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February 16th, 2007, 00:25
Nice article Corwin, as usual you tried to cover as many angles as possible.

Myself, being a chess enthousiast for what seems countless of years, I have no doubts about the superiority of turn-based combat. In fact I regard all forms of turn-based combat in computer games as chess variants and I think it is no accident that the king of all games is turn-based.

That said, real-time combat is also fun, and although lacking the depth of turn-based combat, it serves its purpose as a diversion, especially for the younger audience. Even more so considering the latest achievements in software technology. Maybe what we are dealing with here is the ancient dillema 'mind over matter'.

Regarding CRPGs I certainly don't think that the form of combat is one of their defining qualities. Anyone who says otherwise is really talking about strategy games.

Turn-based online is certainly a viable option, it has been the case for the majority of massive multiplayer until recently, and games like HoMM have shown that a turn-based system involving many players without 'getting bored waiting for your turn' is perfectly possible. It's a question of giving the players something to do when they are waiting for their turn, as well as putting time limits. Putting time limits in turn-based games also challenges your reflex thus proving another argument of real-time vs turn-based invalid.

I think the real question here is the tendency of game devs making games appealing to as large a group as possible. To this end, real-time combat is most certainly the most viable option. Let us also not forget that the 'immediate satisfaction' is much greater in real-time games.
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