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August 1st, 2018, 10:19
Yeah, it seems some people confuse simplicity with a lack of quality or challenge. I get that.

To me, Chess is a simple and elegant game - and the challenge is, as I said, about how far into the future you can keep track of possible moves. It's extremely taxing on the brain once you go beyond a few turns, and I suppose - to be fair - that's a complex operation. But the rules are simple.

But if you take Civilization and you try to predict more than a few turns once the game has started properly - then your head will explode. You can perhaps predict the overall strategy - but each invididual move with each individual unit - as well as each individual choice, given the wealth of options, makes it impossible for the human mind to accurately predict anything of the sort.

Which is why we've yet been able to create a sufficiently effective AI that will always best even an average human player.

Some people are so fond of certain games that they feel they must defend them against all comments that don't represent universal praise - and that's cool.

It's human to let your own emotional fondness of something cloud your judgment - and I don't hold that against anyone. That said, it won't help your case and will only make you appear irrationally attached to something, when you refute the irrefutable.

But how many of those moves in civilization are actually very similar and won't have a real impact on the result? Not all moves in chess are crucial either, but I think more so than civilization.
The point is that it's not so easy to determine what moves have an impact and what moves don't.

For instance, in Civilization the first moves with the very first unit will arguably have a much, much greater impact - because the sooner you establish your first city - and the sooner you build your first improvement - the better your growth will be, and such things tend to accumulate over time. So, in a way, the early game sets the tone and is more important.

It's a huge misconception to think that complex games are "easy" because you can easily defeat the AI. I mean, of course the singleplayer CHALLENGE is easy to overcome - because there's such complexity and creativity involved that no current AI stands a chance.

However, if you play against a human opponent - the level of creativity and the wealth of options available in a game like Civilization makes it much, much harder to predict - all things being equal.

Obviously, if one player establishes an exploit or has played ten times more- then the game will soon become stale and predictable - but the richer the system, the more exploits are available - and things become even less predictable.

So, from my point of view - a game of Civilization is infinitely more interesting between two evenly matched players.

But that's because I'm much, much more about the game and gameplay - and not about the competition.

The competition is separate from the gameplay. I mean, you can have an exciting competition about who can hold the most icrecream in their underwear.

That's the competition that makes it interesting, and not the icecream and the underwear.

So, I suspect that many people who enjoy Chess - or the challenge of Chess - are really mostly focused on the competitive aspect more than the actual gameplay of Chess as opposed to other games.

In fact, I would say that the simplicity and elegance of Chess is a reason it's such a great competitive game - because there are NO exploits, no random outcomes of any kind. Everything is down to pure math and the ability to keep your head aligned with the very, very simplistic ruleset.

Personally, I no longer find much joy in competition. My ego doesn't control that aspect of my personality anymore.

I used to love it, and I used to love competing in many games.

But, these days, I focus more on the experience of playing the game.
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August 1st, 2018, 10:21
@Dasale

Yeah, yeah - I'm so stupid and you're so smart. The exchange was interesting until it became personal. I suppose it's because I "insulted" you in some way, because I don't love Chess or simplistic indie games focused on endless combat.

But you had some good points, and when you weren't being emotional - you were also logical enough.

I will watch for future comments and engage if there's something to be found. But if you throw a tantrum whenever someone doesn't agree with you, I'm afraid I will have to treat you accordingly.
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August 1st, 2018, 10:44
Originally Posted by Darth Tagnan View Post
@Dasale

Yeah, yeah - I'm so stupid and you're so smart.
So you don't understand my crap english and bother answer my posts?

Where is the problem for you to understand the idiot non sense it is? I don't have time to lost with grammar nazi like you. Even less when they have a natural tendency to hypocritical and manipulative personality.

Don't answer my posts if you can't understand my crap english. This is difficult to understand for you? WOOO
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August 1st, 2018, 10:47
Cool story, Dasale

Now take a deep breath and realise we're just two strangers talking about games. There's no competition.

But if you want to "win" something - will it help if I declare you the winner?

Ok, Dasale has won the Internet today!

Now, let's get back on topic.
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August 1st, 2018, 11:17
Originally Posted by Darth Tagnan View Post
the challenge is, as I said, about how far into the future you can keep track of possible moves. It's extremely taxing on the brain once you go beyond a few turns, and I suppose - to be fair - that's a complex operation. But the rules are simple.
This is what I said.

You said equations and calculations.

Credit where credits due?

@Dasale
Don't worry about Dart. He isn't the type to admit when he's wrong. You'll just have to notice over time that he thought you were right but was too proud to admit it. He can be quite petty!
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August 1st, 2018, 11:34
@SJ and Dasale

Hey, I don't mind saying you won something here. While I struggle to detect any victory based on your positions and arguments - it's not important to me.

So, you won and I lost!

I have a feeling it's really important for you to feel like you've won something. It makes sense given the kinds of games you evidently prefer. It's more about victory and the "competition" against the AI.

I remember something similar when I was ego-driven to that extent. Though, in terms of the art of the debate, I think I was more concerned about being right than just winning a discussion - but whatever floats your boat.

These days, I think a productive exchange is a little more important than being right. When you're used to being right - and I'm sorry to say that's very often the case when you're both rational and not emotionally invested in being right - it gets to be a little boring. I mean, my ego only needs so much fuel in that way - and certainly not much anymore.

So, you were right and I was wrong!

I deeply apologize!

---

Anyway, something interesting did come from this… "discussion" - and that's on the topic of complexity in games.

I failed to realise that I actually do need a certain measure of complexity in my CRPGs before I consider them interesting enough.

That's actually very important - and it's part of the reason I'm so bored with, say, Witcher 3 right now. Because the progression is so simplistic and predictable.

So, a little like Chess - it becomes a matter of prediction within a very limited set of rules. Calculations required to "optimise" whatever build you select are very simple - and not very interesting to me. I mean, I don't think I ever sat down and really thought about what my character should be doing. I just picked Igni - because it worked so well in Witcher 1 - and picked the obvious and optimal route towards maximum damage output.

Unfortunately, most of your optimization actually happens within the first 10 or so levels, and any progression past that point is about very limited and incremental upgrades.

To me, that's boring as hell.

That said, I must give credit where it's due. CDPR actually allows all signs to be effective to a great extent throughout the game. They did that in past Witcher games as well - and I think that's a great approach.

I hate it when games keep changing the rules, and suddenly your strategy is nullified by some stupid arbitrary "boss" fight - because the designers couldn't come up with ways to challenge the player within the established rules.

So, kudos to CDPR for that, at least.

So, I guess I would have to include complexity and, as such, the best parts of any CRPG are:

Progression
Complexity (though, not just for its own sake)
Appropriate sense of reward for the required investment
Exploration
Immersion
Story underpinning and an actual objective to achieve and declare the game beaten.
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August 1st, 2018, 11:36
Not to derail the topic any further but about chess.

Anyone seen this?
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects…ard-relaunched

I thought that is quite cool.
Concept is quite simple but looks cool.

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August 1st, 2018, 11:45
Back on topic.

I think in terms of RPGs, I tend to enjoy an interesting story, but the most important element for me is quite often the combat to be honest. Combat is such a large element of RPGs that any RPG with combat that isn't 'fun' to me just doesn't work.

The best example for me is The Witcher. It has so many interesting concepts, story, etc. However, the combat is just not interesting to me. It seems like simply waiting to click the button at the right time and changing poses.
I just could not get into it and I have tried twice. I managed to get to the first city both times and then simply could not bear with it anymore.

I tend to enjoy turn-based games a lot, but I also really liked PB's formula. I have not disliked any of their games so far, but I am yet to play through Risen 3 and Elex.

Gothic 3 was too long for me to complete, but I did enjoy it for over 100 hours, so I can't complain.

I think complexity is important to touch on other games, but I like it sometimes when it's not gone crazy.

Finally, another element of RPGs is character creation. I think many people here love spending hours creating characters. I actually am the opposite. For me I build up the role as I play (usually good two-shoes), but the stats and so on, I prefer building up during gameplay when I get a feel of the combat etc.

For example, in Gothic I loved both magic and melee so I ended up doing those, whilst Gothic 3 melee seemed a bit boring to me and I went for a mage route. In Risen 2, I really liked the voodoo elements and it seemed more interesting to join them. However, had I had a choice, I may have started of as a soldier…
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August 1st, 2018, 11:47
Finally, another element of RPGs is character creation. I think many people here love spending hours creating characters. I actually am the opposite. For me I build up the role as I play (usually good two-shoes), but the stats and so on, I prefer building up during gameplay when I get a feel of the combat etc.
How do you feel about an established protagonist, then? Like Geralt or Shepherd?
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August 1st, 2018, 11:56
Originally Posted by TomRon View Post
Chess is my no means a complex game. That doesn't made it an easy game to master though, but that's not the same thing.
From what you know Chess? This is such an absurdity that I doubt you know much.

Be more clear, you probably mean that the rules are more simple. But rules complexity isn't the complexity of combats, and from far.

I have a quite deep knowledge, practice and studies of Chess, and I'm quite a fan of turn based combats in games. And I never seen turn based combats as complex than a chess game, even when played against humans.

The only one single player game that roughly reminded me Chess was King's Bounty the Legend. But it is still very far to have the same complexity. Its strategy element is pathetically basic in comparison with Chess, because it hasn't pawns and king. And it's not more complex rules, and various abilities that can change that, not even the (great) time back ability.

It's right that Chess has simple rules, but they are based on a delicate balance, and two complex elements, king and pawns. The key aspects are:
- 16 units, common in modern turn based, it's often 4 units, 6 is the max.
- One combat is easily 40 turns to achieve a won position, a lot more if played up to conclusion. In most turn based combats, it's about 5 turns and maximum 10 turns to reach a won position, generally kill one or two enemies units do the trick. Turn based combats can hardly be longer than 20 turns. When they are, it's more series of combats, or reinforcements.
- The king, it's a special rule, you can consider it a burden unit, but it brings a complexity element, kill the king can win the game even if the opponent has already a lot more units.
- Pawns, they are the most basic units, but they are the source of the highest complexity for strategy, it' hard to explain, but it's not some video game player as you that will be right against centuries of studies and books on the topic. You don't know, it's hard to explain, but at a point you should stop argue when you don't know well enough.

A chess game is a lot more complex than any single turn based combat, and Real Time with Pause are a lot worse.

But no way a game could use chess like combats, too long, too complicate, too high tactical level, too complex strategy.
Originally Posted by TomRon View Post
You can intricate strategies within a simple system, and you can use simple tactics in a complex system, those aren't mutually exclusive.
Complex systems call to simple tactics, because humans can't do better in context of complex systems.

Ok once more rules isn't combats complexity. And I have yet to see any turn combat game having a strategy depth 1% as complex than Chess.

Moreover, RPG tend have more complex rules than tactical games, but also less complex combats than tactical games.
Originally Posted by TomRon View Post
Personally I prefer complex systems, because I like games where combat is a lot like a puzzle I need to figure out.
You just don't like compute complex tactics, and most players don't want do it. So most turn based combats are designed so you can't compute complex tactics, just simple one. A key tool is random elements, another is the number of actions possible and try have an AI not too much predictable on some aspect.

This is just the key difference, and this doesn't make combats more complex.

Chess design spirit can't work for turn based combats games. I was wrong to bring it on the table. But don't say it's less complex combats, you just have no clue on it.

It's only less complex rules, but rules complexity doesn't make combats complexity.

Originally Posted by TomRon View Post
I'm guessing that's why I prefer turn based or RTwP more than action based games. Of allows for more complex mechanics, which in turn makes the puzzle that much larger.
Ok I failed understand this part, more complex mechanics making larger puzzle. Again, more complex rules doesn't make more complex combats.
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August 1st, 2018, 11:58
Originally Posted by Darth Tagnan View Post
How do you feel about an established protagonist, then? Like Geralt or Shepherd?
I prefer not to have one usually, but shepherd is not a bad example. Most of their personality is still up to you and character creation is relatively limited. I could live with it as it had little impact on the actual gameplay. For geralt I found it very annoying when he kept trying to sleep with all the women in the game. It felt like it was written by a horny teenager.

I hope that makes sense.

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August 1st, 2018, 12:03
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
I prefer not to have one usually, but shepherd is not a bad example. Most of their personality is still up to you and character creation is relatively limited. I could live with it as it had little impact on the actual gameplay. For geralt I found it very annoying when he kept trying to sleep with all the women in the game. It felt like it was written by a horny teenager.

I hope that makes sense.

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Ok, it seems our tastes are aligned in that way.

While I think Geralt is well written, I don't particularly enjoy being forced into a certain personality - and I especially don't enjoy having such a pre-determined playstyle in terms of the arsenal.

I also agree that Shepherd is better in that way, because so much is left to your own devices.

Ultimately, however, I prefer to create my own thing from scratch - and I prefer as many options as possible in terms of the arsenal and available playstyles.

Even if I always prefer stealth and, shall we say, more elaborate playstyles - I still prefer having alternatives in the game, so I can mix and match - and potentially replay them later on with a new playstyle.

Lastly, I think it's appropriate to note that certain games that revolve around a more structured and linear narrative are potentially better suited for pre-established characters.

Games like Last of Us or Bioshock Infinite would probably not be able to deliver stories that are equally effective, if the players were able to create their own characters.

So, it's never an exact science, I suppose.
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August 1st, 2018, 12:04
Originally Posted by SirJames View Post
This is what I said.

You said equations and calculations.

Credit where credits due?

@Dasale
Don't worry about Dart. He isn't the type to admit when he's wrong. You'll just have to notice over time that he thought you were right but was too proud to admit it. He can be quite petty!
I'll be stupidly frank, I irritate a lot many people, so I should be more tolerant to people like Aramis that irritate me a lot. But don't start argue on his personality, no his personality is no way nice, nor mine is.
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August 1st, 2018, 12:15
@Dasale

I commend you. Few people manage to see their own part in what goes wrong during a heated debate.

As I said, you have good points.

I think I understand your position on Chess - and I think our disagreement is more about semantics than anything else.

I think what you consider "complexity" is what I consider the challenge of achieving victory using a simplistic ruleset across several turns.

In Chess, there's only a single "true" victory condition - and so the experience is a lot more focused on that alone, where other games tend to have more conditions - and more things going on in general.

Chess is supposed to represent a battle of wits (an abstraction of a war, I suppose) - meaning it's really just a combat system - where other games tend to have much more going on than exclusively the battle.

In a traditional turn-based combat system, you have things that go way beyond the combat system in itself. As in, in Temple of Elemental Evil - you don't have perfectly balanced units on both sides - with an identical composition and 100% fair balance.

You spend much of the time in ToEE building your character and developing your strategy OUTSIDE of the tactical playscape.

So, in that way - your options are vastly expanded, and I'd argue that, by far, the biggest part of any victory is determined outside the actual battlefield.

But, if ToEE had 16 units with ultra-rigid stats - mirroring 16 units on the other side with identical stats - and you put all those units in a small room - and let the participants fight over a single one of those units, using proper D&D 3.5 edition rules - I don't think anyone could say the complexity was less than Chess. Simply because you'd still have more options available and you'd have the RNG aspect, which is inevitably going to ruin the nature of even the smartest prediction or calculation.

The reason Chess is harder - and turns take longer - is BECAUSE of the simplicity. It's because you have no leeway. The rules are simple enough that your brain starts focusing across several turns - which would be prohibitively exhaustive in a traditional combat system, because there are so many unknown factors and so many options.

So, the challenge of a traditional combat system becomes to simplify the complexity - and to focus on doing well on each individual turn, instead of across several turns at once.
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August 1st, 2018, 12:16
@Darth Tagnan
I didn't want an apology; I wanted credit for my description which you stole to claim as your own.

and the challenge is, as SirJames said, about how far into the future you can keep track of possible moves. It's extremely taxing on the brain once you go beyond a few turns, and I suppose - to be fair - that's a complex operation. But the rules are simple.
**fixed**

Anyway, what good is your apology when you dress it in sarcasm? Maybe that's the only way you can squeeze it past your massive ego? Tricking yourself into an apology by pretending you don't mean it? Pathetic!
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August 1st, 2018, 12:21
Cool story SJ!

Thank you for your contribution in this thread - it's been amazing and well thought out! Not to mention very productive.

Once you've finished pouting and pounding the bed after being sent to your room, you can enter the discussion again. I'll let you out when you're ready
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August 1st, 2018, 12:27
Originally Posted by Darth Tagnan View Post
Cool story SJ!

Thank you for your contribution in this thread - it's been amazing and well thought out! Not to mention very productive.

Once you've finished pouting and pounding the bed after being sent to your room, you can enter the discussion again. I'll let you out when you're ready
How will you know when I'm ready, little man?
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August 1st, 2018, 12:30
It's like when you put a whining baby in a room and let them cry out. Once they're reasonable again, they're ready

So, when you're ready to contribute and participate, instead of crying - I'll start paying more attention and take you seriously again.

Well, to a certain extent. I know you will never be fully ready until your ego is ready to accept that there really is no victory where I'm concerned. That can take years, depending on how honest you're capable of being with yourself.
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August 1st, 2018, 12:35
I read some (many?) people find every single video game combat simple, and then argue that strategy games are a lot more interesting.

Very simple is deadly boring, for me at least, not for you? really?

So where lead such arguing? Combats are boring so require a reward.

But what I see, is you don't know choose game genre matching your tastes. Most RPG is filled with combats, and they bore you, and you choose play this genre, it's weird.

I was wondering why RPG combats tend have a low tactical design value, quite lower than pure tactical games. But now I realize that it could be a deliberate design to suit players bases. Probably not, and it's more dev team not having any people really skilled in tactical design. But I wonder.

A strategy game is a strategy game, it's strategy because it has rules complex enough to make impossible to compute tactics but some short and not often. Ok I think everybody agree on that.

But compare one combat to a full play of a strategy game is a total non sense.

There's a large base of fans of strategy games, but it's very very far from players bases. And it's not clear if there's a significant public for tactical games outside Japan.

But again and again, I see this opposition strategy compared to tactical combats, and even more stupid, tactical games judged on the strategy aspect despite 99% of play time is in combats, despite all have a basic strategy aspect that is some management and some vague strategy elements.

The reason is a large majority of players don't like much strategy games.

This absurd trend on strategy will only lead to combats becoming crappier and crappier. To improve combats quality teams need improve their skills on tactical design, not on strategy design.

It's such an evidence but strategy players are leading it in the wrong way, it's such an absurdity.
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August 1st, 2018, 12:37
Reasonable. Are you trying to reason with me?

I thought you were saying "cool story" to be intentionally obnoxious and being sarcastic because you're so angry inside.

Sarcasm is angers ugly cousin, as they say.
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