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March 22nd, 2010, 18:53
Nothing I say is getting through, is it?
Stealthing is overpowered in the real-world. Ever hear of the "element of surprise" or "taking them unawares"? Wonder why the assassins who avoid getting caught tend to stick with surprise attacks? Why absolutely no one who has any desire to win a confrontation, of any sort, ever begins by informing their opponents of their moves or intention? Because stealth is overpowered.
Good grief, I'm beginning to think gamers have actually come to embrace the AI development and balancing shortcomings that have led to the Rambo-approach becoming the most effective tactic…
No, it's getting through but thanks for the classy comment. I know that stealth is overpowered *IN THE REAL-WORLD*. And as I pointed out, my arguments are not for real-world logic, they are for game design. Nor is Alpha Protocol a realistic game. You have seen some of the characters already, you have seen some of the abilities used, you have seen that Thorton take bullets without flinching, you have seen health meters for bosses. The gameplay is not trying to be realistic. I don't want every game (even set in a semi-real world like AP) to have a stealth approach always be a superior choice.

And no, I most certainly don't endorse the rambo-approach. In fact, a main worry I have about AP is that if you put your points towards being a combat guy, then the game will become a cakewalk where you just move on and mow down whatever comes at you. I hope it's not true, but I fear it will be.
Furthermore, I'm the biggest supporter of inserting more of the "combat should be the last way out and be dangerous" mindset into the RPG genre, but I can see that games are designed differently from one another. It's been clear from the start that part of AP's design has been to allow a "running and gunning" type of playthrough, and starting from there, it should've been clear that this isn't a realistic game we're speaking of.

…however, that leaves me with the same infallible recourse I used last: the broken mechanics of one game need not reflect on another.
It's like hitting yourself in the head, cringing at the pain, then doing it again. Why not…I don't know…stop? You're essentially arguing that, merely because everyone else has and/or is in the process of doing so, AP should hop on board.
No, I'm pointing out that previous games, some of which are fantastic *games*, are "guilty" of the same crime. This is because gameplay is more important than realism. Some games are more realistic than others, and that does not speak of whether a game is good or not. I for one love playing some realistic games, but just because I like those games does not mean that I think every game should move towards that type of design. And again, very few RPGs have been about realism. This doesn't mean that the games were bad or not fun to play.

Hell, I wouldn't want to make a game like Fallout more hardcore. A game that is set in a dangerous wasteland, and that uses a number of real weapons. I wouldn't want to re-load my game each time my guy is hit with a firearm in a dangerous or semi-dangerous location. I bet the game's current gameplay is too "hardcore" for most people.

If a character with "zero points" in the relevant skill were still able to play "the game as a shotgun guy," well, that's simply a hallmark case of poor game design, with particular regard to balancing and implementation of skills.
Yes, and that is why they changed it to a better way (if it indeed was this way, I have no idea), where the players skill point allocation actually matters.

Again, stealth guys are inherently overpowered.
Besides, proper implementation of other game mechanics, such as an AI response to sound, would prohibit the more intelligent players from taking on the role of "shotgun guy" in any but the most extreme circumstances. After all, if you're aware, as a player, that the shotgun you chance across will allow you to level the next few baddies with little to no effort, yet bring the rest of the compound forces down on your head, set off alarms like mad and generally turn your stealth approach from a master stroke into an utter waste, why do it? Stealth kills would be such players natural forte, yet they should not be prohibited from using a shotgun if the case arises in which they desire to.
Really, this reads like the very case you cited (and I despise, as well): the D&D mentality of a character's inability to even equip something if they lack the proper proficiency.
Because once again, it's a game where character creation is (hopefully) important and will (hopefully) shape how you play. The entire focus of the game is how you will choose to play, reap the benefits of that playstyle and your specialization as well as accept the consequences of the skills you do not choose to raise. If you know that you can dispatch enemies with a weapon you have 0 skill in, then that fact takes away from the specialization.

Since shotguns are a real thing, you're not gonna get a realistic representation of them in a game where "shotguns" is a seperate skill to raise (if you're arguing against the fact that shotguns are a seperate skill, which I could understand, then that opens up a whole other discussion). What are you gonna "fill" the 10 steps of skill allocation with? Reload times, recoils, weapon mods? If the skill allocation scale is actually gonna matter in any way in gameplay (which is obviously important in a RPG), you're gonna have to put in absolutely silly reload times or ginormous recoils. There is the "diceroll to hit" approach. And here we have the AP approach which has the combination of worse aim (which gets better the longer you aim if I understand things correctly) and damage.

Action-RPGs are obviously finicky because often the player can override the skill allocation with his own skills (which is why I tend to not like action-RPGs), but whereas the AP way may be crude in the sense that seeing someone take a shotgun blast to the gut and not die or be wounded extensively can hurt "immersion", I much prefer that *if* it means that the points I spend matter in significant ways and if I know that I can expect a different type of playthrough when I decide to replay the game and put points in other skills.

Obviously I can't comment on the specifics of the "ruleset" because I haven't played it (and I'm quite sure there are a number of things I won't like), I'm arguing from the point of the skills that we know are there now, and how to have them balanced.
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