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January 23rd, 2008, 13:13
Nice article; one of those things that got me nodding in agreement almost all through.

I was actually thinking along very similar lines in magerette's recent genre-related thread.

Specifically, I strongly dislike the "feel" of the gameplay (specifically, the combat) in Planescape: Torment, moderately dislike the "feel" of combat in Fallout, but strongly like the "feel" of The Witcher.

Then I got to thinking, is the problem that I like real-time but dislike turn-based, and dislike the indirect real-time-with-pause in Infinity Engine even more?

The answer is "no."

For example, I very much enjoy the feel of NetHack. And the reason is exactly what Moxie says — it's immediately responsive. I type h to move left; if there's a monster there, I hit it with whatever I'm wielding. I type z-e-h to z(ap) inventory item e (a wand, presumably) to the left. I type Z-c-h to cast spell c (presumably something like a fireball) to the left. The speed of my gameplay is constrained by my typing speed and my ability to remember which usable item is in which inventory slot.

OTOH with Fallout it's a lot more work to execute an attack, especially later in the game when you're good enough to get some targeted shots. Click on the attack button, click on the monster, click on the body part, repeat until out of action points, click "end turn." This is much slower and more cumbersome, and when fighting mobs it gets old real quick. As to the IE games, they're more or less the same, except with added randomness and terrible pathfinding thrown in. Not that NWN or NWN2 are much better in this respect.

To pick some real-time examples, the "feel" in Morrowind was pretty damn terrible, whereas in Oblivion it was pretty damn good. VtM: Bloodlines was pretty bad in terms of "feel," while Dark Messiah of Might and Magic was pretty damn good. (OK, I only played the demo, but it *was* fun kicking orcs off ledges or into spikes.)

I've been meaning to give Eschalon a shot, and this article is one more push in that direction: it sounds like a TB system that I would enjoy.
Last edited by Prime Junta; January 23rd, 2008 at 13:29. Reason: c, not e.
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