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February 15th, 2007, 18:34
Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
If a monster attacks ME then I will draw MY sword and slaughter him.
To put it as an extreme : Now, not you draw your sword and slaughter the monster, but the dexterity of your mouse-finger does.

Realtime combat is a thing of swift, qick movements and fast thinking, or rather not thinking but rather relying on intuition and reflexes.

Okay, one could say this is like it would happen if this was real, so it is a representation of combat that comes closest to reality, but it is my opinion that this leaves the brain totally out.

If a single fight is a measure between reflexes, intuition and the hardness of steel & armor, then what do we do within a greater battle ? we need someone having the overview, overlooking the mess we call a "battle".

In acient times (reality this time), it was common practise to have one general standing on a small hill with hise elite guards around him, who would oversee the battle between two or even more factions and issue forth the needed commands to - let's say draw the left flank of the own troops away from the storming hordes, because they come mounted.

In RPGs, we have either games with only one character, who doesn't need a general at all, or with a party. Okay, we could sday like in Blizzards games : Let us do the hirelings what they seem fit. Means : They do what they regard as essential for a) survival and b) "clearing" the battlefield from the hordes.

But this implies that we actually need a good AI, or at least one that is programmed so that the hirelings won't die in the first place. I mean that an actually dumb AI is no good for hirelings, then.

Okay, they could go after the rule "fight the first one, then the next one etc.", but this is tricky if the "next one" is actually better (stronger, faster, better armor, better sword or everything altogether) than the single hireling.

What we need then, is some kind of AI that lets the hirelings work together against a single opponent at a time. Two or more are always stronger than one. (Roughly said.)
But I don't think Blizzard has implemented that, for example. At least I cannot remember. Dungeon Siege has it, as I found out in the last week.

However, what we still need nevertheless is one PLAYER, the person before the screen, who directs the troops towards the enemies. He or she is the GENERAL.

He or she is actually the only person within this whole party-based RPG that has the total overview on the battle. (No wonder why.)

Remember : this is still role-playing. If we had a game that included an General for the party, then we would have an strategy game, not an role-playing game anymore.

But still, I could imagine that this would be fun : Having a party with swords and spells, being directed by a general crying words of command towards them (while possibly being within a fight himself, but that wouldn't work well, because the overview is traditionally gained only while standing on a hill looking over everything else).
Sounds fun to me.

However, in party-based games, we have a General, and that is the player. So, if this leans towards strategy, where is the difference between a strategy game and a role-playing game, then ?

I leave this up to you.

Subnote : This is why I prefer turn-based combat before real-time combat : I amthe General and am able to give my troops (the party, actually) the commands they need to survive that fight.

In real-time fights, am still the General, but I don't give commands like I do in turn-based games, at least not in traditional RT-based games.

Thus, in my opinion, RT games must rely *much* more on a good AI than turn-based games.
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