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Default System Shock 2 - Can you help me enjoy it?

September 21st, 2013, 05:29
I started play system Shock 2 for the first time. I had enjoyed SS1 but the controls made me gave up, SS2 unlike SS1 never been released on Mac and remind SS1 controls discouraged me try it later.

Opportunity of a Gog sale for a version including a Mac installer pushed me buy the game and play it. First one or two hours was great, and it was great to quote the new controls redesigned and quite good. Then I started get lost often and encounter more and more random (repetitive) encounters, close combat fights then started bored me more and more and the repetition didn't help. And now I'm in front of a game I wonder how I could enjoy it.

Clearly the game has plenty great points, at least its beginning, but I have a real trouble to enjoy the fights and I lost easily so I skyrocket the spawning. I wonder how I could approach it and play it to be able to enjoy it. Any suggestion?
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September 21st, 2013, 07:39

SS2 Unified & Revamped .mis mods v1.14

SS2 Zygoptera 'Ultimate' Spawn Mod

The second one includes the first and has an added option to allow only worms spawning.

Keep in mind re-spawning is an inherent part of this game.
Running along a corridor when you're out of bullets and coming face to face with a shotgun hybrid who popped up out of nowhere is fun.

Seriously, leave respawning on. Otherwise, you hurt the game experience.

(But if you want to break the game, that's none of my business.)

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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September 21st, 2013, 07:43
It's an exercise in efficiency, without a doubt.
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September 21st, 2013, 09:38
His question just doesn't compute.

It's sort of like asking for help in enjoying sex.
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September 21st, 2013, 13:11
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post

SS2 Unified & Revamped .mis mods v1.14

SS2 Zygoptera 'Ultimate' Spawn Mod

The second one includes the first and has an added option to allow only worms spawning.

Keep in mind re-spawning is an inherent part of this game.
Thanks I could try that. I get lost easily, forget where are stuff, wonder if there's a detail I didn't quote so try go back, and more. So I wanderer a lot more, so I get a lot more spawning. When triggered the same feeling that some (great) JRPG I never finished, "not again, I'm bored of those fights spawning", then I wondered if I could find a solution instead of just adding it to the long list of classics I never played.
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
Running along a corridor when you're out of bullets and coming face to face with a shotgun hybrid who popped up out of nowhere is fun.
That's the other part of my question, even before having too many respawn I found the fights rather boring and uninteresting. But I wonder if it's because I'm sort of stuck in a negative feeling, and in fact the fights are rather deep, diversified and interesting.

Firstly get different monsters that all look similar zombies generated a "ho no not again". Secondly the respawn generated a JRPG feeling. The resurrect system plus the fights repetition made me quickly abuse of resurrect and not care much and manage fights as duty to get rid of. So I wonder if there's really something to dig in those fights to find them fun?

Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
Seriously, leave respawning on. Otherwise, you hurt the game experience.

(But if you want to break the game, that's none of my business.)
I don't think you can realize how much I get lost and wanderer a lot more than what you did, nor how much I can forget do this or that. We don't have at all the same gameplay in this game, I have about 10 time more respawn than would have the theoretical progression.

Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
It's an exercise in efficiency, without a doubt.
Not really there's a sort of infinite live system and two kills are enough to give you a free relive, so it's not difficult, it's repetitive and boring, at Normal difficulty.

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
His question just doesn't compute.
It's sort of like asking for help in enjoying sex.
JDR can you keep your gay dreams for yourself? It's fine you are gay but it's not elegant to make your coming out here.
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September 21st, 2013, 14:30
You can run out of things like ammo if you aren't careful.
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September 21st, 2013, 15:50
You can? I'd wrote you will. I doubt you can do the first level without a significant amount of close combat.

My bet is I should try restart the game, and use a different approach, more cautious, try be smarter, and track notes better to optimize exploration, I think the game could have warned about this respawn mechanism. For the close combat fights I should try apply a more positive behavior, they are good, they are smart, they are deep, they are diversified… :-)

EDIT: About respawn I bet there's points that trigger respawn isn't it? My bet is it's points in maps and progression points in maps.
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September 21st, 2013, 21:36
Well I don't even understand why I get the spaming spawning, I was looking at a let play and the bastard hadn't a single spawning crap. But for sure it wasn't a discovering of the game and he was rushing, searching nothing and knowing where everything is, he still get slightly lost a few time.

I suppose the spaming is generated along time, I hate RPG that penalizes me because I take my time to play. Slow pace is in my opinion the only pace that can work for a full fledged RPG, to let time to search, analyze, solve puzzles, make fights, explore corners, read informations including non main story information, and more.

But the spawning is just plain naive and basic in this game, and the fights, now I'm sure, are as much naive and basic. And really the zombie and "horror" thing is awfully outdated and inefficient (but ok that can happen).

It's a pain they spoiled so many great design elements because of this crap (mainly the fights and respawn crap). I wish Ultima Underworld series and SS1 (that hadn't that respawn crap) had the controls of SS2. Good overall scheme, if the game doesn't except I'm using during action the 32 different shortcuts to use the different items lol. The only missing elements is a shortcut to open the pad and well the lack of subtitles isn't cool even if I understand the reasons.

Well perhaps another time I'll be able to enjoy it (no sexual reference, joy isn't only coming from sex) but for now I failed.
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September 21st, 2013, 22:29
System Shock 2 wants you to progress in the game. The respawning is just a method to generate constant pressure for the player.
It is a design decision that fits for a game that belongs to the horror shocker CRPG genre.

After a certain time, at some points in the game respawn happens.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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September 22nd, 2013, 12:10
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
System Shock 2 wants you to progress in the game. The respawning is just a method to generate constant pressure for the player.
It is a design decision that fits for a game that belongs to the horror shocker CRPG genre.

After a certain time, at some points in the game respawn happens.
I watch two video and both was showing the mechanism wasn't working at all for the first level, both get rewarded by the game for their awful playing.

Both didn't get any respawn and time pressure, the first because it was a stupid rush he even forgot about half of the level. The second was a true let's play and he get lost multiple time but wasn't reading anything, was barely listen anything and wasn't searching anything, so he wins a lot of time through his bad play and also get rewarded by the game with no respawn.

And both didn't get any pressure showing the system is a total failure and failed implement any pressure.

Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post

SS2 Unified & Revamped .mis mods v1.14

SS2 Zygoptera 'Ultimate' Spawn Mod
Anyway I haven't really give up yet, so I tried the mods path but those you quoted was from 2007, at least the first. So instead, at same site, I tried the Mods Newbie Guide, which involves a boring series of mods install.

Alas it ended with a door type with just a black texture or no texture, which is very unpleasant, I don't even find useful all the textures enhancement but I saw there's also some gameplay fixes and perhaps I'd prefer get them.

Still have to try the no respawn mod, at least now the game installed is ready for mods.

Well I think I'll take the no respawn mod path, anyway I saw bad players get rewarded and get no respawn so I don't see the problem of playing it smarter and deeper and be rewarded too. :-)
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September 22nd, 2013, 23:29
Not that anybody care but well, so I sticked and gave up use no respawn because I was worry to block a grinding possibility. Not that I like grinding but because I wouldn't want be in the state of wishing continue play and not be able because I disabled the respawn.

So it went much better the level after, firstly most spawning end be not that hard to kill and secondly you get a full healing device right beside the resurrect point. And it stopped the irritating chain of death, resurrect, low health, few error, death again, resurrect, low health, and so on.

I progressed further and frankly got multiple "tired of this crap" because the chain quoted above came back and because combats are great only when you find a way to avoid them or cheat them (sic). I stopped for now because some "I'm tired of this". But I don't regret and I'll come back to it, it was well worth the effort and the bad parts or the bad elements. I continue think the game is approximative in his management of health and ammo, weak in fights design, doesn't work at all for any horror aspect, and that the respawn is very bad when it starts spread too much. But there's many great element too. So overall my current feeling is it's sometimes irritating but often great.
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September 24th, 2013, 00:38
Never once even thought the word "respawn" while playing the game. Guess that's because they did it just right (at least for me).
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September 24th, 2013, 01:53
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
His question just doesn't compute.

It's sort of like asking for help in enjoying sex.
Best rpgwatch quote in awhile.
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September 24th, 2013, 05:35
Originally Posted by Ihaterpg View Post
I wish Ultima Underworld series and SS1 (that hadn't that respawn crap) had the controls of SS2.
For the record, there's plenty of respawning in SS1 eg the Hopper near the Reactor elevator is blatant at the very least. There's also a heap of event based spawning too eg blow the nodes in medical and a squad of drones spawn in and attack you.

Originally Posted by HiddenX
The second one includes the first and has an added option to allow only worms spawning.
Fairly sure it's the first includes the second, not the other way around.
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September 25th, 2013, 04:31
Originally Posted by CrazyIrish View Post
Never once even thought the word "respawn" while playing the game. Guess that's because they did it just right (at least for me).
It's because you played fast enough. I agree that when it went smooth the respawn was working well, particularly when it occurs not close and you notice only later.

If not it becomes rather weird and the respawn is then very unnatural and involves too many repetitive simple fights. But if you like the simple fights or never get any troubles with them then even that won't be a problem for you.

But clearly the game need fillers through respawn when you need get back in some area. The simplistic design of the respawn is the problem that could make it very weak. Adn the simple fights it generates is the other problem.
Originally Posted by Zygo View Post
For the record, there's plenty of respawning in SS1 eg the Hopper near the Reactor elevator is blatant at the very least. There's also a heap of event based spawning too eg blow the nodes in medical and a squad of drones spawn in and attack you.
I don't remember that parts, but reading you it's localized designed respawn, not simple generic systematic respawn thrown everywhere as filler (which I repeat could work, or not). I don't say respawn is always bad but it's a tool that requires more than just simple fillers as it is used too often and I can quote many games like that, The Witcher for example.

For me, it's a combination, that made it too often very bad:
- Basic respawn generating repetition.
- Simple non interesting fights generated by the respawn.
- Quote sometime too obvious weird respawn because done too close from your position, it's just weird.
- Realize that when you lost time to read the stuff in double of audio you get some respawn close by, it's rather irritating.

If only I had fun with the fights generated by the respawn it would be fine. Also I agree that past level 1 made very slowly, the troubles was less important and then I got more troubles from the fights+healing difficulties+not be able to guaranty not been hurt during the crap fights, yeah a part of my fault.

EDIT: And link the respawn to a pressure management seems to me totally fake or not working at all. It's a filler.

EDIT2: Well ok great game anyway that every player should at least try. :-)
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September 25th, 2013, 11:08
Originally Posted by Ihaterpg View Post
I don't remember that parts, but reading you it's localized designed respawn, not simple generic systematic respawn thrown everywhere as filler (which I repeat could work, or not).
It isn't directed and is pretty much directly equivalent to the SS2 system, I just gave one of the most obvious (and annoying) examples from SS1. There's also the inviso mutants on Maintenance and… well, if you want to check you can have a look at the ICEBreaker game guide where there's a detailed breakdown of respawning. It occurs on every level in the game and it is based on the same general population level system used in SS2. SS1 may mask it better by having larger levels, but it's there are certainly noticeable enough to have been remarked on.
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September 25th, 2013, 13:00
Ok then same complain for SS1.

Why I don't have this complain for a game like The Witcher… It's just because the crap respawn in some area of the game was for me relatively fun to fight. I consider it's a crap design of The Witcher but it didn't bother me, or very few.

Those for SS2 bother me and for SS1 I don't remember and anyway for it the controls stopped me continue play it, it's a long time ago and I don't remember well.

As an example of respawn implementation I enjoyed a lot by itself, there's EYE Divine Cybermancy, and more for some levels.

About the masking point, it's really something that can work very bad in SS2. Moreover I think I reach a state in SS2 first level which requires lost time in it without to progress. I never quoted since bad respawn points as much. But later sometimes get once more the single mutant encounter was tedious.

I have played ton of RPG without respawn despite a large wandering and re wandering and no way it requires fillers to avoid empty levels. And it's fine in case it's really in the logic to throw once or even two respawn in an area but not just simple systematic respawn time managed but one or two designed respawn. One use fillers the other use design.
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