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Default Fallout 3 - Distinctions between VATS and RTwP

March 11th, 2008, 02:01
On Briosafreak's Post Nuclear Blog today, there's a very informative article by Jay Woodward on the differences between VATS and your typical RTwP setup. Here's a snip:
One key distinction between VATS and RTwP is that VATS provides a tactical view, complete with chance-to-hit percentages, much like the aimed shot display from the original Fallout, presented in the actual game view as a HUD overlay. This isnít just eye candy; the percentages are exactly reflecting whatís going to happen ďbehind the scenes.Ē Thatís quite unlike any RTwP system Iím familiar with.
You can read it all here.
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March 11th, 2008, 02:02
Every time I read one of these articles, I just think, why screw the pooch and make this friggin' thing real-time? Fallout combat, though lackluster when compared to some other tactical RPGs (like ToEE or JA2) is still, at its very heart, turn-based. This, more than anything else, is the game-breaker for me and why I may never buy/play this game.

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March 11th, 2008, 06:02
Apparently TB combat doesn't sell well enough. Out of curiosity has anyone made a TB tatical game for consols?
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March 11th, 2008, 06:10
Well, ok… they give us more information when we pause the game in VATS than any other RTwP game, but how does that mean that what they're doing isn't RTw/P, exactly? It doesn't. They added information to the pause, not changed its basic nature as a time flow control mechanism.

As to the "heavily slowed down enemies, sped up character" thing when we unpause the game again… ok, that's not standard RTw/P. Obviously I can't say how it'll "feel" playing it — RadHamster suggests it feels like taking a turn, but me, I'm skeptical as to whether I'll feel that way about it myself. It's simply not a turn in any way shape or form — but the whole idea of slowing time down that way by entering a combat mode just seems incredibly lame to me. In a Marvel Comics universe, maybe, but not Fallout.

All in all, it just strikes me as more random flailing, trying to convince people that something is what it really isn't.

Am not impressed, either by the attempted PR or by the new info on VATS (I didn't know time itself would be fupped uk after unpausing and that I'd be goin' all Neo on people. I thought that was just going to apply to a spectacularly gory head shot or something once in a blue moon).

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March 11th, 2008, 08:22
Originally Posted by V7 View Post
Apparently TB combat doesn't sell well enough. Out of curiosity has anyone made a TB tatical game for consols?
As far as I know, most of tactical games for consoles are turnbased (final fantasy tactics, for example).
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March 11th, 2008, 10:23
Willy: Why are you complaining about them slowing down time when in TB games time is stopped all together for everyone but the PC taking the turn. Having the enemies actually move rather then just stand still makes the attack missing the enemy more realistic. In regular TB combat you are just supposed to believe that that attack just missed the enemy while it was just standing there doing nothing.

I do like TB combat except for the fact that it is not very realistic but now that I know that time is slowed down and paused during combat sequences in this game I think I will like it better.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that from what it sounds like your skills will determine how fast you will go during combat.
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March 11th, 2008, 10:33
Like everything else I have seen … this just keeps me on the 'hope for the best, prepare for the worst' path …

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March 11th, 2008, 12:33
neither TB or RT are really realistic and both have their problems. I'm still waiting for something that hits the right amout of middle ground. Phased-combat, while close, is not there but the best we have I guess.

I'm taking a negative view, so if it is even half-way decent: I should be surprised and happy. But I'm not going to be rushing out to buy the thing asap.
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March 11th, 2008, 12:41
Originally Posted by 15th View Post
neither TB or RT are really realistic and both have their problems.
Well, for single player, is there anything more 'realistic' than what is offered by FPS? But then the fact that you can absorb thousands of bullets and get magically healed by a little red vial or red cross package wipes all of that out

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March 11th, 2008, 15:34
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
Well, for single player, is there anything more 'realistic' than what is offered by FPS?
No, there isn't — not if the game's a simulation. If it were more about stimulating imagination, then sure. There are plenty of "unrealistic" ways to do that.

It's sort of like how there are different kinds of scary movies. Some offer graphic violence shown in more and more detail while others try to creatively manipulate your imagination. Since the first RPGs relied exclusively on imagination, you might think they would have more in common with the latter.

While I enjoy the first-person perspective, I like to think computer games will come back around to that eventually.

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March 11th, 2008, 15:41
It's arguable that the combat system in Dwarf Fortress is more realistic than most first/third person systems. It models injury to body parts and organs, the mental and physical effects of being injured, as well as complete or partial recovery from injury. E.g., if you're badly wounded in the head, you risk being brain-damaged, and end up spending the rest of your days in bed, being watered and fed by your friends. Limbs don't magically grow back either.

Tricky thing, realism.
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March 11th, 2008, 16:00
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
Willy: Why are you complaining about them slowing down time when in TB games time is stopped all together for everyone but the PC taking the turn. Having the enemies actually move rather then just stand still makes the attack missing the enemy more realistic. In regular TB combat you are just supposed to believe that that attack just missed the enemy while it was just standing there doing nothing.
It's the level of abstraction. Turn-based combat — my perception of it anyway; yours apparently differs in that you believe enemies to simply be standing there doing nothing when its not their turn — is not even remotely supposed to be an accurate portrayal of the real-time nature of a fight. People simply don't take turns at all, graciously allowing someone to wail away on them like they appear to in TB combat. That places TB combat immediately into the realm of "abstract fight" rather than "realistic fight" where the moves and counter moves are given precedence over the thrill and the action.

RT is the opposite of that. It's meant to look and feel realistic. It's meant to get the blood pumping.

What VATS appears to be doing with its time-slowing option is to be abstracting combat, but poorly enough that it doesn't sound like it will present itself as as abstraction. Rather, it seems to me as if it will simply seem like my character will possess a funky ability to slow down time in the literal sense.

That's why I'm complaining about it.

As I said, I obviously don't know that this will be the case, not having seen or played the system. What I've read about it, though, doesn't inspire much confidence in this regard. Real time combat is not abstract; it's literal. Fallout combat was abstract. VATS… VATs is something in between, but ultimately I'm going to perceive it as being one or the other; is it a game play abstraction like hit points and armour class, or is it an in situ character- or setting-related ability to slow down time itself? If the latter, then it simply doesn't belong in Fallout, IMO. If the former… cool

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March 11th, 2008, 16:07
Erm … we are talking about a GAME taking place in post apocalyptic version of the 50'ies where the protagonist is fighting huge super-mutants, ghouls, giant scorpions/rats/geckos and the dreaded deathclaws … how exactly is the concept of realism relevant again?!?

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March 11th, 2008, 16:32
I think Radhamster's (Jay Woodward) point is that VATS feels somewhat like TB since you, like in the original Fallout series, can pause the game and select headshots etc. - and then having a percentage to hit - based on your skills, that this is why VATS seems like TB. Also, the use of action points…like in the old Fallout series.

Having played nearly all the Infinity Engines, I have to say that I don't think that VATS sound that much different from RTwP at all. I mean, in the Infinity Engine games, you also have characters that is on their own individual rounds, you also pause the game, issue commands, and then the action takes place all at once, when you hit the unpause buttons…

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March 11th, 2008, 16:40
Sounds more like the system in FPS games like Max Payne 1&2 and F.E.A.R except instead of very slow motion thers no motion at all - just abstract commands that you can make like 1.Shoot at mutants left foot and then hope your skill was high enough to hit it when you release pause.
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March 11th, 2008, 16:44
Originally Posted by zakhal View Post
Sounds more like the system in FPS games like Max Payne 1&2 and F.E.A.R except instead of very slow motion thers no motion at all(?)
Oh, but there is slow motion, maybe even very slow motion. Todd, Emil and Jay has said on several occasions that when you do a called shot to the body, you will get to see a movie in slow motion. If you gun or rifle makes hit, you will see the head or the leg explode away in slow motion. I'm not sure if this only is valid for critical shots, though.

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March 11th, 2008, 17:04
Originally Posted by fatBastard() View Post
Erm … we are talking about a GAME taking place in post apocalyptic version of the 50'ies where the protagonist is fighting huge super-mutants, ghouls, giant scorpions/rats/geckos and the dreaded deathclaws … how exactly is the concept of realism relevant again?!?
So does that mean that we can just toss in Knights In Shining Armour, Clerics, and Dragons, too? What about Picachu? Can we have that in there too?

I'm not talking "realism" in the overall sense — although you'll still note that gravity still apparently pulls things down, the sun still rises and sets with the passing of each day, etc, in a computer-simulationist kind of way — but verisimilitude: the believability of the game world within its own context (ie. not within our context[/i] here in RL). Deathclaws exist in this universe: that's given. We know where they came from, we know what they do. So what if deathclaws don't exist in our own world? How does that affect their believability in that universe?

When we're talking about setting and story-related considerations — NPCs that developers want us to identify with on a human level, events that makes sense in terms of cause and effect, and yes, Supermutants and Deathclaws — [i]verisimilitude[i/] is of paramount importance.

If all you want to provide is a kewl new bullet feature to slap on the box and lots of pretty blood spatter, then such things won't mean very much at all.

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March 11th, 2008, 18:14
Originally Posted by Willy View Post
verisimilitude: the believability of the game world within its own context (ie. not within our context here in RL).
Sesquipedalianism: characterized by the use of very long words.

IMO, there are plenty of ways for a game world to authenticate the realities it asserts. Insisting that there's only one way or one best way is just being a pain in the ass.

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March 11th, 2008, 21:44
Let me try asking you this then:

Can we have Sonic - the Hedgehog in Fallout 3? I mean one could make a Sonic Fallouty kind of game, blending Sonic, Tails and Big Cat in with say Deathclaws, supermutants, raiders, and ghouls. I mean, both exist in sort of a Fantay world, right?

Or as Brother None once asked on the Bethsoft forum? Can we have a pink (I think it was pink?) elephant in Fallout 3 or maybe unicorns or the Mako or Gorion in Fallout 3?? (notwithstanding the legal problems).

The point is this:

A game world exist in its own right. Within this game world there exists certaain rules that apply to this world. This is what is known as verisimilitude. This means that the rules of the world internally may not be broken when you add something to thr world. As such you really cannot have say unicorns or pink elephants running around in Fallout 3 nor can you suddenly have magick as a big part of the world.

Luckily, Bethesda seems to have understood that magic isn't a big part of the world out world, instead they just think that over the top Quentin Tarantino ironic & satiric violence is. I fear that they Bethsoft, especially maybe Todd Howard can't seem to come over the impact that perk for 'bloody mess' has done to him, when playing the first two Fallout games.

I think the question many Fallout fans, including me, now have: is this satirical 'bloody mess' combat where you see blood & gore & parts flying everywhere when you shoot someone with a critical hit really a part of Fallout? Most Fallout fans, including me, will say *NO*, I feel.

And why is this?

Quite simply, because we understand that Fallout is not just about running around in an open world shooting people while watching their heads or legs explode. While this could be fun, of course, it certainly does not feel like it would be at home in the Fallout universe (at all). Of course, there's a twist to this, since the 'bloody mess' perk is at home in the Fallout universe, but as I understand it, whenever you enter into the VATS combat mode, and choose which body part you want to shoot at, the game first pauses, then unpauses, and you then watch a cinematic video in slow motion. And when the bullet hit, you will see the full impact of the hit. That's suound too me much more like the type of bullet time type combat found in say Max Payne 2 than the original 'bloody mess perk' in the Fallout series.

Of course, there is one than one way to make the game world believable within its own rights. I haven't seen that many objections to Bethsoft's adding a few Radio Stations in the game nor have I seen many objections to Bethsoft's way of handling character creation and possibly a few other things as well.

The thing is still, though: It has to be fit into the pre-existing game world - to make sense in the game's world. Or in the book's or the movie's world: This means that in the Harry Potter universe, Ron and Hermione just suddenly can't be friends with Harry anymore nor can Dumbledore turn out to be a big bully. In the Harry Potter universe, there are thestrals, flying cars and magic. If these things weren't there, it would not be the Harry Potter universe. Likewise, it would not be the Fallout universe if there wasn't the brotherhood of steel, preserving their own way of life.
The brotherhood of steel is not the raiders of the wasteland that beth apparently wants them to be. It does not fit with the overall (established) gameworld…

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March 11th, 2008, 22:27
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
Let me try asking you this then: Can we have Sonic - the Hedgehog in Fallout 3?
So far no one's talking about putting Sonic, pink elephants or Picachu (whatever that is) into Fallout 3 except you guys as examples of bad ideas. I think everyone already knows that bad ideas aren't good ideas.

But your bad ideas are never going to reflect poorly on anyone else, no matter how hard you try. There's just no getting around the fact that those ideas are yours and nobody elses.

Look, I don't blame you guys for wanting Fallout 3 to be a great game and one that Fallout fans would particularly enjoy. I'm all for it. And it may turn out that VATS isn't such a good idea (we'll see).

I'm just balking at some of the rules that are being suggested that I happen to disagree with, the ones about how games work and how people should feel about them.

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