Chris Keenan on skills and perma-death

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by Brother None, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. Ilosar

    Ilosar Vault Fossil

    Apr 20, 2010
    We're both using our personnal experiences to argue here. My point was that, in order to accomodate players, an option for perma-death would be preferable. The fact that Wasteland 2 is Kickstarter-funded doesn't mean only one kind of player will play it.

    I don't find it challenging to have to reload at the end of a fight because a lucky minigun crit from across the screen gibbed one of my teamates in Tactics, I find it cheap. If there was a Baldur's Gate or Torment like system, you just ressurect the bloke and hope it doesn't happen too much, but otherwise you need to redo the entire fight through no real fault of the player's. That's not challenge, that's just cheap. Challenge is what tests your strategy and character building, not if the RNG god smiles upon you this day. I personally found the harder boss fights in Dragon Age more challenging than anything in any Fallout or any other perma-death game.

    See, in JA2 I less of a problem with dead mercs. They have personalities enough to take a liking to them, but they were definitely not irreplaceable, and there are a whole lot of them to choose from, limited only by your budget and sometimes their availability. Contrast with FO2 or New Vegas, where each follower is pretty much completely unique, has a backstory and lots of lines and personality, and whose availability is plot and location-dependant. They are quite simply not replaceable. If Wasteland 2 takes the Jagged Alliance approach, I wont mind perma-death. If it takes the FO2 one, I would be a bit more bummed.
     
  2. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    yeah well, resurrecting your people made sense in BG, as it had the world and setting for it. Doing so in Fallout 2 would not make so much sense.

    The worst thing that Bioware games (and similar titles ... ) did to the genre was companions that cant die.

    Its not so much the problem that they believe their players cant handle that kind of difficuilty. The issue is that such a gameplay is constantly breaking the 4th wall. But not in a good way. Its simply something I EXPECT in some situations. Even BG had situations where you could lose your followers for ever. Like if they are turned to stone and shattered or with a few very powerfull spells.

    I really dont see where the problem is with "mortal" NPCs. We had that in RPGs for a very long time.
     
  3. Per

    Per Vault Consort Staff Member Admin

    Apr 1, 2004
    Unless you're OCD enough about keeping their xp count the same.

    Now let's talk about permanent level drain in AD&D games.
     
  4. Ilosar

    Ilosar Vault Fossil

    Apr 20, 2010
    Boy am I glad that this is gone from gaming. Most bullshit status effect in history.

    Refering to the above, we also had level drain for a long time. Doesn't mean it didn't and still doesn't suck. Older doesn't equal better the same as it doesn't equal worse, and ''traditions'' are in my mind only as good as the gameplay benefits they allow. Don't care how long we had it, if i don't like it, I don't.

    I get what you're saying. It's less ''fourth wall breaking'' than ''why can they only die in special circumstances''. In Bioware's case it's a result of NPCs becoming more and more important in their games. In Baldur's Gates they had personality quirks and sometimes their own quests, but didn't have any story importance beyond that and strictly served to make killing things easier. Beyond that, starting in KOTOR, party members became story essential, so being able to kill them at any time would just wreck the story in a thousand ways. There's a reason they kept the squadmate slaughter to one mission in Mass Effect 2; they had served their story purpose, now have them die to your heart's content.

    It's really a gameplay convenience, but one I favour. As I have said, in a character-driven game losing a likeable NPC to some lucky shot, AI stupidity or unseen cheap trap is just frustrating. And as i also have said, I realize not everyone feels the same, so I want an option. Simple as that.
     
  5. Surf Solar

    Surf Solar So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Aug 20, 2009
    I liked the level draining vampires :(

    Shows the player that you always have to go prepared in a battle.
     
  6. Per

    Per Vault Consort Staff Member Admin

    Apr 1, 2004
    Level drain worked in BG2 because like some other stuff in the game, it pulled ideas from D&D3 (you kept earning xp, so once you could cast Restoration it was as if nothing had happened). In the old gold box games, at best you lost your progress on your current level, and I can't even remember whether you had any particular means of protecting yourself.
     
  7. Surf Solar

    Surf Solar So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Aug 20, 2009
    Ok, that's really a dickmove in this case then.

    As said, as long as it happens in the BG2 way I am fine with it. :]
     
  8. WorstUsernameEver

    WorstUsernameEver But best title ever!

    May 28, 2010
    To be honest, I get the impression that BioWare keeps NPCs alive in combat because otherwise you wouldn't see the carefully crafted (death) cutscenes. Convenience probably plays a part too, but otherwise they could have easily made NPC deaths available at a higher difficulty.
     
  9. Morbus

    Morbus Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Aug 16, 2006
    Basically, from a gameplay point of view, if it takes you longer to play carefully through a level without slow loading than it takes you to rush it slow loading all the time, then the slowness of the loading is a pro. If not, it's not slow enough :P

    The problem with quickload is not that it's a cheat or anything like that, it's that, if it's fast and effective enough, it becomes the BEST way to go through the game.
     
  10. TheSHEEEP

    TheSHEEEP It Wandered In From the Wastes

    149
    Jan 22, 2007
    True, if you talk about really dying.

    But what if the worst that could happen to a character was being unconscious? In most games, they just stand up after the fight, but that actually doesn't make too much sense.
    There's nothing that prevents a game from interpreting unconsciousness a bit harsher. Say, the character does not get up after the fight. Instead, you will have to take care of him, carry him to the doctor (which would be funny if there was a weight limit, as you would have to leave stuff behind), or something like that.
    That would work.

    It actually doesn't matter from a gameplay perspective if you call it "dead", "unconscious" or whatever. It is only important that you explain it in a way that fits into the setting.
     
  11. WorstUsernameEver

    WorstUsernameEver But best title ever!

    May 28, 2010
    That's fairly similar to how it works in Wasteland (and they've confirmed they've keeping the system in Wasteland 2). Characters don't just drop dead, but first they get unconscious, then, when time passes and they don't get treated (or if they receive more wounds) they get into progressively worse states until they just die. You either need to use your party medic or bring them to a medic (which in the original was often a race against time).
     
  12. Ilosar

    Ilosar Vault Fossil

    Apr 20, 2010
    Perfect. That's exactly the kind of system I want.
     
  13. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Maybe RPGs with choices and concequences are not for you :p

    Hey! If we are at it, lets remove all the depth from the RPGs! Hell! lets go on and remove it from ALL the games if possible! Who needs it anyway!? Its just frustrating.

    Mind you, level drain was only frustrating to the unprepared. I am not even saying that I always enjoyed everything. But thinking about it today and comparing it to turds like Dragon Age or similar games, in hindsight it gave those games depth. Something which many modern titles lack as it seems to be a target to go for the so called "simplification" which is not equal to "modernisation" in my eyes.

    I have to say that in Mass Effect it didn't even bothered me that much.

    The real issue though is that all the RPGs feel similar because pretty much all of them do it that way ... at least if we talk about Bioware and similar games. Its one reason why I had the feeling I would be playing medieval Kotor when I played Dragon Age as it felt from the NPCs closer to Kotor then Baldurs Gate which they saw as "spiritual predecessor".

    I see why it is an issue in a game which has such a lets say "complex" story where the NPCs play a major role. (though I never saw Bioware stories as "complex" but lets not get in to that).

    Though, a hell lot of games proved that it IS possible to do it. See Planescape Torment as best example. Working on a medium like the computer really should not stop you from going with a certain vision just because its "to difficult". Though I do as well recognize that PT was somewhat unique in that part.
     
  14. Ilosar

    Ilosar Vault Fossil

    Apr 20, 2010
    How you equate ''choice and consequence'' with ''lol the computer got a lucky crit, reload bitch'' is beyond me.

    You're completely deforming my post. Level drain sucks, period. How the hell does it add any depth? Ohhh, you have to have a Restoration spell handy at all times, then cast it and the problem goes away! Well that's so fucking deep, man. How did I live without that?

    At the risk of having a mob with torches and pitchforks on my doorstep this evening, I found Dragon Age more deep mechanics-wise (until Awakening fucked it all up with all that game-breaking stuff, albeit the sequel was also pretty deep when you looked into it on that front) and harder to play than Baldur's Gate and most Infinity games really, save Fallout. And we're talking about gameplay mechanics here.

    Out of curiosity, what games are similar to Bioware's? Discounting Mass Effect. Also, they used the same basic gameplay mold for NPCs in KOTOR and DA, but the actual NPCs didn't have much in common, unless for some reason you equate Carth with Alistair or something.
     
  15. Grotesque

    Grotesque It Wandered In From the Wastes

    168
    Oct 16, 2006
    Muhahahha


    Having companions miraculously rising from the dead like Jesus on steroids after a fight is the most retarded gameplay system.
    It takes out all the suspense and adrenaline from a fight because there's no more real consequence.

    get the fuck over and load that save and replay the combat if you don't want to lose a party memeber.

    this kind of system where companions are immortal is another type that caters the casuals.
    None of it in Wasteland 2 ........please God
     
  16. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    Betrayal at Krondor implemented unconsciousness in an interesting way: characters knocked out in battle become crippled and take several days to lose that status and begin healing normally. Forces management and planning, particularly when you have no intention of repeating the fight you just won.
     
  17. Ilosar

    Ilosar Vault Fossil

    Apr 20, 2010
    You didn't even read the thread, did you?