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Lt. Danger
Dec 22, 2006

jolly good chaps we sure showed the hun

ReWinter posted:

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.

Try again!

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idonotlikepeas
May 29, 2010

This reasoning is possible for forums user idonotlikepeas!


ReWinter posted:

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.

Being as strong as possible is a goal, and often THE goal, though, for a lot of people, particularly in RPGS. The mistake you're making here is assuming that the goal the developers imagine (experience the story/world) is the goal actual players have, and there is no real requirement for that to be the case. Gamers will always find their own goals in games. The only control that a developer has is which actions are incentivized and which are discouraged. In the case of RPGs, there is a strong incentive towards becoming as strong as possible; in fact, multiple such incentives. Being stronger makes numbers increase, which all by itself is enough to make people want to do things (see also Cookie Clicker). Being stronger opens up more options as to how you address the game content, and people like having the ability to manipulate things in more ways. (And achieving new ways of affecting the world is itself a reward even if you never use them or intend to the use them.) Being stronger manipulates the difficulty of the game, and this is especially important in the Elder Scrolls series, which is essentially broken on this front; how you level makes a huge difference in how hard the game is, with a range that goes all the way from "almost impossible to beat any enemy" to "ridiculously easy to kill everything in a five-mile radius". With all these incentives pointed at becoming stronger, why WOULDN'T an RPG player want to do whatever is the quickest, easiest way to do that? Most people view it as a kind of tax; spend an hour or two getting beat on by Mudcrabs and now you're ready to play the game you actually wanted to play in the first place. As to the "experience the story" goal, that incentive is weak in Elder Scrolls games because the story is generally shallow, stupid trash that nobody cares about, to the point where a lot of people never even bother to complete the main story of the games. (Admittedly, Morrowind is better on this front than most Elder Scrolls games, but it's still not great, mostly because the actually-interesting plotline is kind of hidden behind things that make it harder to enjoy.) So why would a player bother with the goal of experiencing a bad story when a more fun goal (becoming a god in human form and reorganizing the world as you see fit) has been provided as well? Because the developers want them to? Why in the heck should I care what they think?

Now, I assume Tyranny will have a more compelling story, because it's made by Obsidian and their skills in this area are proven. But that doesn't mean the problem goes away; it just means that there might be another goal people have, and as long as that goal is not incompatible with the goal of becoming stronger, it is likely that most players will pursue both. The question of player incentives becomes very important in this case, because, as a matter of statistics and global player populations, most people will behave exactly as has been described in this thread; they will find the quickest, easiest path through the game, even if it is boring, as long as it doesn't involve embarrassing things like turning the difficulty down to "story mode". You may say that people shouldn't behave like that; sure, that's fine, everyone is free to have an opinion on how people ought to behave, but over the years game developers have observed they actually do behave that way, and people making games have to take that into account. Players will do a boring thing to win, then dismiss the game as boring, even if more interesting options are available, which means you must carefully align the incentives so that, to the extent possible, the most useful thing to do is also the most fun. This is what I worry about, in general, with skill-based systems, because I've never seen one where the most fun and the most useful things are the same. Maybe Tyranny will be different; who knows?

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.

This is a common fallacy. You don't need to be a cook to know someone shouldn't frost a cake with poo poo, and you don't need to be able to bake cookies yourself to know when they taste terrible.

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

idonotlikepeas posted:

With all these incentives pointed at becoming stronger, why WOULDN'T an RPG player want to do whatever is the quickest, easiest way to do that? Most people view it as a kind of tax; spend an hour or two getting beat on by Mudcrabs and now you're ready to play the game you actually wanted to play in the first place.terrible.


The answer to your question is "because it would be boring as gently caress?"

Also lol that "most people" approach games that way.

idonotlikepeas
May 29, 2010

This reasoning is possible for forums user idonotlikepeas!


bongwizzard posted:

The answer to your question is "because it would be boring as gently caress?"

Also lol that "most people" approach games that way.

They, do, though. Seriously. Ask anyone who has ever designed an RPG, particularly an MMO. (In those, the incentives are even stronger because of the ability to show off for other players.)

Referring to games as a problem to be solved may be a bit of an odd turn of phrase, but it's not entirely wrong. If people just wanted to experience a story, there are plenty of other media that allow that. We play games because the cycle of action and reward motivates us, so controlling what actions are rewarded and to what degree is vital.

As a counterexample, look at something like Stardew Valley, which is a Harvest Moon style farming simulator. You still get a lot of people min/maxing it to hell for all the reasons I stated (go search for screenshots sometime and check out all the people with giant wineries growing only the highest-value crops possible), but the developer did something clever, which is to make it impossible to actually lose (after the first patch). The motivation to do the most optimal thing is reduced, because if you don't get that million fakebux today, you can always do it tomorrow. As a result, you get a larger percentage of people who just go in and fiddle with things and enjoy themselves in a more relaxed way. Altering the incentives alters the way the population experiences the game.

Lt. Danger
Dec 22, 2006

jolly good chaps we sure showed the hun

ReWinter posted:

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.

This sounds a lot like the "roleplaying not rollplaying" argument. If RPGs aren't supposed to be about overcoming challenge and mastering mechanical systems, then why do they have challenges and mechanical systems and why do they take up so much of the game? You don't need a Heavy Armour skill to progress a narrative, and in fact narrative-focused games usually drop the emphasis on numerical skills in favour of more appropriate mechanics like aspects or action points.

Generally speaking, I think aberrant player behaviours require a bit more thought than "getting hit by a mudcrab is without honour!" Players do this stuff for a reason. Good game design involves anticipating and directing player responses to get particular results. Think of Valve and the Half-life 2 commentaries where they talk about how to get players to look at particular parts of the world at the right time or how to teach them new mechanics as seamlessly as possible.

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

none of that refutes the point that "good game design" should include "keeping weirdos from min-maxing or trying to play the game in a way never indented". There is nothing preventing me from googling crossword puzzle answers but I don't because that would be unfun and I have self control.

The reasonable way to critique something is to ask "Did it fulfill what it set out to do?", not "Did it fulfill a subjective set of criteria I just made up". The ES games set out to make a use-based skill system and they have a pretty good one. If you feel the need to fight it and do some dull poo poo to "beat" it that is on you and your expectations.

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

Ok, so what RPGs have perfect or near perfect systems?

Basic Chunnel
Sep 21, 2010

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



It's fun to read thorough armchair design and then watch a normal person play a game like PoE or even Fallout 4, where they consistently do things like "design unoptimal characters" and "leave entire rooms unscoured". I like those people more than the people in demo video comments who pillory them for not playing the right way. I like games that those people can play without noticing they aren't pwning poo poo as much as they could.

Accordion Man
Nov 7, 2012


Basic Chunnel posted:

It's fun to read thorough armchair design and then watch a normal person play a game like PoE or even Fallout 4, where they consistently do things like "design unoptimal characters" and "leave entire rooms unscoured". I like those people more than the people in demo video comments who pillory them for not playing the right way. I like games that those people can play without noticing they aren't pwning poo poo as much as they could.
I mean that what's games should shoot for, allowing you the freedom to have a lot of builds that can get through the game casually. Like the games where you have to min-max for everything are usually grognardy poo poo.

Jimbot
Jul 22, 2008


Man, if you don't scrub rooms clean of all the items I don't want to even know you.

Basic Chunnel
Sep 21, 2010

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



I mean even I will get a little heated when my friend just up and walks past a door without opening it. There could be poo poo in there!

Lt. Danger
Dec 22, 2006

jolly good chaps we sure showed the hun

bongwizzard posted:

The reasonable way to critique something is to ask "Did it fulfill what it set out to do?"

"It's bad on purpose"?

I think Morrowind's skill system is intended to encourage players to explore the game world and interact with game mechanics. If players are grinding skills by tanking mudcrabs, autorunning against walls or bullying commoners, then the skill system has failed to fulfil what it set out to do, right?

Emergent/aberrant behaviours happen because of system incentives, not because of sheer player perversity. If players are trying to bypass the expected path, it's probably because the expected path is (more) frustrating, unfun or boring than the loophole. Like, these Morrowind exploits exist because players find it annoying to whiff sword hits or lockpicking due to random dice rolls and failure is uninteresting. Similarly, Fallout and Fallout 2 have guides on how to get Power Armour in the first ten minutes of the game because Fallout's normal combat is repetitive and swingy and legitimised invincibility is the best way to sidestep that and get to the fun bits.

If you don't want players to do these things then you need to address the root causes, not appeal to gamer bushido.

Basic Chunnel
Sep 21, 2010

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



Please do not subpost at Rope Kid

pun pundit
Nov 11, 2008


bongwizzard posted:

none of that refutes the point that "good game design" should include "keeping weirdos from min-maxing or trying to play the game in a way never indented".

I'm a weirdo and some of the most fun I have had on a computer has been playing RPGs in a way not intended.

Not deliberately getting hit by mudcrabs though, that is dumb.

Strategic Tea
Sep 1, 2012

Those are my runes.
Give them back.
You are a dog.
They don't even fit.


I don't really see the how cheesing a game is in the sprit of treating it as a problem to be solved. Give yourself near infinite stats via mudcrab and everything becomes as boring and samey as if you were dying all the time. It's like solving a crossword by burning it.

Microcline
Jul 27, 2012


Apart from incremental improvement games like Harvest Moon, has there ever been a game where a use-based skill system was better than an accomplishment-based skill system? Even if the potential for optimal but unfun play is ignored, what benefit is there to getting 1 XP every time you swing your sword instead of 500 XP for completing a quest?

Cuntellectual
Aug 6, 2010

You see this post?

It's the Gosh Darn APOCALYPSE, baby!

WOO!

X_Toad posted:

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/

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.

That's lame.

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

It's an change of pace and can lead to interesting game play if you let it? It's also better for open world games as it rewards both following quests lines and dicking around aimlessly. I know a lot more people who have hundreds of hours in Skyrim/Oblivion and have never progressed the main quest then I do people who have played by grinding it to some optimal state.

Pwnstar
Dec 9, 2007

Who wants some waffles?



Its better when you can do hosed up and broken things in games because its funnier.

Ratios and Tendency
Apr 23, 2010

MURALI



I don't keep studious record but I feel like I've disagreed with everything lt. danger has ever posted.

idonotlikepeas
May 29, 2010

This reasoning is possible for forums user idonotlikepeas!


bongwizzard posted:

none of that refutes the point that "good game design" should include "keeping weirdos from min-maxing or trying to play the game in a way never indented". There is nothing preventing me from googling crossword puzzle answers but I don't because that would be unfun and I have self control.

Some people do, though. A lot of people, in fact. Just as an example, according to the folks that make Words with Friends (which is scrabble, but it's similar enough), 45% of players admit to cheating. The actual percentage, one presumes, is higher. The point is not that this is good behavior, or, in fact, to make any comment on the quality of the behavior at all whatsoever. Once you've noticed that people do this, and that it damages their own enjoyment of the game, it's a good idea to eliminate things that would encourage that behavior to the extent possible because as someone who makes money from selling games, you probably want people with no self-control to buy them too.

There is always going to be some weird bullshit someone can figure out to break your game. But you should make sure that it a) is difficult to do and b) doesn't feel necessary and c) doesn't provide such an overwhelming benefit that people feel compelled to do it.

bongwizzard posted:

The reasonable way to critique something is to ask "Did it fulfill what it set out to do?", not "Did it fulfill a subjective set of criteria I just made up". The ES games set out to make a use-based skill system and they have a pretty good one. If you feel the need to fight it and do some dull poo poo to "beat" it that is on you and your expectations.

That's one way of critiquing something. The other is to ask "did the goal it set for itself make any sense in the first place?" If I decide to make a game where the goal is to click a button that generates racist insults to display to the player, even my complete achievement of that goal should probably still be subject to critique. I contend that having a goal of "making a use-based skill system" is silly on the face of it. You should have more important primary goals and decide, as part of your process, that making a use-based skill system is the best way to achieve them. A game system like that should be in service to something, not a primary goal on its own.

Setting that aside, though, evaluating it purely on the basis of the goal you stated, the Elder Scrolls use-based skill system isn't particularly good. There are brilliant things in those games, but the skill system is an annoyance that people deal with in order to have fun with those things, not something that actually is of any benefit. The closest they've gotten to a decent version of this system is in Skyrim, and I say this as someone whose favorite ES game is still Morrowind. There are lots of problems with it, but here are two that completely sink it:

1) The interaction of skills, levels, and attributes. In case anyone isn't familiar: the way that the level system works in vintage ES games is that you select a certain number of skills as Major, a certain number as Minor, and a certain number as Miscellaneous. (The actual number varies by game.) Once you've levelled any combination of Major and Minor skills ten times, your level increases, and the next time you rest you increase your attributes. Except the number of attribute points you get is directly dependent on which skills you increased, and by how much; every skill has a certain attribute that it's tied to, and if you get a certain number of skill-ups relating to an attribute, you can increase it more. The minimum is one point (you didn't use any skills relating to that attribute at all) and the maximum is five (you gained ten skill points relating to that attribute). You can raise three attributes per level in this way. (The fact that this is confusing as poo poo and barely explained in the game is part of why this system is a problem.) So if you do the natural thing and level your character by using the skills you picked as major and minor (the ones you, presumably, want to be good at), you'll get maybe one five-point increase, but more likely a couple of twos and a three. Your total number of attribute points in a level is going to be around 7. On the other hand, if you get skill-ups using the skills you said you DIDN'T want, the miscellaneous skills, you can easily get five points in three attributes for a total of 15. That is to say, slightly over twice as many. Every level. This result is, to say the least, counterintuitive. The best way to maximize your attribute gains is, literally, to tell the game that the most important skills to you are the ones that you never want to use. Obviously you don't have to do this, but it's stupid that it works this way and that the game hands such a wide variance of power to people who do things in only slightly different ways, and that you can make these choices with absolutely no knowledge of the underlying systems, and that the people who do things in what is the sillier and more nonsensical way get rewarded for it. This makes designing encounters very, very difficult, because as a developer of the game, which course do you assume the player has taken? How many attribute points do you think they're getting? Is there even a value you can pick which will keep the game fun for everyone? This problem is then compounded by the second issue:
2) The generic level tracked by increasing skills scales the difficulty of your enemies. Not every skill increases your ability to fight said enemies. If you do no min-maxing at all, you will very shortly find yourself being mobbed by things stronger than you who will beat the crap out of you and take your lunch money. You are actually OBLIGATED to do a certain amount of min-maxing just to stay level, while of course if happen to pick the arbitrarily correct skills and attributes, you will actually trivialize the same encounters. So if you're just messing around and doing the things you want to get better at, which is how use-based are supposed to work, you'll rapidly get out of your depth unless you happen to like exactly the right things, and don't deviate from them much. This sucks.

Skyrim is an improvement because it ditches problem 1, but still contains problem 2 in spades. Ask anyone who decided to do some pickpocketing in the first couple of towns.

Pavlov
Oct 21, 2012


To interrupt longwinded game dev talk, I'm a little excited that this game has you working for an evil empire. It means they might actually try making it difficult to be a generally nice person. Most games with morality systems or dialogue choices don't seem to make playing the nice guy actually cost you anything, when IRL that's often what taking the high road requires. And that kind of takes the bite out of ethical choices doesn't it? If your character is actually working for fantasy-hitler, trying to be an upstanding person seems like it could really cost you personally. That opens up a lot of opportunity for the player to have to debate between being nice and inconveniencing themselves, which is a league above what most games would ask of you. I'm interested to see if they decide to go that route.

Fair Bear Maiden
Jun 17, 2013


Pavlov posted:

To interrupt longwinded game dev talk, I'm a little excited that this game has you working for an evil empire. It means they might actually try making it difficult to be a generally nice person. Most games with morality systems or dialogue choices don't seem to make playing the nice guy actually cost you anything, when IRL that's often what taking the high road requires. And that kind of takes the bite out of ethical choices doesn't it? If your character is actually working for fantasy-hitler, trying to be an upstanding person seems like it could really cost you personally. That opens up a lot of opportunity for the player to have to debate between being nice and inconveniencing themselves, which is a league above what most games would ask of you. I'm interested to see if they decide to go that route.

That's what their director said they would do. Hopefully they'll actually follow through, though I can see how that would generate complaints. But hell, this game is already going to be niche, might as well make it unique. \_(ツ)_/

Furism
Feb 21, 2006

Live long and headbang


idonotlikepeas posted:

This is a common fallacy. You don't need to be a cook to know someone shouldn't frost a cake with poo poo, and you don't need to be able to bake cookies yourself to know when they taste terrible.

They also say that if you can't create art you become an art critic.

What Lt. Danger does though is called "armchair game designing." He seems to criticize games in every. Single. Thread. I see him post in. The gimmick is getting old. I prefered when he did a screenshot LP, the insight was more interesting then.

Lt. Danger
Dec 22, 2006

jolly good chaps we sure showed the hun

Furism posted:

They also say that if you can't create art you become an art critic.

What Lt. Danger does though is called "armchair game designing." He seems to criticize games in every. Single. Thread. I see him post in. The gimmick is getting old. I prefered when he did a screenshot LP, the insight was more interesting then.

This is quite sad.

Zulily Zoetrope
Jun 1, 2011

You're right, that wouldn't be very heroic of me. It's a good thing I never called myself a hero!



Personally I don't care if games are designed to optimize the skinner boxing of the unwashed rat-grinding hordes, so long as they are designed for hip and happening cool dudes like myself.

X_Toad
Apr 2, 2011


Pavlov posted:

To interrupt longwinded game dev talk, I'm a little excited that this game has you working for an evil empire. It means they might actually try making it difficult to be a generally nice person. Most games with morality systems or dialogue choices don't seem to make playing the nice guy actually cost you anything, when IRL that's often what taking the high road requires. And that kind of takes the bite out of ethical choices doesn't it? If your character is actually working for fantasy-hitler, trying to be an upstanding person seems like it could really cost you personally. That opens up a lot of opportunity for the player to have to debate between being nice and inconveniencing themselves, which is a league above what most games would ask of you. I'm interested to see if they decide to go that route.
You might be working for fantasy-Hitler or fantasy-Staline, but it's been explained that he's got a bit of a hands-off approach to government, what with his empire being that big. His generals and agents, the Archons, are given a lot leeway in how they do things. I can't imagine Graven Ashe, the Archon of War, leader of what seems to be a professional, well-organized and well-armed army (the Disfavored) and who put every and each of his soldiers under a regeneration spell, to be as vicious and evil as the Voices of Nerat, the Archon of Secrets, spy-master and torturer-in-chief for Kyros, who has recently put up a conscript army that works more like a gigantic gang than an organized army.

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Kajeesus posted:

Personally I don't care if games are designed to optimize the skinner boxing of the unwashed rat-grinding hordes, so long as they are designed for hip and happening cool dudes like myself.

Agreed- if someone wants to grind and all that, that's their business. I'm playing Tyranny for other reasons, and quite frankly I for one wouldn't mind how they presented the mechanics as long as the story itself is good, and from what we're seeing so far, that is the case.

Besides, doesn't everyone know about Cheat Engine these days? Who cares if to optimize 'fairly' you'd need to suffer a thousand mudcrab hits- just do a simple CE search at character creation and you're a demigod out the gate.

Count Uvula
Dec 20, 2011


What it boils down to is pretty much whether you have obsessive behavior here. I often have to sit back and look at what i'm doing if I'm not enjoying a game, because a lot of the time it's because I defaulted to picking a higher difficulty and trying to optimize how I play. The reason I like Pillars of Eternity alot is that it's fun to do that. Same with Halo and Doom (both games where you can dodge almost anything). In say, Bethesda games, trying to do that is a tedious journey, but I still do really boring poo poo like try to level up crafting skills --by doing stuff like just crafting every potion possible and then selling all but the few I need.

Maybe this sounds crazy, but it's something I have to consciously minimize in games where it keeps me from having fun. From what I hear, it seems like a really common thing that most people do on some level.

There's of course people who enjoy that poo poo even in games where it's tedious or annoying, but those are the crazy fuckers who use spreadsheets to make GameFaqs guides.

Lt. Danger
Dec 22, 2006

jolly good chaps we sure showed the hun

In fairness I don't think anyone really enjoys it, but people in general are really conservative when it comes to risk and skill-grinding, potion hoarding and other weird behaviours are (seen to be) the safest option.

SolidSnakesBandana
Jul 1, 2007

Infinite ammo


Really surprised nobody brought up Dark Souls. It's designed that it can be beaten by a level 1 character with no weapons. It makes the whole game feel like a way more balanced experience. Contrast to other RPGs where they design a fight to be tough for someone at level 4, but if you're being optimal at all you're probably level 6 and the fight is a cakewalk. The worst "RPG"esque system I've seen in a game lately is Saints Row 3 and 4. The guns in that game can be upgraded, but until they are fully upgraded they might as well be peashooters. It's clear that they designed the game around the fully upgraded weapons so up until that point you're just gimped as gently caress. I thought it was lame that I had to basically "grind" out the money to get to the point where I'm finally "ready to start playing for real" to paraphrase something Lt Danger was talking about.

Furism posted:

They also say that if you can't create art you become an art critic.

What Lt. Danger does though is called "armchair game designing." He seems to criticize games in every. Single. Thread. I see him post in. The gimmick is getting old. I prefered when he did a screenshot LP, the insight was more interesting then.


What Lt. Danger does though is called "proper use of a discussion forum". The guys in the Paragon Chat thread giving the City of Titans dude poo poo for not having more to show and suggesting that he is stupid for not showing these things, that's armchair game design. Lt. Danger is just pointing out flaws in game systems and talking about them, aka a discussion. None of his opinions are even controversial, it's a bog standard opinion if you've read about and played Elder Scrolls games. Nothing he said was wrong. I felt his explanations were a bit grognardy but its basically impossible to not be grognardy when you're typing out an explanation of game mechanics and their flaws as if it were a thesis paper.

Plus ropekid reads this poo poo. He's always willing to talk about game mechanics, why they work and why they don't work. Maybe Lt Danger's posts can give him something to ponder on, give him an idea or two. Goon opinions have shaped New Vegas and Pillars of Eternity and made them better games.

SolidSnakesBandana fucked around with this message at Jul 11, 2016 around 14:49

Charlie Bobson
Dec 28, 2013


I like getting super strong in videogames, especially when I feel like I'm beating the system by doing so.

The best feeling in games though is when you feel super strong, but still feel like you're just getting through by the skin of your teeth.

I hope Tyranny delivers this incredibly specific game experience.

Furism
Feb 21, 2006

Live long and headbang


SolidSnakesBandana posted:

What Lt. Danger does though is called "proper use of a discussion forum". The guys in the Paragon Chat thread giving the City of Titans dude poo poo for not having more to show and suggesting that he is stupid for not showing these things, that's armchair game design. Lt. Danger is just pointing out flaws in game systems and talking about them, aka a discussion. None of his opinions are even controversial, it's a bog standard opinion if you've read about and played Elder Scrolls games. Nothing he said was wrong. I felt his explanations were a bit grognardy but its basically impossible to not be grognardy when you're typing out an explanation of game mechanics and their flaws as if it were a thesis paper.

Plus ropekid reads this poo poo. He's always willing to talk about game mechanics, why they work and why they don't work. Maybe Lt Danger's posts can give him something to ponder on, give him an idea or two. Goon opinions have shaped New Vegas and Pillars of Eternity and made them better games.

It's not specific to this thread. I don't even like TES myself. Lt. Danger is always hell bent on his opinions, which I guess shows character, but sometimes it just becomes too confrontational, endless and sterile. Just look in the Mass Effect thread. I wish I'd like him to sometime say something positive about anything instead of only pointing out what's bad and not provide any concrete suggestion for improvement (unlike, say, Ratios and Tendency). Because he does make fair points once in a while, I just wish there were some constructive follow-ups sometimes.

Lt. Danger
Dec 22, 2006

jolly good chaps we sure showed the hun

What the gently caress

Fair Bear Maiden
Jun 17, 2013


I'll just quickly point out that the dev blog I linked earlier mentions specifically that the kind of grinding that's commonplace in TES won't be present in Tyranny. They don't really elaborate on the way it works, but apparently only a use of a skill that implies a certain challenge will let you gain experience for that skill.

Samuel Clemens
Oct 4, 2013

I think we should call the Avengers.



SolidSnakesBandana posted:

Really surprised nobody brought up Dark Souls. It's designed that it can be beaten by a level 1 character with no weapons. It makes the whole game feel like a way more balanced experience. Contrast to other RPGs where they design a fight to be tough for someone at level 4, but if you're being optimal at all you're probably level 6 and the fight is a cakewalk.

Dark Souls can be beaten at level 1, but I'm not sure if that's such a unique feature. Low level challenges have been around in RPGs for decades; even PoE can be beaten without ever levelling up if you know what you're doing.

What separates Dark Souls from most RPGs is that enemy stats do not increase exponentially. The Black Knights in the final area only do about twice as much damage as the one you can encounter in the very first level. Consequently, the difficulty mostly stems from learning each area's gimmick and enemy attack pattern. It's an interesting and well-done approach, but I'm not sure how well it would translate into an isometric RPG, where reflexes and timing do not play a considerable role.

Edit: The closest non-Action RPG equivalent to Dark Souls that I can think of is Undertale, where levelling up only has a minor impact on your combat ability and the challenge lies almost entirely in learning patterns.

Samuel Clemens fucked around with this message at Jul 11, 2016 around 15:54

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me


I know I am concerned that the talky skills increment in a sensible way, because in ES games it was always a counter intuitive chore to be a talk guy.

Accordion Man
Nov 7, 2012


Lotish posted:

I know I am concerned that the talky skills increment in a sensible way, because in ES games it was always a counter intuitive chore to be a talk guy.
I hope they expand on the reputation system from Eternity because I liked that.

SolidSnakesBandana
Jul 1, 2007

Infinite ammo


Samuel Clemens posted:

Dark Souls can be beaten at level 1, but I'm not sure if that's such a unique feature. Low level challenges have been around in RPGs for decades; even PoE can be beaten without ever levelling up if you know what you're doing.

Yeah but the difference is that all of Dark Souls was designed and balanced around overcoming absolutely any obstacle with just the proper application of player skill and game mechanics. There's no cheesing or exploits required, I'm pretty sure people have beaten Dark Souls with the Donkey Kong Bongo Drums without ever getting hit. Have there been other examples of games having the design goal of being beatable by a level 1 character? I thought it was mostly just an emergent gameplay type thing. Either way its basically

Charlie Bobson posted:

I like getting super strong in videogames, especially when I feel like I'm beating the system by doing so.

The best feeling in games though is when you feel super strong, but still feel like you're just getting through by the skin of your teeth.

I hope Tyranny delivers this incredibly specific game experience.

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Basic Chunnel
Sep 21, 2010

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



Their "three angles of approach" video touched on reputation. I guess it was cool enough but I was a little leery that they showed variant styles in play and not variant consequences of play, which is what makes AP the rough gem it is. It's still dazzling that your ability to kill Marburg is largely decided by what you chose as Thorton's motivation at the beginning of the game.

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