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March 3rd, 2009, 06:27
Social is boring. Fighting is fun !
Ohhh, I know you're being sarcastic, but you're right on the money. Combat is playing the game, whereas social is clicking on dialogue choices. As Corwin pointed out, the way D&D made CHA important was by (arbitrarily) making it into a combat stat.

Let me emphasize that again. Clicking on dialogue choices is really not the heart of any kind of game that most people want to play. Clicking on monsters and killing them IS the heart of the kind of game many, many people want to play. It's not a coincidence that you can remove the dialogue (and the CHA) and still have a game, but you can't remove the fighting (or analogue thereof) without kicking yourself right out of the CRPG genre (and making something very few people will want to play).

Even if you are some sort of dialogue enthusiast, you have to see that from a skill check point of view, there's a huge difference from implementing dialogue checks and combat checks. If your guy has a 60% chance to hit, you keep swinging. Missing is part of combat. If, OTOH, your guy has a 60% chance of <doing something important> through dialogue, you get one chance. And if you fail, you feel ripped off and just reload. Which is to say, regardless of your level of willpower, the randomness and percentages which make combat systems nifty in the long term work because of the repetitive nature of combat, i.e. it doesn't take long to average out. Since dialogue is custom crafted and much sparser, the same kind of randomness and percentages end up seeming arbitrary and random.

To reiterate, if I want to take an awesome sword from a Baddy and my hit rate is 60%, I keep swinging and eventually I get the sword. If I want to talk a Baddy out of his awesome cookie, I get one or two chance(s) to fire off my nifty dialogue skill(s), and that's it, I rolled the d100 and there's nothing more I can do. And if that's not it, then did the skills have any meaning after all?
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