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Default Rampant Games - Combat and Kicking Your Butt

October 23rd, 2010, 14:26
Jay Barnson writes an interesting piece about RPG Combat: Good Reasons Why Your Butt Got Kicked. The intro:
I felt like rambling on today a little bit about CRPG combat, and my philosophy on how combat should work in CRPGs. Of course, all CRPG combat systems are different, so it’s very hard find a enough commonality to compare them all. But we can start with the basics. Like getting your butt kicked. So I’ll focus on that.
My belief is that, as a player, you should TOTALLY get your butt kicked in combat from time to time.
More information.
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October 23rd, 2010, 14:26
This is one of my main problems with some games (specially MMOs). It seems that to some people, they expect to easily win every battle except boss battles, it's almost become like an industry standard. I hate that! I think most battles should have the potential to beat you, if you act foolishly, like sending your mage to beat the mobs with his staff, or not using positioning, or not using ranged combat to soften the enemies while they're far, or not using crowd control, etc.
To me, the fun of cRPGs is in the tactical combat. I really couldn't care less about the story, or exploration, but using tactics to overcome challenges, that's what's rewarding.
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October 23rd, 2010, 15:13
Reason #3 I couldn't agree more with.

… But wasn't there only one way to get around the Rancor in KOTOR?
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October 23rd, 2010, 15:28
Agree completely with getting your butt kicked from time to time. Keeps the game from getting boring.

It was great when I had to run like hell from giant radscorpions in Fallout: New Vegas because my little pea shooter would not hurt them. Those suckers refused to die.

Despite all my rage.
I'm still just a rat in a cage.
Last edited by skavenhorde; October 24th, 2010 at 05:00.
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October 24th, 2010, 02:41
I've actually heard of two ways to deal with the Rancor in KotR, but I might have heard wrong.
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October 24th, 2010, 14:28
Play Knights of the Chalice.

my novel: bit.ly/dreamlandsbook
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October 24th, 2010, 16:09
Originally Posted by jakebaker13 View Post
Reason #3 I couldn't agree more with.

… But wasn't there only one way to get around the Rancor in KOTOR?
I've killed him by spamming grenades from a distance as well as in what I believe was the intended way…
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October 24th, 2010, 17:31
Heh - I even single out Knights of the Chalice in the article. It's actually a flagrant offender of my one"poor" reason for defeat, but I loved it anyway.
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October 25th, 2010, 09:32
Go play Gothic. Even a regular wolf will toss you around like a rag doll if you are not ready for it.

I enjoy it myself, but I also understand people who don't.
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October 25th, 2010, 11:02
Not an easy thing for developers for sure. I like a challenge, and hate "constant win" games - but I admit I also get frustrated if I hit a dead end and can't win a fight after 5-6 reloads. Especially if giving up means backtracking through an endless dungeon, leveling up, restocking and coming back later.
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October 25th, 2010, 17:32
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Go play Gothic. Even a regular wolf will toss you around like a rag doll if you are not ready for it. . .
And that's one regular wolf I might add. All of which is what made Gothic great. All the canine creatures were deadly if you weren't ready. I also remember my first encounter with a measly ol' skeleton in Gothic and got my arse handed to me. I was in shock. A SKELETON. WHAT???
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October 25th, 2010, 21:06
Nice entry!

I agree with the premise, but some of details seem off. In particular, this

While the success or failure of individual actions within an RPG may be dependent upon your character’s skill, player skill should play the deciding role, whether it’s methodical turn-based tactical reasoning or clever, well-executed combos in an action RPG.
The use of the the word "may" seems to give a designer carte blanche to ignore character skills effects on the success of actions. I think you mean in "some cases", for actions like eating or walking, but not for combat.
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October 26th, 2010, 10:43
Originally Posted by Dajjer View Post
I also remember my first encounter with a measly ol' skeleton in Gothic and got my arse handed to me. I was in shock. A SKELETON. WHAT???
I remember thinking the same thing. I never looked at skeletons the same way again.

Let's not even go into what those Orcs could do. I still have nightmares of a horde of Orcs chanting "Ubba Chukka" while chasing me.

Despite all my rage.
I'm still just a rat in a cage.
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October 26th, 2010, 13:59
Originally Posted by Dajjer View Post
All the canine creatures were deadly if you weren't ready.
A few days ago I realized that Zanzarah actually uses exactly the SAME approach, believe it or not.

You meet foes who are much, much stronger than you, and you just can't beat them, until you're "ready" for them.

Which means to some part simply training, by the way.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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