Alpha Protocol - Preview @ Eurogamer, Games Radar
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March 23rd, 2010, 11:58
I guess you really don't care about roleplaying in an rpg since taking you reticule and aiming at someone and firing then hitting them and doing full damage every time is not your character doing it but you yourself. You mention several other games and not one of them (not sure about Mass Effect) use your personal skills to determine the outcome. In The Witcher you play a little game of timing that directs your character to attack an enemy and all damage done is based on his skills not really yours. Where you come in is on how well you do the game of timing which is an abstract on you directing the character to fight.I will use Oblivion as my next example since characters always hit. In Oblivion you direct your character to attack an enemy and all you are doing is moving him into place and pushing the attack button and it is your characters skills that determine the damage you do. (blocking isn't really good for roleplaying that much in that game through)
The main difference between what you want and roleplaying is that you are directly determining how the outcome is instead of the character. It would be like trying to guide someone to shoot a gun but just before the person shoots the gun you take it out of their hand and shoot yourself. In roleplaying you would be guiding the person to shoot the gun getting them in the right position and helping to aim it but the person shoots the gun. You would motivate the person to do what you want them to do and help them along the way but it would be the persons experience and ability that will determine the overall outcome.
The most realistic way to simulate roleplaying would be to have the character miss a good part of the time and do heavy damage when they hit but most developers have moved to the less realistic way of doing it (mostly because people complaining about missing so much when it looks like they are hitting) where you hit every time but have a low range of damage that you hit for. The only way to make it more realistic then the first is to make fighting more cinematic and you have less control over the characters direct movement. They could do something like a game like they did in The Witcher except show the give and take of the battle. In melee combat they could show the banging of the weapons together and the movement back and forward and side to side as they dodge and give and take ground while dodging. In gun combat your character would take cover and the character and enemy (both behind cover) exchange gun fire and while during the exchange and reload they would move to other cover to get an advantage and moving around to avoid being shot and to get to a position where the enemy isn't firing so you can get the surprise on him. This would be great for me but most casual gamers would complain over not having direct control over their characters so most developers won't do it. I think a good game to direct the melee combat would be similar to left click to attack, right click to parry, forward key to press the attack, back key to retreat, and the left and right keys to dodge left and right. For gun combat you could use the left and right arrows to move behind cover and move to different covers and use the up and down arrows to determine when to shoot or duck and use keys to switch weapons or throw a grenade.
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