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Default RPGWatch Side Quest: The Great Debate

February 16th, 2007, 02:03
Originally Posted by Lethal Weapon View Post
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.
I am a chess enthusiast myself but I disagree, real-time can be pretty strategic. Did you ever play the first 2 Gothics? There was real-time combat that demanded strategy because it was difficult.

I thought that chess was a bad comparison. Compared to chess, turn-based rpg combat is brain-dead and tedious. There are simply not many elements in play and the candidate actions are usually limited to at most a couple of tricks. I don't think you can justify saying that turn-based combat is that brainy at all.

Edit: On second thought there was FF Tactics where there was a fair amount of depth. That was pretty rare for an RPG though, it could almost be considered a strategy game.
Last edited by Burress; February 16th, 2007 at 02:17.
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February 16th, 2007, 02:18
I find chess boring. I'm a Bridge player!!

This could create another debate!!

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February 16th, 2007, 02:24
Originally Posted by Burress View Post
Compared to chess, turn-based rpg combat is brain-dead and tedious. There are simply not many elements in play and the candidate actions are usually limited to at most a couple of tricks.
Any combat system can be designed to have more than a few tricks. This has to do with designer ingenuity, not an inherent flaw with a system. Fallout's combat system for instance, is extremely basic but the ability to shoot at specific body parts is something chess doesn't really offer. Actually, compared to titles like X-Com, Jagged Alliance 2 and Silent Storm, chess is braindead and tedious.
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February 16th, 2007, 02:31
I didn't mean to start that debate, I just wanted to balance out the sides as far as strategy went. Most real-time rpg games have very little strategy in them, but as Gothic games have shown they have a lot of potential if a developer wants to push that angle. That being said the intellect thrill is just there in most rpgs of any type (when it is there at all) just to complement the basic rpg desires: the accomplishment of improving your character, experiencing a story, and making choices in an alternate world. Few games have made deep strategy a focus of rpg combat (at least I can't think of many).
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February 16th, 2007, 02:40
Originally Posted by Role-Player View Post
Any combat system can be designed to have more than a few tricks. This has to do with designer ingenuity, not an inherent flaw with a system. Fallout's combat system for instance, is extremely basic but the ability to shoot at specific body parts is something chess doesn't really offer. Actually, compared to titles like X-Com, Jagged Alliance 2 and Silent Storm, chess is braindead and tedious.
All I can say is you must not be a good chess player.

Computer strategy games do have a lot to them, but rpgs just don't.
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February 16th, 2007, 02:44
Hmm….., I tend to disagree. There are some TB RPG's which have a lot of strategy involved. Of the recent crop, GODS:- LoI comes to mind. You need considerable strategy in some of the fights if you're to be successful!!

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February 16th, 2007, 02:52
Originally Posted by Burress View Post
Most real-time rpg games have very little strategy in them, but as Gothic games have shown they have a lot of potential if a developer wants to push that angle.
I totally love the Gothic games but I disagree with that completely. Where did Gothic have strategic combat? The first two games basically had three attack moves and one parry move (that I have never ever used… attack > defense IMHO ). On a whole it was extremely simplistic actually. Left, right and a forward/up/down swing. That's it. There wasn't more to it.
The only strategical element of combat was that you needed to single out enemies because fighting against 2 or 3 was too difficult with most critters. That was also very simple though once you learnt how the different types of enemies behaved.

Oh, and I hope that the comparison of Fallout vs chess by Role-Player was a joke. Chess is infinitely more complex than any simplistic turn-based combat CRPG whether it lets you target different body parts or not. The comparison is beyond silly actually. A five minute visit to any hobbyist chess website should clue you in that chess with its nearly infinite opening and play variants is of an entirely different caliber than CRPGs.
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February 16th, 2007, 02:56
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
Hmm….., I tend to disagree. There are some TB RPG's which have a lot of strategy involved. Of the recent crop, GODS:- LoI comes to mind. You need considerable strategy in some of the fights if you're to be successful!!
I meant only in comparison to a game like chess where you can spend your whole life playing and studying it and finding ways to improve and challenge yourself. I didn't mean there wasn't strategy or even deep strategy, but say does it rival bridge in your opinion?
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February 16th, 2007, 03:04
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
I totally love the Gothic games but I disagree with that completely. Where did Gothic have strategic combat? The first two games basically had three attack moves and one parry move (that I have never ever used… attack > defense IMHO ). On a whole it was extremely simplistic actually. Left, right and a forward/up/down swing. That's it. There wasn't more to it.
The only strategical element of combat was that you needed to single out enemies because fighting against 2 or 3 was too difficult with most critters. That was also very simple though once you learnt how the different types of enemies behaved.
I didn't say it was deep but that it offered as much as most TB rpgs. There really were just simple tricks when you mastered it, but finding the lay of the land, luring enemies, finding the best attack methods for each enemy, sniping from ledges ect… there were strategic considerations that complemented the rpg thrill of the game.
Last edited by Burress; February 16th, 2007 at 03:20.
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February 16th, 2007, 03:46
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
It has? Could you please name a few examples of these "majority of massive multiplayer [games]" where turn-based is a viable option that you are talking about? I'm very curious about that parallel universe that you live in .
I was talking of course about text-based MMORPGs which are far older than graphical MMORPGs. A few examples include DragonRealms, Medievia, Materia Magica, the Gemstone series etc. Most of them should be still active. The genre is far from dead and there are several titles currently in development. There are also quite a few examples of graphical turn-based MMORPGs and turn-based strategy browser games.

Also being less sarcastic/ using better language when posting would only help in improving your public image. I won't hold it against you though as you were probably not around at the time.

Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
I find chess boring. I'm a Bridge player!!

This could create another debate!!
Bridge is indeed the only game that might rival chess in terms of complexity, though still not as complex. Anyway, since when did you become a junior member?

Originally Posted by Burress View Post
I am a chess enthusiast myself but I disagree, real-time can be pretty strategic. Did you ever play the first 2 Gothics? There was real-time combat that demanded strategy because it was difficult.
Sure I did and more than once. My point is that once you figure out the various mobs' attack patterns or the right spells to use if you play as a mage there is little else to discover, it then becomes just a matter of reflex (which is challenging in its own right). When I was using chess as a comparison I was talking about computer games in general (not just RPGs). Sure, no computer game can ever be as complex, but whoever has played a grid-like system like in the HoMM series can see the similarities. The beauty of it is that you never have to play 2 similar battles.
Last edited by Lethal Weapon; February 16th, 2007 at 04:14.
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February 16th, 2007, 05:21
I think Bridge rivals chess, and while chess fanatics will disagree with me, I think Bridge is more complex if played at a high level. They both leave computer games for dead!!

Oh, custom titles have a nasty habit of reverting over a period of time!! None of the admins are sure why!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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February 16th, 2007, 06:55
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
A five minute visit to any hobbyist chess website should clue you in that chess with its nearly infinite opening and play variants is of an entirely different caliber than CRPGs.
No integer is nearly infinite. They're all infinitely far from infinite. :)

Statues wouldn't be better if they could move. Model airplanes would not be better if they were the same size as airplanes.
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February 16th, 2007, 07:19
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
Oh, custom titles have a nasty habit of reverting over a period of time!! None of the admins are sure why!!
Indeed, neither the board settings nor the usergroup settings give any clue. Interestingly enough, my title never reset itself.

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February 16th, 2007, 07:21
strategy can reach toward infinity with intelect and much practice but it doesn't account for 'creative or moral solutions/choices. this is why games like chess or bridge or other card games are nothing more than elaborate iq and ego/emotional tests. they don't evolve rather they have players who try and evolve/master them. video games are constantly evolving and in some cases deevolving and why indvidually even the best game 'may' be inferior to chesss, etc. as a whole they are vastly superb!
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February 16th, 2007, 08:02
I am not so sure that strategic battles in TB games are INHERENTLY less complex than chess. Chess aquires its fascination from the fact that despite very simple rules and never-changing starting conditions, it unfolds into an ever-changing complex contest, where experience makes all the difference. That is of course not in the least the intention of RPG combat, which is only one part of a game, and usually dominated by a simulation aspect. However, if one were to take one reasonably complex battle in one of the more complex games, play it against human opponents (or truly advanced AI) and devote ones life to studying all the different options, it might offer similar levels of complexity and room for strategic thought than chess. But that is of course not the purpose of RPG combat.
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February 16th, 2007, 09:43
Perhaps someone who plays a lot of chess, as well as rpg's might like to write a 'side quest' article on this topic!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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February 16th, 2007, 10:24
Fascinating discussion. Personally I like the strategic feeling of TB (or RT with pause) combat when I control parties, and the immersive feeling of RT combat when I play games such as Gothic. I agree with all those that posted this already: It really depends on the game.
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February 16th, 2007, 12:48
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
It has? Could you please name a few examples of these "majority of massive multiplayer [games]" where turn-based is a viable option that you are talking about? I'm very curious about that parallel universe that you live in
Couldnt games that are updated at fixed intervals (Utopia and Hattrick come to mind) be considered some sort of "continuous turnbased"? Time is discretized into slots long enough to give you the time to plan your moves, but the world still moves on every now and then…

Having a massive multiplayer game where one player can block the flow of the entire game is for obvious probabilistic reasons not a good idea

Personally I'm leaning more and more towards pausable realtime for singleplayer games, especially if you are controlling a party. But TB could be implemented in a fairly fast and fluid way (with one or two exceptions I didnt find the pace of combat in the Gold box games problematic). Poorly implemented TB can be a pain though.

Pure realtime only works in solo play, or when you have some sort of streamlined RTS type control scheme, and has the potential to turn into an arcady clickfest that I dont like. For it to work in party based play we'd need vastly improved AI technology (see Neverwinter Nights, Gothic 3, or Oblivion for illustrations of NPC AI limitations)…
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February 16th, 2007, 14:17
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
I find chess boring. I'm a Bridge player!!

This could create another debate!!
LOL !

Chess games have of course far more figures on the battlefield, so to say, than normal RPG parties ever have. And I don't know any strategy game for computers or consoles which are a) turn-based and b) with as many figures on the field like in Chess.

Except, maybe … Games like HOMM and Age of Wonders, maybe ? But there you don't have a single battlefield, but rather a whole country, and you don't have that much "simple" rules, but much more to consider …
And they're no RPGs either.

So, when any why does the great variety of games like Chess and Bridge come in ? I guess that modern RPGs just can't rival because of the fact that they are not modelled like the above mentioned games. (Okay, I was rather referring toChess now. And i think I#ll do so in the future.)

One side-anecdote : The *very* first time I pleayed the "Blade of Destiny" part of the "Realms of Arcania" series, I entered comnbat which rather looked like an chess board to me - and I decided to treat it as such !

I did not know much about feats and talents then (this was my second RPG after all ! - following only after Lands of Lore I !), and I used the little knowledge I had to try to win that fight against these pirates.

If you take a look at screenshots, then you might find that it in fact resembles somehow the look of a chess board. Only that the figures on the battlefield are much different than figures on a real chess board. Example : http://www.schattenjaeger.de/schick/jpg/kampf.htm
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February 16th, 2007, 14:34
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
Ummm… maybe it was ten years ago or so. Real-time has long become the norm and is certainly no longer a "buzz word".
Completely agree - that is old news …

Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
What does the choice of entertainment have to do with intelligence, hm?
Nothing in and of itself, but it can be indicative. It isn't causal but observational. In other words, watching 'Masterpiece Theater' on TV rather than 'Blue Collar TV' doesn't *make* you more intelligent, yet I would bet money that any polling of the two audiences would show a huge difference in income, education and yes, raw intelligence.

Same with checkers vs. chess. Playing chess doesn't make you more intelligent, but those who favor chess tend to be more intelligent. But that is only one aspect - people who take up chess are more likely looking for a slower paced and more contemplative game, whereas checkers players are looking for more fast-paced fun. So there are different reasons for playing each.

And that gets back to something I said before - I play many genres on many systems because I look for a variety of challenges. I just polished off LUXOR on the PSP, and thought it was crap - not because it is a simple puzzle, because I love Bejeweled 2 on my PDA, but because it failed to be an engaging and varied simple puzzle that kept me longing to play more.

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