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December 8th, 2012, 09:57
A good tool to part this from that is when NPCs are involved.

In a RPG, NPCs act according to their role. it means that they should be partially to totally independent of the PC.

So it goes to the the famous party-based games.

The idea of role playing a party is mind crushing. It might be possible but heavily stressing.

Anytime, a party is potentially playable by one player only, big chances the game is not a RPG but a war game, skirmish level. You are just the strategic commander of a small band of adventurer.

When looking at BG, the devolution on this side is clear. BG made the choice of trying to import RPG to computers by emulating table experience and bringing proxies for the other players involved in a P&P game(since online gaming was not that available) The idea was that as technology allows, the emulation of the other party members would get better.

BG has some dimension of that, with NPCs acting by themselves on certain opportunities, leaving what could not be delivered properly to the PC.

FO has also a similar dimension.

As years passed, the slider did not go toward making NPC involved in a party more independent of the PC but more dependent, going to give all control to the player.

I expect Dead State on that point. They stated they wanted to go on the partially controlled party members way. Probably not for RPG concerns by the way as they want to deliver a game expressing the tension that can exist among a group of people in apost apocalypse settings. Giving total control on the NPCs will allow to game the tension management easily. A member is near the breaking point. If partially controlled, he might snap during the next mission, jeopardizing the outcome. Fully controlled, it is all up to the player to succeed in the mission to rebuild confidence.
They also stated they know they will have to patch to adjust that dimension. For RPG players, this dimension is no concern as it is essential in a RPG. For war gamers, it is unbearable as the deployment of the strategy(the essential in war gaming) is spoiled by this dimension.
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