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February 15th, 2007, 04:17
I don't agree regarding TB multiplayer. If you and your buddy have connections with different speeds, TB is the way to level the playing field. I don't get up and go to the bathroom during RT multiplayer games, and I wouldn't do so on a TB game, either -- at least, not unless I'd sent out a "Bio-Break!" ping to everybody.

For me, at an easy and simple level, it breaks down to strategy versus action. RT gets my blood pumping, and TB gets my puzzle-solving gears spinning. Both are good.

I do think that a game has to be specifically designed for one or the other, though. NWN2, for example, isn't meant to be played paused. It's too easy (on Normal mode) when you can simply slot up everybody's actions and tell them what to do. I've died all of three times, all on the same fight (and all because I wanted to try out a new character and left one of my regular followers back at home during a tough fight). Since I'm working crunch and trying to be a good father when I get home from working crunch, "Easy" is about my speed, so I'm still pausing and puppeting -- but I'm under no illusion that I'm a strategic genius for doing so.

So (to get back on track) my argument is that most current RT games wouldn't work well as TB, because they don't have the strategic difficulty to provide a challenge in a TB game. The "whoah, man, what is that follower doing now?" factor is built into the assumed difficulty, and the game doesn't have enough tactical considerations (you do more damage if standing here, this combat mode is the best for this opponent/terrain, etc) to make turn-based combat actually interesting.

And since building a game that WOULD support that level of difficulty at a turn-based setting would make RT-play difficult or impossible, it becomes an either-or (with some in the middle, like the NWN family's "action queue" that lets you pause and then effectively manage turn by turn).

And frankly, anything that takes away the visceral thrill of spraying blood costs the game sales. Anything that slows the game down means that it's not going to sell as many copies. If you build a combat engine that will kill the player unless he pauses and strategizes every few seconds (thus turning a RT game into a TB game), you've made it too difficult for it to sell to The Casual Gamer(tm).

Which sucks. But there you go.
PatrickWeekes is offline




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