|
Your donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Games » General RPG » Player-Skill-Based RPGs

Default Player-Skill-Based RPGs

April 25th, 2009, 19:35
I've always been a huge fan of the RPG genre, because of the deep plots and decisions to be made along the way, but more than anything because the character's skills affect how I play the game, making the experience my own and letting me replay the game and have a different experience going through it each time. Deus Ex is a shining example of this; I've played it through multiple times, with and without mods (Shifter rocks!), and enjoyed the game in a different way each time. One game I'd be a nimble hacker, the next a heavy-weapons tank, the next a brutal close-combat shotty-and-prod commando. The Gothic games are another example, and they play out very differently and even require different player skills if you choose to be a bow-wielding hunter or an armored swordsman; Vampire: Bloodlines works in a similar way.

I even include games like Tyrian and Jets'n'Guns in this genre, because although my actions don't affect the plot, they do affect how I play the game itself, by choosing different weapon types and ships as I progress. However, I exclude games like Fallout 1+2 (despite them being my favorites of all time, short of only Deus Ex) because, while I have to make strategic choices, my skill with a mouse and keyboard don't come into it. Fallout 3 is borderline, mostly because it's weak as a pure FPS and VATS is a vastly superior tactical choice.

So, I'd love to hear any other recommendations in this genre or reminisces about your favorite games, where there is an RPG element of progress involved, and your player skills and character skills have a strong interaction.

Originally Posted by Wheres_the_Guru
Wanna know who invented the word great? I did ever seen something and you thought it was great? Chances are it has something to do with me.
Evil Timmy is offline

Evil Timmy

Traveler

#1

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 16

Default 

April 25th, 2009, 20:15
Morrowind and Oblivion are closest to gothic series in terms of balance between player skill and character skill. I know that many will burn me as a heretic for saying something like this Just be sure to glance through tes source and grab the best set of mods before playing.

I think you could enjoy mass effect quite much. It relies heavily on player skill though. Character progrssion is still worthwhile and skills and perks have real effect on your character. (Not as much as in gothic though). Naturally because it is a bioware game the exploration is quite limited compared to gothic or tes series.

System shock 2 is also worth of mentioning. Best scifi action rpg if you don't take dx 1 into account.

Dark messiah : might and magic. Fantasy fps with rpg elements. Really fun game, not a rpg though, but combat is tons of fun and skill progression has real impact on your character. You can be a fearsome warrior, cunning assasin or a powerfull mage or a combination of above. Lots of people think this is a medicore game, but I personally loved every second of it. Only if it was longer!
Dez is offline

Dez

Dez's Avatar
Watcher of The Keep

#2

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,212

Default 

April 25th, 2009, 22:07
I think that The Witcher might be a good game for you since there are character skills that are important, but player skills also are taken into account, though I'm not sure whether that's to the extend you'd like. But there are a ton of options there.
Polyester is offline

Polyester

Watchdog

#3

Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 166

Default 

April 26th, 2009, 10:58
Nah, I don't think The Witcher scores very high in this category — no matter how you build your character, it'll end up as a skilled swordsman who spices up his stuff with varying amounts of Signs and alchemy. There are branches in the narrative you might want to explore, though, but that's different.

It does feature a pretty good mix of player skill and character skill, though, and is IMO the best cRPG of the past several years, but that's also a bit different.

Have you tried Jade Empire? That has a pretty nice palette of various combat styles — weapon, unarmed, and support — that you can combine in interesting ways (even if it's just a wee bit unbalanced, in that there are a few "dominant strategies" that are significantly more powerful than the alternatives. It's a somewhat underrated game in these parts, IMO. The plot is interesting and has a couple of nice twists, the setting is a bit of a change from the usual elves-and-dwarves-oh-my, the visuals are consistent and appealing, and it hangs together very well. It's something of a light snack compared to the six-course dinners that VtM:B or the Gothics or even Deus Ex offer, but it's a rather tasty light snack IMO.
Prime Junta is offline

Prime Junta

RPGCodex' Little BRO

#4

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 8,540

Default 

April 26th, 2009, 22:08
I'm the other way around, I don't think an RPG is a true RPG if the player's manual skills have any impact on the game. I didn't say the game is fun or not, just that it's not a true RPG (for my definition of RPG).
Oblivion is borderline what action can be in an RPG for me to enjoy. Crossing that borderline is The Witcher and the Gothics, I just couldn't get to like those games for that reason. Mass Effect is another example of a shooter(75%)/RPG (25%). Fallout 3 is similar, although the VATS system saves it
wolfing is offline

wolfing

wolfing's Avatar
Dalek SasqWatch

#5

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Tardis
Posts: 3,383

Default 

April 27th, 2009, 03:28
Originally Posted by wolfing View Post
I'm the other way around, I don't think an RPG is a true RPG if the player's manual skills have any impact on the game. I didn't say the game is fun or not, just that it's not a true RPG (for my definition of RPG)]
How exactly do you play a true rpg without the use of any manual skills? Maybe, with your brain only? Where can I buy that controller?

Despite all my rage.
I'm still just a rat in a cage.
skavenhorde is offline

skavenhorde

skavenhorde's Avatar
Little BRO Rat

#6

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Taiwan
Posts: 5,408

Default 

May 1st, 2009, 17:38
There is also a bit old, but very good action rpg called Severance: Blade of Darkness (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PVmAzc-HLo).
Ergonpandilus is offline

Ergonpandilus

Ergonpandilus's Avatar
The Guardian

#7

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oulu, Finland
Posts: 486

Default 

May 1st, 2009, 18:33
Originally Posted by Ergonpandilus View Post
There is also a bit old, but very good action rpg called Severance: Blade of Darkness (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PVmAzc-HLo).
To be fair, I think it's pure action.

Maybe 2% RPG and 98% action, but still.
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#8

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 15,258

Default 

May 1st, 2009, 18:35
Id subscribe under System Shock 2 rec, especially on higher difficulty settings you wont end up as jack of all trades and it has great atmosphere and solid story to boot.

Also, playing a magic-inclined character in Arx Fatalis is quite a good test of mouse skills .

Given the prerequisites, imo youve already played the best of the bunch.

Play The Witcher anyway. Although its quite low on the player-character skill interaction, it offers a good number of ways how to deal with the enemies if youre a bit creative. As in the case of SS2, playing it on hard is a must imo.
DeepO is offline

DeepO

DeepO's Avatar
deep outside

#9

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Prague
Posts: 2,339

Default 

May 2nd, 2009, 03:38
Thanks for the recommendations. I have System Shock 2 sitting around and haven't replayed it for a while but always thought it was awesome (and Deus Ex obviously owes quite a lot to it), so I may go for that first, on the highest difficulty, but sans respawns. Morrowind and Oblivion I group with Fallout 3 although I prefer FO3 to both; they're all somewhat RPG-lite and the action isn't interesting enough to push the games into classic territory. Mass Effect is in the same group, but the boring cookie-cutter side missions on planets, and bajillion Weapon X or Armor IV killed it for me…the action was fairly fun, but wandering from the main story revealed a hollow and seemingly rushed world. Maybe the sequel will make up for its shortcomings.

Arx Fatalis and Dark Messiah seem interesting, and certainly share the influence of the Ultima Underworld games, although Arx seems more RPG-ish. I'll keep an eye out for them on a Steam/Impulse/GOG/Amazon sale and see if I can pick them up for a ten spot, or thereabouts. Played a bit of The Witcher at a friend's place and it didn't really hit the spot; I got enough of the story to get what was going on but felt it was a little ambitious in its breadth without enough playtesting, and there were certain quests that left me running all over the place, even with a friend's help and years of experience divining what quest writers are talking about.

I'd love to see something as expansive as GTA or Saint's Row with a bit more character progress. For open-world games, they seem to have a lot of artificial limits, but with certain aspects of the game relying both on the player and character to improve their skills, they could add replayability and unique situations rather than expecting you to hunt down two hundred effing pigeons or complete endless tasks to 'complete' the game. Of course, I'd also like a buck naked Zooey Deschanel to pick me up in a Nissan GT-R and take me for two weeks of passionate driving and even more passionate… well, it doesn't matter, it seems unlikely I'll get that any time soon, either.

Originally Posted by Wheres_the_Guru
Wanna know who invented the word great? I did ever seen something and you thought it was great? Chances are it has something to do with me.
Evil Timmy is offline

Evil Timmy

Traveler

#10

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 16

Default 

May 2nd, 2009, 12:08
Originally Posted by Evil Timmy View Post
Morrowind and Oblivion I group with Fallout 3 although I prefer FO3 to both; they're all somewhat RPG-lite and the action isn't interesting enough to push the games into classic territory.
I consider Morrowind to be a classic, although I agree the "action" isn't all that interesting. Combat was never Morrowind's strong point, it's the exploration and background lore that make it great for me.


Originally Posted by Evil Timmy View Post
Arx Fatalis and Dark Messiah seem interesting, and certainly share the influence of the Ultima Underworld games, although Arx seems more RPG-ish. I'll keep an eye out for them on a Steam/Impulse/GOG/Amazon sale and see if I can pick them up for a ten spot, or thereabouts. Played a bit of The Witcher at a friend's place and it didn't really hit the spot; I got enough of the story to get what was going on but felt it was a little ambitious in its breadth without enough playtesting, and there were certain quests that left me running all over the place, even with a friend's help and years of experience divining what quest writers are talking about.
Dark Messiah is fun for a playthrough, but it's really just a first-person action game. Arx Fatalis is a very underrated rpg with great atmosphere, I highly recommend checking it out. You also might want to give The Witcher another chance. I didn't like it either at first, but it gets a lot better after the first chapter.

So you're a big Deus Ex fan huh? I happen to be playing Deus Ex right now, I'm currently in the Ocean Lab level.
JDR13 is offline

JDR13

JDR13's Avatar
SasqWatch

#11

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Florida, US
Posts: 18,314

Default 

May 3rd, 2009, 01:21
Yeah, love Deus Ex, just played through it a few months ago, and enjoyed it once again. Shifter adds a lot of nice tweaks and made the game feel a bit more well-rounded. I also used the updated renderer (link goes to mirror, the official site seems to be down, just search for 'utglr') and edited an INI so I could play at 1920x1200 with forced AA and AF, and the game looked…well, not modern, but very good for its age.

Originally Posted by Wheres_the_Guru
Wanna know who invented the word great? I did ever seen something and you thought it was great? Chances are it has something to do with me.
Evil Timmy is offline

Evil Timmy

Traveler

#12

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 16

Default 

May 4th, 2009, 18:47
I'm in the final area of Deus Ex now, trying to decide who to side with at the end.

I'm curious, afa DX:Invisible War is concerned, who do they assume you sided with at the end of the first game?


*Edit* Nevermind, I just looked it up. I'm about to start DX:IW for the first time.
Last edited by JDR13; May 4th, 2009 at 19:56.
JDR13 is offline

JDR13

JDR13's Avatar
SasqWatch

#13

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Florida, US
Posts: 18,314

Default 

May 5th, 2009, 08:15
PJ posted a list of the hybrid RPGs where both player's skill/character's skill are counted while back in a news comment thread. I haven't played some of them but just in case you are interested.
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
A few more thoughts about the first vs third-person thing: if we leave out pure action/shooter/beat-em-up games and games abstracted-out combat (turn-based, probability-based RTwP), and look at action RPG's only, the field is actually a bit thin.

Here are some off the top of my head, ranked in order of preference:

Jade Empire.
Deus Ex.
The Witcher.
Oblivion.
Mass Effect.
——
VtM: Bloodlines.
Gothic 3 (w. CP 1.7.)
——
Morrowind.
Gothic 2.
Gothic 3 (pre-CP 1.7.)

I've drawn two semi-arbitrary lines in there.

For the games in the top category, I found myself enjoying the combat for its own sake — experimenting with various tactics and/or weapons, enjoying the "feel" of character progression, and generally sort of looking forward to good fights. That doesn't mean they're perfect; in fact, I could easily point to a number of fairly glaring flaws in any of them. But IMO they still struck a nice balance between player skill and character skill, and combat was varied, complex, and "fair" enough to be enjoyable for its own sake despite them.

In the second category are games where the combat neither helped nor hindered. It didn't generally get in the way of enjoying the rest of the game, and even supported it to some minor degree. Irritations were relatively fleeting. However, the combat didn't really add much to the game either, and certainly didn't constitute a major attraction for me.

And in the third category are games that I enjoyed (to a degree at least) *despite* the combat. Alongside beautiful memories of Daedric quests, Ashlander customs, and encounters with mutated monsters and ancient gods lies the soul-choking tedium of hacking at cliff racers or click-spamming through hordes and hordes and hordes of cookie-cutter filler monsters; next to the marvelous feeling of discovery, choice, and consequence lies the memory of combat controls that feel about as balletic and fluid as trying to fence with an excavator.

Interestingly, there's virtually no correlation between the perspective and my subjective enjoyment of the system. I liked Deus Ex's and Oblivion's first-person combat almost as much as Jade Empire's and The Witcher's third-person combat; I hated Gothic's third-person excavator fencing almost as much as Morrowind's first-person click-spamming.

But: I think that it's a lot less work to get first-person combat to feel "right" than third-person combat, simply because the animations, impact detection, and so on are way easier. Given limited resources, I'd prefer that they do it this way. Look at Elveon — they went for unbelievably good-looking cinematic third-person combat, and ended up canceled — even though, from all accounts, the actual game would've been pretty much filler for the combat. (They are canceled, right?)
Dusk is offline

Dusk

Sentinel

#14

Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 278

Tags
deus ex, rpg, shmup, vampire
RPGWatch Forums » Games » General RPG » Player-Skill-Based RPGs
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 21:59.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch