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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Kotaku - You Donít Need Combat to Have a Good RPG

Default Kotaku - You Donít Need Combat to Have a Good RPG

April 19th, 2013, 20:20
Wow, such silliness. I guess the author isn't familiar with the history of D&D and how it evolved out of the wargaming system the authors had previously published as "Chainmail", eh? Nor is the author familiar with the way gamers like to roleplay sociopathic mass-murderers, regardless of what the story is trying to steer them into doing? The dude thinks gamers are going to roleplay a romantic drama?
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April 19th, 2013, 20:51
Originally Posted by Bedwyr View Post
And sometimes we wish to play games to enlighten us and deepen our understanding of the world. Both are fine.
Games aren't very effective in that regard. To put it lightly. I could mentions dozens of things you could be doing for the same amount of time, and they would enlighten and deepen your understanding of the world a lot more.

Of course it would be possible to make a game for the purpose of enlightenment, but so far there haven't really been games like that.

So playing games for that purpose sounds like a wasted effort.
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April 19th, 2013, 21:08
I did bother reading the 2nd quoted paragraph as well. The writer has had such a limited exposure to both games and stories that he isn't qualified to write such a piece.

I'd just like to interject here and point out that I'm not going to say anything to spoil the mood, Chief. I'll just float here and watch. Don't mind me, just sitting here, floating and watching, that's me.
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April 19th, 2013, 21:52
Originally Posted by Bedwyr View Post
Those games the guy listed are good ones, some even story-telling classics. In fact, I'd say Skyrim is the only debatable one but I give it a pass on depth-of-lore. The response from several of you sounds really over-the-top.
Really? Which of those games are story-telling classics? Enlighten us.

Of the five games he mentions, I'm familiar with all of them except Earthbound. I thought the story in Chrono Trigger was really good, but I wouldn't quite call it a "classic" in that department. The others aren't even close to that label imo.
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April 19th, 2013, 21:54
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
With this remark you just show yourself as being conservative - too conservative to take any other approach than combat seriously.

It's time that the RPG genre makes an evolution - in this respact [combat] onto another tier, imho.
It was a joke, Alrik. The implication being, what else besides sex and violence could possibly entertain the masses. I've actually run & played in entire PnP RPG campaigns centered around the idea that violence was almost always the worst option. You have to have the right group to pull it off, but I thought it was very rewarding.
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April 19th, 2013, 22:58
Using investigation skills to gather pieces of info in order to uncover hidden secrets of a main plot sounds like a good one.
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April 19th, 2013, 23:01
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Really? Which of those games are story-telling classics? Enlighten us.

Of the five games he mentions, I'm familiar with all of them except Earthbound. I thought the story in Chrono Trigger was really good, but I wouldn't quite call it a "classic" in that department. The others aren't even close to that label imo.
I think there is some confusion between classic games and classic storytelling, particularly in the original article.

Earthbound, Chrono Trigger and FFIV are three of the most highly regarded games of the SNES era, and are all great games. That said, Earthbound's story is quirky and mildly humorous, but not very memorable. I'm not sure why the author used that one as an example. FFVI had a great story for its time - much more melodramatic than a lot of stuff from that period, but it is fairly cliche by today's standards. CT was likewise interesting for the time, but doesn't hold up as well over the years.

I personally would consider Mass Effect as being close to classic, at least in terms of video game storylines. I loved the story in that series and was sad to see it end.
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April 20th, 2013, 00:27
Heck, i could would buy a rpg without story or plot if thr combat part was good enough. As long as you can improve your skills and equipment i am glad.
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April 20th, 2013, 00:57
Of course they don't need combat!

You could have a treasure hunting RPG. When you find a treasure chest you get xp and cash. XP can be used to improve your rock climbing skills, your language skills, perception skills, tracking skills, lock picking, and so on. Money can be used to buy maps, a GPS system, or, if your languages skills aren't up to it, translate clues. (That might risk of the translator running out after the chest himself, though!) Chests will be located on mountains, in forests, in caves, underwater, whatever.
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April 20th, 2013, 01:46
I think maybe 27 people would buy Zloth's game and they all live in Sweden. Swedes are weird that way. Tactical combat has ALWAYS been at the very core of roleplaying games. Look at any of the old game manuals and what do they concentrate on most? Combat mechanics. Stats in the monster manuals? Combat abilities. It's just obtuse to suggest otherwise, and there's already a genre called "adventure games" that is what the author of that piece wants RPGs to be. It's bad enough that the combat in RPGs has gone from tactical to action game style button mashing, but now people are suggesting it should be removed entirely? For fucks sake, hasn't the RPG genre been bastardized and watered down enough? I don't even think the genre exists anymore, it's been so warped and twisted over the years. This is just more evidence that what are hardcore gamers now were called casual gamers ten years ago, and what are casual gamers now were called non-gamers ten years ago. Now all the pundits and gurus are trying to figure out how to make computer games that appeal to people who don't even like computer games. Pure genius.

————————edit

It does look like that zombie game being made by Doublebear doesn't require combat, and doesn't encourage it, either. And I'd still call it an RPG from what I've seen in the demos. Maybe an exception? Of course, there's no way to know how fast people are going to run out of non-combat things they are interested in doing, yet.
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April 20th, 2013, 09:31
Originally Posted by CraigCWB View Post
Tactical combat has ALWAYS been at the very core of roleplaying games. Look at any of the old game manuals and what do they concentrate on most? Combat mechanics. Stats in the monster manuals? Combat abilities.
Role playing games existed before all these games. Role playing games existed before D&D.
They were used in other sectors than entertainment, psychiatry for example.

When role playing games were imported to the entertainment sector, they appeared first as a declension of wargames. You need to start from somewhere as delivering a whole set of rules and mechanics from the very start is difficult if not impossible. Wargames were used as a platform to build on.

The final point though must not inherit all the characteristics of the starting point.

The focus of a role playing game has always been roleplaying. For combat focused games, other names exist like for example war games.

It's bad enough that the combat in RPGs has gone from tactical to action game style button mashing,
The turn sequence "UgoIgo" does not allow tactics. There is no tactics in it. On the contrary, some action games do allow tactics. A FPS, for example might include tactics.
"UgoIgo" destroys too much the relationship to time and tactics are time related.
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April 20th, 2013, 10:24
Combat is the main activity in most games because combat is tried, tested, simple and easy to implement. Developers and players alike are used to it and know what to expect. It's safe. Of course you can have lots of different weapons, spells or whatever, but however complicated your combat system is, the basic type of encounter is usually a fight to the death, the standard action an attack. You may also evade or defend, but basically you attack. Typically, game worlds are filled with hostiles who attack the player on sight, unless the player attacks first.

A testament to this predicament is that whenever developers try to implement something else, the result is likely some awful minigame or irritating quick time event.

At least you sometimes have elaborate systems around the central theme of conflict and violence. A popular activity is collecting herbs and ingredients for potions, for instance. In games like Skyrim or Two Worlds this activity is entirely optional. But I can imagine a game centered on it. Instead of the usual combat super hero, you would play a weak alchemist, somebody who would stand no chance at all in a fight without powerful potions. There would still be situations of conflict and violence, but the main game would consist of exploration and research, gathering knowledge and ingredients.
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April 20th, 2013, 10:27
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
Role playing games existed before all these games. Role playing games existed before D&D.
They were used in other sectors than entertainment, psychiatry for example.

When role playing games were imported to the entertainment sector, they appeared first as a declension of wargames. You need to start from somewhere as delivering a whole set of rules and mechanics from the very start is difficult if not impossible. Wargames were used as a platform to build on.
Gygax & co. certainly didn't use wargames just because they needed something as a basis. They did it because they were experienced wargamers. It was not intended to only be a starting point.

The focus of a role playing game has always been roleplaying. For combat focused games, other names exist like for example war games.
Not of the genre that has been called RPG on electronic devices. For those, combat has been the focus.

In the end, it solely comes down to what the consumer wants. Like I said, I could see a certain segment of casual gamers going for a "My Little Farm" RPG without combat; but for the crowd that actually consider themselves RPG players, I have no doubt that sales of games with combat (as an option) will always remain above the sales of combat-less games.

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April 20th, 2013, 13:17
Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
Gygax & co. certainly didn't use wargames just because they needed something as a basis. They did it because they were experienced wargamers. It was not intended to only be a starting point.
They were experienced wargamers and did not want to capitalize on their experience? That is indeed possible.


Not of the genre that has been called RPG on electronic devices. For those, combat has been the focus.
There is no reason to change the meaning of something when it is done on computers.
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April 20th, 2013, 13:19
Originally Posted by Mr Smiley View Post
Combat is the main activity in most games because combat is tried, tested, simple and easy to implement. Developers and players alike are used to it and know what to expect. It's safe.
That is one possibility. Players are very conservative so they keep asking for the same.
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April 20th, 2013, 13:30
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
There is no reason to change the meaning of something when it is done on computers.
unless the constraints of that device render a 1:1 translation impossible. Which is the case with RPGs.

Having combat as an option in a game will always be superior to simply not having that option - although it can be argued if combat always has to be as viable as other approaches.

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April 20th, 2013, 16:35
If the translation is considered or known impossible, there is no reason to call a video game a RPG.

It would simply mean there can not be RPGs on computers.

The impossibility of doing is no justification for pretending it is done.
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April 20th, 2013, 16:41
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
If the translation is considered or known impossible, there is no reason to call a video game a RPG.

It would simply mean there can not be RPGs on computers.

The impossibility of doing is no justification for pretending it is done.
IOW, "there have never been any RPG's on PC, only games called RPG's". That was so very predictable coming from you.

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April 20th, 2013, 18:07
unless the constraints of that device render a 1:1 translation impossible.
If indeed this is the case, there is no reason to call a video game a RPG.

There is no natural, divine law or whatever stating that RPGs must exist as video games.

As to myself, I never stated that there have never been RPGs on PC, only games called RPGs.

Another brilliant thing is that the claim comes with "" as if it was quotation

"there have never been any RPG's on PC, only games called RPG's".
Low quality fabrication.
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April 20th, 2013, 19:52
ChienAboyeur,

Role playing games existed before all these games. Role playing games existed before D&D. They were used in other sectors than entertainment, psychiatry for example.

You're being semantic. That's usually a sign somebody knows their argument doesn't stand on its own. I'm not going to participate in that. If you'd like to walk it back and talk about the subject at hand then I'll be happy to take another look at what you're saying.

I noticed in the middle-part of your comment, you decided to be overly complicated. That's an attempt to obfuscate. Another thing I have no patience for.

The turn sequence "UgoIgo" does not allow tactics. There is no tactics in it. On the contrary, some action games do allow tactics. A FPS, for example might include tactics.

That's just silly. For somebody who likes to argue semantics and engage in obfuscation, I'm a bit surprised you so readily exposed yourself as somebody who doesn't even know the dictionary definition of words he's explaining to the ignorant masses
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