression. Like, you use AoE spells and level them up but can then choose to increase one attribute to make them do more damage or another attribute to make their area and duration greater, similar to PoEs attribute system. While enemies are static and don't level up as you use your skills.

The lead dev has confirmed that enemies will downscale to the player's level, but I don't think we've heard anything about upscaling yet.

surc
Aug 17, 2004

Tenuki Tanuki.



You're right, it's not fair to put that on Baldurs gate.

Sup, AD&D.

GreatGreen
Jul 3, 2007

THIS IS HOW YOU REMIND ME OF WHAT I REALLY AM

I wonder if the entire concept of "character level," as in a single number that defines how advanced your character is, at least in games with open character development systems like this, is simply an incompatible concept from the beginning.

In games where you have to pick a class that has a clearly cut and dry roll, a single level indicating character power makes sense. But here in Tyranny, where you can evenly distribute skill points across every type of speciality just as easily as you can devote them all to a "pure class" role, actual character competency levels are going to be vastly different across characters of the same "level" so the concept is rendered fairly meaningless right out of the gate.

At any rate, however you design your open class system, whether it's a usage-based skill system or something more like what Dark Souls uses, which is basically the same system but you get to choose where your points go instead of the game itself, whatever. It has the potential to be just as fun as anything else. But if you then place a character created under such a system in a world that uses that character's "level" as a means for scaling the world's difficulty, you're basically guaranteed to totally screw up the difficulty curve and produce a game that feels stupid and not fun.

I guess ultimately what I'm saying is that a usage-based, open system can absolutely work well, but only in a game world that uses absolutely no scaling it all, and that accommodates grinding to account for whatever relative weakness comes from splitting up your skills if you want to do that with a character.

GreatGreen fucked around with this message at Jul 6, 2016 around 23:39

Furism
Feb 21, 2006

Live long and headbang


I reckon levels in skill based character development systems are there to impose a sort of soft-cap on the skills ; ie: you can't go beyond (level * 5) + 15 etc.

idonotlikepeas
May 29, 2010

This reasoning is possible for forums user idonotlikepeas!


That's one use for them. There are two others that I know of:

1) As a simple, human-comprehensible measure of a character's progress. People like to feel like their characters are progressing, and it can be hard to feel it when you say "well, he's better because his ball-hammering skill is now 20 instead of 19" when there are twenty other skills you might be looking at. The summary makes it easier to take in. This is purely an emotional reward; having a little counter that goes up makes you feel good.
2) Because some attributes suck to raise yourself. Specifically, health and mana values (although Tyranny specifically is using cooldowns instead of the latter), although this can apply to other things too. If given a choice between ability to do damage and more health, people will usually pick the former because the latter is boring, and the degree to which someone prioritizes each can have HUGE, swingy effects on the difficulty of the game. Taking out boring, but useful values that all characters need and making them steadily go up as the game goes on means that the player can have more interesting choices instead of worrying about whether not picking health this level is going to screw them (but never really WANTING to pick it). Having a level makes it easy to do that - every level N character has X base health, which might get modified a little by skills, talents, or attributes. (Incidentally, talent points and attribute points are also values that are best to raise this way.)

Fair Bear Maiden
Jun 17, 2013


Captain Scandinaiva posted:

How so? I feel a used-based system would be much more awkward in a long and complicated game like PoE, where how you play at the start may affect your character tens of hours down the line.

In Pillars of Eternity you're given plenty of time to settle on a playstyle and learn how to use your tools, precisely because it's a long game. In a game like Skyrim, which is enormous and very open-ended, your mistakes count less by the very virtue of the game structure. Every decision becomes chunkier and more important in a shorter game, which is what I was getting at.

Captain Scandinaiva posted:

People also seem to think 'isometric RPG' will mean it's going to be very complex and require a lot of planning for different builds. I don't think that's what they're going for with Tyranny really. I think of it more as Alpha Protocol with a party in the PoE engine.

I probably made the wrong call in talking about the camera angle of the game, because you evidently focused on that. Alpha Protocol is actually a good comparison because, while there are some minor learn by use elements, the bulk of progression is completely in the player's hands, and they have a chance to experiment with the tools first and then decide what to specialize in. In Tyranny using something, even just to try it, inherently tells the game "I'm spending some of my precious time training in this skill." If you later decide that skill isn't for you, you've effectively just wasted time.

Captain Scandinaiva posted:

Anyway, like others have said, it all depends on how the system is constructed. I haven't read the latest blog post but I think the best way to do it would be to keep the skills, attributes and enemies separate in their progression. Like, you use AoE spells and level them up but can then choose to increase one attribute to make them do more damage or another attribute to make their area and duration greater, similar to PoEs attribute system. While enemies are static and don't level up as you use your skills.

That seems to be the biggest gripes people have with The Elder Scrolls games. You level up one skill, which gives a bonus to a certain attribute, which in turn affects every other skill. Meaning you can only use the "right" skills. But if you level up a non-combat skill too much, enemies outgrow you.

There's a developer diary on the progression systems on the official website. Doesn't answer all your questions, but it offers a decent overview.

Samuel Clemens
Oct 4, 2013

I think we should call the Avengers.



Have the devs said anything about solo playthroughs being a possibility? I'd imagine this game will be more party-driven than PoE, but I'm curious to know whether going alone is still an option.

surc posted:

Also not all RPGs are designed to be min-maxed to the optimal ending, that is mainly a legacy of people being trained to play that way by poor game balancing in the past (sup, Baldurs Gate), combined with people's need to feel like they always made "The best" decisions. Isometric RPGs in particular have been pigeonholed as that style, but the presentation of a game doesn't actually require it to follow a specific gameplay mechanic, or even be designed with the same target audience as other games presented in the same way.

The controversy surrounding PoE's companions is an interesting example of this. When the game came out, quite a few people on the Obsidian forums complained that they didn't want to play with the official NPCs because their stats were not as optimised for certain builds as those of custom companions you can create yourself. Despite the fact that even on the hardest difficulty, such heavy optimisation is by no means required to go through the game and the difference between adequate and perfect stats is more of a mathematical curiosity than a game changer.

Ideally, character creation should be a means of realising a desired role-playing concept within the confines of a specific system, but in practice, players often treat it as a puzzle where you're supposed to figure out the optimal solution/build. Which, to be fair, is partly a response to older RPGs having builds that were outright traps for newcomers. Sure, it's possible to beat Fallout 2 without investing in any combat skills, but that's not something you'll pull off on your first playthrough.

Zore
Sep 21, 2010



Fair Bear Maiden posted:




There's a developer diary on the progression systems on the official website. Doesn't answer all your questions, but it offers a decent overview.

That... does not instill much confidence that they've solved some of the usage progression issues I'm worried about.

ugh.

a cow
May 6, 2007


friendship is magic
in a pony paradise
don't you judge me

In Morrowind I spent my first levels standing still, getting hit by mudcrabs so I'd level up Heavy Armor (Endurance) asap for the most HP possible. Excellent system, would recommend for future rpg's.

bongwizzard
May 19, 2005

Then one day I meet a man,
He came to me and said,
"Hard work good and hard work fine,
but first take care of head"

Grimey Drawer

imho a ruleset should not have be about keeping people from min-maxing in a single player game. If you don't want to get hit by mudcrabs for hours, just like don't do it and just play the game?

Samuel Clemens
Oct 4, 2013

I think we should call the Avengers.



a cow posted:

In Morrowind I spent my first levels standing still, getting hit by mudcrabs so I'd level up Heavy Armor (Endurance) asap for the most HP possible. Excellent system, would recommend for future rpg's.

This is pretty funny considering Morrowind has several exploits/features that basically let you set your skills and attributes to whatever value you want.

Jimbot
Jul 22, 2008


I liked the magic and potion creation stuff in Morrowind. Any in-game system that allows you to create the most broken-rear end spells, enhancements and potions is A-OK in my book. More games should include it so that way a means of min/maxing and creating things that break the game exist all while you can keep that dreaded balanced silliness for everything else.

Cuntellectual
Aug 6, 2010

You see this post?

It's the Gosh Darn APOCALYPSE, baby!

WOO!

If it's about being part of the evil dudes are you still stuck with Man, Skinny Man, Short Man, Tiny Man, Exotic Man? Or can you have a bunch of orcs and stuff.

X_Toad
Apr 2, 2011


Third short story, called The Archon's Voice, featuring the Scarlet Chorus and their leader, The Voices of Nerat, Archon of Secrets :

https://blog.tyrannygame.com/2016/0...-archons-voice/

Anatharon posted:

If it's about being part of the evil dudes are you still stuck with Man, Skinny Man, Short Man, Tiny Man, Exotic Man? Or can you have a bunch of orcs and stuff.
Nope, it's all humans this time. The only other sentient species this time are the Beastmen, and you can't play one as I think they're rather primitive. From the videos and pictures we've got so far, they remind me of the Werewolves in the Witcher, big wolves with human hands who still walk on all four, making them look like a mix between a wolf and an ape.

X_Toad fucked around with this message at Jul 9, 2016 around 14:08

surc
Aug 17, 2004

Tenuki Tanuki.


bongwizzard posted:

imho a ruleset should not have be about keeping people from min-maxing in a single player game. If you don't want to get hit by mudcrabs for hours, just like don't do it and just play the game?

There's a difference between a ruleset "being about keeping people" from doing a thing and "not being designed around" people doing a thing. There's nothing wrong with an RPG that doesn't involve min-max mechanics. If they come up with a successful alternative, that is a cool and good and innovative thing.

Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk


i think the reason "levels" are so common in rpgs, along with linear progression and predictable stat growth and everything else that comes from that, is that it makes the game a little easier for the devs to design, in terms of being roughly able to predict at what relative power level a player is going to be approaching a given challenge. if you set up your system so that each level is +10 HP and +1 more damage and pick 1 new feat, and then you structure the game so that someone can theoretically be level 10 by point A and level 20 by point B and so on, then it makes it a lot easier to design encounters around what you expect the player to be doing. sure, someone might do a level 1 challenge run for their own fun, and someone else might grind out 99 levels on the first goblin monster, but overall you can basically predict how strong a party will be by how you stagger a level based system.

when you ditch that and go with something more esoteric like a skill based system, it can be harder for devs to predict what kind of resources and at what power level any player is going to be approaching a specific challenge. especially if the primary method of conflict resolution in the game is combat, but you give players the option to level up non-combat skills like Speech or Cooking or Underwater Basket Weaving, it can often create situations where the devs either just assume everyone is going to play a certain "build" and so non-optimal builds just get stonewalled in certain parts of the game, or it can create extremely bland encounter design, where they have to allow any possible combination of skills to be able to complete any challenge, so nothing is ever memorable or difficult.

the other issue is that a lot of modern game design is dictated around the reality that time = money, and most companies don't want their employees spending time producing content if their end users won't ever get to see it. that's part of why a lot of new games over the last decade have gotten away from allowing the player to make choices that permanently locks out or blocks off content, because from a development perspective, money that was spent making content that a player doesn't interact with is money that was wasted. that's how you get situations like the dialogue in Fallout 4 where you ostensibly have four dialogue options to choose, but they all produce the exact same canned response, with maybe one word or two changed by the NPC delivering the line.

Fair Bear Maiden
Jun 17, 2013


Skill-based systems can still use character levels? I mean, even ignoring the fact that the definition of "skill-based systems" includes games like Fallout, both The Elder Scrolls and Tyranny use character levels.

I think I understand your point, homeless, but your use of the terminology is kinda confusing me.

Lt. Danger
Dec 22, 2006

jolly good chaps we sure showed the hun

bongwizzard posted:

imho a ruleset should not have be about keeping people from min-maxing in a single player game. If you don't want to get hit by mudcrabs for hours, just like don't do it and just play the game?

A properly designed system shouldn't have a divergence between "intended play" and "actual play" in the first place.

SolidSnakesBandana
Jul 1, 2007

Infinite ammo


GreatGreen posted:

I wonder if the entire concept of "character level," as in a single number that defines how advanced your character is, at least in games with open character development systems like this, is simply an incompatible concept from the beginning.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Its especially bad when your game is balanced around some kind of max level, which means you just feel gimped up til that point. I'm not smart enough to come up with a way to feel like you're progressing. Maybe a way to augment items, ala Dark Souls? Then your "level" is tied to your weapon, which seems like a much easier way to balance a game. Its why Dark Souls always feels perfect at the beginning until you start gaining too many or not enough levels.

Basic Chunnel
Sep 21, 2010

Jesus! Jesus Christ! Say his name! Jesus! Jesus! Come down now!



I'm taking a wait and see approach re: the leveling system if just because the fact that it appears to be a compact, linear game ought to make it more considered than the open world games that expect you to grind for your progression.

Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk


Fair Bear Maiden posted:

Skill-based systems can still use character levels? I mean, even ignoring the fact that the definition of "skill-based systems" includes games like Fallout, both The Elder Scrolls and Tyranny use character levels.

I think I understand your point, homeless, but your use of the terminology is kinda confusing me.

yeah, you have character levels and skill point systems meshed together in FO and ES, which is kind of a hodgepodge and brings its own strengths and weaknesses into play. in those systems, a lot of the secondary character traits, things like your health or your poison resistance or your ability to move in combat are calculated based on your character level, but your character's overall autonomy and ability to interact with the game world is based on your cumulative skill level. so in theory they're tied to each other, meaning that as you gain levels you get more skills, so someone should roughly be more powerful overall as they progress through the game, getting more health and faster action scores and more gun shooting skills at the same rate. but, in a lot of those older games, there's ways to subvert the system, and a lot of the most effective ways to powergame those systems are methods that let you jack your skills way high without correspondingly having to raise your level at the same rate.

take the potion exploits in morrowind, which could allow you to produce potions with enough power and duration and intensity that a level 1 hero could levitate from seyda neen, over the ghost wall, straight to red mountain, and stab dagoth ur to death with a rusty spoon, because even without the gimmick "last boss" weapons you were so freakishly strong that you dealt enough damage to overcome his regeneration and damage resistance. morrowind still had a level based system that increased your health and mana and stamina and etc. but none of that mattered if you could just boost your skills to astronomical levels without leveling up.

what i was talking about, where designers build a game around the player being level 5 by point A and level 10 by point B and etc was more of a reference to other game systems, where leveling up directly improved every aspect of your character (health / defense / combat power / spell casting / skills) and while there might also be magic swords or better equipment, all of your class abilities are gated behind leveling up, so all the magic swords in the world didn't make up for gaining a level and getting the next level of spells or being able to attack 3x a round (for example). in those kinds of games, a designer can control how much experience a player is likely to have by a certain point in the game, an in so doing, have a rough idea of what level a player is going to be at for a specific challenge. there's still people who do level 1 runs, or sequence break stuff for fun, but for a default playthrough it can be easier to anticipate what someone can do if you limit the total number of options they can possibly choose from.

bongwizzard
May 19, 2005

Then one day I meet a man,
He came to me and said,
"Hard work good and hard work fine,
but first take care of head"

Grimey Drawer

Lt. Danger posted:

A properly designed system shouldn't have a divergence between "intended play" and "actual play" in the first place.

But how do you control "actual play"? Just because you can let a mudcrab hit you for hours to speed-advance a skill doesn't mean the system is broken, so long as the games intended play method works, how small segment of the audience actually play it isn't really relevant.

Lt. Danger
Dec 22, 2006

jolly good chaps we sure showed the hun

bongwizzard posted:

But how do you control "actual play"? Just because you can let a mudcrab hit you for hours to speed-advance a skill doesn't mean the system is broken, so long as the games intended play method works, how small segment of the audience actually play it isn't really relevant.

Disagreed - it is broken. Games exist to be solved and a cow has found a better solution than you/the developers. If that solution isn't "intended", that's not a cow's fault. The developers are responsible for the system, not a cow, and it's on them to design the system so that its solutions are interesting and fun.

How much developers should care about this depends on context, of course - sometimes it's not worth the effort. But a glitch is a glitch, an exploit is an exploit, and a poorly-designed system will generate solutions that are boring or tedious to play.

Furism
Feb 21, 2006

Live long and headbang


I like Lt. Danger because he makes it clear that no developer is good at developing games systems, which are very simple and obvious to design. He must be making a fortune consulting for developers to fix their lovely systems.

bongwizzard
May 19, 2005

Then one day I meet a man,
He came to me and said,
"Hard work good and hard work fine,
but first take care of head"

Grimey Drawer

Dude games exist to be fun, if you approach them just as a problem to be solved then why play them at all? Just work out math problems all day or something. Or just show an once of self control and don't insist on ruining things for yourself.

bongwizzard
May 19, 2005

Then one day I meet a man,
He came to me and said,
"Hard work good and hard work fine,
but first take care of head"

Grimey Drawer

I mean poo poo, this is the most beep-boop I am a robot poo poo I have read in a while and I am honestly not sure if dude is trolling at this point.

Lt. Danger posted:

and a poorly-designed system will generate solutions that are boring or tedious to play.

Like come the gently caress on dude.

Lt. Danger
Dec 22, 2006

jolly good chaps we sure showed the hun

bongwizzard posted:

Dude games exist to be fun, if you approach them just as a problem to be solved then why play them at all? Just work out math problems all day or something. Or just show an once of self control and don't insist on ruining things for yourself.

Well, they are maths problems, aren't they? This is literally what "game theory" is.

I'm gonna say the same old thing I always say in these conversations: different people play games for different reasons. I think a lot of people aren't actually interested in games qua games, but rather enjoy the multimedia aspects of modern video games like narrative, aesthetics, simulation etc. This is fine and there's nothing wrong with this. However there are people out there who like games for their (core?) ludological aspect and for these people games fundamentally are problems to be solved, and enjoyment comes from finding more elegant solutions, or "gitting gud".

Developers don't have to cater to this last group exclusively but when they criticise a game for generating bad solutions (unfun gameplay) then that's a legit criticism. You can't handwave that away by saying "well don't do that then" because that's not how this group engages with games. Strictly speaking, it's not how anyone engages with "games" at all.

An example would be someone criticising noughts and crosses for being trivial to solve. There's no point in saying that they should just make bad moves and maybe the game will become fun again. This is why grown ups don't play noughts and crosses.

I'm not sure why you're getting so defensive over this.

Furism posted:

I like Lt. Danger because he makes it clear that no developer is good at developing games systems, which are very simple and obvious to design. He must be making a fortune consulting for developers to fix their lovely systems.

I don't think I've ever said designing games is easy? I thought you were better than this.

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ReWinter
Nov 23, 2008

Perpetually Perturbed

bongwizzard posted:

I mean poo poo, this is the most beep-boop I am a robot poo poo I have read in a while and I am honestly not sure if dude is trolling at this point.


Like come the gently caress on dude.

The idea (famously referred to as "water finds a crack" by Sid Meier) that players will just do whatever is optimal, even if it decreases their fun, is not new, and huge amounts of game design revolve around trying to make fun play and good play converge.

However the idea that "games exist to be solved" is at best the rationale of someone totally ignorant that there are multiple ways to enjoy a thing, as different posts regarding solo runs and intentional friendly fire in this thread attest.

tl, dr: beep boop indeed

Edit : to the post just above, that's fair enough in the sense of abstract or pure competitive games but I'd argue that that's a bit irrelevant in RPGs.

Continuing with the Morrowind example, getting hit by a mudcrab fulfills the criteria of "best way to achieve the game's goal" only if that goal were to be as strong as possible. It's not, so it only makes sense as a way to attempt to complete the game if you look at it as an ordinal process of "1) get strong 2) accrue resources 3) pursue plot" or something like that.

ReWinter fucked around with this message at Jul 10, 2016 around 13:11

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