|
Your donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Games » Indie RPG » Tactica: Maiden of Faith » Optimal Size of a RPG party

Default Optimal Size of a RPG party

November 1st, 2013, 05:38
Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
In Wiz8, formations got really interesting when you had 8 characters. Unfortunately, the game was by far more playable with a small group due to the insame amount of skill grinding (on Expert difficulty at least). So, nice idea, shoddy execution. But of course formations are an interesting thing - for SRPG's, when you're controlling a group of 10-20 units. Otherwise, formations tend to be a bit ridiculous and gamey. So your archer is hiding behind 1(!) paladin, but what stops the ogre from walking around him? Nothing except no AI. You can of course rectify this, but then you force players into hugging cliffsides and walking sideways like crabs. Perverse incentive right there. If mages hiding in the back are a common occurence, why doesn't everyone carry a ranged sidearm? Etc.

Bottom line is, formations are a weak argument for more characters in a CRPG.
Disagree heartily. For starters your whole argument is based off of 'What if this were real life and not a game at all? Then monsters could duck under the Paladin's sword and smash the Mage!' which is absurd. I should hope that strategy and tactical games (including RPGs which are squad based tactical simulator games) never become such a mess.

Could RPG artificial intelligence be better? Sure. SOME enemies should be smart enough to carry a sidearm or rifle to deal with guys behind the 'linemen', but that is not at all a strike against formations, especially in a first person party-based RPG. Likewise Wizardry 8's notoriously bad (re)spawning and level scaling are not knocks against formations. I can only imagine how sucky it would have been to deal with this with a 4 man party. Yeah you can make your early to mid-game life Hell by using less to get more experience and make your small party really powerful but to me that sounds really boring.

Edit: Also, I don't play games on 'Expert difficulty'. Turns games into work for me. I can beat games on high difficulty settings but I find them less enjoyable to say the least. The exceptions are games like Natuk that I have beaten so many times that playing on 500% difficulty (or 750% in P.O.W.S.) is nothing.

"I am in a very peculiar business; I travel all over the world telling people what they should already know." - James Randi
SkeleTony is offline

SkeleTony

SkeleTony's Avatar
Skeptic

#61

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 38

Default 

November 1st, 2013, 11:19
Originally Posted by SkeleTony View Post
Disagree heartily. For starters your whole argument is based off of 'What if this were real life and not a game at all? Then monsters could duck under the Paladin's sword and smash the Mage!' which is absurd. I should hope that strategy and tactical games (including RPGs which are squad based tactical simulator games) never become such a mess.
No, I'm not talking from a simulationist POV. I'm talking about games where you can bait monsters with certain characters although they have the room to navigate to get at your less protected members who possibly deal them more damage. It goes against the logic of the game for the sake of validating formations. Bad choice IMO.

You can skip this problem but then things get like they were in Wiz8. That game is basically a cliff hugging simulator. The single best choice for standing ground is usually tucked away in some niche where only one enemy can get at you at a time.

"In Grimwhoah, you can ride on turtles."
Sacred_Path is offline

Sacred_Path

Sacred_Path's Avatar
Basement Horror

#62

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 1,382

Default 

November 1st, 2013, 20:00
Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
No, I'm not talking from a simulationist POV. I'm talking about games where you can bait monsters with certain characters although they have the room to navigate to get at your less protected members who possibly deal them more damage. It goes against the logic of the game for the sake of validating formations. Bad choice IMO.

You can skip this problem but then things get like they were in Wiz8. That game is basically a cliff hugging simulator. The single best choice for standing ground is usually tucked away in some niche where only one enemy can get at you at a time.
Well…again, this is not a contention against formations or full sized parties for that matter. This is a contention with CRPG's AI and such. Does not really have anything to do with the discussion we are having. W8's AI was going to be what it was with or without formations (in fact the formations feature probably helped with AI development).

"I am in a very peculiar business; I travel all over the world telling people what they should already know." - James Randi
SkeleTony is offline

SkeleTony

SkeleTony's Avatar
Skeptic

#63

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 38

Default 

November 2nd, 2013, 01:20
Originally Posted by SkeleTony View Post
Well…again, this is not a contention against formations or full sized parties for that matter. This is a contention with CRPG's AI and such. Does not really have anything to do with the discussion we are having. W8's AI was going to be what it was with or without formations (in fact the formations feature probably helped with AI development).
Yes the topic is formations. Take the formations out of Wiz8 in favor of a style à la Might & Magic or even old JRPG's, and you wouldn't have lost much. What you would have lost is the silly way of moving about in Wiz8's monster infested areas. Formations are a nice idea but then again not (due to the few characters you control). What I'd at least like to see, if there are formations, is a more dynamic way of using them. Say, changing your formation several times over the course of one combat. In the CRPG's I've played this was never necessary. In the IE games you know what kind of positions the enemy occupies (either through metagame knowledge or scouting) and you can take up an effective formation and stick with it for pretty much the entire combat. In Wiz8 my formation often only changed like once per region if at all (it had more to do with finding a formation that goes well with your party setup).

"In Grimwhoah, you can ride on turtles."
Sacred_Path is offline

Sacred_Path

Sacred_Path's Avatar
Basement Horror

#64

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 1,382

Default 

November 4th, 2013, 09:13
Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
Yes the topic is formations. Take the formations out of Wiz8 in favor of a style à la Might & Magic or even old JRPG's, and you wouldn't have lost much. What you would have lost is the silly way of moving about in Wiz8's monster infested areas. Formations are a nice idea but then again not (due to the few characters you control). What I'd at least like to see, if there are formations, is a more dynamic way of using them. Say, changing your formation several times over the course of one combat. In the CRPG's I've played this was never necessary. In the IE games you know what kind of positions the enemy occupies (either through metagame knowledge or scouting) and you can take up an effective formation and stick with it for pretty much the entire combat. In Wiz8 my formation often only changed like once per region if at all (it had more to do with finding a formation that goes well with your party setup).
Disagree with pretty much everything you said here but it does not look like we are going to agree on this no matter what. Some of what you wrote I can't make out at all ("due to the the FEW characters you control…", in Wizardry 8?).
How would changing formations several times per battle add anything to the game? How could the game not lose a lot by switching to a JRPG system?!

Anyway I have said my piece and barring any new arguments/evidence I will stick with it.

"I am in a very peculiar business; I travel all over the world telling people what they should already know." - James Randi
SkeleTony is offline

SkeleTony

SkeleTony's Avatar
Skeptic

#65

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 38

Default 

November 4th, 2013, 09:43
Well, in the tactica discussion the formation thing is kind of useless since it'll not be FPS, each character can walk and position anywhere… in this case even with 2 characters there can be a lot of strategy.
GothicGothicness is offline

GothicGothicness

GothicGothicness's Avatar
SasqWatch

#66

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,898

Default 

November 4th, 2013, 11:18
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
Well, in the tactica discussion the formation thing is kind of useless since it'll not be FPS, each character can walk and position anywhere… in this case even with 2 characters there can be a lot of strategy.
Yeah, sorry about going a bit off topic there.

"I am in a very peculiar business; I travel all over the world telling people what they should already know." - James Randi
SkeleTony is offline

SkeleTony

SkeleTony's Avatar
Skeptic

#67

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 38

Default 

May 28th, 2015, 05:01
I like 4, as in Dragon age origins and Divinity:OS. Six feels like too many, at least in a RTWP game, maybe not for turn based.
Lynchden is offline

Lynchden

Watcher

#68

Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 24

Default 

May 28th, 2015, 06:15
Six is a good number in my opinion. With four slots you have to take four people who can fill out key roles, six gives you a bit more leeway to take people that aren’t optimal. Eight on the other hand makes it’s harder for your party members to stand out.
Firestorm is offline

Firestorm

Firestorm's Avatar
exp Looter

#69

Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 111

Default 

May 28th, 2015, 06:27
In true turn-based combat, a party can't get too big for me — eight would be just fine.

Of course, I've got my SRPG leanings — and judging by the games that hit it big, most RPG players may lean in the opposite direction from me — towards games designed for solo play with companions as optional extras.

"But if it's a battle," he said, "which side is which?"
"If it's a battle," said Lilac.
Hexprone is offline

Hexprone

Hexprone's Avatar
Thou hast lost an eighth!
RPGWatch Team

#70

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 480

Default 

May 28th, 2015, 10:12
Originally Posted by Firestorm View Post
Six is a good number in my opinion. With four slots you have to take four people who can fill out key roles, six gives you a bit more leeway to take people that aren’t optimal. Eight on the other hand makes it’s harder for your party members to stand out.


Actually it is much easier for party members to stand out in an 8 PC party because everyone can be a specialist (i.e. tank, damage-caster, thief, healer etc.) as opposed to the typical 4 PC party RPGs in which every character has multiple roles and they all end up rather cookie cutter-ish warrior-wizard-healer-thieves.

"I am in a very peculiar business; I travel all over the world telling people what they should already know." - James Randi
SkeleTony is offline

SkeleTony

SkeleTony's Avatar
Skeptic

#71

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 38

Default 

May 28th, 2015, 10:58
Originally Posted by SkeleTony View Post
Actually it is much easier for party members to stand out in an 8 PC party because everyone can be a specialist (i.e. tank, damage-caster, thief, healer etc.)
You mean like things used to be in a 4 person D&D party?

"In Grimwhoah, you can ride on turtles."
Sacred_Path is offline

Sacred_Path

Sacred_Path's Avatar
Basement Horror

#72

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 1,382

Default 

May 28th, 2015, 11:26
Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
You mean like things used to be in a 4 person D&D party?
No. Not at all. Apples to oranges and all that. A tabletop/pen and paper RPG makes use of a GameMaster (known as the "Dungeonmaster" in D&D) who designs or tailors his adventures to suit his/her party of player-characters.

Computer RPGs implement a lot from their tabletop parenthood but GMs (and all that goes with that) are not one of those things. One of their drawbacks are this size-of-party debate where you either have parties of a few characters (and thus those characters must become multi-role and almost identical in function to a significant degree) or you have 6-8 (sometimes more) PC parties that feel overwhelming to your typical gamer (you have to create them all sometimes, then you have to manage their development, manage them all tactically in combat etc.).

I am just one of those oddballs who cannot play real-time games and can't get enough of good old fashioned turn-based RPG character creation and management.

"I am in a very peculiar business; I travel all over the world telling people what they should already know." - James Randi
SkeleTony is offline

SkeleTony

SkeleTony's Avatar
Skeptic

#73

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 38

Default 

May 28th, 2015, 11:32
Well, judging from what everyone here writes 6 appears to really be the optimal number
GothicGothicness is offline

GothicGothicness

GothicGothicness's Avatar
SasqWatch

#74

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,898

Default 

May 28th, 2015, 13:22
Depends in the specfic sub-genre of RPG. For instance, 6 would be way too hectic for a real time blobber like Legend of Grimrock. On the other hand, I hated when they cut the party size from 6 to 4 inbetween M&M5 and M&M6.

My Backlog
http://www.backloggery.com/mattynoaa
Nephologist is offline

Nephologist

Nephologist's Avatar
Watchdog

#75

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: the Eastern Shore with my head in the clouds
Posts: 226

Default 

May 28th, 2015, 17:19
As I mentioned before (and almost 2 years ago ) it always depends on all the other elements of the game. Even for Realtime Blobbers there can be extremely different party sizes.

One of the best examples is probably the Eye of the Beholder Series. And for those who don’t know: While the first 2 Games were produced by SSI & Westwood, they split after that and while SSI produced Eye of the Beholder 3, Westwood released Lands of Lore.
In Eye of the Beholder you created a group of 4 characters, and could recruit 2 additional ones (or more, replacing initial characters) so that you ended up with up to 6 characters.
But as you mentioned it became hard to handle with so many characters. But that was partially due to the interface.

While Westwood took the path of shrinking down the party to 1-3 Characters in Lands of Lore, SSI implemented a nice feature to make your life easier in Eye of the Beholder 3: And “All Attack” button. Didn’t help much with casts of course, but it was helpful anyways.

But how much interface plays a role here can also be seen in Ishar, where you could have up to 5 characters. While the attack buttons were split all across the screen in Eye of the Beholder, they were put together in the Ishar Series, which made it pretty comfortable to spam the attacks. It actually felt really good swiping the mouse over this area if I remember right:

But another Real Time Blobber which comes to Mind is Stonekeep. And this game has a completely different method to avoid any interface issues. In Stonekeep all the actions of your companions are automatic, and you only control your main character.

As mentioned, it all depends on various aspects of the game.

Doing >Let's Plays< and >Reviews< in German. Latest Review: Invisible Inc.
Mostly playing Indie titles, including Strategy, Tactics and Roleplaying-Games.
Kordanor is offline

Kordanor

Kordanor's Avatar
Wastelander

#76

Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,490

Default 

May 28th, 2015, 18:11
Has Gothic's game now been reconfigured as a blobber? I only just now noticed this subforum, but the last update I saw where Gothic provided details, the only uncertainty about combat style was tactical-with-grid or tactical-without-grid.

In turn-based tactical, I'm more likely to lose patience with a small party (now walk your three guys across the battlefield step by step) than I am with a large one, where you can position each person to handle their own part of the field.

"But if it's a battle," he said, "which side is which?"
"If it's a battle," said Lilac.
Hexprone is offline

Hexprone

Hexprone's Avatar
Thou hast lost an eighth!
RPGWatch Team

#77

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 480
RPGWatch Forums » Games » Indie RPG » Tactica: Maiden of Faith » Optimal Size of a RPG party
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 19:22.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch